OWNER REVIEW: MSR Missing Link tent
- This is my first review. Thanks for looking it over!
MSR Missing Link Tent
Name: Johanna Turner
Email address: immunity_idol@...
City, State, Country: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Date: November 25, 2007
Backpacking Background: I have been hiking and backpacking since college. I have
recently gotten into canyoneering. I typically hike 8-12 miles on a day hike every
weekend, and often once or twice during the week. I plan several backpacking trips
during the summer, which are generally two to five days in length. I also car camp many
times during the whole year. I consider myself an ultralight backpacker. My total pack
weight, including food, for 3 days is around 20 pounds. The only terrain I don't hike in is
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer URL: http://www.msrcorp.com/
Listed Weight: Minimum Weight: 3 lbs
Packaged Weight: 3lbs 7oz
*weight does not include trekking poles
Weight as delivered:
Product Description: The MSR Missing Link is a two person, three season, single wall tent.
It is made of bright orange silicon coated ripstop nylon. It comes in a matching orange
stuff sack, with six small aluminum stakes. Trekking poles are typically used as the main
support, though any pole of the right length (or even sticks) can be used. I had some
carbon fiber poles made, since I don't use trekking poles. There is one door, and a large
awning. A strip of mesh runs along the top front and bottom rear of the tent. The door
has a mesh layer as well as a waterproof layer, which can be zipped or unzipped.
Field information: I have used this tent in many different locations, mostly in California.
My first testing location is in the Sequoia National Forest, which has soft dirt. The ground
has many nice flat areas to pitch a tent that is not freestanding. The weather was about
75 degrees during the day, and 45 at night. There were few mosquitos, and calm breezes.
It didn't rain.
My first experience pitching the tent revealed a few things. The Missing Link saves weight
by eliminating poles. This means it must be staked out carefully and securely. It didn't
take more than 5 minutes to get the tent up, but I needed to adjust the stakes and tie line
lengths quite a bit to get the tent nice and tight. The instructions printed on the stuff sack
were detailed and helpful. The stakes are thin and small. They are easy to push into this
soil. If I placed a stake at one end, then pulled on the tent to place a stake at the opposite
end, I could pull the first stake right out and have to start over. I have since worked out
the science of it, and it now goes up quickly. I usually find some good sized rocks to put
on top of the stakes to keep them secure. The length of the guylines makes for a real
tripping hazard, even with the reflective cordage MSR provided. After a a few near
faceplants, I decided to simply stay away from the sides of the tent altogether. I also
needed a large area to set up, since the guylines extend so far out.
I found that although the six aluminum stakes provided are enough to pitch the tent, eight
stakes would be ideal. I used some small sticks instead one to prop up the back flap,
and improve airflow, and another to stake out a rear guyline that pulls the back of the tent
out, creating more room inside.
The tent is very roomy inside. It is especially good for tall people. At 5'8", I have about a
foot of room at both my head and feet, where I can store shoes, my pack, or other items.
The mesh door is large, and zips all the way down to the floor, giving a nice airy feeling
with a good view. Since there was no threat of rain, I didn't stake out the awning, but
instead folded it back over the top of the tent. This way, I didn't need to duck under it to
get in or out of the tent. I can also sit up with plenty of headroom, and imagined easily
sitting there playing cards with someone and being very comfortable.
The humidity on this trip was low, and I didn't have to zip up the waterproof nylon part of
the door. Probably because of these two factors, I didn't get any condensation inside. In
the morning, I was in direct sun, and it quickly got too warm to be comfortable.
Packing up was simple and fast. The Missing Link rolls right up to a nice compact size
larger than a nalgene, but smaller than a typical sleeping bag in a stuff sack.
California weather is so great, I've never been able to test the waterproofness of my
Missing Link in the field. It's an important part of any tent, so I set it up in the backyard
one day during a heavy winter rainstorm, and left it out there overnight. We got about two
inches of rain that day and night, and in the morning there were a few drops of water in
the corners of the tent, on the floor. Nothing that would have been a problem on a real
trip. I didn't do any seam sealing on my own, so this was a test of how it performs
straight from the factory. The tent had gotten a little saggy from the constant pounding. I
have to think the guylines probably stretched a little from being wet. Again, nothing that
would have bothered me much if I were actually inside trying to sleep.
I have had this tent in windy conditions (30mph gusts), and it did fall over on me a couple
of times, until I found some nice heavy rocks to keep those little stakes in the ground
where they belong. Then the tent was tight enough that there wasn't a lot of annoying
flapping noise either.
Summary: The MSR Missing Link is a comfortable, reliable tent for three season
backpacking. The extra care and finesse it takes to pitch it is an easy trade off for the
roominess and light weight. The thin fabric is surprisingly strong, and has survived
several trips on abrasive decomposed granite, sharp pine needles, and lots of tension on
the guylines, with no noticeable wear and tear. I like the design of this tent, and would
recommend it to backpackers who don't mind taking a few extra minutes of setup.
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Glad to see you made it over here. Hope all is well with you and the
pups. Here's the formal stuff. Let me know if have any questions.
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- Hello Johanna,
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***City, State, Country: Los Angeles, CA, USA
EDIT: the state needs to be spelled out for the benefit of our
***I typically hike 8-12 miles on a day hike every weekend,
EDIT: needs metric conversion (13 19 km)
***My total pack weight, including food, for 3 days is around 20
EDIT: same thing here. All weights and measurements must have
conversions. Please go through and look for all instances. Here is an
EDIT: you need to spell out the name the first time. Then you can use
MSR all you want
***Weight as delivered:
EDIT: you are missing this.
***My first testing location is in the Sequoia National Forest,
EDIT: as this is a review not a test (which we do of tents) could you
please change "My first testing locatiion" to "The first place I
Also can you please put a field data section listing a few of the
places you have used the tent and the conditions to show that you
have the minimum required use to write about it? One trip is not
***There were few mosquitos,
***The length of the guylines makes for a real tripping hazard,
Comment: benn there, tripped over that
***After a a few near faceplants,
EDIT: "face plants" or "face-plants" and delete one "a"
***It is especially good for tall people.
EDIT: you need to keep this about your experience. To say that it is
good for others is speculation as you can't really know what is good
At 5'8", I have about a foot of room at both my head and feet,
EDIT: need conversion numbers
***We got about two inches of rain that day and night,
EDIT: same thing
*** Nothing that would have been a problem on a real trip. I didn't
do any seam sealing on my own, so this was a test of how it performs
straight from the factory. The tent had gotten a little saggy from
the constant pounding. I have to think the guylines probably
stretched a little from being wet. Again, nothing that would have
bothered me much if I were actually inside trying to sleep.
EDIT: the problem with these is the fact that since you did not use
them in those conditions you can not be sure that it would not have
bothered you. (To be honest my single wall tents bother me a lot when
they get saggy and the wet tent starts hitting me.) You can reword
this or just drop the mention to the guesses.
***I have had this tent in windy conditions (30mph gusts),
EDIT: needs a space after the "30" and a conversion to km/h