FR - MSR Fling Tent - Ray Estrella
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Mountain Safety Research Fling Tent
August 5, 2006
Name: Raymond Estrella
Height: 6' 3" (193 cm)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Email address: rayestrella@...
City: Huntington Beach
Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
the Sierra Nevada, and have put 201 miles (324 km) with a pack on my
back so far this year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am
making the move to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research, Inc. (MSR)
Web site: www.msrcorp.com
Year manufactured: 2006
MSRP: $269.95 (US)
Size: 2 person
Packaged weight (complete) listed: 4 lb (1.8 kg) Actual weight: 4 lb
5.3 oz (1.96 kg)
Minimum weight (body & poles) listed: 3 lb 6 oz (1.5 kg) Actual
weight: 3 lb 7.3 oz (1.57 kg)
Interior height listed: 40 in (102 cm) Verified accurate but can
change with setup
Length listed: 80 in (203 cm) Verified accurate but can change with
Width (foot & head) listed: 48 and 70 in (122 & 178 cm) Verified
accurate but can change with setup
Packed size listed: 20 x 6 in (51 x 15 cm) Verified accurate
Color tested: Sunset (What I call MSR ultra-light orange)
Warranty: (quoted from company web site) "MSR warranties the
materials and workmanship in every MSR tent we make to the original
owner. If your MSR tent has received proper care, but fails due to a
defect in manufacturing, the tent will be repaired or replaced at
For a detailed description of the Fling, please see my Initial
I used the Fling in the Bristlecone Pine Forest in May. The temps
over three days were from 28 F to 50 F (-2 to 10 C). I had it set up
on 4' (1.22 m) packed snow at 11,200' (3,414 m) elevation, and on
artic tundra (dirt, rocks, moss) at 12,600' (3,840 m). The winds
that I measured on this trip ranged from 6 to 17 mph (10 to 27 kph).
On July 1 I used it for an overnighter in the Mojave Desert west of
Lancaster California. It was 105 F (58 C) for a high and dropped
down to all of 73 F (41 C) for a low temp. Also in July it was used
on a trip at 9,100' (2,774) elevation at Round Valley near Mount San
Jacinto. Temps hit a low of 48 F (9 C) there.
Setting up has proven to be very simple with this tent. I only set
it up once before going on the Bristlecone hike but was still able
to put it together faster than Dave, who was using a Seedhouse 2SL
that he was very familiar with. The first day I had it in a snow
field, so used snow stakes with it. They held the tent very well,
and I had no problems with it. Here is a picture of the Fling in a
The next day saw some higher winds during set up. I placed one
regular stake (I was on dirt now) at the back corner to keep it from
blowing away, and then set up as normal. Again it went quick and
smoothly. I did add two pieces of line to the extra guy points on
the rear of the tent and staked them with two of the extra four
stakes I had brought.
The single stake for two guy points showed its weakness here though.
I pitched the Fling with the back into the wind. But the wind kept
shifting and would hit it square on the rear for awhile, and then
come from either side. When hitting the side it would make the two
points pull towards the center. I fixed this by adding another stake
to each side so that each point had its own stake. Here is a picture
of it set up in this manner.
The first thing that grabs me when I get into the Fling is how much
room it has. I have no problem sitting up in it. And it is wide! My
brother-in-law looked over as I set it up the first day and
exclaimed about how huge the front is. I had to agree with him.
I was worried that it may prove to be a little short for me though.
As can be seen in the picture below my Dual Core pad touches each
end of the tent. So did the sleeping bag I was using. I was afraid
that I would pick up condensation from the wall on my bag. But it
did not prove to be a problem.
The reason I stopped worrying about it is that this tent has better
ventilation than any single wall or hybrid that I have used. It was
better than my Big Agnes Sarvis (see review), which is only half
single-wall, at handling condensation. The only condensation I had
the first night in the snow was on my mustache from my breath. Not a
bit on the tent walls or my bag.
The next night was even better as the wind was blowing through the
tent all night. So no wet upper lip! The side walls under the
shingle side vents did slap around all night long. I wear earplugs
in winter conditions so the noise of it did not bother me. That may
prove to be different this summer.
I found that I do like the pocket formed out of the vent mesh. I
will not put anything sharp or heavy in it but it works great for my
Kestrel 4000 pocket weather meter. It has the proper outside
temperature as soon as I turn it on keeping it in the Flings pocket.
When I set up in the snow, I always dig a pit at the entry of my
tents. I did so with the Fling and pretty much needed it to get in
and out without difficulty. The next day on dirt I found my first
bone of contention with the Fling.
The beak/awning is too low for me to get in the tent without
dropping to the ground. I cannot even squat down and unzip the door
all the way. I am too tall; as I reach to the other side of the
zipper track I hit the awning. I have to get on the ground under it
to complete the motion. I took my crampons out of their storage sack
to use as a kneel pad to get in and out of the tent. I am not
looking forward to using it at a rainy, muddy site.
Another thing that kind of bugs me is the pole sleeves. The
material, which is the same as the floor, has the thick polyurethane
coating on it. I have no problem getting them in while setting up.
But as the poles sit under tension in the sleeve all night they
become very stuck inside. It is quite difficult getting them back
out of the sleeve when breaking camp in the morning. Trying to pull
them out results in the pole sections separating, making it even
more difficult to get them out. I feel they would be better served
by using uncoated material for the inside of the sleeves in the
I took the Fling to the Mojave Desert just to try it out in high
heat. I have never used a single wall or hybrid in the desert. I
normally take my Seedhouse and set it up without the fly. So I was
ready to be in a sauna for the night. I brought a silk sleeping bag
liner to sleep in, no bag, and started off just laying on top of it
and the pad. Surprisingly it did not turn oven-like inside of the
Fling. The full side vents help this tent immensely. At 2:30 AM it
finally cooled down enough for me to climb inside the liner. While I
was doing that I sat up and was just looking out the door window and
saw a coyote trot out of a bush angling towards me. It stopped when
it noticed the tent and stared at it. I yelled "get out of here" at
it. It jumped straight up in the air and landed running. I laughed
to my self thinking about it telling his coyote friends about the
big loud orange thing in the desert.
On July 3rd I took the Fling to San Jacinto to pre-scout sites for a
trip with a bunch of children. I stayed at Round Valley as close to
the creek as I legally could. The snow had recently melted off and
it had been getting occasional thunderstorms so the ground was wet,
and with some cooling overnight conditions would be great for some
condensation. A little past midnight it started raining. It did not
last long but no water got inside the Fling although I had the vents
fully stretched out and the door vent fully open. Once more the
Fling came through with flying colors. No condensation at all. The
bottom of the tent did pick up a bit of mud as I do not have a
footprint for it. I washed it off when I got home.
For the most part this tent seems to be a pretty good design. The
beak and pole sleeves are my only negatives so far. I am definitely
enjoying the room in the Fling, and look forward to more testing to
I would like to thank MSR and BackpackerGearTest for the opportunity
to test this tent.