Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to seam seal my tent?
MSR tents are built with superior fabrics and construction methods to ensure they deliver long-lasting weather protection and performance. Most MSR tents purchased prior to 2018 are factory seam taped, so seam sealing isn’t necessary. If any problems develop over time, seam seal the specific area, on the inner, shiny side of the fabric.
Beginning in 2019, MSR’s ultralight tents and shelters feature our unique Xtreme Shield™ System that does away with conventional seam taping for durable, precision-stitched seams that last far longer on lightweight tents. If you anticipate camping in heavy or extended rain, we recommend sealing the seams where necessary. Seam sealing will ensure maximum waterproof defense and a tent with exceptional longevity. It’s easy to do with
Xtreme Shield is featured on these tents and shelters starting in 2019:
Hubba™ Tour Series
Thru-Hiker Mesh Houses
And in 2018 for the FreeLite™ series.
What defines "waterproof" in a tent and what does the "mm" rating mean?
Understanding Prop 65
What is California Proposition 65?
Passed into law by California’s voters in 1986, Prop 65 is intended to help California residents make informed decisions about the products they buy.
The law states that companies selling products in California must display a warning when the product contains one or more of the approximately 800 chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm.
Why has MSR placed a Proposition 65 label on some of its products?
By placing the Prop 65 warning on a product, MSR acknowledges that it contains one or more of the chemicals on the Prop 65 list, however the listed chemical may be well within the “no significant risk” range. MSR has not evaluated every product but out of caution, we include the warning.
Are consumers who use an MSR product with a Proposition 65 label at risk?
The label simply indicates that the product contains the chemical and because of that, there is a potential for exposure to it.
The California government states: “The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe.” The government explains, “You could think of Proposition 65 more as a ‘right to know’ law than a pure product safety law.”
For example, some MSR stoves contain brass. Exposure to brass is not itself harmful. However lead is a component of brass and should the brass be disrupted, a user could potentially come in contact with the lead. While the lead levels fall below the “no significant risk” range, MSR is still required to acknowledge its presence.
To learn more about California’s Prop 65, please visit: https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/general-info/proposition-65-plain-language
What types of chemicals are on the Proposition 65 list?
The Prop 65 list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. They may be additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes or solvents. They may be used in manufacturing and construction, or be the byproducts of chemical processes. Proposition 65 requires that the Governor of California maintain and publish a list of these harmful chemicals, and update it annually.
According to the state of California:
A chemical is listed if it has been classified as a reproductive toxicant or carcinogen by an "authoritative" organization on the subject. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer are considered authoritative for carcinogens. For reproductive toxicants, appropriate authorities include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and International Agency for Research on Cancer. Chemicals will also be listed if they are required to be labeled or identified as a carcinogen or as a reproductive toxicant by an agency of the state or federal government.
What do the letters D and T after the fabrics mean?
What are some different configuration of the tarps and wings?
Why should I get a footprint?
How should I store my tent?
For long-term storage, keep your tent in a dry and cool area, out of direct sunlight. Store it outside of its stuff sack, as you would a sleeping bag, in a breathable, over-sized cotton or mesh duffel for protection. On the cheap, an old pillowcase is ideal.
How long will a tent last?
What are packaged and minimum weights?
Many MSR backpacking tents can be pitched using only the rainfly, poles and footprint, and in our tent specs we call this non-industry standard setup option our Fast & Light weight.
To learn more about packaged weight vs. minimum, and the manufacturing processes that can affect them, check out our blog post on the topic.
How do I guy out my tent with the included tensioners?
How do I prevent mildew?
What's the best way to clean my tent?
What causes condensation and how do I reduce it in my tent?
- Weather Conditions: High humidity, low temperatures, and rainy conditions create the most condensation.
- People: We produce about 1 - 2 pints of moisture per night through breathing and skin evaporation.
- Wet Environment: Wet ground or wet gear stored inside the tent.
To start, the tent body and ceiling are made of breathable and mesh fabrics. This allows moisture to escape the interior of your tent. However, it must also be able to escape the waterproof fly, and every MSR rainfly has a peak vent that provides protection from the outside, while still allowing essential, free-flowing fresh air to move through your tent. You can also leave a door open in good weather, or take advantage of the double sliders on the doors to vent from the top where warm and moist air tends to accumulate. Make sure to leave at least two vents open if possible, allowing any breeze to provide cross-flow ventilation for maximum circulation. Guying out your rainfly will also increase ventilation in hot or humid conditions.
Video: What causes condensation in a tent