MSR FreeLite 1 Person Dome Tent Review

While creating this review for the FreeLite 1, we compared data from eighty-two other 1 person dome tents, comparing more than 60 different data points. We also checked the total cost including shipping & discounts at thirteen different retailers websites, to find the best bargain for you.

The FreeLite Fly Open
MSR's FreeLite 1 With the Fly Open
In this report, we will present to you:
  • A summary of the customer reviews we read.
  • A detailed examination of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons of the shelter.
  • The Best Value that we Found!

Here at all our reports are built with the aid of our particular dataset of over 1,000 shelters, that are for sale in the USA. Our aim is to provide you an objective report and our own exclusive rating based on the statistics, along with the lowest price and best value we could find.

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Nemo Stargaze
  • MSR Logo
  • Manufacturer: MSR
  • Model: FreeLite
  • Year Introduced: 2016
  • MPN: 10343
  • Sleeping Capacity: 1 Person
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $389.95

FreeLite 1 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The FreeLite With the Fly Off

MSR FreeLite 1 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the FreeLite 1

Fly Closed FreeLite 1

A video about the FreeLite 1 tent.

Another video about MSR's tents.


Logo Representing the Features Section


  • Freestanding: Semi
  • Color: Burgandy, Gray
  • Number of Rooms: 1
  • Number of Windows: None
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Zippers: N/A
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: N/A, N/A
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Yes, Half
  • Footprint: Not Included, Available Separately
  • FreeLite 1 floor saver
Logo Representing the Materials Section

Materials and Extras

  • Inner Walls: 10D Nylon Micromesh
  • Full Fly: 15D Ripstop Nylon Xtreme Shield Polyurethane & Silicone
    Fly Waterproof Ratings: 1200 mm
  • Floor Materials: 15D Ripstop Nylon Xtreme Shield Polyurethane & Silicone
    Floor Waterproof Ratings: 1200 mm
  • Pole Material: Easton Syclone
  • Number Of Poles: 1
  • Pole Dimensions: 8.64mm
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminum
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 18 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 3 foot. 0 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 2 Lbs 8 Oz
    Trail Weight: 2 Lbs. 0 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 18 x 6 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 1
    Total Vestibule Area: 9.00 sq. ft.
  • Screened Areas: None
  • Awnings: None

Tent Set Up

Its unified semi-freestanding frame sets up quickly.

Warranty: MSR Warranty Info
Green Thumbs Up Logo

Summary: Favorable Reviews

I'm 6’0” yet there still plenty of room either at the head of the tent or at the foot end of the tent for my backpack to fit inside. The vestibules are roomy enough to keep dirty gear outside the tent. I also enjoy the fact that if you stake the tent properly, you can fold back the front part (the part over your face) of the fly to see the stars.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

Maybe I missed it but I thought the tent was free standing. I mostly hike on rocky terrains so this became a problem.


Marmot Tungsten 1
Marmot Tungsten 1
  • 11% More Space
  • 6% Extra Headroom
4.2 Stars Logo (4.2)
More Details

$197 Cheaper

Nemo Equipment Spike 1
Nemo Equipment Spike Storm 1
  • 6% More Space
  • 17% Extra Headroom
4.2 Stars Logo (4.3)
More Details

$160 Cheaper

MSR Elixir 1
MSR Elixir 1
  • 11% More Space
  • 8% Extra Headroom
4.2 Stars Logo (4.8)
More Details

$150 Cheaper

Big Agnes Solo Trail 1
Big Agnes Solo Trail 1
  • 11% More Space
  • 14% Extra Headroom
4.2 Stars Logo (4.1)
More Details

$150 Cheaper


The FreeLite 1 has one door and a maximum center height of 3' 0, which is a little bit less than the average height of the 72 various 1 person tents we have examined With 18 square feet of space inside, it is significantly smaller than some other 1-person tents, and it would be quite tight for you during the 3-seasons, this tent is suggested for use in, smaller tents similar to this one often make a really good choice for people that enjoy spending loads of time outside of their tent exploring.

Some of the fantastic things about dome tents are, that they are for, the most part light, making them simple to carry. In near all cases, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are usually, freestanding and very simple to set up. In calm weather, you can do without guy lines and stakes, not that this is recommended.

Dome tents are without a doubt the most commonly seen of all the other sorts of tents you will see when camping. They tend to fair better in bad weather than other types, allowing rain to easily slide off the sloped sides, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, resulting in the rain pooling on the roof. The most straightforward dome tent will have a square floor, sloped sides two or more poles which cross in the center of the roof. Because of the way they are made, it is typically thought of that they are best suited for up to a maximum of 6 campers.

Below you can find a list of the tent's pros and cons.

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  1. Vestibule. Having one vestibule. Offers you somewhere to store shoes and other things that can get dirty, muddy, this is a big plus.
  2. Internal storage. It is good to see MSR has added a gear loft and pockets in the interior to store some of your gear.
  3. Breathable. The FreeLite's interior uses a mesh fabric on the inside of the tent, and this helps maximize the flow of air. With the extra ventilation, and this tent is great for use in the summer.
  4. The rainfly completely covers the tent body. The rainfly covers the whole body of the tent from the top to the bottom and has a waterproof rating of 1200mm. Meaning it will easily protect you against heavy downpours.
  5. Other sizes are available. MSR has also made this model available in Other Sizes.


  1. Not roomy. With a floor area of 18 square feet, the FreeLite 1 is smaller than quite a lot of the 72 other 1 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 7% less headroom than similar sized tents, one can see how this could be a negative thing for some people.
  3. Footprint not Included. There is no included footprint, there is one available separately designed for the FreeLite 1 footprint Even though the floor may be made of 15D ripstop nylon Xtreme Shield polyurethane & silicone, it is still best to protect it further with a footprint, especially on rough terrain.
  4. Sloping walls. Even though Dome tents have many attributes to rave about. The sloping walls do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.2 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.2 STARS

MSR's FreeLite 1 tent is great for backpacking. Here are a couple of other points not already mentioned above which, were noticed and liked, while researching the model: MSR’s lightest semi-freestanding, double-wall tent provides full protection without a big weight penalty, the ventilating micromesh canopy and waterproof rainfly offer protection for all kinds of weather and Large door offers access to spacious interior for comfort and convenience on longer backcountry trips.

With favorable ratings, and a peak height of 3' and 18 square feet of space for sleeping, this tent is like your own miniature home away from home. This will allow you to enjoy some really enjoyable time hanging out with nature. We found a decent amount of positive points about the tent that you can check out above.

If you came to this page looking for recommendations about this specific tent, we think, it will make for a good acquisition. If you just happened to land on this page while looking for a brand new tent having not heard of this manufacurer or this tent model before, it is perhaps a good idea to look at some more comparable tents.

Value for money: As far as value for your money, this tent is a tad bit more expensive than the usual cost of all the one hundred, one-person tents we have looked at, this alone by itself is not a negative thing. We also need to think about other things in-depth, as we do for each tent.

When we calculate the overall score of a single tent, we look at a good deal of stuff, looking for things where the tent could exceed other near-identical tents and where it is lacking. In this case, with an overall score of 4.2 and the price knowledge above, It is simple to observe that with a price of $389.95 The FreeLite 1 is a very good buy even though it could be thought of as quite costly when set side by side with comparable tents.

The ratings show that the quality and space the tent offers make it a decent buy for people wanting a tent that will be used for many years. It is also worth thinking about the fact that it is marked down by 0% from the manufactures suggested retail price. It will make an ok choice for most people looking for an adequate three-season backpacking tent to go camping with, that should serve you well for years to come.

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Other Sizes and Variations of the MSR FreeLite Model

Model Headroom Sleeping Area

MSR FreeLite 1
FreeLite 1

3' 0"18 sq ft

MSR FreeLite 2
FreeLite 2

3' 0"29 sq ft

MSR FreeLite 3
FreeLite 3

3' 3"40 sq ft
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