MSR FreeLite 3 Person Dome Tent Review

When we created this review for the FreeLite 3, we compared data against one hundred and sixty-eight 3 person dome tents, checking more than 60 different data points. We also looked at the total price including shipping & discounts from thirteen different suppliers online stores, to source the best bargain for you.

The FreeLite Fly Open
MSR's FreeLite 3 With the Fly Open
In the review, we will show you:
  • A recap of the customer reviews we found.
  • A thorough analysis of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons of the shelter.
  • The Best Value that we Found!

Here at all our reviews are built with the aid of our individual database of more than 1,000 tents and shelters, that are for sale in the USA. Our goal is to give you an objective review and our own individual rating based on the data, along with the lowest price and best value we could find.

Best Value & Low Price

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Nemo Stargaze
  • MSR Logo
  • Manufacturer: MSR
  • Model: FreeLite
  • Year Introduced: 2016
  • MPN: 10345
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3 Persons
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $589.95

FreeLite 3 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The FreeLite With the Fly Off

MSR FreeLite 3 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the FreeLite 3

Fly Closed FreeLite 3

A video about the FreeLite 3 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: 2
  • Zippers: N/A
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: N/A, N/A
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Yes, Half
  • Footprint: Not Included, Available Separately
  • FreeLite 3 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: 9.3mm
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminum
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 40 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 3 foot. 3 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 3 Lbs 7 Oz
    Trail Weight: 2 Lbs. 15 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 22 x 7 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 1
    Total Vestibule Area: 17.50 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

The tent's true to its name. Very lightweight for a 3-person tent at that. Set up was a breeze. The pole system is a single piece pole system. That makes me happy. I really do not like having multiple poles that you have to put together.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

Even without the packs, I don’t see how 3 grown adults would fit. It would be very tight! It would work perfectly with enough space for 2 persons only.


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Eureka Summer Pass 3
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  • 13% Extra Headroom
4.4 Stars Logo (3.1)
More Details

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Marmot Colfax 3
Marmot Colfax 3
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  • 26% Extra Headroom
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Big Agnes Tumble 3
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Nemo Equipment Galaxi 3
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The FreeLite 3 has two doors and a maximum center height of 3' 3, which is 15 inches less than the average height of the 147 other 3 person tents we have examined With 40 square feet of room inside, it is a lot smaller than some other 3-person tents, and it would be quite tight for you and, up to two other campers during the whole of the 3-seasons, this tent is suggested for use in, smaller tents like this one are a very nice choice for people that welcome spending lots of hours outside their tent getting some air.

A few of the fantastic points about dome tents are, that they are generally speaking light, making them easy to carry around. In most all cases, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are usually, freestanding and very simple to set up. In good weather, you could do without securing the tent with stakes and ropes, not that this is suggested.

Dome tents are the most commonly seen of all the different types of tents you will see when camping. They tend to fair better in bad weather than other types, allowing rain to roll off the sloped sides, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, allowing the rain to pool on the top of the tent. The simplest dome tent should have a rectangular floor, slanted sides two or more poles which cross in the middle of the roof. Because of their construction, it is generally considered that they are ideal for up to a maximum of 6 people.

Down below, you can find a list of the tent's pros and cons.

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  1. Vestibule. Having one vestibule. Offers you a place to store shoes and other items that can get dirty, muddy, this is a huge 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 things.
  3. More than one door. With 2 doors, it is easier to get in and out of the tent, in the middle of the night if needed.
  4. 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 warmer months.
  5. 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 rain.
  6. Other sizes are available. MSR has also made this model available in Other Sizes.


  1. Not roomy. With a floor area of 40 square feet, the FreeLite 3 is smaller than quite a lot of the 147 other 3 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 15% 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 sold separately designed for the FreeLite 3 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 qualities to rave about. The sloping sides do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.4 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.4 STARS

MSR's FreeLite 3 tent is ideal for backpacking. There are a couple of other nice points not already mentioned above which, we found and liked, while reviewing 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 great ratings, and a peak height of 3' and 40 square feet of space to play with, this tent is like your very own little apartment. It allows you to spend some delightful moments hanging out with nature. We found a decent amount of positive points about the tent that you can look at above.

If you found this website looking for suggestions about this specific tent, our view is, it would make for an excellent purchase. In case you simply happened to land on this page while looking for a brand new tent having never heard of this brand or this tent model previously, it is probably a good thing to look at a few more comparable tents.

Value for money: When contemplating value for money, this tent is a tiny bit more costly than the average price of all the one hundred and ninety-four, three-person tents we have studied, this alone is not a negative thing. We also need to take a look at other factors in-depth, as we do with each tent.

When we calculate the overall score of a single tent, we study tons of conditions, searching for points where the tent could perform well against other near-identical tents and where it is coming up short. In this case, with a total score of 4.4 and the price data above, one can conclude that with a cost of $589.95 MSR's FreeLite 3 is a fair purchase the cost is not expensive when compared with similar tents.

The ratings show that the quality and dimensions, the tent offers make it a a fair choicefor those looking for for a good quality 3-person tent. It is also worth thinking about the fact that it is discounted by 0% from the manufactures suggested retail price. It should make a good choice for nearly all people searching for a comfortable three-season backpacking tent to go camping in, that will serve you well for years to come.

Best Value & Low Price

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$599.95 info_outline
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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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