MSR Access 1 Tent

Author: Eric Deneault

I have a serious problem when it comes to buying new gear and testing it out. One of my favorite things to do in the world is camping in the backcountry, so that has me buying new tents all of the time to see what is the best. I recently purchased the Access 1 from MSR and gave it the test in north-central Montana. This test was conducted in a wide range of weather and temperatures; from the sun, rain, snow, and heavy winds at times. 

The Access 1 tent is a solo four-season tent specifically made with the backcountry explorer in mind. Coming in at 3 lbs 8 ounces, it is light and compact. I was excited to test this tent out on my recent elk hunt which gave me close to twenty nights to check it out. I like how this tent sets up with a single-pole system, which is ideal for pitching a tent in bad weather situations. Like any tent, it takes time to learn how to pitch the tent most effectively so I always recommend setting it up a few times before going in the field. The tent was durable and handled all-weather situations pretty well. Having a separate rain fly is nice on warmer clear nights.


One of the things that impressed me the most about this tent was that it has a high dome ceiling. This is great when sitting up while getting dressed and also makes you feel not so confined in a one-man tent. One of my favorite times using the Access 1 was after a long day out in the field and it started to rain in the evening. After hiking back to the tent, I was able to get in and cook my meal with ease while sitting up out of the weather. It rained all night and into the next day and I stayed dry and comfortable during the wet conditions.  

The only knock I could find with the Access 1 is it did seem to build a little condensation when the rain fly is on. This only seemed to happen when the temperatures went into the 30’s and lower. The condensation was not terrible but enough to notice for sure. 

Overall I would give the tent a 4 out of 5 rating and I will continue to use the Access 1 in the future. I would recommend the Access 1 to anyone who is looking for comfortability in a one man tent while still staying light weight on backcountry endeavours. I believe this tent is best suited for spring bear or shed hunts, as well as September hunts in the backcountry.