MSR Habiscape Tent Review

 

The MSR Habiscape was designed for families and groups who want solid weather protection and convenience for their frontcountry camping trips. It’s spacious without being overkill, easy and intuitive to set up, and has an excellent pocket arrangement to keep you organized.


Quick Specs

4-Person

MSRP: $500

PACKED WEIGHT: 12 lbs.

DIMENSIONS (L x W x H): 95 x 95 x 73 in.

6-Person

MSRP: $600

PACKED WEIGHT: 13 lbs. 9 oz.

DIMENSIONS (L x W x H): 120 x 100 x 77 in.

View 4P View 6P

The Habiscape is a high-quality tent that’s well suited to 3-season frontcountry camping

PROS

LIVABLE SPACE - The 4-person version of the Habiscape has an interior peak height of 73 inches, which is tall enough for anyone up to 6 ft. to stand up fully in the center. It can easily accommodate two or three wide sleeping pads and has plenty of room to store gear in the vestibules. The 6-person version has an even higher peak and has ample space for a queen air mattress and another pad, or even a couple of chairs and a small table. In either model, you’ll be able to orient your sleeping pads in any direction you like. The 4P Habiscape we tested felt luxurious for two people and gear, comfy for three, and snug for four. Head over to our Tent Size Guide if you’re unsure what size shelter is best for your group.

the 4P Habiscape is luxurious for two adults who want ample space for gear & cushy sleeping pads

QUICK & EASY SETUP - The Habiscape has a symmetrical design which makes pole placement and setup intuitive and easy. It has a unique pole structure we hadn’t encountered before. But it was simple to figure out how to pitch, and it comes with straightforward instructions. The Habiscape takes mere minutes to set up or break down with two people, but it’s still quick if you’re solo as well.

the Habiscape has a symmetrical design, so it’s easy to orient the parts & only takes minutes to pitch

HIGH QUALITY POLES & MATERIALS - The floor, tent body, mesh, and fly material are heavy-duty and made to last. The stitching is reinforced in all the places that count (corners, zippers, and friction points), and the thick tent poles are constructed with solid, high-tech aluminum that’s designed to flex instead of breaking under stress. We love to see so few plastic parts on a tent. The poles and pole seats are metal, so they won’t get brittle with prolonged sun exposure like cheap fiberglass. We have no doubts that our Habiscape Tent will last for years upon years of adventures if properly maintained.

the poles that comes with the MSR Habiscape are made of heavy-duty aluminium that will flex instead of breaking

2 DOORS & VESTIBULES - We love that the Habiscape has double doors for easy access from either side of the tent. This means no waiting for your turn in the entryway and plenty of options for orienting your tent in a campsite. Our favorite thing to do with 2-door tents like this is to set it up so that we have an epic view right out the door and a vantage to watch the sunset and sunrise from bed. The Habiscape’s rainfly can also be used as a sun shade or a storm entrance with additional poles (not included). If you’re willing to pay a bit more, the Habiscape Lounge 4 and Lounge 6 tents have even larger vestibules for shade and storage.

We love that the Habiscape has two doors so we can see views in both directions

RELATIVELY SMALL & LIGHTWEIGHT WHEN PACKED - A big tent offers luxurious living space in the campsite, but it can be a drag to transport and store if it’s super heavy and bulky. The Habiscape feels lavish since you can fully stand up and move freely inside of it, but it doesn’t feel looming or excessive. We love that it packs down to the size of a weekend duffel bag so it won’t fill your whole trunk. It also only weighs 12 lbs. so you won’t break a sweat while hauling it around to find the perfect place to set it up.

the Habiscape packs down into a relatively small duffel bag, so it’s easy to haul & store

EXCELLENT POCKETS - Pockets may seem trivial, but great organization makes all the difference when you’re camping for multiple days. The Habiscape has ten pockets in both high and low positions around the tent to help you keep track of essentials and make them easy to grab whether you’re lying down or standing. There’s also a pass-through pocket near each of the doors that allow you to access small items from inside or outside of the tent. We find this feature handy for things like sunscreen, headlamps, and keys.

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CONS

EXPENSIVE - MSR designed the Habiscape to be within the financial reach of the average family. The Habiscape is more affordable than the Habitude, but not by a whole lot. It’s still a spendy tent, and costs more than many of our other Top Camping Tent Picks. While we wish the Habiscape was a bit more affordable, we still think it could be well worth the investment for anyone who wants excellent durability, organization, and weather protection.

the Habiscape is ideal for groups since there are two doors, big vestibules & plenty of pockets all around

WEAK TENT STAKES - The aluminum hook stakes that come with the tent work fine, but they bend pretty easily in our experience. For this reason, we recommend pounding them into the ground with a rock or mallet instead of pressing them into the ground with your foot. It’s also wise to pack a few extra stakes in case you need a replacement. If you camp in rough or rocky terrain often, you may want to pick up a set of heavy, but very durable steel stakes. Check out our list of the Best Tent Stakes for more recommendations.

The aluminum stakes that come with the Habiscape work fine, but they bend pretty easily

HEADROOM ISN’T AS DISPERSED AS SOME - While the Habiscape has plenty of headroom when you’re standing right in the middle, the peak height isn’t as widespread in this dome-shaped design as it is in cabin-style tents. The sloping ceiling is plenty high for average-height people to move throughout the tent, but tall folks (over 6 ft.) may have to hunch a bit once they move towards the outer edges of the Habiscape. If you’re tall and you want to be able to stand and walk from corner to corner without ducking, a tent like the REI Skyward, REI Wonderland, or Coleman Octagon might be a better fit.

The 4P Habiscape is 73 inches tall at the peak, but it slopes down from the center at a pretty steep angle

BOTTOM LINE

The Habiscape’s intuitive setup, livable space, and top-notch pockets eliminate a lot of the stresses that keep families from enjoying the outdoors together. While this tent is a tad on the expensive side, we think it’s worth the price for anyone who needs a good balance of weather protection, luxury, and a small packed size.

View 4P View 6P

More Photos

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More Information 

We hope this helps you decide if the MSR Habiscape is right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!

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