MSR Access Tents: Four-Season Tents for Alpine Backpacking and Winter Expeditions


MSR Access Tents are for outdoor enthusiasts who love to explore the great outdoors all year round, finding the right shelter is crucial. Whether you’re a backcountry skier, split boarder, or snowshoer, having a reliable and comfortable tent can make or break your alpine adventure. Access Tents offer a unique combination of warmth, durability, and lightweight design to make your winter expeditions and alpine backpacking trips as enjoyable as possible. In this blog post, we will delve into the features and benefits, highlighting their capabilities as four-season tents that cater to various needs and preferences.

For more information on MSR tents and other models in their range, check out our comprehensive guide to MSR camping tents.

About MSR

Mountain Safety Research (MSR Gear), founded in 1969 by Larry Penberthy, has been a trailblaser in the outdoor industry, with its Seattle-based team consistently designing and manufacturing innovative, high-quality, and reliable equipment for adventurers worldwide. From the groundbreaking hoop-style Mountain Tent in 1973 to the revolutionary WhisperLite stove in 1984, MSR has consistently pushed the envelope in outdoor gear technology. Despite its growth over the years, MSR remains committed to its core values, manufacturing most products in the United States to ensure quality and environmental sustainability, while also actively giving back to the outdoor community through partnerships with organisations like The Conservation Alliance and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

MSR Gear continues to uphold its reputation as a leading outdoor equipment brand by constantly seeking ways to improve its products and address the ever-evolving needs of outdoor enthusiasts. Their commitment to research and development has led to the introduction of new gear that caters to a wide range of activities, from backpacking and camping to mountaineering and alpine exploration. Additionally, MSR’s dedication to sustainability and social responsibility extends beyond manufacturing practices, as they actively participate in educational initiatives, wilderness conservation efforts, and community engagement programs. This holistic approach to their business ensures that MSR Gear remains a trusted name in the outdoor industry, inspiring adventurers to safely explore and preserve the natural world.

Four Season Tents

Four-season tents are designed to provide shelter and protection from the elements throughout the year, regardless of the season. These tents are designed to be more robust and durable than their three-season counterparts, making them suitable for use in harsher weather conditions such as heavy snow, strong winds, and extreme cold.

One of the key features of four-season tents is their ability to withstand heavy snow loads. The tent’s design typically includes a sturdier frame made of more robust materials such as aluminium, with more poles and thicker fabrics. This design allows the tent to hold up against the weight of snow that can accumulate on the tent’s roof during winter camping trips. Additionally, four-season tents usually have a more aerodynamic design that helps to reduce wind resistance, making them more stable in high winds.

Four-season tents also offer better insulation and ventilation than three-season tents. They are typically designed with double-walled construction to trap warm air inside the tent, keeping the occupants warm in colder temperatures. The tent’s ventilation system is also designed to prevent condensation build-up inside the tent, which can lead to moisture and mould growth.

Four-season tents also come with additional features such as guy lines, snow skirts, and vestibules. Guy lines help to anchor the tent in windy conditions, while snow skirts prevent snow from blowing inside the tent. Vestibules provide additional storage space for gear and a sheltered area to cook in bad weather.

It is important to note that while four-season tents are designed for year-round use, they are heavier and bulkier than three-season tents, making them less suitable for backpacking or hiking trips. Additionally, four-season tents are more expensive than three-season tents due to their sturdier construction and additional features.

In summary, four-season tents are ideal for use in harsh weather conditions and provide better insulation and ventilation than three-season tents. While they are heavier and bulkier, they offer superior protection and durability, making them an excellent choice for winter camping trips or mountaineering expeditions.

Lighter than a Mountaineering Tent, Warmer than a Backpacking Tent

One of the standout features is their ability to provide warmth and protection in cold, harsh conditions without the added bulk and weight of a traditional mountaineering tent. This is achieved through a combination of limited mesh on the tent body and lightweight materials, allowing the tent to retain more heat while still offering excellent breathability. The result is a shelter that keeps you warm on frigid nights without weighing you down during your climb or descent.

MSR TentDescription
Access 1The MSR Access 1 is a single-person, four-season tent designed for lightweight alpine adventures. Its sturdy construction and livable interior make it an ideal choice for solo backpackers tackling challenging winter conditions.
Access 2The MSR Access 2 is a spacious two-person, four-season tent built for alpine backpacking and winter expeditions. Its strong frame and warm, comfortable interior provide a reliable shelter for duos braving harsh environments.
Access 3The MSR Access 3 is a three-person, four-season tent engineered for alpine treks and winter camping trips. With ample space for three occupants, this durable tent offers a warm refuge from the elements without weighing you down.
3 Models Available

Spacious and Comfortable Interior

Access Tents are designed with a spacious interior to accommodate the needs of alpine backpackers and winter sports enthusiasts. The roomy design allows for easy delayering, providing ample space for gear storage and movement. This is especially important when camping in cold conditions, as you’ll need space to change and dry your clothing. The generous headroom also ensures that you’ll have a comfortable living space, even when you’re hunkered down during a snowstorm.

Strong Frame and Durability

The frame of the tent is designed to be both strong and lightweight. This is crucial for alpine environments, where wind and snow loads can put significant strain on your shelter. The tent’s frame is made from high-quality aluminium, which offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion. Additionally, the tent’s reinforced stress points provide added durability, ensuring that your tent can withstand the demands of harsh alpine conditions.

Quick and Easy Setup

When you’re camping in cold weather or at high altitudes, setting up your tent quickly and efficiently is essential. Access Tents are designed with a simple and intuitive setup process, allowing you to pitch your shelter with ease, even in challenging conditions. The colour-coded poles and clips make it easy to identify which components go where minimising the risk of mistakes and delays during setup. This quick and easy setup process allows you to spend more time enjoying your adventure and less time fussing with your tent.

Ideal for Camping Near Tree-line

MSR Access Tents

MSR Access Tents are the perfect choice for those looking to camp in less severe conditions, such as near a tree-line. Their lightweight and packable design makes them suitable for accessing a wide range of alpine environments, including bowls, ridges, and powder fields. With an MSR Access Tent, you can confidently venture above the tree line, knowing that you have a reliable and comfortable shelter waiting for you at the end of the day.

Versatility for All Four Seasons

Although MSR Access Tents are specifically designed for winter expeditions and alpine backpacking, their versatile design makes them suitable for use during all four seasons. The tents’ durability and weather resistance ensure that they can withstand the elements, no matter what time of year you decide to venture into the backcountry. With an MSR Access Tent, you can enjoy year-round adventures without the need for multiple tents.

MSR Access Tent Comparison Tables

General Features and Weights

ModelSleepUseDoorsMin WeightWeightPacked SizeFloor SizeVestibule Area
Access 114 Season21.63 kg1.86 kg46 x 15 cm213 x 84 cm1.76 sq.m
Access 224 Season21.64 kg1.86 kg46 x 15 cm213 x 127 cm1.62 sq.m
Access 334 Season21.99 kg2.30 kg53 x 17 cm213 x 178 cm3.8 sq.m
Cold Weather Camping

Tent Materials and Specifications

ModelRainfly FabricCanopy FabricMeshPolesFloor Fabric
Access 120D ripstop nylon 1200mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & silicone20D ripstop nylon & DWR10D polyester micro-mesh1 Easton® Syclone™30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & DWR
Access 220D ripstop nylon 1200mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & silicone20D ripstop nylon & DWR
10D polyester micro-mesh
1 Easton® Syclone™
30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & DWR
Access 320D ripstop nylon 1200mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & silicone
20D ripstop nylon & DWR
10D polyester micro-mesh1 Easton® Syclone™30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield™ polyurethane & DWR
Tree-Line Camping


In conclusion, MSR Access Tents provide the perfect blend of warmth, lightweight construction, and durability, making them the top choice for alpine backpackers and winter sports enthusiasts. These tents cater to the specific needs of those venturing into harsh environments while offering the versatility to adapt to all four seasons. With their spacious interior, robust frame, and quick setup, MSR Access Tents enable you to focus on your adventure with the confidence that you have a reliable and comfortable shelter to return to at the end of the day.

For more information on MSR tents and other models in their range, check out our comprehensive guide to MSR camping tents.

Experience the unparalleled performance of MSR Access Tents and elevate your outdoor adventures to new heights.