Outdoor gear specialists MSR have a great range of ultralight shelters, known as their Essential Series. One of their more interesting new designs is the Fast Stash Tent. What is a Fast Stash and is it any good? In summary, its a 2/3 season, single-walled, ultralight tent that sleeps two people. The design is somewhat unusual. It looks something like a cross between a ridge tent and a caravan awning. There is not a pole along the ridge however, just one lightweight DAC pole at each end. The structure is held up by the tension of guy ropes.
The fast stash is ideal for camping on those rainy summer days, where you can sit inside your tent, snug and dry, observing the world through the large door. With your camping stove sat under the cover of the awning, the promise of a nice cuppa and a slice of cake ensures your happiness.
The side wings can be pulled in for maximum protection, pulled out for increased air circulation and covered exterior storage, or pulled back completely exposing broad side vents for maximum, flow-through ventilation.
Being single walled, condensation can be a problem and of course, it is not as warm as a tent with a separate fly and inner, but at only 1.84 kg, the Fast Stash is light and roomy for a 2 man tent. You can make it even lighter by substituting the tent poles with trekking poles, bringing the weight down to 1.3 kg.
Putting Up the Fast Stash Shelter
Since it is not free standing, the MSR Fast Stash can be a bit tricky to put up and is best done by two people. One person to hold up the poles while the other pegs out the guylines. According to MSR’s instructions the best method is to insert the poles into the flysheet, with their other ends near the door entrance. Then stake out the guy ropes. The side awning can be staked outwards to allow ventilation through mesh panels on the side walls or, the side awning can be pulled tight across the side of the tent to provide protection from the elements. For maximum ventilation, the side awning can be rolled up.
The Fast Stash is Stash-able , but what does that mean?
Simply pull poles out during the day to collapse and protect your gear; re-pitch by just reinserting poles when you return.
This perhaps makes sense if you are using your trekking poles to support the Fast Stash, although I’m not sure what the benefit is otherwise. If you know, please leave a comment!
The flysheet fabric is reinforced ripstop nylon coated with Durashield polyurethane and silicone for protection from the rain. The seams are taped the the guy points reinforced. There is a also a built in bath tub floor for protection from water on the ground.
Plus, you can have a little stash in your Fast Stash thanks to the internal storage pockets!
MSR Fast Stash Tent Review Summary
The MSR Fast Stash tent is good quality, versatile and lightweight. Its ideal for camping when the weather is hot and showery. It has plenty of room for two people and gear, with easy access and ventilation. The awning style porch provides good shelter for cooking when its raining. The main drawback is that its not suitable for use in high winds, but then it is a 2/3 season tent after all.