Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->Equipment.-->Tents.-->MSR Wind 4

The MSR Wind 4: aka 'The Ninja Pumpkin'.

The MSR Wind 4 on a damp morning
The MSR Wind 4 on a damp morning. See below for a few more pictures.


3 pole tunnel or 4 pole freestanding tent with 2 vestibules. Poles of unequal length. Two entrances at opposing ends of the tent. Polyester outer tent sewn together with inner tent. Inner tent entrances have mesh and fabric doors. Weight between 7 and 8kg. Pitch system, single pitch only.

Why did we choose this tent?

In contrast to the process that lead to the purchase of the Macpac Citadel the MSR Wind 4 was much more of an impulse buy. We'd looked at one at Zwerfkei a few times and considered the smaller brother the Wind 2 before we got the Citadel. The Wind 2 was just too low and difficult to get in and out of, and the Wind 4 was just a bit pricey and heavy. However when Zwerfkei put its remaining Wind 4s on sale with a Eur 200 price drop we decided to buy one. The reasoning was that it would make a good winter tent as you could get in and out of it on your feet. Additionally it could be used as a family tent if we ever got that far.

One thing we didn't like was that it was a single pitch system with the inner and outer tents stitched together. In practice the excellent ventilation stops the inner getting too damp and the space means it is easy to avoid touching the inner tent.

There are a number of advantages:

  • It has two entrances, on both the inner and outer tents.
  • Plenty of room for bike bags and panniers. It can swallow up eight panniers, two rack packs and bar bags.
  • The tent is sufficiently high to allow sitting everywhere in the tent and cooking in the tent in inclement weather. We can both just stand upright inside the inner tent although Damae's head touches the fabric.
  • Reasonably quick to put up and can stand up happily with just 4 pegs when using all four poles.
  • Large inner tent with two large doors which will sleep four adults in comfort probably five or six at a pinch.
  • Getting in and out of the tent can be done whilst standing on your feet so you don't have to crawl in and out onto wet grass or mud. This is a particular bonus during the colder and wetter months of the year.
  • It will stand up to fierce winds and gales when all pegs and guy ropes are attached. The MSR website suggested that it should stand up to wind speeds of around 120km/h.
  • Plenty of side pockets for stuff whilst living in the tent.
  • Excellent ventilation, with two large vents almost at the top of the roof and two similar vents next to the doors. The outer doors can be unzipped at the bottom to allow even more airflow.
  • The inner tent doors are double, one mesh and one fabric which is good in warm and/or very cold weather.
  • You can live inside the inner tent in a way that is not possible with the Citadel, Fjellheimen Camp 3 or Moonshadow Duo for example in mosquito infested areas.
  • You can use the tent without the extra external pole to save weight and (theoretically) speed up the time to get the tent pitched.
  • There are a few disadvantages;

  • The groundsheet is simply too thin. After we put a hole in it we bought a footprint. I'd much prefer it if MSR had made the groundsheet stronger as the foot print makes putting up the tent a bit harder.
  • Single pitch system only.
  • Considering how big it is and the comfort it offers it is quite light but 8kg is still a fair weight to lug around. Most of the weight is in the fabric which due to the single pitch design cannot be split over two bikes. The poles are 2kg which means one person is left carrying 6kg of fabric.
  • The large area of fabric means that even a slight layer of condensation makes the tent noticeably heavier.
  • The much longer poles (the longest must be over 5 metres long) make the process of threading them throught the tent much slower. The extra weight of the poles it a bit more difficult to handle them than a smaller tunnel tent. I guess if we are in a hurry we can get it standing in ten minutes.
  • Conclusion:

    A spacious and versatile four season tent that is just light enough to take cycle touring. It is easy to get in and out of and the vestibules have enough space for dirty and wet bags and clothing. If touring in places with lots of mosquitos we'd definitely take this tent as the interior space means you can live in the tent and do everything behind anti mosquite mesh. It would be good for a family with up to four small children. Plenty of pockets on the inside of the inner tent make it more convenient. The tent is well ventilated and has lots of options for controling airflow. You do need to use a footprint under all circumstances and you need to be careful not to puncture the groundsheet. We like this tent. Sadly MSR seem to have dropped it from their product range but have made a successor for this tent which also looks interesting.

    A few pictures of MSR Wind 4. Click on a thumbnail to see the larger picture.

    View through the inner tent. The Wind 4 next to a one man tent.
    The inner tent. Two people in the inner tent.
    One of the vestibules. Pack volume of the Wind 4