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  • MSR Wing Shelters

    Has anyone used the "River Wing" version of the MSR shelters? They are about 18x18. I'm looking to get one and wanted to know if they are worth the $400.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I take my older MSR Parawing on most float trips. Worth it's weight in gold if it rains much. Sucks sitting around in the rain all evening. Only thing worse than that is retiring to the tent of course.


    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    • #3
      I've been using the Outfitter Wing for a few years now and I agree with Dan. Nothing like a large covered area in camp. Of course you've got to watch it in the wind, but we just pull the poles down and tighten up the guy lines and it makes a great cover for our gear. I mostly use mine for my kitchen.

      It only comes with two poles, so I supplement with some spare extendable tent poles. They're cheap, so no worries if one bends.

      The one you're looking at is a very similar design.

      And no, it's not like just using a tarp.

      -Mike
      Michael Strahan
      Site Owner
      Alaska Hunt Consultant
      1 (907) 229-4501

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kusko View Post
        Has anyone used the "River Wing" version of the MSR shelters? They are about 18x18. I'm looking to get one and wanted to know if they are worth the $400.
        Are these shelters useful? Under certain conditions or modes of travel, I'll say yes.

        Are they worth $400? To some I suppose, the answer is yes... but not to me.

        This wing thing stuff offers very minimal protection. Main issue is in the wind or wind-driven rains/sleet/snow. It's also relatively light-duty fabric for draping over/atop gear.

        For the asking price posted --- you can get creative with just about any fabric of choice. Even at $250-$350 normal asking cost seems excessive. Might take a look at the Zing... This in my opinion is a real improvement.

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        • #5
          Most float country is beaucoup bug country.
          If being slathered in 100% deet 24/7 is comfortable to a person, the wing shelter is ideal...
          Proud to be an American!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fullkurl View Post
            Most float country is beaucoup bug country.
            If being slathered in 100% deet 24/7 is comfortable to a person, the wing shelter is ideal...
            Well, you have to look at what it's for. It's not designed to keep bugs out; it's for keeping rain and snow off of you (and sun, if you're using it in other climates). Here's a shot of my Outfitter Wing set up on a hunt we did for Outdoor Life magazine a little while back. We actually used both the Outfitter wing and the River Wing on this trip, and rigged one slightly beneath the edge of the other, for maximum coverage. My experience with this type of shelter is that it:

            1. Keeps your kitchen dry while you cook meals.

            2. Provides a focal point for meals and relaxing in camp, while offering great 360º visibility if you need it for hunting.

            3. Keeps dew / frost off of your gear during the night.

            4. Is highly adjustable / customizable for different situations. In the photo you can see that we added some support poles (adjustable) to get the sides up high so we could walk around under it with plenty of headroom. On other hunts, I have tied one or more sides down nearly to the ground as wind protection and protection from wind-driven rain. It's very versatile.

            On the negative side (as I mentioned before) it's not so great in heavy wind. In that case, I take out the poles and stake it out over my gear. More than once I've awakened to a fresh blanket of snow in camp, which covers up all those little items you left laying around the night before. This keeps the snow off of everything and makes it so much easier.

            I'll have to disagree with Brian R on the "flimsiness" of this thing. Mine is quite the opposite. I don't think I could tear it with my bare hands. The material is a thick, woven nylon and the edges are finished with a doubled piece of very tough material. Though I don't prefer it in the wind, there have been times when we had heavy wind and it has never torn or even shown signs of wear. It certainly goes with me on many of my hunts, and as you can see I run a comfortable camp. Chairs, tables, the works.

            Yes, you can use blue tarps and parachute cord at a fraction of the price of the Wing. But tarps are rectangular and their grommets rip out. They also develop mystery leaks that you can't find, and they make a lot of noise even in light breezes. This thing is whisper quiet.

            So in short, it's not for everyone. But I believe it does have a place.

            -Mike

            Michael Strahan
            Site Owner
            Alaska Hunt Consultant
            1 (907) 229-4501

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            • #7
              What about one of these for $85? Kelty's Noah's tarp-16x16 (22' diagonally). 1800 mm waterproofing and looks like you can pitch it like the msr. Haven't got one, but that's what I'm looking at.

              Tim
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tccak71 View Post
                What about one of these for $85? Kelty's Noah's tarp-16x16 (22' diagonally). 1800 mm waterproofing and looks like you can pitch it like the msr. Haven't got one, but that's what I'm looking at.

                Tim
                I have the 12'x12' model and like it. As for the reasons mentioned above, good to set up as a cook area, temporary rain shelter, etc. You can also configure them in several different ways.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tccak71 View Post
                  What about one of these for $85? Kelty's Noah's tarp-16x16 (22' diagonally). 1800 mm waterproofing and looks like you can pitch it like the msr. Haven't got one, but that's what I'm looking at.

                  Tim
                  Tim,

                  If you can, you might look at the material to ensure that it's as thick as the others out there. If it's just a coated nylon, what you've got there is as flimsy as a blue tarp. If not, it might be the way to go. Looks like they've gusseted their corners, so that's good. Should be strong there anyway. And I like the number of tiedowns they give you too.

                  The other consideration is that the Outfitter Wing is sort of a weird shape- it's not rectangular. I think this gives you more setup options, but that's just what I'm used to.

                  -Mike
                  Michael Strahan
                  Site Owner
                  Alaska Hunt Consultant
                  1 (907) 229-4501

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've used the Kelty for about 6 years now and it has been great. The last two trips that took excessive rain the tarp began to fail...I think its usable life is about over. I have looked at other lightwight tarps out there and I don't see a better value. If your looking to shave ounces the Kelty is not the best out there, but I would say it's the best bang for your buck.

                    just my opinion...

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                    • #11
                      16' Noah's Tarp is 68d polyester and is 16'x16' (measured on the side), considerably larger than the River Wing. - $70
                      NRS River Wing is 40d nylon material and is 17'x16' (measured on the diagonal). - $369
                      MSR Outfitter Wing is of unknown material and a bit smaller than the Noah's Tarp - $300 when last available.

                      I have both the 12x12' and 16'16' Noah's Tarps. At about 1/4 the price I wouldn't expect it to be as good as the others, but having used both the River Wing and Outfitter Wing, I can't see where the $200+ difference is. The others come with poles though. They've been durable, waterproof and are easy to set up. With a cantenary cut, they are fairly good in moderately stiff wind; the 12x12' being better of course. I usually use two 9'-10' oars for corner poles. I have used the 12x12' as a sleeping tarp with three corners tied down and the fourth suspended by an oar. Not a bad shelter at all.

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                      • #12
                        Another thumbs up for the Kelty over the MSR and NRS. Some few years ago I received exceptional tents called the ORB and RADIANT as well as the Noah's Tarps. Kelty was really making a go back into higher-end mountaineering and camping gear in 2004 --- All very good products.

                        I know the ORB or RADIANT tents would be a hard find today, but hope that the quality of the Noah's Tarp has not gone the recent direction of Kelty --- swinging back again to lower end gear.

                        The Zing I made mention of is night and day better design than older style wings.

                        Today - I build my own... Chateau Brian

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tccak71 View Post
                          What about one of these for $85? Kelty's Noah's tarp-16x16 (22' diagonally). 1800 mm waterproofing and looks like you can pitch it like the msr. Haven't got one, but that's what I'm looking at.

                          Tim
                          I have a Kelty that size and its a good unit, but spring for the poles from NRS, as the Kelty poles are too short (IMO), I seem to remember the NRS poles are 10' tall and cost about $85.00....................works great, I have a stuff sack for it and it goes most everywhere, its nice to be comfortable, have a place to cook under and hang when inclement weather sets in.
                          “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jim Strutz View Post
                            16' Noah's Tarp is 68d polyester and is 16'x16' (measured on the side), considerably larger than the River Wing. - $70
                            NRS River Wing is 40d nylon material and is 17'x16' (measured on the diagonal). - $369
                            MSR Outfitter Wing is of unknown material and a bit smaller than the Noah's Tarp - $300 when last available.

                            I have both the 12x12' and 16'16' Noah's Tarps. At about 1/4 the price I wouldn't expect it to be as good as the others, but having used both the River Wing and Outfitter Wing, I can't see where the $200+ difference is. The others come with poles though. They've been durable, waterproof and are easy to set up. With a cantenary cut, they are fairly good in moderately stiff wind; the 12x12' being better of course. I usually use two 9'-10' oars for corner poles. I have used the 12x12' as a sleeping tarp with three corners tied down and the fourth suspended by an oar. Not a bad shelter at all.
                            Hi Jim,

                            Thanks for weighing in on this one; you are the King of the BIG CAMP setup as far as I can tell, btw....

                            Anyway I'm pretty sure my Outfitter Wing is about 19' long... which would make it about 3' longer than the Noah 16 x 16.

                            -Mike
                            Michael Strahan
                            Site Owner
                            Alaska Hunt Consultant
                            1 (907) 229-4501

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Love mine

                              I have a 16ft Kelty Noahs tarp and love it. It fairly low cost and works great for a quick shelter!.

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