MSR Zoic 4 tent review

The MSR Zoic 4 tent is a high-quality lightweight and roomy backpacking tent ideal for hiking families and friend groups of 3 or 4 adults

MSR Zoic 4
(Image: © Getty)

Advnture Verdict

Great quality, roomy backpacking tent for four, with two porches. Not as warm and waterproof as some of its peers, perhaps, but very lightweight and an excellent option for overnight hiking trips along trekking trails in temperate regions.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Roomy bedroom and two porches

  • +

    Great quality components

Cons

  • -

    A mainly mesh inner means this is primarily a warm-weather tent

  • -

    Some drip issues if pitch isn’t perfect

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Initial thoughts

MSR Zoic 4 is the latest of MSR’s adventurous tents, which are firm favourites with overnight hiker backpackers. And their larger Zoic four-man tent, new for this year, provides the same excellent quality we’ve come to expect from this all-American brand.

The inner tent is the work of a few minutes to pitch using lightweight pre-bent poles that magnetically click together, and the inner’s mesh lining works well as a standalone tent for stargazing on warm nights without any pesky insects.

The outer fly is waterproofed to a Hydrostatic Head rating of 1,500mm (lower than some others on test, but waterproof in a hurricane none-the-less) and withstood heavy rain on test.

One large bedroom is best suited to three adults or a family with two smaller children, but you can fit four adults if you don’t mind being snug. Internal gear lofts help you stay well-organised and small items easy to locate. Two doors each lead to a generous porch, where you can keep kit dry and stored away.

The great quality of every component, from poles to pegs, make this a tent built to last you for years of trail-exploring adventures in the wild.

Performance

We’ve taken the Zoic on both wild camping escapades and more traditional nights in campsites since we got our hands on it, and it has provided shelter during multiple nights of high winds and relentless rain.

We reckon the Zoic is the easiest and most intuitive tent in the category – it’s the work of minutes to clip the lightweight poles together, pop them on the mesh inner tent and secure the outer fly.

The inner room is light, airy and has pockets and zips in all the right places. The Zoic is also one of the most breathable tents we tested – ideal for camping adventures on tropical travels.

Our only qualm is that while the outer fly is waterproofed to 1,500mm, and has withstood heavy rain on test, some water does get trapped between the outer fly and the inner tent, and unless you pitch the fly perfectly and pull it as tight as possible, you may get some leakage if the fly touches the mesh. A pity, because we rate everything else about the Zoic, especially the great quality of every component, from poles to pegs.

If you’re planning warmish-weather wild adventures with the family or a couple of friends, and you’re looking for a decent lightweight shelter that you can all bed down in, this is an excellent pick.

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.