The Moutainsmith Morrison EVO 4 is a capable tent in most three-season conditions, and with the lowest MSRP of the test by $130, makes a great entry level backpacking tent. It also makes for a logical choice if four-person outings are rare, and for family car camping. The included footprint and ceiling loft add to the value.
The Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 4 was one of the more spacious tents in the test category; it boasts 56 square feet of floor space and the tallest height in the test of 51 inches. Two vestibules of 11 square feet each round out the available space for people and things. The floor provided plenty of room, both lengthwise and widthwise for four adults with potentially long sleeping bags. The walls are not vertical, but the other dimensions made room enough for four adults to sit up at once inside their sleeping bags.
The Morrison EVO 4 comes in the largest stuff sack at 20” x 9”, which also reflects the tent’s resistance to packing tight. The tent body and fly fabrics feel thicker and less pliable than the others, and this tent is the only one in the test to use the same fabric weight throughout. These fabric attributes contribute to this tent resisting hard compression. Although this wasn’t a show stopper when divvying up the load amongst several campers, it was harder to pack into stuffed packs compared to the other tents in this test. The material attributes also make this the heaviest tent in the test at a total verified packaged weight of 8.51 pounds (includes footprint).
The Morrison EVO 4 had the most straightforward set up of the bunch, the basic pole structure catering to common sense. Two poles crisscross into the four corners, and a brow pole spans the top through a sleeve. Not one tester had to consult any instructions, and there was never an issue afterward, the only hitch being that the main poles must cross under the brow pole sleeve.
The Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 4 never leaked a drop of water nor sprung a floor or seam leak. The pole structure did give under lighter wind load than the others, the tall profile creating a larger target. Although the tent deformed, no permanent damage occurred. Mountainsmith rates the Morrison EVO 4 as a three-season tent, and I still consider it as such, but when weather reports were uncertain, this tent stayed at home in favor of the others. All the other tents also partially collapsed under wind loads but at much higher wind speed. The Morrison EVO 4 was the only one that temporarily deformed in what I consider three-season wind. This tent was one of the warmer tents in the test, which was mostly dependent on the relatively low amount of mesh on the body.
Mountainsmith generously graces the Morrison EVO4 with features. A footprint is included, giving the option for a fly-only pitch. Also added is a removable ceiling gear loft. All tie out points and guy lines are reflective and have tensioners. Each door has a large dedicated mesh pocket for storage when open, and other corners have smaller mesh pockets. The light-colored body and fly allowed a lot of natural light entry. The two fly vents have kickstands, all seams have tape, and 7075 aluminum V-stakes round out the package.
Stitching on the Morrison EVO4 isn’t up to the quality of the other tents; functionally nothing faltered, but it is visible that the stitching is less consistent and symmetrical. Mountainsmith does warranty the shelter for life against manufacturing defects.
The most noticeable feature of this tent is the price; at an MSRP of $250, it is by far the least expensive of the test.
Seiji Ishii works as a trainer to professional supercross/motocross riders, adventure riding test editor at Dirt Rider Magazine and an AMGA certified rock climbing guide/instructor for White Star Mountain Guides/Austin Rock Gym. He lives in Wimberley, TX with wife Shay, 3 year old daughter Sequoia, 3 dogs and a cat. His personal time is spent rock climbing, any form of dirt biking, cycling, and training for the next mountaineering adventure.