MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P
Bigger on the inside, than it appears from the outside,…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $390 (less $100 giftcard and 15% off)
Bigger on the inside, than it appears from the outside, it’s a well-constructed 3-season tent for those looking for an ultralight option. A few ounces heavier, but the tent body material is thicker relieving that “easy goes it” approach to tent durability. More expensive than other UL tents, but with the features, quality, and warranty, you’ll get your money’s worth.
- One pole, hub style system
- Generous vestibule space
- Quality materials and construction
- Easy access, wide-mouth, top-loading stuff sack
- More expensive than other UL tents/options (tarps)
- Smaller dimension than similar tents
- Vents only accessible from outside
This is the spring 2014 version of MSR’s Hubba Hubba. Here are a few things that I was looking for when I was doing my research. I was looking for a:
- freestanding tent
- preferably one pole design
- stronger/thicker material, especially floor
- option for footprint and fly setup
- quality materials (plastic fittings vs. metal fittings)
As of this review, the tent still remains around $390. Higher than I would have preferred but I had a $100 gift card and had a 15% website discount. While it is higher than some of the others that I compare below, it hit all of my high points and I liked the tent when I tried it in the store.
Here’s a quick once over of tent specs and features:
- Floor: 84” x 50”
- Height: 39”
- Symmetrical tent pole/body design
- Weight: 3 lb. 13. oz (tent body, poles, stakes, stuff sacks for poles/stakes/body)
- Material: 20 denier body nylon/15 denier mesh, 20 denier rainfly, 30 denier floor
My previous tents have been the basic two pole, “X” design. The usual 4.5 or 5lb option. Most recent tent I owned (*cough* borrowed for an extended period) was an older version of the REI Half Dome. While on a trip in 2013 I bunked with a friend who had a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. This was my first experience with a UL tent.
When I was looking for an UL tent, I kept the features of both of these in mind. With several great options out there, I was down to the BA CS UL2, REI’s 2014 Quarter Dome 2 (its answer to BA CS UL2 at $100 less than BA full price). I’ve compared the HH to these two in several areas below and how they shaped my decision-making process.
The only issue I had when I first set it up was with the tent fly. The vestibule zippers start at each tent fly corner as opposed to each vestibules point and perpendicular to the tent body. As with most things, once you get used to it, it’s fine...and it's makes for easy access from within the tent.
A great feature with the zipper being at the corner of the tent is that I can remain in the tent completely while opening and closing the vestibule entrance. With others designs having the zipper ~30” away from the body at the tip of the vestibule, the HH makes it easy to open and even roll up and tie off the door to increase air flow. I’ve grown to really like this design!
CONSTRUCTION & DURABILITY
First thing that I noted when I actually got into the tent was that it is much bigger than it appears. Even when looking at the manufacturer’s pictures with a couple sitting, facing one another in the tent, it really doesn’t do it justice. The walls are near vertical and the symmetrical design does not force any one sleeping position such as those tents that taper in size.
The floor dimensions are smaller than others. At 84” x 50” it’s tighter than the Big Agnes CS UL 2 or REI QD 2; both of those being about 5-6” larger in both directions. For my wife and me it isn’t a problem. She has only been with me once while out with the HH, but we slept head to toe, making use of the room as best as possible. No problems, shoulders just barely touching the edge of the tent. The peak height is also 39”.
I was slightly concerned with condensation when it comes to the body as primarily some form of non-mesh material, especially when compared to the pre-2014 design. The distance between the tent poles/fly and the body is great enough that air can freely flow (also mentioned below with rainfly).
Other than my wife and me, we planned for our third family member to join us on several trips.
This potential for sharp nails on the floor was another consideration when choosing the HH. It is a few ounces heavier than other ULs, but the floor is 30 denier high-tenacity ripstop nylon with a polyurethane coating and can take more wear and tear than others.
I also purchased a footprint (comes in its own small zippered bag, but I just roll up with my stuff sack). Possibly overkill with the tent’s natural strong floor, but it gives me additional safety in rainy conditions and offers other set up options. The tent is an investment and I’d rather rip the cheaper footprint than tent. Note that the footprint alone (no bag) will add 7 ounces to your combined weight. I do not have a digital scale, so I can’t confirm this weight.
Two options to increase air flow. Remember to pull taut. While the tent fly isn't taut in the second picture (my fault), there is no issue with its setup. The rainfly is held back by toggles located along each vestibule.
Not much to go over here. The HH has a unified DAC Featherlite pole, two hub system and is a symmetrical design.
Rainfly/Fast Pitch Option
I have not had any problems with condensation. Although sometimes it may be a tent issue, a lot has to do with air flow (or lack thereof). The two kickstands (further below) do well in where they are positioned to keep air circulating in and out. It does have less mesh than the pre-2014 model, but the canopy material still seems to breathe really well.
Fast Pitch Option below (footprint, poles & rainfly), tent can also be set up without the footprint (poles and rainfly only)
Six Mini Groundhog stakes, 6” long come with the tent for the four corners and two vestibules. Also guy lines, two tensioners and tent pole repair sleeve are also included.
On either side of the rainfly, there are two kickstands which increase airflow. The kickstand is made from nylon covered plastic. It has a Velcro end piece with Velcro on the main tent body (attached when not in use) and another on the body which extends when open. If anyone has questions, I can add a video explaining.
A feature that I did like on the REI QD 2 was that the vent (opened by the tent’s pole instead of separate kickstand) could be accessed from the inside. No need to go outside the tent and worry about the weather or nighttime. If this were on the HH then I could safely say that MSR has thought of everything. Something to consider when comparing.
Yeah, you heard right. No flower beds, bird feeders or anything, but this does have a rain gutter. On both openings there is an extra flap of material on the tent fly which can prevent excess water from pouring down when you open the vestibule.
I’ve only used it once when there was light rain at night. When I woke up the next morning there wasn’t a problem with any of the beaded rain falling on me when I opened the vestibule. No torrential downpours yet, but will I really be going in and out during terrible rain? I’ll keep you posted. Wasn't part of my original list of “wants” but cool additional feature and removes the worry of getting wet on exiting the tent.
Wide-Mouthed Stuff Sack
This makes things so easy to put the tent away, no need to make sure you roll the tent tight enough to put it away in a sack that has its opening on the end. The opening has a toggle and cinch to tighten. There are also two buckles to enclose it further. Very easy to use and I love the options, it seems like MSR was not just thinking solely about the tent and the stuff sack as an afterthought.
Option 1 (rainfly, pole, stakes, body, footprint)
A second option is available because of buckle that goes the length of the sack. The poles and stakes can fit into the pole sack and the fabric items (footprint, fly, body) will go into the sack and wrapped in more of a ball shape. It gives the availability to store differently if you need to in your pack. I haven’t used this other than to take this picture.
Option 2 (rainfly, body, footprint in left "ball" and stakes & pole in pole bag). The "ball" is in the same position as Option one, it is just folded in from the left and right and buckled with a buckle the goes lengthwise. KEEP IN MIND, the plastic kickstands on the rainfly when folding in...don't break them or you'll be left without an option to vent. Just align them accordingly when bundling up with Option 2.
While I can’t speak on this point personally, I have heard and read that MSR (Cascade Designs is the parent company) has a great warranty when it comes to their products. Considering this versus other tents, it helped me to feel comfortable in spending a few extra bucks. With the REI Quarter Dome 2 being my second option and $90 cheaper, their return policy for the first year is great but I was thinking long-term.
While on the pricier side, the Hubba Hubba has earned its stripes with me. With quality materials, I feel confident both on the trail or car camping, as well as in inclement weather and condensation-prone mornings. For me the tent itself is a 5/5 for performance, features, and quality.
I'm not going to take away from my individual rating due to the cost...if the price goes down in one year then a lower score based on cost wouldn't reflect accurately...just note my dismay at the price from this emoticon >:( With other UL tents or even tarps costing less, if you could get this tent on sale I’d put it just as competitive as any other UL option.
More room than I thought possible from a tent weighing…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by MSR for testing and review)
More room than I thought possible from a tent weighing just 3 pounds 7 ounces. Perfect for two people (and a dog). Highly recommended.
- Spacious and comfortable
- Variety of venting options
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P is the lightest and roomiest tent I have used to date. The pole and tent design create a 2-person tent that feels more like a mansion than a lightweight backpacking shelter.
Weight: 3 pounds 7 ounces
Interior Height: 40 inches at peak
Floor dimensions: 80 inches by 48 inches
Pole Material and size: DAC Featherlite NSL, 18 inches in length when folded
Tent and Rainfly Materials:
- Canopy: 20D ripstop nylon
- Mesh: 15D nylon micromesh
- Floor: 30D ripstop nylon with 3000mm DuraShield polyurethane and DWR
- Rainfly: 20D ripstop nylon with 1200mm DuraShield polyurethane and silicone
Out of the Box:
The tent, fly, poles, stakes, and guy lines come packaged neatly in the stuff sack.
Unlike traditional stuff sacks which open at one end, the MSR sack is more of a “bucket.” It opens from the side which makes packing and unpacking much quicker and easier.
This feature is like wheels on a suitcase, you don’t think you need it until you try it, then you wonder why no one else is designing things this way.
Set up and Additional Features:
Setting up the MSR Hubba Hubba NX is simple and fast. The single pole quickly snaps into position and easily attaches to the tent floor, the wall of the tent lifts to clip to the poles. The cross pole is held in place by a rubber gasket keeping it in the perfect location.
MSR color-coded the fly and tent so that it is impossible to incorrectly position the fly. The corners of one side have red straps on both the fly and tent while the opposite side is grey. This is a welcome feature when setting up the tent after a hard day on the trail.
In the Woods:
I recently brought this tent on an overnight with my wife and dog that took us across the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I found that the tent was a pleasure to carry since it was so light it almost disappeared into my pack. This was assisted by the clever design used by MSR which included the addition of compression straps on the stuff sack.
This allowed me to tighten the stuff sack down to really compress the size of the tent.
The first day of our trip was spent in the clouds and rain which lead to a saturated tent site for the first night. This test was conducted without the use of a ground cloth which initially caused me some concern which was quickly alleviated by the durability and water resistance of the tent floor. The night consisted of passing showers and gusty winds with temperatures dropping into the 40s. We stayed warm and dry all night because of the well-designed tie downs and rain fly which did not produce any excessive flapping during strong winds.
Unlike other tents I have used, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P provides a number of venting options so that when the rain fly is on you do not feel too enclosed. This is accomplished through large vestibule doors on either side which shed rain away from the doors even when rolled open as well as vents on both ends providing a cross breeze without losing protection from the rain.
The living space inside the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P is massive. Two adults and a 55 pound dog fit comfortably with room for our packs and boots under the vestibules.
As I have mentioned earlier, the headroom in this tent is outstanding. I was able to sit up comfortably in most sections of the tent. This makes time in the tent much more enjoyable and far less claustrophobic than many other tents on the market.
Day two of the trip was met with clear skies and a dry hike home. To test additional compression of the MSR stuff sack I separated out the poles so that the tent and fly were alone in the bag. MSR added an additional compression strap designed to compact the tent even further.
By packing the tent and poles separately I was able to compress my pack even further for the hike out which was necessary for the rocky narrow trail being used that day.
This was a great tent to test. The spacious living space and light weight design made it a pleasure to carry into the backcountry. It held up wonderfully against wind and rain and comfortably fit two adults, gear, and a dog.
I would highly recommend this tent to anyone looking for a lightweight backpacking tent.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a great tent for bike touring.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $389
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a great tent for bike touring. Sets up easily and takes down even easier. Holds up well in the rain and wind.
- Easy setup/take down
- Light inside
- Door system
- Pole strength
I bought this tent for a 2 1/2 month bike tour in Europe. In general, I think this tent is great. With its one-pole hub system, the tent sets up quickly and easily. The rainfly is color-coded, so that is also easy.
I like that the tent is not all screen. The opaque tent material comes up on the side to allow for some privacy if you want to sleep with the vestibule doors open. Also, the tent fabric is a light colored material. That's good and bad. Good, because inside the tent it is very light. Bad, if you are trying to stealth camp.
It shed water very well. The tent bottom is very waterproof. In a bad rainstorm, the bottom of the tent felt like a water bed, but it was dry. On the rainfly, rain flows down the channels near the zippers, thus keeping the rain from running into the tent.
I found ventilation to be good, especially if I unzipped (2-way zippers) the vestibule doors from the top a bit, in addition to the vents on each end of the tent.
There was plenty of room for me on my Exped mat and all my panniers inside the tent if I wanted. There was also enough room under the vestibules for all four panniers under one side.
The tent packs into a compression bag (if you store the poles separately, which many backpackers do, but not bike tourers). Even with the poles in the bag, it is still pretty small. The large opening of the bag makes it very easy to stuff the tent and rainfly into it.
I had one major problem with the pole. 15 times into pitching the tent, a connection between two pole sections snapped. The tent comes with one repair tube. That was great, until the second one broke...and the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth sections.
With the exception of one break, none occurred during any amount of wind or other inclement weather. The tent was pitched on level ground. Personally, since I've not heard of this happening to anyone else, I think the pole was defective.
Overall, this is a great tent. It's lightweight, yet sturdy (except for this one's pole).
I purchased this tent at REI. I've notified them of the pole issue, and they are replacing the tent.