MSR Mutha Hubba
Source: bought it new
A very good and stable tent.
- Easy to set up
- Dry and secure
- Could be roomier
- A few more accessories would be nice.
Boy, are there a lot of tents to choose from these days. I needed a big, fairly lightweight tent for me and my two small boys. In a sea of fish to choose from, I chose this one.
After the initial set-up learning curve, I can set this tent up in a flash. In the dark or in the rain, the only thing slowing you down is how fast you can move. I bought the MSR footprint for this tent as well, I am told you don't need to use this all of time, but it weighs next to nothing and will help the longevity of your tent floor. Another good feature of the footprint is the ability to set the tent up with only the fly and footprint, works great in the non-buggy seasons.
For the weather that I have been exposed to in this tent, the provided guy outs are more than adequate. The fly gets super taut around the frame, which makes it stable and good looking as well. There have been no problems with weather getting in the tent.
Condensation, I believe will begin to be a problem as my tent mates get older. I actually like to set the tent up with one of the doors facing into the wind so I can crack a zipper and keep air moving through the tent. Without cross ventilation there can be some substantial condensation.
Having two doors is awesome, I will most likely never own a tent with one door. The vestibules are adequate enough. There are two giant gear pockets in the tent that do what they are supposed to, hold stuff. A gear loft
would be nice though.
I will admit that there are no super bells or whistles for this tent. But, for the price, it does everything I need and expected it to do. Every year we spend more time inside the tent, and so far, has taken everything we have thrown its way.
Ease of Setup: it's pretty easy.
So I just got this tent the day I was going on a trip and pretty much tested it in every Canadian summer condition. I usually steer towards the ultralight products but I'm by no means restricted to that realm. I got this tent because I can see it as very usable for backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, carcamping and pretty much anything I choose to do. It seemed to be versatile and I trust MSR as a manufacturer of high quality gear.
Stuff I noticed:
1. Looks sweet: at first I wasn't sure about the colours but when I set it up on the trip it stood out... but in a good way.
2. The space: I describe it a being similar to a circus big top. It's huge in there! It may not have the largest floor area but the interior volume with the vertical walls is awesome. Definitely capable of sleeping 3 comfortably or two luxuriously.
3. Lightweight/ Packability: I was canoeing this trip so weight wasn't really an issue. That said, I packed smaller than I've ever packed before. I stuffed the fly, body and footprint into a compression sack and then put the poles in their normal bag. I think that that's the best way to do it. It was pretty tiny for a 3-man. However, weightwise, it's pretty good too. 6lbs 2 oz isn't that much to brag over but when you divide it amongst 3 people, it doesn't weigh much at all. I was also looking at the Marmot Areos 3p because of it being lighter but when divided by 3, it only subtracts around 4 ounces per person which isn't a big deal provided that you aren't a huge weight weenie.
4. Solid in wind: I set it up with 8 pegs in moderate winds and it stood like a statue. I was so surprised with how quiet it was to sleep in because of this: no blowing or anything. The second night I set it up with a guy-line into the wind above a vestibule just because and it wasn't really neccesary at all. As long as it is set up properly I don't see when that would be needed outside of the extremes. Also, no unwanted air movement inside.
5. Good overall design: vestibules are a good size, could be a bit bigger, but can still get everything under them with some strategic gear arranging. The fly never touched the tent-body. Ever. Good doors, good storage inside (love the side pockets), works perfectly fast-fly set-up. Just solid.
6. Good in rain: plain and simple. No leaks, no worries.
7. Ventilation: Ok. So some questioning hear. On the first night it was quite cold (below freezing) and there was condensation on the inside. Nothing to lose sleep over, but it was there. That night, since it was colder, I had the doors shut tight. The temperature did go below the dew point so maybe that had something to do with but it doesn't really matter. Second night, I unzipped the tops of the vestibule doors about 6 inches (double zipper vestibule is great) hoping for some high venting and that took care of the problem. The tent doesn't have any extra venting options but I think I can easily make do with the vestibule doors and a couple extra pegs. The ventilation also posed a problem because in the mornings it rose to 25ºC in a matter of a couple of hours. It got damn stuffy; especially being in a -9ºC down bag. But I opened up the vestibules and managed to go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
8. Guy-outs: there aren't enough guy-outs! There are only six on the whole tent. That said, maybe it doesn't really need anymore. Like I said, the walls weren't touching the fly, solid in wind, no problem with rain. But still, I'd like to have the option of at least a couple more on the sides below the MSR logo just so I could try to have some more venting and be overly confident that the fly will be secure in a side wind. I'm thinking that it might just be what I'm used to but it's worth thinking about.
9. Easy to set up: monkeys could practically do it. The only point of possible confusion is with the two silver poles going OVER the gold one but it's written in the instructions and once you've identified that, you'll never have to look back. There are a few tricks that can be learnt like but nothing that affects performance or will do more than shave off a minute or two in your set-up time.
So, I gave it a 4.5 because it's a great tent that I already believe to be very trustworthy. Now, it lost a point 5 for two reasons: not the lightest, not the best ventilating. I don't know if the weight factor is overly applicable but there are definitely lighter tents out there. As for the ventilation, I'd like some more options but I think a little creativity should take care of any arising problems. Overall, the tent performs very well and is very comfortable. The pros greatly out weigh the cons and the complaints aren't so great that they can't be accommodated for. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone.
Price Paid: Got it on sale
My original Mutha Hubba rain fly turned to goo while in its storage container, so I returned it to MSR at their direction to be replaced. (They knew the original rain fly had a defective Syl Nylon coating.)
The replacement fly arrived and I tossed it in a new storage container where it lived for several months before it was packed for a two-week trip to southern Arizona. The first time I pitched the fly I started cussing a blue streak. The new fly did not have vents like the original.
After I returned from the trip I contacted MSR, being somewhat cranky about the missing vents. They told me they did not include the vents because they wanted to save weight and they didn't think the vents did much to help keep condensation down.
Obviously, they had not spent much time in either iteration of the tent. I can assure them that the vents make a world of difference. If you want to look at the additional weight of the vents as a percent of the total weight of the tent, I don't think anybody would notice.
I assume the real reason for not including vents in the new fly was to cut cost while charging the same for the tent. I spent months in the tent with vents and two weeks in the tent without vents and I can state with certitude that MSR turned a great tent into just another good tent.
The woods are full of "good" tents. If I was in the market for another four-man tent, I would buy a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4. Lighter and still has one of those incredibly heavy vents. I do own a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 and love the fact that it also has one of those heavy vents.
Very disappointed in MSR.
Talk about luxury! If you are camping in the summer and can afford to carry the Mutha Hubba, you will be glad. For 2 it is VERY roomy and water tight(in my experience in Sept. Northern Maine Downpours). If rain is not expected though it is open to the stars and totally worth it. It sets up in no time, even in the dark. I am not an ultralight backpacker but appreciate light weight for canoe camping, which makes the Mutha Hubba - yea- perfect!
Price Paid: $375
Just got back from a trip to the Smokey Mountains and had this with me. This tent is light for its size, goes up fast, and is very sturdy. This tent has never let me down.
Design: three season free standing modified tunnel
Ease of Setup: easiest tent i have ever set up
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Price Paid: $209
I love this tent. It's a fairly spacious 2 person/ tight for 3. I recently used it for a 2 week trip with my wife and 6 year old daughter and while a little snug we were comfortable.
Really solid in heavy rain and wind. Good ventilation with both vestibules partially or fully unzipped.
I'm looking forward to trying it with just the ground cover and fly.
Super easy to set up and break down. I am able to pack it down quite a bit smaller than the stuff sack.
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 6 pounds
Price Paid: $278
I thought this tent was awesome. very good quality, easy to set up and light weight. I love the color of it and it stands out amongst other tents. I tried it in rainy weather and this tent is SOLID in rain. It's spacious and no problem to fit three people in there.
A few concerns I had. We were three people in the tent and it actually got quite a bit condensation inside it on the fly. Also, it does not filter out the light that much, so forget about escaping to your tent for shadow. I exchanged this tent for MSR Fusion 2.
MSR has only high quality products. Check them out at www.cascadedesigns.com.