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Gear Review: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent

09.14.18

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Gear Review: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent

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Pro Contributor

Hubba Hubba NX 2 specs

  • 3 lbs 13 oz / 1.72 kg packed weight
  • 84 x 50 x 39 inches (L x W x H)
  • 18 x 6 inch packed size
  • 29 sq ft floor area
  • 17.5 sq ft vestibule combined area
  • 2 doors
  • 3-season

Where to get it

The Bottom Line: The MSR Hubba Hubba is one of the bestselling two-person, three-season backpacking tents out right now, and for good reason. It is lightweight, comfortable, easy to set up, and for the most part generally well made.

This tent is not billed as an ultralight, but at less than 4 pounds packed weight, it's no heavier than some that do claim the category. The minimum trail weight of the Hubba Hubba (carrying none of the stuff sacks, stakes, or cord) is only 2 pounds 10 ounces, which really is very light.

A distinguishing feature of the Hubba Hubba is its symmetrical design. Both ends are the same and both sides are the same, so it doesn't matter on which end you put your head. This is different from almost all ultralight tents, which taper the sides to make the foot area narrower than the head area. Such a design does save weight, but I find the simplicity of the Hubba Hubba to be a major convenience.

The poles are in a single interconnected unit that snaps together quickly, and it doesn't matter which end goes where. Because there is no color coding to pay attention to, you can set it up easily in the dark with no headlamp. The fly does have color coded webbing on the corners to ensure the most snug fit, but if you accidentally reverse it, everything still works. Something unique about the fly is that the doors zip from the corners rather than the center. I find that this design maximizes the usable vestibule space, and it doesn't hinder entry to the tent when set up correctly.

I find the inside of the tent to be quite livable. Though it doesn't measure quite as spacious as some others in its class, the design maximizes headroom in a clever way. Unlike many other tents, where the highest overhead space is right in the middle, the Hubba Hubba's angular dome shape stretches a little more volume toward the head and toe of the tent, so you have more head and shoulder room to work with. Of course, for very tall people this is a lost cause because the max height is still only 39 inches, a few inches shorter than you might want.

Other features include: large interior mesh pockets (no overhead pockets), two large ventilation windows in the fly, included guylines on the fly, and adjustable stake-out loops on the tent body corners. The tent stakes that come with the tent are awesome. They are the MSR Needle Stakes, which are thick but light aluminum construction. If find them far easier to drive and less likely to break in rocky or frozen ground than other ultralight stakes.

Now for a con of the Hubba Hubba: I've talked to people who have owned this tent longer than I, and a few of them have noted shortcomings in the durability of the seams. Apparently the seam tape inside the tent body and rain fly may become brittle and leaky over the course of many uses. Though not everyone complains of this, it is a potential issue worth mentioning.

To maximize the life of your tent, seams and otherwise, never store it damp, and treat the seams with waterproofing as needed. These are basic tips for extending the life of any tent, not just the Hubba Hubba. MSR does have a warranty and pretty good customer service that you can contact if needed.

Overall, this tent is a great choice for the weight-conscious backpacker. Though it may not win any superlatives for lightness, spaciousness, or affordability, its sheer popularity speaks for itself. The Hubba Hubba is an all-around great choice for versatility, quality, and ease of use.

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