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MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person | Review

The classic Hubba Hubba tent by MSR is relaunched with new materials and weight shed

Why We Chose The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person: Sturdy, quick to pitch, excellent space-to-weight.

Most outdoor enthusiasts will have seen this model of tent by MSR out in the hills at some point. It’s proven a big hit with backpackers both in the UK and the States, and in fact, has become a best seller for the Seattle-based brand.

We’ve long been fans of MSR’s products here at Outdoors Magic, and were particularly impressed by the MSR Access 2 tent. This, the Hubba Hubba NX, we’re pleased to say, hasn’t let us down either.

It’s been 15 years since the first Hubba Hubba tent was launched and this ‘next generation’ (NX) version is a good progression. It’s not radically different, but they’ve switched the materials, bringing in new fabrics and pole technologies that are lighter yet still durable, and by doing so they’ve managed to make this 270g lighter than that 2004 original.

“The MSR Hubba Hubba NX balances all the key things you want from a tent perfectly”

These materials include composite poles, and a 20D ripstop nylon fly (1200mm HH) and 30D ripstop nylon base (3000mm HH), both of which have a special PU coating for extra wet weather reliability.

The construction is a fairly common one, almost identical to the Big Agnes Copper Spur and the Exped Mira 2. It’s a tried and tested design involving a long length-ways pole which forks at each end and a short pole across the top to give some width to the inner. It’s inner pitch first and freestanding, so you could sleep in this without pegging in, but then you’d have the porches on either side flapping about.

Pitching it is very simple. First, the forked ends of the main pole plug into grommets at each corner of the inner and the short cross pole inserts across the top. The rest of the inner is then attached onto the main pole by easy-clip hooks. After that, the fly is thrown over the top with colour coded webbing to match the corners of the fly and the inner together, and finally it’s all then pegged down using the lightweight and very slender pegs.

It pitches inner first and has a two-pole design. Photo: Chris Johnson
Pitching this tent is incredibly simple. Photo: Chris Johnson
There's a porch on either side of the Hubba Hubba NX. Photo: Chris Johnson

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX balances all the key things you want from a tent perfectly. That’s between weight and packed size, space and liveability, and overall strength and reliability. There’s that long and high sleeping compartment for instance, which is comfortable for two people to sleep and move about in, and a medium-sized porch on either side, each providing plenty more space for storing kit or for cooking in. Then there’s both the taut flysheet and sturdy pole structure which combine to make this really solid whichever way the wind is blowing. And finally, we’ve been impressed by the MSR Hubba Hubba NX’s overall weight of 1.72g, which makes it lighter than some single-person tents you’ll find and considerably lighter than some two-person options, like the slightly similar Terra Nova Southern Cross 2. That said, its doppelgängers, the Exped Mira 2 and the Big Agnes Copper Spur are both a bit lighter.

Inner pitched first tents can be a little troublesome in the UK’s moist conditions as it’s hard to put them up without getting the inner mesh wet. So you could say that’s the main drawback to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. On the flipside however, on clear nights, it means you can keep the flysheet off and leave yourself open to the elements but closed off from any insects. Usefully, there are high nylon panels on the lower half of the inner tent’s walls to give you a bit of privacy if you are using the tent like this.

Other features worth noting include the mesh storage pockets at each end of the sleeping compartment, reflective guylines, big vents at each end of the fly, little pouches for stuffing away the inner’s doors, and a front-loading stuff sack with webbing straps that makes packing the whole thing away nice and easy.

One of the tent’s main selling points is how lightweight it is. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Gareth Danks, Outdoor photographer

“Before being given this to review I had actually been planning on purchasing it at some point – so I’ve lucked out! It’s the one piece of camping gear I felt I couldn’t go any longer without! I have friends who use and love the Hubba Hubba model often in all seasons and so I could trust it to be a very competent lightweight and spacious two-person design.

“I’d previously owned the MSR Elixir 2 tent, which is based on a similar design, but I found it to have some compromises in durability. For me, it wasn’t too good in strong winds as the outer shell straps kept coming lose. After returning that tent in favour of purchasing this I knew I’d be getting something much more capable of withstanding bad weather.

“The design, access, weight and footprint of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX is very impressive. It’s easy to see why its such a popular choice with serious campers. The twin door access and amount of head room, plus the storage inside, make it perfect for the twin camper. It has an incredibly easy and fast pitch time too. The large mesh upper makes it very well ventilated so a winter camper might want to consider the MSR Access 2 instead, or a very warm winter sleeping bag!

The ultimate appeal of this tent for me is its weight. At 1720g and with its small packed size it’s impressive. I’ll comfortably use this during three out of the four seasons here in the UK, being cautious of the colder winter months.

“Very quick and easily pitched either with or without the outer shell on and with two large vestibule areas either side of the tent for bag storage, this offers the perfect comfort, space and weight balance when camping alone or with a friend – I adore it.”

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

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