MSR Hubba Hubba NXThe MSR Hubba Hubba NX is an incredibly portable 2-person tent designed for backpacking adventures. Cleverly designed to maximize space and sturdiness, and with a super simple set-up and well-thought-out interior, this tent is more than just a place to crash your head at night, it's somewhere you can really settle in - because who says you can't make a backpacking tent a home? View Latest Deal
Mountain Safety Research, or MSR as it’s commonly known, produces a range of top-quality gear for outdoor living. Founded in 1969, it has emphasized the importance of safe, reliable gear ever since, so it’s no wonder that MSR has one of the best reputations of all outdoor gear manufacturers.
MSR produces various backpacking tents, ranging from ultralight 1-person tents to 6-person family tents. All have been carefully designed to suit certain needs, but the Hubba Hubba tent range has been one of MSR’s most popular backpacking tent series to date.
Specifically, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX is one of MSR’s absolute best-sellers, and it’s easy to see why. Designed for backpackers, this 2-person tent is extremely portable and easy to set up, yet it’s more than just somewhere to sleep – it’s incredibly durable and full of extra features you wouldn’t expect from a model this lightweight.
Here, we review the MSR Hubba Hubba NX step-by-step to see how it performs in key areas and give it an overall rating so that you can decide if this is the right 2-person backpacking tent for you (spoiler alert: it probably is!).
When backpacking, portability is key, but you don’t want this to come at the cost of durable materials. So, has the MSR Hubba Hubba NX managed to maintain a high level of durability despite its lightweight?
The 20D ripstop nylon used for the canopy and rainfly is an incredibly thin, but surprisingly durable, material that is common among high-end ultralightweight tents. The floor is slightly thicker, thanks to its 30D ripstop nylon construction, yet remains very light.
The rainfly and floor have been treated with MSR’s unique waterproof coating, Xtreme Shield. All waterproof coatings break down over time, but the Xtreme Shield coating uses an innovative formula that makes it resistant to breaking down, resulting in a durable coating that lasts far longer than ordinary coatings.
The Hubba Hubba also features a pole made of Syclone, which can withstand the toughest of conditions and is superior to even the most durable aluminum and carbon fiber poles.
So, how has the Hubba Hubba NX performed overall in terms of materials and durability? Pretty well! The high-end materials used are not only lightweight but also resistant to rips and breakages, and the waterproof coating is one of the best out there. Granted, the coating will need replacing eventually (as will all coatings), but it’s certainly one of the best coatings available for a 3-season backpacking tent.
The Hubba Hubba NX has been designed for 3-season use, but how well will it really stand up to the elements once you’re out in the wilderness?
As we’ve already seen, the waterproof coating on the rainfly is pretty impressive and will last you a while before it starts to let any water through. On top of this, the Hubba Hubba NX has an elevated bathtub floor, which stops water from entering from the bottom.
But what about wind? There’s nothing worse, especially in small tents than concaving walls and collapsing poles. Fortunately, the Hubba Hubba NX has been designed to stand up to the strongest of winds. The Syclone pole we’ve already mentioned is not only super strong, but it’s also flexible too. This means that the pole can bend in the wind without breaking and return to the original position when the wind drops.
The tent itself is freestanding and has a robust design, with one pole spanning the length of the tent with small offshoots in the center and at the edges for extra support. All of this combined makes for a tent that’s well-equipped to deal with windy conditions.
On the flip side, it’s equally important that a 3-season tent can protect you from overheating as well as from the wind and rain. An abundance of mesh in the tent’s interior means that hot air can escape, and the mesh in the roof also provides a great means of stargazing from your tent during dry evenings. Plus, there are also kickstand vents in the rainfly that align with the mesh windows on the interior, allowing optional unobstructed airflow.
For a backpacking tent to be worthwhile, you need to be able to get it from A to B without breaking your back, it needs to fold up small enough to slot into your backpack somewhere, and the set-up should be straightforward no matter what the weather. So, how does the Hubba Hubba NX perform in terms of convenience?
The Hubba Hubba NX has a packed weight of 1 lb 13 oz, and this lightweight is one of its major selling points. It’s so light thanks to the use of thin yet durable materials, plus using just one pole with protrusions, rather than several poles, has helped to shed some extra pounds. Granted, there are a few lighter 2-person tents out there, but not many.
And if you’re really keen to shed some weight, and you’re expecting good weather, why not try the ‘Fast & Light’ set-up, which sheds the rainfly, and 5 lbs, from the final tent.
The Hubba Hubba NX packs down to a nifty 6 x 18 inch-sized bundle thanks to its clever stuff sack. It has a wide mouth so that stuffing is easy, and compression straps to reduce the bulk afterward. Because who says packing a tent has to be a nightmare?
This freestanding tent really is a dream to pitch, and it’s all because of its simple color-coded hub-and-pole system. The center pole forms the backbone of the tent, while the corners of the inner tent have holes with corresponding colors where the tips should be inserted. Then all you need to do is clip everything together. With just one pole, you can’t go too far wrong, plus the clips are color-coded – simple!
Many ultralight backpacking tents are cold and lifeless on the inside, but not the Hubba Huba NX. This tent has a thoughtful interior that makes for a surprisingly nice resting spot for such a small, lightweight tent.
There are two large side-entry vestibules for you to store extra bits and bobs, plus the door feature ‘rain gutters’ that catch water and lead it away from you via the rainfly while you unzip soggy doors.
There’s more than enough room for two to sit up comfortably in this tent, and the almost-vertical walls and rectangular (not tapered) interior all add to the spacious vibes.
All of these features, combined with the stargazing mesh panels, make this a surprisingly homey place for two people to spend an evening in the great outdoors.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is by no means the cheapest 2-person tent out there… but is it worth those extra pennies?
Absolutely! There’s a reason why this is one of MRS’s most purchased products ever.
Lightweight, durable materials are never cheap, and the MSR has achieved a great balance of weight and robustness. Plus, few 2-person tents of this weight offer this much space alongside two vestibules, and it hasn’t skimped on extra features (kick-stand vents, a stargazing panel, rain gutters, etc) either.
Given the excellent balance of weight, space, durability, and livability, we think the MSR is worthy of its slightly higher-than-average price tag.
With a rating of 92, the Hubba Hubba NX has performed extremely well against our rating system. It lost a few marks for weather resistance and durability, as the fabrics used are a little on the thin side and it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof… however, this is somewhat enviable if you want an ultra-lightweight tent for backpacking, so perhaps we’ve been a little bit harsh.
We’d also like to see this tent slightly cheaper but, on the whole, it’s an incredibly convenient, homey, durable tent that can certainly handle 3-season camping.
Would we recommend the Hubba Hubba NX overall? Of course! If you’re after a 3-season backpacking tent that’s incredibly lightweight, spacious, and easy to use, then there really is nothing better out there.
Granted, there are some slightly larger vestibules on the market, as well as some lighter 2-person tents, but we think the overall package in terms of livability, portability, and construction can’t be beaten.