The MSR Hubba Hubba is a comfortable tent with decent headroom. However, we feel compelled to say that the pole are less than ideal. The composite material sheds small fibers that produce micro splinters. In addition, this model has features that take it one step forward, only to be undone by others that take it back. It has solid waterproofing, and the tent itself is easy to set up, but the fly is more complicated than it initially appears. The tent doors are effortless to open and close with one hand, but the corresponding fly doors are a little too small. Unfortunately, the list goes on.Editor's Note: On August 17, 2022, we updated this review to include new findings discovered during testing. At the time of this review, the new Hubba Hubba does not perform as highly as the once called Hubba Hubba NX did.
MSR Hubba Hubba Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: A great deal of space at peak height, versatile fly configuration, two doors
Cons: Poles shed splinters, small doors, challenging to set up rainfly
Compare to Similar Products
MSR Hubba Hubba
|Price||$449.95 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
|$549.95 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$449.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
$329.00 at REI
|Pros||A great deal of space at peak height, versatile fly configuration, two doors||Excellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibules||Two large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of interior space and weight||Lightweight, good headroom for its size, double side doors, massive storage pocket||Spacious, affordable, included footprint|
|Cons||Poles shed splinters, small doors, challenging to set up rainfly||Tapered foot, pockets are high up||Expensive, delicate materials||Odd door configuration, delicate materials, expensive||Heavy, bulky poles|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable tent for when you need a combination of light weight and weather resistance, but subpar poles are less than ideal||A superior tent that balances light weight with excellent features||This tent balances the key aspects of a backpacking tent and performs admirably in all of our metrics||This is a lightweight tent for a long-distance backpacking duo that still wants the comfort of a double-wall shelter||This inexpensive tent is spacious enough for laid-back car camping and light enough for short to moderate backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||MSR Hubba Hubba||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper Sp...||Big Agnes Tiger Wal...||REI Co-op Half Dome...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Set-up (10%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||MSR Hubba Hubba||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper Sp...||Big Agnes Tiger Wal...||REI Co-op Half Dome...|
|Packaged Weight||3.25 lbs||3.16 lbs||3.09 lbs||2.50 lbs||4.82 lbs|
|Floor Area||29 sq ft||29 sq ft||29 sq ft||28 sq ft||35.8 sq ft|
|Packed Size||19 x 4.5 in||19.5 x 4.5 in||19.5 x 6 in||18 x 5.5 in||20.5 x 7 in|
|Dimensions||84 x 50 x 40 in||88 x 50 x 41 in||88 x 52 x 40 in||86 x 52/42 x 39 in||92 x 56 in|
|Vestibule Area (Total)||15 sq ft||20 sq ft||18 sq. ft||16 sq ft||22.5 sq ft|
|Peak Height||40 in||41 in||40 in||39 in||42 in|
|Number of Doors||2||2||2||2||2|
|Number of Poles||2||3||1||3||1|
|Pole Diameter||Not provided||8.7 mm||8.7 mm||8.7 mm||2 mm|
|Number of Pockets||4||3||3||4||6|
|Pole Material||Easton Syclone||DAC featherlite NFL||DAC featherlite NFL||DAC featherlight NFL aluminum||DAC featherlite NFL aluminum|
|Rain Fly Material||20D ripstop nylon||20D nylon ripstop||15D 1200mm silicone nylon ripStop||Ripstop nylon, PU coating (1200 mm)||40-denier ripstop nylon/20-denier nylon mesh|
|Inner Tent Material||20D ripstop nylon||15D nylon ripstop||[Body] 10D polyester mesh, [Floor] 20D nylon ripStop||Ripstop nylon, PU coating (1200 mm), polyester mesh||40-denier taffeta nylon|
|Type||Two door freestanding||Two door freestanding||Two door freestanding||Two door semi freestanding||Two door freestanding|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Once you have the MSR Hubba Hubba set up, it's a decent tent. It kept us comfortable and performs well overall, but never truly managed to get us excited about using it.
The Hubba Hubba makes the most of its dimensions. It feels both longer and wider than its 84 x 50 inch interior floor space would suggest. This is due to the uniform peak height that stretches from door to door, making it pretty spacious. It is comfortable for two people to sit up simultaneously with enough head clearance along the sides and top. With that, MSR achieves some pretty special volume maximization, given that the 40 inch peak height is just about average. We found that the two side doors are easier to zip and unzip than the typical tent. However, they are comparatively small.
The Hubba Hubba comes equipped with four total pockets; two large ones at the head and foot ends that could each hold a journal and an article of clothing (like a hiking shirt), and two very tiny ones at the apex of the doors, meant for items like a headlamp, gloves or a pair of socks. We aren't sure what to make of the canopy fabric pattern. We like the high privacy panels on the sides, and the mesh opening at the top does allow for a view of the sky, but it's definitely not the same panorama that a full-mesh canopy offers.
Ease of Set-Up
The tent is easier to set up than the average model, but the fly is a little more complicated. The Hubba Hubba has a symmetrical footprint and pole structure. If you are on your own, there is less wrestling with the poles to get them all in place; they stay in the corner grommets more easily than a tent with an A-frame or X-frame configuration.
We found the fly to be confusing. Even with the usual visual reference points (door zippers, logos, etc.), it took a little more time to fasten it down correctly. The severe angle of the door relative to the ground often had us disoriented enough that we were trying to attach a vestibule to a tent corner before we noticed it wasn't correct. That could be a real bummer if you are trying to beat the clock on a thunderstorm.
The weather resistance of this tent is reliable. The 20D ripstop nylon fly has a little sag to it when it gets wet, but that is a feature of nylon overall. In the end, it kept us dry. We wish that the head and foot ends came with additional lines so they could be staked out away from the tent body.
In terms of wind resistance, the composite material poles are impressively flexible. Each pole segment is very rigid, even a little brittle-feeling; however, the pole skeleton as a whole maintains a flexible but stable form in storms.
This tent is well crafted except for the major bummer of the poles. They are strong enough, but in our experience, they shed little bits of material. We specifically experienced the issue during setup when we ran our hands down the poles to get all of the segments to snap in place. We got three splinters before realizing we needed to keep our hands away from the ends of the pole segments. Ironically, the flexible composite material does seem less likely to snap during setup (which is, in our experience, the time when poles most commonly fail).
The 20D floor is a decent balance between sturdiness and weight. The only issue that we experienced was with the stakes. The slender needle structure meant that our efforts to drive a couple into firm ground with the assistance of a rock got them bent out of shape much faster than stakes with a more blunt-force-resistant structure such as the shovel stake.
Weight and Packed Size
The Hubba Hubba weighs in at a respectable three pounds, four ounces, and packs down to a 19 x 4.5 inch roll. Given its interior space, it's an ideal weight for two people.
Should You Buy the MSR Hubba Hubba?
The MSR Hubba Hubba gets in its own way. We are pleasantly surprised by the headroom and like the two side doors for easy in and out. However, the poles and fly are problematic in a couple of ways, and a variety of minor inconveniences add up. If we had to, we would take it on short and mid-range adventures where distance is not the primary objective, and pack weight is not a significant concern. On the other hand, we would rather spend our dollars on higher-performing models.
What Other Backpacking Tents Should You Consider?
The highest scoring tent in our review is the NEMO Dragonfly. Not only does it cost less, but it scores better overall and provides a higher level of comfort and ease of set up. The Hilleberg Anjan 2 offers a high level of weather resistance that can be found in many of the tents featured in our 4 Season Tent review.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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