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MSR Hubba Hubba Review

A comfortable tent for when you need a combination of light weight and weather resistance, but subpar poles are less than ideal
msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review
Credit: MSR
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Price:  $480 List | $479.95 at REI
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
Manufacturer:   MSR
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 17, 2022
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Weight - 20% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 2.0
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 6.0
  • Packed Size - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review
This Product
MSR Hubba Hubba
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $480 List
$479.95 at REI
$450 List$543.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$434.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$329 List
$329.00 at REI
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Pros A great deal of space at peak height, versatile fly configuration, two doorsExcellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibulesTwo large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of interior space and weightLightweight, good headroom for its size, double side doors, massive storage pocketSpacious, affordable, included footprint
Cons Poles shed splinters, small doors, challenging to set up rainflyTapered foot, pockets are high upExpensive, delicate materialsOdd door configuration, delicate materials, expensiveHeavy, 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 idealA superior tent that balances light weight with excellent featuresThis tent balances the key aspects of a backpacking tent and performs admirably in all of our metricsThis is a lightweight tent for a long-distance backpacking duo that still wants the comfort of a double-wall shelterThis 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...
Comfort (25%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
10.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
Durability (10%)
2.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Ease of Set-up (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Packed Size (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
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
Gear Loft No No No No No
Pole Material Easton Syclone DAC featherlite NFL DAC featherlite NFL DAC featherlight NFL aluminum DAC featherlite NFL aluminum
Guy Points 8 5 4 3 4
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.

Performance Comparison


msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - the msr hubba hubba has some nice features including head and...
The MSR Hubba Hubba has some nice features including head and shoulder room and double side doors.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


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.

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - this tent has high privacy panels which are nice if you want to...
This tent has high privacy panels which are nice if you want to leave off the fly but it also means there is much less mesh for seeing the scenery.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - easy-connect grommets attach the cross pole to the top of the tent.
Easy-connect grommets attach the cross pole to the top of the tent.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Weather Resistance


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.

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - both of the vestibules have kickstands that make it possible to prop...
Both of the vestibules have kickstands that make it possible to prop open the zipper for increased ventilation.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Durability


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).

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - the syclone composite poles are flexible but the ends of the pole...
The Syclone composite poles are flexible but the ends of the pole segments shed bits of material that can easily become splinters during setup.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - the canopy has a little bit of mesh for skyward views but most of it...
The canopy has a little bit of mesh for skyward views but most of it is opaque.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

msr hubba hubba backpacking tent review - this tent provides good protection and decent comfort. we are just...
This tent provides good protection and decent comfort. We are just concerned about the poles.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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