Review: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent

Backpacking Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person
$450, 3 lbs. 8 oz.
backcountry.com

In exposed, windy campsites on backpacking trips in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness, Nevada’s Ruby Mountains, and Hells Canyon, the Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent not only passed that test of its sturdiness, it displayed the subtle reasons why it’s so comfortably livable for a midweight, three-season, freestanding shelter.

My wife and I shared the Hubba Hubba NX 2-person on a six-day backpacking trip in the High Uintas Wilderness, and my teenage daughter and a friend shared it on a four-day family hike on the Ruby Crest Trail and a two-nighter in Hells Canyon. All three trips featured nights of strong winds hitting our tents in unprotected campsites. I did see the Hubba Hubba’s poles bend a bit in somewhat unusual winds that probably exceeded 30 mph—where the other tent we used on both trips, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, didn’t bend—but the Hubba Hubba never suffered damage or bent enough to make its occupants uncomfortable.


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The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent in Hells Canyon.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent in Hells Canyon.

While its interior living space of 29 square feet with a 39-inch peak height compares with tents (like the Copper Spur HV UL2) that weigh at least a half-pound less than the Hubba Hubba NX 2-person’s 3.5 pounds, the pole architecture creates symetrical, abundant head space throughout the tent and the 50-inch width extends throughout—not tapering from head to foot as with some models (like the Copper Spur HV UL2)—giving a sense of more elbow room. If desired, you and a partner can sleep at opposite ends of this tent. The 84-inch length comes in four inches shorter than some competitors, but few users would notice the difference in length as much as they‘d notice the greater width.

The tent’s steep walls and rainfly configuration also create a drip line that prevents rain entering the interior when entering and exiting—which is facilitated by the large, D-shaped doors.

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The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent interior.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent interior.

The 17 square feet of space in the identical vestibules compares with tents in this weight class and is adequate for storing packs, boots, and wet shells without blocking easy access to the tent. The rainfly doors can be rolled up, completely opening the tent’s sides for seeing the night sky and maximum ventilation on mild nights.

The hubbed Easton Syclone poles—made of strong composite materials—assemble quickly and intuitively, making the freestanding Hubba Hubba fast and easy to pitch, a nice feature when setting up camp in the rain. I’m not a fan of the grommets used to secure the rainfly to the pole ends at the tent corners; although some might argue those are more durable than buckles, the latter are far more convenient—especially in wet, cold, or muddy conditions—and I’ve rarely seen buckles fail in that use. Plus, MSR uses lightweight buckles to close up this tent’s stuff sack; it seems those same buckles woudl be ideal at the rainfly-tent corners.

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The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent with rainfly off.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent with rainfly off.

The two opposing doors and a retractable, high rainfly vent also permit excellent ventilation. Even on calm nights in the 30s, we saw no condensation.

The Hubba NX Series also employs MSR’s exclusive Xtreme Shield waterproof coating in the 20-denier rainfly and 30-denier, bathtub-style floor, which MSR claims lasts up to three times longer than standard coatings and prevents seam-tape failure. 

In other words, this tent’s Syclone poles and Xtreme Shield coating—convey a durability benefit for the price of an additional half-pound of weight compared to tents with similar living space.

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Testing the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent in Utah's High Uintas Wilderness.
Testing the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.

The entire tent packs down to 18×6 inches, common for a tent in this weight class, into a compression stuff sack that opens from the top rather than one end, which makes packing it away a little quicker.

A footprint (sold separately, $65) allows pitching it rainfly-only, without the interior tent, reducing the shelter’s weight to 3 lbs.

There’s also the MSR Hubba NX Solo Backpacking Tent ($380, 2 lbs. 7 oz.).

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The Verdict

While there are lighter competitors, the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person strikes a nice balance between livability and modest weight for three-season backpackers who prefer more elbow room in their shelter—and promises a longer life than some lighter tents.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by clicking any of these affiliate links to purchase an MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person tent at backcountry.com, moosejaw.com, or msrgear.com, or the MSR Hubba NX Solo tent at backcountry.com, moosejaw.com, or msrgear.com.

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See my review of “The 8 (Very) Best Backpacking Tents” and all of my reviews of backpacking tents and backpacking gear that I like.

See also my “5 Tips For Buying a Backpacking Tent” and “How to Choose the Best Ultralight Tent for You.”

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NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See my Gear Reviews page at The Big Outside for categorized menus of all of my reviews and my expert buying tips.

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MSR HUBBA HUBBA NX 2-PERSON TENT

Space-to-Weight Ratio
Sturdiness
Ease of Use
Ventilation
Features
Value

Summary

While there are lighter competitors, the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person strikes a nice balance between livability and modest weight for three-season backpackers who prefer more elbow room in their shelter.

4.4
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