EPIC REVIEW • Is the MSR Hubba Hubba for you? (2019)

As a person who totally geeks out on outdoor gear, I can say that few companies have been producing industry leading quality for as long as MSR. The MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent is the pinnacle of everything I love about this company.

I have camped and hiked in places all over the world and I can tell you that nothing compares to the overall performance the MSR Hubba Hubba delivers.

For those backpackers keen to both save money and get off the beaten path whilst traveling, packing a good tent is a must. How to choose a tent to take backpacking can be challenging.

With so many backpacking tents on the market, it is easy to get hooked into a low-quality tent with an attractive price tag. Mistake! Red flags!!

A cheap tent makes you feel good only for about five minutes from the time of purchase. Eventually (sooner rather than later) that tent will fail you. It will leak, it will tear, and it will generally let you down and take a little bit of your soul when it does.

Not the MSR Hubba Hubba.

msr hubba hubba review

Meet the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent: The only tent you will ever need…

The MSR Hubba Hubba is the best 2-person backpacking tent on planet earth. The Hubba Hubba combines quality, light-weight materials, excellent livability, and plenty of toughness to keep you charging through your backpacking adventures for many years to come.

This super in-depth review gives you a detailed run-down of this truly awesome backpacking tent. Learn about packability and tent weight, interior specs, weather protection, price, competitor comparison, and much more.

Basically, by the end of this Hubba Hubba review, you will be in possession of all of the facts that come together to make the MSR Hubba Hubba the best backpacking tent money can by.

*Updated for 2019! MSR has kindly provided the Broke Backpacker team with the new and improved MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-P model for 2019! Below, I highlight the sweet updates this already badass tent received.

The 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent will be available worldwide in February 2019. As of November 2018, REI is the exclusive retailer carrying the new 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba tent series!

 View on REI

 

What Makes the MSR Hubba Hubba the Best Backpacking Tent Imaginable?

Here are some of the questions this MSR Hubba Hubba review will answer:

  • Is the MSR Hubba Hubba really comfortable for two people?
  • What can I expect from the tent’s interior?
  • How much does the MSR Hubba Hubba cost?
  • Is the Hubba Hubba lightweight or ultralight?
  • Is the Hubba Hubba really waterproof?
  • How easy is the MSR Hubba Hubba to set up?
  • What is the Hubba Hubba’s closest competitor?

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Livability and Interior Specs

As far as 2-person backpacking tents go the Hubba Hubba falls in the middle of the spectrum with regards to interior space. It is not as luxurious as say the REI Half-Dome Plus, but it weighs significantly less. At the same time, it is not as small and cramped as some of the more minimalist ultra-light 2-person tents.

For two people with two large backpacks, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, etc, there is plenty of room for personal comfort.

Whether you’re just camping out one night or on a multi-day adventure, the Hubba Hubba is a truly fantastic place to rest your bones at the end of the day.

The unique pole configuration maximizes headroom and elbow space throughout the tent. You can easily change clothes and maneuver about as needed.

msr hubba hubba review

The large rollable doors and mesh panneling really give the tent a super roomy/airy vibe.

 

The Interior Nitty Gritty

The tent body has two doors, mesh panels for breathability, and solid panels for warmth and privacy. Also, the rainfly easily rolls up for a killer stargazer view. Few things in life beat laying comfortably in your tent with your lover watching the stars glitter like diamonds in a clear night sky.
I love how the interior feels really spacious due to the fact that the walls are not tapered. You’d be hard-pressed to find another tent in the same weight-class with as much space and positive livability.

Two large “StayDry” doors help ensure water doesn’t drip into the tent when doors are opened. These doors basically function like little rain gutters. Thanks to the MSR engineering department!

The two large vestibules are perfect for storing your backpack and keeping it dry. Furthermore, the bathtub style floor with taped seams keeps the floor dry and all moisture outside.

My one and only complaint about the Hubba Hubba’s interior design is the lack of pockets. I find myself asking “how hard was it to add a few more storage pockets?”.

The Hubba Hubba does have two medium size pockets at either end near the ventilation window, providing some decent storage.
However, for organizational freaks like myself, the tent is lacking in the pocket department. That said. two pockets are certainly better than none.

Maybe the next generation of Hubba Hubba will have more pockets.

Shout out to you MSR engineers! Hear my prayer!

msr hubba hubba review

The MSR Hubba Hubba was designed with extreme comfort in mind.

 

How much does the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-P cost?

 

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent: $299.00 – $449.95 USD

*Prices vary depending on the year/model. The 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba costs $449.95. More on this in just a moment.

Whether you are a regular reader of this blog or just stumbling across it for the first time there is one thing you should know.

I love quality gear and I only spread the good word about the absolute best gear for backpackers. Quality gear comes at a price. That said, it is an investment that you should only have to make once. Good news for you: the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent is the ONLY tent you will ever need.

You might think $450 is too much money to spend on a tent. I agree it is expensive. I’m with you on that.

However, the reality is that having a good tent is so damned important that I must state it plainly here.

It is your sanctuary, your safe, dry place. Investing in a good tent will save you a ton of money down the line too.

Other quality tents on the market will run you back even more. So honestly, for everything the Hubba Hubba has on offer; weight, space, durability, weather protection, etc… the Hubba Hubba simply can’t be beaten.

Furthermore, I believe every backpacker should travel with a backpacking tent and I also believe each backpacker should travel with the best backpacking tent possible.

 

MSR Quality: A Worthy Investment in the Best Backpacking Tent

MSR is an industry leader with regards to tent quality. As all seasoned adventurers know, the feeling of being warm, comfortable, and dry in your tent where ever you are in the world is a truly priceless feeling.

As soon as you get settled for the night in your Hubba Hubba, you are stoked, all smiles, and it is immediately clear that you made the right tent choice…

Top Tip: At the time of writing it is possible to score one of these amazing tents on Amazon and REI for $299.00. That’s a quarter of the price and a solid bargain if ever I have heard of one.

*Note for 2019 Model: The 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba 2-P tent has already/will debut at $449.95. For past season models, expect the price to be around $299.00. 

View on Amazon  View on REI

 

msr hubba hubba review

The MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent does take an initial investment, but one that you will be enjoying for many years to come…

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Weight: An Ultralight 2-Person Tent

Quick Answer: 3 lbs. 13 oz

Technically the Hubba Hubba falls into the ultralight category. At just 3 lbs. 13 oz. you hardly even notice the tent in your backpack.

One super cool aspect of the Hubba Hubba is that it can be pitched using only the poles, the rainfly, and the Hubba Hubba Footprint (sold separately) or a basic tarp. If you are really looking to cut weight this is a great pitch option!

If you go the pole-rainfly-footprint route you can get the weight down to a staggering 2 lbs. 2 oz.

Since we are talking about weight here, we can also talk about packability.

How well does the Hubba Hubba fit inside your backpack? Very well. The Hubba Hubba comes with an ultra-compact compression sack so it squeezes down into a nice tight log shape.

I have had other tents in the past which were great functionally, though always took up way to much space in my backpack. Many years ago I hauled a 6-pound tent around South America for six months and it was constantly in my way.

It wasn’t the weight so much as the bulk that bothered me

Now that I have this 3 lbs. 13 oz beauty I find that it takes up about half the amount of space as my former tent. The difference is huge. I can now even go with a smaller backpack (58 liter) and all of my gear fits perfectly alongside the Hubba Hubba.

msr hubba hubba review

Excellent packability and ultra-light design leaves room in your pack for the important stuff: snacks.

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Breathability and Ventilation

The Hubba Hubba offers up several features that allow for fantastic airflow. There is nothing worse than sleeping in a stifling, breeze-less tent.

The designers at MSR when all-out with the mesh screen paneling, allowing for both epic views and plenty of space for air to flow uninterrupted.

As I mentioned before, both the rain-fly and the tent body doors roll up so at any time you can regulate the flow of fresh air. For chilly damp nights, there is enough ventilation to allow condensation moisture to escape without creating a wet environment in the tent.

I have been woken up before by the dreaded condensation drips from other tents and it ain’t no fun. Having a tent that is well ventilated is key for both keeping unwanted moisture out and allowing for moisture produced by people to escape without settling.

msr hubba hubba review best backpacking tent

Mesh. Mesh. And more Mesh. Look at all that mesh! The Hubba Hubba has excellent ventilation.

 

MSR Hubba Hubba vs the Weather: The Ultimate 3-Season Backpacking Tent

By all accounts, the Hubba Hubba was meant to endure some truly horrendous weather. If you have ever spent time in the mountains, you know how quickly the weather can change.

From a technical perspective, the MSR Hubba Hubba is a 3-season tent. This means it’s ideal and intended use is during the spring, summer, and fall.

It is absolutely a 4-season tent if you live somewhere warm like California, or where I live here in Southern France.

So you’re in the mountains. It is windy and it is pissing rain. How does the Hubba Hubba hold up? This tent was created and designed specifically for the purpose of keeping its occupants bone-dry at all times. Even in the worst conditions, the MSR performs with flying colors.

It’s rainfly is made of 20-denier, high-tenacity ripstop nylon that’s “Durashield” polyurethane with a silicone coat. That’s tent-speak for anti-rain, anti-sleet, anti-wet material that will cast a protective dry shield over weary backpackers.

You will feel like a turtle cozy in his shell. If the turtle’s shell was made out of “Durashield” polyurethane and silicone treated that is.

For MSR Hubba Hubba models sold from 2019 and beyond, read the updates below!

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent Fabric Updates for 2019!

One of the major upgrades the 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba tent received concerns the weather protection system. The exclusive Xtreme Shield System is now featured in all Hubba Hubba models! So what does this mean exactly for backpackers? The new Xtreme Shield System vastly improves the long-term waterproof ability of the tent. 

“Xtreme Shield is the ultimate coating to protect your tent’s waterproofness through heat, rain, festival dust, snow, and storage,” says Terry Beaux, shelter category manager at MSR. “Combined with virtually indestructible Easton Syclone Poles, you can count on your Hubba tent to deliver the protection you need, when you need it, for many seasons to come.”

MSR’s Xtreme Shield System solves two inherent problems that eventually lead to reduced performance and subsequent failure of a tent’s waterproof protection: coating failure, which causes fabric stickiness, and seam-tape failure.

To fight these issues, Xtreme Shield combines an ingenious, durable waterproof coating that lasts up to 3x longer than standard coatings and durable, precision, watertight seams. The cumulative result is a remarkably waterproof system that ensures weatherproof protection far longer than ever before. Hurray! 

I applaud MSR’s commitment to creating a tent that will deliver years of consistent performance. MSR tents aren’t cheap to begin with. So knowing that the company has put the extra effort in from a materials and design point of view gives me even more long-term confidence in an already top-of-the-line tent build.

msr hubba hubba review

The Hubba Hubba pictured with its rainfly.

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Set-up and Breakdown

Ok so I didn’t actually time myself, but I can honestly say that the Hubba Hubba is one of the easiest, most straight-forward tents I have ever set up. It can easily be set up by one person. Of course, it is faster with two but not at all necessary.

After sleeping in this tent on and off for several weeks while traveling in Pakistan recently, I was able to set the whole tent up alone (including the rain-fly) in under 5 minutes.

Two humans with eyes, arms, and legs can set up this tent in about 2-4 minutes. A bit longer if you are truly trying to brace the tent for a crazy wind storm.

While we are on the topic of wind and stakes I will mention that the tent only comes with six. Whilst you can totally pitch the tent with six, I do recommend you pick up several more. You will need a few more stakes on hand if you want to properly utilize all of the exterior loops and guy-lines designed to brace the tent in high winds.

Remember the Hubba Hubba is a free-standing tent, meaning in calm, dry, mild weather, you don’t even need stakes as the tent only needs it poles, not the stakes to be pitched. That said, it is always a good idea to stake your tent as the weather can change without warning.

The MSR Groundhog tent stakes weigh next to nothing as they are aluminum, so it is a good idea to bring them along on your travels/hikes if you can.

 

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent Pole Updates for 2019!

Listen up friends! The new 2019 MSR Hubba Hubba tent series features an upgraded tent pole system! What was a tough and reliable pole system before, is now a thing of indestructible engineering beauty.

MSR worked with Easton Manufacturing for over five years on the development of the Easton Syclone Poles, which are made ultra-strong and flexible to resist breaking. Exclusive to MSR tents, these next-generation poles are made of futuristic composite materials, which make them virtually unbreakable.

The new tent poles are built using lightweight, aerospace-grade materials and are the most badass backpacking tent poles ever made – and the future of tent pole technology. The future I say! 

If you have ever broken a tent pole, you know how much that scenario sucks. You already know how important it is to have tent poles that are tough as nails! If your tent poles break, it is virtually game over for the tent. You can’t really set up a tent without the poles of course.

With the new Easton Syclone Poles, you now can have even more confidence in the solid build/design of your MSR Hubba Hubba tent. Well done MSR!

What a thing of beauty it is when aerospace materials meet backpacking gear. I love it.

 

msr hubba hubba review

Simply pop the pole tips into the grommet holes found on the tent corners and volia! Total set up is just a couple of minutes. Super easy!

 

MSR Hubba Hubba vs the World: Competitor Comparison

There are several other fine tents on the market, but in my opinion, they can’t match the overall performance, price, and weight of the MSR Hubba Hubba.

For a great budget option, and significantly more weight, I can recommend the REI Half Dome Plus. It is roomier inside, certainly. Though when you are counting ounces for a long backpacking trip, one has a hard time justifying carrying a tent this heavy.

Big Agnes is also producing great tents. Their Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is probably the Hubba Hubba’s closest competitor. At just 2 lbs. 3 oz. it is more than a  full pound lighter than the Hubba Hubba, which is significant.

The drawback with the Copper Spur HV UL2 is that it can feel a bit cramped inside. Also, I have heard reports of the rainfly fabric ripping in places, though I have not personally experienced this. One final point is that the Copper Spur is $450 making it one of the priciest options in its class. Be sure, the Copper Spur HV UL2 is an excellent tent in many respects.

That said, my preference still lies with the MSR Hubba Hubba.

For my complete guide on how to choose a tent to take backpacking, click here.

 

Tent Comparison Table

TentPriceWeightInterior Floor Square FeetHeightDoors
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-P$399.003 lbs. 7 oz.2939 inches2
REI Half-Dome 2 Plus$229.005lbs 7 oz35.844 inches2
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 P$449.952 lbs. 12 oz.2942 inches2
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL$400.002 lbs. 3 oz.28392

View on Amazon  View on REI

 

msr hubba hubba review

The MSR Hubba Hubba: Helping adventurers find their own unique window to the world for decades!

 

Final Thoughts on the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent

I hope now you feel that you possess all of the need-to-know facts and the pros and cons of this truly amazing backpacking tent. Having a solid understand and perspective of a potential tent purchase is very important!

I had a lot to say about the Hubba Hubba because it has so many fine qualities I personally look for in a backpacking tent.

The adventure potential with an MSR Hubba Hubba in your backpack is LIMITLESS. This truly is the best 2-person backpacking tent in the world.

My hope is that it will take you to places that you have previously only dreamed of. That is what good gear does. It makes dreams and ideas a reality. And a comfortable reality at that!

Having a good tent expands possibilities, saves you money long-term, and keeps you safe as you ramble through the intense natural environments of this earth.

The Hubba Hubba will open doors to a whole other theater of backpacking venues, experiences, and of course, cozy nights of sleep.

If you want the latest and greatest version of the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-P, be sure to check out the 2019 Hubba Hubba series!

The world of adventure awaits: be sure to pick up an MSR Hubba Hubba and start getting the most out of your gear and your adventures…

msr hubba hubba 2 person tent review

That’s a wrap on my MSR Hubba Hubba NX review! Enjoy!

What are your thoughts? Did this brutally honest review of the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent help you? Anything I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below – thanks guys!


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