A tent is your home away from home, your shelter from the storm. Like houses, there are numerous different designs, styles & sizes available. What kind of tent you choose will depend on a variety of factors. There isn’t really one tent that will excel for all uses and in all climates. Although some may ‘claim’ to be suitable for everything, experience tells me this simply isn’t possible with current materials & technologies. When I came to look at the MSR Hubba Hubba NX I had a fairly good idea what activities I had in mind for it’s use. So  basically I was looking for a 2 person 3-season (so not for snow/alpine use), lightweight,  freestanding design. A few other must-haves included 2 doors/vestibules, good ventilation & sufficient internal length for my 190cm frame. Given this list of demands, there only really seemed like one logical option & it’s made by the good folks at Mountain Safety Research, better known as MSR.

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Louise testing out the vestibule at Lamington NP

Features & Specs

There are tent’s, then there is the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. This tidy little compilation of nylon, mesh & aluminum poles is somewhat of a modern cult classic in the world of lightweight shelters. The Hubba Hubba NX, as the name suggests isn’t the first of it’s kind – in fact it’s the 7th incarnation of this model by MSR. The Hubba part refers to the tent’s unique ‘hub’ style pole configuration, which is basically one interconnected pole stystem joined by two ‘hubs’. This pole design combined with clever patterning makes for a lightweight, spacious & very easy to erect shelter. The NX is the lightest Hubba Hubba to date, with an impressive packed weight of 1.72kg. There as several fast & light pitching options too, either without the rain-fly or if you have the optional footprint -Just the rain-fly. This allows the tent to be pitched to suit the conditions, plus having a footprint will be desirable for use on rough surfaces.

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Pitching the tent at South Bald Rock, simple freestanding design – much appreciated!

The previous Hubba Hubba was a popular & well designed tent. The NX has built on that foundation, with a few very handy new features to boast. The two side access vestibule doors have a clever rain-gutter design that stops that annoying rain dripping on your face when trying to cook a meal in a storm. On the head & foot of the tent there are now also some very useful pop-out vents, a godsend in hot conditions. The internal head height is also better, which makes sitting up in this tent a pleasure. The final thing worth noting is that the Hubba Hubba comes with a really well designed storage bag. It allows for two packing configurations & is almost too easy to pack the tent into.

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On the inside looking out through a spacious doorway, with plenty of mesh for those long hot Aussie summers.

Living  inside

The first trip the Hubba Hubba joined me on was a month climbing in NZ. It got used mostly as our ‘base-camp’ in several grassy campgrounds. Fitting two 6 foot+ men plus all their climbing gear in was it’s first real challenge, which thanks to the two spacious vestibules, went quite well. We also got some moderate winds & rain whilst in the Campground at Aoraki/Mount Cook NP, again no troubles for the Hubba Hubba. Having your own vestibule & doorway was great, no need to crawl awkwardly over your companion in the night for that annoying toilet trip here!

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Dirt bagging in the Mt. Cook campground.

Since that trip to NZ, I’ve taken the Hubba Hubba on multiple local hiking trips, to places like Springbrook, Girraween & Lamington National Parks. The light weight of the tent was appreciated every time, as was the incredible ease of setting it up. More rain & even stronger winds were encountered, all without issue. Some hot & humid Queensland weather tested the ventilation, which can sometimes be an issue as I’m a fairly warm sleeper. I’m happy to report that the vents & ample mesh were more than sufficient, plus having the option to easily open the vestibule doors right up on clear nights was a bonus, both for the breeze & the view. I’ve also tried pitching the tent with-out the inner, which worked brilliantly. The steep scramble/hike I was doing called for a very light pack – so leaving the inner saved a few precious grams. Pitching is easy (provided you have the footprint of course), plus the lack of inner means extra space under the fly. If the weather was looking to be quite wet, or there were bugs around I’d still rather the mesh inner, but for saving some space & weight it’s a great option to have.

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Waiting for daybreak at Girraween NP.

Conclusions

The Hubba Hubba NX is a very well designed & constructed tent, but that much you probably already knew. I’ve used it, abused it (just a little bit…) & have been left very impressed every time. This is a lightweight tent, but not one that’s going to tear to shreds in a slight breeze. The features are all useful & well implemented, as would be expected considering how long MSR have had to tweak this baby. Pitching & packing the tent is a pleasure every time, never taking more than a quick few minutes.  This is a solid tent that will be a great addition to any lightweight backpacking kit, you know you want one… I can’t wait until my next opportunity to sleep in this little home-away-from-home!

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Starry nights at Springbrook NP

 

REVIEW: MSR Hubba Hubba NX
LIVABILITY90%
DURABILITY80%
ADAPTABILITY & SETUP95%
WEIGHT & SIZE90%
WEATHER RESISTANCE85%
VALUE80%
PROs
  • Excellent build quality & features
  • Lightweight & a small packed Size
  • Comfortable & livable, even for two tall dirty climbers!
CONs
  • Not designed for extreme weather/snow
  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Will make other campers jealous ...
88%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (90 Votes)
29%

About The Author

Lachlan Gardiner

Lachlan works as a freelance photographer, writer and videographer. His practice lies somewhere between storytelling and being a total gear nerd. Often found hiking, mountaineering, climbing, cycling, packrafting, or just hunting down the next story - Lachlan will take basically any excuse to get into the outdoors. In between all of the above, he also works in our Paddy Pallin store in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

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