MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review: Great Tent, Iffy Zippers

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review: Great Tent, Iffy Zippers Leave a comment

I’ve discovered that Mountain Safety Research tends to reach at a formidable iteration of a product after which keep it up. Most out of doors gear firms are inclined to step by step destroy their finest merchandise with incessant cost-cutting and penny-pinching, however they need to take a web page from MSR’s e-book. 

That stated, while you refresh your merchandise, it is a good suggestion to have a look at what your friends are doing. MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX backpacking tent, which was redesigned for 2022, might’ve used just a few extra minor adjustments to maintain it from feeling outclassed by its more and more sturdy competitors. 

Blowin’ within the Wind

The Hubba Hubba NX is on the market in one-, two-, and three-person variations. I examined the two-person model and took it out for per week of climbing in Texas’ Big Bend National Park, from chilly forested mountains to 95-degree desert hikes. 

MSR lower 10 ounces—a major quantity of weight—off the two-person, pre-2022 Hubba Hubba NX. It now weighs solely 3 ounces greater than the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and is 6.5 ounces lighter than the Sea to Summit Telos TR2. MSR did this with out lowering its 29 sq. ft of flooring area inside, and new poles make the partitions stand extra vertically, making it really feel roomier. The Copper Spur measures the identical, and the Telos is sort of the identical, at 28 sq. ft.

Freestanding tents do not have to be staked out to arrange totally, and so they have a tendency to face up to excessive winds higher than non-freestanding or semi-freestanding (which solely require just a few stakes). That got here in useful within the desert, the place at occasions the concrete-like desert flooring would not let me drive even a titanium nail peg into the earth. For excessive winds, I’d pull every guyline out and drop a heavy rock on it, however on calmer nights I simply threw my gear within the tent to weigh it down and went to sleep.

Some sturdy gusts battered the Hubba Hubba NX round within the open desert at night time, because the cool breezes rolled down the Chisos Mountains at nightfall and despatched a chill over the desert flooring the place I made camp most nights. I wasn’t capable of finding out the wind velocity—to my excessive delight, there was no cell sign on the Dodson Trail—however the tent held solidly with barely a ripple all night time lengthy.

Most folks solely want a three-season tent, which is less expensive and lighter than a four-season one, which is absolutely extra for ultra-low temperatures, very excessive winds, and snow. My coldest night time within the three-season MSR was within the low 40s Farenheit, and utilizing a 20-degree Marmot sleeping bag atop a closed-cell foam sleeping pad, I had no complaints. It has a pop-out vent that you may shut or hold open. The MSR ventilated contemporary air in addition to different premium tents, which is to say it by no means felt stuffy, like cheaper tents generally do.

Pocket-Sized Problems

At 5′ 10″, I can lie down in most ultralight tents with only a slight bit of clearance between the tent walls and the ends of my sleeping bag. The Hubba Hubba NX is far from the only tent to put a big mesh pocket down by the foot end of the tent, but it rubs me the wrong way every time I see it. Whenever I’d put anything in there, it’d sag down and bulge against my feet—not the most comfortable thing when trying to sleep.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Photograph: REI

Ultralight tents make just a few sacrifices to get the load down low. The MSR makes use of 20-denier ripstop nylon for the tent flooring and partitions, and 10-denier polyester mesh for the breathable elements of the interior tent wall. Typical double-wall tents will use the identical materials for the semi-permeable interior wall and extra waterproof outer wall, however they’re going to be heavier and thicker, corresponding to 60 or 75 deniers, and have bigger zippers that are inclined to work extra effortlessly.

On any ultralight gear, it is necessary for the zipper to work with minimal effort and to not catch any material in its tooth whereas zipping and unzipping. With the material being so skinny, it is a lot simpler for a caught zipper to tear it. At the very least, you are then a tent restore in your costly shelter, and perhaps just a few moist nights if it occurs whilst you’re on a visit.

The MSR’s two tiny zippers on the interior tent wall’s door weren’t as easy as I’d have favored, so I had to make use of extra drive with them than I used to be comfy with. More drive equals extra potential to tear the material, and even with a lightweight contact, the zippers had been already extra catch-prone than the zippers on competing ultralight tents. Cranky {hardware} was a theme; I had to make use of extra drive than regular to place the Easton Syclone tent poles collectively and take them aside, in comparison with different ultralight tents on this worth vary that have a tendency to make use of poles from DAC.

Zipping Up Some Final Thoughts

The Hubba Hubba NX is not a nasty tent. In reality, it isn’t even mediocre: It’s tent, however despite the fact that it nails the foremost facets of excellent wind resistance, light-weight design, and inside room, it falls down on the small print: zippers, poles, and pockets. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and Sea to Summit Telos TR2 outclass the $480 Hubba Hubba NX by brandishing much less finicky tent poles and zippers and extra considerate inside pocket placement, and so they do not price way more.

If all you are on the lookout for is a tent to drive as much as a campground and pitch on a reserved web site, then forego ultralight tents solely and purchase one thing cheaper and extra sturdy, such because the REI Co-op Trail Hut 2. But should you want an ultralight tent to your subsequent journey, and the Copper Spur and Telos are offered out, as they usually have been currently, then the Hubba Hubba NX is a high quality alternative. For almost $500, although, “fine” is usually a powerful tablet to swallow.

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