MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review: Great Tent, Iffy Zippers

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I found that Mountain Safety Research (MSR) tends to come up with an impressive iteration of a product and then stick with it. Most outdoor equipment companies tend to gradually ruin their best products with incessant cost reduction and a pinch of pennies, but they should grab a page from the MSR book.

That said, when it comes to updating your products, it’s a good idea to look at what your colleagues are doing. MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX backpack store, which was redesigned for 2022, could have used a few more minor changes to keep you from feeling overwhelmed by its ever-increasing competition.

Blow in the wind

The Hubba Hubba NX is available in one, two and three person versions. I tried the two-person version and took it out for a week of hiking in Texas ’Big Bend National Park, from cold wooded mountains to 95-degree desert hikes.

MSR reduced 10 ounces (a significant amount of weight) of Hubba Hubba NX prior to 2022 for two people. It now weighs only 3 ounces more than the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and is 6.5 ounces lighter than the Sea to Summit Telos TR2. MSR did this without reducing its 29 square feet of interior space, and the new poles make the walls rise more vertically, making it feel more spacious inside. The Copper Spur measures the same, and the Telos is almost the same, with 28 square feet.

Autonomous tents do not need to be erected to be fully assembled, and usually withstand strong winds better than non-autonomous or semi-autonomous tents (which require only a few stakes). This was useful in the desert, where sometimes the concrete-like desert floor would not let me drive a single titanium nail into the ground. With strong winds, I would pull each string and drop a heavy stone on it, but on quieter nights I would just throw my gear in the tent to weigh it and go to sleep.

Heavy gusts hit the Hubba Hubba NX in the open desert at night, while the cool breezes came down the Chisos Mountains at dusk every night and sent a chill over the desert floor where the camp spent most of the night. I couldn’t figure out the wind speed, much to my delight, there were no cell signs on the Dodson Trail, but the tent held up solidly with barely a ripple throughout the night.

Most people only need a three-season tent, which is much cheaper and lighter than a four-season tent, which is really more for very low temperatures, very strong winds and snow. My coldest night in the three-season MSR was at 40 years old Farenheit, and with a 20-degree Marmot sleeping bag on a closed-cell foam pad, I had no complaints. It has pop-up ventilation that you can close or keep open. The MSR ventilated fresh air, as did other premium tents, meaning it never felt cramped, as the cheaper tents sometimes do.

Pocket problems

With 5 feet and 10 inches tall, I can stretch out in most ultra-light stores with just a little free space between the store walls and the ends of my sleeping bag. The Hubba Hubba NX is far from the only store that puts a big mesh pocket at the end of the store’s foot, but it rubs me the wrong way every time I see it. Whenever I put something in there, it would sink and bulge against my feet, it’s not the most comfortable thing when I try to sleep.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Photo: REI

Ultralight stores make a few sacrifices to reduce weight. The MSR uses 20-denier ripstop nylon for the tent floor and walls, and 10-denier polyester mesh for the breathable parts of the tent’s interior wall. Typical double-walled tents will use the same fabrics for the semi-permeable inner wall and the more water-resistant outer wall, but will be heavier and thicker, such as 60 or 75 deniers, and will have larger zippers that tend. to work more. effortlessly.

In any ultra-light equipment, it is important that the zipper works with minimal effort and that no tissue gets stuck to the teeth while it closes and undoes. Because the fabric is so thin, it’s much easier for a zipper to break it. At the very least, you’re looking at a tent repair at your expensive shelter, and maybe a few wet nights if it happens while you’re traveling.

The two small MSR zippers on the inside wall door of the store weren’t as soft as I would have liked, so I had to use more force on them than I was comfortable with. More strength equals more potential to tear the fabric, and even with a light touch, the zippers were already more prone to grip than the zippers of the ultra-light stores of the competition. Irritable hardware was an issue; I had to use more force than usual to put the Easton Syclone store sticks together and disassemble them, compared to other ultra-light stores in this price range that usually use DAC sticks.

Compressing some final reflections

The Hubba Hubba NX is not a bad store. In fact, it is not even mediocre: it is a good tent, but although it nails the main aspects of good wind resistance, light design and interior room, it falls into the details: zippers, sticks and pockets . The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and Sea to Summit Telos TR2 exceed $ 480 Hubba Hubba NX with less demanding tent poles and zippers, a more careful inside pocket placement and don’t cost much more.

If all you’re looking for is a tent to drive to a campsite and plant in a reserved spot, then completely give up ultra-light tents and buy something cheaper and more durable, such as the REI Co-op Trail Hut 2. But if you need an ultra-light tent for your next adventure and the Copper Spur and Telos are sold out, as they have often been done lately, then the Hubba Hubba NX is a good choice. For almost $ 500, though, “okay” can be a hard pill to swallow.

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