The MSR Hubba is a three seasons lightweight backpacking tent. It is a good balance between weight, strength and cost – but it gains some of these attributes by being small.
A lightweight tent – the setting sun shining through the tent, Lauder, Scotland, August 2016
I bought my MSR Hubba tent, in August 2012, to replace a very good backpacking tent – a Coleman Bedrock II – which had plenty of space, was good in bad weather, but it was heavy. It weighed over two kilos, even when I used titanium pegs. (I have passed the Coleman tent onto my son.)
Coleman Bedrock II on the left and the MSR Hubba on the right – Cornwall October 2012
I have used the MSR Hubba in a variety of situations, from backpacking and wild camping up in the Lake District to a week static camping in very wet weather and the tent has not let me down.
Both tents in use in the Lake District
I have added a footprint to the load, as the groundsheet is very thin. This extra protection for the groundsheet has proved a good investment. The footprint also keeps the tent that much cleaner and makes for easier packing when I only have to deal with the muddy footprint.
Foot print and the poles ready for the inner tent and fly sheet
Even in heavy rain the MSR Hubba is weather proof but the fly sheet does not come all the way down, especially at the back. This is to help with the ventilation and to reduce the condensation but in high winds the tent is draughty and some rain spray can come under the rear of the flysheet. This is not helped by the inner tent being made of netting which reduces the weight but gives no protection from the wind. If it is windy just get into your sleeping bag or put a jumper on!
I have replaced the supplied miniature aluminium stakes with six titanium pegs and I carry two extra pegs, one to use with a rear guy line I have added the other is a spare. The extra guy increases stability in high winds and gives me a line to dry things on. (You can see the guy line going out of the right of the frame in the first photograph above.)
I have removed the fixed loop that holds out the back of the flysheet and replaced it with an elastic loop – I feel this allows me to pull the flysheet out better.
Elastic guy line
In bad weather I have to take care getting in and out of the tent, water drips into the inner tent from the flysheet and door.
To assist with getting in and out of this small tent I use a plastic sheet in the porch. It gives me somewhere to kneel as I get in or somewhere to stand, before I get my boots on, when I get out.
When using the tent you have to be organised as it is small. It is long enough to sleep in comfortably (I am six feet tall) and have some storage space at either end but it is not much space.
You can see the room inside with the fly removed
There are two pockets in the rear tent wall for small items – you can see the triangles on the back of the inner tent in the above photo. They not very obvious and I managed to miss them during the first weeks of use! When static camping I have invested in the MSR gear loft. It is a great accessory and gives really useful storage, which is out of the way. Though when backpacking I do not carry it. as this adds unnecessary weight – my iPhone, iPod, sunglasses can go in the tent pockets then, so they are not vulnerable to me kneeling on them whilst moving about the small space.
MSR gear loft
Do not think the small living area is down side. When I am backpacking I do not have a great amount of kit with me. Once the tent is up and my bedding laid out the only large item to store is an empty backpack which easily stores by my feet. The food, water, cooking gear and other sundry items can be stored at the head end of the tent. I could put the backpack in the porch and store some kit in It. If I am camping with a car I just keep the extra kit in the car.
Would I recommend this – yes I would.
- a good balance of lightweight to cost
- easy to put up and take down
- simple design – not much to go wrong in t
- inner goes up before the fly – a problem in heavy rain
- if you have a lot gear it is small
|MSR Hubba Inner||444|
|MSR Hubba Fly||519|
|8 Ti pegs||48|
|Pole repair sleeve||13|
|Foot print – in a vented storage bag||159|
|White bin liner – to pack the tent in if wet||10|
MSR Hubba Backpacking Tent – update and modifications
I have used the tent for nearly two years and it is still an excellent tent, doing everything I have asked of it. I have sat in it cooking my tea when it has been hailing and raining outside and it has stood up to strong winds and rain all over the country.
In that time I have made a few modifications to my tent – improvements I think. The modifications, with photographs, are shown here.