MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Tent Review

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Tent Review 2022

The new MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is a lightweight freestanding two-person backpacking tent weighing 2 lbs 14 oz that provides lightweight livability, superb ventilation, and ease of use. This new 2022 version of the Hubba Hubba 2 provides a significant 10 oz weight reduction over the previous model Hubba Hubba NX2 without compromising on the tent’s spacious rectangular floor plan (a rare feature), ease of use, and premium feature set.

Most of the weight saving in the new Hubba Hubba 2 comes from subtle design changes and lighter-weight components but the core value that the two-person model has always provided remains fully intact and it is still a great tent for two adults. The freestanding inner tent creates an interior space that has near-vertical walls, providing excellent interior space and livability. Plus, it is incredibly easy to set up and has two doors so you can come and go at night without disturbing your partner.

The new fly coloration helps the tent blend into the landscape and makes it more stealthy
The new fly coloration helps the tent blend into the landscape and makes it more stealthy

With a reduced trail weight of 2 lbs 14 oz, the Hubba Hubba is lightweight enough for backpacking use when shared by two people. If you’re looking for a new two-person tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 should definitely be on your shortlist if interior space and ease of use are priorities for you.

Specs at a Glance

  • Trail weight: 2 pounds 14 ounces (1.3 kg)  – minus stakes and stuff sacks
  • Packaged weight: 3 pounds 4 ounces (1.47 kg) – including all bags and stakes
  • Style: Freestanding
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Floor area: 29 sq. ft
  • Vestibule area: 15 sq. ft
  • Minimum number of stakes to pitch: 2 (for the vestibules)
  • Inner Tent Dimensions:  80″ (l) x 50″ (w) x  40″ (h)
  • Poles: 2 Easton Syclone Carbon Fiber
  • Floor Fabric: 20D ripstop nylon 1200mm Durashield polyurethane & DWR
  • Rainfly Fabric: 20D ripstop nylon 1200mm DuraShield polyurethane & silicone
  • Inner tent Fabric: 20D ripstop nylon & DWR
  • Seam-taped: Yes

Tent Set-Up and Design

Setting up the Hubba Hubba 2 is amazingly easy to do. It comes with one many-segmented carbon fiber tent pole that has two hubs and a roof cross-piece forming an exoskeleton to support the inner tent and rain fly. The setup is pretty intuitive, but instructions are also sewn into the tent’s stuff sack making them impossible to misplace.

The inner tent attaches to the carbon fiber pole structure with plastic clips.
The inner tent attaches to the carbon fiber pole structure with plastic clips.

MSR was the first tent company to spearhead the use of carbon fiber tent poles on mainstream tents and these are very robust and refined. They work exactly like aluminum poles, but they’re more flexible and much lighter weight. The tips of these poles slot into aluminum corner hardware forming a curved arch that you attach the inner tent to using plastic clips.

The tips of the tent poles slot into holes in the corner guyline hardware.
The tips of the tent poles slot into holes in the corner guyline hardware. You can then stake the guylines out.

An additional center cross-pole clips into two aluminum connectors above the inner tent doors. It is not attached to the main pole and it is black, so you need to be careful not to lose it. But, even if you do the tent works just fine, although the tent roof is slightly less taut.

The hubba hubba has excellent ventilation with a large mesh roof vent, end vents, and mesh vents at the top of each door.
The inner tent has a rectangular floor plan and isn’t tapered at one end, like many backpacking tents, enabling the use of wide and rectangular sleeping mats.

The outer fly drapes over the exoskeleton frame created by the carbon fiber poles. The corners of the fly also have aluminum hardware that fits over the ends of the pole tips holding up the inner tent. Once that’s done, you can stake out the corners and tighten the webbing straps on the inner tent and rain fly and stake out the vestibules to tighten up the pitch.

MSR Hubba Hubba

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Lightweight Palace

The new MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is a two-person camping and backpacking tent with a roomy interior that is exceptionally easy to set up. If you're looking for a premium double-walled two-person tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is definitely the cream of the crop and a good benchmark on which to judge comparable backpacking tents.

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The Hubba Hubba 2 requires a minimum of two tent stakes for the vestibules although you’ll normally want to stake out the corners, requiring at least four more. There are additional guy lines over the vestibule doors and tent ends that you can also stake out to give the tent additional stability in wind or increase ventilation.

The Hubba Hubba 2 comes with MSR Needle Stakes which are highly prized becaus ethey have great holding power but are only available with their tents.
The Hubba Hubba 2 comes with MSR Needle Stakes which are highly prized because they have great holding power but are only available with their tents and not sold separately.

Livability

The Hubba Hubba 2 has two doors, which I consider essential in a two-person tent if you intend to use it with another person, so you can get out at night without waking your partner.  The interior of the Hubba Hubba 2 is not tapered at the ends, but rectangular, giving the inner tent a very spacious feel. The ceiling is high enough to comfortably sit up in (34″ at the ends and 40″ at the center) and the near-vertical sidewalls make it easy to move around inside without bumping into the ceiling.

The actual interior width and length is 50″ x 80″ since I measure the usable space in the tent interior (not the exterior rainfly like manufacturers) when it’s pitched, enabling the use of two wide and rectangular 25″ sleeping mats, which more and more people prefer to carry when backpacking.

There’s plenty of space under the vestibule doors to store gear and get in and out.
There’s plenty of space under the vestibule doors to store gear and get in and out.

Internal storage inside the tent is good with one mesh pocket running the width of the interior at each end of the tent, below the end window, and there are gear lofts above each door, which are handy for tent and exit illumination using a headlamp. All of the interior mesh pockets now have power ports as well. Plus the side vestibules are large enough to store high-capacity packs and not block door access.

The large ceiling vent in the inner tent provides the option to stargave if you roll back the exterior rain fly.
The large ceiling vent in the inner tent provides the option to stargaze if you roll back the exterior rain fly.

Interior ventilation in the Hubba Hubba is also good, provided you keep the vestibule doors unzipped at the top to create a transom effect and that you stake out the rainfly over the windows to enhance airflow through the tent. Another option is to fold half of the rainfly up over the tent to enable star gazing through the large inner tent ceiling vent.

Full width mesh pockets at both ends provide plenty of interior storage
Full-width mesh pockets at both ends provide plenty of interior storage

The vestibule doors have rain gutters that are designed to keep rain from dripping on you when you unzip wet doors. These gutters are simply extensions to the fabric flaps that cover the vestibule zippers and help channel the flow of water running down the fly fabric away from you. The vestibule zippers are also bi-directional, so you can vent the top of the tent with kick-stand vents where internal water vapor collects. They’re oriented to run along the sides of the tent and not down the middle of the vestibule, making it easier to get in and out of the tent without having to crawl over your gear or brushing against a wet door.

More Recommended Two-Person Tents

Make / ModelStructuralTrail Weight
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2Freestanding2 lbs 11 oz / 1219g
MSR Hubba Hubba 2Freestanding2 lbs 14 oz / 1304g
Zpacks DuplexTrekking Pole1 lbs 3 oz / 539g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2Semi-Freestanding2 lbs 3 oz / 992g
REI Flash 2Trekking Pole1 lbs 15 oz / 879g
MSR Freelite 2Semi-Freestanding2 lbs / 907g
Tarptent Double RainbowSemi-Freestanding2 lbs 10 oz / 1191g
Dan Durston X-Mid 2Trekking Pole2 lbs 4 oz / 1025g
Slingfin Portal 2Freestanding2 lbs 14 oz / 1305g
NEMO DragonFly 2Freestanding2 lbs 9 oz / 1162

Recommendation

The new MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is a two-person camping and backpacking tent with a roomy interior that is exceptionally easy to set up. Featuring a rectangular floor, vertical sidewalls, and dual doors, the attention to detail on this tent makes it extremely livable for two people out to enjoy a backpacking or camping trip. While it’s not the lightest, two-person double-walled tent you can buy today, its 2 lb 14-ounce trail weight strikes an excellent balance between comfort, livability, and ease of use. If you’re looking for a premium double-walled two-person tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is definitely the cream of the crop and a good benchmark on which to judge comparable backpacking tents.

Disclosure: MSR provided the author with a tent for this review.  

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32 comments

  1. Nice review. I can’t believe they shaved off 10 ounces. That’s huge. Might be worth upgrading just for that!

    • It makes the tent a lot more competitive again amongst lightweight 2 person, double wall tents and as an existing owner, you know what a luxurious tent it is! Upgrading might just make sense in this case.

  2. Being in the market for a solo backpacking option (still toiling with hammock or tent) I read this write-up with much interest.

    Phil, always appreciate the fact that you take the time to give a true measurement. As someone that’s 78″ tall, an 80″ long tent simply doesn’t work for me – so back to the drawing board. That ZPacks Duplex is looking better and better all the time, except for the $$.

  3. 20d fabrics, double-walled, roomy, freestanding, $480, 3lbs. This seems like an excellent tent.

  4. Does it come with a footprint? If not is one available?

  5. The floor fabric is quite a bit thinner.

    What is your experience?

    • It didn’t make any difference. You still have to pick a good campsite (not in a puddle), but if it’s a concern, use a footprint. Frankly, I never bother. I just avoid puddles and very abrasive surfaces like I would with any tent.

  6. Did you get any experience with this in high wind? This seems like the best competition to the slingfin portal, and the old Hubba Hubba was pretty storm worthy. I’m wondering if you think it can actually compare to the bombproof status of the portal?

    • I don’t think anything really compares to the portal in terms of windworthiness. It has internal and external guylines, while the hubba just has externals. All domes, which is how I’d classify the hubba hubba are generally quite wind-worthy if you stake out them out.

    • The best part of the HH in terms of windworthiness is the poles. They can be bent down to the ground w/o breaking, and they spring right back up. I would like to know more about the strength of the fabrics and where the 10 oz weight savings came from.

      • MSR sent me a link to an unlisted Youtube video which explains the savings, but I’ve since deleted it. There are a gazillion little design changes all around the tent from the pole hubs to the vent placements. They also swapped out heavier fabrics for lighter ones. This tent hadn’t been updated in years, so it was time for fabric refresh…there have been a lot of advances in textiles in the intervening years.

        As for a footprint-less pitch. The fly has metal connectors attached to the corners, indepdent of the ones connected to the inner tent, which makes it possible to pitch the fly without a footprint. Like in this photo. https://sectionhiker.com/wp-content/uploads/thumbskeep/2016/11/Fast-Fly-Mode-without-a-footprint.jpg

        Once the fly is up over the poles, it’s a simple matter to clip the inner tent into the pole structure. It’s not as convenient as a Hilleberg, but it doesn’t cost as much either.

  7. Nice designs BUT yet another tent that cannot be easily pitched or taken down in a rainstorm because the inner tent and the fly cannot be attached and THEN the poles inserted.

    Think about that before purchasing this tent.

    • Actually you can pitch the fly first and hang the inner tent under it. You have to be a bit of a contortionist, but it is possible. You could do it with the previous model too. You can also just pitch the fly and use it as a tarp shelter.

      • Actually, if you don’t have a footprint with holes to take the pole ends you have to be more than a contortionist to do a fly first pitch, you have to be a magician, and one who doesn’t care how wet he gets in doing the trick.

  8. Excellent review, and I am excited! We have had and loved our now 13 year old MSR Hubba Hubba as our ultimate couples tent that fits, yes, the larger rectangular exped synmats perfectly. That was our go-to set up for Alaska backpacking and kayak expedition camping for multi-week trips and short trips every year up until we decided it was finally time to retire last year. We did a ton of research, and our love of double-walled systems for moisture management led us to go with Tarptent Stratospire Li. Double walled, but not free-standing, we found this to work very well for ultralight purposes, but a challenge to nail the set up in some of the variety of conditions we regularly encounter. We have already been thinking if this trekking pole tent will work for this coming summer’s long trip – packrafting through islands in coastal SE Alaska. It will be WET and if there is one thing that the MSR Hubba Hubba always did, was perform in wet conditions. On a 3 week outer coast kayak expedition we did in 2009 we had 9 days straight of rain in comfort and style. With set up and take down every day with the Hubba Hubba, we were able to set up in any condition, on any surface, in any nook or cranny, beach, or forest, and have excellent comfort and protection from the weather. We are getting this new tent! Didn’t think another tent would be in the budget so soon, so we’ll see how practical that is for this summer – and our ability to get our hands on one, but it is on the gear wish list for sure! Love that the classic color scheme is back – not that it matters, but the yellow was the color of our old one. Just going to miss the full mesh interior of the old one. Though, I am sure that’s where some of the weight is saved.

  9. 1200mm pressure rating is really low. It only gets worse over time..

    • Perhaps. Pretty standard these days on mainstream tents (NEMO, Big Agnes, etc.) Just put a 2 oz piece of plastic underneath if you’re worried about leaks or abrasion. Buyers want lightweight and they’re willing to trade-off durability for it, especially since most people are only going to use them a few times a year, at most, anyway.

  10. Thanks for the review.
    Any word on when the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 will be available? I’ve had a HH for awhile, but was leaning towards something else as it is kinda falling apart, even after some light repairs.

    But, this new version sounds interesting!

  11. The “sideways” orientation of that vent on the rainfly door gives me pause . . . on the current version, the vent is “horizontal” (parallel to the ground), and when you prop it open, it forms a protective little “tent” over top of the opening, keeping all but the most wind-driven rain outside. It seems that the orientation of the rainfly door vent might allow falling rain to drip inside — ? On the other hand, it’s kind of cool to be able to open/close the vent from inside the tent.

  12. How many stakes are delievered? I have the (old) MSR Hubba NX (1-person-tent) with 9 = nine stakes.

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