Expert Review: MSR Hubba NX 2 Tent V8 in Red, Nylon
This review is my honest opinion of the tent which I purchased with my own money in 2014.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tent which I purchased with my own money in 2014.
I love this tent! The MSR Hubba NX 2 is a great blend of lightweight and durability for a 3-season backpacking tent. Without the rainfly, mesh panels allow for stargazing and plenty of airflow but when needed, the rainfly provides maximum protection from the elements.
About the gear
- Product Model: 2014 MSR Hubba NX 2 Tent V8 in Red, Nylon
- Size : 2
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 135lbs
- Experience: 8 years backpacking, been hiking and camping for my entire life
- When I bought the tent: 2014
- Days tested: 30+
- Number of occupants: 2
- Pack: 2015 Osprey Ariel 65
- Sleeping pad: Exped Synmat 7 Air Pad
- Sleeping bag: Rab Ascent 500 Down Sleeping Bag, 2014
- Used for: Backpacking and car/tent camping
- Where I’ve used it: Kootenay National Park, Canada / Strathcona Provincial Park, Canada / Washington State / Canadian Rocky Mountains
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Summer, Fall
How it performs
What I was looking for
The primary factors on my mind when tent shopping were weight, durability, and packability for backpacking trips. The MSR Hubba NX meets all of those criteria for me! It’s packed weight is just 3lbs 14oz (the current updated model is even lighter!) and it can easily be split between two people to split the load.
Why I chose this gear
I knew that I wanted a tent that would be with me for years to come so I was willing to invest in a well-made tent. MSR is well known and respected in the industry for their quality gear so that, combined with the lightweight design and “spacious” interior, cinched the deal.
What I love about it
- Ease of setup: This tent can easily be set up by just one person in a few minutes. I’ve set it up solo plenty of times with no trouble at all! When you get another person to help, it’s even quicker. The color coded 2-pole tent design makes pitching straightforward and quick. The one downside to setting it up is attaching the rainfly can be a bit tricky, first try. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy but initially I do remember it being slightly confusing.
- Breakdown speed: This is pretty much the same as setting up the tent, just reverse it! Simple enough to do alone when needed; the most time consuming part is rolling the tent back up and packing it away into the tent bag. Nice and easy and doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
- Weight: With a packed weight of 3lbs 14oz, I find this to be a nice lightweight 2 person tent. There are some even lighter weight options available for ultralight adventures but I’m very content with the performance and weight of the MSR Hubba NX 2. On fairweather trips there’s also a Fast & Light® setup option to save weight; this setup uses just the rainfly, poles and footprint (footprint sold separately) to reduce the weight down to 2lbs 2oz.
- Performance in rain : Living on the west coast, I’d say the majority of my trips end up involving at least some rain. This tent has never let me down and consistently keeps me and me gear dry inside! From light drizzles to downpour rain with thunder and lighting, the full coverage rainfly does its job very well.
- Performance in heat: On clear and warm nights, I remove the rainfly for increased ventilation. The mesh panels allow for plenty of airflow.
- Performance when camping with a partner or group : All backpacking tents are a bit of a tight squeeze but I find this tent to be very comfortable for 2 people. The two side vestibules offer a good amount of space to keep gear and shoes dry and 2 large doors means that each person can enter on their own side of the tent (no scrambling overtop of your fellow camper and their gear). The interior offers enough space for two people to comfortably sleep side by side and with the steep side walls, I can also easily sit up inside the tent which makes it a nice space to play cards or read when waiting out the rain.
- Special features: Pockets on the interior of the tent are great for stashing a headlamp, toothbrush and other small items I like to keep close at hand. There is also an MSR Gear Shed that is sold separately and converts the tent into a basecamp with extended vestibule storage.
- Durability: While not the most durable tent ever (is any backpacking tent?), I consider this tent to be quite durable considering how lightweight it is. I am careful with my gear and I always use the footprint with this tent for added protection but I’ve never had any issues with it, either! It does not come with a repair kit but it does come with 3-year warranty.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Other: The footprint is not included with this tent and has to be purchased separately.
Favorite moment with this gear
This tent has accompanied me on some incredible backpacking and camping trips. One memory that stands out was when I was camping in the Canadian Rockies at the end of the summer a few years ago. After a long day of hiking a storm rolled in and the rain started up – we crawled into the safety of the tent while torrential rain, thunder, lightning and wind kicked up around us. It was a wet and stormy night but in the morning we were still completely dry inside! Packing up a wet tent might not be my favorite but it’s a heck of a lot better than having to deal with a wet down sleeping bag.
Value for the money vs. other options
You pay for lightweight and you pay for durability - this tent is definitely an investment but well worth it in my books. If you’re looking for a high-performance backpacking tent that will be with you for years to come, the MSR Hubba NX 2 is a solid option. I can’t say enough good things about it and I know many people with tents from the MSR Hubba line who agree.
For anyone willing to invest in a high quality backpacking tent, I can’t recommend the MSR Hubba NX 2 enough. As far as backpacking tents go, this one offers a good amount of livable interior space with a generous amount of headroom for a cozy and comfortable interior. It is a reliable 3-season option that is at home on the trail or in the campground and the newly released updated version of this tent only improves the features and performance. I do suggest purchasing the footprint for ultimate durability.