Looking to get a cozy tent for two to share with your significant other, or let’s face it, your dog? Maybe you’re just a spacious sleeper? Whatever floats your boat, keep reading to find out if the Hubba Hubba MSR will work for you.
The quick and dirty:
The Brand: MSR stands for Mountain Safety Research. The company began creating outdoor gear with a focus on safety and innovation in 1969. According to their site, A single engineer and a team of mountaineers began testing products for safety and eventually creating gear themselves. Present day, and the roles have reversed. Now, we’re the ones reviewing their Hubba Hubba tent.
Specs: The Hubba Hubba is a freestanding tent. That means it can stand by itself without needing stakes. It’s dome shaped and has decent headroom for such a lightweight, two-person tent. It was comfortable for a a 5’8” 125 pound woman and a 6’2” 175 pound man. Inside the tent is roughly 30 square feet of living/sleeping space.
Campsite tested: I’ve taken the Hubba Hubba MSR out with me in rain and shine, cold and hot. It’s been campsite tested in the Olympic National Forest, Deception Pass and Kalalau Beach.
Let’s start with the good: It’s extremely easy to set up, although I can’t lie; my partner and I had did have some trouble figuring out which way the fly went (we’ll chalk that up to user error). One of the features I really appreciate is that it has zippered entrances on both sides. If your tent-mate needs to get out and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, there’s no climbing over and waking your partner. Things can warm up fast with two people in a small tent, but the Hubba Hubba MSR has plenty of zippers to air out and cool off. It’s sturdy and weather resistant. The fly is white which didn’t bother me, but I’ve heard some complain that it doesn’t block out the sun or moonlight.
As far as drive-in camping goes, the MSR Hubba Hubba will work just fine, but there are some things to consider to decide if it will work for you. When it says two person tent, it means it. There’s very little room to store extra items and you definitely can’t stand up inside. If you’re fine with keeping your extra stuff in the car, then all’s well that ends well.
If you’re looking to fit a two person air mattress in the tent, it won’t happen.
A twin will fit but you’ll have to do some internet searching to find one with the right dimensions. My partner and I used this one. Be aware, you’ll need electricity to pump it up, but it does have a pump installed in it. It worked well, but if you appreciate room when you’re sleeping, you might want to ditch the air mattress and go for individual sleeping mats. My partner and I also tried that out. There was definitely more room and it was easier to stack the two to make a little more floor room if necessary. Once it was time to hit the road and say goodbye to our patch of ground, this tent deconstructed in a breeze.
It’s easy to fit back into its original packaging. I usually bring two rubber bands to twist around the ends to make sure everything stays put and pieces aren’t lost on the way home.
I am a huge fan of the MSR for backpack camping. My partner and I took the tent with us on the Kalalau trail on Kauai. The tent is 4 lbs 8 oz. It’s a little heavier than other brands, but it didn’t weigh me down. We only camped for a single night so our packs were pretty light to begin with. The tent is extremely easy to set up and doesn’t take much extra energy for weary hikers. The tent has enough room inside for two people and sleeping mats. Fitting in large backpacks or extra equipment is a tight fit. The tent compactly rolls back up for when it’s time to hit the trail again.
Here’s my take: I would recommend the Hubba Hubba to anyone who’s looking for a durable, easy to set up tent. Ideally this person would be looking for a decently light-weight system and will be OK with sharing a small space.
Let’s talk money: The Hubba Hubba MSR has the potential to put a dent in your wallet. It’s going price on MSR’s website is $399.95. As far as two-person tents go, this is midrange. Tents can be as expensive as $700, or more, and as cheap as $95.