While the MSR Hubba Hubba is on the cusp of the 3 lb ultralight range, it is ultralight for the amount of 4-season weather-proofing it provides. It is one of the lightest options that offer this amount of reliable durability and weather protection. It's the bunker of ultralight tents.
MSR Hubba Hubba 2
✅ Weather performance
✅ Ample storage pockets and vestibules
✅ Roomy interior
❌ Poles cause splinters
- Capacity: 2 Person
- Packed Weight: 3 pounds 4 ounces
- Minimum Trail Weight: 2 pounds 14 ounces
- Height: 40 inches
- Floor: 84 x 50 inches (29 square feet)
- Type: Double wall (tent and rainfly)
- Floor, Wall, and Rainfly Material: 20D RipStop Nylon with waterproof Coatings
- Seams: Taped seams, no waterproofing required
- Guylines & Stakes included: 4 Guylines | 8 Stakes
- Number of stakes required: 4 for tent, 2 or more for rainfly
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is a solid option for a backpacking tent that seeks to balance durability and solid construction with light weight.
Unfortunately, the carbon fiber poles are giving people splinters, not something you want to be worrying about at the end of a long day on the trail. MSR promises to replace these poles for anyone experiencing this problem.
Ultralighters should go for this if they're needing 4-season weather protection and don't want to buy a new tent every season. Also not for someone who minds waiting for a new set of poles to arrive in the mail.
To see reviews on other ultralight tents, check out our Best Ultralight Tents post.
Performance Test Results
What We Tested:
This tent is on the heavier end among backpacking tents at 3 lbs 4 oz trail weight for the 2-person which we reviewed here and 2 lbs 14 oz for the 1-person style. The Hubba Hubba is a bombproof shelter for 3-season backpacking, so considering the tent's extra durability and sturdiness, you might not mind carrying the extra weight.
This is a good option if you want a tent that will last you longer and perform well in bad weather instead of being the lightest weight. To save weight you can leave the rain fly at home if you know the weather will be clear.
At 3 lbs 4 oz for the two people, this is one of the heaviest options I've tested, not exactly making the ultralight 3 lbs or under the rule of thumb for a two-person tent.
For reference, other ultralight free/semi-free standing 2P tents I tested ranged from 1 lb 15 oz to 2 lb 15 oz, and the non-freestanding 2 Person tents ranged between 13.9 oz to 2 lb 13 oz.
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2's packed weight and minimum trail weight are 3 pounds and 4 ounces and 2 pounds 14 ounces, respectively.
The MSR Hubba Hubba ranges from $410 to $480 for the one and two-person tents, respectively, putting it squarely in the middle of the pack for the ultralight tent price range. The tent has plenty of features that make the price worth it, including two-door entry, plenty of in-tent storage flaps, rainfly, and sturdy tent stakes.
As you shop around make sure to read the fine print of what is included, many other tents out there appear cheap at first until you add all the options that are already included with most tents. The Hubba Hubba doesn’t come with a standard tent footprint, I would recommend making one cheaply from painter's plastic or Tyvek anyway.
Two-person free-standing tents we tested ranged from $379 to $600 and the two-person non-freestanding tents ranged vastly from $279 to $825. Based on what you get with the Hubba Hubba, it is good value for your money.
You can get the MSR Hubba Hubba for $479.95.
Packed down, this tent is about average. It comes to 4.5x4.5x19 inches in the carrying bag. It also comes with 3 storage sacks: one for the tent and fly, one for the poles, and one for the stakes.
The stuff sack is intentionally big to allow the tent and rain fly to stuff easily into it and it can easily squish down smaller when inside a backpack. The poles, stakes, and guylines can all fit into the poles bag. The pole bag can then also fit into the main tent stuff bag or even better given to your hiking buddy to share the load.
The tent’s packability can be improved if you want by leaving out the rainfly if there is no chance of rain. You could easily get away with only 4 stakes, using rocks to guy out the rainfly if needed. Make sure to set the tent up in advance at least once so you can attach the four included guy lines where desired and perhaps leave some at home as a spare.
The pole bag has a minor design flaw, a little gap at the end, out of which the stakes can accidentally fall, even when cinched down. Because of this hole, I wouldn’t leave the stakes bag at home, the loose stakes in the poles bag would easily fall out and get lost.
Compared with other free-standing 2-person tents this tent is slightly below average in packed size give or take a few inches.
Personally, I would suggest packing this tent with all the sacks and guylines. On a longer trip, you will likely be happy you did when the weather takes a turn. Put the tent and fly in the main bag, and everything else in the poles bag then split the weight among the group.
Ease of Set Up: 8/10
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is quite easy to set up alone for the most part. The one thing I had trouble with was attaching the crossbar pole, it’s a bit of a stretch to reach over the tent and get it attached, even at 6’2”. There is a bit of a trick to attaching one side, and walking around the connect the other without it falling, but is doable.
The tent is symmetrical so there is no top or bottom, making the setup simple. Getting the plastic pole connectors to rest in the right place along the poles takes a little detaching and reattaching. The rainfly is easy to set up and tension, with simple metal grommets that get placed over the pole and ends but the crossbar pole takes a little pulling and bending to get attached.
The tent comes with 8 stakes which are plenty in my mind. There is a max of 12 points I count that you can attach a guyline to. Compared to other 2-person free-standing tents this tent is a bit easier to set up I think given the symmetrical design.
Ease of Entry & Exit: 9/10
With a door on each side that has two zippers getting in and out of the MSR Hubba Hubba is super simple. I’m a fan of this two-zipper design because I’ve had trouble with tents in the past that feature one arcing zipper getting stuck or not wanting to zip closed from too much tension at various angles.
The doors and rain fly each feature an easily attachable and detachable fastener to keep them open and out of your way. The door openings could be a little bit larger in my opinion but don’t hinder a large person getting in and out.
The tent has a good design with nothing in your way when getting in and out, unlike some non-freestanding tents that can often have a pole right in your way.
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2's entry and exit points are doors on each side that have two zippers.
Headspace for the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is good when lying down, but when sitting up it’s just a little bit short. I’m 6’2 which converts to 74 inches, so the 84 inches on the long end of the tent is plenty, with even spare room for gear at the foot of the tent.
In a seated position I’m about 40” tall, and the interior of the tent is also 40” tall, so I find my head brushing the top of the tent when I sit up straight even without a camping pad.
It’s not that big of a deal, especially if you’re shorter than me. If you are taller though there are a few tents available that have 42” inches or more of seated headspace.
Because of the symmetrical design of this tent, as opposed to tapered narrower at the feet, there is ample footspace in this tent. I use a rectangular sleeping pad, not a tapered one, which often doesn’t fit side by side with another camp pad, but not in this tent. The design of this tent makes for 50 inches wide foot space, most other tents of a similar capacity only have 42 inches, and some as little as 38 inches.
Finally, a tent that feels roomy and not cramped in the foot area. Some of the other tents available have a couple of extra inches on the long side which increases their foot space. The Hubba Hubba is 84” long, which is on the shorter end with some of the competition being 86” and even 88” long.
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2 doesn’t skimp on amenities, with two amply-sized vestibules. There is plenty of space in both vestibules for each hiker's backpack and other gear to have a safe space, protected from the rain. There is plenty of room to set up a burner to heat up water for meals.
I’ll usually set my backpack up so it leans out on the vestibule giving a little more space inside. There is even an add-on vestibule available for purchase which will essentially double the size of your tent.
Other Features: 8/10
The Hubba Hubba features four inner pockets to help you keep your gear organized. Two with deeper pockets at the head and foot and one small one above each door. I’m always amazed at how much stuff I need to store even when trying to keep my weight to a minimum and this tent handles my gear and my hiking partners with ease.
The tent features vents built into the rainfly. The rainfly zipper has two zips, one is at the top so you can prop it open with a little velcro brace. This is a good way to keep condensation down when it’s not raining. However, if it is raining you won’t be able to keep the vent open because of its orientation somewhat defeating the purpose of a vent.
The tent floor and rainfly walls are a good balance between lightweight and durability using 20D ripstop nylon and waterproof coatings. They upgraded to taped seams so you no longer need to use seam sealer when you get your tent.
- Floor material: 20D RipStop Nylon with 1200mm Polyurethane & DWR coating
- Wall material: 20D RipStop Nylon with DWR coating
- Rainfly material: 20D RipStop Nylon with 1200mm Polyurethane & silicone coating
The hardwear is durable metal pieces that will stand the test of time compared to some tents with cheap plastic connectors. The guylines are made with high-visibility reflective material so you don’t trip over them at night.
The tent stakes are a pretty solid piece of aluminum which appear more resilient than most. The tent does still need a footprint, but I suggest a DIY painter's tarp or Tyvek.
Syclone poles of the MSR Hubba Hubba 2
The Hubba Hubba has one glaring flaw in materials that I would have to point out. The poles are made from a carbon fiber material called Syclone which has been giving people splinters from handling. A common complaint from reading reviews of this tent I was interested to see if I would have the same problem. I ran my hands carelessly over the poles for science, and I did come away with a splinter, and my hiking partner came away with two so it is definitely a major problem.
MSR says they will replace the poles for anyone having this problem, so if you don’t mind waiting for new poles then be my guest. It’s an unfortunate problem since otherwise, the materials they used for this tent are quality.
Durability & Weather Resistance: 9/10
Compared to other Ultralight tents the Hubba Hubba is a bunker with solid construction and plenty of guy lines point to withstand wind, rain, and moderate snow.
The metal connector points between the tent and poles will last longer than plastic will, especially if bouncing around in the wind. The design of the rainfly fits snugly to the tent body and can vent excess moisture on wet days. In case of a draft coming in from the vestibules, you can cinch down the vestibule guyline to bring it closer to the ground, blocking the wind.
Compared with other similar tents on the market, the Hubba Hubba will keep you, your partner, and your packs, dry and comfortable.
The folks at MSR were clearly trying to find the balance between durability and lightweight with this tent and they found it. Using quality lightweight materials, solid metal connector points. and beefy tent stakes, if you take care of this tent it will take care of you for years to come. Make sure to use a ground tarp to protect the bottom of the tent and air it out after a damp camping trip to maximize its life.
What's included in the package on purchase:
The MSR Hubba Hubba package includes the tent body, rainfly, poles, stakes, guy lines, stuff sack, and setup instructions.
Additionally, you can purchase an MSR “universal” footprint to go with the tent, but make sure to reference their sizing chart as there are different sizes of universal footprint.
For the Hubba Hubba 2-person, the “universal 2-person regular” is the suggested footprint size. The Hubba Hubba also has a “gear shed” attachment available for $180 which gives you 26.5 sq feet of extra storage for keeping bags dry or offering a place to cook in inclement weather.