MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
(Photo/David Young)

Review: MSR Somehow Makes Its Iconic Hubba Hubba Tent Better

A tent so nice they named it twice. You see it on thru-hikes everywhere — the Mountain Safety Research (MSR) Hubba Hubba is a staple for backpackers looking to shed weight and go light.

MSR has managed to one-up itself with the new and improved ultralight Hubba Hubba tent series for 2022.

MSR knows what ultralight backpackers care about: ounces. And with the new Hubba Hubba, they shaved nearly 14 ounces off of the tent, while still making it a livable space to relax in on the trail.

In addition to the weight reduction and updated features, for 2022, MSR consolidated the previous Hubba, Hubba Hubba, and Mutha Hubba models into one line called simply the Hubba Hubba. This tent will appeal to hardcore backpackers who are venturing far into the backcountry for extended periods of time and care about having a super lightweight tent.

For 2022, the Hubba Hubba tent is available as a one-person, two-person, and three-person and includes some key improvements. While always a favorite among backpackers, the new upgrades shave off weight and offer more durability, which is a win-win in our book.

To see how the new features work in the wild, I took the new tent out into the Flattop Wilderness Area, a remote part of the Colorado Rockies, for a trip to test it out.

In short: The new 2022 Mountain Safety Research, MSR, Hubba Hubba is a fantastic lightweight option for backpackers looking to go the distance in the backcountry. With added amenities and technology updates, MSR is built upon the legacy of a stalwart tent.

MSR Hubba Hubba
(Photo/David Young)

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent Review

Specs

Minimum Weight:

  • Hubba Hubba 1 – 2 lbs. 2 oz. (5 oz. reduction from previous model)
  • Hubba Hubba 2 – 2 lbs. 14 oz. (10 oz. reduction from previous model)
  • Hubba Hubba 3 – 3 lbs. 7 oz. (14 oz. reduction from previous model)

Floor and Vestibule:

  • Hubba Hubba 1 – 18 x 7.5 sq. ft.
  • Hubba Hubba 2 – 29 x 15 sq. ft.
  • Hubba Hubba 3 – 39.5 x 15 sq. ft.

Interior Peak Height:

  • Hubba Hubba 1 – 37 in.
  • Hubba Hubba 2 – 40 in.
  • Hubba Hubba 3 – 46 in.

Packed Size:

  • Hubba Hubba 1 – 19 x 4 in.
  • Hubba Hubba 2 – 19 x 4.5 in.
  • Hubba Hubba 3 – 20 x 5 in.

New Tech for a New Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba - Poles
(Photo/David Young)

The three-season Hubba Hubba tents were created with durable mesh and fabric materials that are paper-thin but will protect you from the elements. The Syclone poles look almost like paper straws and are equally light, but they are very flexible and strong.

Some new features included on the Hubba Hubba mirror those that are also on the new 2022 Freelite version. These updates include easy-open, no-curve door zippers, cable ports in all storage pockets for electronics, and rain gutters on the fly to guide condensation away from the tent when opening the doors.

The new Hubba Hubba tents are all fully seam-taped (both in North America and globally for you international shoppers).

MSR Hubba Hubba - tent door
(Photo/David Young)

As a fun test, I was able to unzip the rainfly, unzip the tent door, roll the two up, and secure both open with the loop clasp using just one hand. Not that you would need to do this necessarily, but it’s nice to know that you can.

Another addition is the new cable ports, which offer the ability to slip a charging cord through the corner of the pocket. It’s nice to have a way to charge and store electronics, but this might be a feature some seldom use.

Tent Testing in the Flattop Wilderness

First Look MSR Hubba Hubba Tent - in the wilderness
(Photo/David Young)

I tested the Hubba Hubba, which weighs a mere 2 pounds 14 ounces — that’s 10 ounces lighter than the previous model. For long days on the trail, this lighter model will really pay dividends.

This is a freestanding two-door tent. Pitching the tent for the first time is easy enough, but the rainfly can be a little challenging to align if you are on your own. Having someone to assist you in assembling the two-person tent makes it easier.

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent - inside the tent
(Photo/David Young)

The tent has a durable floor material made of 20D ripstop nylon and 1,200mm Durashield polyurethane, as well as DWR. Its symmetrical rectangular shape provides plenty of space for full-size sleeping pads.

I found it airy and spacious. My pads overlapped a little bit, but they are on the larger side. Standard backpacking pads will fit just fine in this space.

At 6’2″, I was able to fully lie down and sit up in the new Hubba Hubba, which is rare for a lightweight backpacking tent. This makes for a comfortable space that isn’t too tight on the trail. If I were to get stuck in this tent due to weather or illness, I’d have plenty of room to play cards, read, and relax.

The living space on such a lightweight tent is a real standout and is one of the biggest perks next to the lightweight design. The two-person interior height is 40 inches, and the floor and vestibule are 29 by 15 square feet.

This means two hikers can both comfortably reside in this tent with their gear such as clothing, lanterns, and electronics. Packs can fit in the vestibule area.

MRS Hubba Hubba Tent - DuraShield
(Photo/David Young)

The North American models of the Hubba Hubba include DuraShield coating and seam tape for extra durability. The tent is paper-thin and lightweight as backpacking tents tend to be.

The ventilation is ample even when the rainfly is on. There can be some vibration and flapping on the rainfly in the wind. And if you use this tent in the winter, make sure your sleeping bag is warm when it’s cold out.

The fly, canopy, and floor all feature 20D Ripstop materials. I pitched the tent without a footprint on this trip and it held up just fine.

MSR Hubba Hubba: Conclusion

Launched in 2002, this is MSR’s bestselling tent for a reason. It manages to combine everything you want into one compact package. It’s lightweight, durable, and spacious when set up. And it’s compact and easy to carry when in the stuff-sack.

For the summer backpacking season, the Hubba Hubba will do the job. From thru-hikers living on the trail for an extended period of time to the long-distance backpacker, this tent is a great fit. For the casual weekend warrior or someone who is not going the distance on the trail, the Hubba Hubba is likely overkill.

The price tag is one of the few drawbacks to this tent, starting around $400 for the one-person tent and going up to $579 for the three-person version. However, considering how lightweight it is, the price is on par with similar ultralight tents.

Check Price at REI

David Young
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David Young is a freelance writer based in Fort Collins, Colorado. He specializes in outdoor writing and has a degree in journalism and English. He has more than two decades of experience writing for daily newspapers and working in public relations. David enjoys all that Colorado has to offer from mountain biking and fly fishing to backcountry skiing and backpacking.