Forced to spend outside time inside? The MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent Review is an adventure touring tent for those bad weather days.
New for 2018, MSR built the Hubba Tour 2 to take bike touring, mountaineering, and general adventure camping. Specifically, it’s for when bad weather forces you to spend multiple days inside your tent. I tested the tent with a companion in high winds on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and during a rainstorm while on a climbing trip in Smith Rock, Ore.
Designed for two people, the MSR Hubba Tour 2 has a durable, waterproof “Xtreme Shield” coating. It sets up easily while maintaining a dry interior and is über spacious.
In short: The MSR’s Hubba Tour 2 tent is one of the most spacious tents I’ve ever tested for its weight. And it makes foul-weather setup a breeze. It serves as the perfect solution for adventure tourers and mountaineers seeking a comfortable place to hang out, change clothes, or store gear.
MSR’s tent answers the needs of adventurers looking for cover for foul-weather days and is light enough to carry into the backcountry.
Its enclosed vestibule serves as a convenient transition zone between interior and exterior. And altogether, the tent weighs 4 pounds 13 ounces. It provides a 32-square-foot floor area and has a 25-square-foot vestibule. Plus, the tent can be stripped down to a “fast and light” weight of 4 pounds 7 ounces – including the footprint.
At these weights, the Hubba Tour 2 is far from ultralight. But as an all-around tent, it offers the durability many desire for car camping at a weight that easily transitions into a backpack.
Xtreme Shield: MSR Hubba Tour 2
The Hubba Tour 2 combines an “Xtreme Shield” rainfly and DWR-treated canopy, both made of 20-denier ripstop nylon.
To understand what Xreme Shield means, I took a tour of the MSR factory.
It turns out MSR did away with taped seams on the rainfly and reverted to woven hydrophobic fabric. This solved the issue of fabric becoming “sticky” and degrading after long-term storage.
MSR claims its proprietary fabric is an upgrade against its previous iterations, holding its own against high-end competitors in the brand’s tests. In my testing, it provided adequate protection from the elements.
Stay Dry While Pitching
I also found the $650 Hubba Tour 2 is ideal to set up in rain or snow. The design keeps the interior dry during pitching. With all the doors zipped shut, the tent body is enough to keep out water even in a rainstorm while clipping exterior poles. Then add the rainfly for complete coverage.
Its exoskeleton frame and unified rainfly/body easily set up with one sturdy aluminum 7000 series pole. While remaining in one piece, it breaks out into a double-V shape, forming two triangular anchors on either side of the main tent body. A top cross-pole stabilizes the door opposite the vestibule.
The vestibule itself sets up with a separate aluminum pole. Slide it through to make a large hoop shape. Then, stake it out to stand it up.
Although I’m typically fond of freestanding tents due to frequent visits to challenging alpine locations, the need to stake out the vestibule didn’t bother me in this case. Anchoring it with a large rock will do just fine in environments where staking is impossible.
Handling High Winds: Hubba Tour 2
I received this tent just in time for a camping trip to Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, notorious for its unexpected weather conditions and exceedingly high wind gusts.
A particularly powerful windstorm challenged us during one setup. But once staked (with sand stakes, purchased separately) and guyed out, the tent held its own – albeit with a little sag where the wind barraged the vestibule side.
The wind maintained its strength through the entire weekend, but I never had to redo a single stake or guyline. The tent proved to be an exceptionally comfortable place to hang out and escape the elements. And the partial floor feature of the vestibule was perfect during a two-person card game when we were hesitant to lay the cards down on the sand.
The only negative I found was the vestibule being compressed downward during the high wind. MSR could improve the tent by adding another guyline or two to strengthen the vestibule rigging.
When the wind finally ceased on the last day, we were concerned about the inability to remove the built-in rainfly during warm conditions. But opening all three doors and the two vents made for a comfortable napping area with a nice breeze, even when the temperature reached nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rain Review and Impressions: Hubba Tour 2 Tent
On a climbing trip to Smith Rock, Ore., the tent served as the perfect companion. We had lovely conditions the first day. But rain on the second relegated us to the tent. During the deluge, we found the vestibule to be a comfortable hangout area that kept our gear dry at the same time.
After spending most of the day inside the tent during rain, I was impressed to find very little condensation. Opening the doors and vents kept the interior very dry, even with two adults breathing inside on a cool day in the rain.
Interior glow-in-the-dark zippers proved extremely helpful when searching for the door during midnight pee runs. Multiple gear storage pockets, and two easy-access entrances, kept me from climbing over my partner in the middle of the night.
After two big trips across two months of testing, my climbing partner and I decided the tent was a favorite for expeditions in inclement weather. The ability to hunker down and escape the weather in comfort truly enhances the outdoor experience.
If you’re looking for a touring tent with gear storage space that’s light enough for the backcountry, this one’s worth considering. And despite its hefty $650 price tag, the Hubba Tour 2 is worth the investment. If treated well, it should provide many years of comfortable respite.