Now that summer’s here (well, it was when I started writing this) it seems like a good time to run through our range of tents. We stock a range of hiking and backpacking tents from MSR so if you’re looking for something to carry with you through a variety of different trips we’ve probably got the ideal tent.
Although the Access has been designed as a ski touring tent it also makes a great lightweight mountain tent which sits nicely between being a heavyweight mountaineering tent and a lightweight backpacking tent – ideal for year round use in the UK’s mountainous regions as well as in Europe.
Admittedly the shape looks a little strange, the reason for this is that it has been specifically designed to have an interior which ”is spacious for delayering”, in other words to make it easier to dress and undress – not a bad idea if it’s hammering with rain or freezing cold outside and you really want to stay in the tent. The shape is also strong and has been designed to withstand mountain weather. It also has less mesh on the inner when compared to our backpacking tents making it warmer.
If you’re after a tent for year round hiking or backpacking in places where the weather is a bit wilder, or you plan on camping in more exposed areas then the Access is an ideal choice as it provides more protection and stability than a lighter tent such as the Hubba Hubba but without the weight of a full mountaineering tent.
The Access is available in 2 (1.86kg) or 3 (2.26kg) man versions.
The Hubba Tour is essentially a Hubba (or Hubba Hubba) with the additional gear shed built in. It’s been designed and marketed as a cycle touring tent – and it’s definitely ideal for this sort of use – lightweight and with plenty of space. It also makes a great tent for any trip where you’ve got a bit more kit such as a canoeing/kayaking expedition or a climbing trip or even a long weekend away at a campsite where you want a few more home comforts without the hassle of taking a massive heavy tent.
The Hubba Tour is different from the other MSR Tents we stock because it has an exo-skeleton frame, this has the advantage that the inner can remain attached to the flysheet so everything stays dry if you have to put it up in the rain. Access is really easy with the Hubba Tour as it has a door directly into the sleeping compartment and one end as well as a door separating the sleeping area from the storage area at the other – no need to climb over all your gear even if the storage area is full!
Obviously the Hubba Tour isn’t as light as the Hubba or the access, but it’s a great choice if you can afford to carry a few extra grams in exchange for a good size storage area.
The Hubba Tour is available in 1 man (2.03kg) and 2 man (2.47kg) sizes.
Hubba Hubba NX
The Hubba Hubba NX has won numerous awards as a 3 season backpacking tent and it’s easy to see why. It’s lightweight and provides an excellent amount of space – both inside and outside the inner giving room for storage and an excellent living space. Weighing just 1.72 kg and packing down to 46 x 15cm it’s really is the perfect hike/trek/backpacking tent.
A great feature is its symmetrical design – it has a door and storage area under the fly on both sides giving 2 people their own separate storage area and the ability to get in and out of the tent without having to climb over the person. It’s also easy to put up as although it has 2 poles they are what MSR call a ‘unified hub system’. This means that at each end there is a hub which joins the ends of 3 poles whilst the cross pole on the top is permanently attached with a rotating plastic connector, so in reality you only have to worry about 1 pole.
The Hubba Hubba NX also comes in a 1 man version – the Hubba NX. This has the same geometry but only features a single door. Fully packed the Hubba NX weight just 1.29kg – ideal for solo hiking and backpacking.
The Elixir 2 is pretty similar to the Hubba Hubba in that it is a well thought out backpacking tent. Where the Elixir differs is on price – the Elixir is £150 cheaper than the Hubba Hubba NX. Obviously the Elixir tents are not quite in the same league as the Hubbas in terms of maximising space and weight but they remain an excellent backpacking tent ideal for those who perhaps don’t want to spend quite so much.
In terms of size and available space the Elixir is pretty much the same as the Hubba and the 2 man version features the double doors found on the Hubba. It is heavier (2.64kg vs 1.72kg) and has a different geometry as it features 2 full length poles rather than the hub system from the Hubba Hubba.
The Elixir tents are an ideal choice for those wanting a performance 2/3 season hike/backpacking tent but can’t justify the price tag on the Hubba range.
The Elixir is available in a 2 man (1.64kg) and 3 man (3.1kg) version and also with a green or white flysheet.