Pro Review – MSR Hubba NX

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Dave from Climbing Gear Reviews UK looks at the redesigned ultralight solo tent from MSR.

Expertly engineered for 3-season camping, the lightweight, compact tent wonít slow you down, whether youíre striking out early to earn solo views along a popular route, or finding your stride on a 10-day trek into the Alaskan wilderness.

Overall rating: ★★★★

I owned an MSR Carbon Reflex 1 before I got the new MSR Hubba NX and loved it. When I took groups and clients on my Lakeland Mountain Challenge they used to call it my Spaceship tent. I loved the space, the lightness and the ease in which it went up.

I believe the MSR Hubba NX is another step up in the evolution of this genre of the Hubba range of tents. The Hubba NX is a single hooped design as many lightweight tents are. The main loop is longitudinal which, I believe offers more internal space than a latitudinal hoop design. I can sit up quite comfortably in the Hubba NX and feel I have a lot of internal room and one of the main differences is that the tent is freestanding and way more stable in windy conditions thanks to the unified hub and pole design.

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The MSR Hubba NX retains the classic shape but has some great improvements

The basic shape of the MSR Hubba NX remains similar to the MSR Carbon Reflex but I felt the tent pitched better and easier with the Y shaped pole hub. The tent is pitched inner first so expect to get the inner wet in rainy conditions unless you are super speedy. But the inner is very roomy and has partially solid walls to half height, this is another improvement on the Carbon Reflex as it offers a little extra warmth. You do, however, pay for that in weight but I feel an extra 138g is worth the extra stability and warmth Ė I can lose that by taking less clean clothing! This does make the inner freestanding which means I can move the tent around to find the most comfortable position for it and it is plenty big enough for my 1.75m, in fact it feels one of the roomiest solo tents Iíve owned and there is plenty of room for me and my kit.

The integrated pole system works well and was easy to deploy. A quick snap together and the pole system was up and ready to use, a nice feature that has been well thought out. The central cross bar on my Carbon Reflex was always really difficult to get in the tape holes and desperate to release with cold hands. The Hubba NX seems mercifully straightforward Ė enough tension to keep the roof inner spacious but easy enough to take out when packing up. The poles are DAC Featherlite NSL weighing in at 340g, DAC have also really made environmental strides in using Green Anodising technology and cleaning up the chemical process.

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The integrated pole system meant it was a breeze to pitch

The inner fabrics are made up from a combination of 15D Micromesh, 20D Ripstop Nylon and the Groundsheet 30D Riptop Nylon with a Durashield PU coating. Even though the bathtub/groundsheet fabric feel a little thin Iíve had no major issues with water seeping up through the ground sheet other than the typical dampness you always get with camping. Thereís an integrated storage pouch and if you are staying somewhere a little more long term you can buy a gear loft. The inner also has a more windproof half liner, this makes it much warmer than the fully meshed inner of my Carbon Reflex.

Everything about the MSR Hubba NX is about keeping it light, the zip pulls, tension straps, cord locks and guy lines and the excellent Groudhog tent pegs and the oversized storage bag is great, no faffing putting the tent away in damp and windy conditions.

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The oversized bag was great for just chucking the tent in

And talking of windy the MSR Hubba NX is what I would consider a tent suitable for fair to blustery conditions. It isnít going to withstand the full force of the UK mountains in storm conditions so I wouldnít advise pitching on a summit in the autumn but for most short term trips in reasonable weather (when letís face it weíre more likely to be out) the tent is great; donít get me wrong it shed rain very well and stands up to windy conditions.

The tent can also be pitched fly only (with a groundprint bought separately) and inner only for star gazing on those warm balmy nights (!!!) so the weight can be kept to the bare minimum.

In conclusion, the MSR Hubba NX isnít the lightest 3 season solo tent out there as even in the MSR range as you can still buy the Carbon Reflex 2. But the improvements are excellent and the living space is what makes it worth a closer look. The range comes in two colour options – Green (as tested) and Silver/Grey.

PROS

  • Easy to pitch and pack down
  • Great living space
  • Great oversized stow bag
  • Nice and light
  • Good venting

CONS

  • Pitches inner first
  • Not suitable for really adverse conditions
  • Could do with Dyneema guy lines

Climbing Gear Reviews are an independent reviewer of climbing, skiing and mountaineering equipment. Fronted by Kevin Avery, a trainee IFMGA mountain guide and former Gear Editor at UKClimbing.com, alongside Yorkshire based MIA Dave Sarkar, they provide completely honest and 100% impartial reviews. Click here to see their page.

Product Video:

MSR Hubba NX Features:

  • Ultralight livability for one
  • Two Fast & Light set up options
  • Large StayDry door with rain gutter
  • Large entry vestibule
  • Compression stuff sack
  • Rain fly 20D ripstop Nylon
  • Inner – Micromesh 15 D Nylon & 20D Nylon
  • Floor – 30D Nylon ripstop Durashield – 3,000mm HH
  • DAC Featherlite poles
  • Ground Hog tent pegs

Full MSR Hubba NX description here.

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