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934 MSR's
Hubba Hubba

MSR Hubba Hubba tent pitched in the backyard

Last summer ('13) we decided that it was time to find a new tent. The Marmot tent we were using was just to heavy to use for anything but family camping. We have a Black Diamond (Bibler) I-Tent to use in the mountains and a Tarp Tent - Rainbow and Black Diamond - Mega Light for when we want to go lighter. The I-Tent is a great tent. It is small and heavy, but very sturdy. It will ride the storm out. The Tarp Tent is light but the single walled shelter has limited ventilation and really takes a beating in the wind. The Mega Light is also light, but with a single pole in the middle of the tent, it is very difficult for Amy and I to share a quilt. In the Mega Light one of us is fighting the pole while the other is fighting the often wet, side of the shelter. If we carried two bags, well that defeats the weight savings of using the Mega Light. Hmmm, so that search began. We were looking for a light but sturdy three season tent. In other words, a tent that was light and ventilated enough to use near our home in Tennessee and sturdy enough to use in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming during the summer.

So we searched REI's site (We had decided to buy the tent from REI to use the 20% discount and our yearly dividend to help ease the sticker shock!) and then the manufacturers' sites. We narrowed the field to the REI Quarter Dome, Big Agnes Fly Creek, Sierra Designs Flashlight, Mountain Hardware Skyledge, and MSR Hubba Hubba. All of these tents were good (and there were many others we missed), so really all we had to do was choose just one.

We first eliminated the tents that did not have two doors. In case of a bear attack, we both needed an escape route! Ha!

Next, we wanted the tent to be symmetric. In other words, we wanted to be able to put our heads at either end of the tent. The symmetry was important to us. Sadly, we are currently dogless, but that will soon change. Our dog sleeps at the foot of the tent, but if there is no room, he chooses a roomier spot. We needed to have room for the future dog so we didn't want a tapered floor or lowered ceiling.

Lastly we decided against tents that just didn't look strong enough for our purposes (ok, this was purely subjective, we did not test the tents.) We then were left with the Mountain Hardware Skyledge and the Hubba Hubba. The two tents were very similar.

After flip flopping back and forth a few times, we chose the Hubba Hubba. It was actually the MSR videos that finally swayed us to their side. If Mountain Hardware also had videoed, we might still be undecided.

So for a few Hubba Hubba notes ...

The tent met our criteria - it was reasonably light, had two doors, a symmetric design, and was sturdy.

Pitching the tent (even the first time) was very simple.

The poles and stake outs have matching colors to aid in setting the tent. If you happen to get it wrong, that's really ok. The tent and the fly are symmetric (end to end).

Stake pullouts aid in adjusting the tension of the tent.

The inside of the tent is simple. There is a large mesh pocket at either end of the tent.

To vent, the tent uses kick stands (a small stiffener to hold the flap open) to raise the flaps on the two ends and the fly doors offer many pitching and zipping options.

On of the best features is the rain gutter along the fly entrance. The gutter channels the water away from the opening. Duh!

The stuff sack makes for easy packing, but it does add 2.5 ounces over a lightweight siliconized nylon stuff sack. We will change sacks when backpacking.

We are not wild about the deep red color.

Weight on any tent can be a bit confusing. I can never figure out what the manufacturer weighed! For the Hubba Hubba the listed weights were: package weight (3 pound and 13 ounces) and trail weight (3 pound and 7 ounces). We had trouble getting the tent to the listed trail weight. We cut off the instructional tags, chose lighter stakes, eliminated the pole stuff sack, chose a lighter stake stuff sack, and chose a lighter tent stuff sack, but could only reduce the weight to 58 ounces (3 pound and 10 ounces) which was 3 ounces more than the published weight (55 oz). Hmmm.

The tent's name is Hubba Hubba! Well, that alone is just about reason enough to buy it.

The fly gutter on the Hubba Hubba

Gutter along the edge of the fly door opening

There are a lot of good tents on the market, we think the Hubba Hubba will be a good compromise that meets our needs. The Hubba Hubba is the only tent we are carrying to the mountains for the summer, so we will see how it fares!

Happy Hubba Hubba trails


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