Optimizing the Weight – MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Optimizations ahead

This is not a pure tent review, it is more about the process of the decisions i made which brought me to buy the MSR Hubba Hubba NX.

We are currently planning our late summer Trekking Trip on the Bohusleden in Sweden. And due to the result of my last trip to Romania I’m now focusing even more on the weight of all the stuff I need for the trip.

Additionally I want to take my DSLR (Nikon D5100) with two lenses (Tokina 11-16mm and Nikon 18-105mm) with me, so my camera alone weighs around 2 kilo. Not all the time in my backpack of course, but it’s a whole lot more to carry around. My good friend Volker gave up his DSLR and bought a MFT Cam. Not just because of the weight and the packing size, but these two points are some very good reasons to go for a mirrorless cam. But I love my D5100 and i want to take the task of carrying the heavy stuff around. So other ways to optimize my gear had to be found, without going all the way down the UtraLight Path.

Decisions Decisions

Apart from leaving some things behind that have just been too much on the Romania trip and having already bought a new Hardshell Jacket the Firefox ProSehll and a liter, but not the lightest, Fleece the Fjaellraeven Sten, I was now focusing on my Tent.

A really hard decision to make because I really love my Wechsel Intrepid 2 ZG. It has plenty of space to offer for two people and their gear, is easy enough to build up and it survives harsh weather conditions which I learned while camping near the peak of Negoiu in a rain/hail/ice storm.

But unfortunately it has two shortcomings for a 12 to 14 days Trekking trip where you want to be on your own and have to carry all your stuff, including the food. First there is of course the weight of over 3 kilo. Well this is still a pretty light tent of this type, but the space and comfort it provides can’t literally outweigh the problem of carrying too much ‘heavy luxury’. The second problem I found out is its size. Sometimes it is really hard to find a space where you can set up the Intrepid properly because it is huge in comparison to other trekking tents. No problem there on flat land but in the woods or in the mountains it can be quite difficult and time-consuming to find a good right spot.So I’ve searched for a nice and not to expensive – Hilleberg tents are a bit out of my league – alternative for my god ‘old’ Wechsel.

I initially loved the architecture of the Lavvus and of course I’ve stumbled upon the GoLite Shangria-La 2 and 3. Outstanding in case of the weight, offering enough space for 2 or 3 people and their gear and it seemed to be perfect. But I figured out that even the Shangri La might have some shortcomings. For several trips an additional mosquito net would be needed. There are several great Forum-Threads (Example) on building one on your own and of course you can also buy one. But several people were mentioning problems with the groundsheet and dirt/insects or even water getting in. Well I like being out in mother nature but I’m not the biggest fan of insects especially spiders. Call me a wuss but that’s the way it is. Yes i still kinda love a little bit of a comfort zone arround me at night or in bad weather.

As an alternative I found the Eureka (or Nigor if you like) WickiUp 3. Again a very light Lavvu but with a better groundsheet construction than the Shangria-La. It seemed to be the perfect tent but on the hand it was still pretty expensive with prices ranging from 465 € to 500 € and it was very hard to get.

So I read a bit further and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX came up. I’ve been stumbling over the Hubba Hubbas very often and they seemed to be really nice tents. But I was always wondering if two people could really fit in the tent with all their gear. Especially with their 65 or 70l trekking backpacks. Of course everybody was saying that it had enough space, but nearly 98% of the pictures I could find did not show backpacks in the tents apsides. Or if there was a picture with a backpack on it, it was just a 30 or 40l daypack and not a large one.

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Luckily OutdoorFair, a very good and nice shop here in Dortmund, had still one Hubba Hubba NX left and they offered to build it up in the store to get a better impression of the product.

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I went to the shop with my girlfriend and did as offered. It was very easy and also interesting to see the building-concept MSR has chosen for this tent series. We have watched some YouTube Reviews before but to see and build it up in Real-life was even better.

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And than the most important part: how much space does the Hubba Hubba offer?
On the inside the space is okay for two people. Not as luxurious as the Intrepid and I would guess that a Lavvu construction would also have to offer a bit more, but it surely is enough. And even in rainy weather two people can easily sit upright. My worries that a big trekking backpack might not fit under the apsides was also scattered. It is a two person tent, everyone has his own vestibule and entrance and enough space to store a larger backpack and dirty shoes. The space provided is just right. Not that vast but a perfect combination of form follows function. Or in my case enough room for minimum weight, comfort in harsh weather and protection from nasty little crawling visitors.

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Nevertheless the backpacks should be kept in their rain covers while under the vestibule because the flysheet does not touch the ground completely and some rain or dirt might get into the apsides if not placed properly. But of course the Hubba Hubba is no 4 Season or special winter tent. It is more a 3 season tent although if also found pictures from people using the predecessor of the NX in the Himalayas in the snow.

Prepared for the trip

I haven’t used the Hubba Hubba yet and just saw it in the store but I from what I’ve read and based on the impression I got from building up the tent in the store I’m pretty confident that it was the correct decision to choose the MSR Hubba Hubba NX as new 2-Person trekking tent and that we have a very nice shelter for the coming trip.

Hopefully we can really make the trip because we have very few weeks left in which the trip can be done and unfortunately we’re still not sure if we can really make it. Additionally I’m also a bit concerned about my knees which are still hurting a bit from time to time cause they are a bit sore. So i’m cooling them nearly every evening.

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4 Responses to Optimizing the Weight – MSR Hubba Hubba NX

  1. Daniel Kajiya 2016/11/28 at 5:09 pm

    Hi , i know this s a bit off topic, but i would like to ask you about your Wechsel Intrepid. this is not a very well known brand here in the USA and i couldnt find much about the tent in english. You seem to like the tent a lot, so could you comment a little bit about the quality of the materials used and also how the tent behave in hot weather, i am afraid it may get too hot inside during summer.

    thks a lot and best regards

    • Hi Daniel,

      as far as I know the Wechsel tents started as kind of Hilleberg replicas to offer a similar quality for a more favorable price. And that sums it up quite good I’d say. You get a really good value for your money and the service here in Germany is also pretty good. What is also special about the company is, that they worked together with the largest German speaking outdoor community to design a tent, specifically developing something according to the needs and wants of the members of the forum. This would be the Wechsel Forum 42.

      So the overall build quality is really good and might be slightly better compared to other tents in this price range.

      Regarding your question on hot weather I have to say that I’ve only used it once in conditions of > 25°C and it was on a festival. It was alright, but I’d say my MSR Hubba Hubba is a bit better because a large space of the roof is just mesh. On the other hand the Wechsel is a bit better in really rough weather conditions. But from what I’ve read in different forums I can say that several people said that the ventilation of the Intrepid is not as good as the one of the Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT (Intrepid being the replica of this tent).

      The only complaints I really have for my usecases are the size and the weight. If you are out in the woods or in the mountains it might be a bit harder to find a good spot to set up the Intrepid. But that’s due to the basic shape of all tunnel tents. Same goes for the weight. It is a light tent offering great comfort, but if you’re like me and want to carry all your gear and food for 2 weeks a tent of ~3kg is pretty heavy. And that’s why I’ve switched to the Hubba Hubba and I use the Wechsel for shorter trips with less gear to carry and more luxury.

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