Equipment Review: MSR Hubba Series Tents

21 Jan

Everyone who’s ever herped or chased other critters far away from home knows the feeling: You’ve been hiking or driving most of the night, the clock meanders to around 1, 2 or 3 am. You’re bleary eyed and considering a Chinese fire drill to keep yourself awake. More importantly, you want to wake up with the sun tomorrow to continue the hunt. So, you resign to the unfortunate fact: It’s time to get some sleep.

Everybody else pulls up to camp and begins to set up there tents: they’re all just as tired as you and fumbling to put their poles together and thread them through the right paths without breaking anything. They work at it for 5 or 10 minutes (or 15 if they’re setting one up solo.) One of your friends turns to help you with your tent.

Except you’re already sound asleep.

Why? You packed a Hubba Hubba, of course.


Now, I’m giving this shout out and review to the MSR Hubba line of tents (The Hubba, Hubba Hubba and Mutha Hubba,) not because they’re particularly new or anything, but they continue to be the quickest easiest setup with superior elements protection, and just an all-around sweet tent.

Firstly, and most importantly, these tents are excellent for herpers due to ease and speed of set up. The two poles are permanently connected, so no guess work figuring out which goes where – they’re connected by a rubber hub (hence the ‘Hubba’ title). The individual segments of the pole are magnetized and so slip into place with ease. The four pole ends then go into the four corners of the tent, and the rest of the tent is attached to the frame, looking something like this:

Time to get to this stage? Under two minutes. From there, it’s just a matter of throwing on the rain fly and staking her down. The two vestibules on all the models make for a nice bit of room for those who like to store gear and whatnot therein. Personally, I can’t bring myself to leave anything but my boots in the vestibule, so I bring all my gear inside and find the 2-person Hubba Hubba perfect, and used it heavily during a two week camping trip salamandering and herping in Northeastern Alabama. I’ve also used it frequently since then, and when my wife and two dogs decide to tag along I upgrade to the 3-person Mutha Hubba.

As far as comfort and elements protection, the Hubbas are known for their strength and can stand up to a good wind and keep you nice and dry in a real soaker – the full coverage of the rain fly assures that. Although they wont keep you safe in Alaska in the winter or anything, I find the Hubba series to be pretty good about retaining heat with the rain fly on – Though, I live in Florida so take that with a grain of salt.

In addition to the ease of set-up, I find one of the biggest inhibitors to camping for me is the dread of take-down and clean up. Typically, any tent must be set up again at home to clean out and let dry. Not so with the Hubbas – their light weight makes it simple to hoist over your head and shake vigorously with the doors open before breaking down, ridding the tent of dirt and dust.

Cons: The price is a little prohibitive on these guys – a quick ebay or Google search will reveal how much or little – but the bottom line is; if you’ve got the money, a Hubba series tent is worth it in the end.


Posted by on 21/01/2012 in Equipment Reviews


6 responses to “Equipment Review: MSR Hubba Series Tents

  1. shawn hart

    21/01/2012 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the info. By the way, great night shot!

  2. Josh

    22/01/2012 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks Shawn. Are you guys going to be able to make it to our next herp society meeting? Doug Mader is speaking.

  3. philip w sanford

    23/08/2012 at 5:04 am

    My Hubba Hubba leaked water all over me as I laid in my tent shivering and wet. According to MSR that is because they made a lot of tents with faulty fabric. The rain fly is initially waterproof, but then deteriorates to the point that it is like cheese cloth. Use it at the right time of year and hypothermia is a real possibility. But MSR doesn’t get that. They told me they have never and will never do a recall or even a notice about this problem. If you got one that will deteriorate then you will find out one rainy night, and that is the only way you get to know. They apparently to not want to publicly admit the failure or incur the expense of warning their customers. Its not a safety issue, its a money issue for them. They have known about this problem for years, and they admit that. They also admit that they will make this no more public than it already is. Do not trust this company or their products with your safety or comfort.

  4. Josh

    12/09/2012 at 2:39 am


    I’m sorry to hear that about your Hubba Hubba. I’ll keep your comment up here so that people can see your experience on the matter, but I can only comment on my experience: both the Hubba Hubba and the Mutha Hubba have been good to me, and I haven’t had any leakage issues yet. Nevertheless, I appreciate the forewarning.


  5. Emily

    03/09/2013 at 3:26 pm

    I loved my Hubba, until this past weekend. It has become a cheesecloth; I can see tiny little holes and everything was soaked.

  6. Margie

    09/09/2013 at 9:21 pm

    Unlikely BUT if you purchased your tent in Canada at MEC you can take it back – the fly issue is known and they will take the tent back without question.
    I have one tent (mutha) bought in a year where the fly was affected – refunded by MEC, and another bought earlier at MEC (hubba hubba), which I still use and love and think it’s the best tent ever.


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