Dave looks at the redesigned ultralight solo tent from MSR
Expertly engineered for 3-season camping, the lightweight, compact tent won’t slow you down, whether you’re striking out early to earn solo views along a popular route, or finding your stride on a 10-day trek into the Alaskan wilderness.
I owned an MSRCarbon 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 longtitudinal 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.
The basic shape of the MSR Hubba NX remains similar to the 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 – 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 I’ve 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 poloe 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 – 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.
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 I’ve had no major issues with water seeping up through the ground sheet other than the typical dampness you always get with camping. There’s 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 tentpegs and the oversized storage bag is great, no faffing putting the tent away in damp and windy conditions.
And talking of windy the MSR Hubba NX is what I would consider a tent suitable for fair to blustery conditions. It isn’t going to withstand the full force of the UK mountains in storm conditions so I wouldn’t advise pitching on a summit in the autumn but for most short term trips in reasonable weather (when let’s face it we’re more likely to be out) the tent is great and don’t 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.
So in conclusion the MSR Hubba NX isn’t the lightest 3 season solo tent out there as or 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.
- Easy to pitch and pack down.
- Great living space.
- Great oversized stow bag.
- Nice and light.
- Good venting
- Pitches inner first.
- Not suitable for really adverse conditions.
- Could do with Dyneema guy lines.
Why not receive our latest reviews and gear news via your inbox by following our blog: perfect for all gear freaks! Just sign up via the home page link in the sidebar. We never keep an email list (too much hassle – we’re out climbing) and we would never, ever pass your email address on to someone else (no, no, no that would be very unethical).
Please do help spread the word and share our articles with friends and enthusiasts, don’t forget to Like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed for up to date news on gear and all things climbing.