Author Topic: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent  (Read 955 times)

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
« on: December 02, 2016, 10:29:56 am »
The head said get a Hilleberg, but the wallet said otherwise. I was even baulking at the price of the MSR Hubba Hubba, which was about half the price of similar size Hillebergs. The last dome tent that I had was a Vango many years ago, but I wanted to buy something that I could "absolutely" rely on and with Vango I just wasn't sure. Many touring cyclists recommend the Hubba Hubba, so I didn't think that I could go far wrong. This model, which is in green and greeny brown, has now been superseded by the Hubba Hubba NX, which is red and grey and stands out too much for my needs

I spent a lot of time trying to get the tent at a decent price, and ended up going to www.alloutdoor.co.uk. The price then was about £350 and about £35 for the footprint. There was a bit of hassle getting it to Shetland. A dispute over the weight of of the tent being over the Post Office limit for a certain cost. It wasn't. It got here in a reasonable time in good order. As part of the purchase you earn some points, which discount further purchases until the points are used. This came in useful as I got a discount on an MSR cooking pot.

Although this is a two-person tent, my plan was to use it as a one person tent with plenty of space to bring the four cycle panniers inside out of the weather.

The tent weighs about 2kg so was at the upper limit of what I wanted to carry on my bike. It is really designed as a backpacking tent so wouldn't be too heavy if split between 2 people, and not totally outrageous for one either if you wanted a bit of comfort. There are two side entrances so you can get in and out without having to climb over your camping partner. If your camping partner is particularly tasty then just claim that the zip on your side is broken and find plenty of excuses for getting in and out. I had no problems with the zips.

The tent consists of inner, outer, poles, pegs and guys. The pegs are very small, and although I carried them, I also took Alpkit aluminium Y pegs, which I managed to destroy two of trying to get them into hard ground, so ended up in a camping shop buying some of the bent nail type. I didn't attach the guys as the wind was never that high as to need them.

The pole is one item with many sections, two Y connectors and rubbery adaptor for a cross-piece. As one who has a habit of leaving stuff behind, including my Tilley hat with £20 in the secret pocket, this system makes it foolproof for me. The footprint is an extra, which I think that everyone should buy, but afterwards you might feel as though you have been raped, so costly is the item. I certainly feel dirty every time that I use it.

The tent goes up inner first, which is a brilliant opportunity to get a puddle in the tent if it is raining whilst you faff about with the poles and the outer. In reality it's a case of peg out the footprint using the cords at the four corners, where there are also tabs with eyelets in them. Tension the cords. Using the same 4 pegs peg out the cords of the inner, which also have tabs with eyelets. Tension the cords. Get the pole section out and join up the sections, poke one end through one of the eyelets, poke the next nearest end through the next nearest eyelet. Wander down to the other end of the tent and bending the pole system upwards put the other two ends into the far end eyelets. Then align the cross-poles at 90 degrees to the main pole and poke them into the centre eyelets. Using the clips, clip the inner to the poles.

At this stage, if you were in a hot climate and weren't expecting rain you could use this to keep the bugs off you. In fact touring cyclists will often set this up in a hotel room in mozzie zones to have a relatively bite-free night, but they probably don't drive the tent pegs into the floor! The tent is self-supporting.

Throw the outer over the top, lining up the door zips, put the cross-poles into their eyelets then clip the corner eyelets over the pole ends and tension. Pull the door sections out and peg out. If you're a slacker like me this whole procedure takes 10 minutes. The rain motivates me to do it quicker. If it has been raining remember to mop out any puddles of water before you start rolling out your mat and sleeping bag.

A single vertical zip on both sides of the tent gets you through the outer to the curved zip, again on both sides, to get you into the inner of the tent. There are toggles and loops to hook back the sides of the tent inners and outers. Inside the tent there is a mesh pocket running from side to side at each end of the tent. This was useful for holding small items such as keys, wallet, coins and headtorch, but couldn't hold anything heavy or large as it would drag on the tent fabric. Inside the roof of the inner is a triangular mesh piece of material which is clipped to the roof and would be a good place to put your paperback book.

Extra ventilation is taken care of by slits in the outer of the tent. Closer inspections shows these to have a stiff piece of fabric sewn in by it's end with a piece of velcro on the other end. Pulling the outer apart either side of the slit means that you can put the velcro end across the open slit onto a corresponding piece of velcro on the other side to let the airflow in. There is a ventilation slit at either end of the tent.

I have spent just over a week living in the tent of which it rained throughout the night on four nights, two of which were very heavy rain. Other than the initial mopping of water out of the tent after having to put the inner up in the wet, the tent kept me completely dry. Only on one occasion did the inner and outer touch in the rain, but that was due to my poor erection skills. Tightening of the outer soon sorted the problem out.

It's difficult to say if this tent is any better the the Vango dome tent that I bought many years ago, at probably 30% of the cost. The MSR does have 2 doors whereas the Vango only had 1, but the Vango went up outer first, which I think is better. Do I regret not buying a Hilleberg? Not really. The cost was the real killer, but as all Hilleberg owners will tell you, the quality and longevity make it worth it. I would be worried about leaving something that valuable at a campsite. Perhaps in years to come I will regret not buying the Hilleberg, but at the moment I just don't camp often enough to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 01:01:53 pm »
My last Vango went for just over 15 years before it lost it's proofing and to refurbish cost more than a new tent, so shopping I went. My oldest daughter has a Vango which is very good value. The quality is more than you need. Really.

I bought a Eureka Spitfire Solo (1man) which is on par with the Vango products although falls down slightly on the 'no-see-um' mesh. It's light and easy to pitch in the dark. Ideal for my touring needs.

The kids and I also share two new OEX tents from GoOutdoors. (2 man & 3 man) Very impressed. I also got them on a half priced deal last winter. Exceptional value. The 3 of us toured with the 3 man in the summer. Heavy, but it splits into 2 dry bags and has a covered, communal space when it rained. Recommended. 

Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 01:04:44 pm »
To add: I toured early last year with a friend who had a MSR Hubba Hubba. Lost her poles in transit. NO spares available in the U.K. at the time so she ended up buying a tent. Google still shows iffy availability in the U.K.

Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 02:02:40 pm »
I've had a Hubba Hubba HP for several years,  it's an excellent & very comfortable tent. 
Not fast & rarely furious

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