MSR Hubba NX review

MSR Hubba NX Review – One-person Tent

Kit Review

Number of nights used121 (almost consecutively) and counting
WhereScotland and North East England
WhenMay to September 2017
Weather Mixture of rain, strong winds, sun
SizeOne person but it also comes in a two-man version (MSR Hubba Hubba)


Watch my MSR Hubba NX review video, filmed after 5 months using it in Britain.

MSR Hubba NX Review – Overview

I’ll be perfectly honest, the MSR Hubba NX wasn’t what I wanted in a tent. It’s inner-pitch first, not the most convenient in Scotland when it’s raining heavily; it’s three-season, not four, and the hydrostatic head (how you measure waterproofing) is low. Yet the tent I originally wanted to use was so cramped and bad with condensation that my sleeping bag was dripping every morning. So after reviewing my options and doing copious amounts of tent research, I bought the MSR Hubba NX. And guess what? I think it’s incredible!

MSR Hubba NX review
I’ve been using my MSR Hubba NX one-man tent continuously now for more than 121 days camping in Scotland and NE England and I’m exceptionally pleased with its performance. Although that has been in ‘summer’ months, the weather in Shetland, the Highlands and Outer Hebrides has been rather autumnal for a good amount of that time. With torrential rain, 50 mph winds, sun as well as calm nights, I’ve had varied elements to test the MSR Hubba NX out in.

MSR Hubba NX Review – Performs in British Weather

The one-person tent is a sturdy little thing. It’s had powerful gusts of wind thrown across it all night; 16 hours of solid Scottish rain in one sitting; been attacked by midges and has had its fair share of rainy nights, and it’s still standing in one piece.

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Pros and cons of the one-person tent MSR Hubba NX

ProsCons
Lightweight (1.24 kg when dry) Inner-pitch first
Sturdy – has been perfectly fine in 50 mph winds3-season (mesh inner)
Has held up in Scottish rainOnly 1,200mm / 3,000mm hydrostatic head – fly / groundsheet
Strong poles and pegsCondensation can (and does) drip down from the inner ceiling as well as cling on to the side of the groudsheet, though normally only on still nights
Decent room inside, both in width and height
Good-sized porch
Midge-proof (providing you close the inner door properly)

MSR Hubba NX review

MSR Hubba NX Review – Condensation

There have been mornings, like today, when I have woken up to touch the topside of my sleeping bag to find it damp. Caused by condensation on non-windy nights dripping down from the inner ceiling, there’s not much you can do, other than open your main porch door to let a slight breeze in. Not wriggling too much also helps, as it’s when you touch the damp sides of the groundsheet with your sleeping bag it gets you, too. Would I let this stop me buying it? No. That’s probably happened 35 times out of 121 nights so not too bad.

MSR Hubba NX Review – Pitching Time

I pitch the MSR Hubba NX in about 10 minutes (the five-minute sales pitch time is fanciful for one person to accomplish). As it’s inner-pitch first, there’s always the risk of being caught out by a torrential downpour. Thankfully, it hasn’t been that heavy too many times but I have had to dry out the inside with my sarong (it still remains a bit damp so I just pop my roll mat on it). The inner mesh isn’t coated with a DWR treatment (which would make the condensation worse) so in times of harsh Scottish rain while pitching, it will get into the inside of the tent until you put the flysheet over. Apparently if you buy the footprint, too, you can somehow use this to pitch outer first with a bit of faffing.

MSR Hubba NX Review – Space

There’s plenty of room inside. I’m 5 foot 6 inches (167cm) and can sit on my 6cm thick sleeping mat and still have head space. There’s room down both sides of my puffy 4-season sleeping bag to put kit, as well as at the head end, too. The porch stores my backpack where there is also space to cook on dismal days. MSR have just released the brand new MSR Freelite 1 Ultralight Backpacking tent for 2017 which shaves 200g off the MSR Hubba NX, weighing just 1kg but compromises on living space.

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MSR Hubba NX Review – Alterations

The far side of the flysheet was, in my view, too close to the inner, touching when there were strong gusts of wind. Cue a wet tent. So I added a piece of elastic cord to the original loop so I can peg it further out. I also have no idea why it comes with 9 pegs and not 10 as you need 10 pegs in total! Best to buy a couple of spares.

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MSR Hubba NX Review – Conclusion

It’s really sturdy and streamlined and I’ve been really happy with its performance so far. Although built for an American climate, it has served me well in the Scottish summer. I wouldn’t be foolhardy enough to use it beyond September in the UK as the mesh inner would be too cold for me. The fact it is green is a major bonus in England and Wales. It’s all about stealth camping here, wild camping being legal only in Scotland. (Just remember to totally clean up and leave no trace of your camp.)

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The big question is would I buy it again? Yes, I would. I love it! And for the winter months of my 2,500-mile hike through Britain I’m using the MSR Access 1 tent. Review to comw in January 2018 (subscribe to my blog and/or YouTube channel so you don’t miss it).

This review is not affiliated with MSR, I paid for the tent myself at Cotswold Outdoor.

MSR Hubba NX Specs

Fly sheet weighs 392g
Inner weighs 372g
Poles weigh 360g
Pegs and accessories weigh 112g
Total weight 1.23kg
Capacity: 1
Number of pegs: 9 MSR Needle
Floor area: 18 sq. ft / 1.67 sq. m
Vestibule area: 9 sq. ft / 0.84 sq. m
Number of poles: 1 DAC Featherlite NFL
Interior peak height: 36 in / 91cm
Packed size: 46 x 15 cm
Rainfly fabric: 20D ripstop nylon 1200mm Durashield™ polyurethane & silicone
Canopy fabric: 20D ripstop nylon
Mesh type: 15D nylon micromesh
Floor fabric: 30D ripstop nylon 3000mm DuraShield polyurethane & DWR

Jane Batchelor is currently hiking 2,500 miles through British history, camping as she goes, with the occasional stay in a hostel or locals’ houses. For more photos, follow her Facebook and Instagram pages. To find out more about her journey, click here.

7 comments

  • Wonderful review! It’s a tent I’ve been considering purchasing but have wondered how it would stand up to often less than brilliant Scottish 3 seasons. I think you might have convinced me.

    I noticed you have 4 guy lines set up on the corners. Have you added these attachment points or were they there already? It’s the one thing that’s been holding me back from buying.

    • The four guylines are on it already, I just added the loop on the ‘backside’ of the tent. It is a great little tent, I’d recommend getting one. 🙂

  • Ive had my Hubba HP 1p for several years one of the first which is the predecessor i believe to the Nx (there is the Access but that is 4 season) Really surprised to hear youve encountered condensation. Ive never had this. Its a great 3 season tent.

  • Good to read the Hubba is standing up to high usage. I have the HubbaHubba purely to balance the weight with huge inside space compared to many of its competitors. Heard a few rumblings that they were poor in high wind but your review shows that’s not the case.
    If you love the NX, get the HP version for the autumn/winter. It has a fly that drops lower to the ground and the inner has much less mesh. Could also get the footprint if you’re likely to pitch on rougher ground.
    Happy travels Jane!

    • With my tent being so little in height, it is streamlined. I just lay there all night, huge eyes watching the sides! Thankfully it hasn’t been in those winds many times, but it did well when it was. Will check out the HP version. Thanks, Simon!

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