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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent > Test Report by Kathleen Waters

MSR HUBBA TOUR 2 - 2 PERSON TENT
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - May 28, 2018
FIELD REPORT - August 04, 2018
LONG TERM REPORT - October 12, 2018

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 67
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 118 lb (53.50 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.msrgear.com
MSRP: US $649.00
Color: Red
Capacity: 2
Number of Poles 2 Aluminum 7000 Series
Number of Doors : 2
Freestanding Yes
IMAGE 2
Image Copyright MSR

Listed Specifications
Listed Fast & Light Weight w/ footprint: 4 lb 7 oz (2.03 kg)
Listed Minimum Weight: 4 lb 13 oz (2.03 kg)
Listed Packed Weight:5 lb 4 oz (2.38 kg)
Listed Floor Area: 32 sq. ft (2.97 sq.m)
Listed Vestibule Area: 25 sq. ft (2.32 sq.m)
Listed Interior Peak Height: 38 in (96 cm)
Listed Packed Size: 21 x 7 in (53 x 17 cm)
Measured Specifications
Measured Fast & Light Weight w/ footprint: 4 lb 7 oz (2.03 kg)
Measured Minimum Weight: 4 lb 13 oz (2.03 kg)
Measured Packed Weight:5 lb 8 oz (2.5 kg)
Measured Floor Area: 32 sq. ft (2.97 sq.m)
Measured Vestibule Area: 25 sq. ft (2.32 sq.m)
Measured Interior Peak HeightL 38 in (96cm)
Measured Packed Size: 19 x 6.5 in (48 x 16.5 cm)
Measured Packed Circumference: 23 in (58.4 cm)
Materials Used
Rainfly Fabric 20D ripstop nylon 1200mm Xtreme Shield
Canopy Fabric 20D ripstop nylon & DWR
Mesh Type 15D nylon micromesh
Floor Fabric 30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield
** "D" stands for Denier - a numbering system for fibers, filaments and yarns. The lower numbers are lighter/finer and the higher numbers heavier/coarser.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

First impression - Wow! This tent is light! Second impression - Wow! This tent is big!

Actually, that second impression didn't come for a bit, but it definitely is the second most-notable impression! But the tent with the vestibule IS big! While the tent itself will fit two sleeping bags comfortably, the vestibule will easily fit a third! Well, a short third sleeping bag anyway. There is a ton of room in that thing and about half of it has a floor attached. Lots of room for backpacks, boots, Fido or Fluffy.

The bright red stuff sack of the MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent will be a distinctive sight among all my drab, mostly green shelters. It certainly stands out on the gear closet shelf! And the tent inside has the same cheery red color floor and accents though the body of the tent is what I would call "clay"! The tent poles/stuff sack and the stakes and their stuff sack is also red. There will be no camouflaging these babies!
IMAGE 9
Eighteen Inches (46 cm) of Tent!
IMAGE 5
Tent Sack Opened!
IMAGE 10
What's Inside!

Rather than the usual stuff sack that opens from the top, this one opens with a drawcord length-wise for a nice wide opening. The drawcord tightens with a tug on the cord and a barrel-lock fastener and opens with a push of the barrel-top and a tug on the opening. Easy-Peasy!

Designed with the rainfly attached to the body of the tent, it appears to be very unique and interesting. I like the fact that the frame is an "exoskeleton" (outside the tent) one that fastens with clips mostly. The tent poles are the usual shock-corded folded type. Eight tent stakes complete the whole she-bang!

There are two very large entrances to the main tent with glow-in-the-dark two-way zippers and the vestibule on the one side also can be closed up with a two-way zipper. The main tent body doors are dual with two separate layers of material so that for fast and light backpacking the rainfly and vestibule can be detached from the inner tent and just the inner tent can be used, still sporting two access doors.

Ventilation is provided via two triangles of mesh at the tops of the doors and two very neatly designed pop-out vents on both ends of the tent.

And for the neat-freak in me, the gear organizational storage is a huge bonus! There are mesh pockets at both ends of the tent as well as one in the vestibule. I will be able to keep my stuff at least neat and at hand. I'm not saying anything about either of my usual tent-mates!

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Wow, when I downloaded the instructions for setting up the Hubba Tour 2, I was very surprised to see it was a single sheet and that wasn't tiny print crammed from top to bottom! Mostly, the paper was covered with graphics. There were four "boxes' with a picture and a whole TWO sentences of text in each. Wow! They make it sound and look so easy! We'll see. I also found that the same graphic instructions are printed on the inside cover flap of the tent stuff sack and on the tent poles stuff sack.

On the MSR website though I found lots of advice and information on care of the tent.

1.) Never pack or store the tent if it is wet, damp or dirty. Storing a wet tent for as little as 24 hours in warm weather can cause mildew to start forming on the fabric. Hang it outside or pile it loosely for a few days, turning it inside and out. Do NOT machine dry the tent.

2.) Cleaning the tent is not necessary unless it stinks or is heavily soiled. The pressure from a regular garden hose will remove most loose dirt. If that doesn't work, set up the tent and hand wash it with warm water, a sponge and mild, non-detergent soap - NOT use dishwashing liquid, detergent, bleach, pre-soaking solutions, or spot removers. After rinsing thoroughly, dry the tent by pitching it or line-drying it. Do NOT dry clean, machine- wash or machine-dry.

3.) To store the tent, keep it in a dry and cool area, out of direct sunlight. Do NOT store it in its stuff sack, but rather in a breathable, over-sized cotton or mesh duffel.

4.) Seam sealing is not necessary. If any problems develop over time, seam seal the specific area only, on the inner, shiny side of the area.

5.) To minimize condensation, the key is ventilation. Leave a door open in good weather, or use the double sliders on the doors to vent from the top. Leave at least two vents open if possible, to provide cross-flow ventilation. Also guying out the rainfly will also increase ventilation in hot or humid conditions.

6.) MSR recommends the use of an MSR footprint (sold separately).

TRYING IT OUT

Before I pack up a tent for the first time to take into the backcountry, I always like to set it up at home to see exactly what I am getting into.

I'm not a fan of surprises like finding out I'm missing a stake or not being able to figure out which pole goes where, especially at the end of the day/trail, in the dark or in the rain or wind!

Ever since the big brown truck dropped off the Hubba Tour 2 last week, I had been (im)patiently waiting for the weekend and some spare time to put the tent together.

Well, the weekend came and so did the high winds! With sustained winds of 5 mph (8 km) and gusts to 20 mph (32 km), there was no way I was going to do a first-time-ever set-up in our valley.

It's a good thing I have a large living room!

As I spread the tent out on the floor, I was reminded why I do a trial run on tent set-ups. I was also reminded why I married an engineer (among other reasons!).

I'm just hopeless when faced with hooks, fasteners, insert-the-thing-a-ma-bob-here sorts of things. Especially when it's done in pictures, like a child could do it! (They probably could!)

So, with a little - ok, a lot - guidance from the left-brain of our marriage, I was able to get the tent up.

All it took was unrolling the tent and then assuming the front of the tent had the MSR logo on it, I started to put the long sectioned poles together. These are the set that has two ends that each form a "Y".

The "Y" ends got inserted into metal tabs that also function as stake-out tabs.

Once that task was completed, I began to clip the top of the tent body to the long pole and with lots of effort; I inserted the short cross bar into the proper tabs at the top of the tent. Thankfully, there are cords to help pull-out these tabs so the cross bar can be attached properly.

Now all that was left was to put the vestibule pole together and thread it through the red sleeve at the front of the vestibule. Ta-da! I had shelter!
IMAGE 3
Frame Poles Go into Metal Tabs
IMAGE 4
Center Frame Hub
IMAGE 7
Side Vent Opened

However, one VERY important step needed to be taken as the very FIRST step though. The tent corners should have been staked out tightly. However, that didn't happen on my tile living room floor, obviously.

And lastly, the vestibule needs to be guyed out to be useable and not saggy, like mine was.
IMAGE 6
Guy It Out!
IMAGE 8
Or It Sags!

According to MSR - "Guying out your tent will provide more stability in windy or extreme conditions while also maximizing ventilation. To guy out your tent, run cord from the tent's guy point through the tensioner. Pass the cord around the stake and back through the tensioner, keeping the curved side of the tensioner toward the stake. Tie a knot at the end of the cord. To tighten cord, pull the tensioner up along the cord and release."

I'm not sure I understand what that all means, but I suppose I'll find out the first time I use the tent on the trail!

SUMMARY

I am impressed with the MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent so far. I love how lightweight it is and how neatly it packs up in its stuff sack.

The quality appears to be excellent which is what I've come to expect from MSR.

I have lots of big plans - starting this coming weekend - for the tent this summer and fall and can't wait to get out on the trails with this tent.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

It's been a ridiculously busy summer and while I've gotten out almost daily for a couple-hour day hike, my overnights have been limited severely to just two occasions. And neither involved any serious backpacking. In fact, both were less than a mile (1.6 km) hike in basecamps of two nights each.

The first trial was in the high-desert BLM (Bureau of Land Management) area near my home in Fremont County, Colorado. This was a real "trial" as I never like to test out new gear for the first time on a multi-day backcountry trip. I feel it's best to work out the kinks closer to home where I can beat a hasty retreat if need be!
Both nights were relatively warm, in the mid- 70s F (21 C) with little wind and no precipitation.

Terrain was a gentle slope with a gravelly ground slightly padded with weeds (or wild grasses as I optimistically call them).

My second foray was a base camp for a long-weekend of fishing in St. Vrain State Park near Firestone, Colorado.

It was warm during the daytime, but cooled off nicely to a low of 55 F (13 C) at night. While there was no precipitation, it was mildly windy, enough so that I woke up from the sound during the night.

Since we were in a real campground, the tent was placed on relatively flat ground with no rocks and actual almost lawn-like grass. Very comfy!

MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE TENT

1.) Setting the MSR Hubba Tour 2 tent up in the field was as easy as it was setting it up at home. Except for the first time my tent mate decided to "help" me and unclipped the rainfly, it was easy!

Once the tent is unfurled from its stuff sack, it was simply a matter of assembling the shock-corded tent poles, clipping the main "Y" ended poles to the tent body, inserting the ends of the poles where they belonged and then pushing the vestibule poles into the proper sleeve. Within minutes, all that remains to be done is staking out the guy lines.

When I used the tent in Firestone, CO, I was able to push in the stakes with my bare hands. In Fremont County BLM, that was not the case. The ground was rock-had and considerable force had to be employed to get the tent secured. But I did it!

Conversely, taking the tent down was super quick and I'm very happy with how the tent can be re-stuffed without a lot of stress.

2.) This is a tent that is truly loaded with useful and (some) unique features. For example, the vestibule is the most spacious vestibule I've ever seen and thanks to semi-annual treks to the Outdoor Retailer markets, I seen LOTS!
IMAGE 3
Massive Vestibule
IMAGE 4
All Set Up!

The vestibule has a partial ground cloth which I used to put our boots and backpack on. With an additional tarp for the uncovered area of the vestibule, another sleeping bag easily fits or two dogs can sleep comfortably as well! OK, well-mannered dogs can sleep there - one of our granddogs insists on sleeping on top of a sleeping pad and a down sleeping bag!

I also used the two well-placed loops in the vestibule to hang up jackets for ready access without having them balled up in the tent proper.

3.) Inside the tent, there is adequate room for two sleeping bags with still some room at the foot (or head) of the bags for limited items. My tent-mate and I each used one of the mesh storage pouches at the head and foot of the tent for glasses, phones, headlamps, and some other small items with room to spare.

Headroom is sufficient for two adults to be sitting up without touching the ceiling though the sides do slope so we needed to be in the middle of the tent to do so.

4.) I love the glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls. Makes it much easier for even the visually-impaired like me, to see where they are. The vestibule zipper is a "C" that opens wide to make entry to the tent rather easy and has a loop to hold it open when I wanted to "air" things out.

The dual main tent entry doors also are "C" shaped. The entry door from the vestibule is easy to use, but I think the other side is a bit more challenging. No worry - my tent, my choice of sides! Right?
IMAGE 1
"Other" Side Exit
IMAGE 2
Room for Two

PERFORMANCE

The MSR Hubba Tour 2 tent sheltered us wonderfully. It was sturdy in the wind, never really even budged. I did not experience any cold spots, even around the zippers. I slept like a baby without any elbows from my tent mate.

A very minor negative point - we did have condensation in the vestibule on the trip to St. Vrain. We were in an area of lots of water (for a change) and the humidity was a whopping 67% at night. With a temperature drop from day time 77 F (25 C) to night time low of 57 F (14 C) that is not unexpected.
Though I did get a light shower when I exited the tent that first morning, the vestibule dried out very quickly once I tied back the vestibule door flap.

SUMMARY

On my brief trips so far, I've been tremendously pleased with the MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent! It has been easy to put up, take down and pack away. There is more than enough room for two and that vestibule is just too wonderful for words!

I'm comfortable with the tent's utility and can't wait to get some real trail experience with it. As a matter of fact, I'm NOT waiting - headed out tonight for the Colorado Trail for a "girls' backpacking" trip with my daughter-in-law. We've been wanting to start "segment-backpacking" the trail for a while now. Segments 1 & 2, here we come! (Segment 3 & 4 are planned for September!)


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I used the Hubba Tour 2 Tent during these last couple of month on two separate trips for a total of five more days and also two overnights.

It's been a super, super hot summer! For the past several months, daytime temperatures have rarely been under 90 F (32 C) and more often than not, they have been over 95 F (35 C). Toasty! We have had very little rain, except, of course, the three days my daughter-in-law, Julia, and I were backpacking on the Colorado Trail! Then it drizzled a bit each afternoon and downright poured each night!

Examples:

#1. Colorado Trail, Segment 1 (Kassler to South Platte Canyon): 16.8 miles (27 km), elevation 5520 ft - 7280 ft (1682 m - 2219 m) for an approximate 2160 ft (658 m) elevation gain.

Temperatures were in the low 90s (32 to 34 C) during the daytime with intermittent light showers and blazing sunshine. By night fall, we had pretty steady rainfall until dawn.


#2. Trail to Nowhere in Fremont County BLM (not really a trail but a rambling bushwhack for some R&R after a stressful business trip!

Started out from our backyard with an elevation of slightly over 5400 ft (1650 m). Can't say what the ending elevation or net gain was since we neglected to bring our altimeter - dang!

Beautiful two days of relaxing in the sun (and some strenuously hiking!) with temperatures ranging from the high 80s F (31 C) to the low of 50 F (10 C).

#3. Newlin Creek Trail in eastern Fremont County: 5.9 miles (9.5 km) with 1450 ft (442 m) elevation gain from 6900 ft (2103 m) to 8350 ft (2545 m)

We just hiked in to the pretty meadow at the end of the trail for a quick overnight in 76 F (24.4 C) starting temperature with a next-morning-low of 42 F (5.6 C). It was warm and sunny with little to no wind.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Some notes from one of my outings with the MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent:

On our "girls only" hike of segment 1 of the Colorado Trail, we decided that rather than split up the tent components to divvy up the weight, I would carry the Hubba Tour 2 and daughter-in-law Julia would carry our Helinox table and the Primus PrimeTech Stove. It was almost an equal distribution of weight. I think though my portion was a tab heavier, I got the better end of the deal as the Hubba packs up smaller volume-wise than the table and stove. I had no trouble stuffing the whole kit-and-caboodle into my 55 L backpack along with the rest of my usual gear.

Once at our first overnight goal, we found that despite the designation of "campsite", the surroundings left a lot to be desired. The below picture shows exactly how slanted the ground was. The ground also was rather rocky and hard and while we did manage to get the stakes into the ground, I did also manage to bend one.
IMAGE 1
Colorado Trail Segment 1, Mile 5

Since it was clearly going to rain shortly, we made do and were able to set the Hubba up together in less than 8 minutes, including staking out the guy lines. With the slope of the mountainside, we had to be careful getting into the tent without sliding several feet into the brush. Thankfully, the large vestibule and doors made that less of a hassle than it could have been.

It started to pour just as we finished eating a quick dinner and hanging our bear bag. As we laid in the Hubba, we could hear and see the rain on the tent ceiling which never leaked even a tiny bit. The only wetness we experienced was in one corner of the tent where Julia's head was against the tent wall sometime during the night.

Poor Julia! Despite the roominess of the Hubba, the slope of the ground had us - well, me - sliding downward and squishing Julia into the downside tent wall.

The next morning, thanks to the dry Colorado climate, the tent was totally dried out by the time we had breakfast and had to break camp. Totally dismantling and packing up the tent took barely 6 minutes (yes, I timed it!).

Incidentally, not that this situation would ever, most likely, be duplicated - the Hubba Tour 2 tent did not suffer any damage from the night-time visit from a brown bear who rubbed up against it while foraging for raspberries right next to the tent while we held our breaths inside! No berry stains, either!

At mile 11-ish (18-ish km) on the Colorado Trail, we set-up another campsite, this time in a perfectly beautiful, wide-open, level, soft-ground campsite. I actually did the entire set-up of the Hubba Tour by myself while Julia made dinner. Again, rain was on the way and we needed to get under shelter as quickly as possible. I was pleased to see that I could erect the tent solo though it took me a bit longer to do so.
IMAGE 2
Colorado Trail Segment 1, Mile 11

Since it was rather early in the evening, once we were fed, we sat comfortably in the tent and played games until we were sleepy enough to douse the lantern and bed down for the night.

That night, despite the rain, (or maybe because of the rain), we slept wonderfully! The Hubba is so roomy that we didn't disturb each other at all. And yet, again, there were no dampness or condensation issuers.

Because of the partial ground floor in the vestibule, all our gear/packs, etc. remained dry. Gotta love that MSR Hubba Tour 2 vestibule!

I also need to mention, there was quite a bit of wind - whipping wildly wind - that night and the Hubba held firm and secure!

Once home from this particular adventure, I set-up the tent in our courtyard to dry out thoroughly. It didn't take very long and after an additional few minutes of brushing off all the surface dirt on the tent floor underside, the Hubba tent was ready to be hung up in my gear closet until our next outing.

STARRING ATTRACTIONS

1.) The size of the vestibule is outstanding!
2.) The ease of set-up is outstanding!
3.) The size of the tent itself is outstandin!
4.) EVERYTHING is OUTSTANDING!

MINOR DISTRACTION

1.) My usage in my "backyard" terrain is limited due to the need to use stakes.

SUMMARY

We had our first real snowfall on Halloween, so I'm guessing that winter is on the way. Since the MSR Hubba Tour 2 Tent is a 3-season tent, I'm (literally) hanging it up for the time being. Though I genuinely love winter, still I'll be looking forward to all my adventures with this tent next spring.

Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and MSR for the opportunity to try out the Hubba Tour 2 Tent!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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