Equipment Review: MSR Hubba Series Tents

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.

This post originally appeared on Josh Holbrook’s Field Ventures

author-photoJoshua David Holbrook is an ecologist and field herper who enjoys learning of the world’s wonders through reading, time in the field and time with friends and family – occasionally all at once. He has authored a number of studies appearing in academic journals as well as A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Florida. He currently attends Florida Atlantic University as a graduate student and works on the Everglades Invasive Reptile and Amphibian Monitoring Program (EIRAMP.) He can be contacted at [email protected]

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