Tag Archives: 3 person tent

MSR Mutha Hubba Tent

A general tip is that a 2 person tent is really for 2 people who are very comfortable with each other. It is a cozy fit and if you want your gear inside of the tent, it kind of counts as an extra person. We came home from our cycling trip to find that our 2 person MSR Hubba Hubba tent had been recalled (fabric too flammable – read more on the government website here) and decided that we wanted to move up in the world. Well, moving to the 3 person tent was like upgrading to a palace – so much more room! Here’s our review and final verdict of the MSR Mutha Hubba Tent:

Quick Description: 

Weight – only 2kg
Floor area – 3.8 sq. m plus 1.67 (.84 + .84) sq. m for vestibules
Interior peak height – 112cm

The Mutha Hubba was redesigned for 2014 as an ultra lightweight backpacking tent for three people. It has two doors and the inner tent is made of ripstop nylon with a wide band of nylon micro mesh near the top. There is only one set of connected poles that form the structure of the tent. Think of a giant capital letter “H” where the middle part forms the spine of the tent and the two long sides arch to the ground and the vestibules form a triangle outside of the two long sides. It is a freestanding tent with the option of using only the raincover and groundsheet (purchased separately) to be even less weight.

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The Pros:

  • Symmetrical and non-tapered floor makes for easy sharing and room for stuff
  • I love all of the inner space! We can sit up comfortably and even wave our arms around a bit. It feels like a home rather than a tent
  • It is really lightweight. This 3 person tent weighs less than our old 2 person tent (also by MSR)
  • If you’re one for stuffing your tent into the sack, the tent bag is a compression sack now! We roll up our tent so it doesn’t make much of a difference for us.

The Cons: 

  • Tent pads become a pain in the butt!!
    Tent pads become a pain in the butt!!

    You have to peg down the tent. Because of the “H” shape of the poles, it tips easy side to side. This equates to problems camping on the wooden, raised tent pads which either seems to have the tie-down nails in all the wrong spots or missing. Also, camping in shelters with a floor is also now really tricky.

  • There seems to be spots that are too tight while other spots are baggy. The ceiling of the inner tent is really tight, especially when the corners are pegged down and the seams look stressed and stretching only after a few camping weekends. On the other hand, the floor sides of the tent are really baggy and sag.
  • The inner part of the tent is shaped like a triangle on top of a rectangle while the fly is shaped like a half-pipe. They have really maximized space inside the tent BUT this means you have to be really careful pegging out the sides of the tent. If you don’t peg out the sides of the fly OR peg the side down too steeply, it droops onto the inner tent unfortunately, right at the point over your face. When there’s condensation, it collects on the ceiling, rolls down and then drips on your face. Rather unpleasant!
  • I prefer the older MSR Hubba inner tents made with all mesh sides instead of mostly nylon. The mesh allows the breeze to travel through much better.
  • Accessories for this tent don’t seem to fit right. We got the MSR Universal Gear Loft  and connecting to each of the corners of the tent cuts off a third of the headroom of the tent! The groundsheet straps are too big for the tent and are not adjustable making for the groundsheet to sit loose and move around a bit.

Our Verdict: 

We really feel comfortable in this tent. I love all the space and it is so lightweight. We can both pack up our gear at the same time and I can spend time in the Mutha Hubba, great for being caught in rainy weather. It feels like a home rather than just a tent. We also really love the MSR brand because they consistently have good, reliable backcountry gear. However, in this 2014 redesign, I feel like there are some quirks that need to get worked out. This tent feels a little like an awkward teenager just going through puberty – there ‘s been a growth spurt but doesn’t really know what to do with it yet!  They have really tried to maximize the tent space and I feel like they might have done a little too much. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend the MSR Mutha Hubba as it is today but we are looking forward to checking out the next edition!