I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
We’ve been using the same old 2-person backpacking tent for year now, and it was Trail Dad’s before that. It was compact enough, big enough, good enough – when it was just the two of us. Kirby doesn’t take up a lot of space at our feet and he carries his own gear, so even adding him to the picture didn’t change much. However, after a few camping trips with all 4 of us, we quickly realized we were outgrowing that tent. It was really squishy inside, with us falling all over each other and running out of elbow room. It was also high time for Huckleberry the Trail Baby (err…Toddler) to get his own sleeping pad and there was no way that would fit in our 2-person tent. It also packed a little too big for our liking, especially while we’re carrying Huckleberry AND his gear. It was time for an upgrade!
We started doing a little research and quickly learned that MSR makes one of the best collections of lightweight and livable tents for reasonable prices. We have some other MSR gear that we love (PocketRocket Stove*, Trail Lite Duo Cook Set*), so we knew and trusted that brand already. It just made sense to upgrade our tent life with an MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent. and we’re SO happy that we did!
The moment our new MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent arrived on our doorstep, we pitched it in the yard and had a jolly good time exploring all of its features. First of all, I was able to assemble it alone, while toddler-wrangling, in under 5 minutes, without reading instructions. Can I get an award for that? Had I needed the instructions, they are conveniently printed ON the storage bags, so no papers to lose! And oh my goodness is it ever spacious! To go from a 2-person tent with next to no headroom to a 3-person tent with all of the headroom you could ever wish for was a dream! Not only does it feel at least twice as big inside as our former tent, but it packs up half as small and weighs half as much! A major upgrade – even Huckleberry recognizes that and says “WOW WOW WOW” every time we set it up.
There’s enough room in our MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent for all 3 of our Therm-a-Rest* sleeping pads to fit side-by-side, with a few inches in between each. And there’s plenty of room for clothes and other “in the tent” gear at our feet. It helps that we have Huckleberry using a small sleeping pad, which is about half the length of a standard one, so we have lots of room to get in and out of the tent, to set up Kirby’s Ruffwear sleeping pad* and to fit any other extras we feel we need in the tent. And the pockets make it easy to stay organized with cell phones, keys, glasses, Kleenex, and headlamps easy to access and out of the way.
Despite being nice and roomy, the tent is still small enough to stay warm with our body heat on chilly nights. And the wrap-around mesh window and kickstand rainfly vents keep it fresh and dry inside. The afternoon sun never made it feel too hot for a nap, and the torrential downpours never made it in! Honestly, we will never run out of good things to say about this tent! There’s room to get dressed, room to play when hiding from the last of the overnight rain, room to manoeuvre around a sleeping baby. Also, the light colour of the fabric on the tent and fly and the large mesh windows kept Trail Dad’s claustrophobia at bay.
The Star of the Show: MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent featuring…
(This tent is jam-packed with amazing features, please bear with the long list and lack of labels!)
- Optimized symmetrical geometry and non-tapered floor provide maximum living space.
- Large, easy-entry D-shaped StayDry™ door laid out in a way that offers each occupant easy access to doors and gear.
- 4 interior generously sized gear pockets (one on each side of the doors).
- Loops in each upper corner to attach a gear loft*, if desired.
- Side entry zipper orientation allows vestibule door to hang out of your way for unrestricted access.
- Kickstand vent in rainfly aligns with mesh window to provide fresh air and minimize condensation, keeping the interior dry and comfortable.
- Adjustable light grey rainfly colour that offers neutral light, roll-up vestibule & stargazer view.
- Adjustable integrated stake-out loops so you can tinker with the tautness after the tent is assembled.
- Lightweight reflective guy-outs to avoid late-night trips and falls.
- Durable high-tenacity nylon fabrics that have a little stretch, a lot of strength and excellent breathability.
- Unified hub-and-pole system with colour-coded clips for quick and easy setup.
- Ultra-compact, side-loading compression stuff sack can also be folded inward and secured with compression straps to fit optimally in your backpack.
- Freestanding Fast & Light® setup option allows you to set up the tent with rainfly only (paired with footprint*, sold separately) for ultra minimalist trips.
- Setup instructions printed on compression sack and tent pole storage bag.
- Many weather/waterproofing features including Large StayDry™ door with built-in rain gutter and waterproof taped seams, Durashield™-coated rainfly and bathtub-style floor.
What we love about our MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent:
- It fits everyone and some! We can fit all 4 of us in there comfortably with room for some extra clothes and gear in the tent and another family member down the road. The vestibules are big enough for 2-3 packs on one end and another pack and boots on the other. We won’t be wanting for space anytime soon!
- It has a lot of living space! Aside from just sleeping room, there is plenty of room to move about and just be in the tent. We’re not falling all over each other getting dressed, changing a diaper, getting comfortable, playing while we wait out the rain, etc. There is also lots of headroom. I can kneel in the centre and my head just brushes the top. It boasts lots of head and elbow room and livability, plus big doors and roomy vestibules and it doesn’t disappoint!
- It is very breathable! There is a wide wrap-around mesh window that lines up with the kickstand vents on the rainfly to offer maximum breathability in the tent. We never woke up to trapped moisture on the interior walls or a stuffy tent.
- It is easy to assemble! I did it in less than 5 minutes while wrangling a toddler, without reading instructions! It is quick and easy with the unified hub-and-pole system and colour-coded clips. No feeding poles through loops in the tent – simply lay the tent out, slip the pieces of pole together, tuck the ends into the grommets on each of the 4 corners and then clip the tent to the poles.
- It is easy to take down and pack! Taking it down is even easier than setting it up. And there’s no fancy trick to getting it back into the ultra-compact compression stuff sack. Roll it up any which way, or simply stuff it in. Keeping the poles separate from the tent allows for an even more compact sack, and then the poles can be attached to your pack separately.
- It is lightweight! At a measly 2.07 kg (4 lb 9 oz) this is an ultralight 3-person backpacking tent. You can take that number down even further (1.66 kg (3 lb 11 oz)) if you ditch the tent and pitch just the fly over the footprint* – we’re not up for this option, but maybe you are!
- It has some neat features! The unique door design offers lots of room for getting in and out. The kickstand vent on the rainfly is a really neat way to maximize ventilation without increasing setup time or need for guy-outs and stakes. The ability to adjust the stake-out loops is really neat! Once pegged, you can loosen or tighten the stake-out loop as needed to remove wrinkles, pull things tighter for a windy night, etc.
What we would change if we could:
- The footprint* is sold separately. I do love when everything you need is included. And although a footprint is not necessary, it does protect the ground a little better and prolong the life of your tent. And MSR markets the Fast & Light® setup option which requires the footprint. It would be nice to see it included with the tent in the future.
- There is not an easy way to peg the rainfly along the sides. There is a loop halfway along each side of the tent at the bottom where you can peg the rainfly and prevent water from pooling next to the tent, but the loop doesn’t work with the peg, a guy-out is required. So we had to take a guy-out from somewhere else on the tent to use there.
Are you ready to upgrade your tent life with an MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent or another of MSR‘s lightweight and roomy backpacking tents? From their website, you can navigate to online retailers or a store near you by clicking “Find Online” or “Find a Store” beneath the description. If you’re feeling the love for me and my blog, you can head to Amazon.com to shop this tent* or other MSR products*.
Where will you pitch your MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent?
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