The big daddy version of MSR’s award-winning Hubba line of lightweight, freestanding backpacking tents, the Papa Hubba NX is a 4-person backcountry B&B that’s spacious, luxurious, and light enough to bring on extended forays into the forest. The Hubba Hubba line has fast and light pitch options, so you can shave weight down to 5 lbs if pitching the fly with the footprint. Packed weight is 6 lbs 8 oz. Either way, split between four backpackers, the divided weight is less than most ultralight 2-person tents.
Setup is straightforward: attach the red poles to the red clips, and the gray poles to the gray clips, and boom—your backcountry shelter is freestanding and ready to be staked down with MSR’s lightweight, bright red (hard but not impossible to lose) stakes. One person setup isn’t difficult, and with two people it’s a piece of cake. Setup of the rainfly is easy as well, and once positioned and made taut with either stakes or tied guy lines, the Papa Hubba becomes a veritable weatherproof fortress.
The 3 DAC Featherlite poles, especially the twin buttressing gray poles that run perpendicularly to the doors, give the Papa Hubba NX a sleek yet sturdy curvature that does well in high winds. Interior peak height is 44 inches—purposefully comfortable without being cavernous. Floor area comes in at 53 square feet: it’s going to be a little tight with 4 full-grown adults, but definitely doable, especially when considering the spacious vestibules. For three backpackers and a dog, for instance, the tent is perfect: one person takes the tent body and footprint, one person takes the poles, and one person takes the rainfly. For two campers and a dog or two, this tent is palatial.
Testers suggested the lightweight tent for both backpacking and car camping: unlike car camping tents that you’d never take on a backpacking trip, this MSR 4-person tent can handle double duty.
The tent doesn’t come with a footprint (pretty standard), and you’re going to want to get one. The 30d nylon floor might not last long without one if you are camping with four adults (or especially three adults and a pooch) on rocky terrain. Also, and this is a small quibble, but we’re fans of how some of MSR’s other tents (like the Freelite) have full mesh wraps on the tent roof. The Papa Hubba NX has a light nylon ceiling, but realistically, taking into account the gaps on the curved walls above the doors, you’d want a rainfly in any precipitation event anyways, so why not gaze out at the stars in the meantime?
Favorite Feature: The vestibules of this tent are extremely spacious, but they also help streamline the tent to minimize the effects of wind events.
Tester Comments: “I usually would prefer backpacking with two 2-person tents than a single 4-person tent, but the Papa Hubba NX has changed my opinion. For multiple folks who want to save a bit of weight, bring along a pooch, or even just have an ultra-spacious backcountry castle, the MSR Papa Hubba NX is a sweet and versatile deal.
Key Attribute: Versatility
Bottom Line: MSR’s expanded upon their popular Hubba line, and made a true 4-person backpacking tent that our testers loved.
- Nylon ripstop bathtub-style floor, Durashield PU coating, DWR
- Ripstop nylon and nylon micromesh body
- Ripstop nylon rainfly, Durashield PU and silicone coating
- Seam-taped fly
- 2 DAC Featherlite NFL poles
- 14 MSR MiniGroundhog stakes
- 2 guy cords, 2 aluminum cord adjusters
- 2 doors