MSR Papa Hubba NX 4-Person Backpacking Tent Review

August 29, 2018
MSR Papa Hubba NX 4-Person Backpacking Tent
MSR_PapaHubbaNX4P-8
MSR_PapaHubbaNX4P-7
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MSR Papa Hubba NX 4-Person Backpacking Tent MSR_PapaHubbaNX4P-8 MSR_PapaHubbaNX4P-7 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
87
Shoulder Room
5
Packability
9
Set Up
7
Weatherproofing
9
Features
7

The Good

  • Most weather resistant of test
  • Stiffest pole structure
  • Color-coded poles
  • Good compressibility

The Bad

  • Smallest interior of test
  • Expensive
  • Narrow vestibules
  • Large pole section can be hard to handle
THE VERDICT
The MSR Papa Hubba NX is the tent to pack when weather conditions are unknown. Although the low, aerodynamic profile sacrifices interior comfort, this tent is rock steady in high winds when the other tents faltered. It isn’t the lightest tent in the bunch, but it’s close, and the extra weight is well worth the added security. If a group of three to four campers are headed to the backcountry for high adventure, this is the tent.
FULL REVIEW

Shoulder Room

The MSR Papa Hubba NX 4-Person was the clear loser in this criterion; the lowest ceiling height of the test combined with the smallest interior area rendered it a tight fit for four campers compared to the other tents in this test. The tent could pack four full sized adults in, but we found it should be reserved for more hardcore adventuring. For long term comfort, this tent was more realistic as a three-person tent. The steepish tent walls also rendered it a tent more built for pure protection than for comfortable relaxing and socializing. The pair of 11 square foot vestibules are amongst the smallest in the group.

Packability

The Papa Hubba NX’s claimed pack size is 21 x 7 inches, but one tester could compress it down into a smaller package. Although the tent body and fly fabrics felt durable, they did cooperate with compression efforts. This tent tied for the most compressible of the test with one other model.

Four campers splitting the load would theoretically result in about a 1 pound, 8 ounce carry for each person, and although not as light as the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4, it’s a well worth the improved weather resistance of the Papa Hubba NX. For storage purposes and car camping, the MSR tent’s stuff sack was superior to the others at quickly stuffing and compressing the tent components.  

Set Up

The MSR Papa Hubba NX’s set up was intuitive after the first test pitch. There is a large “H” shaped pole structure comprised of three poles hubbed together, which was hard to handle by one camper in high winds. The other two sections are long brow poles, and all poles are color coded to their connection points. The pole ends fit into metal hardware and this tent comes with the best stakes for hard ground of the bunch. Once erected, it was evident that the pole structure of the Papa Hubba NX was the stiffest of the test, and after staking out, it also proved to have the tightest pitch.

Weatherproofing

The MSR Papa Hubba NX was the clear winner of this testing criteria. Soon after receiving the sample, a hurricane roared across Texas from the Gulf Coast. This tent thrived in the windy, monsoon like environment, never leaking a drop and barely shifting in the winds. During a test trip to the Chihuahuan Desert, this tent was the only one of three test tents that did not deform under extremely brutal wind conditions; it wasn’t even a close contest. The Papa Hubba NX showed no signs of weakness during the wind storm that destroyed many tents in the campground. The low profile, steeper walls, quality stakes and the most stable pole structure of the test proved worthy in stormy wind conditions nearing. A large majority of the tent body is mesh, which defeated condensation in all testing conditions, the tradeoff being a colder internal environment when the temperatures dropped.

Features

MSR practiced a spartan but usable application of features for the Pappa Hubba NX. The fly doors have functional rain gutters which effectively eliminated drips and the two vents have kickstands. There are generous mesh pockets in each corner of the tent body interior. Reflective guy out points, and the guy out lines have metal tension adjusters. This tent also comes with MSR Needle Tent Stakes, the most bend resistant stakes of the test. The light color of the fly allowed in lots of ambient light; which was good at times and bad at times.

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$600.00
ALSO AVAILABLE AT
$599.95
$599.95
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