MSR’s Mutha Hubba NX Tent

($489, cascadedesigns.com)

By Helen Wilson

I recently tried out MSR’s Mutha Hubba NX 3-person backpacking tent. The tent arrived in a compression stuff sack, and I was immediately impressed with how small and light the packaged tent was. That said, I’ve tried out enough outdoor gear to know that it’s often hard to duplicate small packages when repackaging, so I held the applause.

I unclipped the compression sack and was once again pleasantly surprised. The sack has a large opening and directions for setting up the tent permanently attached to it. Oddly, I thought, the first direction was to stake down the four corners. Figuring I’d stake down the tent after assembling it, I began assembling the tent. Upon set-up, it became clear why the tent needs staking down first, as the sides with the entrances lean quite a bit without the bottom of the tent secured. This wasn’t a big deal on the field that I was camping on, but it makes the unstaked tent somewhat lopsided and hints that problems might arise if camping in a place where the tent can’t be staked (such as on bedrock).

Once the tent was assembled (which took less than five minutes), I found it to be very spacious. It has plenty of head room, and sitting or kneeling in any part of it was easy. There are two large entrances, and the zippers work well. The vestibules are large enough to store a moderate amount of gear. The rainfly includes a roll-up vestibule and a stargazer view. I found the red and gray tent and rainfly to be attractive, and the coloring seems to allow light to pass through. The following morning I took the tent down in the dark, and was thrilled to find that even with limited visibility, I was able to easily dismantle it and put it back in its compression sack with no problems whatsoever.


The first time that I tried out this tent, I had great weather, but to really test the tent I took it out in the first big storm of the season. The whole night rain poured, wind blew, and several times I was woken by the sound of thunder, but was happy to remain dry and comfortable in my sleeping bag. The tent has built-in rain gutters, which are a cool feature and prevented rain from dripping on my head when I entered and exited the tent. The following morning, after the storm, and in the light of day, I examined the tent to see if the storm had left its mark. Unfortunately, it had, as there were a couple of damp patches on the floor of the tent where the rain had soaked through. That said, I didn’t notice the moisture until the morning, and given the magnitude of the storm, I don’t think that many other three-season tents would have fared much better.

Additional comments: I used this tent with a footprint and a MudMat (both of which can be purchased separately). The MudMat is a floor covering for the vestibule. It’s important to mention that the tent-specific MudMat only includes one mat, instead of one for each vestibule. Also, the tent has a second, simpler set up, which utilizes only a footprint and the rainfly.

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