Well, it’s been 15-months since I purchased the MSR Hubba Tour 2 tent, so I thought it was about time to write an updated review of the tent.
As I said in my previous post, I was excited to see the MSR Hubba Tour 2 and saw it as the long-awaited replacement for my old MSR Velo and immediately bought one in February 2017! But a replacement it certainly isn’t, it just doesn’t even come close! The tent doesn’t work!
Now I’m not too sure whether MSR tested this tent out before releasing it, but if they had I’m sure that they would have worked out some of the major problems with the tent for themselves!
The main problems being, it leaks along the seams, the fly stretches too much then sags, and there’s not enough space between the fly and inner tent allowing them to make contact (no matter what you do) this then lets condensation drip in! And the fly screen is a waste of time!
After enjoying a few nights away in the new MSR Hubba Tour 2 without any problems I was enjoying the new tent, okay the material on the outer fly was pretty flimsy, and I needed to tighten it up a couple of times before settling in for the night! No matter how taught I thought I’d got the fly, as soon as the air temperature dropped and it got a bit damp the fly would sag then drip condensation! Maybe this was one of the tents un-doings having to tighten the fly so much?
And yes maybe there wasn’t enough room between the inner tent and outer tent and no matter what I did they always touched causing condensation to drip in!
But I was prepared to put up with these as I said I liked the layout of the tent and it suited me down to the ground.
But then the inevitable night came when it rained! No problem I’m in my new tent everything will be fine!
When the morning arrived, I noticed that there were one or two wet patches in the corners of the inner tent. There was also some water in the vestibule, but I decided to put these down to condensation, after all my tent was only a couple of months old and had only been out a handful of times there was no way it could be leaking, could it?
The next night it started to rain again, and I must admit that I was a little nervous about staying dry! I was right to be nervous the water was pouring in! Through the corners of the inner tent, from the toggles that attach the inner tent to the outer tent and from around the front vestibule! To say I wasn’t happy was an understatement, the new tent that I had waited years for was leaking like a sieve! And to top it all one of the of the inner tent attachments broke! I wasn’t happy!
After returning home from my trip, I wrote to MSR explaining the situation. The reply I got back was not what I’d expected! I was practically called a liar and told it must be condensation as nobody else has complained!
As you can imagine this immediately got my back up and felt that it was very bad customer service on MSR’s part! To be told I’m lying, especially after I’d sung the praises of the MSR Hubba Tour 2!
Eventually, after a bit of communication MSR agreed that I should send the tent to them (at my expense) so they could test it.
After a few weeks, I got word back that yes the tent was faulty and they would replace it, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any in stock! I asked if I could have the old one back as a stop gap, but that had been thrown away!
My new tent eventually arrived a month later, but because of one thing and another, I never got to use it again until this year.
Roll forward to this year (2018) and the start of the camping season and yes you’ve guessed it, on my first night out in the rain the new MSR leaked and even more than the old one! Although one good thing the inner tent seemed to stay dry this time! It was, however, leaking in the corners of the vestibule and this time above the vestibule door; it poured in through there!
WHAT’S gone WRONG AT MSR
Whoever passed this tent off for general sale should be fired, was it not tested in the field first? (If you’ll pardon the pun) Apart from the water tightness issues and the inner tent touching the outer fly! There’s an issue with the fly screen on the main door! What purpose does that serve? Yes, it keeps fly’s from entering by the main door, but with no fly screen on the vents, it’s useless! Do these issues not get passed on to production? If they want to contact me, I’d be more than happy to help!
Does MSR not care about the quality of their equipment anymore? I’d already read one or two disparaging reports about the MSR Hubba Tour tent but chose to ignore them as I am such a big fan! But you can only push somebody so far!
Although my main problem with the MSR Hubba Tour 2 is that I want it to work, I don’t want it to fail! I think it’s layout and design are very good and ideally suited to cycle touring, but the reality of it all is that it doesn’t! And after defending the tent for the past 15-months, I feel I can no longer.
What has happened at MSR? Their equipment used to be solid, reliable and long lasting! Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case with the MSR Hubba Tour 2 tent!
MSR Hubba Tour 2 a brilliant tent as long as it doesn’t rain!
I have since received another replacement outer tent which like the previous ones still leaks! As of May 2018, I am currently awaiting another response from MSR.
Watch Garry’s youtube video
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The MSR Hubba Tour 2 is one of MSR’s new tents for 2017, and it reminds Garry a lot of his old MSR “Velo” it’s what Garry has been searching for ever since his old MSR “Velo” simply wore out!
Garry see’s this new MSR Hubba Tour 2 as an updated version of the old MSR Velo with some significant improvements!
One major improvement is the ability to pitch the tent with the inner tent attached allowing the inner tent to stay dry even in the heaviest of downpours!
It must also be one of the lightest tents for its size weighing in at only 2.74 kilos.
The setup of the tent is also swift with MSR’s exoskeleton pole system, although Garry’s still not convinced of the longevity of these (time will tell!)
Pitching the tent is a case of pegging out the four corners assembling the exoskeleton poles, inserting the poles into the four corners, clipping the flysheet to the poles, assemble the single pole for the vestibule, inserting that into its sleeve and peg out, that’s the basic setup complete!
Because of the Hubba Tour 2’s lightweight, everything feels a bit delicate, the guy ropes are just like pieces of string, and the flysheet is very thin! So, to test the tent out Garry set off to the Isle of Wight for the night fully loaded as if he was going away on tour.
It was a rather blustery day with the wind blowing at a steady 22 mph. Once at the campsite Garry was unable to find a sheltered pitch and was forced to camp in a rather exposed pitch at the top of a hill!
Setting the tent up in the wind wasn’t a problem, and as Garry has already said it is a quick setup. Because it was so windy, Garry put out all the guy ropes to add stability which as we all know you’re meant to do each time you camp, but do we if moving pitch each night?
Inside The Tent
Once the tent was up Garry unloaded his bike and found that there was plenty of room for both him and all his panniers.
Having the large vestibule means that if it has been raining and all your gear is wet, you can put everything in the lobby and keep the inner tent completely dry. It also allows you to get out of wet gear before entering the inner tent. It also provides somewhere to cook if the weather is a bit inclement outside, providing there is plenty of ventilation of course!
The inner tent is an ample size with good headroom, and the two doors provide each person with an entrance, or if the wind changes direction in the night the other door can be used.
As This is the two-man version there is loads of room; however, for two people, it could be a bit cosy! (But as we all know if your cycle touring it’s always best to have a two-man tent for one and a three-person tent for two)
On the night, Garry was trying out the tent for the first time the wind got up and was gusting at more than 30 mph, but the MSR Hubba Tour withstood this and was unscathed in the morning, although Garry didn’t get too much sleep, at least the tent was ok!
In summary the MSR Hubba Tour 2 suits all the requirements of a cycle tourist! It has a fast setup, which can be setup while raining and still maintain a dry inner tent. There’s plenty of room to store panniers and bags. It has a square footprint which from experience is better for wild camping as it enables you to tuck away out of site more easily and it’s very light!
Now that Garry has found the MSR Hubba Tour 2 he’s looking forward to doing more adventure cycling and cycle touring in the coming months!
Garry’s original tent used for cycle touring was the MSR Velo. But after sitting on the back of Garry’s bike for more than five years, being packed away wet and sometimes left for a few days, it finally wore out!
At the time of replacing it, Garry was umming and ahhing as to what to replace his old tent with as they no longer made that model! In the end, Garry went for the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT a two-person tunnel tent.
After several tours with the Hilleberg Garry started to miss his old MSR Velo. He missed its free-standing ability, the fact that it took a relatively small area to pitch in and it could also be pitched on rocky surfaces as there is very little need for pegging down a free-standing tent!
After returning home from his tour of Spain where most of the campsites were gravel, Garry decided that he needed a free-standing tent once more! So, he started to look around at various brands to see what new tents were on the market.
Garry started to look at the MSR Hubba Hubba HP. This tent was around when he brought the Hilleberge but dismissed it as he thought it was quite a lot of phaffing around! Having to put four parts together, the footprint, the inner tent, the vestibule, and the flysheet! However, he was now willing to give it a go.
In early August 2015, Garry purchased the MSR Hubba Hubba HP. His initial thoughts on it were how light it weighed at a mere 1.93kg as opposed to the Hilleberg which weighs in at 3.7kg. The setup was as he thought not as straightforward as the Hilleberg! The single pole system was a bit annoying, and the longevity of the poles could be a problem! They just snap together on their own which could lead to cracks and ultimately break.
The set up as before with Garry’s old MSR Velo was that you had to put the inner tent up first then attach the fly over the top. A nice new feature with this tent is that if the weather is bad and its raining, you can put the fly up first then attach the inner tent afterwards. A big improvement on the old Velo as it was always a pain setting up in the rain! However, you can’t attach the vestibule with this setup. To attach the vestibule, you must put the inner tent up first, attach the vestibule then attach the fly.
After setting the tent up several times in his garden so he could get a feel for it, Garry decided that the only real test was to try it out in the field (if you’ll pardon the pun!) so off he set on a small tour to Somerset.
On Garry’s first night’s camp, he decided to try the tent out without using the vestibule, just to see how he got on with the smaller tent. It was a real struggle he had to use both vestibules for his panniers, and even then, there wasn’t enough room he had to have some of them inside the tent! Which is not too much of a problem when it’s dry, however when it’s wet I’m not so sure you would want wet bags inside the inner tent!
Garry found the doors to be very annoying! They open from the centre and are always hanging down and getting in the way you can’t just open them and throw them over the side of the tent you have to tie them back each time! Which is fine if your inside and want to look out, but if you just want to get something out quickly, they are a real pain.
Cooking was also not that easy! Garry usually likes to sit inside the tent with the stove outside or if the weathers a bit inclement move it in slightly, this is not an option in the Hubba Hubba! Garry found the inner tent too low on the opening, so he was unable to sit inside and cook! He could have moved the cooker a bit nearer to the tent and sat further inside, but then there was the worry that the cooker was a little bit too close to the tent!
Packing the tent away in the morning was a bit of a phaff! The poles were a pain and with cold hands unclipping the inner tent from the poles was awkward!
On the second night’s camp Garry decided to put the tent up with the vestibule attached, again he had the problem with the pole just snapping together on its own which he finds rather disconcerting!
The correct setup is to lay the footprint out with the inner tent on top attach the poles and clip the inner tent to the poles then clip on the vestibule and cover with the rain fly. But after trying the tent out at home, Garry found it more useful to have the footprint in the vestibule. You don’t have that damp grass on the inside of the tent then, and it also affords itself to somewhere else to sit out of the wind. However, despite there now being plenty of room for gear, there is very little headroom! Garry found it impossible to sit up in the vestibule, although the inner tent has loads of headroom!
There are also one or two doubts as to how weatherproof the whole thing would be! The point at which the vestibule attaches to the tent and is then covered by the fly seems to sag down a bit, and possibly if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, could blow up and under here!
On subsequent nights of the tour, Garry continued to put the full setup up but found out that he just couldn’t get on with it!
In summery it’s not a bad tent, it’s just not very well suited to Garry’s needs! It would be more beneficial if Garry was able to go hiking again, or if he was to go on a tour where he wasn’t expecting to camp very much but wanted to carry a tent just in case he found himself unable to find any accommodation! For the tours when he intends camping for most of the time he’ll stick with the Hilleberg!