The HP range (green) and the NX ranges (red/white) are comparable in size, shape and design, but there are several differences between them. For this test we will focus on the best-selling Hubba Hubba 2 person version. Although both tents feature in the MSR Experience backpacking range, the NX is lighter (1.72kg vs 1.93kg) and offers a new tougher feeling flysheet, with the HP offering a high performance groundsheet more comfort/warmth and a gear loft for storage (sold separately for the NX).
One thing I like about the MSR range as a whole is the usable space inside the tent. Unlike some of their competitors, the Hubbas offer great head height allowing you to sit comfortably inside.
There is not much between the two in terms of space, but the Hubba Hubba NX does have slightly improved pole geometries resulting in a slightly higher average height across the tent. The new pole geometries are more noticeable in the single person Hubba tents (look at where the pole hub sits in the pictures), significantly increasing the space above your head when lying down.
The main visible differences are the large mesh areas on the inner tents on the NX range. This keeps the overall weight of the tent down and allows more breathability, but will reduce the thermal ability of the tents - making them ideal summer backpacking tents. The HP, on the other hand, has much smaller mesh areas at the top, but does have zipped mesh areas that could be used as pockets for storage. The HP comes with the mesh gear loft, which is a handy little space for keeping your kit off the floor. A gear loft can be purchased separately for the NX range.
The NX range uses anodized pegging points and pole clips where the HP range uses webbing straps with a metal eyelet. Both the HP and NX come with a pole splint - perfect for a quick repair on a broken pole when you are halfway up a mountain and there is no way to replace pole sections.
You can feel the difference between the flysheet on the NX and HP. The NX feels thicker and harder wearing. Both are very smooth due to the silicon treating of their flysheets, but this makes it hard to compare the hydrostatic heads on MSR tents to other manufacturers. They use a lighter flysheet with a lower waterproof rating then fully treat it with silicon. This treatment is also used on the groundsheet and non-mesh part of the inner tent.
MSR tents technically have quite a low hydrostatic head of just 1000-1500mm on the fly (more on the groundsheet) but in reality they perform much better in the real world than these figures suggest.
One additional feature new to the NX range is the addition of a rain gutter above the doors, this really helps to stop the rain spilling over the edge of the door and is a great addition to the tent (see pic).
Due to the great pole design, the whole Hubba range of tents can be used free-standing without pegging. Although I wouldn't recommend doing this on a windy night, it does mean that the tents can make a fantastic quick pitch emergency shelter.
Which is better... tricky, the MSR HP and NX range are tough to split, but the question "when will you use the tent?" should give an easy answer, if you are likely to use it in 3 season conditions get the HP, with its warmer less ventilated inner tent. If you are a summer camper or heading to warmer climates get the NX, where the extra ventilation will be important.
Either way I'm certain you will not be disappointed, these are all beautifully made tents with high quality components that won't let you down.
Read our full MSR Hubba NX range review here
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