Since I am planning to be camping for 50 or so of the 70-some nights I will be riding, I wanted to spend some time carefully looking at what is out there in the lightweight tent world these days. I have not had a new tent in close to a quarter-century, and that was only because The North Face company sent me a new one when the floor in the North Face two-person tent I bought at the Gart Brothers castle in Denver [linkie] in 1975 began to delaminate. So I guess you might say I was seriously out-of-touch with the state of the art in that particular area.
The recommendation from almost all of my AT thru-hiker friends was “Big Agnes.” Now, I had never heard of Agnes before, say, about two years ago, but it seems like she’s doing a land office business selling tents. I looked over all the BA tents that matched the rather short list of my needs.
- Less than five pounds inclusive of footprint
- Packs small and compact
- As roomy as possible
- Bulletproof (no, not real bullets- just nothing going wrong for 10 weeks)
I was really close to choosing one, then I read a bike journal entry by a guy who said that he had a MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent with him on his trip that remained standing in a violent windstorm that flattened his partner’s Big Agnes and bent some of its poles. Talk about timing. I checked out the MSR tent in the two-person variant. It appeared to be everything I was looking for, criteria-wise. So I left Agnes standing at the altar, and pushed the big orange Amazon button
and now I own a Hubba Hubba NX two-person tent [linkie].
For the “gimme the specs” minded folks out there, the tent weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces and the footprint another 7 ounces, for a total weight of 4 pounds, 2 ounces. Its internal dimensions (length x width x height) are 84 x 50 x 39.4 inches/213 x 127 x 100 cm giving total floor space of 29 square feet/2.7 square meters. It packs down to a nice small cylinder about 18 inches/48 cm long. The floor is 30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Durashield polyurethane & DWR, the canopy 15D nylon micromesh and 20Dx330T high tenacity ripstop nylon and the fly 20D ripstop nylon 1200mm Durashield polyurethane & silicone. The poles are DAC Featherlite NFL. The footprint is 68D 100% Polyester taffeta and folds up into a rectangle 8 x 10 x 1 inches/20 x 25 x 2.5 cm. A review with really nice photos of the tent in the wild is here [linkie].
Oh, and don’t cry for Big Agnes. I bought one of her sleeping bags- more on that later.