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Hubba Hubba vs. Portal?


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  • #3755947
    Copynin
    BPL Member

    @bac-nin

    Hello,

    Since I learned about MSR’s updated 2022-version of the Hubba Hubba 2 I have been wondering how it compares to the Slingfin Portal 2.

    The reviews I’ve read of the Hubba usually compares it to tents from NEMO and/or BA. But so far I have not seen it mentioned alongside Slingfin’s Portal 2, which is getting really nice reviews.

    1) In my mind these two tents fill the same nische. Am I missing something, are they less similar than they seem?

    2) If anyone has experience with these two tents, I would love to hear your thoughts on how they may compare. Especially in regard to liveability and sturdiness.
    (I realise few may have had the chance to try the 2022-upgrade of the Hubba yet, so comparisons with the old version will do. )

    First time posting here, be gentle. ;-)

    #3755948
    Kevin M
    BPL Member

    @scottish_kev

    While I haven’t used a Hubba Hubba I have used very similar tents in the past, and I own a slingfin Portal.

    On a nice day, with good weather, both are very liveable, well made tents. MSR make great stuff and I use a lot of their other equipment, and for such a small company the quality of the Slingfin tents is also awesome. The slingfin has a little bit of an advantage with weight. You get a tiny bit more floor space in the MSR (it is a proper rectangle and doesn’t narrow slightly at the foot end) but some more headroom in the Slingfin. However the differences are small, and it’s pretty much a wash between the two if you’re dealing with good weather, or typical light rain and winds.

    However if you were to get caught out in some bad weather, you would then start to see the differences. The slingfin is significantly more sturdy and hardwearing than the MSR. And that’s not a slight on the MSR, the Portal is really just sturdier and more ‘bomber’ than most other tents in it’s class.

    The proper crossing twin main poles (rather than a single pole that splits into two legs at either end), the internal guy system and the way it combines with all of the extra external guy points and ties the whole structure through the poles and pegs rather than the fabric, the attachments for adding your trekking poles into the structure for further support, all mean it can support quite a bit more wind and snow load should you need it, and be much more secure in bad weather.  Even the silnylon Slingfin have chosen for the fly seems to be a notch above others and has almost no sag when it gets wet compared to other silnylons. I have never had to go round and retighten guys they way you may have to do with other tents (and this is even more true with the fly material they use in their Crossbow 4 season tent).

    The MSR is a 3 season tent that would be a great, reliable tent in the kinds of weather most people would experience. The slingfin is a 3+ season tent and would even begin to hold its own with entry level 4 season tents from some other companies in terms of its sturdiness and and ability to withstand rain, wind and snow.

    #3755950
    Copynin
    BPL Member

    @bac-nin

    This is very helpful, Kevin. Thanks a lot!

    #3755957
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    I’ve not had the Slingfin Portal, but I have had several iterations of the Hubba Hubba.

    I use a 2P tent with my wife, so it has to please her. She liked the 2012 version of the Hubba Hubba, but NOT the NX2 version (which the current version follow closely geometry-wise). The walls really slope above the sleepers heads in the NX2 version (on the sides), and looking at the 2022 version I’d say it would be the same. We used it once and returned it, going back to the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2.

    What she REALLY likes is the the head-end spaciousness of the BA (ours is the 2018 version). The walls are practically straight up and down at the head-end giving real roominess. That and it vents well. It’s also light – ours is 3 lbs 4 oz’s with a Tyvek Footprint.Her standard is the Copper Spur, so any tent I come home with better work better for the two of us. So far nothing really has.

    I can say I don’t understand the thinking behind the Slingfin Portal’s door placement. Seems completely backwards. The door openings look to be at the foot end? If so, this is incredibly awkward. That’s the side of the vestibule I want stocked with gear. I want a door opening at the head-end for ease of entry/exit, and where I can zip open the door to reach any gear while in my bag. Solo, I will also cook laying in my bag in cold weather. Seem impossible to do with the SF Portal. But perhaps I’m missing something.

    Also, I can’t really see how an all-net tent (the Portal) with a 10D fly is somehow more storm-worthy than the MSR with a nearly all solid interior and a 20D fly? Personally, I’d rather ride out a sideways snow storm in a solid interior tent than an all mesh tent. Seems to me the MSR is far more a 3+ season tent than the Slingfin, but I’m often wrong.

    Having been through a lot of 2P tents (including Nemo), the CS still retains the high water mark for me (or should I say my wife).

    #3755962
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    Would also add, the Portal and Hubba Hubba are the same weight… However, I do think the portal will do better in summer conditions since it is all mesh, and it definitely seems to have more head room.

    #3755974
    Copynin
    BPL Member

    @bac-nin

    Head-end spaciousness is very important for my girlfriend, so that is very good information to have. Thank you bradmacmt!

     

    I share your intuition regarding the fabric. But I also find it it reasonble that the crossing poles will supply more stability in strong winds. I think I’ve read that the guy lines on the Portal connect well to the poles, since they are anchored to the fly where the fly connects to the pole beneath. This sounds good to me. Do you remember if the Hubba’s has a similar guy line setup, or one you found reliable?

     

     

    #3755998
    David P
    BPL Member

    @trailguru

    Locale: United States

    I recently tried out the MSR hubba hubba (2022) and had a hard time placing 2 regular wide mats inside without major overlap. It tells me that the state 50 in dimension is for the outside of the tent and not the actual internal dimensions. Overall the tent feels smaller than even my Double Rainbow from tarptent. Also the carbon fiber poles will give you major splinters. It seems to be a major production issue plaguing the Hubba Hubba. Finally, I also read that MSR only warrants their tents for 3 years. I’d avoid MSR now. Stick to a Big Agnes, Nemo, Marmot or other brands that will warrant the tent for longer. Just my 2 cents

    #3756005
    simon t
    BPL Member

    @slippery-salmon

    The Slingfin portal has a lot more thought put into dealing with snow and wind.  Internal guys, top vents on the vestibules and built in trekking poles connections.   The portal looks like the pick of the Hubba Hubba type designs.

    #3756019
    Paul S
    BPL Member

    @pula58

    The Portal is very solid in the wind. Why?

    1) The rain fly has toggles that secure the rain fly to the poles, and the fly guy-out points are sewn to where the toggles are. Thus, the rain fly guy-out points connect directly to the tent poles with a secure connection (compare that to the velcro a lot of other companies use).

    2) The portal has internal guylines that also connect to the same toggle/guy-out points.

    3) The portal has connection points for trekking pole handles on the ends of the cross pole. The addition of trekking poles there makes the tent incredibly solid!

    #3756020
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    If I’m using a tent in the conditions that require all of that structure (Portal), it’s sure not going to be something with a mesh interior and a fly that’s 4 inches off the ground. Seems like a lot of design detail for the wrong tent. But granted, none of it adds much weight and it sure can’t hurt. Here in Montana I’ve had the Copper Spur’s and Hubba’s in helacious winds/storms and they’ve come through fine. Again, for me I want mucho headroom and a sensible door arrangement. The Portal’s doors are poorly thought out from my perspective. Of the Portal or Hubba, I’d go with the Copper Spur :)

    #3756039
    Scott H
    BPL Member

    @cbk57

    I was curious and looked, beyond weather, if I am buying a free standing tend a major criteria for me today is whether the ends are relatively virticle.  I definitely don’t want the tent to taper in ward too much.  So from those stand points I like the msr a bit better, however I have never bought an msr for the specific reason that i think the weight to cost ratio on the high side.  Relative the the cost it is relatively heavy.  My son has a Big Agness Copper Spur 1, that comes in lighter than the MSR Huber 1 person.

    #3756104
    Copynin
    BPL Member

    @bac-nin

    This is just the kind of info and thoughts I was hoping for. You all really filled in some gaps for me, and raised things I had not yet considered. Much obliged, all!

    #3756126
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I am not sure what the issue with Portal 2 doors is.  Are you guys drawing a conclusion based on the one photo at the link above?  I find the doors to be very wide and I have no problem storing items in the vestibule.  In real hellacious weather in Montana with windblown sand or snow the all mesh inner tent probably would be an issue for the occupant.

    But the use case for the Portal 2 is three season “plus” where you have 3 lb tent for all  three seasons but might need extra stability in case of high winds, esp above tree line.

    My recollection is that SlingFin started with two options a full mesh and solid fabric inners and subsequently branched the mesh interior into the Portal and the solid interior into the CrossBow.

    #3756129
    Kevin M
    BPL Member

    @scottish_kev

    Again, for me I want mucho headroom and a sensible door arrangement. The Portal’s doors are poorly thought out from my perspective.

    I have to agree with others that I’ve never found the doors to be a problem on the Portal, indeed they are noticeably wider than the MSR ones and it’s not something I’ve ever even though about, I have been able to cook in the vestibules with no issues when needed.

    And ironically, in two separate videos MSR have made showcasing the Hubba Hubba, both also show them being used with heads at the “curved” side of the doors, and the doors opening away to be rolled up and toggled towards the feet, just like the Portal. The Copper Spur’s doors also seem to open this way, towards the feet, so all 3 doors open essentially the same way.

    It also has much more square, much less slopping shape than the Hubba Hubba, and a good 10cm/4 and a bit inches of headroom clearance more than either that or the Copper Spur.

    In terms of what makes a tent more reliable in bad weather then yes, the mesh inner is a minus, it would be more drafty than a solid inner. But much more so than that, what makes a tent 4 season is the strength of the structure, the ability to stand up to wind and snow load.

    And as has been discussed, it has several features that make it particularly strong within it’s segment.

    • It’s twin main pole setup,
    • the connections from the ground pegs through the poles and the inner and outer guys, taking any pressure or strain from the fabric, and the ability to add trekking poles into the structure.
    • It’s use of extra strong 6.6 ripstop nylon in the fly, and the fact it’s the only true silnylon fly out of the tents discussed (rather than Sil/PU) which makes it at least as strong, if not stronger, than the others even though it is only 10D.

    Of course no one is claiming it is an actual 4 season tent, it’s just borrowing lots of features from it’s 4 season big brothers, while still being lightweight and incredibly liveable and usable.

    #3756485
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    So, magical mystery silnylon.  Defy anyone to send me a foot square sample that won’t sag in severely wet weather.  Just nylon, though.

    And we are back to false dichotomies again evaluating tents.  Not a word about dry pitch.  Maybe most think it means a pitch without spitting on the ball.  On another current thread the subject is drying out wet gear with no mention of dry pitch there either.  Great comment there by R. Caffin, though.

    In ancient times, Bill Kemsley would take the best dozen or so tents they could afford, and pitch them on a tall, open bluff facing severe winds.  The few tents that were left standing, and not blown flat or off the bluff, were described and discussed.  A far cry from ‘Tent A vs Tent B.’

    #3756486
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    By dry pitch do you mean pitch the tent fly first?  You can do that with the Slingfin Portal.  But I have to say my Hilleberg Akto, which pitches with the inner tent attached to the outer tent, goes up a little more elegantly since it is smaller and you push pole through pole sleeves from the outside.

     

    #3756539
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Both.  But as you point out, there are ways with more or less fiddle factor.  Since the goal is to keep the inside of the tent dry, both during pitching and after, a dry pitch is key to remaining dry in the tent.  But finding a place to put the already wet garments and other gear, can be a challenge as suggested by the other current thread that I mentioned.

    Agree that an inner that pitches simultaneously with the outer is one the best approaches; as opposed to having to crawl under an outer that is wet on the outside, and may even have developed some condensation on the inside while fiddling around trying to install an inner in a deluge.  Rain that severe has a way of its own at getting into everything.

    For years I used a modified cheap Eureka! Crescent tent with an inner tent that pitched simultaneously with the outer; but with the vertical front door removed and replaced with two beaks.  It looked like this:

    That tent really taught me the importance of a dry pitch, because it was greatly missed when tents were later tried that allowed rain to enter through the ceilings during pitching; such as a couple of Moss tents and the Australian One Planet Goondie in use now.  The mod of the Goondie is discussed at:  https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/81307
    It has many great features, but not a dry pitch; although I understand that the current Goondie does come with a solid inner ceiling.

    Nostalgia for the Crescent led to a work in progress; a solo tent with a waterproof breathable  (WPB) inner ceiling.  In order to deter blowing rain from entering outside the ceiling, the vestibules are attached directly to the WPB inner ceiling to block entry of water as much as possible.  Then a fly covers the ceiling; but extends only a few inches beyond the front and rear peaks of the tent ceiling to deter blowing rain, and also allow added ventilation.  So what it amounts to is a tent with an inner that pitches first, with a narrower fly that is easier to install in a blow.

    From many photos, did not realize the Akto was so well designed.  My project is a self-supporting tent to give it added stability along with the dry pitch.  Am not so keen on definitions, as they sometime create more problems than they solve, as is the case with “Short Term Rentals,” (STRs),  which seem to have defied efforts by local governments here in NH to enact residential zoning laws that work.

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