A tent is literally your home away from home on the trail, and the more dialed-in the tent design the more at home you'll feel. MSR's tent designers are masters of the art, as evidenced by the latest update to their category-leading two-person backpacking tent: the Hubba Hubba NX 2, which eliminates the choice between lightweight and livability.
The NX 2 also comes in solo and 3 person designs, but the 2 person hits a very sweet spot right in the middle. It blows away the old logic that you should subtract a person from the rated capacity of a tent if you want to be comfortable, e.g. a 3 person tent is actually only comfortable for 2 people, otherwise… well, three's a crowd. The NX 2 sets a new standard, with a design that makes it plenty comfy for two. Score a win for truth in advertising.
The NX 2 has a lot of polygons involved in its design, and when you've pitched and guyed it out you'll see the magic: vertical and outwardly convex sides make it very spacious inside, with the ability to sit up, look out and exit from either side through spacious doors with no undue effort, elbowing or muttering of bad, bad words to a person you loved without reservation just moments before. With the fly off you have a lot of mesh to let the sun, stars and wind inside, and with the fly on you have a bomber little shelter with usable vestibules on each side for packs, boots, cooking (be careful please!) or your favorite furry friend.
The NX 2 pitches quickly with a very cool and high tech single monolithic pole from Easton, called the Syclone and made from a Kevlar-like material that gives it the strength of aluminum and the flexibility and weight of carbon fiber. Aside from the stakes, what you end up with are the tent, the fly and a "single" pole, so the whole enchilada goes up quickly and simply. You can even pitch the fly and poles first, then with a little ingenuity pitch the tent underneath. It does freestand with the exception of the vestibules, but you'll want to stake it out to take full advantage of the geometry. Storage space is limited, with long mesh pockets on either end – great for drying out wet clothing – and two very small mesh pockets overhead at the top of the doors.
Speaking of the enchilada, we know you're wondering what it weighs. 3 pounds 14 ounces as verified on our bike scale. There are lighter 2 person shelters out there, but none nearly as livable, and sub-four pounds is still pretty damn light. Given the weight, size, durability and sheer livability, it's the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 for the win.