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MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

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MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:03 pm

The total weight on this tent was great (4.5 lbs); it has gobs of mosquito netting for nights without a fly and it was roomier than the REI Half Dome I've been using but it had a fatal flaw: the worst interior condensation of any tent I've ever owned. And, I've been through a few: REI Stargazer; North Face Dome, Moss (2 man, don't recall model) and the Half Dome. Regardless of how we pulled it out or fiddled with the fly, we got condensation dripping on us, our bags, etc. Exiting the tent involved sliding past condensation laden wings on the fly. It resisted rain well, but the interior moisture was a disaster. To their credit, A16 took the tent back with nary a complaint; caveat emptor.
cg



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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby hikin_jim » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:33 pm

Interesting. What conditions were you using it under?

I was out a couple of weeks ago, and everything -- everything -- was getting sopping wet, outside the tent and in. It was just a damp night and not my tent's fault. Not saying that was what happened with your Hubba Hubba, but I am always interested in finding out what the conditions were.

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:42 pm

hj,
The beauty on this trip was our friend had the REI Halfdome (HD) set up adjacent to us. Granted, only one body in his tent, but there was very little condensation in the HD at the same time the Hubba Hubba was dripping (all 3 nights). The HD has vents, and I suspect that this helped a lot. That said, the conditions were ripe for this problem, as it rained all three nights and the humidity was pretty high even as temps dropped. The vexing thing is that in spite of our efforts to pull the rainfly out, it kept sagging and transmitting the condensation to and through the mosquito netting. Nothing we did (pulling the fly even tighter, trying to increase the angle, etc) helped. If there's a trick, we didn't figure it out. But, after 3 nights of water drop wonderland, I had no remorse about returning the thing....
cg
Last edited by cgundersen on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby hikin_jim » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:49 am

Wow, that sucks, but it's pretty telling that the other tent didn't have the same problems. Sounds like you did the right thing.

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:12 am

On duff or grass/vegetation? Did you take something to use as a ground cloth in the vestibule(s)?

Regardless of site or measures taken it did sound like something going on with the tent. The only variable would be site - If the REI tent were on granite slab and you were on grass, that would account for the incredible condensation. You respirate, plants do too, and moisture rises out of bare ground as well.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby BrianF » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:30 pm

I had a similar experience, probably about the same rainy nights, with a Big Agnes seedhouse 1. I have used it several times before and never had that much condensation! I have often gotten more condensation in it than I ever have with my REI quarter Dome. I think the main diff is that there is a high vent in the quarter dome that can remain open in most rainy conditions (occasionally the wind can blow the rain in) whereas the Seedhouse only allows you to open the top of the door for high ventilation but rain comes right through the opening. I had considerably less condensation on the nights I could leave that open a bit. At least I did not have the problem of the fly draping onto the netting and dripping, but I did have the same slimy crawl out the door you describe. At barely over 2 lbs, it is a keeper for solo trips and I will just work to keep the top vent open as much as possible
BTW, the Seedhouse 1 performs great in the rain, a bit tiny to be tentbound in, but dry except for the condensation
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:04 pm

had a tarptent double rainbow for 9/12-9/19 trip during the storms. We also had a 2 Mil plastic sheet that spread out below and through the vestibules. Worked well. there was still condensation, but not bad enough to wake us up. The liner worked well to wick away the moisture to beyond our heads. I figure the ground at night was more humid than the air.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby hikin_jim » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:50 pm

BrianF wrote:... the Seedhouse 1 performs great in the rain, a bit tiny to be tentbound in, but dry except for the condensation
Try a Kelty Dart I! (actually, don't try a Kelty Dart I -- it's awfully small)

The Seedhouse one isn't bad for what it is -- a one person tent.

My dad was using a bivy sack for a while to save weight. Then he got caught in a 2 or 3 day storm. He never used that bivy sack again.

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby hikin_jim » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:51 pm

rlown wrote:had a tarptent double rainbow for 9/12-9/19 trip during the storms. We also had a 2 Mil plastic sheet that spread out below and through the vestibules. Worked well. there was still condensation, but not bad enough to wake us up. The liner worked well to wick away the moisture to beyond our heads. I figure the ground at night was more humid than the air.


That's a good idea to cover the vestibule too in the case of ground condensation.

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:22 pm

AT suggested that earlier. Just seems like the right thing to do with vestibules..
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:03 am

AlmostThere wrote:On duff or grass/vegetation? Did you take something to use as a ground cloth in the vestibule(s)?


Each night the tents were on sandy gravel but no ground cover. But, the floor of the tent/vestibule was fine, it was just the condensation from above. I'll try to get a photo posted.

As for one man tents or bivvies, I've gone that route on occasion, but unless the weather forecast is 100% clear, I've hit too many capricious storms over the last couple decades that I've mostly been glad to have carried the extra tent weight. It's always easy to leave the tent or fly in the stuff sack on a clear night than it is to crawl under a rock when it starts to pour.
cg

PS: I just realized that photo 15 in the link for the "Minarets...." TR I posted recently shows the REI and MSR tents in close proximity. By morning, the REI fly was damp, but the MSR's was soaked.
Last edited by cgundersen on Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:27 am

A good topic with some nice info!! I as well have noted different levels of condensation in different tents, but always attributed it to the manufacturing (i.e., more or less venting). Not factors such as evapo/transpirartion, but it seems very likely now thinking about it. Thanks!

I had to chuckle about the bivy comments as I too went through a "bivy/tarp" phase in the 90's looking to shed weight. I actually still like my bivy sack for short weekend stuff in good weather low bug conditions, car camping, etc, but getting caught for a week in a monsoonal deluge in 99 has quelled my usage to all but the shortest trips. Honestly, after a deluge in Red Mountain Basin on my last day/night of a week long trip, I swore I'd never get caught in the backcountry again without a tent of some sort. And bivys have condensation issues as well (at least mine does).
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