Best tent for Vancouver Island

I’ll looking at spending a few weeks this spring paddling the San Juan islands and up part way Vancouver Island.

Can anyone recommend the best 3 season 2 person tent to use for that area? I was thinking of the MSR Hubba Hubba because I’d like to use the same tent for when I hike a section of the John Muir trail this August.

Any recommendations welcome.

ask these guys
This kayaking forum is local to Vancouver Island and can provide the experience and answers you’re looking for. It’s worth your time to post your question there too.


Your Hubba Hubba…
…will do fine. Not sure about what is best but I use that tent and it works fine.


I spent three weeks in a Hubba Hubba

– Last Updated: Oct-27-13 7:19 PM EST –

In Patagonia, in some pretty knarly conditions. Lots of rain and bursts of wind easily in the 50 knot range. The Hubba Hubba (HH) handled it just fine, got blown flat a few times and would just spring back up. Plenty dry with all the wind and rain. If I had to do it all over again I'd find an utlra-light solid wall tent (like a HH HP if they sold them in the states) or get a tent like a Hillberg single wall tunnel tent. But for Vancouver, where the beaches are big and there's room to hide in the rain forest, the HH should be just fine. Have fun, sounds like a great trip. Some of the best paddling I've done has been in British Columbia, starting out of Bella Bella Canada.

hubba hubba
I own one, good tent, packs light, easy up. My only knock is all mesh means it is not the warmest tent I own.

True that

Thanks y’all for the help :slight_smile:

Check out the paddling accessories
here on P-net.

I saw a good deal there and it looks like about half price

I think it is the lightest and smallest that exists.


Any quality tent with a fly that is in good repair will work for that country. The San Jauns are not as wet as lot of other areas nearby like the West Coast of Vancouver IS. Always bring a large tarp on boat trips in the islands. WA DNR campsites usually have a frame over the tables at their campsites. Maybe the Gulf Is site do too.

It’s nice when…
… the rain fly and the inner tent go up together. If you get stuck in rain, which you likely will, the inner tent will likely get very wet if the fly goes up afterwards.

I’ve had very good luck with a Hilleberg tent. I’ve set it up in rain and all the inside stuff has stayed nice and dry.

Exped also has some offerings where the fly and inner tent go up as one.

Good luck on your quest.

Bring a Tarp…
And set up the tent under the tarp. Actually with the Hubba Hubba you can set up the fly and then add the body in underneath, and do the same to take it down. Takes longer though…

eurekea outfitter
Cliff Jacobson recommends them and I personally have seen them hold up under the abuse of our scout troop.

I have used the timberline (2 man ) set up on top of snow on Roan Mountain and in Algonquin Provincial Park. I have and still use a Eureka Timberlite(2 man ) as a solo when I go out. Not saying they are the best

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2

How it compares to the Hubba Hubba 2:

4 oz. heavier (4 lbs 12 oz, which is considered backpacking weight)

A bit larger

Sturdier materials

Roomier at the head

Huge door

Very easy entry due to straight sides and fly configuration

Less than half the price

The Hubba frame might be sturdier, but dozens of reviews of the Zephyr report no frame problems.

Tents and prices
The price of tents has puzzled me quite a bit. I just started camping EVER, kayak camping and bought a Kelty tent about 100 bucks, worked fine on 2 trips, one trip had rain over night, no problem. But I see tents that go up to the in the $700 range. I just took a quick look at one of the suggestions above the Hillberg tents. Crazy expensive. I look at the specifications and it doesn’t look any better than the Zepher from Amazon link above. I read the reviews and they don’t seem to last much longer but even if they lasted 3 times as long there still not worth those crazy 500 and up dollar prices. I guess Iam missing something?

I get it for backpacking if there lighter but there not lighter Hilleburgs weigh the same or more than my 100 dollar Kelty Grand Mesa 2. Had mine out in quite a bit of wind too again no problem. Must be a reason Iam just not seeing it.

Nights aren’t that cold
A mesh-bodied tent with solid fly should be adequate.

Still, I really liked that the Mountain Hardwear Hammerhead (solid-bodied tent with full fly) was so dry inside that I never even noticed it had poured rain in the wee hours. Not one drop of condensation in that tent. It was a “convertible” type, meaning that a solid panel could be zipped out leaving a large mesh area, if so desired. But it weighs more than the HH.

are designed for extreme conditions that would tear a Hubba Hubba apart. On the tundra or on the shoulder of an alpine mountain , they are the best.

I have a four season mountaineering tent and because of the increased number of poles and beefy clips and sturdy floor ( 10000 mm hydrostatic pressure) and ventilation capability in subzero conditions and ability to withstand snow load goes over $700. Four season tents are not light. Usually double stitched especially at stress points.

I hsve a first gen Hubba Hubba and the poles are flimsy and several spiral cracked. Its bent in winds and torn the mesh in a couple of places (sewn in more mesh) and the fly is not long enough to get close to the ground. But its light. Is it a good summer tent for fairly dry conditions and backpacking? Sure. The rules change a bit when you are backpacking…

I believe the HH has been improved on since I got mine.

Good post…
The solid wall mountaineering tents do handle wind and bad weather a lot better than the 3 season hiking tents. You can set them up so they are really taut, you don’t have the sensation of your tent flapping around you all night, giving you the impression it might blow off at any minute. Also the solid walls keep the wind off you a lot better than the mesh tents, and if you’re on a sandy location, you don’t wake up in a sandbox. The huge vestibules also are a great place to get out of wet clothing so you don’t track water into the tent, a great place to keep gear so it doesn’t get wet, and a place to cook if needed. Would be interesting to see if someone could design an cold weather specific sea kayak expedition tent?

Kayakmedic, might be worth sending that old Hubba Hubba into MSR to see if they can “repair” it for you. Sometimes they will just send you a new tent. That’s something else that is incorporated into MSR’s premium price, premium customer service. Have often heard of people sending things in to get repaired and just receiving a brand new item. Might be worth a shot…

single wall
Just to clarify for folks who may not know the jargon; By “solid wall” i believe johnysmoke means “single wall”. It is still a fabric, not a solid material. Single wall designs forego the double wall rainfly/tent concept for a single layer of fabric that is waterproof and breathable to various degrees.

Personally, I have a couple of each; single and double wall tents. My favorite is the Black Diamond Skylight, a light and roomy hybrid single/double!

solid wall tents have no mesh. Just nylon. They can be and double walled like my Trango 3.1

Single wall tents are rather specialized and yes are a subspecies of the solid wall tent.

I’m on the same page with you now. I’ve just never heard anyone use the term solid wall…could be a regional thing.