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UOG Review of Mountain Hardwear Hoopla 4P tent & 'Nothing but the Net' inner - October 2012

This tent offers fabulous internal space for upto four people and yet weighs only 1.8kg (excluding pegs and bags). With a lot of pyramid and tepee tents you lose a lot of useable height at the edges – Mountain Hardware have solved this problem by fitting a hoop two thirds of the way up the tent to bring out the sides.

Its not supplied with a pole as its designed to be erected using a single trekking pole in the centre – it requires the pole to be about 135cm long and we think it pitches better with a pole even longer than this – you may have a trekking pole the right size but if not you can use two trekking poles joined together with a Gram-Counter Gear  ‘Stick Thingy’ – a nifty device that allows you to join two trekking poles together to make one long one.

Tent parts are supplied separately – the mesh inner tent and the flysheet include the circular pole in case you only want to use one of these parts – the flysheet makes a great single skin shelter for which you only need a groundsheet; when pitched together you can use two hoops or just one (in the flysheet) – this saves weight but doesn’t get such a neat inner pitch.

The design does suffer when windy – this is not a mountain tent – it excels on sheltered pitches, or if backpacking between campsites – or somewhere where storms are less likely. Having said that I spent a very windy and stormy night in the Lake District in October and the tent stood up well – it has plenty of tying down options, helping you combat the wind.

The tent comes with 6 pegs, the minimum required if you use one peg for both inner and flysheet, however there are secondary points between these (on the flysheet) for an additional six pegs at ground level. In addition there are guying out points half way up the main seams so that the tent can be stabilised further.

By using 3 or 4 gram pegs for the inner tent and something heftier for the guyouts you will only be adding around 70g to the total tent weight by carrying all the pegs you need rather than the minimum. The inner tent will pitch to the same pegs as the flysheet but I found that to get the flysheet fully tensioned it needed pegging further out than the inner tent would allow – I suggest micro pegs for the inner. Another solution would be to add shockcord loops to each pegging point on the inner, allowing you to peg the flysheet out further, though this would probably not be any lighter than using micro pegs. With all pegging points in place the tent will stand up to most of what may be thrown at it in a 3 season environment.

The space inside the tent is amazing – its a good sized four person tent. There’s no porch so you have to take all your gear inside – but you can pull back the inner tent to reveal ground for storage or cooking – if there are four of you this may be a nightmare – but if there are just two then this is a great way to create an area when the weather is bad.

I liked the height and space to get ready each morning – I could stand (hunched over) and get changed as normal. This would be the case for two people but you would have to take turns if there were four.

There are no pockets on the tent inner – these would be useful  – especially if you have four people sharing this space.

In summary – this is a very light and very spacious 3 season tent for four people or a luxurious two.  It requires pegging out fully to resist the wind but this should not be a problem so long as you don't go pitching it on exposed sites.