Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coleman Hooligan 3 Tent Review

If you're looking for qualtiy camping gear at a great price, Coleman has been providing great products for over 100 years, starting with their lanterns. Having recently reviewed Colemans Big Basin Extreme Weather sleeping bag, I was glad to note that things hadn't changed on that front, so I was eager to test out their Hooligan 3 tent. The Hooligan 3 is a 3 person, 3 season backpacking tent.

Features and specs:

  • Exclusive WeatherTec™ System Keeps you dry Guaranteed™
  • Spacious interior, room move
  • Dome for quick, 10-minute setup
  • Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup
  • Fully-covered vestibule for dry entry and added wind protection near the door
  • Full rainfly for protection from the cold, sun, wind and rain
  • Dry entry vestibule allows convenient access and adjustable airflow
  • Entire mesh inner tent provides maximum ventilation
  • Full fly offers complete protection in the harshest conditions
  • Full-mesh inner tent for incredible ventilation
  • Large windows help cool the tent
  • Storage pockets keep gear organized
  • WeatherTec™ System— patented welded floors and inverted seams keep water out
  • Insta-Clip™ pole attachments stand up to winds
  • 8 ft. x 7 ft. (2.44 m x 2.13 m), fits three people
  • Center height: 4 ft. 10 in. (1.47 m)
  • Limited 1 year warranty
  • Made in China

  • The tent came in a nice looking, color printed cardboard box, with images of the pitched tent as well as some features and specs printed on it. Opening the box revealed the tent bag with the tent enclosed in protective cardboard inside the tent bag. I opened up the tent bag and removed the cardboard to unroll the tent. The nylon floor as well as the nylon walls appear to be of good quality as well as the netting of the walls. Stiching of the floors, walls and basically all surfaces appeared well secured and well put together. The included tent stakes are rather cheap, thin aluminum and have a tendancy to bend rather easily, so you may want to consider purchasing some nicer tent stakes. With that being said, that is typical with tent manufacturers.

    The tent was rather easy to set up. The three tent poles were all a fiberglass construction and slid into the sleeves in a crossover pattern that seemed fairly strong in design. I really liked the large mesh side walls which kept out bugs yet allowed for stargazing if the rain fly is not needed for moisture protection. There was also a ventalation built in to allow for fresh air in and out of the tent so it doesn't get stuffy. Based on the size of it's footprint, the Hooligan is rated as a 3 person tent, and I can see 3 adults fitting inside it. It would be a slightly tight fit, but as a backpacking tent you don't want excessive room anyway, it's heavier to carry! There were included pockets in the interier to help with the space saving by providing spots for flashlights and small items to be stored inside the tent. The included instructions were easy to follow and proved to be helpful in putting it up for the first time, especially with the pole that goes accross the front for the rain fly/vestibule area. 

    After setting up the tent and securing the fly I could see how this could be a easy 3 season and possibly light 4 season tent. It's use of a two pole design for the main tent body make heavy snow loads a potential problem, but anything other than that should be fine. The fly fits snuggly and I really liked the velcro to attach the fly to the main tent and the pole accross the main vestibule. The front vestibule was also very nice. It was rather large with plenty of space for 3 bags plus your shoes and provided a nice place where you can walk out of the rain or snow and take off your shoes and jacket before entering into the main body of the tent to keep wet or muddy items away from sleeping gear. About the only thing I did not like about the design was the number of tie downs on the fly. While I could see them being helpful in more extreme weather such as high winds, there were a lot of them and I've seen tents with a lot less. But at the same time, that's being a bit picky. Taking down was also simple to do and getting it all folded small enough to fit back into the bag was not overly difficult. To me that's a big win!

    With the Coleman Hooligan 3, I was pleasently not surprised with the quality of the tent. This is a good example of a company that makes a good product and continues to maintain that hard earned reputation. I had high expectations for the tent, and was not disappointed. The Coleman Hooligan 3 was made of good quality components, was put together well, and seemed able to handle the wear and tear of anyone, including a scout troop. As an assistant scoutmaster, I would not hesitate to recommend this tent to any scout/parent, or anyone for that matter, who does a lot, or even a little, amount of camping. With an MSRP of $99, it's also an excellent value. Based on it's design, features, specs, it has earned our Recommended Award. For more features and complete specs, check out thier website at