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Hoolie 2 By Wild Country Review

by Dan

The Hoolie 2 Tent by Wild Country (a brand of Terra Nova) is available in a few different flavors. There the original, compact, ETC and an ETC compact version. I own the bog-standard Hoolie 2, and my experience is based on this! But I suspect much of my experience would also apply to the other incarnations of this technical tent.

What The Manufacturer Says About The Hoolie 2

Based on the manufacturers’ specifications, the Hoolie 2 is a spacious 2-man tunnel tent. The tunnel design makes it quick and easy to pitch with both outer and inner pitches together. It sleeps 2, weighs in at 2.3kg, pitches in around 8 minutes, and features a single door. It’s advertised as a 3-season tent with the flysheet made from PU Polyester R/S 4000mm and the floor from PU Polyester R/S 4000mm FR. It packs down to be 42cm x 15cm and comes with 2 colour-coded ‘Superflex’ alloy poles and 15 allow pegs.

This tent has 10 black, reflective guylines for added stability. Fully taped fly and groundsheet with ventilation under the hoods at both ends (the front one can be adjusted with the door zip). There’s also a mesh panel at the top of the inner door for extra ventilation. The Hoolie 2 is also advertised as having a larger porch area than similar tents in this category.

The price varies depending on where you get it. I bought mine for £140 from GoOutdoors. But at the time of writing, they were selling for £180. My recommendation is to shop around, you might find a good deal.

The Real Deal

I’ve used this tent a few times. Admittedly I’ve never used it in really bad weather. My first impressions of the tent were quite good and improved from there. First, let’s talk about the ‘sleeps 2’ business. It really would sleep 2, and probably quite comfortably. The inside of the tent is fairly spacious and has enough room for two large sleeping mats to maintain a gap between them. There isn’t a lot of room to do much of anything else though. I’m 6ft 2, and though I could sit up, my head was touching the flysheet. So if you’re looking for space or a tent you might share with someone you don’t know too well, move on now. I could only recommend sharing the Hoolie 2 with someone you are very familiar with.

Pitching The Hoolie 2

8 minutes is how long Wild Country say you can get this tent pitched in. My first attempt took closer to 12 minutes. That was in fairly low light, no instructions and having never pitched it before (so figuring out where all the pegs went etc). The next few attempts at pitching went far smoother and I imagine my pitching time is now down to 8 minutes or less. It’s straightforward and quick, especially since the inner and outer pitch together as one. The two alloy poles aren’t colour coded but are flexible enough to get into place. I don’t think this matters though, as they are both the same length!

The tent isn’t self-supporting, so it needs 4 pegs at least to stand, and 8 total to be secure. You could probably get away with not using most (or even all) of the guylines on a really nice night. Before you try pitching it though, save yourself some bother and look at how the inner attaches to the outer. It uses little clips that can be tightened – tighten them! Mine was slack and I didn’t realise until the tent was up. I was looking inside thinking about how loose the inner flysheet was hanging and how there was no space. Realising my mistake and tightening these clips opened the inner up nicely.

Once pitched, the tent felt sturdy and secure. I did note that the groundsheet is not a bucket design and is fairly shallow. So it’s worth checking your chosen spot to make sure there is no chance of water building up around you. Not doing this could leave you with a stream running right through your sleeping area (and that makes for miserable camping, trust me).

What’s It Actually Like To Use

Spacious, but don’t expect to sit up. The Hoolie 2 has plenty of room inside. I bought this tent to use for solo camps. I’d got fed up of feeling cramped in some one-man tents. There is loads of room for a single person, but there isn’t much height. The tent could easily sleep 2, or one with ALL your gear inside with you (and still room to move). The tent is quite dark once it’s all closed up, I like this though as I struggle to sleep in the light. I also found it quite warm (admittedly it was in August, but in North Wales on the mountains – that means nothing).

There’s a handy little loop above the door, easy enough to miss if you’re not looking for it. It’s ideal for hanging a small head torch or lantern which lights the tent up nicely for your evening activities. I found sleeping in the Hoolie 2 really easy. There’s been a steady breeze every time I’ve used the tent, but it stands strong and the noise is fairly minimal. There’s nothing really flapping about, and your essentials are easily accessible from the pockets on either side.

The tent door can be fully opened. Or just opened on one side. Little toggles on the porch can be used to tuck the door out of the way. These worked great but the positioning is not brilliant. They can get in the way of the zip and snag a little when trying to open or close the door. Not ideal in the middle of the night or when you’re trying to get in and out quickly to avoid filling your tent with midges.

Getting in and out during the night is fairly easy too. You can position the inner zip anywhere you like, so you can move it to the most convenient location for you. It might be more of a struggle if there are two of you sleeping though as there isn’t going to be much room – especially if your packs are in the porch! I’m not sure how you’d manage to cook in the porch either, yes it’s big enough, but the tent is fairly low. I’m sure you could manage in a pinch, but I’d recommend doing your cooking outside of the porch for optimal comfort.

The final thing I really love about this tent is how easy it is to take down. I had it down and packed away in under 2 minutes. It’s really easy to get it stuffed away quickly thanks to the carry bag being slightly oversized (ideal if you’re stuck in a downpour). To help compress the tent down, you can also use the carry strap which can be tightened.

Would I Buy It Again

Absolutely. It’s a great tent. Sure there are lighter tents with smaller pack sizes. But for the money, this is a great buy. There are plenty of things I would like to see updated if Wild Country releases a new version (bucket groundsheet for one). But overall the tent has an excellent cost-to-weight ratio and has warded off heavy downpours of rain and good gusts of wind. I wouldn’t want to share the tent with anyone I didn’t know well, especially if the weather wasn’t great. But as a spacious solo tent, it ticks all the right boxes for me. It is worth mentioning that you can get lighter tents, with more headroom without spending too much money!

 

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