Looking for the perfect tent- Coleman Hooligan?

2:22 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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My boyfriend and I decided that this summer we should do a bit of road tripping and camping. He moved here (Oregon) a few years ago and hasn't been out of the Willamette Valley and because I'm a native I've made it my goal to show him around this beautiful state. Anyway, we're looking for a tent (obviously) and we have several criteria. Actually a lot of criteria. We're apparently very picky.

1.) We don't want to spend more than $100.

2.) I don't want to get wet. At all.

3.) We probably won't be doing any backpacking so weight isn't a factor.

4.) Would like something around the 8x8 size.

5.) We'd like it to be sturdy/durable. Not that it has to last through an ice storm or anything. Just something that won't fall apart after 2 trips.

I've found the Coleman Hooligan which seems nice. I can't really find very many reviews about it so if you have any experience with this tent or if you can suggest another, your help would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks!

6:07 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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Since this is primarily a backpacking/climbing/skiing website, folks around here don't know much about huge, cheap tents.

6:54 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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lalario Welcome to Trailspace

I agree with Bill but will and this as well. For the most part get what you pay for in most cases.

Depending on if you can get that tent at a local retailer you can set it up and judge for yourself on the quality then if you don't like it you can return it.

8:09 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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Generally, I'd recommend staying away from fiberglass poles if you want any longevity from your tent. Spend a little more(or get a lightly used tent) for a quality tent(aluminum pole set), take care(NEVER store it wet) of it, and you'll get many years of enjoyable use out of it.

12:51 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Besides backpacking I like to do a bit of the back country (roaded) car camping in the Oregon Cascades and Central/Eastern Oregon.

One of my too many tents is a Coleman 7x7 Sundome. I bought it as an inexpensive tent to take UV damage that can occur in extended set-ups (like fire camps).

My Sundome is similar to the Hooligan, but without the nice vestibule. With the rainfly off I think you will enjoy all the stargazing potential.

I think that 11mm fiberglass poles should be plenty adequate for your needs, especially when budget is a concern.

While I dont think you will find a 'perfect tent' under $100, I think your choice is very reasonable. 8x8 will be very roomy for two, which is great for car camping.

Eureka also makes some god quality, reasonably priced tents. Campmor.com has a good selection. I sill think your initial choice might be a good one for car camping.

Good luck, hope this helps.

TreeGuy Bob

8:49 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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I tried the cheap tent route and regretted it. Even with spray and seam sealing, it leaked. If, as you say, not getting wet is of prime importance, spend a bit more. You will end up doing so in the long run anyway.

Overstock.com has some ALPS Meramac outfitter tents on sale at very good prices at the moment. Do yourself a favor and but one good tent now rather than a cheap one and then a better one. You'll save money in the long run and avoid a lot of frustration and disappointment.

Stay dry and happy camping.

9:57 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Check Craigslist for used tents.

Keep an eye on >steepandcheap.com< for new

Alps mountaineering, Big agnes tents show up quite a bit.

10:42 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Perfect and cheap just dont work in the same sentance.As bill has stated this web site is more for remote campers rather than car camping.Could i suggest you google for your needs,such as car camping?Good luck.

10:51 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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I'd echo a couple of others' points. Just say NO to fiberglass poles unless you like to swear a lot as you pitch and strike your tent. At $100 your choices are limited.

The lowly Eureka Timberline 2 is a very unsexy tent, but for the money is hard to top as the tent is solid and weatherproof. The 4 person would be a better bet, but it costs more (6 person better still).


SteepandCheap.com can have great bargains from time to time if you are patient.

Your best bet may be to scour ebay, Craigslist and other web outlets (REI, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post) for deals.

You may be able to find a decent condition Eureka Timberline on Craigslit for under $100 in the 4 person model.

6:36 p.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Jeez, where's ministercreek when you need him??

8:37 p.m. on July 12, 2009 (EDT)
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Ok, my turn.

My last tent was a Coleman Mountaineer 7x7 dome tent. I used it for 8 years. Even lived out of it for 8 months. Never once did it leak. Never once did a pole crack or break. Cost me $35.00 at walmart. Point is you get what you pay for. And in some cases thats a $200 name. I would put that old coleman up against any other 3 season tent any day of the week.

Now I'm into backpacking more, and I got me a glaciers edge See picture). Cost $25.00, yes a pole cracked in 60 mph winds. But I have yet to get wet. The bottom line is will the tent keep you dry, and does it do what you want it to do. If it does then it is a good tent reguardles how much you pay or what name it has on it.

Coleman makes a good tent, one that will last years. And with care will keep you high and dry. Why spend 10 times more for a tent that will only do the same thing. Buy the Coleman. And have a good time..

4:48 p.m. on July 15, 2009 (EDT)
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I see those tents all the time here at Devil's Lake.

11:10 p.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I just bought a Hooligan 3 a few weeks ago and used it for the first time this past weekend. ($80 at Dick's Sporting Goods.) Several years ago I traded a 4 person tent for my REI Half Dome. I'm 5'3" and the 4-person was too tall for me to set up easily. The Half Dome has served me well, and I'll still use it for kayak camping or backpacking, but I want more space for the weekend car camping stuff. I would have loved to have bought an REI Basecamp 4 or similar, but at $350, that just wasn't in the plan right now, so I went w/ the Hooligan. I love, love, love it, however, during a mega storm in southern Minnesota last weekend I did get a few drips - I think the rain was just coming down so hard that it got under the roof vent. Is this enough to make me return it? No way. This tent is perfect for me and I'll throw a tarp over the top the next time I have to ride out a deluge. It has a full rain fly and a great vestibule. All my camping buddies liked it too. I've never had a problem with fiberglass poles. Hope this helps a little.

10:07 a.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Reluctanly, I used a Coleman in Palawan rain forests. It was the only branded tent available and very expensive out there.

The good points are it was spacious and the poles did not break. The bad points are, it was heavy and it leaked in monsoon rains. Having said that, the people that I abandoned it with were extremely happy!

8:04 p.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Regardless of the success some people have had with cheap tents, you do get what you paid for. We (meaning this site) do not even entertain posts regarding replacement parts, etc. for these things. See the FAQs, so, keep that in mind if you buy one and have a problem with it.

Often, these tents are sold at big box stores where the staff know nothing about them and parts or warranty repairs are not easily found. As long as you have an alternate plan, like a car nearby as your bailout option, it may not make a difference to you. Don't want to get wet? Don't count on it.

8:52 p.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Well, if you drive to the start of a trail indicated in the Lonely Planet, then it may not make a difference to you.

However, if you travel to undocumented places on the other side of the world then you cannot know what equipment you will need until you arrive - and the nearest city may not have a mountaineering store. In which case, you might be praying that the supermarket has a Coleman!!

10:13 p.m. on August 25, 2009 (EDT)
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I picked one up last week on sale at WM(in Canada it is called "bear Creek " )to be used as a solo boat camping tent. I sprayed it before heading out . Nice tent , great for me and my cot , sorry sleeping on a thermo rest is not my bag . The tent is flimsy and I wonder how long it will last ? Once set up at the site the zipper on the door was very hard to close , I guess the fly was putting too much strain on it as it worked fine without the fly. I had no problem with the vent pole and it didn't leak during an hour of lite rain ( I also seam sealed the fly ) .My 11yr old Coleman 10x12 dome has withstood terrible storms and abuse and always served us well but I think the new ones are not as durable . Anyways , I like the full fly and vestibule , inside of tent is mostly mesh so not a warm tent in cool climes (my old coleman is a warm tent ) Not a back packing tent I guess but for the price and size it seems pretty good , if I can get the fly tension vs zipper right I should be good for a few years and the height is nice. I think you could do a lot worse in this price range . I also have a Eureka 8x8 which is a much better tent but larger and heavier , so this little one is great as my solo retreat . I hope to get out a few more times with it this season .

11:24 p.m. on August 25, 2009 (EDT)
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However, if you travel to undocumented places on the other side of the world then you cannot know what equipment you will need until you arrive - and the nearest city may not have a mountaineering store. In which case, you might be praying that the supermarket has a Coleman!

stormbind.....sounds like the voice of experience there.

I would point out though, that even though you may be going to a place new to you, it is quite possible to pick a tent (maybe with some advise from a knowledgeable person) that will be suitable for the climate you will be in. Research and planning is a necesary and invaluable part of my trips, I often get advise from right here on Trailspace.

6:54 p.m. on August 26, 2009 (EDT)
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Well, sometimes plans change and I have only experienced a mountainous rainforest. I have not even camped in my own country ''!

I will quickly concede that a big tent is a poor solution for mountainous rainforests because it adds significant weight and can be difficult to pitch due to lack of flat clearings. I am not certain that a sealed hammock is any wiser, because nighfall is at 6pm and the hammock isolates you from the group.

I suggest that shared accomodation is pretty important in rainforests because it provides an epicentre for noises that scare away poisonous animals. It also adds psychological reassurance, which assists in a good night sleep. For example, tribes have survived in dangerous environments by sharing very crowded houses assembled from available vegetation. They also perform noisy rituals immediately after sunset.

My current thoughts are that it may be better to build semi-permanent accomodation. However, it would make me very happy to be given a solution that I did not know existed :)

1:44 a.m. on August 27, 2009 (EDT)
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I really liked my eureka timberline tent. it is the basic boyscout tent. a frame. I used it in several big rain storms and never once got wet. it cost me 109. I would definately look into it. you can get it i think in two three or four person versions.

7:20 p.m. on September 6, 2009 (EDT)
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The first real draw back I have found on 2 trips is the the door is only screen , there is no inner cover to sip up , you have to have the vestibule closed . It keeps zero heat , camping with a summer bag on a cool night in spring or fall is a no no . I used a mec super lite bag this weekend , good for camping in the tropics . My mistake not to bring my own bag.

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