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Outdoor Retailer: The Hoopla over a 4P Tent

We head to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this week, and there's so much new backcountry gear to cover we're previewing some that has already caught our eye, like this shelter for four that weighs less than two pounds.

Mountain Hardwear Hoopla 4

Mountain Hardwear Hoopla 4

Is that right? I thought when I saw the weight on Mountain Hardwear's Hoopla 4. It was. One pound, 10 ounces. For a four-person shelter.

How do you make such a light four-person shelter? You make the floor optional, require a trekking pole, and design a whole new tent type (according to Mountain Hardwear), using structural fabric as the frame and a "revolutionary" Trussring suspended ring overhead to create an interior peak height of 50 inches and 64 square feet of floor space.

How much space is that really? Mountain Hardwear says the Hoopla 4 is "an 11th essential emergency shelter for day hikers, a minimalist backpacking shelter that seats four, a through-hiker's dream." (MSRP $350)


We'll get and share full details, plus pictures and videos for closer looks, on much more outdoor equipment and apparel at Outdoor Retailer, August 3-7, in Salt Lake City.

What would you like to see or hear about as we cover the show? Tell us below.

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Can someone (Alicia?) interpret " 11th essential " ?   Is that supposed to be added to the proverbial "10 essential things  ... " ?

Kinda like when Nigel Tufnel  (in "This Is Spinal Tap", the movie)  turns his Marshall amplifier's volume knob  up to 11, when it only goes to 10 ???

Where do they get these "marketing types" ??


See now I am totally confused, I thought the 11th essential was toilet paper...

Yes, they're referencing the 10 Essentials, which I'll point out often already include emergency shelter.

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

See now I am totally confused, I thought the 11th essential was toilet paper...

No, the 11th essential is whiskey.  You can use poison ivy in lieu of TP, but nothing substitutes for whiskey.


The 11th essential is, of course, bickies.

pillowthread said:

The 11th essential is, of course, bickies.

No no! Pizza, steak, jerky, beer and whiskey are the five essential food groups - everything else are just optional dietary supplements.  (There is a strong argument for including BBQ ribs, however.)


Back to the Hoopla...


Very clever design BUT - no coverage of the entrance when entering & exiting, no vestibule for packs and boots/shoes. Thus not on my list of tents to buy.

However, that hoop design will likely be found again in future tents by MH and others.

If I had to choose between spending the night in a tiny sleeping chamber w/ a vestibule for my gear or this tent where there’s room for everything inside and then some, I’d choose this.  Tipis and Yurts don’t have vestibules.  Wouldn't want to do it with 4 people though.

This is a cool idea, I hope it works in the field. For that weight you would have a very large 2 person tent.

Other than the "revolutionary" Trussring suspended ring this thing looks just like a Black Diamond megamid.  When we did the east Buttres on Mt. Whitney a few years ago, my friend brought his megamid or one pair of people (it's described as a 4 person shelter), and we simply took the poles of my NF Westwind and the fly only - left the tent at home.  Had the same solution - a single wall outer shelter with no floor.  But both have doors.  Megamid specs put it at just over 2 lbs.

I saw a Hoopla 4 being field tested.  The square footage is almost identical to my Chouinard Pyramid but the Hoopla is 6-sided instead of 4, has more vertical walls (because of the hoop) and a lot more internal volume and usable space than my Chouinard even though it’s shorter, short enough to where they were using a regular hiking pole w/o an extension.  It seems the floating hoop breaks up the run of fabric from peak to ground and that could be why it was so taut.   Set up was far quicker than my pyramid; they used alignment tabs.  They also said it stuffs into a Nalgene bottle (just the fabric, not the stakes and hoop). It’s a not a pyramid, tunnel or dome tent -- MHW calls it a Ring Pole tent.  I’m a fan. 

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