Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL3

- published April 2017

88

2017

RATINGS

Shoulder Room
7
Packability
8
Setup
9
Weatherproofness
7
Features
7
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$450.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Third lightest in set
  • Good floor space
  • Compact packability

THE BAD

  • Expensive
  • Smallest vestibule area
  • Third lowest peak

THE VERDICT

The Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL2 took home the silver medal in this test, only a single point and $50 behind the winner. Users will love the tent’s light weight compared to others with a similar amount of floor space. The Happy Hooligan’s biggest drawback is its small vestibule area and big price tag.

FULL REVIEW

Shoulder Room
The Happy Hooligan has decent shoulder room, although its walls are less steep than others in the test set, striking a balance between interior room and weatherproofness. It has two medium sized vestibules, which will store the most basic amount of gear. It is also tied for the most ventilation on the body of the tent, which can be the difference between comfort and stewing in the smell of your hiking partner’s dirty socks. 

Packability
The Big Agnes Happy Hooligan rolls into a small cylinder, the second most compact tent in the set. This makes splitting the load between partners easy. It is the third lightest tent we looked at, with a minimum weight just over four pounds. The stuff sack is a traditional sack with a lightweight drawstring. 

Setup
First time solo setup for our tester was 4:00, making it the fastest tent to set up by a full two minutes, earning it a high score. It has one large aluminum H-style pole, and one small pole that props up the center. When the user puts the pole together it forms a simple H shape, which makes it really easy to see how it’s supposed to be put together quickly. 

Weatherproofness
The Happy Hooligan received middling marks in this category because it balances interior floor space with a moderate profile. The fly is fixed with basic plastic buckles, which gives some concern for their durability though they held well during testing. The door can be staked quite low to the ground, which will help prevent wind from getting underneath and soaking gear in the vestibule or people in the tent. The overall strength of the pole structure makes it ready to repel gusty conditions. 

Features
This tent has two large doors, one on either side. There are also two large optional vents that can be put up when some more air flow is needed and closed during driving wind or rain. The interior of the body of the tent has six gear pouches arranged throughout. 

Additional Product Specifications
Minimum Trail Weight: 4 lbs 1 oz

Max / Packaged Weight: 4 lbs 7 oz

Interior Floor Area: 43 sq ft

Vestibule Area: 9 sq ft

Peak Interior Height: 43 in

How We Tested It

The tents in this test were used throughout the spring of 2017, on multi-week mountaineering trips in the Pacific Northwest, along with additional testing in the central Sierra Nevada. The length and intensity of the trips allowed a close look at the performance of each tent, with a strong appreciation for the consequences of that performance. 

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other tent tests, backpacking stove tests, and overnight backpack tests, along with other related hiking and camping gear tests

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Scott Morris

Scott Morris

Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment. 

Shop for the Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL3

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$450.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
MSRP
LOW PRICE
$450.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Shoulder Room
7
Packability
8
Setup
9
Weatherproofness
7
Features
7
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

Jump To