MSR Holler 3 Tent Review
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After many years of having similar designs and color schemes in their tent lines, MSR has come out with a number of new tents with new designs and a new color set. I’ve been testing out the MSR Holler over the past few months to see if the tent lived up to all of MSR’s hype. Since MSR has such a great following in their tent line with tents like the Hubba Hubba, they had to be very careful with any changes they made to their existing tent line. Since the Hubba tent is has been so true and tried and a staple in many backpackers gear list, I thought it would be good to check out the MSR Holler which is a 3-person tent that is great for backpacking and car camping. Since I have 2 large dogs in addition to one other person camping with me most of the time, a 3-person tent is my preference. And while there are only two people, a 60lb and 80lb dog take up plenty of room.
I’ve tested the MSR Holler 3 out in a number of different conditions and environments. First, I tested this tent in Colorado where the temperatures dropped to 25-30 degrees fahrenheit. There was no rain and the air was fairly dry, true to typical Colorado weather. Next, I decided to test out the tent on my adventure style honeymoon in California. I tested the tent in Big Sur car camping, backpacked with it in Point Reyes National Seashore, and another night of car camping in the Redwood Forest. With the main tent frame pole system, there is one pole that connects all four corners and is connected by the backbone of the tent pole system. For added structure, there is a separate tent pole that crosses over the middle of the tent. After the tent poles were set up(which was extremely easy and fast) all you had to do was clip in the tent to the poles (again, super easy and fast). The fly is easy to through over the main body and is secured by buckles from either the main body of the tent or the footprint.
The inside of the MSR Holler 3 is convenient and well thought out. There are plenty of pockets to stash anything that you want separated from your normal gear bag. I typically put my keys, cell phones, headlamps, small camera’s, contact cases, or anything else you want to keep separate. There are two spaces on the ceiling and pockets on each side of the tent. Since having 3 people in a tent or 2 people and two dogs and can crowded at times, it’s nice to have to vestibules (doors) that you can enter or exit from. This is nice if you don’t want to wake up your camp mate and need to go to the bathroom. It also allows for a good draft to go through the tent if the tent heats up during the summer months. In total, the MSR Holler 3 weighs 6 pounds and 9 ounces including the tent body, fly, poles, stakes, and stuff sack. This is pretty light for a 3-person tent and is very manageable if you divide up the tent parts while backpacking.
While camping in the Redwood Forest in Northern CA, we ended up getting rained on all day and night. The fog and clouds came in and only wanted to keep our campsite wet, seriously! (the campsite next to us stayed dry the whole time…) Luckily for me, I thought that it was a great opportunity to test out how waterproof the tent was. The tent fly was completely waterproof and didn’t allow any water to enter. The fly itself was waterproof, but often water comes in through the seems in many rain fly’s. Since the seems were taped in the MSR Holler 3, we stayed completely dry. And while the fly kept water out, in extremely humid conditions, I noticed condensation start to form on the inside of the tent floor. To my knowledge, there was no way to prevent this. I also found condensation to form overnight after a good nights sleep. Again, this was probably due to the high humidity. There are two velcrowed vents in the fly, but they didn’t seem to keep all the moisture out, but they helped a little.
Overall, I have been pretty satisfied with the MSR Holler 3 and on a scale of 0-5 with 0 being awful and 5 being amazing, I give this tent a 4.5. The MSR Holler 3 can be found online and in most specialty outdoor stores. For more information on the Holler 3 and other MSR products, please visit www.msrgear.com or www.amazon.com/msrgear.