Far from universally loathed. I find mine much easier to load than roll film, and orders of magnitude easier to load than SS reels which I never could get the hang of doing consistently. BUT, I have the loader base. Some say it's not necessary at all. Maybe not, but it sure makes it easy. I've played with loading without it and, while I think I could do it, it's just so much easier using it. If you can find one, and they're not that uncommon, it makes the job quite easy.
Disclaimer - I've never tried loading in a bag, tent etc. I always do it on a room table right in the darkroom, which I suspect makes the biggest difference of all.