Further to my post the other week on winter gear, I decided after much thinking time to go for the Hilleberg Soulo tent.
Attributes for selection of Hilleberg Soulo tent
Bomb-proof – I don’t need to concern myself where I pitch or what the weather throws at the tent.
Stable dome design – should get a good night’s sleep – very important
Excellent reviews from fellow outdoor bloggers and experts for example Chris Townsend’s review in TGO
High build quality
“Lightweight” in comparison to other 4-5 season tents
Very simple and quick to pitch – important in late autumn/winter
Excellent snow handling abilities, should this be required.
Opening up the stuff sack
The first thing I noticed (which is obvious) is the weight and the pack size compared to my Vaude Power Lizard UL tent. The weight is around an extra 1100g and the pack size is quite a lot bigger. The 3 poles have a very robust feeling, and looking at the tent generally, it is a very high standard of workmanship, with heavy-duty fixings, clips and zips. The 12 V pegs use DAC alloy and have a short piece of cord to help pull the peg out. The 3 crossing poles are 9mm DAC Featherlite NSL alloy with two sections on each pole pre – bent.
The outer tent fabric is made from Kerlon 1200( 30 dernier ripstop nylon) with a minimum tear strength of 12kg, coated both sides with a total of 3 layers of 100% silicone and a hydrostatic head of 3000mm.
The inner fabric is 30 denier ripstop nylon with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment.
The floor fabric is 70 denier nylon triple coated with polyurethane and a hydrostatic head of 5000mm.
First time pitching the tent
I had a quick go at putting the tent up indoors, as it freestanding it is easy to do so. This is a ridiculously simple tent to put up.
1. Spread the tent out, make the poles up.
2. Place the ends of two long poles in the poles sleeves. These go along the length of the tent. Place the ends of the shorter pole across the width of the tent,
3. Clip the hooks to the poles
4. Attach the vent cover by attaching the hooks to the matching rings. Then tighten the webbing straps, to make the vent cover taut.
5. Peg out the double guy lines (my wife wouldn’t let me do that indoors it would have ruin the carpet !!)
After work and before it was dark, I put the tent up in our field.
Here are some photos and commentary
First time erecting this tent, took around 10 minutes, including pegging out the double guy lines using the DAC alloy V pegs.
This photo shows the double guying system
The tent has an adjustable roof vent, accessible from inside the tent. A separate vent cover protects the open vent from rain and snow. The vent is tightened by a buckle system. The next two photos show this.
The inner is sufficient for one and has a high bathtub floor to keep out ground water. There is a triangle area which give some additional area for storage. There are two storage pockets side by side.
You can achieve more vestibule space, For example when cooking, by disconnecting the inner, by un- clipping the toggle which connects the inner tent to the outer.
The inner doors can be rolled back, with one half covered with no-see-um mesh. This in turn is covered with an equal sized zipper adjustable fabric panel.
The outer door zip has a heavy duty flap protecting zippers from rain.
From an initial look, this tent looks very well made and I sure it is going to be stable. It has a lot of well thought out features such as the venting system and the ability to increase the vestibule area. I am sure that at 2.1 kg in weight, people may say that they would not carry that weight and it is over specified . My believe is that the extra weight will be justified by ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep in any weather and easy cooking in bad weather. Time will tell.
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One thing that annoys me about the Fly Creek is the difficulty with which you cook in the porch. The Soulo clearly doesn’t have that problem! In a 4-5 season tent, that’s a good thing. Congratulations Mark! It looks a superb buy. If you get a great nights sleep in it, whatever the weather, that’s the best thing.
Maz – thanks for your comments. I hope it lives up to my expectations and reviews. Looking to use it next week, if all goes well.
Mark – new purchase made this morning. Given our chats, I wonder if you can guess…
I guess it is the Akto – am I correct ?
Wow! Deeply jealous. Not sure how I would get buying a Suolo past SWMBO and wonder how much I would use it. The Suolo would be the last tent standing after a nuclear strike.
Robin – Was it you who said you can never have too many tents or was it sleeping bags or backpacks ? 🙂
Lots of good features on it. – Lets hope it lives up to my high expectations of it.
I hoping to get some good use out of it in the winter – to justify the cost. I had a try out last night, it was pretty windy – didn’t budge an inch.
I going to try and do a trip shortly with it – a couple of nights, but with a relatively short mileage as I want to see how my knees behave ! They are much better, but I want to take it easy this trip.
Congratulations, Mark! As you probably have understood from my earlier comments, I do like this tent. Personally I’m ready to carry a little more weight when it comes to shelters – better safe than sorry when the weather unexpectedly turns bad. And 2 kg is not that heavy after all.
Hope you have many good moments with your new tent!
Maria -thank you for your thoughts – Great minds think alike 🙂
We used to carry 2kg one man tents not long back. Superb tent and bomber. Happy camping. Akto was never a true four season tent. Hence they made that.
Yes Martin it wasn’t long ago I had a Wild Country tent that was this weight.
Nice tent Mark, that’s one that looks as if it’ll take whatever comes it’s way. In the type of conditions you’d expect to use it ease of pitching really comes into it’s own. 2kg? well everything is heavier in winter, but given the amount of time you spend in your tent on long dark evenings it’s got to be worth it for the peace of mind.
Thank you Richard. The tent is so easy to pitch, ideal when it is bitter out and you just want to get the tent up, get into your sleeping bag and get a brew on !
well you know my thoughts on the tent already. Seeing it in all its green glory………ah superb! The pegs are slightly different to the ones I had (your looks better). The guying system really is superb and simply completes the set up
Have fun (now you can laugh at the weather forecast)
So – are you getting the Soulo or the Unna ? Interesting comments from Jens on the poles on your blog. What wind speed would it need to be to have double poles or those Scandium, I wonder ?
Good, clear report on an excellent looking tent.
I would have liked some morning-after photos as I began having doubts about my Akto in August. I did ten nights under a tarp followed by six nights in the Akto and, for the first time ever, the condensation began bothering me. I didn’t get any under the tarp despite worse weather. Does the well placed vent on the Soulo deal with condensation effectively?
I will let you know re condensation. Hilleberg claim that is the reason for the top vent.
BTW, thank you for adding me to your blog roll.
John – no problem it’s my pleasure !
It does look very sturdy. As Maz said, as long as you get a good night’s sleep, the slight weight burden is a small price to pay. I have a soft spot for my Hilleberg Akto, and if it is as good as that old workhorse, you’ll be fine.
But 4-5 season? Am I missing a season? 😉
Mark – 5 season is a term we use in the UK to suggest winter but high up in the mountains.
Akto eh? I’ve always had a soft spot for the Akto too. In fact, it may be that I’ve gone further than admiring from afar…
I never knew that, and I’m English! I suppose when it rains most of the year you need something to distinguish ‘real’ winter weather 😉
Very good first impressions. 2kg is fine, yes there are lighter tents but you have to get what suits the conditions you expect it to stand up to.
Hey, do you remember the Blacks Good Companions Senior when it was wet! I backpacked with one for years and it weighed around 5kg.
There are plenty of TGO challengers using 2kg tents with no complaints.
Alan – yes I do. I used a similar tent the Good Companion Major when I did hiking 35 years ago in the Scouts. We used to split it between the 3 of us. Very good tent and fond memories. Did you see my post : https://markswalkingblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-evolution-of-outdoor-gear/
Worth a look on the website I found on old gear brochures, including the Black catalogue in the 70’s
I hadn’t but I have now. Good post
That is one bomb proof looking tent. Look forward to hearing how it hold up in full on weather!
James – yes looks bomb proof. I will see how it goes on my next trip
undecided and christmas is looming so purchases are on a tight rein. There’s a war on dont you know?! Well a financial squeeze anyway 😉
Have fun and report back soon
Yes – my credit card has had a bashing lately. So I better slow down. Trip report featuring Soulo shortly.
I also bought the Hilleberg Soulo a few months ago. I already spent several nights in snow and low temperatures and this tent is awesome!
I cut a cover in a tinny plastic sheet and I put it under my tent so that I can let stuffs under eaves without they’re wett in the morning.
I made a small internet website with my travel-partner. Unfortunately it is all in french. It’s http://www.trekhorizon.ch.
Rodolphe – thank you for your comments. I looking to spend more time in the snow with the Soulo. I will look at your website.
All the best
Own an akto but struggling with height, arthritic old sod, thinking about one of these instead. Looks good but is it stable in high winds, I know it’s supposed to be but they all say that!
Thanks for your comments. I have not had too many trips yet with the Soulo but it has been fine in I guess 30-40 mph winds. I have not tested it in anything higher, but it is seems a pretty stable tent.
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Hope your well, how you getting on with the tent ? i need to upgrade my laser comp, need a more sturdy winter tent, this looks pretty good, just wished i would have had the time at Monsal to see it errected, as i know you offered to show it me when we both got a minute, but with everything else going on, Gear shows, raffle, walks ETC, it didnt happen
Hi Chris. I will start to take the Soulo out soon, when the weather turns bad. They say this is a bomb proof tent and I have been happy with it so far. It will certainly take high winds and heavy falls of snow. It is expensive, but should last a long time. The other tent that I would look at is the Scarp from Tarptent and get the crossing poles with it. The only problem is you have to order from the USA as there is no UK importer.
Ok cheers, I have a plan up my sleeve, I’m going to Florida in a week for two weeks, and there is A company called moon trail (US) that sell the soulo for $530 / £350, they said they can deliver to the villa I’m staying in, so in 3 weeks I might be a proud owner of a soulo !! Fingers crossed
Hey sounds good Chris. I travel to the States on business and you always seem to get better prices there for stuff whatever it is. That is probably £100 cheaper than the UK – nice one 🙂
An awesome tent..well worth the money and the weight… its worth while securing the inner ‘fixings’ which hold the inner and outer together at the base with 6 small elastic bands … its frustrating putting the tent up only to realise that these have become detached. Its also useful to tie-off guy lines neatly when taking the tent down..the tent has lots of hooks and catches which can get tangled easily in bad weather
Thanks for the advice. I always tie off the guy lines before I packed the tent up as you say saves the tent being tangled up the next time.