HILLEBERG SOULO Tent Review
Editor: Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
HILLEBERG, THE TENTMAKER continues its long standing tradition of designing incredibly strong, comfortable tents. The SOULO is an extremely roomy, one-man, 5 season tent that is practically “bomb proof.” A dome style, free-standing tent, the SOULO is simple and quick to pitch with the outer shell attached to the inner tent so your rainfly goes up first. This tent exhibits outstanding internal space for one person as well as comfortable headroom. If you are truly looking for a one man tent that is capable of standing up to the fury of the fiercest of Mother Nature’s storms, then look no further than the SOULO. Very seldom do I give tents a *5 Star rating but I did this one!
FACTS AND FEATURES:
Hilleberg’s SOULO is designed for solo hiking with the ability to withstand the wrath of a winter snow-storm. This tent is very roomy for one person. e Because the SOULO was built for strength it is slightly heavier than other HILLEBERG one- man tents, but it is still considered lightweight when comparing its ability to stand up against wind, rain and snow.
The SOULO is simple to pitch in a matter of minutes with external pole, rain-fly first erection. Although the pitching requires no pegs there are 12 peg points that I prefer to stake down as this will increase the overall stability of your tent. At $589 dollars the SOULO is expensive but well worth the price if you will take the time to compare its features with those of other one-man, 5 season tents.
With 38 inches of ceiling height a tall person can sit up in the SOULO without touching their head on the ceiling. There is plenty of vestibule space to store gear without having to worry about getting pelted by snow or rain as you are well protected. With such a structurally strong, tight tent, you might think that condensation would cause you issues. However, the ventilation is better than expected with a single, well placed roof vent.
Like many of HILLEBERG’S tents the interior of the SOULO is a warm light yellow in color. This is one of those little details that become’s very inviting. Add to this fact that the SOULO is erected with the “outer pitch” first so you never have to worry about the interior getting wet when pitching this tent in a rainstorm. What an incredible feature!
▪ Completely free standing
▪ Pitching requires no pegs, but 12 peg points provide options for increasing stability
▪ Ultralight materials – Kerlon 1200 outer tent fabric and 9 mm poles
▪ Single entrance and single vestibule
▪ Floor space and head room are quite spacious thanks to the three pole structure and Dome design.
▪ Minimum weight is 4 lbs 7 oz
▪ Packaged Weight 5lbs 5 oz
▪ Floor Area 21.5 sq ft
▪ Interior Height 38”
▪ Outer Tent Fabric is Kerlon 12oo 30D Ripstop Nylon, coated on both sides with 3 layers of 100% Silicone
▪ Inner Tent Fabric consists of 30D Ripstop nylon w/DWR
▪ Floor Fabric 70 D Nylon with Triple coated PU
▪ Poles – 2 x 135.4”, 1 x 112.2”
▪ Pegs – 12 V-Pegs
When you have spent as many nights out on the mountain in tents over the years as I have then it is very likely that you have experienced the “flaws” inherent with many tents. I have vivid memories of poles breaking in the wind, rainfly’s that leaked, floors that were “pourous,” and zippers that broke every time you touched them. There’s truly nothing more aggravating than having to deal with gear malfunctions, especially if it is the tent that you are counting on for not only protection from the elements but to allow you to rest comfortably as you rejuvenate your body. It’s so critical for a mountaineer or hunter to get a good night’s sleep to prepare them for another assault on the mountain or to enable them to pursue a trophy big game animal the next day. This is exactly why your choice of tents is so critical.
With that said I prefer one man, lightweight tents for most of my backpacking adventures. The tents I choose must be of a strong design, comfortable, easy to pitch and functional in every category I can think of. I’ve been an avid supporter of HILLEBERG tents for years. Afterall, how many tent manufacturers can you think of who were brilliant enough to allow you to pitch your tent with the outershell or rainfly first, already attached to the inner Kerlon shell like HILLEBERG does? I can remember many trips in the old days when I had to pitch the inner tent I was using first while it was “storming cats and dogs” before I could even attach the rainfly. After I got through erecting my shelter the interior of the tent would already be wet! Not good and non functional for my needs! Great job HILLEBERG on designing a tent system with the outer exterior (rainfly) and interior shell of the tent already attached as one!
The day HILLEBERG came out with the SOULO I knew immediately that they had once again raised the bar! Here was a freestanding dome tent that I could pitch in minutes and was as strong as an underground bunker. Although I’ve found the SOULO to be slightly heavier than other one man tents I am more than willing to accept the extra weight for the spacious interior, vestibule and 3-pole frame system that allows me to “ride out” the fiercest of winter storms. The design and quality of this tent is as good as it gets. It should be noted that the SOULO comes with a spare pole and repair sleeve just in case you were to accidentally break one.
My Hillenberg Soulo stood up to a fierce desert windstorm as it protected me from the biting particles of sand! Amazing tent.
My old Hilleberg Akto has served me extremely well but I have been looking for a tent that I could use for late fall backpack trips and hunts that would provide me with more head space and room as well as overall strength. The SOULO has met my expectations perfectly!
Upon receiving my new tent the first step was to ensure that it could be pitched easily. Wow, it was even more simple than I thought. All I have to do to erect the SOULO is stake down the corners of the outer shell since the inner is already attached, insert the correct poles into the sleeve ends, (color coded for convenience) and then go about the process of snapping on the clips to the poles. Although the SOULO is free standing and could be used without the guylines I always like to secure these for the extra strength they provide as well as helping to keep my tent taut.
I’ve always felt that the “little things,” make a huge difference when separating mediocre gear from the best. With HILLEBERG’S SOULO please note the following small features that make it an incredible tent: The zippers are protected by flaps that protect them from the rain, sand, and to ensure easy zipping without getting the tent fabric caught. Inside the tent are pockets to place miscellaneous gear such as your headlamp, etc, that are very useful. I appreciate the fact that HILLEBERG includes separate stuff bags for your pegs, tent and pole. The dual guy lines allow you to secure this free standing tent as the guy line runners are simple to tighten. Another “little feature” I felt was important was the separate vent cover that snapped on with the flick of your wrist. This vent cover not only helps provide ventilation but also keeps the tent from getting any moisture inside it. The vestibule area is perfectly protected for use so that I could put my muddy boots outside as well as my pack and camp stove for cooking when necessary.
My SOULO tent has been “tested by fire” as I have had it out on the mountain in high wind, pelting rain and wet, heavy snow. Not once has the SOULO failed. I’m actually surprised at the warmth of the interior in extra, bitter cold weather.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the purchase of HILLEBERG’S SOULO tent. You may find some one-man tents out there that are lighter and less bulky when packed but if you are seeking a tent for durability on long backpack trips and a shelter that will provide you with the protection you need in nasty weather then purchase the SOULO from HILLEBERG.
Hillenberg’s SOULO Tent Is Capable of Standing Up To the Harshest Elements!
SOULO PACKED IN ITS CARRY SACK!
HILLEBERG THE TENTMAKER has an excellent lifetime warranty. They have been very good to address any issues that I have ever had. Although HILLEBERG is based in Northern Sweden and have been providing high-quality tents and service in Europe for many years they now have an office in the U.S. that currently is based in Redmond, Washington, where Petra Hillenberg oversees the North American operation.
What they could do better:
With HILLEBERG’S innovative design team I’m sure they will find a way to lighten the SOULO’S overall weight and bulk by a few more ounces. LOL Fantastic tent!
Hilleberg Soulo Tent Review