Brand: Big Sky
Model: Soul x2 Tent
Overall Score: 4 / 5
Given the weight, space, and price, we expected this tent to be nonfreestanding. Amazingly, no. It requires zero staking to be solid—right down to the vestibule, which attaches to the pole ends (rather than using stakes).
Short on storage pockets (there are two) but big on interior space, the Soul is a roomy retreat. The 42-inch peak height let testers sit up and change clothes comfortably, though tall campers (over 6’2”) found the 85-inch length confining because sloping walls bump heads and feet. All-mesh walls limited condensation to the fly’s underside: No moisture collected inside, even along California’s rain-drenched Lost Coast.
Through heavy rain and coastal wind, the Soul kept us comfy and dry.
Here’s the tradeoff for the Soul’s impressive specs: The ultralight silnylon fabrics are more fragile than most. (General rule of thumb: Fabrics that are both light and strong are expensive.) Even with careful handling and site selection, the fly suffered a small tear on a weeklong trip.