If you go it alone on winter trips, the last thing you need to worry about is your protection from the elements. Everywhere we pitched this tent, from exposed shelves at 6,000 feet on Oregon’s Mt. Hood to snowfields in Patagonia, the Soulo gave our testers peace of mind. One tester battled wind gusts up to 50 mph and said, “It felt so bomber it was like the anchors reached to the center of the Earth.”
Our man in Chile did manage to break the longest pole while setting it up in the dark, but—unlike any other tent we tested—the Hilleberg comes with both a repair sleeve and a spare pole section so you can make permanent repairs in the field. Three poles fasten directly to the tough—but light—Kerlon 1200 rainfly (not the canopy), which means the canopy is always shielded from rain or snow during setup. The livability was the topper, though.
A vast, 28-square-foot interior left plenty of room for a 6-footer and gear, while the side door offers ample vestibule space (7.6 square feet) to shed wet layers while protected from storms (but before entering the sleeping area). A 38-inch maximum height meant testers could sit up easily without touching the ceiling. Ventilation is adequate, thanks to the single, protected roof vent. Organizers take note: Internal gear storage options are few. $598; 4 lbs. 14 oz.; hilleberg.com
The optimal blend of maximum space, strength, flexibility and comfort in a lower weight package.