SOULPAD.... should I???

(50 Posts)

family of 5, is a soulpad 5m going to be big enough??
anyone got one they'd like to rave about?

also, how big are they when packed up?

<supposed to be putting away the current tent having just returned from camping trip, but this is more fun>

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Jul-13 12:54:55

It is quite big when packed, but as another MUmsnetter pointed out to me on recent thread, the canvas and the groundsheet can be packed separately and flat rather than rolled and trying to squeeze back into original bag.

I think you can fit five in 5 m.
We are four and there is still plenty of space.
We stack beds in day to make most of airy space.

that's the answer i wanted, thank you :-D

we currently have giant 8 berth gelert, and I don't think the soulpad will be any bigger/heavier than that tbh if what i've read online is true.

will i miss having actual bedrooms though? for the evening if weather is a bit shitty?

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Jul-13 17:31:36

Yes possibly? You can get quarter inner tents but that takes away some airy space? I go to bed at similar time to DC so not an issue.

i think i need to see one in real life.
our children are 8, 5 and 4, so tend to need lots of leaving alone quietly before they'll sleep!

amistillsexy Mon 22-Jul-13 23:28:27

Our boys are 6,7 &9. We have a 5m bell tent. Sometimes we shove a few SIMs together and all sleep together, sometimes we take mattresses (proper high queen size for us and 3singles, and still tons of room).
Get one. They're lush grin

lilyfire Mon 22-Jul-13 23:48:17

We had 9 (2 adults, 13, 11, 9, 9, 6, 6 and 4 yos) sleeping for a few nights in a 5m bell tent and there was still room for rucksacks etc.

We regularly use it for 5 people and it feels lovely and spacious. Can't get the children to go to bed any earlier than us anyway, so don't mind about no separate bedrooms.

Miffytastic Tue 23-Jul-13 13:10:47

We have a 5m bell tent and tried it without inner dividing thing once, but then resolved to buy one - it does detract from the lovely roof, but means kids are cosy and living space is defined and tidy (ish)

i like you lot.
you enablers :P

Bramblesinforrin Thu 25-Jul-13 16:11:39

Yes. Absolutely. I have just returned from a blissful camp to christen our new 5m zig soul pad. Why didn't I get one sooner? Just cleaning the groundsheet so I'm ready for the next trip. I'm in love.

Top tip. Get a fabric sheet that painters and decorators use to cover furniture (bnq) as a loose floor cover.

I did the whole glamping thing with rag rugs and fairy lights, it was great.

Given the heat, the ability to roll up the sides was fantastic.

MinimalistMommi Thu 25-Jul-13 18:03:35

Bramble get a builders plastic tarp thingy from B&Q builder section for about £10 and place as footprint under bell tent tent when pitching. No cleaning bell groundsheet when you get home. You can chuck tarp into back garden and deal with it when you're ready too. Or be lazy like us and never actually clean it, just fold it up and chuck in large bin bag ready for next time grin

sixp Thu 25-Jul-13 18:16:41

We love our soul pad tribe! Absolutely no regrets years on and we are usually the envy of the campsite. Very easy to pitch even in torrential rain and with standing water. But, do note it will be extremely heavy when wet. We have swithered about the stove for a couple of years. Just worried it is too heavy and bulky and dangerous in the middle, although we love the idea. Does anyone have the blaze stove?

Bramblesinforrin Thu 25-Jul-13 20:08:12

Nice one minimalist mom. Anything to reduce the load is great!

i know there are definitely people on here with a stove because I recall a discussion a couple of years ago when someone was about to (nervously) cut a hole in their tent to fit it :-D

Ohh I just can't decide. it's a lot of money, but they're so bloody cool

sixp Sat 27-Jul-13 08:37:25

They are cool! But, also very nice to sleep in. Our friends tents all seem to either make a lot of noise rustling if there's a little wind, or fill up with flies!!, or get really hot inside. Our soul pad just feels like an oasis of calm when we have it up. The first time we used it, we all slept in as we were so comfortable, all our other friends had been up from the crack of dawn!
Does anyone have a stove in their soul pad?

Bramblesinforrin Sat 27-Jul-13 12:44:43

There are a couple of mnetters at least with stoves.

MinimalistMommi Sat 27-Jul-13 12:46:23

We never did because:
a) we couldn't fit it in the car.
b) I couldn't bare to cut a whole in my bell tent.

Rooners Sat 27-Jul-13 21:00:58


we've got a 4m one and trying it out this coming week - so will let you know what it's like if we return

I have a 10yo, 6yo and 6mo.

Rooners Sat 27-Jul-13 21:02:12

re the hole you would have to take the stove every time you went camping then, because otherwise you would get wet.

I wouldn't have a stove. Also I'd worry about the gases. and safety.

Bramblesinforrin Sat 27-Jul-13 21:45:37

Check on the soul pad website. You don't have to take the stove each time as there is a kit which will seal it up if you don't want to take the stove (my friends came with their 4m but without the stove to camp with us last weekend).
You can also buy the 'ease' which has the stove exit ready cut and fixed to have a stove or not.

sixp Sat 27-Jul-13 22:00:44

As we have the tribe, we wouldn't have to cut anything, as, like a teepee, the flue exits at the top, which can already be opened for ventilation, but I'm still not sure!

Rooners Sun 28-Jul-13 08:31:17

Oh sorry for being wrong! blush

By the way though, we have the 4000 ease and it doesn't have a pre cut hole (well I hope not!!! we're using it this week for the first time!)

Bramblesinforrin Sun 28-Jul-13 09:25:10

Have a wonderful time rooners. I too would be very cautious about cutting a hole in mine. Spent a long time pondering whether I should just go for the full tent/stove kit, then realised I would probably have to buy a trailer for the car due to family, dog and other camping stuff. smile

Rooners Sun 28-Jul-13 10:16:49

Trailer is sounding a good idea. Our boot is full already with rugs, blankets and sleeping bags and the tent and cooking nonsense isn't even in yet hmm

I'm not sure if we may need two trips!!!

SalIAm Sun 28-Jul-13 21:14:38

We've got a Frontier stove and it is brilliant. Whilst some of the other tent stoves will give a bit more heat, the biggest benefit of the Frontier for us is how portable and compact it is.

I've read that some hardcore winter campers said it doesn't warm 5m tents up enough, and I can't comment on that as we've got a 4m. I'd be very surprised for normal use though - we've camped over Christmas with snow around us and it was very cosy inside. So much so that we opened the 'windows' for nice ventilation whilst we played games and drank wine inside.

If you have FB, here is their page: Camping Solutions and website.

If you do a quick search there are a million and one reviews, but this one has nice closeup photos.

As to how to plug the hole when not using your stove, the spark arrestor can be used.

Or, you could do it as this lady did. I'm much too lazy, but that looks pretty amazing. closing when not in use.

Normal precautions with stoves obv - carbon monoxide alarm (but don't rely just on that as never 100% sure) and ventilation, never leave on overnight just in case, have fire extinguisher, have folding pocket knife under pillow.

I love how it extends the season (and you can go camping without having to book nice sites months in advance!)

Bramblesinforrin Sun 28-Jul-13 22:00:50

Lovely Pictures - now I want to make some fitted covers for my sims!

SalIAm Sun 28-Jul-13 22:33:07

Yes, they do look lovely, don't they? Whilst you're at it, do you mind making me a flap for my tent? wink

Bramblesinforrin Sun 28-Jul-13 22:43:08

smile gorgeous sewing on that flap.

@sixp yes yes yes! the noise of our current tent drove me mad the other week and is what prompted me to start looking into canvas again! hence starting this thread :-D we had one really windy night and I was up soooo much as it was so noisy

@rooners: will keep an eye out for your update!

now, who can tell me the name of that trailer box thing that attaches to the back of your car? someone on here got one free? (ages ago)

SalIAm Sun 28-Jul-13 23:08:09

Hi thisisyesterday. Is this the one you mean? The website doesn't seem to be working anymore, so I don't know whether they stopped producing them or just changed name.

ahh yes that's it

stuckonsmallrock Mon 29-Jul-13 12:57:00

I went from an 8 man Gelert to a 4m tent from Bell Tents rather than soul Pad & it is amazing. Best thing we ever did. Go for it, you wont regret it ;)

MinimalistMommi Mon 29-Jul-13 13:14:25

We're off tomorrow camping in our 5m Soulpad and I'm so exited! Just regretting that it's not a bit glamped up! I want some bunting and fairy lights, this is is our fourth year camping in it, can't believe I haven't got those bits yet! We have some sheepskin rugs at least...grin

i keep trying to find the "like" button hmm i clearly spend too much time on FB

MinimalistMommi Mon 29-Jul-13 18:09:24

LOL this

OonaghBhuna Mon 29-Jul-13 19:03:36

We are just back after two weeks camping in Cornwall, love love love our 5m Bell tent, we could sense envy from other campers and people came over to chat to us but really they just wanted to have a look inside. People were shocked at how quickly we were able to pitch.

OonaghBhuna Mon 29-Jul-13 19:04:28

we didnt have any glamping accessories but it didnt matter, Im going to buy something every month from now!!!

Bramblesinforrin Mon 29-Jul-13 23:55:59

I know what you mean, ooghnagh. Our bell was the go to destination for a nose around on my last camp (apart from the Dutch couple opposite with the teeny tiny perfect camping chairs!)

MinimalistMommi Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:46

Campers have asked to come into our bell tent before shock
I have late them too!

MinimalistMommi Tue 30-Jul-13 07:41:56


sixp Tue 30-Jul-13 08:02:27

Campers have wanted to look inside ours too and I've had to say, no as children were sleeping inside!
Thanks for the stove info everyone. The frontier one looks good, but I've now frightened myself with safety thoughts, so will hang off a bit longer... I actually hadn't even thought about a carbon monoxide alarm!

sixp Tue 30-Jul-13 08:03:27

People also often offer to help put ours up, but then are amazed wen it's completely pitched in about 10 minutes &#128522;

sixp Tue 30-Jul-13 08:03:53


Rooners Wed 31-Jul-13 11:27:13

We just got back, after two nights and nearly 3 days away in our 4m.

And there I was eyeing up all the Schmidt and Zwerver polycotton beauties that the Dutch contingent had brought, from ours!!! smile I think half the Netherlands had camped where we went. And they know how to do it properly, but not one of them had a bell tent.

Anyway what I would suggest uis the worst thing about them, is the drying time. I went round bashing the walls this morning but they are still very wet - it's not 'weathered' yet, but it poured yesterday and we didn't have any leaks worth a mention, about 5 random tiny drops from the ceiling I think this morning and it was totally lovely.

BUT we had to clear out by 11 so I bundled it into the car quite early, and then had to put it up again as soon as we got back. It is now half up in the garden (pole, some pegs, ahem, not properly as we haven't the space)

I am hoping it brightens up today, it's certainly windy.

It was WONDERFUL having such a lot of head room. That was the best thing, and my 10yo and 6yo and 6mo didn't seem to have any problems with sharing the space. It was totally big enough - we couldn't go out most of the full day we were there, and just sat in the tent, except when ds1 decided to go swimming and it wasn't cramped at all.

Ours was the highest ceiling by a long way and to me being 5ft7 that makes a lot of difference to how much I enjoy it and how much I get the urge to come home, iykwim. I didn't at all really and normally I am keen to get back here.

TIY I think you're quite tall (we've met once - rabbits!) so this might be something you want to consider as a factor.

I couldn't reach the top of the pole inside ours - think it's 2.5m? and the 5m one is even taller.

oh how funny! the rabbits are doing well, you'll be happy to hear smile little escape artists, they LOVE to dig.

good to hear you had enough space, that was my only real concern. There is a glamping place not a million miles from me that has some soulpads, so I think we might take a trip down there to have a look at them IRL before I make a final decision,

drying time could be an issue I guess... esp with our lovely british weather. I'd have to just pitch it at my parents hosue until it dried I suppose as our garden is titchy

MinimalistMommi Fri 02-Aug-13 15:19:57

We just dry/air ours indoors, over the banister or draped over our bed grin just got back from four days/three nights on or 5 metre. It was lovely!

minimalist, I'm not stalking you (promise) but did I see you say on another thread that you're in the south? i was just wondering if you were anywhere near me (w.sussex) and if so whether I could take a look at your pad?? :-D

MinimalistMommi Fri 02-Aug-13 18:42:17

this I'm PM'ing you grin

MinimalistMommi Fri 02-Aug-13 18:47:20

this having just got back from being in it, if you didn't take too much
shit lovely glamping stuff I think a 5m would be fine for family of five but I think it is a good plan to try and check one out IRL first.

We pile our SIM's up during day to make it really spacious for moving around. This morning we woke to the sound of rain and I thought if we had a spend the morning there in rain space wise it would have been very roomy for the children to mess about it etc

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