Big Agnes Soda Mountain Tent Review

By Mary Webb

The Big Agnes Soda Mountain tent became a summer staple for our family this year. Not only did the tent kick off our summer along the pacific coastline of Mendocino and shore up our trip to Big Bear, California; but one such notable family excursion we endeavored was to Whiskey town, California. Our family drank in the sun as we set up the Soda Mountain tent. Together with my three boys and little dog, we took up temporary residence in the four person Soda Mountain tent.

It was quite a trek to the camp site, we were thankful for the super light-weight design and compact bag that held the Big Agnes’ polyester mesh tent. We had plenty to carry to the site; firewood, marshmallows and graham crackers, then it was back to the SUV for more stuff!

This tent was to be our family home for an extended weekend. Like any home, we wanted easy maintenance, protection from the elements and organization.

This Dog declares the first s'more!
This Dog declares the first s’more!

Easy Maintenance:

The Soda Mountain was very simple and intuitive to put together. While I untangled the fishing poles, my 18- and 15-year-old sons took out the tent poles and began to pitch the tent easily. Big Agnes provides the latest technology with the Featherlite aluminum Combi pole system, the poles are light weight as well as durable.

The pole system is designed with elastic chords “weaving” the poles to the correct framed position. It makes setup a quick deal. Once locked in place, the mesh tent fastened to the poles with sturdy plastic clips, creating a large and roomy temporary living space for the family. Big Agnes provides a set of stakes to ensure a solid foundation in case of aggressive lake shore breezes or gusts of wind coming off the mountain.

Protection from the Elements:

Camping near the lake put us in a position to be inspected by the insects. The Soda Mountain kept the bugs out and let us enjoy a good night sleep. The protective cover was nice because it not only provided a reprieve from the sun, but also a little privacy in the evening.Big Agnes Soda Mountain Tent

This free-standing tent is  roomy, and as we laid our sleeping bags in the suggested four-way array, we slept soundly along the forest floor. I packed along my Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping pad we reviewed earlier this year and found it to be just as comfortable as when we first used it.

As the sun was setting, the guys found the reflective guy-lines useful to enter the tent. We really liked the large D-shaped opening that zippered off for ease of entrance. Being very close to the water, we felt a pretty cold breeze come off the lake in the evening. Waterproof material throughout protected us against the moist ground and morning dew in the air. A great feature is the polurethane waterproof tape along the seams. Velcro enclosures in strategic locations were also a welcome and useful design element.


Sunscreen is neatly tucked away
Sunscreen is neatly tucked away


Heading out to the lake was easier as we placed our sunscreen and glasses in the removable mesh bag, attached by clips to the interior of the Soda Mountain. My boys were in a hurry to get ready for the ski boat we rented for the day, so the organized bag helped them rush to the great outdoors!

There are a couple accessories that are sold separately. The tent footprint is a ground cover for $80.00 that will help save the bottom plastic floor of your tent. Also for $25 there is a gear loft that attaches to the inside of your tent where you organize your gear and get it up and away! The loft would be ideal for storing extra jackets, sweats and dog treats.

Big Agnes has designed a solid four-person camping tent in the Soda Mountain shelter. Ease of use, protective features and organization. For an MSRP of $599.95 in emerald green and silver, this three season tent will be with you when you spring into camping action and you will never fall out of love with it!


*Trail Weight 7lb 15oz
**Packed Weight 8lb 8oz
Footprint Weight 12oz
Fast Fly Weight 6lb 5oz
Packed Size 9×26
Floor Area 57sq ft
Vestibule Area 12sq ft
Head Height 70″

*Trail weight refers to poles, fly and tent body.

**Packed weight includes poles, fly, tent body, stakes, guy lines, stuff sacks, instructions, and packaging.

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