Wechsel Bella 1.5 Person Tent Review - Ultralight Outdoor Gear

Posted by Danny Pearson on Jul 05, 2022

When we first saw the specifications for the  Wechsel Bella tent we couldn’t wait to try one. There are so few freestanding tents with external poles that are also lightweight. On paper, the Bella looked like a perfect 3 season tent for the UK.

The advantage with the use of external poles for the UK is the ability to pitch the tent as one. It’s often wet when camping in Northern Europe and so many tents are designed very much with the drier North American climate in mind. When it’s pouring with rain it’s definitely great to be able to pitch the tent quickly whilst keeping the inner dry.

The Bella oozes Wechsel’s customary high quality with DAC poles, a durable but lightweight fabric and solid feeling buckles and zips.

The flysheet is fully seam taped unlike Wechsel’s other tents in the Zero-G range. Having used the Bella in heavy rain it stayed completely dry inside. The flysheet has a hydrostatic head of 3000mm and the floor 5000mm making it ideal for wet conditions. The optional footprint is 7000mm so a worthwhile addition for long trips in wet conditions on rough ground although it’s pretty heavy so better suited to cycle touring than backpacking. The footprint also covers the vestibule so any kit stored there will be off the ground.

Easy pitching

The Bella is so easy to pitch with no fuss. It has internal straps between the corners to aid getting the tent correctly tensioned when you lay it out and peg out the corners. The tensioning straps also allow you to pitch the tent with only the flysheet if you want more space and there are no bugs around. Just assemble the poles (the Bella uses a top of the range DAC pole set) and attach then at the corners which are colour coded to make it easier and then attach the clips. Nothing fiddly making it easy even with cold wet hands.

Suited to UK conditions

You can see Wechsel’s North European heritage in the design (Wechsel tents are designed in Germany) as it’s clearly been designed to cope with cooler, wetter conditions. The flysheet comes low to the ground helping to keep wind and rain out.

Having used the Bella in windy conditions it performed well, remaining stable, helped by the guy lines located on each side. The inner is sufficiently well spaced from the flysheet that even in stronger winds they didn’t touch.

The inner tent is mostly fabric with mesh panels at the ends where the vents are located on the flysheet plus a large mesh panel across the top of the door. The external vents can be closed with Velcro or held open with stiffeners which is a nice touch. They seemed to do a decent job of managing condensation.

Amazingly roomy

The inner tent is very roomy with decent head height maintained across a wide area and lots of space for kit (or a dog). You do lose a little head height due to the poles being on the outside which drops the internal height slightly but it was no problem for me. There is plenty of room for a wide mat and kit on the inside. Unless it’s soaking wet, I like to keep my pack inside with me, so all that space was appreciated. You could fit 2 regular mummy mats inside if needed although it would be cosy!

There are 2 storage pockets at the head end and multiple loops across the top of the inner to attach lights or a line to dry socks etc.

The ends of the tent are near vertical so when using a deep air mattress there are no concerns about your sleeping bag being pushed against the inside of the tent. It’s the roomiest one person tent I’ve used. If conditions were wet and windy and you were going to be inside the tent for a long period, it’s a very pleasant place to be.

Perfect for bikepacking

The vestibule is extremely spacious making it ideal store panniers or bike luggage when cycle touring or bikepacking.

The stuff bag on the Bella can be used to store the tent and poles but it also has a second draw cord allowing you to pack it smaller if you separate the poles from the tent. Ideal for fitting into bike luggage or in a small pack with the poles in a side pocket or down the inside of the pack.


The Wechsel Bella was worth the wait, it’s a superb tent for UK use. I love the fast pitching regardless of the weather and the huge amounts of space for a solo tent. It’s not going to appeal to the Ultralight purists but it strikes a perfect balance for people whose priorities are increased space, durability and weather protection. I have to say that it’s a favourite with me now. I already had a Wechsel Exogen which still the better option for more extreme conditions, but for most occasions, I would choose the Bella now. It’s so easy to live with and so versatile.

Danny Pearson

Dan is a keen distance walker who loves to geek over the latest gear. In the last few years, Dan has completed a couple of TGO Challenge crossings of Scotland (with another planned for 2024), GR221 in Mallorca, Dales High Route and Hadrian’s Wall plus countless other self-planned routes. A keen mountain biker but finds he doesn’t bounce so well these days when the inevitable happens.

Read more from Danny Pearson