REI Quarter Dome T2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250
Easy to set up, quality construction, relatively light, little condensation.
- Ease of pitch
Purchased as my first backpacking tent a few years back. Hard choice over REI Half Dome, price over weight. Since they had the last years model on clearance they were relatively the same price, so I went with the Quarter Dome.
Setup: Couldn't be easier! The hubs for the DAC poles keeps all the segments attached in one virtual piece, so no need to "fit tip A into slot B". Only thing to remember is which pole is on top. I've pretty much always used this tent free-standing, but guying it out is pretty simple. You'll read below that I personally don't use this tent any more, I let my son use it, and he (at 9) could pitch this tent by himself in about 5 minutes.
FYI, I've pretty much ALWAYS used this tent with the matching footprint.
Stability: Free-standing, the tent stays tight. Never noticed much movement at any of the corners. Stake it down and it probably wouldn't budge. Luckily (?) I've never had to test it in other than a moderate downpour, so can't say about stability in high winds.
Weather resistance: Even with all that mesh, as long as you have the fly on and didn't pitch it in a stream, you'll stay dry. the bathtub style floor goes up just enough on the sides. They rainfly dried of pretty quick after the sun came out.
Ventilation: Have you seen how much mesh is on this tent? I love to see the stars, and you get a very unobstructed view with this tent. the fly has two pop-up vents at the ends to allow moisture to escape.
Room: This is why this tent was relegated to back-up/extra tent: I'm 6-0 and my head and feet were touching the ends. I kept this tent, but also purchased the T2 Plus for my personal use which offers a few extra inches (almost a foot extra?), and a few to the width. The vestibules are good size, enough to cover a 70l pack with some room to spare.
Packability: Not the lightest, not the heaviest, somewhere in the middle for a good backpacking tent.
Ease of use: Never had problems with zippers, but I use them gently, never rushing. Entry through the vestibules was easily accomplished.
Construction: It's lasted a few Scout outing with 2 young boys without a scratch. that's a pretty good test of durability.
Conditions: Used over the last 3 years about 50 nights. a few week-long BS outings. Deep woods to well maintained yard, and everything in between. Always used with matching footprint.
Really, if it weren't for the size issue, this would be my go-to tent for backpacking. As it is, the identically built T2 Plus is what I use for that.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
Out of all the hiking/backpacking gear I've purchased over the years, I'm compelled to say that the Quarter Dome 2 is at the top. Put it this way, it's the only two-man tent I've ever purchased. I've gone through a couple solos, and every year in the off-season I'm upgrading my equipment. Thankfully the Quarter Dome 2 is one piece of gear I never have to worry about.
- Relatively lightweight
- Great airflow
- Easy pitch
For starters I love the pole design, which allows the front and back to actually have 90 degree vertical walls instead of tapering in at the top like the vast majority of tents. It's so simple to set up too. One person can pitch it in the dark in a couple minutes, and that's because the poles are all connected in one unit.
I've had this tent for about 3 years and I've never had any problem with leaks or wind bouncing it around. Even on the coast where it rained for four days straight there was absolutely zero leakage in the fly or the floor.
I love the fact that the inner wall is all mesh. Not only does it nullify any condensation issues, it also allows for quick drying in case it got wet. The tent is very breathable, which is great for odors especially when a couple grown men are crammed in there after a long day on the trail.
Which brings me to my absolute favorite thing about this tent: leaving the rain-fly off and sleeping under the stars on those clear summer nights. It feels like you're outside. And when the mosquitoes are swarming your tent like the London blitz, it's nice to know that you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the wilderness and still be protected. I keep the rain-fly off whenever humanly possible.
As you can tell by now, I love this tent. Sure it takes up some room in your pack, but I've never heard of a freestanding tent that doesn't. At least the Quarter Dome 2 is fairly light. As long as you're using it as a 2-man you're looking at less than 2 pounds apiece, and that's not bad at all for a freestanding double walled tent.
My search for the right solo tent grinds on year after year, but I expect my REI Quarter Dome 2 to last me for years to come. I just love this thing.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $50
If you can still get one, pick it up.
- It is snug for two.
I bought this tent at an attic sale. The inner canopy is all mesh, and had a few holes, which I stitched, easily.
Overall, the tent has been solid. Out of the five backpacking tents I have, I choose this one most often for one or two, unless the hike is short and we want more space.
The hubbed poles pitch easily — grey over orange. Each pole end is color coded for the fly and ground sheet. The tent has weathered heavy rain and wind with no issues aside from a little wind blown rain getting up underneath the rainfly. I would not use this as a winter tent for that reason. With all the mesh, ventilation is excellent.
There are storage pockets inside that fit my headlamp & other items easily. I don't use the stuff sacks provided with any of my tents, as I like to separate the inner tent from the fly-from the poles for easier packability.
I've used it for two years with no issues.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
Light, sturdy, and dependable are 3 simple ways to sum up this tent. Light enough to take on long hikes. Sturdy enough to handle the roughest conditions. Dependable when the weather is not so pleasant. I would recommend this tent not just for 3 seasons, but for even the dreadful 4th season.
- only 3lbs. 14 oz.
- sturdy up to 60 mph winds
- plenty of room for changing and gear
- won't fold any shorter then 20in
This tent stood up to all 4 seasons and one time I had to move my position from one side of the mountain to the other after I already set it up.
During set up it pretty much does it itself, but I didn't want to break it down. So in my haste I grab the tent at the apex and I had 60 + mph wind gust blowing at the tent and I was worried that the rods would snap and break. All in all the tent held up and there was no wear and tear.
I would recommend this tent to anyone who wants to travel solo w/ a lot of gear or in a group of 2 even w/ a lot of gear. Due to the fact that w/ the tent is breathable and has 2 doors this is great when having to bunk up after a long day trek.
Price Paid: $100
I love this tent it is the best lightweight bacpacking tent. It only weighs about 3 pounds and it is completely waterproof. I use it for everything.
It has 2 doors 2 poles and is freestanding it has a rainfly and is a vestibule it can hold your gear and keep it dry on both sides if the tent. It is a 2 person tent it also comes with stakes and guylines.
I bought at REI scratch and dent sale so use this to your advantage.
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: very quick and easy to setup
Weight: 4 lbs. 2 oz.
I really like this tent. The tent is light weight, compact, and roomy enough for one person plus gear. If you have two people sleeping in this tent then you would have to use the vestibules on each side of the tent for your gear but you get that with most of the two person tents.
The only thing I didn’t like about the tent was that you couldn’t open/close the air vents on the rain fly from inside the tent and if it starts to pour in the middle of the night the last thing you want to do is get out of your comfy sleeping bag to close the vents.
Price Paid: $270
Overall good experience with this product. Positives include no water issues (even though tent was in a small puddle), light weight, vents on fly and good overhead space in cabin.
Negatives include limited vestibule space and fact that REI does not include the footprint with tent.
Tri-hubbed design was not a problem, I set tent up solo w/ no probs.
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