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REI Quarter Dome 3 UL

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Quarter Dome 3 UL has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2022.

photo: REI Quarter Dome 3 UL three-season tent


Price Historic Range: $279.00
Reviewers Paid: $279.00


2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

The Quarter Dome 3 offers headroom, steep walls, and enough space for three at a reasonable weight for one. The double doors, easy draws, and water tight seal make me a satisfied customer. It makes a really nice 2P, with extra room alternative, at 5lb 8oz.


  • Room
  • Double D doors
  • Double vestibules
  • 5lb 8oz


  • Small construction issues
  • Fly sags


2007 model

Setup: The tent is cross pole design. There are only two pole end grommets since two of the four corners have reinforced webbing that the pole ends slip into. The poles have to be inserted through sleeves that run ¾ length of the tent. I’m more a fan of quick clips rather than sleeves but the sleeves are smooth enough that the poles are easily inserted. Once the cross poles are in, the corners can be staked down and the fly added. The fly clips to each of the corners.


Stability: The tent is a steep walled tent and has a higher profile, but I’ve never had an issue with instability. That being said, I’ve never used this tent in weather that would test its limitations. The tent pitches tautly, but by morning, the fly droops enough to sag on the tent. This allows condensation to drip down onto its inhabitants.
20180421_072902.jpg20180421_073001.jpg If you tighten down the straps and guy out, it does solve the problem but I’m usually not on top of things enough to remember to do this nor do I want to do this in the middle of the night.


Weather Resistance: The materials seem pretty thin. They are slightly translucent when held up to light. Even so, the only water problems I’ve ever had with the tent are due solely to condensation. I do own the footprint so there’s a double layer of protection on the ground.

Ventilation: There is a small vent on the fly of the tent, but it does not seem to be enough to mitigate moisture build up from breathing. I’ve used the tent in several biomes and the condensation seems to be universally consistent. You can unzip the fly doors for added venting but since there is no cross pole on the roof, you run the risk of precipitation entering the tent if they are open too high.
Room and Storage: The tent has double vestibules so there is ample room to store your gear outside. The vestibules are large enough to fit two packs each.


The height of the tent is 47 inches and the width is 60 inches. It leaves you enough room for three standard 20" wide tapered pads since the tent has a slight taper towards the feet. The squeeze is tight for three, but spacious for two.


There are four triangle pockets for gear storage within the tent; two are at the foot
20181222_145651.jpg and two are on the ceiling.
20181222_145719.jpg The height of the ceiling and near vertical walls makes the tent feel spacious. It’s nearer to a living quarters as opposed to a minimalist shelter. Three people can easily sit up and play cards or read maps without heads touching.


Packability: The tent packs down to a reasonable size as you can see in the picture. The tent bag comes with built-in compression straps to reduce volume. For the size of pitch, the packability is reasonable.

Ease of Use: Even with the pole sleeves, the tent pitches rather easily. This is because the pole ends are inserted into a reinforced terminus at the end of each sleeve.

20180505_071821.jpg This eliminates the need for the user to run to the other side of the tent to insert the pole into a grommet. The two pole design minimizes any other steps. Just slide the two poles in and, BAM, done. The fly has clips so it is also easy to attach.


Features: The fly has the ability to roll up partially. For venting and views. The fly also has velcro strips that adhere to the corresponding velcro strips on the pole sleeves. As you can see, the fly left a present on the pole sleeve last time I used the tent.
20181222_145915.jpg I’ve noticed in several models these days that the velcro strips are glued on rather than sewed on. They never seem to last.

The slight crook in the poles near the head of the tent create a short vertical. This gives the users more room by eliminating the taper. It works well and also lets you know which end of the poles should be near the head. In case you forget, the pole ends are color coordinated.


Construction and Durability: The tent materials are lightweight and will tear if caught on things. I’ve make a couple of minor repairs. The seam tape fails after years of use but this is normal if tents are not stored in ideal conditions. I really don’t have complaints about the construction and durability. They are what I’d expect with a tent from this price point. I think that the footprint is a good investment on this model.

Conclusion: I picked the tent up in a package deal. I’ve been using it for a little less than two years now. It has been on just about every outing in which I take one or more of my kids. We’ve used it in all four seasons in Minnesota. It has been slept in approximately 20 times in all types of weather.

In the end, I would recommend this tent to anyone who is interested in a three-person tent who would like a reliable piece of gear at a reasonable cost.


4 seasons for 1.75 years.

Source: bought it as part of a package

Light weight, very easy to set up. One would compare this to a REI Taj 3, but for a backpacking tent the weight is everything. Feels much more private when used without the rainfly compared to the new T3.

Design: Three season backpacking UL tent
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Very easy, color coded poles
Weight: Just over 5 pounds which is very light.
Price Paid: $279

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