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REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent

REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent – Almost backpacker friendly.
Finding a backpacking tent for the whole family is no easy task. There are often a lot of features that you would like to have, but can’t due to weight restrictions. Your basic 4 person backpacking tent just won’t cut it on a family backpacking trip. The space in those is just confining for a family of four and all their stuff. As a result, family backpacking tents tend to weigh a little more, but are well worth it if you don’t mind the extra weight. The REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent is one of those tents. It is a bit heavy for a backpacking tent, but offers plenty of room inside and out.

The REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent weighs in at around 13 pounds without the rainfly. At first that may sound like a lot, but many four persons backpacking tents are 10 pounds or more. The lighter ones are usually such because they are made up of mostly mesh. The REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent on the other hand is a perfect mixture of mesh and fabric. This allows you to take the tent to more remote and exposed camp sites comfortably. The weight quoted earlier also includes the tents huge rain fly which features a larger vestibule. So if yo are camping in nice weather where a rain fly wont be needed, you can save some weight.

What is nice about the REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent is that it is pretty much just a larger version of your basic dome tent. This is nice because it allows for an easy setup and creates a large sleeping space and even offers some decent headroom in the peak space. The rainfly also create a rather large vestibule which is nice as it allows for plenty of storage space outside of the tent. In my experience, when backpacking with a family, the more stuff you can keep outside of the tent the better. Its amazing how messy it can get inside there so fast.

The quick & dirty:

Where you can get one: $349

Why they rock:

  • Features a mountaineering-style geodesic pole design that is powerful and yet easy to set up; Base Camp’s weather-worthy profile lends a backpack tent ”feel”
  • Generous mesh paneling and doors aid ventilation
  • 2 ceiling vents aid air flow in and out of the tent to reduce condensation, and can be accessed from the inside the tent
  • Large front and rear doors with vestibules offer easy access and ample space to store gear; front vestibule’s window lets light and views in
  • UV-resistant, full coverage polyester rainfly will not stretch or expand when wet, ensuring a consistently taut pitch
  • Bound, cut-in floor creates the taut, water-resistant pitch
  • A combination of clips and sleeves is quick to set up and adds to the tent’s stability
  • Mesh attic and interior pockets keep your tent organized and puts small items close at hand; hang loops located throughout tent
  • Doors tuck cleanly away into interior pockets
  • Convenient backpack-style carry bag organizes tent, fly and poles with extra space for footprint; footprint sold separately
  • Comes with 12 stakes, 4 guylines with tighteners, pole repair tube and gear attic

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 8 out of 10

I really like the REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent as a family camping tent. The only reason I give it such a low score is because it is a bit heavy for a backpacking tent. There are a number of other four person backpacking tents on the market that are lighter, but they are also going to be smaller and more expensive. So in the end it comes down to whats more important to you. If size is more important than weight, then the REI Base Camp 4 Family Tent is a perfect choice for you and your family.

Looking to Buy? Check out these sites: $349