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REI Half Dome 2 Tent

REI Half DomeREI Half Dome 2 Tent – affordable, functional 3-season backpacking tent

REI’s Half Dome has been an affordable and reliable backpacking tent for the past eight years and the 2010 Half Dome 2 was awarded the highly coveted Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Gold Award.

REI’s Half Dome 2 Tent defies the assumption that a sturdy, dependable backpacking tent needs to break the bank.  At only $179, the REI Half Dome is $100 cheaper than other tents with similar weight and features.  With an easy to set up uncomplicated design and a price that pleases, REI’s Half Dome 2 is an excellent first backpacking tent.

Not just for the beginner backpacker, the tent is also popular among experienced backpackers looking for a reasonably priced tent.  REI has improved on earlier versions making the tent roomier (34% more interior volume than last year’s model), taller (new frame design improves headroom), and stronger (DAC Featherlite® NSL poles are stronger and more durable).

The tent features 2 side doors and vestibules that offer easy in-and-out for each camper.  The tent also offers a variety of storage options in the interior including corner and roof pockets.  The 3-season tent will keep you dry during freak downpours with its no-wick wielded construction and UV-resistant rainfly.

The quick & dirty:

Where you can find one:
REI: $179

Why they rock:

  • Lightweight backpacking tent at just over 5 pounds pack weight
  • Peak height 40 inches
  • 2 doors and 2 vestibules offer easy access and storage for each occupant
  • Interior volume has increased by 34% over last year’s version
  • Color-coded poles and clips ensure easy setup
  • Plenty of interior storage with mesh corner pockets and canopy
  • Adjustable ceiling vents minimize condensation

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

I’ve been extremely satisfied with my REI Half Dome, plus buying gear at REI is like taking out an insurance plan.  I had a pole snap on my first Half Dome tent during a horrific windstorm in Idaho and REI replaced the whole tent no questions asked.  REI has since improved the design by adding an additional pole for more stability.

The REI Half Dome 2 has a pack weight of just over 5 pounds, which is an acceptable weight for a two-person backpacking tent.  Backpackers can also shed weight with the Half Dome by carrying just the poles, rainfly, and footprint (sold separately) and learn to pitch the tent without the main body.  Backpackers concerned with weight may want to choose a two-person tent in the 3-4 pound range, but expect to pay twice as much for the tent.

Looking to buy? Here’s where you can get one:
REI: $179