After several years of camping and backpacking, I have gone through my fair share of tents I started small and went big then back to small, it’s been fun testing out tents find out what worked and what didn’t, but not everyone has the luxury or the time to fail at least a few times. I finally found one I wish I would have started with. A tent with a super livable space thats big enough, strong enough, and light enough, at a price that’s attainable for most backpackers and campers alike.
- Excellent value at $229
- Generous headroom
- Mesh storage pockets + hang loops
- 2 large doors + vestibules
- Color-coded poles for simple setup
- Mesh pocket to stash unzipped doors
- 4 ceiling vents – for ventilation and to reduce condensation buildup
- Easy zip – doesn’t snag, one-handed close
- Easy setup- 1 person required
- Editors choice – Backpackers Magazine 2018
The REI Half Dome 2 plus tent is a great 2-person freestanding tent. It is lightweight and durable the first trip we used it on involved trekking 13 miles into a desert oasis and the weight was hardly noticed.
This is the easiest tent to set up you can read the instructions that come attached to the side of the tent bag for fun but you won’t need to. It comes complete with color-coded tent poles and matching grommets – you can’t mess this up. I was able to set this up with no additional help in under 5 minutes with a few extra minutes to stake the tent and guy lines down. There are even a few different options for staking the vestibules out which was great when the wind picked up a little bit and we wanted to cook but also have a view of our surroundings. I also love the zipper design on the fly that opens to the side and out, creating a wide and protected opening for getting in and out. Also, the rainfly is very adaptable: you can roll it back for stargazing, stake it out like a tarp with 2 trekking poles for a large awning, or zip it up for protecting your gear in rough weather.
*One consideration here is the tent does come with more guy-lines then tent stakes. I suggest opening your tent up and taking a look at the guy-lines and decide how many extra stakes you’ll need to bring. Not everyone will find all guy-lines necessary to use for every adventure. You may consider things like wind, rain, or privacy for choosing how many to use or if you will need your rain fly at all.
The inside space is very roomy theres plenty of headroom comfortable enough to hang out inside on a rainy day, play games, or sleep with your backpacks inside, and the vertical mesh walls only enhance the roomy feeling. The two vestibules do provide ample space to store all your things like boots, bags and any other things you may have. I have been using a double sleeping pad that fits perfectly inside ours with a bit of extra room all around, it would also fit two single pads with room to spare. This is truly one livable space that no other tent can claim at this price point.
There are mesh storage pockets everywhere! a few on the ceiling perfect for electronics or things you need to get to frequently like a headlamp. There are also pockets in each of the 4 corners inside and out. Temperature wise this tent is optimal, when it was a cold windy night as soon as we closed the doors it warmed up immediately, while still being well ventilated with the roof vents open. It is the best nights sleep of all the tents we’ve loved to call home in the wild.
The color options are pretty rad too, the one I chose has an orange rainfly and a teal tent body perfect for standing out in any landscape. As always make sure you find something that works for your needs. Happy camping!
|Trail Weight||4 lbs. 14 oz.|
|Packaged Weight||5 lbs. 5 oz.|
|Packed Size||7 x 20.5 inches|
|Floor Dimensions||92 x 56 inches|
|Floor Area||35.8 square feet|
|Vestibule Area||22.5 square feet|
|Peak Height||44 inches|
|Number of Doors||2 doors|
|Number of Poles||1 hubbed pole set|
|Pole Material||DAC Pressfit aluminum|
|Canopy Fabric||40-denier ripstop nylon/|
20-denier nylon mesh
|Floor Fabric||70-denier taffeta nylon|
|Rainfly Fabric||40-denier nylon|
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