Opinions on REI tents?
I was curious if anyone has owned an REI brand tent up here in Alaska? I was looking at a new model in the store today - the Hoodoo 3. Seemed like a pretty nice tent. I am looking for a tent that my daughter and I can camp in for at least a couple seasons, and then my son (just born) will add to the mix. My wife does not care much for tent camping - that is why I own a camper as well. This tent seems like it has pretty good space and I really like having 2 doors and 2 vestibules. We did a trip up twenty mile last year and the winds were a howlin', so I definitely want one that will hold up to what Alaska has to dish out.
At only 7 pounds, it seems like a decent tent that could be split among 2 hunters for a future sheep hunt as well.
Below is a link. Any thoughts?
I thought about going with one of the REI tents the Quarter Dome won a backpacker mag award I believe for best value. It is still in the running for me cause it has almost 40s/f of interior space plus 2 6.5s/f vestibules and I like the dome style for wind resistance better than that odd hubbed square design that would be nearly impossible to jury rig in the field. Also the Qdome weighs in at only 5 lbs! The q dome t3 is $289 but REI is running that 20% off deal on one item for members so you would still be in it under $250. http://www.rei.com/product/761895
I own and enjoy the REI Geo-Mountain 3
I have owned and enjoyed the REI Geo-Mountain 3 tent for 10+ years. They don't make that model anymore but I think the Mountain 3 is its replacement and has updated features/materials from a cursory look at the website.
Here is the link to that tent: http://www.rei.com/product/739349
I have used my REI tent for solo brown bear, goat, and moose hunts and with partners for sheep, goats, and black bears, as well as general camping--it has withstood everything so far without any serious shortcomings.
I would say that the main advantage of the REI line of tents is the "value to quality ratio"--meaning they are well-built and reasonably priced. The main disadvantage is the weight--at least on my Geo-Mountain tent. But as you most likely know the cost goes up generally as the weight goes down. There are better tent makers out there but for finding that "sweet spot" of value along with the features and quality I think one should take a serious look at REI tents.
As for my experience with the Geo-Mountain 3--it is fine if you are not moving much from your fly-in spot or can split up the weight with some hunting partners, but to haul it in solo is a bit much-especially when you figure in a groundsheet and better aluminum stakes---because of that I am debating whether to get a new lighter tent and hence a much more expensive tent like the Hilleberg line which has received excellent reviews on this forum.
After looking at the link for the specific tent you mention the main concern I have is the design of the pole support structure-just seems a bit odd to me and I wonder what a serious Alaska wind would due to the aerodynamics of that tent. That model might be a bit heavy for only giving you 3-season protection--assume you understand it is only a 3-season tent and don't want/need a 4-season one?
Maybe the award-winning REI Quarter Dome T3 would better suit your needs. Comparing it to the tent you mention, you give up some vestibule space but drop a lot of weight and the pricing is similar. I would choose the T3 over the Hoodoo--believe it is overall more suited for Alaska weather.
Hope this helps...
Thanks a lot. I too wondered about the design of the poles on the hoodoo. The poles are not all one long pole, but rather, have sections that go to a "hub" of sorts. I think if one of those hubs were to fail, you'd be in some serious trouble. The T3 looks like a pretty solid unit, especially for the weight. REI here in town seems to be remodeling and have a new tent section, so very few tents are up right now. The hoodoo was one of the few up. I've never really had a mostly mesh tent though. Not sure why that makes me a little nervous.
Originally Posted by majorbam
I am big fan of the half-dome 2 from REI. Have it used for years for scouts. If it can survive them ... it can work for anyone.
REI has the 100% satisfaction guarantee. That is the main reason I shop there, it is certainly not their prices... : ) Give it a try.
I hunted out of an REI tent for many years and really liked it, if I were looking for another tent I would definetly consider looking at them again.
REI Half Dome
It is a three season tent.
It is great for everything including light service winter camping.
It is not able to survive in the mountains above 5000 feet in 50+ mph winds.
Just out of curiosity, is it the 50+ mph winds that gets it? Camping up twenty mile last year, I am sure we may have hit 50+ mph on at least one of the nights. I am not looking to take it up too high, but wind in Alaska seems like it can kick up at anytime. Thanks for the advice.
Originally Posted by kaboku68
I own two REI tents and a mountain hardware as well. My experience with the REI tents have been very good and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good tent at what I feel were very reasonable prices. I did get mine on sale so that may be why I feel that way. One thing I would say is that if I knew I might experience high winds (30+) I wouldn't feel comfortable with anything but a tent of the highest quality and strength. My REI tents don't fit that bill. They just dont have the same number of guy points for the fly and the poles are thinner. I did see a pretty reasonably priced tent by Kelty at SW that seemed stout for the money. Might want to check out the tents there as well. Won't get your dividend though.