Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gear Review: REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent

Originally submitted at REI
The REI Quarter Dome T2 is freestanding tent that pioneers an innovative architecture to keep weight low, ensure high interior volume and bolster strength and stability.

Stargazers paradise
By writeronthestorm from Spokane, WA on 1/12/2012
5out of 5
Pros: Sturdy, Comfortable, Fly Works Well, Waterproof, Easy To Setup, Lightweight
Best Uses: Beach, Backpacking, Car Camping
Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer
What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist
Was this a gift?: No
Out of all the hiking/backpacking gear I've purchased over the years, I'm compelled to say that the Quarter Dome 2 is at the top. Put it this way, it's the only two man tent I've ever purchased. I've gone through a couple solos, and every year in the off-season I'm upgrading my equipment. Thankfully the Quarter Dome 2 is one piece of gear I never have to worry about.

For starters I love the pole design, which allows the front and back to actually have 90 degree vertical walls instead of tapering in at the top like the vast majority of tents. It's so simple to set up too. One person can pitch it in the dark in a couple minutes, and that's because the poles are all connected in one unit.

I've had this tent for about 3 years and I've never had any problem with leaks or wind bouncing it around. Even on the coast where it rained for four days straight there was absolutely zero leakage in the fly or the floor.

I love the fact that the inner wall is all mesh. Not only does it nullify any condensation issues, it also allows for quick drying in case it got wet. The tent is very breathable, which is great for odors especially when a couple grown men are crammed in there after a long day on the trail. Which brings me to my absolute favorite thing about this tent: leaving the rain-fly off and sleeping under the stars on those clear summer nights. It feels like you're outside. And when the mosquitoes are swarming your tent like the London blitz, it's nice to know that you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the wilderness and still be protected. I keep the rain-fly off whenever humanly possible.

As you can tell by now, I love this tent. Sure it takes up some room in your pack, but I've never heard of a freestanding tent that doesn't. At least the Quarter Dome 2 is fairly light. As long as you're using it as a 2-man you're looking at less than 2 pounds apiece, and that's not bad at all for a freestanding double walled tent.

My search for the right solo tent grinds on year after yer, but I expect my REI Quarter Dome 2 to last me for years to come. I just love this thing.
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