Today I’m going to give a written review of my REI Quarter Dome 1 tent and pair it with the review I made for my YouTube channel. The video obviously has visuals so you know what I’m talking about and examples of such, but some people like good-ol’ fashion words… like, in sentences and such…
First of all, let me say that I have had the tent now for almost a year, which may not seem like much, but I’ve put it to good use. I’ve been through 38 of the50 states with it and in conditions ranging from hot and sunny to cold and snowy. So I think that my review gives a good synopsis since I’ve used it in most situations, environments, and temperatures.
It must also be said why I chose this tent. I did a lot of hunting, comparing, and research before choosing this tent. This tent may not suite everyone; people have different needs, are looking for different features, have different budgets, etc. As for me, my main use is backpacking, so I was looking for something light and small, but pretty universal since I knew I’d use it in a variety of environments. To someone who never backpacks, doesn’t care about weight, and is camping where there is heavy snow loads, then you’re looking bomb shelter, not a backpacking tent like this.
This tent comes in at 2lb, 2oz and is among the lightest of tents I looked at. There were some lighter, but at the cost of other features such as the rainfly not fully covering the main body or bivy style or more mesh than I desired. This was a good balance for me in weight, but still some substance to it. To be honest, my biggest concern was it’s durability since it’s such a thin material. I’m pleased to say though it has held up well to snow, ice, gusty winds, etc. However, just last week I did exchange it for a new one due to a part of the vestibule zipper starting to rip away from the fly (I’ll expound more on the issue in a bit) and since it’s been within a year of purchase, REI happily exchanged it thanks to the awesome return policies. I am curious to see if my new one will have the same issue down the road, but hopefully not.
Part of what helps with the weight is it’s 1.5 pole system. The poles are already super light DAC aluminum, but they cut out even more weight by having on main pole from head to toe and a second partial pole that goes from the opposite head to a jake’s foot above the door. The tent is not considered freestanding, but is mostly freestanding (if you forgot stakes, you’d still be able to sleep in it). There are two loops at the feet that need to be staked out to give full foot room and keep the tent walls by the feet taut. Speaking of stakes, the tent comes with just enough stakes for all peg-loops and fly, but if you wanted to take advantage of the two additional guy-points, you’d need two more stakes (or use a tree or rocks or something).
As far as space, it’s perfect for someone of my size (5’10ish”). I’ve heard that people over 6’ don’t enjoy it or find it to be enough space. It is 90” long and 40” at it’s widest. I also mentioned above that it’s not a bivy-style (a bivy is basically a cocoon for humans, but sadly you don’t emerge as a beautiful butterfly), you can however sit up in this tent. It’s [height] in height which makes things like changing a lot easier. I’ve also sat in there with my strap-seat to read a book on a cold night where it was warmer in the sleeping bag. I can tell you this is big luxury since I used to have a bivy-type tent (which was actually heavier than this one).
I have been pleased as well with the vestibule space (vestibule is the covered space under the fly). It comes pretty low to the ground, thus covering my gear well and I can fit my large backpack or large duffle under it along with my shoes all night. The zippers on both the tent door and vestibule door are smooth and almost never get caught. However, here is where I will mention the one issue that I’ve had with the tent. Because of the way that the vestibule is staked out, it puts a lot of tension at the bottom of the zipper on the fly. This makes getting the first half-inch started more difficult with one hand (not a deal-breaker though). But as of the last two trips, a defect began to develop as afore mentioned; the tension finally started to get the best of it and the zipper began to rip away from the fly materialthere at the bottom. See video for visual aid.
Two things should be clarified; 1) this is the only issue I’ve had with the tent 2) I love this tent! I would be very disappointed if this was a continual problem cause I’d eventually find a new tent and I don’t want to a different tent; I want this one. Therefore, in conclusion, my overall consensus is positive. I would recommend this tent to a friend assuming they were looking for the same main features I was. If you’re debating between this tent and another, you have my recommendation to choose the REI Quarter Dome 1.
This covered most of the main points, but I do going into slightly more depth in the video. If you’re still reading this, it means you’re still reading this (profound!) So thanks for reading this far, I hope it was helpful to you. If you have any questions, please leave comments below or contact me directly. You can also subscribe to my mailing list on the right side if you’d like to receive notifications about new blog posts as they come. Until next time, cheers!