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REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/16/2010 16:03:04 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/16/2010 16:36:31 MST Print View

I am really pleased with mine as well. Makes a great one=person palace. Can also be set-up in a "fast fly" style like the Big Agnes tents. Can take a wind beating. 6 storage pockets on the inside are really nice. Plus, there is a clip in the center middle that is perfect for the Black Diamond Orbit if you are playing cards or waking up early/staying up late. Glad I own it!

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
We also like our T2 on 02/16/2010 22:58:33 MST Print View

Jim and I have used our Quarter Dome T2 for 35-40 nights of backpacking and we've been very pleased. Two thumbs up from us.
We took a five week hike in Wales/England in July 2009. The first 15 days of the trip were on the Cambrian Way (Cardiff to Conway via the mountains) during the wettest July on record. The Welsh mountains are wet enough in an average year; we had rain every day for two weeks, with fairly relentless Beaufort force 5-7 winds. It was terrific to have a well-ventilated, solid, easy-to-pitch tent in which to retreat.

Trip photos:
Part 1 (the wet phase in Western Wales)

Part 2 (the dry phase in Eastern Wales and Cotswolds)

Edited by drongobird on 02/17/2010 06:44:21 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: We also like our T2 on 02/17/2010 02:39:46 MST Print View

> The Welsh mountains are wet enough in an average year; we had rain every day for
> two weeks, with fairly relentless Beaufort force 5-7 winds.

But that IS average for Wales ... :-)
We had the same in 97 on Offas Dyke.


jeff arnfield
(Windward) - F

Locale: NE Tennessee
T2 works well for me on 02/17/2010 05:36:29 MST Print View

I purchased a T2 last year to replace a failing North Face Westwind (coating on fly and floor flaked off, but after 30+ years the tent owed me nothing), and have used it on several weekend trips in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

My wife is not yet a fan of minimalist shelter, so when she backpacks with me we're in the T2. When solo or with my buddy Sam I use my MSR Twin Peaks from October through April, but the T2 fends off both rain and ambient mosquitoes in the summer months.

The T2 is light enough that I don't grouse much about carrying it, easy to set up, well made and apparently durable (not enough trips to really know yet). Having separate doors and vestibules makes a world of difference in perceived space; it's close but comfortable for two people 6' or shorter, although I'd probably have purchased the larger T2 Plus had it been available.

In the summer I enjoy a mosquito-reduced environment so I can sleep on top of my bag on warm nights. Although T2 is only a few ounces heavier than my current solo tent, a North Face Canyonlands, I may redeem this year's REI dividend for a T1 to trim another pound or so from the solo summer load.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/17/2010 06:02:13 MST Print View

T3 is great for 2.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/17/2010 06:16:46 MST Print View

This was my first tent when I got back in to backpacking a couple of years ago. It was a nice tent, I used it most of one summer. Easy to pitch, airy, a palace as others have said. Sold it to buy a Contrail. Missed the space, but not the weight! Missed the space so much I moved up to a Cloudburst!

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
re: on 02/17/2010 07:45:19 MST Print View

I notice in the comparison tables that Big Sky went w/ a lighter fly and MSR went light on both fly and floor. Appears as though REI is still manufacturing w/ the intent that people will abuse the heck out of these tents and return them when they fail. Marginal gains in weight for the insurance against dissatisfied customers I'm sure. I really like these double walled tents. I have a Sierra Designs Electron for wife and dogs. It's really nice when we are getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. If you drop weight on everything in your kit, you can pull off a pretty low base weight and still carry one of these tents. I take the stakes, tent, footprint and give my wife the tent and fly. Gives you a nice space to ride out bad weather, etc. Nice write up. Thanks Ray.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
T2 for 2 on 02/17/2010 11:50:54 MST Print View

One thing I teach my scouts is that a 3.8 lb. tent is not that heavy when shared with 2. We take everything out of the stuff sack and then just divide by 2. If you like to use a double wall tent and are sharing it with someone you each are going to roughly carry about 1.9 lbs. Not bad for a complete double wall shelter. The trick is to find one that starts out light as possible. The T2 looks like a good start.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: We also like our T2 on 02/17/2010 13:02:53 MST Print View


Did you ever have to pitch the T2 in the rain? If so, any tips or tricks?

Michael Johnstone
(mjohnstone) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: We also like our T2 on 02/17/2010 14:02:46 MST Print View

I have done several father-son backpacking and canoe trips with the T2. I have been very happy with the easy set-up, mess pockets, double doors, and fairly light design.

Casey, I have never set up a T2 in the rain, but have been through a few storms. It works like a champ. My only struggle is opening and closing the rain fly vents to get some ventilation while minimizing the amount of spray that comes in through the vent in a heavy storm. You have to open the door on the tent and then reach up and around the tent to adjust the vent.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Re: We also like our T2 on 02/17/2010 21:38:28 MST Print View


I have never setup my T2 in the rain, but I have weathered some huge rainstorms perfectly.

If you are carrying the footprint you can use that to setup the poles and put the rain fly over that. You can then setup the tent underneath the fly.

If you were good I guess you could stake the fly to the ground and then setup the poles under it. And then attach the tent underneath the fly. I assume this is possible but extremely difficult.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Setting Up the T2 in the Rain on 02/18/2010 11:44:01 MST Print View


If you have the dedicated footprint, you can use it to first set up / stake down the fly. Then, you can leisurely crawl in and set up the inner tent from the inside -- protected from rain.

EDIT: Just realized I was repeating what's already been suggested. Note to self: need to read these posts more carefully!

Edited by ben2world on 02/18/2010 19:09:10 MST.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Re: Setting Up the T2 in the Rain on 02/18/2010 11:56:10 MST Print View

Thanks Guys,

It's nice to know the tent can be clipped into the pitched fly.

Trent Holderness
(tholderness) - F

Locale: Idaho
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/19/2010 15:46:25 MST Print View

We love our T3. Our preferred tent for my wife and I plus our seven-year-old.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Welsh rain & setup in rain on 02/20/2010 06:39:14 MST Print View

Roger asked "how much rain"? Cats and dogs. July 09 rain was 3x normal in south and 2x normal in north. Western Welsh mountains are much wetter than eastern Wales - more like Scotland or Ireland. We frequently had prolonged torrential driving rain, and the Cambrian Way is primarily in the moors, with no trees or buildings. Quite an experience.

The second half of our trip, Eastern Wales on Offa's Dyke and then on into England, was quite dry and had trees and buildings to boot! We had day-time rain for a total of just a couple hours during the last 3 weeks of the trip -- our reward for the first 2 weeks.

Casey asked about setting up in the rain. We set up in the rain (and wind) for ~10 of our first 15 nights. We didn't carry a footprint, so couldn't do that trick. I think it would be tough for one person to minimize saturation during setup, but with two people it is possible. I can't adequately describe how - practice it at home to figure out a system that will work. We got pretty good at it.

I line my pack with a trash compactor bag. Then, inside and at the bottom of that I put the down double-sleeping-bag and camp-only clothes, in its own plastic bag. I put all the other keep-dry stuff in the outer plastic bag and rubber-band it shut. Then, the rain gear and the food/gear for the day is outside that plastic bag so I can access it during the day.

Jim carries the tent, vertically on one side of his pack. On the other side is a vertical plastic bag with his keep-dry stuff. His rain-gear is on top. So we don't ever need to open our plastic bags until the tent is up and we are inside.

When we get in the tent, every surface is soggy. We keep the dry stuff in the plastic bags until we finish wiping everything down with MSR packtowel - essentially sponge dry the whole system, ourselves and our gear. In that sense it doesn't really matter how much rain gets in during setup, you can sponge dry it before exposing the dry stuff.

I'll close with a plug for walking in Great Britain. The 5-week Wales/England loop was our 6th trip there (3-5 weeks each), and we have enjoyed all of them.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review on 02/20/2010 15:56:04 MST Print View

Nice review Ray. The photos did a great job of showing the unique design. I really like the way the pole system opens up the top of the tent.

This looks like it would be a good, relatively inexpensive tent for youth groups or a family trip with kids where a tent that is reasonably light but can take a little abuse would be beneficial (or for beginning backpackers not wanting to sink a fortune into equipment).

Mark Cooper

Locale: Central Florida
T2 Plus? on 02/21/2010 09:52:14 MST Print View

I am 6'6" and was wondering if any taller hikers out there have tried the T2 "Plus" version of this tent. I am ready to spring for it the next time an REI 20% coupon comes out, but would be interested to see the same long sleeping bag photo in the Plus to see what kind of stretch space might be available. I know it adds a few ounces, but would be worth it not to have to scrunch away from the walls.

Gary Swanson-Davies
(garysd) - MLife
Re: T2 Plus? on 02/28/2010 11:25:39 MST Print View


I'm 6'2" and my long down bag has plenty of room.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Cuben on 04/08/2010 18:32:45 MDT Print View

I'm really surprised with this tent considering it's from REI. Depending on what you're looking for, it seems to compare really well for 2 person use. If you're planning on using a 2 person tent for 1 person use then the Big Agnes FC2 is unbeatable.

Eliminating tents with significantly smaller floors (MSR Carbon Reflex 2, Terra Nova Laser) or heavily sloped walls resulting in way less interior room (Big Agnes Fly Creek 2, SMD Haven) and you're not left with very many 2 person double wall tents under 4 lbs. To my knowledge, the competitors are:

- Mountain Hardware Skyledge 2.1 (55oz)
- Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 (54oz)
- MSR Hubba Hubba HP (59oz)
- Big Sky Intl. Revolution 2P (54oz)
- Sierra Designs Lightning XT (61oz)
- TarpTent Scarp 2 (53oz)

Looking at that list of tents, the 60oz T2 seems like a no brainer winner over most of the tents because most of them provide no compelling reason to spend way more money (the T2 is $100-$200 cheaper than any of these competitors). The exceptions being the Hubba Hubba HP and Scarp 2 which have fabric inners (option on the Scarp 2) and are more suited for winter use.

The only tent that I would say is significantly lighter than the T2 is the MH Skyledge, because the Big Sky, Big Agnes and TarpTent shelters all use thin 30D floors with borderline waterproofing, so a ground sheet weighing several ounces is required IMO. The Skyledge looks like a nice tent but the sidewalls do slope inward somewhat so you're giving up some interior volume in exchange for 6oz saved.

I'm thinking the ideal choice is buying a T2 and then spend the $100-$200 saved on buying cuben for a MYOG fly. A cuben fly should weigh ~8oz which would save a huge 16oz and bring the total T2 trailweight down to 2lbs 12oz. If you could somehow source carbon fibre poles you could bring that down even further without compromising livability.

Edited by dandydan on 04/13/2010 17:30:32 MDT.