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New REI Quarter Dome Tents
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Dash rain fly on 01/29/2014 13:29:03 MST Print View

I'm a little dubious about the Dash's rain fly. It is not full coverage, which may fly in the Rockies, but in the PNW, I'd be concerned that things might leak. I have a Quarterdome T2 Plus, and it's been great, no rain issues whatsoever.

Has anyone had issues with a less than full coverage rain fly on other tents? Maybe the double coverage isn't necessary, but what if it's windy? I'd feel better about a single layer tent with full coverage, than a full mesh tent with skimpy rain fly.

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Re: Dash rain fly on 01/29/2014 14:36:04 MST Print View

I have the same reservations about the fly on the Dash. it seems to make the vestibules rather useless. They end so high off the ground that I can't imagine they would keep anything underneath them dry unless your rain is falling straight down with no wind. It seems as though for the additional 10 ounces you get a much better tent in the Quarter dome. Move durable floor fabrics, and a better fly, all for $50 less.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Dash rain fly on 01/29/2014 20:08:53 MST Print View


Good observation.

I had a Sierra Design tent with a skimpy fly. It relied on the bath tub floor walls to shed some of the rain. I didn't feel as secure as I do with a full coverage fly.

Another factor with skimpy flys is that the waterproof bath tub floor walls can be cooler than walls that have a full coverage fly. This sometimes leads to more condensation on the inside of the bath tub walls.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

REI Tents on 01/29/2014 20:30:54 MST Print View

I'd be careful with the Quarterdome vs. TarpTent comparisons.

It's always easy to compare a single wall tent (Double Rainbow) to a double wall tent (Quarterdome) and list great points about the single wall (ie. lighter, bigger, packs smaller etc) and then to dismiss the main difference (single vs. double wall) as no big deal. This is a really an apples and oranges comparison. In some wet environments condensation is a very relevant issue, and a single wall would need to provide a lot more space than a double wall just to give the occupants a fair chance of staying away from the walls. Even then it would be far less livable. I've used single walls in situations where they were a terrible choice.

These type of decisions are very context dependent. Someone could read this and choose a single wall for Hawaii and encounter a torrent of condensation, or alternatively someone could read condensation horror stories and then choose a double wall for the Mojave. Both are mistakes - although one could add the internal liner to the Double Rainbow which is a great option.

My point is that these tents have different niches so generalizations aren't usually that helpful compared to education people on the differences and enabling them to make good decisions.

With regards to the Dash 2 being "semi-freestanding". There are several benefits to a freestanding tent, not counting the foolish ability to not stake it down. Any shelter should be staked and this is not a benefit of a freestanding tent. What a freestanding tent does allow is:
(1) Fewer stakes
(2) The ability to lift it up and shake out dirt in the morning
(3) The ability to pitch it and then refine it's position in your campsite
(4) Won't collapse if a stake pulls out.

With this in mind, a semi-freestanding tent (ie. freestanding but maybe some corners aren't taut) provides all of the advantages of a freestanding tent.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
New REI Quarter Dome Tents on 01/29/2014 21:50:59 MST Print View

I agree about the first part of the post till the "semi freestanding bit"

1) fewer stakes.
looks to me that the Dash needs a minimum of 5 stakes to work but, realistically, I would expect to have a stake in the two front corners also, making that 7 stakes.
The TT DR takes 6
2) the ability to lift it up and shake dirt out in the morning.
You can do exactly the same with the DR (leaving the pole in)
3) the ability to pitch it and then refine its position...
That would be faster with the Dash (or similar) if you change your mind before putting the rainfly on. Once that is on, not so much.

I'll give you 4 although if one of the vestibule stakes pops out from a wind gust I suggest you go out and fix it before the next one .
( that I think about it, if you pull out anyone of the 6 DR stakes it will not collapse either..)
But I give you a couple of points that often (but not always...) apply to freestanding vs non.
1)It is almost difficult not to set up a freestanding tent correctly.
2) freestanding tents often take up less space
however having said that I can set up the DR in the rain without getting the inner/floor wet...

Edited by Franco on 01/29/2014 23:17:29 MST.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: REI Tents on 01/29/2014 23:28:45 MST Print View

Valid points about double-wall vs. single-wall tents.

Having the option of the ceiling liner for the Double Rainbow does potentially alleviate many of the drawbacks of its single wall design, but of course that is only relevant to this particular tent, and not a generality of all single-wall tents.

I had this liner option in the back of my mind when I was writing my previous post but obviously wasn't explicit about it, which I should have been. My bad.

Edited by dmusashe on 01/29/2014 23:31:18 MST.

Kurt Neuswanger

Locale: Western Colorado
Dash vs. Double Rainbow on 02/28/2014 23:35:14 MST Print View

First of all, the poor guy asked about the new REI Quarter Dome but the conversation changed to the newly introduced Dash 2. Can’t help on the new QD, although I’ve had a QD T2 for six years, and it has been a great 4 pound tent for me and my two dogs.

I think REI does a great job of watching the market and producing competitive products, usually at a much lower price. I bought a Half Dome ten years ago for just $150. My Quarter Dome has been very durable, with awesome rain protection and extremely low condensation issues.

Now I’m looking to drop some more tent weight, and was quite intrigued by the Dash 2. That is, until I read the posts about the Tarptent Double Rainbow, intrigues me even more.

A close look at the stats reveals the Dash and the Double Rainbow are, in fact, quite similar:

47 oz.
90"x54" (42" foot)
40" height
5.3 sq. ft. vestibules
“semi-double walled” (since the ends are exposed to rain)

DOUBLE RAINBOW (incl. optional 4 oz. $30 liner)
45 oz.
88"x50" (50" foot)
41" height (2” for liner)
7.5 sq. ft. vestibules
“semi-double walled” (using the liner)

The Dash has more length and shoulder room. The DR has more actual floor space, including room for two 25” mats (barely!) and wins most of the other comparisons.

I think the Dash would have more usable headroom because its walls are more vertical. There is a YouTube video by a guy who returned his DR because he and his wife couldn’t both sit upright without touching the walls. I haven’t seen any pictures of two people sitting up (as in sleeping bags) in a DR. This isn't an issue for me right now, but I usually sleep to one side of the tent.

I’ve read some posts that complained about the mesh in the DR hanging down and getting in the way. Maybe someone with experience can add some insight into that?

My dogs tend to curl up against the wall of my Quarter Dome, but it keeps them from touching the rainfly, so they stay dry. I’m hoping the liner accomplishes the same thing if I get a Double Rainbow.

Nonetheless, the factors that make me inclined to choose the DR are the more practical vestibule area and the lighter weight, plus the cheaper price. And the liner, of course, is removable for use on trips when rain is not expected. You can’t leave the liner of the Dash at home!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Dash vs. Double Rainbow on 03/01/2014 05:32:33 MST Print View

Length and shoulder room should be taken with grain of salt since once you set it up that bathtub floor can effectively lessen those dimensions.

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
new REI tents on 03/01/2014 19:39:29 MST Print View

Beg to disagree with Dan's positive comments about the tents. "REI's doing some good stuff."

The QD1 looks like someone started with the old Eureka Crescent design and jettisoned a pole to save weight; thus losing most of the stability of the Eureka, not to mention the freestanding feature.

The Dash is not just a matter of the fly not coming all the way to the ground. One may want to do that at a vestibule on one side of the tent just to allow some air to enter for low venting. Rather, it extends the coated WP floor up the insides of the tent, at head and foot ends no less, and eliminates fly coverage at these locations, thus making the tent partially single wall.

Sierra Designs tried the same trick with the Bike Light, and more recently, Nemo did the same with Obis. What you get is condensation at the worst possible locations, where your head and feet rub against the unprotected tent walls. It is surprising that a company with REI's experience would do this yet again.

The TarpTent tents that were raised as comparisons have some issues, but nothing of the magnitude of what REI has done here. Strange.

Submit that a couple features are a must if a single wall is to have any versatility:
> Head, foot and sides must be protected, at least closer to the ground, by some kind of barrier, usually inner netting.
> The canopy material must not absorb water, like most coated nylons. Rather, a film-coated matrix like Cuben, or polyester, or specially treated nylon must be used.

Otherwise, the occupant will be perpetually subjected to wet inside walls above the protective netting. 'Oh I just have to occasionally swab the inside walls,' some say. More likely we swab them with our heads when we get up in the night. And swabbing won't help much once the nylon has wetted out, as it is prone to do. Are a couple ounces of weight reduction with a single wall worth it, when fairly durable netting is readily available at 0.8 oz/sq/yd to protect against the wet walls?

Nonetheless, I decided to build a tent with single walls at head and foot ends from about a foot height up. It will either be Cuben, or nylon specially treated to resist moisture absorption. Could not find an ultra light (sub one ounce) polyester that wasn't as stiff as sail cloth. What deterred me was not so much the condensation issue, what with the fair amount of protective netting, but that the lack of elasticity in the materials would make the canopy more likely to tear apart in high winds. Will give it a go, anyway. But the point is that these are the kinds of issues that manufacturers should be addressing. Instead they are making worse tents.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Re: new REI tents on 03/02/2014 00:29:53 MST Print View

> The QD1 looks like someone started with the old Eureka Crescent design and jettisoned a pole to save weight; thus losing most of the stability of the Eureka, not to mention the freestanding feature.

As someone who has spent many nights in the QD T1 2012 (REI #827783) I have to say it is both stable and freestanding.

It's easy to think you can judge something based on the way it looks but there is a lot more going on with this tent than meets the eye. There are some clever tricks with tension that they do on this tent that gives it a surprising amount of rigidity and it does in fact happily freestand. The sewn seams on the tent are all part of a tension structure that adds rigidity. It's one of the cleverer designs I've seen.

You must stake it out to get the full interior room, but it does not rely on the staking for structure, although a sturdy staking does increase structural stability.

> and more recently, Nemo did the same with Obis. What you get is condensation at the worst possible locations, where your head and feet rub against the unprotected tent walls. It is surprising that a company with REI's experience would do this yet again.

I spent a night in fairly tough conditions for a tent like this in the Obi 2P. Two people, subfreezing with light snow and still wind. We did not experience what I would describe as excessive condensation, although it was humid enough inside the tent that our glasses and camera fogged up tremendously.

I am not convinced it is an ultimate design flaw, although I do worry about the durability of the waterproof in a design like this, since there is very little keeping water from wicking in straight through the material when it is pressed up against bodies. This is a primary failure point in cheap family-style car camping tents.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F

Locale: San Francisco
NEW Quarter Dome on 03/04/2014 18:19:37 MST Print View

Has anyone gotten their hands on the new quarter domes? I have the older Quarter Dome 3 that I use as a 2 person + dog tent and I LOVE IT! The fact that they shaved significant weight off the newer models is SUPER appealing to me.

Curious to know what people think when they actually start using them. Any have any experience yet?

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
New REI tents on 03/04/2014 21:27:09 MST Print View

Agree with your comments about the previous model of the QD T1. The only issues I had with it were the weight, smallish door and limited floor width, but nothing life threatening. The new model is something else again. As for the Dash, not for me thank you, for the reasons already stated.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
T3 on 03/04/2014 21:49:42 MST Print View

Megan: I picked up a T3 last night (had older version as well) for a trip to Havasupai ... I'm going to be hanging but my two friends will be using it ... will post any thoughts two weekends from now when I'm back ... you're right, they're a great camping, dog or concert tent ...

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: T3 on 03/04/2014 22:04:22 MST Print View

Awesome! I look forward to hearing what you guys think! If it's anything like the old one I'll probably be upgrading really soon :-)

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Bought a 3P Yesterday on 03/09/2014 23:19:23 MDT Print View

While my original plan was to get the Quarter Dome 2P it didn't work out. "Why," you ask? Well...

I've had and been using a Quarter Dome T2 Plus for a year or so, perhaps 8-9 nights in use in easy conditions. Nothing too cold, nothing too rainy. Little or no wind. The problem was that the loops on the underside of the fly that keep the fly attached to the poles were tearing off. I don't think a tent should be re-glued after just a few uses, plus the doors were honestly hard as hell for me to get in and out of as someone 6'4" tall. So I headed to REI....

I figured the T2 would suffice but after getting the display tent down onto the floor, fetching an Exped UL7 LW (what I use) and a normal width short pad (what my girlfriend uses), I loaded them up into the tent and.....WHOA WTF?! Why so small?! What contributed to the apparent (usable) space decrease?

- 4" in length removed = less room for my dog! How could they?!
- Decreased height at foot = my feet now touch the inner tent
- Shallower angle on the walls = less shoulder room once on a mat
- 4" less width = the mats just barely fit without riding onto the vertical portion of the floor, but...
- Tapering towards foot area = the short mat road up onto the long mat about half way down

By adopting a clone-and-improve design based on what looks like the Fly Creek / Copper Spur school of design, they've introduced a lot of issues for me since I'm a large dude. Long story short, there's no way myself, my 5'2" petite girlfriend, and my 70 pound boxer are fitting into the 2P tent. So.....

I bought the 3P.

Sigh. Yes, it was a bit of an upcharge. No, I didn't get the expected 1 pound 7 oz weight savings over my old T2 Plus (grrrr!!!!). I did however setup the 3P today and here's what I have to say about all that....

Pros (+) and Cons (-):
+ It's 11oz lighter than my old T2+ and bigger!
+ It's waaaaaaay easier to get in and out of with far better designed doors and vestibules
+ The assembly is idiot proof (I managed to screw up the pole layout of my T2+ multiple times when tired)
+ Sets up faster than the T2+
+ Additional storage vestibule at "head" of tent is convenient and you can access it from inside!
+ Better internal layout of pockets
+ Better shoulder room with 2 people in tent
+ Open/close the vent from inside! Whoo!
+ Packs waaaaaaay smaller in my pack (used to split body and fly into two dry bags, now only takes one with extra room to spare)

- Possibly less wind resistant than T2+ which was pretty great. Will need to test.
- It's winder footprint which means it's gonna be larger to fit into tight campsites
- I feel like the new T2 would be fine for 60% of my backpacking which is just me and the dog
- Floor is not a bathtub, has seams, not thrilled about this but we'll see.
- Not sure if open vestibules + rain will be doable in any capacity (it was in T2+)
- It's kind of an ugly tent. Weird shape plus a whole lot of grey. The T2+ was a nicer look (subjective of course).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the purchase. I feel like this is a properly sized 2 person tent for me and my needs....when I have two people sleeping in it. Maybe one day I'll find the perfect "me and the cur" tent but this'll certainly do (and I do have a Fly Creek UL2 if I feel like getting pawed in the face because it too is too damn small for me and the mutt but, ya know, the weight savings!

Hope this helps someone with a decision! Here's some pics from setting it up today just to do a little shakedown as I go stir-crazy waiting for spring....



Edited by aeriksson on 03/09/2014 23:24:14 MDT.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
3P spine pole on 03/10/2014 13:04:05 MDT Print View

Does the center spine pole of the 3P extend to the ground? I assume that it doesn't, but I can't tell from the photos.

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Center Pole on 03/11/2014 01:58:50 MDT Print View

In fact it does extend to the ground at the rear of the tent. There ends up being 3 stakes at the foot end, two at the head end, for the tent body. However only at the head end is there the extra bit of vestibule, whereas at the foot end the fly comes right down to the ground at each stake. I don't know if the 2P features the same design or not, wish I could recall.

One other piece of info on the 3P....

You end up needing 11 stakes to stake it out completely with all guy lines. The following points are staked:
- 2 stakes at the head-end for corners
- 3 stakes at the foot-end for corners and center
- 3 stakes for vestibules (1 each side and 1 at head end)
- 2 guy line stakes at the orange ties on the head end poles
- 1 guy line stake at the foot end, center, around the foot-end hub

Edited by aeriksson on 03/11/2014 02:04:30 MDT.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
New REI Quarter Dome Tents on 04/04/2014 20:14:19 MDT Print View

I got my QD 3p today it is a big step up in REI equipment in my opinion. As others have mentioned its a roomy 2p but with me and 2 kids it'll work fine I'm sure.
Alex hit all the high points in his PRO/CON list.
I am going to weigh it tomorrow and post some picks, but for the price I think I'll be happy. And since the kids are getting big enough to carry some pieces of the tent the weight is not an issue.

J Mag
REI Dash 2 on 04/04/2014 20:39:11 MDT Print View

I think any move REI takes in the UL direction is a welcome one. Even if you choose not to buy their products, at least they are putting pressure on the big names to step their game up and their weight down.

Obviously tarptents are great (I own a contrail), however after spending almost 20 years in Florida I can tell you there are some situations where a double wall tent is more necessity than convenience.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
New REI Quarter Dome Tents on 04/05/2014 09:56:41 MDT Print View

I have weighed each piece and listed below. I removed the original stakes as, I assume, no one will use.

Stuff Sacks(minus FP sack) 77g

Pole assembly in Stuff sack 538g
Tent body 635g
Fly 531g
FP(no sack) 305g
FP in original sack 325g

Tent, Fly & Pole assembly in Original Stuff sack 1806g (63.70 oz.) 3.95 lbs.

Advertised Minimum Trail Weight 3 lbs. 12 oz.
Advertised Packaged Weight 4 lbs. 3 oz.

The tent is very nicely thought out in my opinion. and weights advertised seem close to reliable.
one thing I like is the zipper access to the top vent which also can be zipped shut. it should eliminate rain entry from wind driven rain.QDqd1QDoqds