One of REI’s most popular tents is back and said to be better than ever. Sounds cliché, I know. But the Half Dome series — which comes in three iterations, for two or four people — has been redesigned to have more interior room and to be slightly lighter weight as well.
Looking just at the spec sheet, the two redesigned Half Dome tents (the 2-person and 4-person) appear to offer less or equivalent interior space than past models. They have less floor space and smaller vestibules. They don’t weigh much less, and they have smaller peak heights. Despite the specs, REI’s new design actually provides more room to move around inside the tent, the company claims.
Here’s how it works: Using a hub-pole design that incorporates variable-sized poles and a center spreader pole, the company created walls that are more vertical. The straight walls allow more space to sit up or move about inside. Plus, those poles never need to be separated, which helps strengthen the tent, according to the company.
REI cites the $179 Half Dome 2 tent, one of the models, as being 34 percent roomier — despite a smaller floor plan. The two-person, two-door, two-vestibule tent has an average weight of just less than 5 pounds. Other specs aren’t yet available, so we’ll have to wait to know its packed size and minimum weight.
With a 40-inch peak height inside and two 7.9-square-foot vestibules, it’ll be interesting to see how the Half Dome 2 tent feels. The newly designed Half Dome tents will be available in January. www.rei.com