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Re: Advice about a good tent as gift for my (adult) kids

Hi, I am looking to get a tent for two of my kids who are hoping they will be able to escape cabin fever at some point this summer. It is primarily for my 20 year old daughter who has become more and more into the outdoors (worked as a counselor on a backpacking trip last summer, involved in outdoor club at college, etc.) ideal tent would probably be 2 person, but:

1) Use would primarily be in Adirondack State Park, late spring, summer, early fall.

2) Would be used backpacking and out of the back of car, though car camping would be as an overnight base for a hike, so wouldn't need to be more than a place to sleep.

3) Will probably camp with brother this summer if they can get out, and he is 6'4" (though very slim -- needs length, not width).

4) Not sure this can be quantified, but if there is anything that makes it "fun", that would be appreciated: I am hoping this can be something that helps breath some excitement into stir crazy/anxious (older) kids stuck at home.


Thank you!


8 Replies

Hey there @CBAJr7!

What a great gift idea!  I love your passion and excitement to encourage your kids to get out!  There are a lot of backpacking tents that would fit your criteria.  However, when you mentioned the "fun" element, one tent immediately popped into my head!

Take a look at the REI Co-op Half Dome Plus 2 Printed Tent!  It is a spacious tent for two, easy to set up, will get you through three seasons easily, and the print is awesome!

Let us know what you think!  

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks @REI-AlyS -- very helpful!

Hi @CBAJr7,

That's so exciting that they are looking to get outdoors! I am 23 and have that same desire to escape cabin fever this summer.

I've done a lot of backpacking and camping, and there are two tents that I would highly recommend above all others. These are both tents that I currently use (although I have used other tents as well), and love them to death. 

The first tent has already been mentioned by @REI-AlyS (the REI Co-op Half Dome Plus 2 Tent). REI's Half Dome Tent Series is AMAZING! It's great for both backpacking and plain ol' camping. What I most love about it is:

-The size of this tent: I'ts very comfortable space-wise for a 2 person tent. It's just under 8 feet in length, so there will be plenty of room for your son. My brother is also quite tall, and both of us fit in this tent with room to spare.

-It has two doors, so nobody has to crawl over the other person to leave the tent.

-As it's meant for backpacking, the weight for a 2-person tent is great.

-There are lots of mesh pockets and places to hang lights inside the tent.

-The majority of the tent's sides/top are made out of mesh, which makes for a great way to view the stars at night or introduce a cool breeze into the tent on warmer nights.

-It's a 3-season tent, so unless you're going somewhere SUPER COLD, this tent has your bases covered.


The second tent is not sold at REI, but REI sells a couple of other tents by this company. Alps Mountaineering is an AMAZING company that makes great gear (including tents). I have used several of their products and have found them to be durable, functional, aesthetic, and light-weight. My tent of choice is the Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent. Although I mostly use the 1-person version, they sell a 2-person version as well, which I have used in the past. What I love about this tent is:

-Aluminum poles! Aluminum poles are very durable, and because there are only 2 poles (which clip on), the set-up of this tent is very quick and easy.

-There are 2 doors and 2 vestibules (for storing gear/packs, which definitely comes in handy if you get caught in the rain, for example). The vestibules also add greater weather protection against the side of the tent (water, for example, won't collect at the base of the tent, as the cover extends beyond the tent's walls)

-Lots of mesh! Great for ventilation and viewing the sights in warmer weather.

-The size of this tent: Just like the REI Co-op Half Dome tent, this tent is just under 8 feet long, so there will be plenty of room for taller individuals.

-It's weight is also great for a 2-person backpacking tent.

-This tent is great for all seasons! I have used this tent in blistering Southern Arizona heat, in downpours, and in freezing temperatures, and it has never failed me!


All in all, you can't go wrong with either of these two tents.

Hope this helps, and you all have fun and be safe in the outdoors!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Thanks @bryndsharp! I appreciate your taking the time to provide such a thoughtful answer (and get me more excited about the gift!)

Anytime @CBAJr7! Also, make sure to purchase a footprint for whatever tent you choose!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@CBAJr7 Depends a bit on budget and if it will actually be used by two people regularly.  Generally 3P tents are better for 2 people who are not intimate and even then they are more comfortable if you have spend any time in the tent.  2P tents sleep 2 and that it's a bit crowded for much else.

That said the already recommended REI HD 2P is a fairly generously sized tent.  It is a bit on the heavy side for backpacking unless it is carried between 2 people.

However if backpacking and solo carry is the most likely intent then I would suggest taking a look at the REI Quarter Dome  SL2...on sale today  since it is much lighter.

It is semi free standing so does take a bit more skill to setup.  It can be used by 2 on occasion.  I use a Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2P which is of similar design.

A consideration is sleeping pads since most lighter weight 2P tents are tapered and only fit 20 inch pads without overlap.  A 3P tent will fit two 25 inch pads.

@CBAJr7 You have some very fine advice from folks who know their stuff.  I would only suggest that rather than purchasing the tent and gifting it, you involve your kids in the selection process.  There are quite a few things Dads might not consider that will be quite relevant.  Trust me on this.  I have raised two daughters to adulthood and I have the scars to prove it....

However you proceed, this is a great idea!


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@hikermor That is a great recommendation! My parents gifted me a new tent when I graduated college, but they merely gave me a price range and allowed me to choose any tent I wanted within that range! Involving your kids is a great way to ensure it's the best tent for their needs and desires.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.