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Car Camping tent for 2 adults?

I’d normally just walk into an REI store and ask this, but given the COVID19 I’m hoping you can help me out online.

Looking for a car camping tent for 2 adults.  3 season is fine.  Might use it a hand full of times per year.  Considering the following.  Any thoughts on the best option?

REI Co-op Half Dome 3 Plus Tent
- REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus Tent - do I need the extra space over the HD 3?
- REI Co-op Base Camp 4 Tent - is it worth the price increase for my purposes? 
- REI Co-op Camp Dome 4 Tent - Good price as discontinued.  Am I going to miss not having vestibules? 
- Kelty Discovery 4 Tent - low cost, will it hold up?

Any thoughts much appreciated.

Thanks.

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5 Replies

@skx013k2 we would love to give you advice on this! But before we can, a few questions that will help us narrow down your choices:

  • Where are you and is that where you'll be doing most of your car camping?
  • Do you anticipate lots of rain? Heat? Other interesting environmental factors we should know?
  • Do you want to be able to stand up fully in the tent?
  • Any strong feelings about price, weight, specific features?

Once we hear back, we'll get you a few great recommendations!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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  • Pennsylvania - camping would likely be in mostly PA, NY, MD, and maybe Maine.
  • It can get humid in summer.  Rain possible, but not lots.  Typical 3-season PA weather for the most part.
  • Don’t need to stand up.  Would like enough room to sit up comfortably (on the floor) and maybe (but not required) to use a cot.  Because it’s for car camping, I’d prioritize space over portability.   However, it’s for 2 people total.  
  • I’d like to keep it in the $250-$300 range, but could go up to $400 if it substantially increased what I was getting.   Weight - not a primary concern.  Maybe need to carry the tent 50-100ft max from car to campsite.  Do not plan on backpacking with this tent.  

Also, if you have a recommendation for sleeping pads to go with the above that would be great.  Comfort over portability.  6 ft male and 5’6” female - both average size.  

 

@skx013k2 great information, and super helpful to give you some recommendations!

Let's start with a few tents:

  • REI Co-op Half Dome 3 Plus - because you've got the 6' tall individual, the "plus" model of the Half Dome tents will give nice extra length. No real need to go with the HD 4+, unless you need to accommodate another human or pet(s) or just simply want lots of space! Not really cot-compatible (you won't be able to sit up on the cot in the tent). Full rain-fly for rainy days, good amount of mesh on the tent body for warmer days. Don't forget the footprint!
  • Marmot Limelight 3 - good length, lots of mesh for warm weather, full rainfly for wet weather. Similarly not cot-compatible. Footprint is included!
  • REI Co-op Grand Hut - tall enough for standing and cot-compatible. Full rain fly for wet weather, good mesh for warm temps. Again, don't forget the footprint.
  • The REI Base Camp will likely run too warm/muggy in your humid weather (less mesh on the tent body), the REI Camp Dome does not have a full-coverage rainfly (not great for wet weather), and the Kelty Discovery 4 only has 1 door (which can be frustrating for 2 adults trying to maneuver around each other).

Let us know if these recommendations raise any additional questions. And we'll respond again with sleeping pad recommendations next!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@skx013k2 on to ground pads! This will be a little more nuanced because there are a lot of personal preferences when it comes to what's comfortable for sleeping on the ground! We'll provide some suggestions and offer a few resources, and then be open for more dialogue if additional questions arise!

First, you might read this article on picking a ground pad to try to narrow down what "kind" of pad you'd prefer. Filled with air? Or self-inflating? Horizontal or vertical baffles? These are personal preferences and neither is better or worse than the other!

A few recommendations for ground pads, assuming you are sleeping on the ground:

  • REI Co-op Camp Bed - this is a self-inflating pad (little to no puffing needed), 2.5" thick (comfy), high r-value (warm). The XL size is plenty long for your tallest person! That said, it's also 5lbs+ (heavy) and bulky when packed up.
  • REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Pad - this is 2.75" thick, with an integrated hand pump (not self-inflating), r-value at 3.5 and comes in 2 lengths to accommodate different sizes of people! These are on clearance so inventory may run out quickly.
  • Nemo Cosmo 3D Insulated Air Pad - this is 3.5" thick (comfy), has an integrated foot pump for easy inflation, 3.3 r-value and is available in several lengths/widths.

Let us know if you'd like information/advice on cots and/or pads to use with cots!

 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Thank you!  Extremely helpful.  I’ll be placing an order this week.