Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Membership now as great as the outdoors!
Already a member? Take a look at the Co-op Members section of the community.
Ready to join? Explore all of the benefits here.

looking for tent advice

I've been searching for a new tent for awhile and despite spending hours online I am stumped.  Is the tent of my dreams just not out there?  Here are my requirements: I camp by myself but would like the ability to have one other person in the tent so need at least a two person tent, probably a four person, but have been camping in a six person tent lately.  I am 5'1" but I have knee issues and can't kneel so having a tent tall enough to stand most of the way up is key.  I need a tent easy enough to put up by myself if necessary.  I camp both in the desert and at the ocean and both get windy, so something capable of withstanding wind is required.  My ideal tent has covering for the mesh that I can close up when it's cold in the desert but open when it's hot. Finally, I would really love a tent without sleeves for the poles, since my last two tents wore out first there, but I guess this isn't a deal breaker if everything else is there. Price range is ideally under $400 but again, I'm willing to consider more for the ideal tent.  Thanks so much.

17 Replies

@Caryl wow, those are some very specific requirements, and it may be hard to find a tent that meets all of them. One conflict that pops out is the need to be able to set it up by yourself but also have it tall enough to stand up in and be good in windy conditions - typically, a taller tent has longer poles, which makes them harder to set up alone, and a taller tent can be less ideal in windy conditions as they can pick up more gusts and the poles can be more vulnerable to snapping. So, recognizing those complexities, here are a few tents you might consider:

  • The REI Base Camp 6 has a stable dome design (better for windy conditions) and is over 6' tall in the center, so you should be able to stand up fully. There are mesh windows that can be zipped up for both warm/cool situations. However, this tent uses sleeves for the tent poles and pushes over the $400 price point (although members have a 20% coupon now until 5/31/21, which will help!) - there is also a 4-person model (REI Base Camp 4), however it is currently out of stock - the peak height on the 4-person is 5' tall in the center
  • Nemo Wagontop 4 and Wagontop 6 - both tall enough to stand in with a simple pole structure for easy set-up, however due to the overall height, these may be less durable in windy conditions
  • The North Face Wawona 4 and Wawona 6 - both tall enough to stand in with stronger poles than previous models - however, these tents have more mesh than the Base Camp without the ability to zip them up

We recognize none of these are exactly perfect for what you're describing - maybe the community will have some other ideas!

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

Thanks for the advice.  That's really useful.  Any idea when the Base Camp 4 will be back in stock?



Hi @Caryl - We're glad to hear those suggestions we're useful!

Additional inventory of the Co-op Base Camp 4 is expected around mid-August.

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

Camping by vehicle or backpacking?

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

vehicle - keep hoping I can get back into backpacking but right now both knee and back prevent it

Also my question.

aka "Boonerelli"

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

Ohh, a real tuff one!

Normally I use different tents depending on the hike profile. But I understand that investing in a tent for every season is not for every one.

It sound like you need a tipi style of tent. However, listed bellow is a few tents that you can take a look at. Two 4p tents, and one 1p tent. But I must warn you that I had no chance matching the price you specified.

Happy hunting.


Wow, those Norwegian tents are gorgeous!  but yes, out of my price range.  The exped is worth considering though.  Thank you! 

Except for the price point, it sounds like you want a Springbar canvas tent.   Probably the Outfitter model is the right size.   I have a 3 person Springbar and it's one of my very favorite things that I own. 

Pros: a single person can set it up (I'm a 5'3" woman and I have no problem); you can stand up in it; it is completely bombproof in wind; it has large mesh windows;  it is completely indestructible - you will never need to buy another tent; If something does break, they sell spare parts.

Cons: Pricey; not free standing; heavy; high demand means you have to wait for monthly tent releases to buy one

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