Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two excellent years of adventures - and counting! We bought this tent two winters ago for some winter beach camping in northern California and have taken it all over North America through extremely rainy nights, cold fall nights, on a summer cycling trip, to the heat of the high desert, and backcountry camping in the mountains. It is so easy (and fast) to put up (and take down) and so cozy to curl up in after a long day. We love the gear loft and the ample vestibules. Sure, it is not ultra lightweight, but it is a good crossover tent (from car camping to backcountry or cycle touring) if you've got a limited tent budget. When the fly is off it is so lovely to stare up at the stars on a cloudless night.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not so durable.... I was excited to see the 2017 version of this tent on sale for 25% off. However, the mesh fabric that comprises about 40% of the tent body is very delicate. The first time I used this tent the velcro from my sleeping bag snagged on the mesh and almost tore a hole in it. I was alarmed at how easy the mesh fabric was damaged and promptly returned it. The REI employee that processed my return condescendingly said "Just so you know, the Half Dome 2 is as rugged as tents get", and any future tent I buy will not be more durable. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! C'mon man, this isn't the first tent I've used... Not impressed with the attitude of that employee.
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Half Dome 2 - Water Tight Camped at Lake Jocassee, Saturday July 16 we experienced a crazy thunderstorm. I had packed my gear in the Half Dome to get it out of the rain. The tent pad unfortunately did not drain at all. The tent sat in 2 - 4 inches of water. The bathtub floor did its job and everything stayed nice and dry.
Date published: 2016-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great durable-but-compact tent. Got this tent on sale. For the price this thing is amazing. It may be a bit heavy, but the fabric is very nice quality and durable. Fits compactly in my 13L sea to summit dry bag without the poles. If you want something nice that can take abuse without the extra care required of ultralight tents this thing is prime. Great ventilation and I was surprised by the overall quality of the tent. I have no issues with the poles, I hear that has been rectified in newer models. You probably don't need the footprint unless you want a barrier from getting the tent dirty. The floor fabric is stronger than the FOOTPRINT of one of my ultralight tents.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Roomy but leaked I use it as a one person tent and carry it on my motorcycle. I would think it would be too heavy for backpacking. Positives: Roomy, lots of places to store items inside and two doors. Negatives: Rainfly leaked BAD. I got caught in some heavy rain in Zion NP a couple years ago and all gear inside got wet. The way the rainfly slanted gave a path for the water to drip into the tent and it puddled on top of the rainfly near some poles. I tried to reposition the rainfly several times but had no luck. I don't hate this tent. The price is good compared to others. Just have to figure out how not to get wet.
Date published: 2016-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Survived a foot of rain in Hawaii! We spent one night at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last week. It rained all day and all night (a total of more than a foot of water). Well, this little tent survived, no water got inside and everything was dry. The tent was floating literally in the water, in fact my teva sandals that were outside floated away during the night. The tent floor felt like a water bed, but it did not leak! One thing to take into account though is the fly is a bit short and sometimes it touches the tent walls, the design is poor on that side, but the tent itself proved to be waterproof. I attached picture to show the magnitude of the flood.
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very simple to set up and a wonderful tent! I bought this tent as a birthday present to myself. I considered a 1P tent, but decided the 2P was more practical (if camping alone I would appreciate the extra space for gear and I would still have to option of camping with a friend. I recently drove from California to Louisiana and decided to skip a hotel, and booked a campsite instead. I was nervous because it had been a while since I had pitched any tent, and I had not yet set up my new one at all. But I needn't have worried! Setup was straightforward, took around 15-20 min and very manageable for one person. Everything I needed was included (footprint purchased separately), and though I will pick up a couple more stakes and guy lines for future use, the tent was very stable even in some breezy gusts. Breaking down was around 5 min and I was on the road again. I had even made a friend! I think he thought my tent was the mother of all beetles. :)
Date published: 2016-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Durable, easy to set up I bought this tent three years ago and have put it to heavy use! It packs down small, sets up easy, and has never leaked. The vestibules are a great size, and I love the option to flip the rainfly halfway back to provide a fantastic view. If a rainstorm rolls in, it takes only 30 seconds to flip the rainfly back and protect your gear! Couldn't recommend this tent more highly. I've already gotten it for two friends.
Date published: 2015-03-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Top pole split at the hub I love this tent and the other two REI tents I own, so I was disappointed when the pole on my Half Dome 2 split and became unusable during setup. The common response to the issue is that it won't happen if the pole is fully inserted in the hub. That may be true, but there is a lot of tension where that top pole meets the hubs. Due to how common the issue is and the fact that REI does not sell replacement poles, I feel it is something that should be known and considered by potential buyers. I don't think this is an easy pole system to get replaced, either, so I'm possibly looking at cutting the cord to replace the single section, which may compromise it again.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tent pole problem This was a first, an REI product I was dissatisfied with. The ridge pole spit at the hub the second time I put the tent up. The design of all the poles connected together is putting too much tension on the connections for the ridge pole. Using the repair sleeve will not work because it is too big to fit into the connection and you have to cut the shock cord to use the sleeve. Duct tap also failed.. A redesign is needed or go back to the three separate pole system.
Date published: 2015-07-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Buyer beware... I never got a chance to take the tent out for use. The Tent pole broke in my home while I was setting it up for practice. The top end of the pole that connects horozonitally split at the connecting end (lots of tension on this joint, a poor design) Thankfully REI is great and taking the tent back will a full refund.
Date published: 2016-03-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tent pole problem (echoed) Let me first say that I absolutely love REI products. I am still running on a pair of REI hiking boots that they (regrettably) no longer make after 7 years of steady use. I bought my first backpacking tent, the REI Half-Dome 2 in 2007, and have used it hundreds of times in very different climates/environments from desert to mountain, thunderstorms and snow. It's an amazing tent. So after 8 years!!!!! it's still doing pretty well, but the wear and tear means there are a couple tiny holes and I have a bent pole, so I thought it was time to get a new Half-Dome. I didn't even really consider other tents, and I read the user reviews and dismissed the tent-pole problem that was mentioned in several others as user error. I took my new Half-Dome to Red River Gorge and the first two nights went great. I like a lot of the design features of the tent; plenty of built in storage, headroom, and just like it's predecessor was very fast and easy to set up. The third night, we were still being very gentle with the tent, our new baby, home away from home. Similar to other reviews, however, the cross pole that fits into one of the 3-way hubs cracked where it enters the hub. This made it impossible to fit it in, and as a result there was no way to erect the tent. We were forced to use our tarp for a pup-tent in a pretty heavy rainstorm. I am not sure if this is primarily a problem with the pole material or the pole setup design. With the old pole design (Simple X), a cracked pole such as this would not have prevented setup. I will gladly go back to the Half-Dome if they redesign the poles to the simple two-pole X shape of the older versions of the Half-Dome. It breaks my heart a little bit to write a critical review of an REI product, but I wanted to give some weight to the pole claims of other reviews to prevent anyone from having the same problem.
Date published: 2015-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of Bang for little buck! Have used this as a back packing tent numerous times over the last 4 years, and it is holding up very well! If you don't mind an extra pound or two, this makes a great compact packing tent! Have been in numerous thunder storms with 30 to 40 knot winds, and this little beast has held up just fine. Kept all of our stuff dry every time, with the exception of a few mornings of condensation during colder hikes. I've owned many tents, and this is one of my favorites! I'm 5'10" and my wife is 5'7", and we fit perfectly into this, along with our 65L and 75L packs. Would definitely buy this again.
Date published: 2016-04-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poorly designed poles in new design update Well, I am very disappointment in this tent. My friend has this tent and we loved it! He bought it maybe a year ago. It survived many rainstorms, heavy winds and cold temperatures. I loved it so much I bought my own! I went traveling with it (not testing it because I knew it so well). I opened it up the first night and noticed that the design was updated. (There was not indication that the design had been updated.) I noticed all the poles were hubbed this time (The old design was three separate poles) and the corner joint piece receives A LOT of stress from pulling in 3 directions. The middle pole was so hard to attach, so much tension! It stayed up for one night. But the 2nd night after a long day one of the poles by the corner joint broke. Then the other corner joint started to split. I tired tape and everything. Nothing worked. Big bummer. I hope they go back to the old pole system.
Date published: 2015-06-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Design Defect in Pole structure Like many people who have bought and reviewed this tent. I suffered the same breakage of the roof support pole where it joins the plastic hub joining the main pole. I purchased the tent in spring 2016, unless the design has been changed I would recommend against purchasing this tent. We were halfway through a hike of the JMT and this put our trip in jeopardy, The break is impossible to fix in the field, we were only able to keep going as I rigged a piece of guyline to the hub on one side of the tent and pegged it out with tension to keep some semblance of the shape of the roof. Nevertheless, we were then unable to close the zipper on the flysheet on that side. REI needs to fix this design, it's unacceptable to to provide a product with such a high risk of breaking when a trip depends on the integrity of the shelter.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I wanted to love this product I was so excited to get this product. But, I was disappointed on Day 1 of camping. I was stuck with a tent with a broken top pole for a week. Pole assembly appears simple because they are all connected as one piece. The downside is that once one pole is broken (or the plastic piece, in my case) - the entire piece is unusable. I lifted my head a bit too quick when ducking to get into the tent (mind you, I'm only 5'2), and the front top pole bumped out of place in the plastic 3 hole socket. Once that happened - game over. My tent was slumped over. Rain protection? Yes. (It rained a lot during my trip) Ventilation? Yes. Lightweight? Yes. Durable? NO. I am trying to find out what it costs to see if it's even worth trying to purchase a pole set. I can't find any options! Otherwise, I basically just wasted my money.
Date published: 2016-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light weight backpack tent I love this little tent!! I bought the 2 person, because I like extra room. It has 2 good atriums, 2 good vents on the top of two sides. Great new zipper open system which i really liked! And great light weight pockets for great organization in the ceiling and on the sides. The weight is really good for the size. I would rather skimp on weight in other areas, but that is just me. I did have to add a couple of stakes. I was on a hike in the Olypen in March. It poured as usual a couple of nights. And 1 day. The other 4 people had to put tarps over their tents. I didn't need to, although I did have a Noah tarp with me. No moisture in the tent in any way!!!
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible Tent Design Similar problem as what many others have described. Connecting horizontal portion of frame snapped near the end of the pole. Once this happened the tent was completely useless. Contacted REI and was directed to a third party for replacement poles for nearly half the cost of the tent. This design should be redone as the stress on the horizontal portion of the frame is too much for the aluminum pieces to handle. Disappointed REI wouldn't stand behind the purchase let alone their own brand.
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compact and comfy Took this little number for spin through the the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tassie last week. My first tent with a mostly mesh inner proved to be a bit moist one morning as we had a tad condensation when the sun hit us after a night of heavy frost, but then again, it's not intended as a snow tent. Having said that, I actually took it snow camping this winter too - and it held up just fine ;) Great space for two and nice and light. I re-engineered the stuff sack to half its size as the tent go be packed really small. Overall a good bang for your buck.
Date published: 2015-10-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Buyer Beware: Broken Tent Pole At face value, this is a stand-out tent. Fairly lightweight at a good price and spacious too. (Although my definitions of spacious might be different than others: I'm 5'6"). I took this tent, brand new, on a cross-country cycling trip. On day 7, one of the poles broke at a hub. While the hubbed design gives more ceiling room, the pole repair kit will not work on that section of pole. And the tension on the poles meant that despite all the MacGyvering and duct tape in the world, I still had a saggy tent ceiling. After 2 more days, I mailed the tent back home and tarp tented the rest of the way. Afterwards, I returned the tent to REI. I'm not sure if this was one manufacturing error or a consistent design flaw. I'm not sure I would buy a tent with a 3 pole hubbed setup again. Otherwise, it was a great tent (4/5), quite liveable and able to stand up to the elements.
Date published: 2016-03-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Broke in less than 10 uses My husband and I always loved REI and even registered for our wedding there. We bought this tent to hike short sections of the Appalachian Trail twice a year. We set this tent up less than 10 times before it broke. We had just set up the tent while on the AT and the pole snapped out of the connector and frayed the end of the pole making it completely unusable. We attempted to exchange it at REI or to at least purchase low cost replacement poles, but it had been just over 2 years since we had purchased it.  They told us to get replacement poles through an outside company which cost $99. Meanwhile this entire tent was on sale for $132.99!  We had much better luck when my husband's pack's frame broke.  (We returned it to Cabelas and they completely replaced it even after 2 years.) 
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tent! This little tent is perfect when you need a lightweight, fast to set up, and fast to take down shelter. Slept in it for five days in Yellowstone, and the tent handled, rain, hail, and very cold mornings without any issues. I was also able to fit all my gear into the tent, including backpack, sleeping pad, etc. and had plenty of room to spread out. The overhead mesh gear pockets are great for storing flashlights, headlamps, or socks you need to dry out I highly recommend this as an affordable high quality shelter for use in any outdoor adventure.
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strong enough to withstand high winds We bought the previous iteration of the Half Dome a year or so ago, and recently gave it the ultimate test. In Theodore Roosevelt NP in late July, the Half Dome stood up to high winds including gusts between 40 and 60 mph, plus thunderstorm rain. Although the stays bent almost to our heads (lying down), they sprung back to shape and the tent's rain fly kept us dry as a bone. Thanks, REI, for making such a great product!!!
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional Value After flying my old gear across the country a few times for camping trips, I finally decided to trade in my old Coleman 2-person Sundome for a more legit tent. Though I was super-interested in the Big Agnes Copper Spur, I ultimately chose the REI Half Dome because of its comparable size/weight, better durability, practical design and great price. Having just flown with this tent to northern New Mexico for a 3-day camping trip, I can say with certainty that this is the right tent for me. It fits easily into a suitcase, and can be set up and torn down in about 5 minutes, has a spacious, well-organized interior and holds up well in weather. Aside from the included stakes - which are way too easy to bend - I love this tent and cannot wait to use it again.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent tent I have not had the bad luck on being in a torrential rain yet so I will save that last star for that moment. However, I notice that people had pole problems and I believe it has to do with the process they use to set the tent up. The first thing I do is put all the poles together. Then I lie them on top of the tent on the ground. Then I insert two end poles. Then walk to the other end and then raise the tent and inset the other two end poles - then and only then do I start to clip the sides onto the poles and LAST I hook the grommets of the ceiling over the cross pole. If you don't do it this way it takes way longer and you put too much tension on the tent material and poles. I mostly use this tent for week long moving bike rides where it has to be taken down and set up every day. It is so easy and quick and packs small and light. Love the gear loft and vestibules where I can put my bike in the rain when I take the front tire off.
Date published: 2016-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Value! As my first tent, this was an excellent purchase. It is easy to setup, weighs almost nothing, and can be condensed to a manageable size. I recently took her out for her maiden voyage at Monument Valley, UT where we were accompanied with high winds, rain, and blowing dust to go along with unseasonably cold weather. With the rainfly up, and rocks over the stakes, the tent didn't budge and we were warm inside - helping to aid in a great camping experience. Only negative is that the rainfly zipper sometimes get caught on the fabric -minor snags, so no real complaints Thanks, REI!
Date published: 2016-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Far So Good I just received my tent yesterday and very pleased with it out of the box; nice carry bag with compression straps is a fine touch. Then came the first step of my trial of any tent - setting it up at night without looking at instructions. Face it, when you have to set up your tent you're usually exhausted and waited too long and it's gotten dark. The pole assembly was a new one to me but how great to have a single, interconnected rig! No dropping poles in the dark to be stepped on or lost in the undergrowth. It took me a few minutes to wrangle that tarantula but once I recognized how it would work setup was rapid. Anyone experienced with erecting better quality tents should have no issue. Beginners will need a head start. Incredibly spacious for the weight! Palatial for a single person, more than ample for my beloved and I. Very taught, stable rig. Zippers can be persnickety if left to start near the arc but no problem if set top or bottom. Non-issue, just a habit to learn. The vent is surprisingly rigid, more so than my last 2 tents. Next will be to leave it set up for the upcoming storms; I prefer to find out at home how a new tent performs in the rain prior to taking it afield. My expectations are high! Update to come.
Date published: 2015-05-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor Pole Design We bought 2 Half Dome 2 tents on a scratch and dent sale in 2008, and they've been great little backpacking tents. They had a simple pole design (basic "X"), and we did crack a pole due to user error early on, but it didn't prevent us from being able to use the tent. Our now grown son has been borrowing our tents for a couple of years, so last year we bought him a Camp Dome 2 from REI, which he liked, but expressed that he prefers the Half Dome 2 because the rainfly has the vestibule area. So...I decided to go to a recent scratch and dent sale and buy him a new Half Dome 2. I found one that was in excellent shape for $29, but it had a cracked cross bar making it impossible to use the tent. I mailed the tent poles to "Tentpole Technologies" and they fixed the pole for a reasonable amount. I'm now about $70 into the tent (which is typically $199 new), and we tried to erect the tent after the pole repair. We decided to abandon our efforts when we saw the amount of stress put on the poles when erecting the tent - thus understanding fully why every tent I saw in the scratch and dent sale had a broken pole! Poor design REI...you need to go back to your former pole design for this one. Very disappointing.
Date published: 2015-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Juuuuust Right I bought this for backpacking with a friend (both 5'7"). We fit comfortably and had a little extra room, though we didn't need it because the dual vestibules had plenty of room for our packs and boots. We woke up to an amazingly thick fog where EVERYTHING not under our rain cover was soaked. We were happy and dry. The nifty ventilation ports at the top of the dome worked great, and we had purchased the matching footprint (sold separately). Plenty of room, lightweight, functional - just right for two on the trail.
Date published: 2016-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent backpacking tent for the money We have had this tent for about 4 years now. We have taken it to the Sierras, Big Sur, Adirondacks and Utah. It's still going strong after 4 years, no tears or broken poles. It has been through downpours and snow storms and did a great job providing a warm little shelter for the two of us. My boyfriend is 6'2" and aI am 5'5", the tent felt very roomy inside. We can both sit upright inside the tent and sleep comfortably. The various pockets provide room to organize various knit-knacks when you settle in for the night. And the double doors make it possible for each of us to get up in the middle of the night without having to climb over anyone. We bought a footprint to go with the tent, that helps prevent the tent from being torn by rocks underneath, or water seeping in when the ground is wet. There are lighter tents out there for a lot more money, but we are not one of those ultra light people, and this tent checks all the boxes for us.
Date published: 2015-07-14
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Questions & Answers

Lots of people in the reviews have reported broken poles at the hubs. Have you made adjustments to this to reduce the frequency of this happening?

Asked by: MTBRD
When my poles broke the first day I received the tent I contacted TentPole Technologies as advised by REI. . They told me the poles are too weak and need to be re-enforced. The poles were seated fully. REI will not pay for the repair, nor replace the poles. I cannot believe REI has not recognized the problem with the pole design problem at all. I sent my new one back and kept my old 2010 model which has been working perfectly after all these years.
Answered by: Tagish
Date published: 2017-12-11

Door and fly on older Half Dome 2 unzip from same side, but this newer HD2 the fly unzips from middle the door sort of opens either side, is this model as convenient to get into? It looks like fly hanging in front of door would be in the way ?

Asked by: HiKen
In my opinion, the new door zip design is an improvement. I had the last version, where like you've mentioned, you unzip from the same side and then to hold the door out of the way you would roll it up and clip it to the side using the loops on the side of the doorway. The new version unzips towards the top and hangs from the center. You then roll (or just ball up) the hanging door and stuff it into a pouch just inside the doorway on the "ceiling". It is very easy and much less time consuming than the old system (the loop system I mentioned). If this doesn't make sense, check it out in the store, it really is a good system and even though it may sound silly, it was one of the reasons I upgraded to the newer version.
Answered by: SouthWesternHiker
Date published: 2017-11-10

What level of water proofing is the fly and the floor material ?

Asked by: HikerdaveOH
The hydrostatic waterproof rating of the floor and rainfly of the REI Half Dome 2 tent is 1500 millimeters.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-11

Is this the 2015 edition of the Half Dome 2?

Asked by: albert2272
Yes, this is the upgraded tent for 2015. I bought one of the last tents available in 2014. 
Answered by: HikerdaveOH
Date published: 2017-08-28

What is the difference in the floor material nylon taffeta in the half dome 2 compared to nylon in the quarter dome 2?

Asked by: jyvonne
The Half Dome 2 has a 70-denier taffeta nylon floor while the Quarter Dome 2 uses 20-denier ripstop nylon.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-29

Is there a compatable footprint that will work with Half Dome tent? Only one I see is for Half Dome 2 Plus which is larger. Just looking for a substitute.

Asked by: loser135
Check your store. There is a Half Dome 2 footprint although it's not on the website for some reason. If your store doesn't have it in stock, ask them to call surrounding stores. I own one so it does exist. Good luck.
Answered by: makmak
Date published: 2017-12-31

I read that the rainfly can be rolled up on one or both sides and then easily rolled back down without having to get out of the tent but I can't figure out how to do that. Help!

Asked by: Jesse2986
The Half Dome 2 tent's rainfly can be rolled up, but not from inside the tent.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-03-03

I'm looking at various tent specifications at REI.com. They list a "Minimum Trail Weight" and a "Packaged weight" .  Can you tell me what is included in each/what each means?  I assume Fly/Footprint pitch weight is the Fly + Footprint weight.

Asked by: Nemo
Minimum trail weight is the tent body, rainfly, and poles. Packaged weight is those three items plus the stakes, bag, guy out line, etc. The fly/footprint weight includes the rainfly, poles, and footprint.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-03-03
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