I love tents, especially really good tents, so when I got the opportunity to test out The Base Camp 4 Tent from REI, I couldn’t say no. I took it with me on a two night primitive trip in the Ocala National forrest. Here are my thoughts.
This tent is heavy. Weighing in at almost 17 pounds, this is not a tent you would want to carry on a long hike. But, its heavy for a reason. Since it was not designed as a backpacking tent, The folks at REI did not skimp on materials. The aluminum tent poles are sturdy and well made and so is the tough polyester that comprises the floor and walls. The tent stakes are made of heavy duty light weight aluminum.
Set up was easy. By myself, it took about 15 minutes to set the tent up. With another person, that time could be cut in half. The poles are color coded which makes it easy to know where they go.
Once erected, the geodesic-dome design gives the Base Camp floor dimensions of 8 ft. 4 inches by 7 feet of usable space with a 60 inch peak height. The doors are large with two way zippers that allow the doors to be opened from either side. I had room enough for a twin sized air mattress, table and chair and still could have put another mattress inside.
Once the full coverage rain fly is attached, the Base Camp is quipped with vestibules that cover each door. One provides 27 square feet, the other 17. This gives you a lot of storage space to keep your gear out of the weather.
Inside the tent, I was pleasantly surprised to find two roof vents that can be accessed from inside the tent. This is a great feature because in most tents, you have to exit to access your vents.
Inside, the side vents can be open and closed to create as much or as little ventilation as you want.
All around the roof and walls are storage pockets. This is a wonderful feature that many tents do not have. This gives you the ability to organize and store things inside the tent without cluttering up the floor. A hanging hook in the center allows you to hang a light or fan.
Overnight, the tent vented vey well and did not build up any moisture on the inside.
The Base Camp 4 is one of the best designed tents I have used. It is made of high quality materials that are both strong and sturdy. It seems like REI thought of everything then they developed this shelter. But like all things that are made to last, they come at a premium. The Base Camp 4 retails for $399. Is it worth it? I say yes. Especially if you are one of those people that ends up having to replace your tent every year or two because of durability issues. This is a tent that with proper care will last for years and years. Over time, it will pay for itself.
During my trip I had perfect weather and usually I do not attest to the weather protection of a tent unless I have experienced it, but in this case I will go out on a limb and say this is a well made tent designed for durability and to give protection from just about anything nature wants to throw at it.
Find your headwaters,