The REI Base Camp 6 was designed with the mountains in mind– not just those sunkissed insta-worthy moments of pure bliss, but the wind-whipped, rain-soaked nights that can easily send you packing. This 3+ season tent will keep you dry through most of the elements mother nature will throw your way. The dome-shaped design allows for a spacious interior with room to stand, while keeping with the traditional mountaineering shape that can handle higher winds and heavier snows.
Comfort and Space
The floor dimensions of the Base Camp 6 are 110 x 110 inches (279,4 x 279,4 cm). As the name suggests, the capacity of the tent is 6 people. While you could fit 6 people, there would need to be some cozy cuddling to make it work. With 6 people in the Base Camp, each sleeper would only have shoulder space of around 18 inches wide. I would say this tent would be best suited for a family of 3 or 4.
As a 3+ season tent that can handle some winter weather, the dome shape is an important factor in allowing campers to get use out of this tent most of the year. While it is an important design component, it does make the interior feel more cramped than a cabin or tunnel tent. Nonetheless, the peak height measures in at a comfortable 6 FT and some change, making it comfortable to stand in for most people.
The interior also has ample storage options, with 14 pockets to stash clothes, lights, and other gear.
The Base Camp has two large doors that allow sleepers to enter and exit the tent without crawling over each other, as well as two large vestibules to protect you and your gear from inclement weather.
Breathability and Ventilation
While the Base Camp is one of the more versatile tents in terms of year-round livability, some of the engineering that went into making it a weather-proof tent knocked some points away from its breathability and ventilation.
The large polyester doors of the Basecamp have the ability to be unzipped halfway to allow ventilation, as well as two ventilation points on the roof.
Even with these ventilation points in mind, the Base Camp just cannot offer the same breathability as a tent that is made mostly of mesh. If you will be camping in hot and humid weather, the Base Camp may not be the tent for you.
If you plan your adventures with the potential for more extreme weather conditions, the Base Camp would be a great tent for you. With engineering inspired by mountaineering, the Base Camp is built for withstanding the elements.
As noted earlier, the Base Camp has a geodesic dome shape, making it a sturdy shelter to protect you from rain, wind, and snow. The aluminum poles are built to provide durability and stability while providing the dome shape that allows heavy snow to shed off the tent instead of pooling and collapsing the structure.
The full-coverage polyester rainfly extends all the way to the ground and past the doors, giving little space for the rain to find its way into the tent.
One downfall that the Base Camp has in severe weather is the vents built into the top of the rainfly. Since the vents do not have the capability to close all the way, and instead just have a small piece of velcro to secure them shut. If the rain is blowing at an angle, water can get into the tent.
Despite this, the designs mentioned earlier that hindered the tent’s breathability have enhanced it for inclement weather. The nearly full polyester design of the tent itself adds extra protection from the elements instead of just relying on the rainfly.
The rainfly is equipped with guylines to help keep the fabric taut, allowing water to glide off the side of the tent more efficiently. If you want to use the guylines, you will need to purchase additional stakes to secure them.
The quality of the Base Camp really shines through when you look closely at its construction. The tent and rainfly are both made of 75 denier polyester, with the rainfly having a seam-sealed construction to add more weatherproofing and durability.
The floor of the tent is made of coated 150 denier polyester, giving it a heavy-duty construction that feels more like a tarp. Since it is a heavier construction, you do not necessarily need to purchase the footprint to go with it. It is always a good idea to use a footprint to prolong the life of your tent, though.
The thick aluminum poles are sturdy, lightweight, and well made, making it suitable for heavier winds.
Ease of Use
REI does a great job of designing their tents to be easily set up. With color-coded poles and grommets and intuitive pole placements, the Base Camp 6 is one of the easiest 6-person tents on the market to set up.
This tent is best set up with at least two people since there are 5 poles in total and a couple of them are long.
The REI Base Camp is a freestanding tent, making it a great option for many different terrains.
Packed Size and Weight
The Base Camp 6 is a monster of a tent, weighing in at 20 pounds and 10 ounces (9.3 kg), and measuring at 11 x 24 inches (30 x 61 cm). This size is fairly average for a tent with its construction and 4-season capability.
This tent is definitely a car camping tent and would best be used a short distance away from your vehicle.
Pros and Cons
- Great for a variety of climates and weather conditions
- Ample storage space inside the tent and in two vestibules
- Spacious but sturdy construction that can take a beating
- Easy to set up for such a large tent
- Sub-par ventilation
- Top vents on the rainfly do not fully close
- Footprint not included
Rate the tent (1 to 10) on each of the following criteria:
|Comfort and Space||9|
|Ease of Setup||8|
|Size and Weight||8|