The REI Co-op Base Camp 4 is a geodesic dome shaped tent that was built to withstand those camping trips that mother nature is intent on canceling. With its sturdy construction that is made for inclement weather, the Base Camp 4 is a great option for spending a cozy winter night below the tree line, or even summiting some of the United States higher peaks during the summer.
Comfort and Space
The floor dimensions of the Base Camp 4 are 100 x 86 inches (254 cm x 218 cm), making it a tight fit for 4 people. This tent would be better suited for two people if you wanted plenty of space, or 3 people if you don’t mind being a little cozy. Compared to the Base Camp 6, the four person version has more shoulder room when being used at max capacity. Each camper would have 21 inches (53.3 cm) of space!
The Base camp is a geodesic dome shaped tent which allows it to have great stability and durability through high winds, rain, and snow. In terms of head room, this design is lacking. The peak height is only 60 inches (5 ft) (152 cm), meaning most people will find it a little cramped.
The inside of the Base Camp is adorned with a multitude of pockets and hang loops to help keep you organized in your home-away-from-home.
With two vestibules, one being very large and the other being smaller, the base camp has a lot of room to store your gear outside of the tent or to find shelter from the elements before hunkering down for the night. The total vestibule space is 44 square feet.
Breathability and Ventilation
The Base Camp 4 is considered a 3+ season tent, but it has its limitations in terms of breathability and ventilation. The goal of the base camp was to create a durable and weather resistant tent that is versatile enough to get you outside most of the year. While the Base Camp works for some summer camping, it does have relatively poor ventilation.
The Base Camp has two large polyester doors that unzip halfway to reveal mesh windows. It also has two vents on the roof, which allows for some cross ventilations, but not enough for hot summer days. This tent does not have the same ventilation that a tent made mostly of mesh would provide.
If you will be camping in hot and humid weather often, the Base Camp might not be the best tent for you. Despite this, the Base Camp is an equally great option to withstand a sand storm in the desert as it would a snow storm in the alpine. If wind is a concern, the Base Camp preforms well.
The Base Camp 4 was designed with the mountains in mind… which includes the high winds, rain, and snow that you tend to encounter on mountaineering trips. It is a geodesic dome shape, which allows it to “hold down the fort” while mother nature throws her best storms at you.
It is constructed of 5 aluminum poles that provide more stability and durability in colder weather and wont snap as easily as other pole constructions. The poles have 7 intersection points, which add to the tents overall stability.
The full coverage polyester rainfly with a seam sealed construction extends all the way to the ground, adding more protection from the rain and snow.
The tent body is made almost fully of polyester, giving campers added protection from the elements. Most 3 season tent bodies are made heavily of mesh, and this detail makes the Base Camp a better option if you have some trips planned in colder weather or above the treeline on some smaller mountains.
The coated 150 denier polyester floor fabric extends up the sides of the tent to create a “tub,” giving it more water resistance when pitched in a pile of snow.
Since the top vents do not close all the way, they have been known to leak slightly if the rain is blowing at a certain angle.
The Base Camp series has always been known for its durability, and the newer models do not disappoint. The tent and rain fly are both made of polyester that is stretch resistant and resistant to damage done by UV rays. The floor is made of coated 150 denier polyester oxford that is both abrasion and puncture resistant. Even with this heavy duty floor, it is always best to purchase a footprint that properly fits the tent to increase its longevity.
The aluminum poles are durable and should hold up through years of use.
Some users have had issues with the durability of the grommets.
Ease of Use
Most REI tents are incredibly easy to set up, and this rings true with the Base Camp 4. All of the poles are color coded to match the grommets and sleeves that they are meant to be paired with. Since it is a larger tent, having two people to construct it would be beneficial, but is by no means necessary.
The poles slide easily through the polyester sleeves, and fit well into the grommets.
The tent has reflective trim and guylines to help with putting it up in the dark and navigating around the stake out points for midnight bathroom trips.
Since the Base Camp is a freestanding tent, it is perfect for many different terrains.
Packed Size and Weight
The packed weight of the Base Camp 4 is 16 lbs 14 oz, making it a bit heavy. It comes packed in a heavy duty storage sack that measures in at 10 x 20 inches. This tent would be a bit too heavy for most backpacking trips, but would be a great car camping, or a site that is a short distance away from the car.
Pros and Cons
- Sturdy enough to withstand some heavier winds, rain, and snow.
- Easy to set up
- Durable construction
- Poor breathability and ventilation
- Heavy packed weight
|Comfort and Space||9/10|
|Ease of Setup||8/10|
|Size and Weight||8/10|