REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent Review

Our take on REI's sturdy and weather-protective camping tent
REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent Review

Table of Contents

84 sq. ft.

2

20 lbs. 10 oz.

4P, 6P

Sturdy structure, ease of use, and full-coverage rainfly.

Interior isn't as roomy as REI's Kingdom; mediocre ventilation.

(4.5/5)

Performance

Interior Space

With its dome-like design with two doors large in size and a height of 74 inches, REI’s Base Camp 6 gives you plenty of living space. Although it’s not quite as impressive as REI’s taller and spacious Kingdom 6 and Kingdom 6, the five-pole design does a good job of stretching the walls upwards and away from you. It’s spacious enough for many campers to move about and, at 5’9″ one of our test subjects was able to stand at the center of the camp. But his outstretched arms could be able to touch the walls, which is impossible at all in the Kingdom. For sleeping the floor’s square dimensions (110 inches x 110 inches.) aren’t the most ideal we think, considering that the standard 20-inch pads can’t be used side-by-side (five can barely fit, and the sixth one would have to lie perpendicularly to the foot or the head end)

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-(interior-height)

smaller groups within the 2 to 3 size range, REI offers their Base CaLike almost all camping tents, we believe the idea of sizing it up in terms of capacity is a great option. Even with children who are sa maller Base, Camp 6 is best suitable for groups with three or more. It allows plenty of space for sleeping and offers enough cushioning for bigger mattresses or pads while leaving plenty of room to move and change about during the daytime. Formp 4 available. base camp 4. Camp 4..

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(interior)

Weather Protection

If wet weather and wind protection are at the very top of your list for essentials We believe that Base Camp 6 is a fantastic option. The pole’s design is reminiscent of a climbing tent–albeit with a higher and more less slackened version. The rainfly extends to the ground and fully protects the doors. Additionally, the seam seal is able to withstand the elements without a problem. Although we haven’t encountered any wind gusts that could be considered gale force in this Base Camp, we can confirm that it is steady even at speeds of twenty miles an hour if properly secured to the ground (guylines are included, but you’ll need stakes for them to be used). Overall the REI Base Camp is properly equipped for camping in foul weather. However, as we mentioned earlier, if you do not require additional protection against rain and wind We think you’ll do better with the more comfortable and more waterproof Kingdom series.

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Ventilation

With a focus on securing rain and wind and less on maximizing airflow, we discovered that it to be Base Camp is only a moderately efficient ventilator. Even with the mesh doors, the rainfly vents positioned up and floor vents not zipped and open, it’s the Base Camp 6 simply can’t be compared to a mesh-heavy design. It certainly works at moderate temperatures, but the solid walls on the sides and the rainfly that covers all of it limit the airflow. The more expensive Marmot Limestone beats the Base Camp fairly easily in this way. The Marmot comes with a generous amount of mesh along the doors, the sides, and the roof, all of which help keep the air moving during humid nighttimes.

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Storage and Organization

An organized and well-organized camper is crucial to the success of your car camping adventure We’re glad to say that Camp 6 Base Camp 6 has plenty of storage. There are 14 pockets that are conveniently placed on the interior of the tent. The upper eight are spacious in their nature and are an ideal storage space for other layers, such as puffy clothing, while two mid-height pockets are great for keys and phones. Additionally, there are overhead pockets on either side of the tent to store the doors once they’re unzipped. Overall Base Camp 6 is a very well-thought-out tent when it comes to internal organization.

The exterior of the outside, Base Camp 6 includes two big vestibules that are ideal to store items such as camping chairs or tables that need shelter from the elements. The total area of 44 square feet is impressive for a tent that is designed for camping We also like that they feature large zippered doors that allow for quick access and exit. One of the major drawbacks for Base Camp, however, is that there aren’t any available accessories or attachments that can increase the space covered. REI’s Kingdom models come with sunshade and mudroom attachments, which are fantastic ways to increase the quality of life

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(vestibule)

Build Quality and Durability

When putting in Base Camp 6 for the first time, it was obvious that premium materials were utilized throughout. The thick aluminum poles are sturdy, the substantial 75-denier fabric on the rainfly and tent body is confidence-inspiring, and the stitching looks top-notch. It’s often easy to find imperfections or even small manufacturing defects on outdoor equipment, but this isn’t the situation in Base Camp. Base Camp. The best part is that the 150-denier floor is more like a Tarp (in the best way) and does not require an additional footprint (using one isn’t recommended, however, as it will extend the lifespan of the product). We think that the quality of construction matches the cost of $469 and we’re hoping for this Base Camp to hold up very well for the long haul.

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(poles)

Weight and Packed Size

If you’re thinking of setting up the perfect base camp for your backcountry adventure with this tent, let us be the first to stop you. With a weight of 20 pounds and 10 ounces, this “6” is an absolute heavyweight to transport around. However, the Base Camp is mid-pack when in comparison to other premium car camping models. Alternatives to the big Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model 6 (33 pounds.) and the massive REI Kingdom 6 (21 pounds. 6oz.) weigh more, whereas the Marmot Limestone 6P model undercuts it by a bit at 17 pounds and 3 ounces.

In terms of the bag that comes with it, the simple tube-like design and shoulder strap makes it a breeze to carry to and from the vehicle. But there are two things that could make packing the tent more enjoyable. One, its compact size demands meticulous and precise folding and rolling to ensure everything is able to fit. Two internal dividers would be ideal for organizing and separating the tent body, rainfly poles, stakes, and poles. Our opinion is that REI ought to have used its backpacking-type Kingdom storage bag to store base camp. Base Camp, as it tackles these two problems.

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(sleep-setup)

Set up and Take Down

Of the vast 6-person campers Base Camp 6 is one of the most simple and simple to put up. Its poles, sleeves, and webbing come in a color-coded design which means all you need to accomplish is to match the colors up and attach everything. Like pitching the majority of big tents, we believe it’s best to work in pairs. Also, it’s never a bad idea to conduct an experiment in your backyard before setting out, but even if you’re doing it on your own, this Base Camp only takes about 10 minutes. It’s also worth noting that REI provides detailed instructions for setting up the bag, which can serve as a great refresher in case you haven’t used your tent for some time.

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Additional Capacity: REI Co-op Base Camp 4

We tried the six-person version of Base Camp for this review however, REI also has a 4-person model. In the end, we believe the “6 “6” model is the best option for campers of all ages and is the ideal dimension for groups of three or four persons. It gives plenty of room to rest, leaving enough room to move throughout the day without having to set up sleeping pads and bags. For smaller groups consisting of just two or three people or people who need to reduce their footprint to a minimum, Base Camp 4 is a feasible alternative (its surface space is 100×86 in. and the peak height is lower by 60 inches.). However, in the majority of cases we feel it’s worth taking advantage of having a bit more room. There’s a reason why six-person models are usually the top selling models among the car camping styles.

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What We Like

  • The Base Camp’s dome-like design and its full-coverage rainfly give you confidence even in the midst of torrential rain and wind.
  • Made of durable materials, these are able to withstand many years of abuse and wear.
  • Thirteen storage pockets inside are ideal for keeping your equipment well-organized and easily accessible.
  • Despite its huge size, it is a small and compact size. Base Camp 6 is easy to set up and tear down even for one person.

What We Don’t

  • Although the dome-shaped shape helps it withstand difficult conditions The interior walls that slope transforms into living space.
  • Poor ventilation because of the fabric that is solid and makes up the majority of the body.
  • We’d like to see REI include the great backpack-style carry bags that come in their Kingdom series. This Base Camp stuff sack is a little tinier and doesn’t have internal separators.

 

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(fire)

Comparative Table

TENT PRICE FLOOR AREA DOORS WEIGHT Height CAPACITIES
REI Co-op Base Camp 6 $469 84 sq. ft. 2 20 lb. 10 oz. 74 in. 4P, 6P
REI Co-op Kingdom 6 $499 83.3 sq. ft. 2 21 lb. 6 oz. 75 in. 4P, 6P, 8P
REI Co-op Grand Hut 6 $349 83.3 sq. ft. 2 16 lbs. 78 in. 4P, 6P
Marmot Limestone 6. $545 83.3 sq. ft. 2 17 lb. 3 oz. 76 in. 4P, 6P, 8P
Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model 6 $450 90 sq. ft. 1 33 lb. 73 in. 4P, 6P, 8P
Big Agnes Big House 6 $450 83 sq. ft. 2 16 lb. 7 oz. 81 in. 4P, 6P

 

The Competition

The REI Co-op Base Camp 6 impressed us with its weatherproof performance, robust design, and top-quality materials, however, you can find plenty of powerful contenders. Actually, one of the most impressive models is available from REI’s own production in the form of the Kingdom 6, which is an REI product. The Kingdom’s tunnel-like design as well as its larger footprint and the addition of more vertical walls make it much more accessible as compared to its Base Camp. Additionally, the extensive use of mesh and modular rainflies in the Kingdom allows for a great deal of airflow. This makes it an ideal option for camping trips in the summer heat. Additionally, the Kingdom comes with numerous aftermarket options such as the Mud Room which improves the storage capacity and flexibility (for more details, check out our detailed review of the Kingdom). If you’re in need of Base Camp’s better weather protection, the King’s upright layout isn’t able to withstand the force of winds, we recommend the more open layout of the Kingdom.

The range of REI’s products is a bit limited and their Grand Hut collection is a significant reduction in cost from Base Camp (the 6P model is only $349). As with the previous Kingdom Grand Hut, it’s the Grand Hut has more of an upright look in comparison to its Base Camp, with translates into a spacious and comfortable living space with the cabin’s open design close to vertical walls, as well as an impressive peak height (78 inches.). Similar to its Base Camp, the Grand Hut is extremely durable with a hefty 150-denier flooring and 75-denier fabrics on the tent’s rainfly as well as its body. The main issues we have about the Grand Hut are storage and wind protection The upright walls and the poles that are X-shaped are more prone to bowing during strong winds while it is not as spacious, while the Base Camp offers more interior storage. If you’re not concerned about the slight reduction in weather-proofing we believe this Grand Hut is the better overall price.

REI-Co-op-Base-Camp-6-Tent-(no-rain-fly)

Another option that is popular is the Marmot Limestone series. Similar to its predecessor, the Base Camp, it’s also available in four and six-person sizes and has a dome-like design. With pre-bent poles, and a unique halo-like design on each side of the roof The Marmot offers a larger interior. In addition, the extensive mesh used on the Limestone allows for better ventilation. Also, the rectangular floor measurements for Limestones that are rectangular in shape 6-person Limestone (120 100.) are more suited to fitting six 20-inch pads when needed (the Base Camp is 110 100 in. x 110 in.). The place where you’ll find that your Base Camp gets the edge is the vestibule space (44 sq. ft. vs. 27 sq. feet) which provides weather protection through its strong pole structure.

Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model also has a lot of similarities with Base Camp, including similar pricing (the Guide Model is $19 lower at $450) and dome shapes that have walls that slope, strong and top-quality materials, as well as sturdy security from elements. Cabela’s is more durable than the two models in extremely harsh conditions, and it’s also rated to withstand winds that can reach fifty miles an hour. However, it’s the Base Camp pulls ahead in three crucial areas. For starters, we prefer poles made of aluminum by REI, which are less prone to breaking under pressure than the fiberglass poles employed in this model. Alaskan Guide Model. In addition, you’ll have two doors large and vestibules when you buy this model from REI (the Cabela’s has only one). Finally, the Base Camp has far better interior storage thanks to its 14 pockets well-distributed. If you don’t need weatherproof 4 seasons protection The Base Camp is the more robust style.

Then, Big Agnes’ Big House 6 is another great, livable tent that is priced at an affordable price. Its Big House is similar in dimensions in size to Base Camp with 83 square feet of floor space however, the 81-inch ceiling and near vertical walls open up the interior in a huge way. However, the higher structure isn’t as sturdy when it’s blown by strong storms, and the rainfly isn’t able to protect your front entrance (you can purchase an additional vestibule on its own for $140). At the end of that, it’s clear that the Big Agnes is much less durable than the REI. It’s still an option for campers who are in mild weather conditions, however, more importantly, the Base Camp wins out as the more flexible overall design.

Editor’s note: Typically, we provide a live price comparability table under our reviews outdoor gear however, Base Camp 6 is sold exclusively by REI. Base Camp 6 is sold exclusively through REI. The Base Camp 6 page here also helps us with the process. Thanks!