The REI Co-op’s Passage 2 is proof that it’s not necessary to shell out hundreds of dollars to purchase the best tent for camping. For only $159, you’ll get an extremely durable structure with two vestibules and doors and a fully-coverage rainfly and even a footprint. For this price there is a loss of practicality with the pole design that’s shaped in an X shape and it’s quite large and bulky when compared to the majority of the more modern (and much more costly) rivals. However, in terms of quality, you’ll be difficult to find a more well-rounded design at less. To find out how the Passage compares to its other tents, check out our reviews about the most comfortable backpacking tents as well as the top backpacking tents that are budget-friendly.
The Livability of the Internet as well as Interior Space
with 31 sq. feet of floor space (listed at 88 x 53 in.) and a peak height of 40 inches The REI Co-opPassage 2 is a an adequate level of living with two people backpacking. On the floor the tent is fairly large, however the walls are much more slanted than the higher-end models with a central ridge pole that can stretch the sides upwards and away from your (like REI’s Half Dome SL and Trail Hut collection). This is why the Passage was a bit tight with us in the tent, though sitting down wasn’t a problem. Actually we were able put two standard-width sleeping pads in a row, side-by-side, with a couple of inches of space on each end. The floor was wide enough to hold a sleeping bag. With two vestibules (more about them below) There was no problem finding a place for our entire gear without causing too much congestion in the space.
If you’re looking at it from a practical standpoint Couples who often go camping with their dog or want a more spacious space will do better using a model such as the REI Half Dome SL 2+ (35.8 sq. feet.) however, the Passage can easily be used by two (provided you’re comfortable within a decently tight space). A final thought on the space available: REI updated the door design in the past this year. We think is an improvement. Our test with a previous-generation variant of the tent discovered the door to be a little smaller, however, the larger D-shaped opening on the new model makes gaining and leaving somewhat simpler.
Weight and Size of Packed
At 5 pounds and 10 pounds it weighs 5 pounds 10 ounces. REI Co-op Passage 2 is far from being an ultralight design. In comparison, a lot of premium backpacking models weigh closer to 4 pounds, such as Nemo’s well-known Dagger 2P and MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX (both 3 pounds. 14 oz.). These alternatives are more expensive, utilize significantly thinner materials to cut weight, and they don’t have an footprint (which is included in the total weight). More precise comparisons are REI’s Trail Hut 2 (5 lbs. 15 oz.) as well as Half Dome 2 SL 2+ (4 pounds. 13.5 oz.) as well as Marmot’s Tungsten 2P (5 lbs. 4 oz.). In the end the Passage is suitable for short excursions and for those who visit a few times per year, however moving to the lighter version is an excellent option for those who plan to cover longer distances or hike the trail frequently.
Due to its weight, it’s no surprise that the REI Passage 2 takes up quite a bit of space within the bag. With dimensions of 8×18 inches when packed with stuff, the Passage is noticeably larger than the majority of its rivals. To give you an example, Nemo’s Dagger 2P can be reduced to 6.5 by 19.5 inches, and the more spacious Half Dome SL 2+ is smaller at 7 inches x 20.5 inches. The good news is that the Passage comes with a spacious bag to allow for haphazard packing. You can split the tent’s body and rainfly between you and your companion if you are with a limited space.
Despite its price-friendly however, even at a price that is affordable, the REI Co-op Passage2 impressed our team from a construction quality viewpoint. The floor materials are REI utilized a strong 66-denier polyester, which feels remarkably heavy and felt incredibly comfortable while camping in a rocky region in the Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness (many will decide to put the footprint away due to the rocky terrain). Other aspects of the design is equally impressively executed the zippers are all functioning effortlessly, the aluminum poles and clips are noticeably durable, and there’s a plenty of mesh on the top portion of the tent to allow viewing stars and to allow airflow.
Passage 2 is a 3-season backpacking tent that can be used for three seasons of backpacking which means it’s built to withstand the most difficult conditions. It comes with a rainfly that covers the entire area with sturdy materials and the bathtub floor that seals the water from below. Our excursion to the Indian Peaks Wilderness involved only rain for the night and we didn’t encounter any leakage. The same experience while testing the old-generation version on the Washington’s Olympic Coast. There weren’t any significant wind gusts while testing the Passage which was a bit of a surprise considering the alpine like environment. However, we believe that the tent is able to stand up to moderate winds without bowing too much. However, it’s important to note that the Passage is only supplied with six stakes made of metal We’d suggest buying several more stakes to add security and secure the fly in particularly windy conditions.
A pleasant aspect of the budget-friendly Passage 2 is its good overall breathability, even in the most difficult 3-season conditions. The temperatures we experienced were not higher than 70 degrees during the Indian Peaks and there was no buildup of moisture and breathability was great without the fly-on due to the heavy mesh. Additionally to that, the Passage features a vent on each end of the roof, which can be put in place using the help of a Velcro tab to improve the airflow (make sure you close the vents to stop rain blowing in from entering, but we found them fine to open in mild storms). Additionally, the Fly doors are able to be pulled over the roof to provide an unobstructed to see the stars at night as well as to prevent condensation. We’ll update you as we travel the Passage into harsher conditions, but the signs suggest for the camper to work very well, even on hot summer evenings.
Storage is an issue with this REI co-op Passage 2. On one hand, you get a two-door-and-vestibule design that makes it easy to stow gear outside the tent. The vestibules are average in size with 9.5 square feet each which allowed us put our gear away and be able to enter and exit the tent without difficulty. The rainfly can be folded back and away from the way, leaving one side secure to store equipment and the other one wide enough for easier access and exit. As we waited out an afternoon thunderstorm it was no issue getting our complete backpacking bags and hiking boots, and even our cookkit and food bags with space to spare.
Internal storage is definitely not present in the Passage. There are only two mesh pockets available, one at the head end and the other one on the opposite foot end. They can be easily accessed you sleep (provided you sleep at the same end of your pocket) and are great to store essentials such as phones, headlamps, and a map. However, I was looking for additional places to store various items such as the notebook or deck of cards. The roof also comes with gear loops for hanging lights or an extra loft for gear. As a comparison the REI Half Dome SL 2+ includes gear loops at the ceiling. It also comes with the most extensive six pockets on the roof, with stuff pockets on each door, and two pockets that are large at the corners. Overall we like the lower price , but would prefer that the Passage could be a little more spacious in terms of organizing.
Setup and Take Down
The freestanding and well-balanced REI Co-op Passage2 was simple to put up even for a single person. From the box the footprint was connected to the body of the tent The process was as easy as placing your tent down on the earth and attaching the poles to every corner (the tent is a simple, X-shaped design that has two poles) and then securing the whole thing. The rainfly is then buckled across the bottom at each corner, and is put up with ease using the pre-attached guylines. REI also provides instructions on the tent’s bag of stuff However, the process was very simple and I had no problem installing it in just two moments, even after my first attempt.
Others Capacities of the REI Co-op Passage
We took our two-person Passage in the Indian Peaks Wilderness for testing as well as REI also produces the tent available in three-person and one-person versions. While neither are in stock as of this writing, REI does expect them both to be available soon. As a reference Passage 3 Passage 3 was previously $40 higher at $199, while the Passage 1 it weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, all in, with an 88x72x 48-inch interior. On the other side of the spectrum it was the Passage 1 ($139) was an option for solo backpackers however, it cost 20 bucks.
What We Like About
- For only $159, the Passage 2 is one of the best value options available: this tent is constructed well, is spacious, and sturdy enough for use in three seasons.
- A freestanding, symmetrical design is easy to put together even by one person.
- A large mesh area along the upper part of the body of the tent can make this an ideal choice for stargazing . It also encourages lots of airflow
“What We Never Do”
- There is no center ridge pole to extend the walls of the side towards the sky to the sky, and out of your way. This takes away from the overall living experience.
- A bit large and heavy. For backpackers who travel often, we suggest moving towards a lighter, more compact style (although you’ll have to pay more).
- The interior space is small with only two pockets , and some gear loops hanging from the ceiling.
- The only stakes included are six. In case of extreme wind it is recommended to purchase more in order to stake the rainfly.
|CO-OP Passage REI 2||$159||5 lbs. 10 oz.||80 x 52 x 40 inches.||66D||1P, 2P, 3P||Yes|
|Rei Co-op Half Dome SL 2+||$279||4 lbs. 13.5 oz.||92 inches x 56 inches x 42 inches.||40D||2P, 3P||Yes|
|CO-OP Trail Hut REI 2||$199||5 lbs. 15 oz.||80 x 52 x 40 inches.||70D||2P||Yes|
|Marmot Tungsten 2P||$214||5 lbs. 4 oz.||42 inches.||68D||1P, 2P, 3P, 4P||Yes|
|Kelty Late Start 2||$160||4 lbs. 8 oz.||85 54×40 in.||68D||1P, 2P, 4P||No|
|Nemo Dagger 2P||$430||3 lbs. 14 oz.||90 50 x 42 inches.||30D||2P, 3P||No|
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX||$450||3 lbs. 14 oz.||84 40 x 50 x 39 inches.||30D||1P, 2P, 3P, 4P||No|
The REI Cooperative’s Passage 2 offers good livability and an impressive features set at a lower cost than the majority of competitors. Another in-house design you should take into consideration is REI’s Half Dome series, which has recently been upgraded. It now has the SL label (short to mean “superlight) The Half Dome SL 2+ gives a huge boost in floor space and more living space thanks to its center pole, higher peak height and improved storage capacity that has six compartments. The place where the Passage has the edge is the value. At $159, it is cheaper than its counterpart, the Half Dome ($279) considerably in terms of price and both models include a footprint. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s difficult to beat the price of the Passage however we believe that the Half Dome is the better overall option for backpackers.
The year before, REI released the Trail Hut 2, that is positioned somewhere between Passage as well as the Half Dome in price at $199. This Trail Hut is the heaviest of the three models with a weight of 5 pounds and 15 ounces, however it does come with a center ridge pole to create an even more vertical (read more comfy) interior. The Trail Hut’s fly door can be staked using two trekking poles to make a huge awning. Based on the similar constructions it’s important to consider your needs in terms of cost versus living space. The deciding factor for many may be availability. The Trail Hut 2 is sold out as of writing, however REI anticipates that it will come back in stock shortly.
Out of the REI lineup, it’s the Marmot Tungsten 2P is a more well-rounded and affordable design worth considering. For $214, the Tungsten features a similarly durable and weather-worthy two-door-and-vestibule build, weighs 6 ounces less, and has more vertical side walls thanks to its center ridge pole. The Passage is the better value. For $55 less than Tungsten and a mere $55 less than the Passage, the REI also comes with an footprint that doesn’t taper at the end (width drops from 54 inches to 46 inches. at the foot , compared to the Tungsten) as well as packs smaller. In spite of the more compact interior, we’ll give an edge to the more balanced Passage.
At the same price that Passage 2 at the same price point as Passage 2, we also prefer Kelty’s late start 2. When analyzing the differences between these two models the Kelty weighs about a pound less, at 4 pounds 8 ounces. It is smaller in size and lacks a the footprint of the Passage 2. However, the main drawback we believe is the one side door and vestibule, which are very limited to two backpackers in terms accessibility. In light of these issues we believe Passage is the better choice. Passage is the best overall design.
If you’re looking for a boost in both performance and price two of our most-loved backpacking models include the Dagger2P from Nemo as well as MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX. When compared to a budget-friendly option similar to the Passage one, it is a lot more expensive. Nemo as well as the MSR weigh less and are smaller in size. Both tents weigh in at just 3 pounds 14 ounces in and are considerably less bulky when packed into a bag. The main drawback is their durability The Dagger as well as the Hubba Hubba use thinner materials and floors of 30 denier that are a tad softer to the sturdy flooring of the 66D in the Passage 2. The final factor for many is the cost with a price of $430, for The Dagger as well as $450 to purchase Hubba, which is the Hubba Hubba without a footprint The tents are an incredibly larger cost. For casual weekenders We think it’s a good idea to save money with the Passage. For those who go often out and want to put the emphasis on weight and size , without sacrificing quality of life it’s difficult to top Nemo and MSR. Nemo or MSR.
Editor’s note: Typically, we offer a live price comparison table in our reviews of outdoor gear, however, Passage 2 is sold exclusively by REI Co-op. Passage 2 is sold exclusively through REI Co-op. The website for Passage 2 on this page and also help us with the process. Thanks!