REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent Review

Well-built and reasonably spacious, REI’s budget-friendly backpacking tent is an excellent all-around value

Table of Contents

Winter boots are a timeless and charming piece of gear. From classic Sorels to light and modern designs, they aim to keep your feet protected and warm from wet snow and frigid temperatures. Whether you live in a cold and snowy climate, like to hit the trail in the winter, or want to keep your feet warm après ski, it’s likely you’ll need a winter boot. Below we break down the best winter boots for the 2022 season, including our favorite options for everyday use, hiking, and extreme cold. For background information, check out our comparison table and buying advice.

$159

5 lbs. 10 oz.

88 x 52 x 40 in.

1P, 2P, 3P

Fantastic price for a well-rounded, durable, and easy-to-use design.

The REI Co-op’s Passage 2 is proof that you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to purchase an excellent tent for backpacking. At just $159, you can 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 living space with the basic pole that is shaped like an X and the tent is quite heavy and bulky when compared to the majority of the more modern (and higher-priced) competitors. In terms of quality, you’ll be impossible to find a better, more balanced and well-balanced design for less. To find out how the Passage compares to the competitors, read our reviews about the top tents for backpacking and the top backpacking tents that are budget-friendly.

Performance

LIVABILITY as well as Interior Space


It has 31 sq. feet of floor space (listed at 88 x 53 in.) and a peak height of 40 inches the REI Co-passage 2 is an adequate overall living space with two people backpacking. On the floor the tent is fairly spacious, however, the walls are steeper than more expensive models with a center ridge pole, which allows you to extend the sides upwards away from your (like REI’s Half Dome SL and Trail Hut collection). The result is that the Passage seemed a bit tight with us inside, though sleeping on the floor was not a problem. Actually, we were able put two standard-width sleeping pads together with a few inches of space on each end. Additionally, the floor was wide enough to fit a large sleeping bag. With two vestibules (more about them below) it was no problem in finding a space to store all our gear without causing too much congestion in the space.

The 16-inch bar and chain on this cordless electric chainsaw feature a chain brake for kick-back protection.

In the end, Couples who frequently 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 be used for two (provided you’re comfortable within a decently tight space). One final point about the space available: REI updated the door from in the past this year. We think is positive. Our test with a previous-generation model of this tent discovered the door to be a little tiny, but the bigger D-shaped opening in the current model makes gaining and leaving somewhat simpler.

Weight and Size of Packed


With a weight of 5 pounds and 10 pounds it weighs 5 pounds 10 ounces. REI Co-op Passage 2 is far from being an ultralight design. To put it in perspective, many top backpacking choices weigh close to 4 pounds, such as Nemo’s well-known Dagger 2P and MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX (both 3 lbs. 14 oz.). However, these options are more expensive, utilize much thinner materials to reduce weight, and do not include the footprint (which is incorporated into the total weight). More precise comparisons are REI’s Trail Hut 2 (5 lbs. 15 oz.) in addition to Half Dome 2 SL 2+ (4 4. 13.5 oz.) as well as Marmot’s Tungsten 2P (5 lbs. 4 oz.). Overall it’s a good choice. Passage can be used for smaller excursions and for those who go out for a few times per year, however upgrading to the lighter version is an excellent option for those who plan to cover longer distances or hike the trails regularly.

We With its heavier weight, it’s no as a surprise to find that REI Passage 2 takes up quite a bit of space within the bag. At 8×18 inches when full it, the Passage is noticeably larger than its competitors. In comparison, Nemo’s Dagger 2P is smaller at 6.5 inches x 19.5 inches, and REI’s more roomy Half Dome SL 2+ is smaller in size at 7 8 20.5 inches. The good news is that the Passage comes with a spacious bag to allow for random packing. And you are able to split the body of the tent and the rainfly with a companion if you are restricted in space.

Durability


Despite its low cost, however, the REI Co-op Passage2 impressed our team from a construction quality standpoint. The floor material is REI utilized a strong 66-denier polyester, which feels remarkably heavy and comfortable to walk on while camping in a rough area of Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness (many will choose to put the footprint away due to the rocky terrain). Other aspects of the construction are equally impressively executed the zippers are all functioning well, the aluminum tent poles and clips feel remarkably durable, and there’s an abundance of mesh on the top portion of the tent to allow the enjoyment of stargazing as well as allowing airflow.

Weather Protection


Passage 2 is a 3-season backpacking tent that can be used for three seasons of backpacking which means it’s built to stand up to the harshest conditions. It comes with a rainfly that covers the entire area as well as sturdy materials and bathtub floors that can suffocate the groundwater. Our excursion to the Indian Peaks Wilderness involved only drizzle over the course of the night, and we didn’t have any leaks. We had the same experience while testing the old-generation version on Washington’s Olympic Coast. There weren’t any heavy wind gusts while testing the Passage, which is a bit unexpected considering the alpine-like environment, but we think that the tent is capable of enduring most moderate winds without bowing too excessively. However, it’s important to note that the Passage is only equipped with six stakes made of metal which we’d recommend buying additional stakes to increase security and to set up the fly with care in stormy conditions.

Ventilation


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°F within the Indian Peaks however there was no buildup of moisture and the airflow was great with no fly on due to the heavy mesh. Additionally the Passage has a vent on every side of the roof, which can be opened with the help of a Velcro tab to improve the airflow (make sure you shut the vents to prevent rain that is windblown from entering, but we found them fine to open during mild storms). Additionally, the door to the fly can be folded up to the roof for an unobstructed perspective of night skies as well as to help reduce condensation. We’ll update you as we travel the Passage into harsher conditions, but the signs are for the camper to work very well, even during warm summer evenings.

 

Storage


Storage is a mixed bag in this REI co-operative 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 size in size at 9.5 square feet each they allow us to put our equipment away and access and leave the tent in a separate manner without any issues. The rainfly can be folded back and out of the way leaving one side secure to store equipment while leaving the other wide enough for easier access and exit. As we waited out the afternoon rain it was no issue getting our complete backpacking gear and hiking boots, as well as our cook kit and food bag with space to spare.

 

Internal storage is clearly not present in the Passage. There are only two mesh pockets provided, one on the top and the other on the opposite foot end. They are easy to access while inside your bag (provided you sleep in the exact same spot of your pocket) and are a good size to keep essentials in such as phones, headlamp, and even a map. However, I was wanting a few more places to keep things like the notebook or deck of cards. The roof also has gear loops for hanging lights or an additional loft for gear. As a comparison the REI Half Dome SL 2+ has gear loops on the ceiling. It also comes with an impressive six pockets along the roof, as well as stuff pockets in each door as well as two large pockets at the corners. Overall we like the lower cost, but we wish that the Passage could be a little more generous with its organization.

Setup and Take Down


The freestanding and perfectly symmetrical REI CO-OP Passage 2 was simple to put up even for one person. The box was already set the footprint was already fixed to the tent’s body and the setup was as easy as laying your tent down on the earth and joining the poles in every corner (the tent is a simple form with an X-shaped shape and has two poles) and then securing the entire thing together. The rainfly will then fold across the bottom at each corner, and is secured with the help of already-attached guylines. REI also has instructions for the tent’s bag of stuff However, the process was fairly simple, and I was capable of setting it up in only a few hours, and even my first attempt.

Others Capacities of the REI Co-op

Passage

 


We took Two-Person Passage to the Indian Peaks Wilderness for testing as well as REI also produces the tent available in two and three-person sizes. While neither are currently available as of this writing, REI does expect them to be available within the next few months. To give you an idea Passage 3 was previously $40 more expensive at $199, and it weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, all in, with an 88x72x 48-inch interior. On the other hand of the spectrum, it was Passage 1 ($139) was an excellent option for backpackers on their own but it will only save you $20.

What We Love

  • With a price of only $159, the Passage 2 is one of the most value-for-money tents available: this tent is made well, fairly spacious, and sturdy enough to be suitable for three seasons.
  • The freestanding design, which is symmetrical, is simple to install even by one person.
  • A large amount of mesh on the upper part of the body of the tent can make this an ideal choice for stargazing. It also encourages plenty of airflows.

“What We Never Do”

  • There is no center ridge pole to extend the walls of the side to the side to the sky, and out of your way. This takes away from overall living.
  • It’s quite weighty and bulky. For backpackers who travel often, we recommend moving towards a lighter, more compact style (although you’ll be paying more).
  • The interior space is not very spacious with just two pockets, and a few gear loops that run along with the ceiling.
  • The only stakes included are six. In case of extreme wind, we suggest purchasing additional stakes in order to stake the rainfly.

Comparative Table

TENT PRICE WEIGHT DIMENSIONS DANIIER CAPACITIES FOOTPRINT
CO-OP Passage REI 2 $159 5 lbs. 10 oz. The dimensions are 88 x 52x 40 inches. 66D 1P, 2P, 3P Yes
Rei Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ $279 4 lbs. 13.5 oz. 92 54 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. 88 inches x 54/46 inches x 42 inches. 68D 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P Yes
Kelty Late Start 2 $160 4 lbs. 8 oz. 85 54 x 40 inches. 68D 1P, 2P, 4P No
Nemo Dagger 2P $430 3 lbs. 14 oz. 90 50×42 inches. 30D 2P, 3P No
MSR Hubba Hubba NX $450 3 lbs. 14 oz. 84 49 x 50 x 39 in. 30D 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P No

The Contest


Rei Co-op’s Passage 2 offers good livability and a great feature set for a lot less than most of the competitors. Another in-house design you should look at is the REI’s Half Dome series, which has recently been modified. It now has the SL design (short meaning “super light) and an SL 2+ designation, the Half Dome SL 2+ gives a huge boost in floor space as well as more space for living with its center pole as well as the taller peak height, as well as improved storage capacity by having six storage pockets. The area where the Passage has the edge is in value at $159, it beats out that of the Half Dome ($279) considerably in cost as both models have footprints included. For those who are on a budget, it’s hard to match the low cost of the Passage however we believe that the Half Dome is the better overall choice for backpackers.

The year before, REI released the Trail Hut 2, which is positioned middle between Passage Half Dome and the Passage Half Dome in price at $199. Trail Hut Trail Hut is the heaviest of the three choices at 5 pounds and 15 pounds, however, it offers the center ridge pole that allows for more of a vertical (read more comfy) interior. In addition, the Trail Hut’s fly door can be staked by using two trekking poles in order to create a big awning. With similar designs and features, you’ll need to consider the prices versus the 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.

 

The only exception to REI’s selection is this Marmot Tungsten 2P is a different well-rounded, 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 The REI also comes with a footprint, which does not taper at the foot end (width decreases from 54 in. to 46 inches. at the bottom, which is similar to the Tungsten) as well as packs smaller. In spite of the more compact interior, we prefer the advantage to the more rounded Passage.

The price is the same that The Passage 2, we also prefer the Kelty’s late start 2. When analyzing the differences between these two models The Kelty weighs a bit less, at just 4 pounds and 8 ounces. It is smaller in size as well as a smaller interior footprint. The biggest disadvantage we believe is the one-side door and vestibule that is very limited to two backpackers in terms of accessibility. In light of these issues we believe it is our opinion that the Passage is the most efficient overall design.

 

If you’re looking for a boost in terms of performance and price two of our most-loved backpacking models include the Nemo’s Dagger 2P as well as MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX. In comparison to budget options similar to the Passage and the Passage 2, MSR’s Nemo or MSR weigh less and are smaller in size. Both tents weigh in at just 3 pounds 14 ounces when all in, making them significantly smaller in size when packed into the back of a backpack. There is a trade-off in durability Both the Dagger, as well as the Hubba Hubba, use thinner materials with floors that are 30 deniers which is a tad softer than the sturdy flooring of the 66D on the Passage 2. The clincher for many is the price with a price of $430, for The Dagger or $450 for The Hubba Hubba without a footprint and the tents are an incredibly larger purchase. For those who are casual on weekends, we believe it’s a good idea to save money with the Passage. However, for those who venture often out and want to put the emphasis on weight and dimensions without compromising livability, it’s difficult to top Nemo and MSR. Nemo or MSR.

Editor’s note: We typically include a live price comparison table under our reviews of outdoor gear but Passage 2 is sold exclusively by REI Co-op. Passage 2 is sold exclusively through REI Co-op. The website for Passage 2 is on this page and help us out in the process. Thanks!