REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 Tent Review

REI’s spacious budget tent is durable, easy to pitch, and impressively sturdy in high winds

Table of Contents

One step higher than their budget-friendly version (the Passage), REI Co-op’s Trail Hut provides a roomy interior, sturdy fabrics and outstanding weather protection for only $199. We put the two-person version through its paces at Southern Patagonia, where it beat tents with twice the cost in regards to comfort and durability when the wind was strong. If you’re not afraid to carry an extra pound and a few extra pounds, we believe that it’s among the top bargains available on the market. Here’s a comprehensive overview of Trail Hut 2; to compare it to its competitors, read our reviews of the top backpacking tents as well as the the best backpacking tents for budgets.

5 lbs. 15 oz. (w/ footprint)

83.3 sq. ft.

2P, 4P

A spacious, durable, and impressively protective tent for less than half the price of many premium designs.


Performance

Interior Space and the Livability

Similar to many tents within the same budget, the REI Co-ops Trail Hut 2 is quite comfortable for two persons Its floor dimensions are listed as of 88×52 inches. In reality, this means it is possible to fit two normal sleeping pads side-by-side (a normal-sized backpacking sleeping pad is 20 inches. wide) and the length of 88-inches (over 7 feet.) is ideal to accommodate taller people. It is important to note that it’s possible to use only a few inches more in all directions since the 88 x 52 measurement is measured through the stretched-out corners. However, it’s a large floor that allows for some extra room for people with a large build. There’s also the 40-inch peak height which increases the size of the tent through the use of the pole for ridges. This results in decently high walls, and plenty of space that two individuals can set on the ground side by side.

When you look at the competition it’s hard to top Trail Hut’s quality of life without a significant increase in weight or cost.  offers a similar floor plan, however, it doesn’t have the ridge pole, which results in a savings of 40 percent however, it has a significantly smaller headroom. With a significant increase in cost ($329) it’s the co-op’s Half Dome SL 2+ is slightly bigger (90 54 inches x 90.) and more than one pound lighter. The closest competitor that is comparable to Trail Hut 2 is the Marmot Tungsten ($214): It’s slightly taller at 42 inches (with the pole for the ridge) with 11 ounces less weight due to an airy mesh structure however, the floor plan is a tapered (88 54/46 inches. ) which means you have the possibility of sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder with your tent mate.

Size of the Packed and Weight

The Trail Hut 2 has plenty of positives however, the area where it fails the most is in the area of weight. With 5 pounds and 15 ounces of weight, this is nearly two times the weight of high-end backpacking tents, like models such as Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2. Big Agnes  (3 3 pounds. 2 oz.) as well as MSR Hubba hubba (3 3 lbs. 4 oz.). But you’ll be paying a good cent for weight reduction ($500 and $480 depending on the model) Both the Big Agnes and MSR are considerably less durable than REI. There’s no reason not to be in the light backpacking trend, but we believe the camping-like Trail Hut 2 is perfectly suitable for most people except when you’re pushing yourself with regard to distance and speed, or you have a good reason to keep your pack weight to a minimum. Keep in mind that you’re able to always keep the footprint you remove from your home, which cuts weight by 7 pounds.

If you’re searching for the most affordable combination of weight and price then the Big Agnes C Bar ($200 4lbs.) is our top pick. But it’s a flawed design, with only 1 door and a simple pole structure, as well as the floor, is tapered we wouldn’t recommend this model. C Bar for parties of two. It’s also an unwise choice in weather conditions that are windy. Another one worth mentioning to consider is It’s the middle of the road at 4 pounds 11.5 pounds. It has an expansive floor plan with decent durability and excellent weatherproofing, with a sturdy pole and a fully functional rain fly. Like we said it’s more expensive than this model, which is the Half Dome SL ($329) however, the combination of features and prices make it a stunning style

In terms of size packed In terms of packing size, it’s a bit big. Trail Hut 2 gets down to around 8 x 18 inches including stakes and poles. with some care in packing it is able to be to a smaller size, too. I took 55-liter backpacking backpack for our multi-day trek in Patagonia and was able to squeeze the tent inside, while still having ample room for all the other gear I carry. For the sake of comparison The tents listed above are packed down a bit smaller: The Copper Spur’s pack size is 19.5 6 inches in size and the Hubba Hubba’s 19x 4.5 inches while C Bar’s is 19 x 4.5 inches. C Bar checks in at 19 6 inches. If you’re worried about packing size you should consider purchasing the compression stuff sack that comes with Trail Hut 2. Trail Hut 2 (you’ll have to carry stakes and poles separately) It’s possible to be considerably smaller than its stated dimensions.

Durability and Build Quality

Cheap tents such as Trail Hut 2 that are priced at a lower price  aren’t as good in regards to weight and dimensions, but where they shine is their the durability. One of the most reliable metrics to determine the durability of the tent is denier, also known as the thickness in the tent’s fabric. For Trail Hut 2, Trail Hut 2, you have a floor that is 66 denier and walls for the canopy, with a 68-denier rainfly. It also has a footprint that can be removed, which will be helpful when you plan to stay in areas with sharp rocks or a ground cover. It is worth noting that the REI Passage 2 has a similar-sized floor (66D) however, tents such as those of the Copper Spur (15x20D) and Hubba Hubba (20D) are considerably less thick. To bridge the gap between these groups can be found in The REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+, with an 40-denier floor.

Ventilation

For ventilation In terms of ventilation, it is a breeze to breathe.  can be used for any temperature, even the hottest day on the trails. The tent’s body is made of a moderate amount of mesh. The rainfly is ventilated to each side, which opens with a sturdy strut. The tent is designed to ensure that the doors of the fly zip across the apex. This allows you to open them during dry days for more air circulation. If you’re worried about ensuring that you have enough airflow, it’s worth looking at the mesh-heavy design, or an outdoor tent with a smaller rain fly, however, we were very impressed by Trail Hut. Trail Hut and have spent several nights in the tent with no issues with condensation.

Storage

Tent storage is divided into two major categories: exterior and interior. Regarding storage inside, it’s the Trail Hut 2 was relatively unsatisfactory, with only one dump pocket on either side. REI included four loops at the top of the ceiling in order to give additional storage options, however, it’s the customer’s responsibility to locate a mesh panel or paracord to put within the loops. Comparatively to other tents, it’s a relatively minimal feature set. To give you an example to it includes a pocket at every corner (four in total) as well as two pockets on the roof. It’s great to have storage inside to help keep everything organized and smaller items such as headlamps or bags for stuff easy to locate (and we definitely found that the Trail Hut lacking), however, it’s not an issue for us.

Set up and take down

REI created them to be incredibly easy to install, thanks to an aesthetically pleasing design, a fixed footprint (removable) and two poles of the same size that cross at the apex, as well as an elongated ridge pole that is able to slide in following. We love getting a very taut pitch which is why it was easy to get the Trail Hut was easy to modify to perfection, using the cinches on each corner to make the fly more secure as well as a wide array of points for guys out (with added guys lines). It’s true that you won’t have colored corners or an hubbed pole as you would get in the more expensive tents However, we did find Trail Hut 2 a breeze to set up and tear down.

Other Capacity: Co-op Trail, REI Hut 4

We have tested our own Trail Hut 2 for this review, however, REI’s large budget tent is also available in the form of a four-person model. It adds 38 inches to the length of the tent for two people, creating a 90 by 88 square inches of floor space that offers a warm and comfortable space for four people. The large tent is among our top choices for families with young children, or for groups of three or more who want to have more space, however, we don’t recommend it for four large adults unless you’re prepared to be the sardine. However, it’s impossible to beat the price of $299. And in many instances, it’s the Trail Hut 4 that’s Trail Hut 4 is significantly smaller and less heavy (8 8 lbs. 1.6 oz.) rather than two 2-person models.

What We Like

  • A large, sturdy, and secure tent that is just half of the cost of some of the most expensive models.
  • A sturdy pole structure, a strong fly, and a taut pitch provide excellent wind and water shield.
  • Ridge poles provide a great quantity of space inside for a lightweight gain.
  • With a 66-denier floor, body, as well as and 68-denier fly, the Trail Hut 2 is more robust than the majority of backpacking tents.

What We Don’t Do

  • 5 pounds and 15 pounds at 5 pounds 15 ounces, the Trail Hut 2 is multiple pounds heavier and significantly larger than the best backpacking tents.
  • The interior space can be a challenge for two-person designs However, couples who want more space may prefer an all-person tent.
  • By omitting features such as color-coding or a pole that rubs The Trail Hut 2 lacks the luxury feel that comes with tents of higher quality.
  • The interior is bare It has just two pockets and a couple of loops in the top.

Table of Comparison

TENT PRICE WEIGHT DIMENSIONS DANIIER CAPACITIES FOOTPRINT*
Rei Co-op Trail Hut 2. $199 5 lbs. 15 oz. 80 x 52 x 40 inches. 70D 2P Yes
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
Marmot Tungsten 2P $214 5 lbs. 4 oz. 88 52/46 x 42 in. 68D 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P Yes
Big Agnes C Bar $200 4 lbs. 56 x 52/42 inches. 68D 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

Editor’s Notification: “Footprint” signifies that a footprint is included in the purchase of the tent.

The Concurrence

REI’s Trail Hut 2 is one of the top value backpacking tents, however, there are plenty of appealing alternatives. In the budget-friendly market, there’s Passage 2 from the Co-op could be worth a look. They are both very like tents, with a major distinction that is in the fact that Trail Hut has a ridge pole, whereas the Passage doesn’t. The result is that the Passage weighs 5 ounces less 40 percent less and also has more sloped walls and less space in general. It’s also important to note that the Passage is available in a one-person version ($139 4 lbs. 10 oz. ) 10 oz., which is an interesting alternative for solo hikers. We believe that we think the Trail Hut 2 is worth the extra weight and cost to get the larger layout, but those more focused on comfort will prefer The Passage 2.

In keeping with REI’s range which we’ll be looking at next is the Half Dome SL 2+. The Co-op consistently delivers with their tent designs as well as they’re not letting up on their designs. The Half Dome offers the best of its crop for people who are willing to pay more for the perfect balance of weight savings, interior space as well as a premium design and fit. Its Half Dome adds 4 inches to each of the Trail Hut’s sizes (92 56 inches by 92 inches.) to give plenty of room for two sleeping guests (and the addition of a third pet in the event of an effort). With a weight of 4 pounds and 14 ounces, it’s more than 1 pound lighter than Trail Hut. It cuts down on weight thanks to the use of less dense materials, and also has bigger vestibules and doors with a contoured design which opens up to a wide space. In addition, though storage is among our main complaints with Trail Hut, the Trail Hut, the Half Dome is more spacious with its six pockets inside. It’s also more expensive due to a recent price increase to $329. However, this Half Dome SL 2+ is a good alternative to the Trail Hut in comparison to the higher-end competitors (for more details, check out our detailed Half Dome review).

In a closer look at the budget rivalry, Marmot’s Tungsten 2 is Trail Hut’s most competitive rival. It costs $15 more. Tungsten reduces 11 ounces from its weight. Trail Hut has a flat floor (88 54/46 inches.) and a breathable mesh canopy. This means smaller interior space, meaning you’ll need to lie shoulder-to-shoulder companion, not head-to-toe. It also means more reduced wind resistance. Like the REI the Tungsten comes with the ridge pole, which means it has more headroom and higher walls and is slightly higher with a 42-inch height at its peak (vs. that of the REI’s 40-in.). The Marmot is still superior over Marmot over the Trail Hut for it’s better quality and size However, the Marmot is an appealing option for those looking to cut some pounds.

If you’re looking for the ideal combination of weight and price then the Agnes C Bar ($200) is the best choice. Agnes C Bar ($200) is as light as you can get within the budget-friendly category. With a weight of 4 pounds, it’s about 2 pounds less that The Trail Hut 2 and a smaller and more compact. We’re not happy with it The C Bar is a highly flawed design that has only an entrance door and a streamlined pole structure and a floor plan that is tapered. If you’re not willing to spend a lot of time to your partner We recommend against a tent with just one door. Additionally, although the simple Pole structure (just one pole on the middle in the structure) is great for cutting weight, it’s an awful performer in strong winds and tends to collapse on the sides. In the end to that, the C Bar is a nice alternative to Passage 1 for those looking for a tent that can accommodate one person however we wouldn’t recommend it to groups of two people, particularly since spending more can give you a larger and lighter-weight design.

It’s also worthwhile to mention an excellent tent in order to provide you with a feel of which model it compares to the Trail Hut 2 stacks up. Each year among the top sought-after designs available are MSR Hubba. MSR Hubba hubba. With a price of $480, it’s a bargain. Hubba Hubba is over twice its cost as that of the Trail Hut, but it’s more than 2 and a half pounds less weight. (3 3 pounds. 4 oz.) and still provide the same high walls and durable weather protection. It does fall in terms of space, thanks to the MSR’s floor plan that measures 84 by 50 inches and the triangular doors take some time to adjust to and the fabric are quite thin, at 20-denier across, but these are just a few concessions that serious backpackers will take to reduce weight. If you don’t require the top-of-the-line Trail Hut 2 is a good choice. Trail Hut 2 is a top-quality option that offers impressive savings.

Editor’s note: We typically offer a live price comparison table under our reviews of outdoor gear, however, this is not the case. Trail Hut 2 is sold exclusively through REI Co-op. The Trail Hut 2 page here also helps us through the process. Thanks!