Their Trail Hut 4 is the third REI model that made our list. It competes with Marmot’s Tungsten 4P as a cross-country car camping and backpacking option. The Trail Hut, which is stacked up against the Tungsten by just over 1 pound, has 2.3 square feet more floor space and weighs slightly less than the Tungsten. The Trail Hut is considerably cheaper at $100 per square foot. The Marmot is 4-inches taller at the peak and has a more open shape, which makes it more appealing to families. (The REI pole structure is incredibly basic and doesn’t do much in stretching the walls up), but the Trail Hut from Seattle-based Brand is still an excellent value.
There are downsides to using a single tent for camping and backpacking, as we mentioned above. The Trail Hut is less spacious and comfortable than the taller, more expensive options such as the NEMO Wagontop 4P and the four-person version of our top-rated Wawona. For trips into the backcountry you can travel lighter with a targeted backpacking option such as the Big Agnes Copper Spur. Alternativly, smaller groups can save money with the $199 Trail Hut 2 which weighs in at just 5 lbs. 15 oz.). REI offers a lighter-weight option in the Half Dome SL series. However, it has a maximum capacity of “3+” (48.75 square. Floor area: 5 lb. 11.7 oz.). The Trail Hut is an excellent entry-level option for those who love camping and want to get into backpacking.