REI Base Camp 6: Review by Adventurers, for Adventurers
Outdoor adventurers should take note of REI Base Camp 6 tent. Great for nearly all seasons and most storms, the shelter fits six people and their gear comfortably. When packed, the tent weighs not much more than 20 pounds, so experienced campers should have little trouble carrying the tent to base camp. Another attractive feature is the brand’s price point, which for a large capacity tent is both competitive and reasonable.
Its backpack-style carrying case holds stakes, guylines, line tighteners, separate pole and stake bags, and a repair tube, all standard with purchase. Choose between the two colors sage and mesa orange. The peak ceiling height of the tent is 74 inches, which is enough for a six-foot camper to stand upright comfortably.
REI Base Camp 6 Review
Size of Rei Base Camp 6 Tent
The tent has an 86-square-foot total floor area with a 39-square-foot vestibule. When packed in a case, the tent measures 25 inches by 16.5 inches by 9.5 inches and is portable for campers of nearly all shapes and sizes. The Base Camp 6’s tent poles are made of aluminum. The canopy is 75D nylon and 40D no-see-um mesh. The floor and rainfly are both made of polyester.
What Comes Standard with the Rei Base Camp 6 Tent?
Several features make the REI Base Camp 6 stand out from similarly designed tents. Its overall design replicates a geodesic dome. Designers build geodesic domes to evenly distribute stress throughout the structure, allowing them to withstand heavy loads.
While the tent comes with stakes, they are meant for the vestibule. The tent’s freestanding structure requires no stakes. Color-coded poles make setup fast and easy. The entire structure is coated for water-resistance and durability, and a full-coverage rainfly keeps things dry and comfortable.
Simple and Easy Entrance
Once set up and ready for use, campers will enjoy the tent’s wide double doors that make each entrance simple and easy. The doors are built with both solid fabric and mesh. The solid fabric provides privacy when desired. The mesh allows for cooling ventilation when needed. Quick zipper access to dual, adjustable roof vents provides either ventilation or a great view of all the stars in the sky.
Campers can store gear in one of two vestibules. Interior pockets provide even more options for storing water bottles, headlamps, gear loops, flashlights, nighttime reading, and midnight snacks.
What Makes the Rei Base Camp 6 Tent Unique?
At the Base Camp 6’s price-point, campers will want to compare two of the tent’s more particular features: space and stability. Those highlights alone might encourage true outdoors enthusiasts to stay at camp longer than originally planned.
The tent’s geodesic design does more than provide exceptional durability. It also delivers a more spacious interior than other standard tent designs. This gives the six-person tent plenty of room for all six people to move around. No one should feel packed in like a sardine.
While the vestibules are excellent for gear storage, they are spacious enough to house a makeshift kitchen when the weather calls for it. In addition, the tent’s overall design allows for exceptional airflow, helping ensure campers are comfortable all day and night long.
Another great feature of the geodesic dome design is that it's built strong and stable even without foundation stakes. This allows campers to set up anywhere.
Designers built the tent to weather almost any storm. Campers should feel at ease if bad weather rears its ugly head. More than that, designers built the tent to maintain a consistent temperature. Which is why REI hints that this tent is very nearly an all-season shelter.
These two features alone are enough to encourage some campers to rely on the Base Camp 6 for extended adventures. The wide-open design allows campers to exit and enter the tent without bothering other adventurers. An innovative design allows for excellent ventilation and temperature control. Thoughtful storage options make the tent easy to keep clean and enjoyable.
Here's A Relevant Video From YouTube:
What Do Customers Think of The Rei Base Camp 6 Tent?
Truth told it is hard to judge the quality of tent until you get it out in the wild and see how it reacts to whatever mother nature and a couple of kids can throw at it. To know how good a tent might be, you have to talk to people who have used the tent in real life situations.
The majority of customers on REI’s website who submitted reviews of the Base Camp 6 gave it a five-star review. The amalgamated rating from nearly 100 reviews is four-and-a-half stars.
Those who praised the tent often cited its easy setup. Others noted that even in heavy rainstorms and gusty winds, the tent stayed dry on the inside.
Reviewers who recommended the tent, but had a few nits to pick, wished for a gear loft, access for unobstructed power, and remarked on a lack of stakes for all the guylines. Others noted that if storms got too intense, the tent did not hold up well.
Adventurers who gave the tent lower scores noted that previous versions included more interior pockets, allowing for more organization. They also mentioned the difficulty they had set up the tent during high winds. Others noted that they encountered some seam leaks and easy tears when working with the pole sleeves. One reviewer wrote that the floor tore easily without the use of the footprint, which is sold separately.
How It Compares to the Competition
REI’s two top competitors are outdoor recreation giants Columbia Sportswear and The North Face. Both companies offer six-person tents of comparable price and size.
Columbia offers the Silver Creek six-person dome tent, which is its higher-quality family recreational shelter. Similar to the Base Camp 6, the tent features large double doors, dual vents, and large mesh window panels, all offering continuous, cooling airflow. The rainfly includes clear TPU windows so you can sit and watch the stars glide by. Columbia labels the tent as a three-season shelter, similar to the Base Camp 6. The tent includes an electric access port, something some Base Camp users were asking for, as well as a gear loft. It retails for about $100 less than the Base Camp 6.
Customer reviews give Columbia’s tent a middle-of-the-road three stars. Complaints included yellowing windows, easy tears, and concern that the tent was a one-season-and-done purchase. Others enjoyed the tent’s roominess and airflow. The clear rainfly was a plus for many, though it was noted that set up allowed the edge of the rainfly to touch the front door, keeping things wet when it rained or on a dewy morning.
Northstar 6 Tent
The Northstar 6 from The North Face sets up in a geodesic dome design similar to the Base Camp 6, thus providing stability in difficult weather. Its price point is higher than the Base Camp 6, coming in around $600.
The tent includes a few features the Base Camp 6 does not. It sports three larger doors for camper entry and exit.
Even with those extra features, the Northstar 6 only rates three and a half stars from combined customer reviews (though, to be fair, there were only two reviews on The North Face site versus nearly 100 Base Camp 6 reviews). Those that gave the tent the thumbs up applauded its ease of set up and family-friendly space. Negatives from customers were just the opposite, citing difficulty setting up without assistance, leaks in the seams, and a higher price point when compared to similar models.
REI sells Base Camp 6 six-person tent model under its brand name. The outdoor adventure retailer is well known for selling thousands of products from most major outdoor brands, but the company has built a solid level of trust with its customers when it offers similar products under its label.
Those consumers discover high-quality products with all the same bells and whistles often priced lower than the competition. Those same products sometimes outperform brands that are more expensive and receive better social praise from discerning customers.
The Base Camp 6 is no different. Its retail price matches well with the competition. Similar tents of equal quality from major brands like North Face range in price from $400 to $700. You may find six-person tents of lower quality priced as low as $200.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing The Rei Base Camp 6 Tent
While the REI Base Camp 6 is a good option for recreational campers and adventurers, there are a few negatives you may want to weigh before investing. One issue has to do with standard features, or the lack thereof. The other has to do with size and weight.
The first is an item many customers have requested come as a standard feature, and that’s a footprint. A tent footprint is a ground cloth that campers set their tents upon. The footprint protects the bottom of the tent from wear and tear, prolonging the life of the shelter.
Because of the tent’s price point, around $400, many customers would like to see the footprint included with purchase. They would also like to see a gear loft included in the price of the tent.
The other thing you might want to consider is the weight of the tent. While the tent earns points for its easy setup, some feel that the weight of the tent when trail camping can be a heavy, especially when compared to tents of equal size and shape. Around 20 pounds, the tent can be a lot when considering what other gear you will need to carry to camp. If you are car camping, however, the tent’s weight may not be a factor.
What We Think of The Rei Base Camp 6 Tent
The REI Base Camp 6 provides excellent value for the price. The tent is best suited for families and weekend warriors. Who intend to rent a campsite and enjoy while sitting around a campfire making s’mores with friends.
Customer reviews suggest it is easy to pack up, simple to carry, and quick to assemble. However, it may not endure prolonged adventures or continuously shifting weather patterns. For those more rigorous exploits, a stronger tent or a solid Plan B might be called for.
A family of four with a pet or two that wants to go car camping will be quite pleased. It is spacious enough to allow campers to rest without resting on top of one another, and the tent’s well-designed ventilation system should keep everyone warm and dry - or cool and dry, depending on the weather.
Extra Tent Accessories
Investing in extra tent accessories along with buying a tent can make the full camping experience more enjoyable. Some items are more useful than others. We include them below.
A tent footprint is a sturdy portion of material that sits on the ground under your tent. Unlike a conventional tarp, tent footprints are custom-fitted to your tent’s specific size.
The role of a tent footprint is to shield your tent from rocks, sticks, and other dirt as well in order to provide an extra layer of waterproofing. The light design of tent footprints makes them really useful and easy to carry when backpacking. A perfect rule of thumb to keep in mind when selecting a footprint is picking one that matches your tent.
Tarp For Tent
An old tarp is a low-cost alternative to a tent footprint. After all, tent footprints are just tarps that are cut to the shape of your specific tent. Tarps are a great tool to use when car camping. They accomplish pretty much the same tasks, which are waterproofing your tent as well as protecting it from the environment.
The main issues in using a tarp instead, is that the edges of your tarp will stick out from under the tent. When there is heavy rain, this minor issue can cause water to pool up between the bottom layer of your tent and your tarp. Another problem is that conventional tarps are also heavy and thick compared to tent footprints.
Most tents you will either look at with the potential of purchasing, or will actually choose to purchase, come with one or two internal pockets. But most of us want more storage space than what is already available. A gear loft can help you thoroughly organize your tent. When you are camping for an extended period, having more space to tuck your gear away is important.
There are two ways to go about this. You can find a gear loft that matches the make and model of your tent, or you can buy a universal model.
Shelter (From Rain and Sun)
A camping shelter gives added coverage when camping. Setting it up over your tent will provide a barrier from the pouring rain and hot sun. You can also set it up at the campsite with chairs or tents underneath it to create a nice place to relax in the shade with friends or family. It is especially helpful to eat under this protection. Look for canopy shelters.
Stakes and Anchors
It’s essential to invest in a set of stakes and anchors when buying a tent. Usually, these will come with the tent, but many people purchase extras or ones that are more durable, such as ones made out of your preferred material. They help keep your camping tent sturdy in all weather conditions.
A Tent Repair Kit
Don’t let a tear in your tent ruin your entire camping trip. Be prepared and pack a tent repair kit that helps you make minor repairs. Many of these kits come with basic repair materials such as nylon patches and thread, mesh patches, sewing needles and seam, and more. When you purchase your kit, look for the materials that fit your exact needs and fixing expertise.
Final Thoughts: What to Consider When Buying a Tent?
If you are still on the fence as to whether the REI Base Camp 6 is right for you, consider a few simple tips for selecting a tent. Start by considering how you are going to use the tent. Are you a rugged adventurer or a weekend outdoorsman? If you are a car camper, the weight may not play a factor, for example.
Also, consider your environment. Are you camping in Florida in the spring? Or Alaska in the winter? How your tent handles the weather where you are adventuring will make all the difference when it comes to having fun and staying comfortable.
Try to buy your tent at a store that has the tent on display. This will allow you to test out the roominess. Also, consider buying a tent that is a size bigger than you need. Camping on your own? Get a two-person tent. With your partner? Three-person. You will appreciate the extra space and can use it to store gear.
Finally, explore customer reviews on sites where the tent is sold. See what people say about the tent and how it works in the real world. With this advice in mind, you can identify the best tent for your unique adventure.