REI Camp Dome 2

7.9 score
[Editors rating (7.9)] = (TheGearHunt) score (7.9)/10

Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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REI Camp Dome 2 Review Facts

When car camping outdoor lovers want the most comfortable home-away-from-home possible, they may find what they are looking for in the REI Camp Dome 2 tent. It is a double-walled, freestanding tent made for two people. It has separate side doors for each occupant. If planning to share a tent, two doors is a must-have. A midnight stroll can be taken without climbing over a partner to leave or enter the tent. Maximum ventilation is provided by rolling back both doors. A separate screen zips closed to block blowing wind or rain in bad weather.

Reviewers rated the tent on a five-point scale for the following categories - Comfort 4, Durability 4.5, Ease of setup 5, Packed size 4, Weather resistance 4, and Weight 4. The Camp Dome 2 is and REI line staple. It is a classic two-person tent that is compact enough to take on the trail. The mesh windows provide excellent cross ventilation. The tent is a cinch to pitch, trustworthy, and durable, sold at a sweet price.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Easy setup
  • Easy two-door access
  • Exceptional price
  • Spacious floor
  • Cheap stakes
  • No rain flap allowing outside gear storage


The package includes high-quality aluminum tent poles that are better than fiberglass. There is a sack to store the poles. There are optional stakes, a stuff sack, and the tent body. The canopy is made of nylon taffeta fabric, the floor is coated nylon, and the rain fly fabric is coated polyester taffeta.

Polyester taffeta offers comfort and safety to freestanding tents. The tents are easy to transport, which makes them a convenient option to reposition after being set up. Freestanding tents improve ventilation and keep tents cool in hot climates. They dry fast which saves time when wanting to continue on a journey.


Two full-sized, 25-inch wide sleeping bags fit well into the 53 x 82 x 43-inch interior pace of the Camp Dome 2. Personal effects can be stored in two mesh side pockets that are across from each other in the interior. Two can sleep comfortably, but the tent is perfect for a single person plus gear. A 40-inch peak height makes sitting up and changing clothes, adjusting sleeping bags, etc., easy.


Aren’t all tents waterproof? It seems pointless not to be. All tents offer shelter, but the degree to which a tent keeps campers dry varies. Ventilation is essential in a tent especially when seams are taped to seal off possible gaps.

While the goal is to stop water from getting in, preventing air from getting out is not good. When people are in a tent, heat is retained. It cools when it comes in contact with the tent walls, condensation forms.

Mesh aids in breathability. The doors have a zippered mesh panel. The rain fly lets air in and water to runoff. The tent is waterproof. The side windows need to be zipped closed if rain begins to blow sideways.


The REI Camp Dome 2 is available in three colors - blue, green, and blue camo design. Two shock-corded, multi-segment, aluminum poles cross over the inner tent to make set up super simple. Rainfly drapes over clips and the poles and is attached at the corners of the inner tent.

The fly has pockets that provide slots for a cross pole that hooks over the top. With practice, the tent can be set up in less than two minutes. Car headlamps provide sufficient lighting to set up late at night.

It is designed more for car camping than backpacking. A vehicle proves a distinct benefit over backpacking. Car camping allows heavier larger camping gear to be taken. An awning is formed over the windows with the rain fly.

There is a seam to indicate the center. The cross pole is put through two pockets that have Velcro on them. The poles are assembled and arched, not bent, into the grommets at the bottom of the tent that are diagonal from each other. Then clips are used to attach the tent to the poles. Four stakes can be placed at each corner to secure the tent to the ground.

A webbing tensioner can be pulled when the poles are placed in grommets at the bottom of the tent to make the tent taut or loose. The rain cover is attached with a crossbar at the top and attached at the bottom in the same pole hosts as the body of the tent. Velcro is used in the attachment. The awnings protrude approximately eight inches over each door. The top flaps of the doors zip down to make windows.

There are four pockets. Mesh storage pockets in the corners help with organization. There are hooks in the ceiling that can be used for hanging a small LED lantern. Late night entry and exit is quite convenient with the two-door design.

One camper found an easy means of taking down the tent. Starting at the bottom, undo the two bottom sections and pull the poles out of the grommets. The tent falls without having to unclip anything. The poles can be pulled out, and breaking camp is done efficiently.

The shock cord pole is a pole with a type of bungee cord inside that holds the aluminum poles together. A quick way to put the tent in the stuff sack is to roll the body up and use clipping hooks to keep the tent butt on the outside if car camping.

The buckles and straps clip the tent to the outside of the stuff sack nicely. The body can be tightly rolled to fit into the bag for backpacking. If backpacking, it is best to place the tent inside the stuff bag.

Unlike many tents, the Camp Dome fits into the carrying case after use. The huge stuff sack is roomy. Removing and repacking is easy. For car camping, affixing the tent body to the outside is quicker and easier. The tent packs up small, making transport simple. On the outside of the stuff bag is a miniature user’s guide that tells how to set up the tent. It is sewn to the outside of the stuff bag and is very handy.

There is no need to search for a paper user guide stuffed somewhere in the bottom of the package which can easily be lost. It is a brilliant design feature that makes putting the tent together quite easy.

There is also a checklist of what should be in the bag. It also displays a sizing tool and decoder that shows how the tent is clipped together. The guide is a useful feature that no other tents have.


With durable poles and two doors, it is an ideal backpacking or entry-level tent that combines durability, ease of use, and comfort for years of use. The mesh makes the tent practical and light. A big polymer plastic hook links the intersection of the tent poles at the top of the tent. It is ruggedly built. The durable aluminum poles are easy to assemble.


This tent, which sells for less than $100, carries interesting features and durability of a $200 tent. The tent fly protects the meshing. At one time, dome tents had zippered protection. It added weight to the tent and was more expensive. It has stakes that do not have to be used in freestanding mode. They are needed during heavy wind.

Underneath the seams of the rain fly are little fasteners with Velcro that will secure the tent. There is a piece included for repairs in case one of the frames is broken or bent. It can be slid over the top to temporarily repair the tent frame so that the camper is not stuck with a broken tent.

Waterproof tents are commonly used in conditions where campers contend with more than rain. The tent needs to be a robust all-around shelter to survive bad weather. The number of seasons rating reflects how protective it is.

Three-season tents such as the REI Camp Dome 2 can withstand colder temperatures and more moisture than a two-season tent. Four-season tents are both rare and very expensive. Reviewers recommend being careful with rubber ends of the poles and buying extra stakes. The rubber ends can be pushed off when setting up the tent.

Weather Resistance

The side awnings do not offer the same storage or weather protection as REI tents with side vestibules. Gear has to be stored inside the tent or in a vehicle to be kept dry if it rains. If the side windows are unzipped, there is a cross breeze that provides excellent ventilation.

In calm, dry weather, the rain fly can be pulled back for stargazing through the roof transom. It is made of mesh and provides more airflow and creating excellent ventilation. A reviewer reported no condensation on a three-night camping trip.

The tent is a three-season tent with excessive use of meshing. The tent provides lots of fresh air and is light. When it is very windy, the wind enters the lower section of the meshing. It cools the tent down intensively, which is an asset in the summer but makes for colder interior temperatures in the fall, winter, and spring.

Campers must decide if they plan to buffer the wind by placing the tent in an area with trees or have fabric added to the tent. The floor is well-sealed and keeps campers dry when it’s very wet outside.

The polyester taffeta rainfly is pulled on smoothly and has an added pole to create a door awning. In beautiful weather, the rain fly is not necessary. The mesh canopy provides a lovely night sky vies.


At $99, the tent is a fantastic value. The REI Camp Dome 2 is an inexpensive tent for music festivals, hunting and fishing trips, boy scout 50 milers, and basecamp or campground camping. It is superior to cheap camping tents found at big box stores.

Most inexpensive tents do not come with the aluminum poles provided with the Camp Dome 2. They are more durable than fiberglass poles that come with many big box store tents. Fiberglass breaks easily; aluminum poles can last the tent’s lifetime.

The poles are stronger in poor weather and don’t snap if accidentally bent. Items that give the tent value and quality are the decent overall construction and the bathtub floor. North Face provides many of the features of REI tents but at a cost that is two to three times higher. The REI Camp Dome is an excellent value for the money.

Key Features

* Awning provides ventilation, easy access, and weather protection
* Bound, cut-in floor provides a water-resistant taut pitch
* Dimensions: 53 x 82 x 43 inches
* Floor dimensions: 84 x 54 inches for a floor area of 31.5 sq. ft.
* Freestanding
* Included: Four stakes bag, pole repair tube, compression stuff sack
* Interior mesh storage pockets to keep small items off the floor and organized
* Polyester taffeta rainfly
* Quick set up due to a pole-clip and durable, equal-length aluminum poles design
* Resists UV degradation.
* Three aluminum poles
* Two doors
* Seam-taped polyester fabric
* Weight without stakes and stuff sack: Four pounds, two ounces

Bottom Line

The REI Camp Dome 2 tent is one of the easiest tents to set up. It is light and quick. Most car campers will find the Camp Dome 2 to be among the most roomy-but-cozy, weather resistant, durable tent choices.

Reviewers say the tent is excellent for beginners who are on a budget and wanting something of quality. It is ‘lightish’ to take on a hiking trip. The price is affordable, and the tent weighs about five pounds with all the hardware and stuff sack.

It collapses into a pretty small package that can be attached to a backpack. Two doors is a plus for any tent. Campers like being able to get in or out of the tent without crawling over another person. It also allows airflow during the day. Two windows are located on the doors. There is an area of mesh on the top that helps with ventilation.