Differences Between REI Half and Quarter Dome Tents

By: Derek Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023

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REI, renowned for crafting reliable and quality outdoor gear, has two tent models that have become firm favorites among campers worldwide – the Half Dome and the Quarter Dome. With their sturdy construction, user-friendly designs, and feature-packed offerings, both models offer excellent value. But when it comes down to choosing between the two, which one comes out on top? That’s what we’re here to help you figure out.

In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will delve into the key differences and similarities between the REI Half Dome and the REI Quarter Dome tents. We’ll examine everything from the tent architecture and material to the setup process, weather resistance, and comfort factors. Whether you’re a camping novice or a seasoned backpacker, this guide aims to give you the necessary insights to make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs. So, let’s dive in and explore these two great offerings from REI!

REI Half Dome vs Quarter Dome Tent

Let’s break down the main differences between these two awesome backpacking tents.

REI Half Dome

First off, let’s explore the REI Half Dome. This tent is a stalwart of the REI family and has been a mainstay in many campers’ gear closets for years. Known for its robust build, spacious interiors, and high level of comfort, the Half Dome is ideal for those who don’t mind trading a bit of extra weight for increased living space and sturdiness. Made with a blend of polyester and nylon, the tent offers excellent durability while still keeping weight at a manageable level. The dome-shaped architecture provides ample headroom and the overall design lends itself to great stability in windy conditions.

REI Quarter Dome

On the flip side, we have the REI Quarter Dome (which is no longer available). This tent is all about cutting weight and increasing portability while still providing the fundamental comforts that campers require. It is ideal for backpackers who are looking to lighten their load without sacrificing essential features. The Quarter Dome utilizes ultralight materials, and the innovative architecture results in a tent that is both lighter and smaller when packed compared to the Half Dome. The interior is more streamlined and has less headroom, but the Quarter Dome makes up for it by offering a nimble, compact shelter that is easy to carry on long treks.

What’s the Difference Between the REI Half Dome and REI Quarter Dome?

When directly compared, it’s clear that the Half Dome and Quarter Dome are designed with different types of campers in mind. The Half Dome leans towards those who value comfort, space, and stability, making it an excellent option for base camping or shorter backpacking trips where weight isn’t as critical.

The Quarter Dome, on the other hand, is built for the long-haul backpacker, with weight saving as a top priority. This tent offers a compact, efficient design that still ticks all the boxes for weather resistance, ease of setup, and overall functionality. In essence, your choice between the two will come down to what you prioritize more: space and comfort with the Half Dome, or weight and compactness with the Quarter Dome.

Features and Specifications Comparison

The Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents differ significantly in features and specs. A table below shows their key differences:

TentDimensionsSquare FeetPeak HeightWeightPacked Size# of DoorsVestibule AreaPoles
Half Dome 2-Person90 x 54 inches33.75 square feet42 inches4 lbs. 11.5 oz.
7 x 20.5 inches
222.5 square feetAluminum
Quarter Dome 2-Person88 x 52/42 (L x W head/foot) inches28.7 square feet38 inches2 lbs. 14 oz.7 x 20 inches221.5 square feetAluminum
A table comparing the half dome and quarter dome tents and their dimensions, square feet, peak height, weight, packed size, number of doors, vestibule area, and pole material.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Customers love both the Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents for their spaciousness, durability, easy assembly, ventilation, lightweight design, and value for money. Additionally, they appreciate the user-friendly features like intuitive designs and convenient storage options.

In terms of an interesting story, one customer review sparked significant improvements in tent design. An outdoor enthusiast shared their experience, pointing out a minor flaw. This feedback caught the manufacturer’s attention, who then released an updated version of the tent that incorporated customer insights. This shows the influence of customer reviews on product development.

If you choose either the Half Dome or Quarter Dome Tent, you will have plenty of room to explore and contemplate.


Choosing between the REI Half Dome and Quarter Dome tent boils down to evaluating your specific camping needs and preferences. Both tents are stellar products in their own right, each excelling in specific areas. The Half Dome shines in terms of spaciousness, comfort, and durability, making it perfect for leisurely camping trips or those where carrying extra weight isn’t a concern. On the other hand, the Quarter Dome stands out for its lightweight, compact design without compromising on essential features, a definite win for long-distance backpackers and those who prioritize portability.

In the end, both the REI Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents deliver on their promise of quality, reliability, and performance that outdoor enthusiasts have come to expect from REI. Armed with this knowledge, you should be well-equipped to make a decision that suits your camping style best.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can the REI Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents withstand harsh weather conditions?

Both tents are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions. However, the Half Dome’s heavier and sturdier build makes it slightly better suited to handle adverse conditions. Always ensure that your tent is properly staked and guyed out for best performance in wind and rain.

2. How easy is it to set up the REI Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents?

Both tents feature color-coded poles and clips, which make setup fairly intuitive. Users report that with a bit of practice, both tents can be set up within 10 minutes.

3. Is there a difference in tent setup and stability?

Both Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents have similar setup processes and offer good stability. However, due to its larger size, the Half Dome tent may take a bit longer to set up. Both tents are designed to withstand various weather conditions and provide reliable stability.

4. Are the REI Half Dome and Quarter Dome tents suitable for backpacking?

Both tents can be used for backpacking, but the Quarter Dome, with its lightweight and compact design, is particularly suited for this purpose. The Half Dome, while heavier, could also be used for short backpacking trips where extra comfort and space are desired.

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About The Author

Derek, Co-Founder at Know Nothing Nomads

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers.

Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me.

When I'm not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

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