REI Trail Hut 2 Tent Review

REI Trail Hut Tent Review

The REI Trail Hut 2 is a two-person tent double-wall tent with two doors and two vestibules. It’s exceptionally easy to set up with a freestanding dome structure and includes a ground cloth to protect the floor from abrasion. Priced at $199, it’s a great tent for car camping or short backpacking trips where you want a tent that’s a no brainer to set up, but has comfortable interior space and good internal ventilation.

Specs at a glance

  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Type: double-wall
  • Freestanding: yes
  • Doors: 2
  • Poles: 3
  • Ground cloth: Included (optional and removable)
  • Tent stakes: Included
  • Minimum trail weight: 4 lbs 14 oz
  • Floor dimensions: 88 x 52 inches
  • Peak height: 40 inches
  • Materials: PU coated polyester (66d floor and groundsheet), (68d rain fly)
  • Seam-taped: Yes
  • Hydrostatic head: 1500mm
  • For complete specs, visit REI.com

The REI Trail Hut has a simple dome-style architecture that’s pitched with three tent poles: two that criss-cross over the inner tent and a “brow” pole that’s laid perpendicular to the doors to create more interior headroom. The ends of the poles slot into grommets at the tent corners while the brow pole slots into grommets in the ceiling. The inner tent is then clipped to the poles which create the freestanding dome structure.

Horizontal brow pole helps create vertical sidewalls
Horizontal brow pole helps create vertical sidewalls

The rainfly comes with pre-attached clips that clip to the corner grommets, which really makes set up a snap. Simply align the rain fly doors with the inner tent doors and connect the corners. The rainfly only requires two tent stakes, one for each door, and you’re good to go.

The rainfly clips to buckles on the inner tent corners easing setup
The rainfly clips to buckles on the inner tent corners easing setup

The rainfly doors have a center two-way zipper, which lets you open the zippers from the top for added ventilation. There are kick-stand vents in the rain fly ceiling that let fresh air into the mesh ceiling of the inner tent and help vent moisture to reduce internal condensation. You can also reach the vents from inside of the inner tent to prop them open or close them.

The inner tent has two D-shaped doors, so you don’t have to crawl over your partner to get out at night for a pee. The tent interior is pretty spartan but there are pockets at the head ends where you can stash valuables and fragile items, like glasses, you don’t want to roll around on the floor. Ceiling hang loops are also provided for handing a headlamp. Where the inner tent really shines is on interior space, since you can fit two 25″ wide sleeping pads side by side inside and still have extra width left over. The interior is also quite long so tall people will also find it comfortable.

Kick-stand ceiling vents help prevent condensation buildup even when the tent doors are zippered closed
Kick-stand ceiling vents help prevent condensation buildup even when the tent doors are zippered closed

The two vestibules provide extra storage for gear or wet shoes you don’t want to store in the inner tent. The vestibule zippers are also bi-directional so you can unzip them from the bottom to the top or from the top to the bottom if you want more ventilation without giving up on privacy.

Comparable budget tents under $250

Recommendation

The REI Trail Hut 2 is a great tent for car camping or short backpacking trips because it is so easy to set up. It also comes with a footprint that’s pre-attached to the tent floor (though removable), so you don’t have to pay extra for one. The interior of the Trail Hut 2 is oversized, making it very comfortable for two, with plenty of room for wide sleeping pads and internal gear storage. In addition, the convenience of its freestanding structure can not be overstated, particularly if you need to camp on a tent platform or hardened tent site. At $199, it really is a good value if you want a comfortable tent without spending an arm and a leg.

Disclosure: The author purchased this tent.

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Last updated: 2020-12-11 02:31:08

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