Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


REI Half Dome Plus (2017)

  • 8 Replies
  • 794 Views
*

Offline Hang10er

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 508
  • "Do what you want before it's too late"
REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« on: April 23, 2018, 01:19:18 PM »
Picked up a Half Dome Plus tent from REI recently.  I know a lot of you use tents, tarps or similar very light, minimal type shelters.  This tent, however, fit my needs.  I had been looking at a few different tents, but when I saw this 2017 model in the REI garage at a bargain price with an additional 20% off, I jumped on it. 

I haven’t done true backpacking trips but I wanted something that I could use in case I did, maybe just an overnighter.  I wanted quality but on a budget.  I wanted lighter and smaller than the box store Coleman’s I’ve always used (which are fine when you just car camp).  Something that will help me with my goal of minimizing and lightening all the gear (aka extra crap) that I seem to take camping.  And...I wanted a "real" tent.

I set the tent up once in the yard to check it out and then took it out this past weekend for our annual “Guy’s Kayaking Weekend” on the Medina River.

Here’s the pros to me.
•   I thought it was light weight at about 5lbs.  (note: comparing to those big Colemans I used)
•   Super simple fast set-up.  It advertised color coded poles, which mine doesn’t have but no biggie, the poles are self-explanatory. 
•   LOVE the carry bag which is conveniently made bigger than the tent.  Makes it so easy to quickly roll your tent, rain fly, foot print and get it in the bag without needing to vacuum seal it to get it to fit. Wish my therm a rest had that! Has compression straps once it’s in there to cinch it down.
•   Tear drop shaped doors on both sides allows a big opening to get in/out of.
•   Almost all mesh top for ventilation
•   Rain fly completely covers tent to keep it very dry (it rained this weekend and I stayed totally dry)
•   2 decent vestibules under the rainfly.
•   Kept my gear in the tent and still had room to stretch out.

Here’s the minor cons
•   Comes with 6 stakes (4 for tent corners, 2 on rainfly).  You could use a few more to better stake it out. 
•   Not a huge fan of hubs on the tent poles, but I admit it makes the poles and overall assembly easy.  Can’t foresee any future issues due to the hubs. 
•   I listened to people on BBC and got a piece of Tyvek for a footprint.  If I get the REI made footprint, it comes with tabs and grommets allowing you to set up the poles and rainfly with no tent making a super light minimal cover. That’s an additional $35 though. 

I set it up in my backyard with a true 30pmh plus wind.  It swayed but stood with no worries.  It rained on my trip (light rain) and stayed totally dry.  Dried off quick when the rain stopped.  Ventilation was good and no condensation that I noticed.  I noticed you need to think of your area before using the vestibules.  Car camping, I had no food in my gear but I put it inside anyway.  I left my flip flops which I had worn around camp in the vestibule and woke up to find them literally covered in rolly polies/doodle bugs/pill bugs who I assume were getting out of the wet grass.  Probably not a problem in a desert environment.  Overall, great tent.  My first quality tent and you can tell as soon as you open it up. 

I mentioned above I wanted a "real" tent.  When I first started going to Big Bend and found this site, I considered myself an outdoorsy guy and had all the camping gear.  It was all Academy/WalMart type stuff though.  It worked, don't get me wrong, worked great for the camping I did (and still do).  So why am I slowly up upgrading my gear and getting "real" stuff?

Couple of reasons.  One, the quality of the gear is just nice!  When I got my Half Dome, before I even opened it, just holding the bag I could tell this was so much nicer than the tent I had.  The material felt so much more durable and the stitching and little things it had all seemed nice. 

Two, although I may never do a multi day hike carrying everything in my backpack, I'd really like to be able to minimize the amount of gear I take on my trips, even on weekend car camping trips.  I don't mind a few comfort things - pillow or cooler with ice and drinks, I'm tired of spending so much time loading and unloading the pick-up before and after every trip.  Bringing home clothes I didn't wear, extra flashlights, filling up the whole truck for a 2-night trip.

Finally, having top of the line (or close to top of the line) is sometimes safer, sometimes pushes you farther, gets you out earlier or later in the day/season, instills confidence, motivates and sometimes just feels good.

*

Offline jeffblaylock

  • Horned Frog
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2291
  • I'd rather be on the South Rim
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 01:47:04 PM »
I've been using REI Half Domes for many years and found them to be excellent car-camping and okay (but heavy) backpacking tents. I've used several other kinds of backpacking shelters over the years, from a lightweight tent, to a tarp, to a tarptent, to a hammock (my personal favorite, but not permitted in Big Bend). All of that experimentation costs money, as does any kind of specialization of gear. So I'm a +1 when it comes to recommending a Half Dome for a generalist shelter.

I agree that you should invest in some additional stakes and guy wires. This makes the tent much sturdier against the winds that sometimes rage through the Basin. Personally, I'd spend the money on the footprint for ease of setup and the little bit of additional stability it can provide, but Tyvek is perfectly adequate. I've used Tyvek for my backpacking shelter footprints.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

*

Offline dprather

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2369
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 02:53:45 PM »
I have been eyeing the half-dome+.  The standard one-man tents really cramp my style.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

*

Offline Hang10er

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 508
  • "Do what you want before it's too late"
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 04:29:45 PM »
I have been eyeing the half-dome+.  The standard one-man tents really cramp my style.

dprather - every time I sat down to research them, a new tent became my top choice until the new Half Dome came out. That caused REI to put the '17 model on sale.  You might want to look now.

Jeff - I've been itching a bit to go ahead and get the footprint.  It would allow me to set up the rainfly with no tent and be more of a sun shade/light rain type shelter.  I also saw they have the 2017 footprint to go with the 2017 tent.  I'm telling myself that I need to go ahead & get in case the 2018 footprint is a different size!! ha  ha

*

Offline Jalco

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1031
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 05:16:10 PM »
I'm telling myself that I need to go ahead & get in case the 2018 footprint is a different size!! ha  ha

You should listen to yourself.  The new model's footprint will be different in some way.  I had that issue with the tent I purchase (REI quarterdome)

*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2848
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 08:29:19 PM »
My younger brother has an REI Half-Dome, the 2-person version - either a 2016 or a 2017, not sure. It’s a very good tent.

I’ve borrowed it a few times when taking my son or a friend on backpacking trips, and several times for car-camping at state parks. It’s incredibly roomy for two people. The brow poles do a great job of increasing the headroom near the doors and provide nicely-sized vestibules, too. Also, the tent features some nice internal storage aids for small things like headlamps, eyeglasses, electronics, etc.

The brow poles also keep the doors at a vertical so very little rain spills in during entrances and exits. It seems to me to be quite waterproof and sturdy in the wind. Set-up and takedown are both very fast and very easy. I’m not a huge fan of the hubbed poles either - they make the pole assembly awfully long and unwieldy, but once up, the tent functions great.

Good choice, Hang10er. And if were me, I’d go ahead and get that footprint now.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline Hang10er

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 508
  • "Do what you want before it's too late"
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 04:08:22 PM »
So that was all the convincing I needed, I ordered the footprint.  THENNNNNNNN  to reach that "free shipping" level, I threw in the Deuce #2 camping trowel. 

*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2848
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 04:28:11 PM »
So that was all the convincing I needed, I ordered the footprint.  THENNNNNNNN  to reach that "free shipping" level, I threw in the Deuce #2 camping trowel.



Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline Jalco

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1031
Re: REI Half Dome Plus (2017)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2018, 05:12:39 PM »
So that was all the convincing I needed, I ordered the footprint.  THENNNNNNNN  to reach that "free shipping" level, I threw in the Deuce #2 camping trowel.

I can dig it  :eusa_dance:

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments