The REI Quarter Dome 3 — Is This Tent Worth Its High Price Tag?

rei quarter dome 3

You're planning for a camping trip with a couple of friends and need a tent. The REI Quarter Dome 3 might be the perfect three-person tent to fit the bill. It's compact, highly packable, easy to store, and waterproof. There's the issue, however, of how much it's going to cost, and how it holds up against other camper tents.

You want the best tent for your camping adventure. Primarily to ensure everyone has enough room to sleep comfortably and keep dry in the event of a downpour. There's also the fact that you need an all-weather tent for some regions. Some camping sites are chilly at night, but warm during the day. And, you don't want to lug around a 20-pound tent on your back all weekend long. So, campers have to look for something lightweight and transportable.

You have options. Which three-person camper tent is right for you and your group of outdoor adventurists for the weekend? Delve into the world of the camping shelter/sleeping space to see what features lie ahead.

REI Quarter Dome 3 Specs

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​Before investing in the REI Quarter Dome 3, campers must determine if the specifications meet their camping needs. It is a three-person tent. However, the capacity alone doesn't dictate if it's the best tent for every outdoor enthusiast. The product is a three-season tent featuring two doors to enter/exit. It only weighs four pounds and nine ounces and uses aluminum poles for setup. The freestanding tent features a ripstop nylon exterior finish. The material is highly waterproof and breathable so that it won't feel muggy in warmer temperatures.

REI Quarter Dome 3 Features

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​Hikers and campers should also consider features and design before choosing the REI Quarter Dome 3 above others. Some of the features that set this backpacking tent apart from competitors include:

  • ​The pole architecture (2017 model) increases interior space
  • ​Dual-stake vestibule offers two entry/exit doors
  • ​The 15-ripstop nylon denier material is durable and waterproof
  • ​Vertical sidewalls
  • ​A no-drip entry doorway
  • ​The roof vent helps increase breathability/circulation
  • ​Strategic color-coordinated poles make setup easy

The tent also includes a stuff sack for storage. Hang loops along the interior afford campers additional interior storage. The aluminum pole set is durable and won't crack or break under pressure either.

Using the REI Quarter Dome 3

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​Usability is essential for campers. A lightweight design and a tent that is comfortable is only half the battle when comparing products. Ease of setup, mobility, strength, and waterproofness are some additional factors to consider. These are some important aspects to keep in mind when comparing the REI Quarter Dome 3 and other tents.

Setup and ​Packability

The REI Quarter Dome 3 is highly packable. The tent weighs less than five pounds and rolls into a tight cylindrical shape for storage. It easily fits into a backpack and won't weigh campers down. The tent isn't the most difficult to set up but isn't the easiest either. The new 2017 model features color-coordinated poles. This design helps tell campers which poles attach to where. Owners do have to work in sequential order when putting it together. If they go out of order, they'll have to start the process over from the beginning.


​The sturdy poles and fly material help keep the tent in place in windy and rainy conditions. The nylon exterior is above average when it comes to water and weatherproofing. The quarter-dome shape of the tent isn't the most conducive for keeping water out. The high-wall profile also makes it difficult in specific campsites to cover up the entire sleeping area. But the materials and sturdy pole set make it a decent option for staying dry in rainy conditions.

How We Reviewed the Tent

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​We reviewed the REI Quarter Dome 3 with other three-person tents. In our review, we focused on waterproofness, comfort, movability, ease of setup, and features. We considered comparable, reputable brands, and the similar features campers will enjoy using those tents. We also discussed the price, since the Dome 3 is well above the cost of most three-person tents. In our review, we also included customer reviews to help campers find the best product for their shopping budget.

Average Price of the REI Quarter Dome 3

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For many campers and hikers, the high price is going to push them to competitor's products. It's available on the REI website. Customers will also find the Dome 2 and original Dome tent there. Additionally, REI carries other three-person tents. Depending on camping needs and the campsites people visit, there are viable alternatives for a more reasonable price.

The Best Comparable Three-Person Tents

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​One of the significant drawbacks of buying the REI Dome Camper 3 is its high price tag. For campers who don't want to spend as much, there are dozens of comparable products for less. These are a few of the best three-person camping tents available.

ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 3-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 3-Person Tent

[amazon box=”B004EQEB3I”]

This three-person tent features UV protection, and the polyester exterior is weatherproof. The aluminum pole set is easy to put together. The tent features two doors and windows, which have awning covers over them. These openings help increase circulation and airflow. The awning helps keep bugs out, to ensure the tent is comfortable for its occupants. It has storage pockets, gear lofts, and guy ropes for additional interior storage needs.

​At nine and a half pounds, the tent is more massive than the REI Quarter Dome 3. It isn't as packable either. The 75D nylon exterior helps prevent water from seeping into the sleeping area in rainy conditions. The fiberglass pole design and upright, freestanding position give campers additional clearance space. So, even taller campers are going to fit into the tent comfortably during their camping weekend trip.

Some reviewers indicate the tent is not as waterproof/weatherproof as the manufacturer claims. In this review, the customer states that water easily seeps into the tent. This design flaw also results in warm and muggy air when conditions are warmer or humid outside.

Coleman Hooligan Tent

Coleman Hooligan Tent

[amazon box=”B00BAVX2N0″]

This Coleman tent is available either with or without a sealer. The sealer is a nice feature to help increase dryness and waterproofing during wet and rainy camping trips. The tent features a 1,000D polyethylene bathtub floor. This material is not only durable but also helps prevent water from entering through the sides. The polyester walls feature a 450mm coating. This design feature guarantees the tent won't stretch or sag over time. So, owners don't have to worry about the quality diminishing after a few uses.

The tent has one large, side entry and exit door. It also features a UV coating so that it won't fade in the sun. It also helps prevent too much sunlight from penetrating the tent's walls. This design helps to keep owners cooler inside and prevents overheating of the plastic surfaces. It takes only about 60 seconds to set the tent up with the conventional, fast-pitch design. It also features a zipper on the door for higher wind and waterproofing protection.

This reviewer has both positive and negative remarks about this product. They begin by noting it is affordable, so this is a positive attribute. However, the reviewer goes on to say that the tent isn't durable. If campers need it for one or two camping trips, it'll do the job. However, for much more than this they might want to invest in a better camping tent.

Zenph Automatic 2 to 3 Person Family Camping Tent

Zenph Automatic 2 to 3 Person Family Camping Tent

[amazon box=”B07KZDVYYQ”]

This pop-up tent design features an automatic opening and waterproof sun shelter. It is a four-season tent, so it's weatherproof. It will also keep campers warm when the weather gets colder outside. The three-second auto pop design allows campers to eliminate the complicated campsite ritual. The PU material is both water and moisture proof. This material helps prevent soggy or uncomfortable interior conditions if it rains during the camping weekend.

The waterproof exterior is durable. The outer ledger material features 68D 185T polyester, and the base of the tent features Oxford cloth. This material finish is durable and keeps campers comfortable in all weather and temperature levels. There are awnings over the windows and doors. This feature also helps with ventilation and cooling when temperatures are warmer outside. The net's isolation design helps keep bugs out of the tent at night as well.

This reviewer complains that the tent is neither waterproof nor does it allow for proper airflow. The shelter is uncomfortable. The interior surfaces also get wet. This design issue makes it unusable for specific camping trips.

Nature Hike CloudUp Three Person Tent

Nature Hike CloudUp Three Person Tent

[amazon box=”B073TXDV95″]

This ultra-light backpacking tent is similar to the REI Quarter Dome 3 in packability and design. The tent weighs about 5.75 pounds and easily stores away into a backpack when not in use. It rolls into a cylindrical shape so that it won't take up too much space in the camper's bag. A scientific ventilation system helps increase airflow. There are openings over the windows and doors to help with airflow when the temperatures are warm. The tent can sleep three or four people (depending on age/size) comfortably.

The 210T polyester material is durable and highly breathable. The aluminum poles are easy to set up and durable. So, campers don't have to worry about shifting or the tent collapsing on top of them at night. The anti-UV, wind, and rainstorm exterior keeps campers comfortable. The exterior materials help prevent water from entering through the sides or doors of the tent. The two-pole design also makes the tent easy to pitch and easy to move. It is lightweight, allowing campers to move it to the best sleeping area at the campsite. A 20D silicone coating also helps create a warming barrier throughout the interior and exterior walls. So, campers will feel comfortable when sleeping in this all-season tent.

The manufacturer claims the product can comfortably sleep three or four people. But this customer indicates it can only sleep two people comfortably. In the review, they also note there's no space for backpacks or additional item/storage inside the tent. They also say it is not the best tent for cold weather. They state that it's not possible to seal the tent, so it isn't great in colder temperatures.

REI Quarter Dome 3 vs. the Field... the Best Tent for Your Upcoming Adventure

​The REI Quarter Dome 3 is expensive. At REI's high price, many campers just aren't willing to spend that much for a tent. For those who can afford it; however, it's an excellent three-person tent. It keeps campers dry, has a small footprint, and is relatively easy to set up. The product is highly packable, which is one of the most significant selling points for backpackers. It's light and won't weigh you down during long hiking excursions. The material is high-quality, and interior space is more substantial than some models that are cheaper.

For those who don't want to spend as much, there are several great products to choose when buying a tent. The best affordable, three-person tent is the ALPS Mountaineering Tent. It's less than one-quarter the price of the REI Quarter Dome 3 and has similar features. Assembling the freestanding poles is easy. The polyester material is resistant to water, so it keeps the interior dry on rainy days. The tent also has UV protection so that it won't fade. It also features an awning over each door/window. It has two zippered doorways, like the REI Quarter Dome 3.

There are many great camping tents to choose from in stores and online. When buying a three-person tent, campers have to weigh the benefits of the REI Quarter Dome 3. The high price will dissuade many buyers. With this in mind, the tent is high-quality, durable, and features a large living area for three campers. For those who want a more affordable option, there are a few others to select.


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