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REI Quarter Dome SL1 Review


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable REI Quarter Dome SL1 Review

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #3593458
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: REI Quarter Dome SL1 Review

    The REI Quarter Dome SL1 is a single person, side entry, single side vestibule, double wall, mostly mesh inner, semi-freestanding tent.

    It represents one of the best values in terms of weight and performance found in this category, which includes tents from Nemo, MSR, and Big Agnes.

    #3593499
    Adam Holbrook
    Spectator

    @pharmer

    Locale: SW Ohio

    Looks nice.  I’ve been looking for something lightweight and with steep sidewalls.  For some reason it isn’t showing as available online.  I’ll check at my local store to see what’s up.  Thanks for the look.

    #3593555
    David P
    BPL Member

    @dwpyle

    REI web site lists this tent as “No longer available”.

    #3593595
    Rick M
    BPL Member

    @yamaguy

    Did anyone notice this design looks to be VERY similar to the Big Agnes Tiger Wall series? I am a little suspect of the long term durability all these paperthin 15D silnylon fabrics tents. Perhaps REI is rethinking the warranty implications with this SL series?

    #3593705
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    this is a pretty darn good tent it seems. I mean, it looks excellent in terms of storm worthiness and living space.

    I wonder about the fiddle factor for the velcro loops. they seem to slow down the set up a bit.

    #3593715
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Long term use of 15d should be fine. These fabrics have actually been around for awhile.

    The SL1 sold out yesterday, it will be available for pre-order again in about 3 weeks and is projected to start shipping the next production run around July 10 (source: REI).

    I’ve found it to be more stable than the Tiger Wall, but the latter tent has larger unsupported fabric panels and the pole structure is a little more wobbly.

    #3593916
    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member

    @danepacker

    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Well the Tarptent Moment DW and Scarp 1 and 2 are freestanding IF you add the optional Crossing Poles.

    PLUS, unlike this tent, they can be set up without getting the inner tent soaked.

    #3593921
    Randy Cain
    BPL Member

    @bagboy

    Locale: Fresno, CA

    Eric, the video demonstrates the rainy day setup at ~ 16:55 where the inner is set up last.

    #3593925
    Jeff McWilliams
    BPL Member

    @jjmcwill

    Locale: Midwest

    In the video you say that there are other tents that are competitive with the SL1, including the MSR Carbon Reflex.

    The Carbon Reflex 2 has a peak height of 34 inches.  A friend of mine has one.  Who is that tent designed for with a 34 inch peak height?  Hobbits?

     

    #3594019
    Randy Martin
    BPL Member

    @randalmartin

    Locale: Colorado

    What is interesting to me is the increase in the number of tents in the 2lb category.  Previously the difference between Ultralight shelters and traditional shelters was significant and you could expect to get a 2lb savings easily.  Now it seems these tents are not much heavier than a Tarp plus net tent combo or Duomid or other UL shelter of choice.

    In terms of the future I would think it may increasingly become hard to justify a UL shelter for weekenders like me that rarely do more than 2 nights out.

    #3594069
    Jeff McWilliams
    BPL Member

    @jjmcwill

    Locale: Midwest

    Randy – agreed.

    People compare the pros and cons of a trekking pole shelter vs these mostly free standing shelters:  Nemo Hornet, Big Agnes Tiger Wall & Copper Spur, and now the REI Quarter Dome SL series.  They’re so light now that the incremental weight difference justifies, for them, the benefits to sticking with a traditional tent design that they are comfortable with and know how to manage.

    #3599884
    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member

    @danepacker

    Locale: Mojave Desert

    I stand corrected. And chagrined. After all the work Ryan did to demonstrate this feature guess who didn’t bother to watch the video? :o(

    The inner can be pitched after the poles and fly are pitched. In fact Ryan says its one of the easiest to do it this way of this type of tent. That’s good, but still not my cup of tent.

    I much prefer to have a tent where I can leave the inner tent attached to the fly and pitch both together in the rain or snow. Less fussing around setting up the tent.

    I do like the geometry of this tent. REI makes some well thought-out gear. And the fact that the fly has Velcro to fasten it to the poles is even more proof of their design thoroughness. This greatly helps in high winds to prevent flapping. I’ve done it on my modded Tarptent Moment DW and Scarp 2 where I read the X-inb poles inside the fly and secured them with Velcro cable wraps sewn to the fly interior. Great minds… (hee, hee)

    #3600052
    John Z
    BPL Member

    @feather

    The REI Quarter Dome SL1 is on sale for $195.29 (30% off) through July 4, 2019.

    #3601557
    Alice Hengst
    BPL Member

    @moondust

    Locale: Southern Sierras

    I dislike the design of these semi-freestanding “one pole in the back” tents. In a strong wind the tent bends over no matter how well staked it is. I have the Fly Creek UL 1 and experienced this in a storm. The walls of the tent bent over and touched me, and I could feel the hail hitting. And for those thinking I should have not set up the tent sideways to the wind, I didn’t. The wind shifted.

    My next tent will be a real free-standing model even if it weighs a few more ounces.

    #3604953
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “My next tent will be a real free-standing model even if it weighs a few more ounces.”

    Agreed, for several reasons.
    Although for its weight this tent is very roomy in all dimensions, so would be a cardboard box of similar shape and size. While space for weight is very important, it may be of greater importance that the tent have an aerodynamic shape to shed wind. Just in case the weather gets nasty, which for longer distance hikers is sure to happen, and can happen unexpectedly to weekend overnighters. As Alice found out, even one episode if this was not acceptable. For those who reject masochism and backpack for enjoyment, this is generally the case. Except for the front vestibule, the walls on this tent are much too close to vertical to shed wind, and in high winds, will be prone to creating barriers that the wind just loves to blow away. Of course you can carry a bunch of stakes and guylines that will brace a tent wall against high winds; but wouldn’t it be better to save the added weight and carry a tent that is aerodynamic enough to function without it; unless you are one of those tornado chasers who would be better off to carry a shipping container.

    Like Eric B, I did not catch Ryan’s set up method for a dry pitch in rain, as the video was quite long and time was limited; but from Eric’s comments, think I get the general idea. Just as you can make a tent stable in winds with many guylines, you can dry pitch most tents if there is plenty of time to do it. However, really nasty storms are the epitome of times when there is not a lot of time to get sheltered and dry in a safe place, especially if fleeing to a nearby motel is not an option, which I think can be the case for longer distance hiking which can be just a few weeks and doesn’t have to be for months.

    Last, as Alice suggested, a tent supported by a frame should be self-supporting, and need stakes only to anchor it, not support it. All these tents that scrimp on a pole or two, and need stakes to hold the occupied section up, do not meet this test, and certainly are not what hikers generally regard as free-standing. (There is really no reason to make a vestibule free-standing, especially when with good design, it can substitute for guy line supports, protect shelter access and egress, and greatly increase storage space, all without needing more pole(s) to stabilize the tent.)

    I put the above on the article thread because Ryan should know that in the minds of many, tents like the SL1 really do not move the bar forward. Will leave it a that.

    #3743849
    Boyan B
    BPL Member

    @groovygeek

    Locale: San Diego, CA

    Yes, this post is a MAJOR necro-bump of a thread but no sense in starting a new one….

    As a somewhat tall (6’1″) not very flexible guy, I am back in the market for a

    1. (semi) free-standing double-walled tent
    2. that is at least 88″ long, 38″ tall,  and ideally at least 30″ wide
    3. with side entry and at least one vestibule
    4. uses as minimum 15D fabrics and preferably 20D or above

    Pretty much all MSR 1P model tents fall out of contention due to low length (84″) and often low height (as low as 36″ on the Hubba NX1).

    Picked up the Quarter Dome SL1 at REI today during their 20% sale, pitched it in the park and liked pretty much everything about it… except the shallow tub.  Combined with the fly that stays a good distance off the ground even when pitched as tight as possible this is a recipe for frustration in the Southwest where even moderate wind tends to pick up a lot of dust and throw it into the tent.  Not sure what REI was thinking, but I would have loved to give up 4oz and double the height of that tub.  Will pitch it a few more times in the park to make sure I am not missing something but the SL1 is likely going back to REI on account of the shallow tub.

    After looking through various lists and specs, the only remaining contender is the BA Copper Spur HV UL1. It has the right length and height, decent sized vestibule, and most importantly, a pretty tall tub particularly around the face.  Used to own a previous version of the BA (circa 2016) and did not like two things about it: a) the awning height was A LOT lower than the max height of the tent  and b) it lacked any guyout points on the foot end of the tent that is supposed to face the wind.   It seems that BA has fixed the awning issue with a new design, but alas the 1P tent still seems to be lacking a guyout point in the foot region.  Argh!

    So two questions for the collective wisdom of the forums

    1. How does the foot end of the latest BA 1P handle in decently strong wind?
    2. Are there other non-cottage models I should be considering.  Have tried several cottage brands over the years and have always found them disappointing for one reason or another.
    #3743862
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    Boyan, I think the REI SL low tub was for better ventilation. Ryan said the fly could be pegged pretty low. Ironically, netting weighs more than solid UL fabrics according to several UL tent makers.

    #3743953
    Boyan B
    BPL Member

    @groovygeek

    Locale: San Diego, CA

    Bill,

    I played with the height of the fly quite a bit during my test. Was pitching the tent on level grass field so I could put the stakes anywhere I wanted. Even when I had them as close to the fly as possible and the ground lines pulled in all the way the fly was still was a minimum of 4 fingers off the ground and barely below the level of the tub. I could do better on the vestibule side but not on the fixed side. The stake loops on the cordage are pretty generous so you can bring the fky in another inch or so by retying them as a smaller bowline, or even tighter by using Skurka’s guyline system.

    #3743955
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    Looks like a nice budget shelter. Although if I’m reading the specs right, the Nemo Hornet looks both slightly larger (especially at the narrow and) and slightly lighter, with a similar set up. The REI tent is certainly cheaper, especially if one includes the REI rebate.

    #3743960
    Boyan B
    BPL Member

    @groovygeek

    Locale: San Diego, CA

    That’s a good point on the Hornet.  The price diff is only $30 at MSRP (some day everything will be in stock during the 20% sales :-).  I see that the tub is generous, but the fabric decision seem to be wading into “stupid light” territory, at least for my taste.  15D on the tub and 10D on the fly are a disaster waiting to happen – I am sure to rip one or the other sooner rather than later. Feels like well rounded mid-weight shelters don’t sell well and everyone is going for some headline spec that compromises an important usability vector.   Tarptent is the one brand that I don’t think makes such tradeoffs, but I am not crazy about the layout of their freestanding tents.

    #3743961
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    You know your own use case better than I do, but I have not had a problem with my Nemo Hornet. I have the 2P version and used it for probably 100 nights or so before ultimately switching to a single-wall DCF Zpacks tent to save an additional pound of weight. I will be taking an extra dog camping this summer, so I will probably go back to the Hornet, at least temporarily, since my Zpacks tent will not fit me and two dogs.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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