May 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm #3593458Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: 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.May 18, 2019 at 12:20 pm #3593499Adam HolbrookBPL Member
@pharmerLocale: 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.May 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm #3593555David PBPL Member
REI web site lists this tent as “No longer available”.May 19, 2019 at 1:18 am #3593595Rick MBPL Member
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?May 19, 2019 at 8:14 pm #3593705jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: 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.May 19, 2019 at 10:17 pm #3593715Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: 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.May 21, 2019 at 5:45 am #3593916Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: 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.May 21, 2019 at 11:16 am #3593921Randy CainBPL Member
@bagboyLocale: Fresno, CA
Eric, the video demonstrates the rainy day setup at ~ 16:55 where the inner is set up last.May 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm #3593925Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
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?May 21, 2019 at 11:24 pm #3594019Randy MartinBPL Member
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.May 22, 2019 at 11:52 am #3594069Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
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.Jun 29, 2019 at 6:11 am #3599884Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: 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)Jun 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm #3600052John ZBPL Member
The REI Quarter Dome SL1 is on sale for $195.29 (30% off) through July 4, 2019.Jul 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm #3601557Alice HengstBPL Member
@moondustLocale: 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.Aug 6, 2019 at 4:16 am #3604953Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: 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.
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