I know many back packers that thing car camping is for wimps and pansies. We take huge tents like the REI Base Camp 4 & Base Camp 6 for car camping trips. We sleep on comfortable self inflating mattresses like the REI Campbed. Family campers love comfort, but don't necessarily want to go the RV route. In my experience, it's more difficult to car camp than back packing because of all the equipment involved. Camping in the back country requires approximately 50 pounds of equipment per person. Car campers easily take over 100 pounds per person because we can. It's all the extra stuff that we take that makes it a challenge. Many campers look like the National Lampoon classic "Family Vacation".
I have owned many tents and only a few of them were great tents. I like to stay warm and dry when I am on a camping trip. Some tents seem to keep more moisture inside rather than keep the moisture out. Out of all the camping tents that I have owned, the REI Base Camp is the sturdiest tent that I have ever used. The Base Camp 4 keeps you warm and dry in the most severe weather. While camping in Lassen National Park in norther California, we had several nights of fast acting thunderstorms with high winds and lots of rain and the tent kept us warm and dry.
I have a lot practice with both good tents and bad tents. Owning a bad tent sure gives me an appreciation for this sturdy shelter that has yet to fail me. Having such sturdy shelter makes it hard to leave on cold mornings. We often stay inside and relax until the sun starts shining to warm everything. Click here to learn more and read all the reviews about the REI Base Camp 4.
You Need A Base Camp 4 If You Have Experienced Any Of The Following Camping Disasters
- Water leaked through the rain fly and walls of your tent and seeped into your sleeping bag
- Your camping neighbor offering his assistance b setting up the tent.
- You left one of the tent support poles at your last campsite.
The first family camping trip with my wife and 2 kids was a comic disaster. I am not new to camping. My camping experience included Boy Scout trips, cross country bicycle camping trips, back packing trips, and years of camping with my parents. Camping experienced campers was much easier than teaching my wife and 2 kids how to camp on the while I learned the ropes of camping with 2 kids in diapers. We bought an inexpensive 8 man tent at Target that ripped during the set up. I broke a cardinal rule of camping-always try out the equipment before using it. I usually buy name-brand tents only tents that I set up weeks before a camping trip.
When I was riding my bicycle cross-country with 3 other buddies, I used a Eureka Timberline for 3 month. I quickly replaced this throw away tent with a Eureka 4 person tent similar in design and construction.
The REI Base Camp 4 Is Spacious
This tent is designed to fit for 4 adults comfortably. There is a full 60 square feet of living area and is 5 feet tall at the highest point. While I may be more inclined to use a larger tent for adults, we have more than enough room for my wife and 2 children. There is enough room in the tent to bring in 3 of our duffel bags. I am 6 feet tall and I can stretch out all the way. There are times that I wish the tent was tall enough for me stand up in, but that would increase the weight and size of the tent.
The Base Camp 4 Tent Can Be Set Up By One Adult
Do you detest setting up tents with that require a degree in civil engineering? If I cannot set my tent up in 15 minutes, I will not buy it. All the poles of this tent are color coded and connected with elastic cords. The storage bag of the tent has the instructions sewn so you don't have to worry about the instructions that you either lost or left at home.
Tents like the Base Camp 4 are referred to as free standing. This means that you do not have to use tent stakes. Even though a tent is freely, it still needs to be anchored so it does not blow away. Even though I know that a free standing tent needs to be anchored, I have failed to do it a number of times and have come back to my tent to find it over turned. Most people who buy a free standing tent need a shelter that can be set up in multiple terrains without having to use stakes.
If You Like To Star Gaze At Night, Then You Will Like The Base Camp 4's Screen Roof
If you camp in desert and dry areas in the summer you will appreciate the screen roof top of the Base Camp 4/6.We camped numerous nights without the rain fly to watch shooting stars. See through mesh screen keeps the bugs out and let's the light shine through. It's perfect for camping in the desert areas of Utah. I don't suggest doing this at high elevation camping like Bryce Canyon National Park because the rain fly keeps heat in. High altitude camping sometimes includes nocturnal showers.
Lots Of Storage Pockets Help You Keep Organized
When I empty my pockets out before going to bed I like having a place to store my wallet, flash light, keys, cell phone, pocket knife, bug repellent, etc. Most people find the storage pockets so useful that would never consider buying a tent without this feature. The vestibule is large enough to hide our cooler and water dispenser during the daylight hours.
Camp 4 Cons-Things That I Don't Like About Tent
- The tent is very heavy and could easily shed a few pounds. If you buy this tent, replace the heavy steel stakes with light weight plastic or aluminum stakes.
- It's bulky to pack and store. The manufacture spared no expense with material. While it's not as heavy as one of those old fashioned canvass tents, it's close.
- The door zippers are much too tight to operate. If it was not for the 100% satisfaction guarantee on this tent, I would have been reluctant to keep it because I often fear that the zipper is going break This tent has survived over 5 camping seasons and is holding out strong.
Even with these drawbacks, the tent is so robust, easy to set up, big enough for our family, I cannot imagine camping in a tent that is delicate as a butterfly. This tent is built for the woods.REI sells tents that will satisfy you for life-guaranteed.