REI debuted the Quarter Dome tent in 2005, using its experience with 4-season mountaineering tents and applying it to a 3-season backpacking tent. Twelve years later, the popular flagship tent is on version number four, which adds more living space to the tent without increasing its weight. It’s a feature REI calls “lightweight livability.”
Dubbed REI’s best tent yet, the new Quarter Dome offers additional space where you need it most. The living area is more spacious thanks to a new pole architecture that provides 28 percent more head and shoulder room and 23 percent more space in the foot box. REI added new dual-stake vestibules, which provide 60 percent more storage space for your gear when compared to previous Quarter Dome models. The trade-off for this extra space? Not as much as you would expect — just a small bump in the overall weight of the tent.
REI didn’t stop with space — the team of designers also added other outstanding features such a new full-sky bug screen that gives you a dazzling look at the stars on a cloudless night. The company even streamlined the setup by adding color-coded poles and buckle attachment points for the rainfly. The design was wind-tunnel tested, and field tested to ensure it can withstand the rigors of 3-season camping.
This transformation didn’t come easily and required the design team at REI to think differently about the iconic tent.
“We literally started with a blank piece of paper.” said divisional vice president of product design Nasahn Sheppard in a blog post about the history of the tent. And the team believes it was successful. “This is a revolution, not evolution, for the Quarter Dome. It is quite simply the best backpacking tent we’ve ever made,” added Sheppard.