We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

REI Quarterdome T3

In case you're new here at JustSON, then I'll let you know what the rest of the readers already know. I like the outdoors. Wait, correct that. I love the outdoors.

And yesterday I bought a new tent.

A few weeks back I'd teased with the idea of buying a new backpacking tent. Since mine was going on 10 years old.

The thing that kept me from just rushing out and buying a new tent was the fact that mine was still in great condition. But tent technology has come so far in 1o years. This tent has more room then my current backpacking tent yet weighs over two pounds less.

Now two pounds might not sound like a lot, but in backpacking two pounds is a "ton." I had a friend who taught me at an earlier age, when you're backpacking you don't measure the weight of your pack in pounds, you measure it in ounces.

This new tent is awesome! I ended up opting for the REI Quarterdome T3. Here's the specs on the tent:

Season 3-season

Sleeping capacity


Average minimum weight

4 lbs. 7 oz.

Average packaged weight

5 lbs.

Floor dimensions 84 x 68 inch

As for hardware, the REI Quarter Dome T3 won Backpacker Magazine's Ultralight Tent of the Year Award for 2008.

After running all the numbers I figured out this was the best tent for my needs while backpacking. I only needed a 3-season, as I have an awesome high-winds, 4-season, dome tent.

The best part about shopping at REI is the fact that they let you set up the tent right there in the store before you buy it. I set up the Quarter Dome T2 (which is the two person version of the same tent) but found that it was much too cramped for two people to fit in there comfortably. The employee helped me throw in two groudpads and two sleeping bags. They were half ontop of each other, and that was without bodies in them.

We set up the T3 and there was enough room for two people, with the packs still outside under the rainfly. Plus, on the campouts that I go on by myself I'll have more than enough room to let my pack come inside the tent. And probably out of the rain since this IS Washington.

The difference between the T2 and the T3 was less than one pound. For the added space and higher comfort level, I figured I could cut some weight somewhere else in my pack. And the T3 was still over two pounds lighter than my current tent.

So now I have three tents. I think I'm set for years to come. And good thing I got the extra room in the T3. Since I am a freelance journalist, that tent would be way cheaper than rent.

I'll be taking it out in a few weeks for a weekend backpacking trip. At that time I'll write a review of the tent.

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