The REI Kingdom 6 tent is not a backpacking friendly tent. To say it is a beast would be a vast understatement. This tent sits solidly in the realm of car camping, or in my case, adult scout leader camping.
I bought this tent a few years ago to replace a no name tent that I had been taking on Cub Scout camping trips with my son. At the time he was a Webelos Scout which is the rank right before a boy crosses over into Boy Scouts (now just called Scouting).
For those not familiar with scout camping, there is an unwritten rule that during a scout camp-out it will almost always rain. In this case it was rain and typhoon like winds.
My no name tent quickly was flattened to the ground by the wind repeatedly and in the process two of the support poles shattered. Thanks to some duct tape we made it through the weekend, but I declared to my wife that I was buying a new tent.
At the time I was sold on the REI half dome tents, they are built like a rock and seemed to laugh in the face of the elements. But they were expensive, and the six man version was well beyond my price point.
I think the stars aligns and I caught REI on a sale and picked up this very odd looking tent. As you can see from the pictures this tent looks like someone took a can and cut it in half.
The tent can be divided into two separate rooms, there is a zippered partition that can be used to split the tent in half. The one thing I have noticed with this partition is that closing it can be a real pain if you put the tent up with the partition in an open state.
During the tightening phase of putting the tent up something moves to a point where it is almost impossible to zip this panel closed if you put the tent up with it open. I encountered no such problems when erecting the tent with the partition zipped down.
The poles for this tent are beefy and are all connected by shock cord. To setup the tent the four corners are staked as you would expect and then the front and back nubs for lack of a better term along the ridge-line are installed. With my tent it’s a snug fit.
After that you bent the back two legs into place followed by the front. At this point the tent is not particularly stable. Guy lines are an absolute must with this tent!
But once the guys lines are put in place, this tent is remarkably stable. I have not had a single issue with stability or wind. The rain-fly is color coded which makes putting it on easier, its one of those little touches that you learn to really appreciate.
Something I like is that there is a door at each end of this tent. I never had to make use of both doors but I could see how this could be a nice feature to have if out camping with kids sleeping in one of the rooms.
There is room on ether end to turn the rain fly into an awning for gear. They also sell a “garage” addition that I am ashamed to say I purchased. It adds a crazy 61 sq. feet of additional space. Here is a picture of it from REI (not my photo).
Yes, its as obnoxious as it looks but the space was insane. Let’s talk a little about the space inside the Kingdom 6 tent itself. As I mentioned I bought this originally to camp with my son in Cub Scouts. Well as luck would have it, we never went on another outing before he crossed over to Boy Scouts.
I was an adult leader in his troop, but adult leaders in Boy Scout sleep in their own tents by themselves. So I now had this beast of a tent all to myself. Since we were car camping, I decided to use a cot from Cabelas. Yes, my hardcore level went to negative ten.
This outfitter XL tent was the size of a twin bed. I would put it horizontally across the back of the tent and still had room on either end. This left the entire front half of the tent for whatever I wanted. I would put down a small run, put up a camp chair and have an amazing mosquito free area to relax in at night when the camp went down for the night.
All in all I have been very impressed with this tent. It’s a beast for sure, but if I ever need to go out family camping or even glamping, I feel like I am set. If you have the money however, I would still recommend the REI Base Camp 6. I just like how it’s poles are designed a little better.
Looking at the pricing today the Kingdom 6 is actually more expensive than the Base Camp 6. I must have hit them when they had an excess of the Kingdom 6 to move as it was priced much lower.
|Packed Weight||21 lbs. 6 oz|
|Packed Size||25.2 x 15.75 x 8.6 inches|
|Floor Dimensions||120 x 100 inches|
|Floor Area||83.3 square feet|
|Vestibule Area||29 square feet|
|Peak Height||75 inches|
|Number of Doors||2 doors|
|Floor Material||150-denier coated polyester Oxford|
|Rain-fly Material||75-denier coated polyester taffeta|