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REI Grand Hut 4 Review

This spacious and user-friendly tent is a feature-rich option that is very fairly priced
REI Grand Hut 4
Photo: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $299 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Spacious, lightweight, quick to pitch
Cons:  Uses a hub pole system, not wind friendly
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Space and Comfort - 35% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Family Friendliness - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The REI Grand Hut 4 is one of the highest value items in our tent lineup. When you build a tent with just enough of the right features to make it stand out — but not so many as to force the price up — you get a great value. This tent packs 94.7 total square feet of space and 6' 3" of headroom. But value is all about compromise. You will have to deal with a hub pole system, and the height of this tent puts it at a serious disadvantage against heavy winds. Coming in at 13.7 lbs, if push came to shove, you could easily stuff this tent into a pack and get out a little farther from your car.

Compare to Similar Products

 
REI Grand Hut 4
This Product
REI Grand Hut 4
Awards Best Buy Award     
Price $299 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$129.65 at Amazon$69.99 at Amazon$161.95 at Amazon
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Pros Spacious, lightweight, quick to pitchLarge vestibule, simple, excellent weather resistance, classic designSuper easy set up, good views, very nice priceSimple, very cheap, lightweightGreat fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat concept
Cons Uses a hub pole system, not wind friendlyLow ceiling height, could use more interior storageLow headroom, poor overall constructionToo simple, cheaply made, not durableHard to setup, doesn't do well in rain, poor quality
Bottom Line This spacious and user-friendly tent is a feature-rich option that is very fairly pricedThis is a high-quality tent with a simple design that will be familiar to experienced campersThis tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areasA starter tent that works for those looking to get into camping on the cheapWhile this tent looks good in photos, it performs poorly in weather resistance and general use
Rating Categories REI Grand Hut 4 Marmot Limestone 4 4-Person Cabin with... Coleman Sundome Dome 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Space And Comfort (35%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
3.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
Family Friendliness (10%)
6.0
5.0
3.0
4.0
7.0
Specs REI Grand Hut 4 Marmot Limestone 4 4-Person Cabin with... Coleman Sundome Dome 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Weight 13.7 lbs 11.3 lbs 18.2 lbs 9.8 lbs 20.9 lbs
Max Inside Height 6' 3" 5' 3" 4' 11" 4' 11" 5' 8"
Floor Dimensions 8'4" x 7'2" 8'4"x7'2" 8' x 7' 9' x 7' 10' x 9'
Floor Area 59.7 sq ft 59.7 sq ft 56 sq ft 63 sq ft 90 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season
Windows 3 1 3 2 2
Pockets 8 8 2 1 2
Number of Doors 2 2 1 2 1
Room Divider No No No No Yes
Vestibules 2 2 0 0 1
Vestibule Area 35 sq ft 21 sq ft N/A N/A 40 sq ft
Packed Size 24" x 10" x 10" 27.5" x 10" 39.5" x 8" x 8" 6.75" x 6.75" x 23.75" 27.4" x 14.8" x 10.31"
Floor Materials 150D coated polyester 150D Polyester 150D Polyester Polyethylene 1000D-140g/sqm WeatherTec
Main Tent Materials Mesh 40D Polyester/mesh 150D Polyester Polyester mesh 68D Polyguard
Rainfly Materials 75D coated polyester 68D Polyester taffeta Polyguard 2X Polyester taffeta 75D Polyguard
Number of Poles 1 hubbed 4 4 3 4
Pole Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Fiberglass Fiberglass
Extras Ceiling zippers to reach top clips Hidden key/phone pouch on fly Integrated rainfly protection E-Port Covered vestibule with floor

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Grand Hut 4 is roomy and tall for a 4-person tent, and should the weather turn, the full-coverage rainfly will keep you and the crew dry. The ample headroom is thanks to the pole structure that includes a hub system. We will get into the negatives of that later, but it is a trade-off. Because of the 6' 3" structure with nearly vertical walls, wind and this tent also aren't the best match. But for the speed, weight, and size of this tent, you get loads of value.

Performance Comparison


The open and airy look of the Grand Hut - large, tall, and ready for...
The open and airy look of the Grand Hut - large, tall, and ready for adventure.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Space and Comfort


The Grand Hut scores well here, especially considering it is a 4-person tent. Remember that many of the tents in our lineup are 6-person tents, so scoring this high against some larger heavy hitters is a bold statement. This is because the floor space, height, and vestibule of the Grand Hut make fitting a few extra people inside totally manageable. You will have plenty of stash spots with the eight pockets, and the huge doors with tuck-away bags make this a superb summer tent. REI decided to put a translucent white material around the bottom half of the tent, giving you some privacy should you choose to change when the fly is off, a nice feature for packed sites and families with bashful offspring.


When it comes to packing a family of four in this tent, don't plan on bringing everyone a blowup bed. The Grand Hut is best suited for two twins with some extra space for walking. We were able to fit a full and a twin, but that makes the interior 100% bedding and not super functional. The vestibule is also a little tight, and frankly, because of the large size of the tent, having a stubby tail looks a little awkward.

Tall and stubby, the Grand Hut sits ready and nervous about the...
Tall and stubby, the Grand Hut sits ready and nervous about the changing weather.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Weather Resistance


Hot days, no problem. Rainy days, this hut has you protected and well vented. Windy days, be warned.


Six-foot tall walls plus a plastic hub system are not a great pairing. Let's start with the walls. Assuming you have the rainfly on and the wind is blowing, you will see the sides trying to cave in. We would strongly advise always using the guylines that come with this tent. For poles, REI chose to go with a single hub-pole assembly, complete with a hub that isn't super intuitive. For the initiated, you know the drawbacks of a hub system; for the rest, a hub system is a way to avoid the typical dome shape that comes with crossing poles. The hub gives strength to the middle of your tent while allowing your walls to be much more vertical. The drawback to this is that you have a mess of poles that are all connected, and they tend to be weaker and have more points of failure. On the plus side, the Grand Hut comes with eight good-sized stakes and a pole repair tube that may just save you from a rough night in a broken tent.

One might be so inclined to try and push the flared pole into the...
One might be so inclined to try and push the flared pole into the hub system like the other three side, but one would be incorrect.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Outside of a windy nightmare, the Grand Hut is fairly qualified in a diverse range of weather — just keep in mind when finding a campsite the height and vertical nature of the tent you are pitching. Use the guylines, put rocks on the stakes, and enjoy.

The bamboozling, unwieldy all-in-one pole design on the Grand Hut....
The bamboozling, unwieldy all-in-one pole design on the Grand Hut. Yes, campers, this is all attached together.
Photo: Rick Baraff

Ease of Use


Though the hub system looks and feels like a hot mess, the poles still go together fairly easily, and if you mess up and put the red poles in the grey holes, well, maybe don't blame REI. Once the poles are in, 16 snaps later, the hut is erected and ready. This setup is actually far easier and faster than many of the popular 2-person REI tents. So while the hub system isn't ideal, it is fairly easy to manage. We were pitched in just under 3 minutes and 30 seconds.


Teardown is about the same; however, if you are shorter than 5' 9", unbuckling the top clip will be a slight ego hit. Thankfully, getting everything back into the oversized carry bag is easy. The weight (13.7 lbs) and size of this thing when packed are also pretty impressive. You would get a few laughs pitching this at a backpack-only lake, but the lighter weight certainly means you can walk out farther from your car without breaking your back.

That pesky hub! All four structural poles are pre-attached at this...
That pesky hub! All four structural poles are pre-attached at this hub creating a giant spider monster that you must tame to get this set up. Don't worry, though - like all things in life, it'll get easier the more you do it.
Photo: Rick Baraff

Durability


We might be sounding like a broken record here, but outside of the hub system, the Grand Hut has typical REI tent quality. Probably the highest quality item is the floor and the rainfly, two areas in a tent you don't want the manufacturer to skimp on.


The remainder of the tent looks and feels well-made, and the bug-free netting is also sound. All four corners are reinforced, and the tub flooring should keep groundwater from seeping in. The included bag isn't anything special but doesn't feel cheap, and the standard stakes and guylines are on par with the rest of the offering. All in all, the Grand Hut isn't winning awards for the highest durability, but it is on the winning end of the spectrum of tents we tested. Adding this tent to your camping gear collection will be a solid investment that should last a long time.

Setting up the pole structure of the Grand Hut - look a little like...
Setting up the pole structure of the Grand Hut - look a little like the canvas tents you sported as a child?
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Family Friendliness


Two adults, two kids, and two dogs "fit" in this tent. However, it's tight. Each person may not have their own mattress (depending on size) and forget about cooking or sitting in the vestibule area. While there are definitely fancier and more spacious choices for a family car camping tent, this tent will get the job done. If you are planning good weather trips with tables and fires and can keep some of your clothing and gear in your car, you will find this tent completely adequate.


The translucent white walls that go ¾ of the way up the tent are a great privacy feature for changing, and four pockets in the ceiling and four on the floor mean all your keys, phones and headlamps will stay easy to reach.

Though a little tight for four people and two dogs, the tall...
Though a little tight for four people and two dogs, the tall ceilings definitely help make you feel less cramped than you actually are.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Value


The Grand Hut, despite its shortcomings in various areas, is of great value. A 6' 3" tent with a bomber rainfly and quality materials at a very affordable price is hard to beat. And when you pair that with its light weight, the pot gets even sweeter.

Conclusion


The REI Grand Hut 4 is a great choice for those looking to get an excellent tent for their money. It has good airflow on hot days and is well protected should you need to get the rainfly out. This tall outdoor hut is also light, simple to pitch (once you learn the hub system), and offers a good number of pockets. It's not as spacious as other tents, and the vertical walls aren't ideal in the wind, but when you step back and look at all the positives combined with the price point, this is still a great value snag.

This tent is all about value. If you are looking for a solid car...
This tent is all about value. If you are looking for a solid car camping tent and you don't want to spend a lot, you found it.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Rob Gaedtke