REI Kingdom 6 Review
Cons: Only one vestibule, back door is more exposed to the elements, lots of poles
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REI Kingdom 6
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|$642.95 at Backcountry||Check Price at Backcountry|
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Check Price at REI
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Tall and spacious, quonset hut-shaped, lots of pockets, adjustable room divider||Massive interior, great construction, easy to pitch||Spacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high value||Huge doors and large vestibule, lots of pockets, highly weather resistant||Large vestibule, simple, excellent weather resistance, classic design|
|Cons||Only one vestibule, back door is more exposed to the elements, lots of poles||Expensive, odd ceiling pockets||Not the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bag||Runs warm, views are a bit more restricted||Low ceiling height, could use more interior storage|
|Bottom Line||A well designed tent with tons of room and lots of versatility||The best balance of size, quality, style, and ease of use we've found||This tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gear||An excellent mountaineering-inspired tent that is ready for both inclement weather and summer fun||This is a high-quality tent with a simple design that will be familiar to experienced campers|
|Rating Categories||REI Kingdom 6||Marmot Halo 6||The North Face Wawo...||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||Marmot Limestone 4|
|Space And Comfort (35%)|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Family Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||REI Kingdom 6||Marmot Halo 6||The North Face Wawo...||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||Marmot Limestone 4|
|Weight||20.6 lbs||21.0 lbs||21.9 lbs||20.625 lbs||11.3 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||6' 3"||6' 4"||6' 6"||6' 2"||5' 3"|
|Floor Dimensions||10' x 8'4"||9'10" x 9'10"||10' x 8'6"||9'2" x 9'2"||8'4"x7'2"|
|Floor Area||83.3 sq ft||96.7 sq ft||85 sq ft||84 sq ft||59.7 sq ft|
|Windows||1||Mesh top||2||Mesh top||1|
|Number of Doors||2||2||3||2||2|
|Vestibule Area||29 sq ft||32 sq ft||44.7 sq ft; 21 sq ft||40 sq ft||21 sq ft|
|Packed Size||9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5"||25" x 14"||9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5"||11" x 24"||27.5" x 10"|
|Floor Materials||Coated polyester oxford||70D nylon||75D polyester||Polyester||150D Polyester|
|Main Tent Materials||Nylon/mesh||40D polyester No-See-Um mesh, 68D polyester ripstop||150D polyester taffeta||Polyester||40D Polyester/mesh|
|Rainfly Materials||Coated polyester taffeta||68D polyester ripstop||68D polyester||Polyester||68D Polyester taffeta|
|Number of Poles||2 hubbed sets, 1 straight||4||4||5||4|
|Pole Material||6061/7001 aluminum||Aluminum||14 mm aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Extras||22 Pockets!||Vented fly and color-coded poles||Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop||4-Season||Hidden key/phone pouch on fly|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Co-op Kingdom 6 has been a top contender in our lineup for quite some time. This year though, a few close contenders pulled ahead. That said, it's still a great choice if you are looking for height, separation, and maximum bed space.
Space and Comfort
The Kingdom is a master at both space and comfort and has scored among the top tents in our review for many, many years. The main reason isn't because of the square footage (83.3 sq ft plus a small vestibule), but because of the layout. The Kingdom is more of a rectangle, with a much longer length (10' long) and shorter width (8' 4"). This is great for sleeping and fitting air mattresses. We were able to put a full mattress in the "master suite" and two twins for the kids in the "guest room."
The Kingdom has pockets like a forest has mushrooms — 22 in all. And they are not all small: the bottom pockets are more than a foot and a half long. A room divider is a great addition for privacy, and the vertical walls and a 6' 3" max height make for spacious living quarters. The carry case is also a hidden comfort for the Kingdom, with three nice compartments to store poles, fly, and the main tent. It even has convenient backpack straps to help you with your journey from the car to the tent pad and vice versa.
The biggest hit on space and comfort is the lack of a real vestibule. A tent of this size and quality should come with a respectable outdoor space, yet REI chose to make this an additional purchase. The included vestibule is for storage only and isn't big enough to do much more.
Rain and sun are your friends in this tent. The seam-sealed waterproof polyester fly covers three sides of the tent all the way to the ground, and the back door has a waterproof covering. The fly has several popup vents to help with airflow, and should you keep the fly in the bag, the entire roof and about ¼ of the sides are all mesh.
The wind, however, is another story. This tent likes to fly, so be sure to use the 13 stakes and 6 guy-lines that are included. This is extremely important for any tent of this size, but you certainly don't want to be stuck trying to repair a tall, hub-style pole setup in bad weather.
There are a few additional weather tricks up the Kingdom sleeve. The fly's door can be propped up as an awning (you'll just need some poles or sticks to get the job done). And the rainfly can be rolled and staked at different distances, opening up the tent as much or as little as you like with minimal effort.
Ease of Use
The Kingdom went up in 10 minutes, 2 seconds. A hair faster than some, but much slower than our top scorers. Why? Likely the dual hub system with two additional poles, several clips that are 6 feet in the air, and 13 stakes to pitch the tent fully. But in reality, pitching a 6-person tent in 10 min isn't that bad. We appreciate the color-coded poles and rainfly and that the bag is both organized and easy to carry.
After our initial setup, however, we realized that we might have been able to shave a few seconds off our pitch time (and a bit of frustration) had we realized that there are zippers in the ceiling to help reach the clips. This is a thoughtful addition.
This tent has a beefy floor made of 150-denier coated polyester oxford, a quality rainfly, 75-denier coated polyester taffeta, thick aluminum poles, and all of the seams are seam-sealed. Plus, the mesh is bugproof and proven to last. The Kingdom also comes with extra thick long poles and guylines with plastic tensioners. We just wish REI would stop making updates to these tents that are not backward compatible.
Huge wins for theKingdom in this category. Honestly, for a family who is only interested in car camping in fairly decent weather, this should be at the top of your list. It checks the boxes for air mattresses (a full and two twins), privacy, storage (22 pockets and a storage vestibule), quality, and price.
The floor is strong enough for dogs and kids, and setting up and tearing down will not ruin a relationship. About the negative here is the fact that should you be stuck in the rain, cooking in the vestibule will be very difficult.
Performance and price are both fairly high with the Kingdom. You get lots of space, quality materials, and good functionality for a higher-than-some but still very reasonable price.
For families and larger groups looking to get a spacious tent, the REI Kingdom 6 is a solid pick. You can expect comfort, quality, and great views on warm nights. Ease of use isn't the best in our lineup, but over time, that will likely get better. Likewise, this tent isn't ideal for especially wind-prone areas. But the pros of the Kingdom far outweigh the cons, and should this be your camping tent pick, you will not be disappointed --in fact, others might be envious.
— Rob Gaedtke