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REI Passage 2 Tent Review

Gear Review
REI Passage 2 Tent Review

REI Passage 2 Tent

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Best Buy

The REI Passage 2 is easy to set up with a spacious interior and separate doors and vestibules for each occupant. It's an awesome value for the price and durably built for many years of use.

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The REI Passage 2 is a comfortable two-person camping tent that’s ideal for car camping, base camping, and short backpacking trips. It has two doors and two giant vestibules with plenty of external gear storage. But what sets this tent apart from others is its internal livability. The tent interior can fit two 25 inch wide sleeping pads without breaking a sweat. Plus the Passage has six large interior storage pockets, including four in the ceiling and two in the sides, something that a lot of tent manufacturers make you pay extra for. Priced at $159, this tent is a great value and a real pleasure to use.

Specs at a Glance

  • People: 2
  • Doors/Vestibules: 3
  • Type: Double-wall, semi-freestanding (vestibules must be staked)
  • Minimum number of stakes required: 4
  • Inner tent dimensions: 88″ x 52″
  • Peak height: 40″
  • Minimum trail weight: 4 lbs 13 oz
  • Stakes: included
  • Tent Footprint: Not included
  • For complete specs

The REI Passage 2 is a two-person tent that it very easy to set up. The inner tent is suspended from two crossed aluminum tent poles by plastic hooks that lock into four corner grommets. You don’t have to stake out the four corners, but it does make setup much easier if you do and prevents the tent from blowing away in a breeze. Still, it’s nice to have the option of a freestanding inner tent if you need to pitch the tent or a very hard surface, like a rock ledge, or a very soft one, like beach sand.

The inner tent is freestanding with crossing aluminum poles that secure into corner grommets

The rain fly drapes over the inner tent to keep out moisture and increase privacy. The fly clips into the corner grommets, so no additional stakes are needed in the corners. This also makes it much easier for one person to set up, while your partner is taking care of additional camp chores.

The Passage 2 has two large vestibules covering the side doors, that require two stakes each to secure. The vestibules are quite deep and provide excellent rain coverage. You can also unzip just the upper half of the vestibule doors, like a door transom, to help vent the inner tent while keeping breezes from chilling you.  You can also store gear on both sides of the inner tent door since the vestibule has what amounts to two side wings. It’s a great combination of features that really improve utility and livability.

There is plenty of room to store gear in the vestibule without blocking door access

The interior of the Passage 2 is similarly well-appointed with four mesh pockets in the ceiling and two on the sidewalls for storing personal items, hanging a lamp/lantern, or just drying out your damp socks. There are also additional gear loops so you can hang a clothesline. A lot of tent companies try to nickel and dime you for add-on gear lofts with this kind of functionality, but it’s all part of the package with the Passage 2.

The REI Passage 2 is a spacious tent for two people

The interior dimensions of the Passage 2 are 88″ x 52″ which is truly rectangular without one tapered side. It can easily fit two 25″ wide sleeping pads plenty of length for tall occupants. The headroom is excellent and the tent has vertical side walls. provided plenty of internal room to move about in or sit up.

Comparable Budget Backpacking Tents

 DoorsWeightFootprintPrice
REI Passage 224 lbs 13 ozno$150
MSR Elixr 225 lbsincluded$249
Big Agnes Frying Pan SL 224 lbs 5 ozincluded$250
REI Half Dome Plus 224 lbs 14 ozno$229
The North Face Talus 224 lbs 8 ozincluded$199
Marmot Catalyst 224 lbs 11 ozincluded$169
Big Agnes Blacktail 224 lbs 8 ozincluded$240
Big Agnes C-Bar 213 lbs 9 ozno$199
NEMO Galaxi 2P25 lbs 1 ozincluded$200
The North Face Stormbreak 225 lbs 5 ozno$159

Recommendation

The REI Passage 2 Tent is a BEST BUY in my book and has quickly become my goto car camping tent when I want to a tent to crash in between day hikes on the road. I really like how easy it is to set up and all of the inside pockets, which make it easy to keep my glasses and electronics from getting crushed overnight. Weighing 4 lbs 13 oz, the Passage is definitely not an ultralight backpacking tent, but it is a great entry level beginner tent, basecamp, or couples tent for shorter trips if you want an affordable tent that is easy to use, durably built, and comfortable.

Disclosure: The author purchased this tent.

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7 comments

  1. I have the older version of this tent. I have used this for all the used you have described, as well as in the winter (gotta remember, I live in the S.E.)
    While I would not say it is bombproof, it would say it is close all guyed out.
    It is a heavy durable tent that is a great buy. I used to use it on short hops with the bsa. I think it is on sale for 99 bucks for the 4th. No I do not work for the company either.

  2. suitable for bike packing?

    • Maybe if you have panniers and pack the fly and inner tent separately. It’s not the most compact tent in the world, although it is smaller than most in the same class. For bikepacking, you really want tiny if you can get it. Like a flat tarp or a bivy sack.

      • thank you. perhaps i misspoke. extended multiday rides, such as bremerton to san fran, n.h to md., nh to lubec, nh to niagara falls. i have used just a bag and ground cloth but have not had to sleep through the night in rain, just ride in it.

  3. Mr Bryan Frankhauser

    It’s selling for $99 on the 4th of July special now.

  4. happyonthetrails

    our first tent, we share the weight when backpacking together. this thing has survived the heaviest all night/weekend downpours and kept us dry. and there’s plenty of room for 2 and gear with the big vestibules. we paid $99 on a big REI sale, and although we’ve moved onto a larger tent, its still used regularly by friends and family when they come along and i have to give high praise as well on quality and value on this tent.

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