This REI Kingdom 8 Person Tent review is about a well-known 2-room freestanding 3-season tunnel tent with aluminum poles, a large vestibule, and 2 large doors.
Key features & benefits
- Freestanding tunnel type tent.
- Aluminum poles.
- 2 Doors.
- 1 Vestibule.
- 2 Rooms.
- 4 Roof vents.
- Many wall pockets.
What this is about
Currently, this is the largest tent that REI has to offer, and it is the largest in their Kingdom series. The tent is also under the name REI Co-op Kingdom 8 Tent, just to know, this is the same tent. But this is the new version of the tent. This celebrated series has been on the market for many years already. Note that there are many videos of the tent on YouTube, but some show the previous version so do not get confused.
The top picture above shows it under the fly, but to better understand its structure it is best to see it without the fly. The picture below reveals what you have here, and this includes a lot. So this is a fully freestanding construction, there are several poles and they have 12 points on the ground.
What makes it freestanding and self-supportive is the fact that you have the ridge pole that crosses the loop poles. The secret here is that there are two Y-shaped poles with 3-way hub elements, these poles connect to each other on the roof and create the mentioned ridge, while their other ends create legs that end up in the tent’s corners. You can see this in the picture below. But you also have no less than 4 loop poles, and they all create 6 cross points. This all together creates a very strong and stable construction.
So the tent is a tunnel-type stricture, and it is quite tall with its 75 inches (191 cm) peak height. This is a 2-room structure, you have a removable divider that can be positioned at different places to create rooms of different sizes. The divider attaches with toggles to the walls, and you have a central zipper.
The doors & the fly
You have already seen the picture without the fly above and you realize the tent is asymmetric, there are more mesh areas on one side. So it looks almost like a screen-room tent. But this asymmetry is even more obvious when you see its other side with the fly shown below.
So the fly covers all the tent except for the back door visible in the picture above. Now you understand also that the inner doors and the walls at two ends are vertical, but there is only one vestibule where you have 33.3 ft² (3.1 m²) of covered and protected space for gear and cooking.
The mentioned vestibule must be staked to be functional, there are three stakes for this. Its huge flap can be unzipped completely, or you can unzip either of its two halves. You can also roll the vestibule flap and fix it above the head.
As mentioned, the other side shown above is without the vestibule. You have a window on the door, it is double layer type with a mesh and with a zippered panel.
The tent’s doors can be unzipped almost all the way to the top and you can store them under the ceiling where you have mesh pockets for this purpose.
There are many pockets inside, and it is hard to find any tent that would match this. Above the floor all the way around the tent’s perimeter you have sewn-in mesh pouches for storage. In addition to this, there are also ceiling pockets on the sides.
This tent has a lot mesh on one side, and the whole ceiling is also mesh. You can see in the pictures above that they have added 4 roof vents. I find the design quite strange because the vents are completely on the top. From one side this is good because vapor can easily escape, but this is less good if you have side wind and rain combined.
What I dislike is the fact that the back door has mesh only on the upper portion. This is better on the door under the vestibule where the mesh goes to very low above the ground.
When the sky is clear you can increase ventilation because of some clever features in the fly’s design. There are several different options. The first is that you can roll the fly from one side all the way to the center and then fix it there. The second is that you can unclip the fly and roll it up and fix it high above the ground. But you can do this roll-up on one side only. In any of these setups you will have plenty of ventilation and airflow.
However, when it is raining, you have to keep everything closed except perhaps the vestibule that can be partly unzipped for extra airflow. But the tent has no floor vents, pity.
The tent’s frame is very similar to their Kingdom 6 Tent, only one extra pole is added. So you have 6 poles in total, and they use 6061 and 7001 aluminum with a diameter of 14.5 and 11 millimeters.
Two of the poles are hubbed Y-shape structures, they connect on the top and create the main ridge, and they also attach to the tent in the tent’s corners. The remaining 4 poles are simple loops that create the tunnel-shaped tent’s structure. Note that the pole’s attachment to the tent is through clips and sleeves.
The fabric & other stuff
The fly is a 75D coated polyester taffeta. They do not give any statement about its waterproof rating. The floor is a more durable 150D coated polyester Oxford bathtub design, and again no waterproof rating is given. You have a full set of quality stakes and guylines. So although the tent is fully freestanding, never miss staking it properly.
Here is a video with a happy family pitching this tent, have a look:
Who is it for
Regarding the area, this tent is large but let’s focus on the numbers. You have 104 ft² (9.7 m²) of the inner floored area and under the vestibule there is 33.3 ft² (3.1 m²). So the total protected space is 137 ft² (12.77 m²). Is this a lot? Well, yes and no.
The official capacity is 8 people, so you can indeed put 8 sleeping pads on the floor. This would give 17.2 ft² (1.6 m²) space per person. So this is quite a modest space, far from enough. It is best to downgrade the capacity to 5 people or so.
Regarding seasons & climate, this is a 3-season tent. You have seen how it looks without the fly, so there is a lot mesh and this is far better suited for a warmer than for a cooler climate.
The frame is very strong and with 6 intersection points, so it can withstand lots of pressure from any side. But the tent is very tall and long, a huge obstacle for the winds, so it is better to use the tent below the tree lines and avoid very windy open spaces.
Regarding the weight, the tent weighs 25 lb 4 oz (11.45 kg) so this is a heavy item. The packed size is 25.5 x 20.5 x 9.5 inches (65 x 52 x 24 cm), so no doubt you need a car for the transportation of such a tent.
- Official capacity: 8-person.
- Weight: 25 lb 4 oz (11.45 kg).
- Floor dimensions: 150 x 100 in (381 x 254 cm).
- Floor area: 104 ft² (9.7 m²).
- Vestibule area: 33.3 ft² (3.1 m²).
- Total protected space: 137 ft² (12.77 m²).
- Total protected space per person: 17.2 ft² (1.6 m²).
- Peak height: 75 in (191 cm).
- Packed size: 25.5 x 20.5 x 9.5 in (65 x 52 x 24 cm).
- Poles: aluminum.
There are two important elements:
- REI Co-op Kingdom 8 Footprint. It weighs 2 lb 1 oz (935 g).
- Kingdom Mud Room. This is a sort of a removable vestibule that can be added to the side without the integrated vestibule. It is pole-supported and it adds around 50 ft² (4.6 m²) of covered space.
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
In the summary of this REI Kingdom 8 Person Tent review, I wish to stress that this is a reliable tent from a renown brand. This is the latest version of the tent that has been on the market for a number of years. The tent is indeed large and it offers lots of space for users and their gear, but the official capacity is unrealistic. This is a car camping tent so you can simply ignore the rating for its weight and packed size. Fully recommended.
Please see how this tent stands against my specific rating criteria, the overall rating is quite high:
For more tents in this capacity group please check among Tents for 7/8 people, you will realize that some of them are much larger, some even have 4-5 rooms. You might want to bookmark this site and visit it again, this will keep you informed because we add texts here regularly. Thank you for reading.