[editors ’ choice update]
It wasn’t broken, but REI fixed it anyway. This longtime favorite—winner of both Editors’ Choice and Editors’ Choice Gold Awards—gets an update that proves the best can always get better. The improvement: ventilation-boosting changes that increase the space between the tent and fly and add two additional fly vents (for a total of four). The modifications increase the tent’s overall weight by two ounces, but testers deem it a fair price to pay for superior airflow: On 25°F nights in Utah’s Canyonlands, some condensation collected beneath the fly, but the interior walls stayed dry.
Space and layout remain unchanged, meaning the Half Dome is just as livable as it’s ever been. A 40-inch peak height and steep walls create outstanding headroom (the brow pole actually pushes the fabric beyond vertical, which keeps water from dripping off the fly and through the open door). The 32-square-foot floor amply accommodates two six-footers, and setup (using one hubbed pole) is uncomplicated. Stability is excellent: Our testers slept soundly through canyon gusts that failed to create so much as a flap or a rattle in this freestanding dome. And although it’s not the lightest two-person model on the market, it continues to earn top marks for its performance-to-price ratio. $189; 5 lbs. 2 oz.; rei.com
Our Crazy Tarps are some of the most useful and versatile pieces of gear ever made. Crazy Creek tarps provide excellent coverage anywhere, anytime that you need to shelter your cook area, gear storage, virtually anything you want to protect from the elements.
55 square foot coverage. Comes complete with guy lines, stakes and stuff sack.
70D coated ripstop nylon. Waterproof taped seams.