The REI Co-op Kingdom 8 is a prime example of a high-quality, large capacity tent that easily outclasses most tents in this price range and this size bracket. It falls short when put head to head with brands like Big Agnes, but more on that later. For the size of this model we find it super budget-friendly and has some advantages over other 8-person tents. Actually, in many ways, this is slowly becoming the go-to tent for most families.
The Kingdom 8 had a redesign in 2017 which still selling like hotcakes. The new model has some new features added to it but that doesn’t mean that the old one is no good anymore. In fact, you can see people still using it after countless camping seasons with no issues whatsoever. That is a true testament to the quality of these tents.
Our Verdict: The Co-Op Kingdom is a great extra-large tent that’s designed to easily accommodate up to eight people, plus your gear. The design itself is very well thought out and includes plenty of storage options that will keep you and the entire family organized. In terms of camping conditions, this tent will work well for camping in the spring and summer months. It features top of the line protection against rain and provides more than enough space inside to allow you to freely move around. The tent does tend to struggle in high wind conditions, which is something you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re planning out a trip in the backcountry. Overall, the spacious design, easy setup, and rainfly make this model well worth the price.
Keep on reading to learn more about this leading tent by REI.
Product Overview And Features
Any hiking or camping enthusiast is familiar with the name REI. It’s a name that’s often associated with quality, durability, and top of the line camping and hiking gear. Their latest extra-large tent can accommodate up to eight people and features a waterproof design, built-in vestibule, and a rainfly that make this tent a great choice in rainy weather.
The tent’s large interior is a huge selling point for families who prefer to set up camp a permanent camp, anyone who normally brings along a ton of camping gear, and large families in search of a budget-friendly tent that offers plenty of extra room.
There is one thing you cannot do in the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 and that is Walk around in it! The Kingdom 8 is huge by all definitions of this word. The straight-walled, but still curved and hooped tunnel-like design allows for room for countless activities inside. The floor is made of 4-oz oxford nylon which means that you can walk on it but if you want to keep your tent for a while longer, never do so with your outside shoes on.
Considering the tent’s size, it’s not a tent you would want to have to haul with you on a long hiking trip, but if you and your family often set up a permanent base, this model by REI will give you a little taste of home while you’re out and about hiking, fishing, hunting, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Weather Resistance Properties
This tent is high wind capable but only if you guy it out well enough. With tents you usually always sacrifice a certain benefit to lose some practicality in another aspect. In this case, you sacrificed the wind drag of the tent for its wide interior space. It isn’t stable unless you guy it out really, really well in many places.
Still, remember that REI advertises their own tent as a campground. By no means it is alpine ready. A three-seasons tent at best. If the winds reach gale force, pack up and head for your car. Do not push your luck.
In the Flying Diamond 8 wind won’t be any of your concerns since the tent has a well-rounded igloo shape and it sheds the wind by making it move around the tent smoothly without rocking the tent. On the other hand, there you sacrifice head room and overall mobility inside the tent itself. So basically your choices boil down to the most common camping locations you pick and your favorite camping season. Both tents have a rainfly that almost touches the ground so you can expect amazing water protection from both of them.
If you want to check out some tents which can handle some bad weather, go to our full Buyer’s Guide. There you will find our top 5 selection for this year’s best instant tents.
Once again, this tent might be fifth on our list, but nothing beats it when it comes to interior space. Compared to other tents such as the Flying Diamond 8, this is a decisive winner. There are two rooms inside which comfortably fit four people each, giving them around 30 inches of width. That is enough for the average air mattress and more than enough for sleeping bags. Plus, you’ll still have plenty of space in each of the rooms to store and organize your gear.
The biggest difference becomes obvious when you stand up, though. The head space in this tent is unbelievable and makes it the best in this class when it comes to internal volume. A true campsite gathering hall, in our opinion.
Set Up Versatility
Once you set up the body of the tent, you can have the rainfly entirely off for the best ventilation (in the summer). You actually have a ton of options only with this rainfly. You can lift up only its sides, or lift up one side, or remove it entirely, or just lift it up slightly. It really makes for a great variety of possibilities. There are even garage sections which are sold separately specifically designed for this tent. All these possibilities make this model a true campsite chateau!
This model offers a solid performance in wet weather conditions. The included rainfly offers much-needed protection from the rain, providing ultimate coverage and sealed seams that will prevent leaks. Unfortunately, only one side of the tent will be protected by the vestibule and rainfly, while the other side of the tent will have just partial coverage from the awning. However, on the awning side of the tent the manufacturer has reinforced the weatherproofing on the door, which helps to combat moisture. The tent’s double-wall design combined with the mesh that’s strategically placed throughout the tent can help to minimize moisture, but when you’re dealing with wind and rain, you’ll be forced to hunker down. During this time, once the door is zipped moisture can be a problem.
When you attach the rainfly and drop it down to its full extent, the ventilation of the tent is quite poor. Of course, you can roll the rainfly as high as you want and even expose one of the tent’s sides making it a screen house. Still, ventilation won’t be your problem unless you camp in a very hot and/or humid areas. There are two windows but they simply don’t cut it if there are a lot of people inside the tent.
Keeping You Organized in the Backcountry
When you’re camping with a large group, it can be all too easy to mispalce important camping equipment or get your gear mixed up. REI has thought ahead and equipped this tent with some storage space that will make it a little easier for you to stay organized when the tent is at full capacity.
If you’re someone who likes to stay organized at all times, then you’ll appreciate the included mesh pockets that run along the interior of the tent on both sides. This allows you to store your gear and supplies in a manner that makes them easily accessible.
The size and storage options available with this model really make it one of the best choices on the market for the camper in search of a tent that’s designed with space and comfort in mind.
- Huge interior space
- Can be set up in a variety of ways
- Multiple storage options
- Comfortable enough even when 8 people are inside
- Lots of doors and windows allowing for good ventilation
- Quality materials all around
- Seams are sealed with a waterproof polyester rainfly
- Isn’t great in windy conditions
- Quite heavy to carry around