I’ve owned two tents in my life, and the first wasn’t until I was 24-years old. Growing up in Alaska we didn’t really use tents, but that’s another story. The first tent was a cheap $30 job that lasted two trips until the zipper broke. I learned my lesson, did some research and found the Half Dome at REI.
It’s a 2-man tent, but two people would be a little snug. It’s perfect for one person but could fit one plus a significant other pretty cozily.
It’s light weight, packs down nicely and is durable which is the baseline standard. Putting the tent together is easy. The poles are all attached by an inner band and a center hub makes the whole thing one piece which breaks back down easily. So set up literally takes seconds and tear-down is even faster. I was a little worried at the beginning that the band wouldn’t hold up, but it’s held up fine.
As far as features, this thing has all the practical features you need. Adjustments can be made on the rain fly to increase air-flow and keep rain off. Flaps at the top can be propped open to increase circulation during the summer.
I could go out and spend hundreds of dollars on an upgrade, but all I do in the tent is read and sleep. This tent does everything I need it to and until it fails (which I doubt it will do anytime soon) I am not in the market for a new one. The new Half Dome 2 has a few tweaks, but is priced right where I got my original, so it’s probably an even better deal.