REI Kingdom 4 Overview
Unpacking the REI Kingdom 4 tent felt less like setting up camp, and more like laying siege to our campground. From the moderately-sized backpack (which the tent packs into) exploded yards of heavy-duty poles, a massive footprint, and a rain fly the size of an industrial fumigation tent.
By the time the entire thing was erect — a process that took a surprisingly short time given its size — it looked like our tent was going to eat the other tents nearby. It was awesome in the most literal sense of the word — its size and height inspired a hushed awe across the campground. I don’t like to think of camping as a competitive activity, but we were definitely winning.
We’re recommending the REI Kingdom 4 tent as the Premium Pick for the Car Camper because of its spacious interior, feature-filled design, and durable construction.
REI Kingdom 4 Star Rating
The REI Kingdom 4 is worthy of the name — the tent is massive. With ample room to stand, and space for four typical camp mattresses side by side, four people can truly fit comfortably in this tent. Pockets line the walls and the extra large door allows easy entry and exit. The open mesh top allows for star-gazing in good climate, and the full vestibule coverage keeps you dry in inclement weather.
It does take two to set up, but one person would never need this tent to sleep in. It’s heavy, meant to be hauled by car, and will be the centerpiece of your campsite.
See the full REI Kingdom 4 review below, and where the tent places on our best 4 person tent list!
Update: We tested this tent in 2017, and it received a significant update in 2019. The new Kingdom 4 has been revamped for easier setup with a slightly different pole design, and has better stability due to a more rounded structure. The vestibule can be used as a single or double door, and there are vents along the top of the rainfly for breathability. The weight is the same, as is the general size. Overall we think these improvements are solid, and still recommend this tent!
REI Kingdom 4 Specifications
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What This Means|
|Packed Weight||18 lbs. 8 oz. (8.39 kg)||In a word: heavy. You won’t want to lug this far, so park close to your camp spot. It packs into a convenient backpack so you can carry it easily.|
|Type||Freestanding||Most car camping tents are freestanding, which means they don’t require staking or tying off to create tension. You can put this tent anywhere that has enough room.|
|No. of Doors||2||Two huge doors on both ends of this tent. This allows for easy entry and exit.|
|Sleeping Capacity||4-person||Unlike most theoretical 4-person tents that really fit two people and their stuff, the Kingdom 4 fits four full grown adults. It’s massive.|
|Seasons||3-season||While this tent isn’t specifically built for winter, you could use it in a pinch. It is a high tent though, so not the best in heavy winds.|
|Packed Size||25.5 x 8.5 x 15 in. (65 x 22 x 38 cm)||A very large pack size in the shape of a backpack, which makes for easy hauling and pack-up time.|
|Floor Dimensions||100 x 100 in. (254 x 254 cm)||It’s a giant square.|
|Floor Area||69.4 square feet||This floor space is massive, and has at least a few square feet up over most comparable tents.|
|Peak Height||6 ft. 3 in. (190.5 cm)||If you’re shorter than six feet three inches you can stand erect in this tent. Pretty awesome.|
|No. of Vestibules||1||The Kingdom 4’s rain fly is equipped with one vestibule, which means the rainfly comes down off one of the doors. This creates a nice mat area for storing shoes and other gear.|
|Vestibule Area||29 square feet||This is a decently large vestibule space. You can easily store all four people’s shoes and any other small extras, not to mention what you can already store in the tent.|
|No. of Poles||2 hubbed pole sets + 1 crossover pole||The pole system is a bit complex at first, but simple once you get the hang of it. You set it up in stages, and it does take two people to do it (for most people).|
|Pole Material||6061 Aluminum / 7001 Aluminum||REI uses high quality aluminum poles for this tent. They aren’t the lightest or most high-end, but they won’t snap easily.|
|No. of Interior Pockets||4+||The Kingdom 4 has deluxe pockets. They span the entire length of both walls, and can store pretty much anything you need. There are also top pockets for storing the door material when not in use.|
|Rain Fly Material||75D coated polyester taffeta||A solid material thickness for a rain fly. It’s durable and will last.|
|Floor Material||150D coated polyester||A solid material thickness for the floor. Can take a beating.|
|Mesh/Body Material||40D nylon mesh / 75D nylon||The mesh is a standard material thickness, and the solid material is the same thickness as the rainfly. All around good construction.|
|Footprint||Kingdom 4 Footprint, $49.95||You can purchase a separate footprint from REI. It’s not necessary, especially given the thickness of the tent’s floor material, but will help longevity.|
|Included||Backpack carry bag with pockets for poles and stakes, along with 8 stakes, 6 guylines with tighteners and a pole repair tube||Comes with everything you need to set up immediately. The tent stakes aren’t the best, but will work.|
|Manufacturer Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty||All REI products have a limited lifetime warranty that covers defects in materials or workmanship. You can also return a product one year after purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.|
|Retail Price||$389||The Kingdom 4 is not cheap. It’s a deluxe palace fit for a family, and you’ll get what you pay for.|
Gear Review of the REI Kingdom 4
Origins: Easing You In
I took the REI Kingdom 4 tent on a local car camping trip to the San Gabriel Mountains, just an hour outside of downtown Los Angeles. My boyfriend and I would be introducing several of our friends to their first-ever adult camping experience with a relaxing weekend spent outdoors doing a whole lot of nothing.
My instinct to set up the tent as soon as we arrived proved to be a smart move, as the REI Kingdom 4’s massive footprint requires some forethought in camp site selection. You’ll need a space about the size of a car.
As our friends started to arrive, the general reaction to the REI Kingdom 4 was impressed, but chill. No need in exclaiming over a tent, right? Except the couple we’d be sharing the tent with gave off a decidedly smug sense of superiority. That sort of thing only comes from getting to spend your first camping trip in a palatial mansion tent.
Revelation: The Moment I Knew
The moment I knew the REI Kingdom 4 tent was a remarkable product was when I saw my boyfriend standing inside of it. A full grown man, standing up, without having to stoop inside the tent. Just let that sink in.
With more than six feet of vertical clearance at its peak and close to 70 square feet of floor space, the REI Kingdom 4 is ready to accommodate almost any activity, from sleeping four grown adults to boardgames with the kids.
For a tent this size, the Kingdom 4 is very user-friendly, providing ample space and storage without the features feeling overly complex or redundant.
One of my favorite aspects of this tent is how the door flap tucks away into a dedicated pocket above the door. It’s these simple, yet useful design elements that show REI put real thought into building this thing.
The rain fly vestibule and side walls roll up and out of the way, decreasing the tent’s footprint when there are groups around, and letting in additional airflow. And the tent even packs away into a backpack to make getting from your car to your campsite easier.
Sleep Comfort and Space
I’ll be the first to admit that I was apprehensive about fitting four grown adults into a single tent, especially with people who hadn’t slept outside since childhood. The REI Kingdom 4 is one of the few four man tents that comfortably accommodates four people, and it has enough side pockets to hold everyone’s small items, too.
After we’d set up our tent and sleeping bags, but before our friends arrived, the REI Kingdom 4 looked strangely empty with only two people’s gear inside it. Yet, once all four of us had set up, it hardly looked any more crowded. The Kingdom 4 (as a kingdom should be) is huge!
The Kingdom 4 boasts a width and depth of eight feet four inches, providing more than enough room to comfortably fit four sleeping pads side to side. The ample side pockets keep all of your small items out from under foot, and the large door that stretches nearly the width of the tent means that you won’t be climbing over your tent mates during a midnight bathroom trip.
While unpacking the REI Kingdom 4, both my boyfriend and I noticed how thick and durable the fabric is. The floor is constructed of 150D coated polyester. Even the simple pole system that supports this massive tent feels sturdy and more than up to the task.
Ease of Setup
As we discovered, this tent really requires two people to set up. It does not require the use of instructions.
The pole design feels overwhelming at first, mostly because of the size of the tent. But the REI Kingdom 4 uses elastic cord to keep the tent poles attached even during storage, so assembly was surprisingly fast for a tent this size. All the poles snapped together easily, and the fly draped over the frame without hassle.
The REI Kingdom 4 is large and in charge, and it certainly felt like the centerpiece of our campsite. This tent also strikes me as incredibly family friendly, with a height that will accommodate most standing adults, and enough floor space to fit a family of four, their furry friend, and whatever board game du jour the youth are playing these days.
There was really only one issue I took with the REI Kingdom 4 tent.
The durable fabric had a strong smell of plastic that lingered even after 12 hours of being set up. I’m certain that this odor will dissipate with time, but I would encourage new owners of the REI Kingdom 4 to allow the tent to air out for a day or so before taking it on your first adventure.
Yes, to be clear, my only issue was the “brand new tent” smell. And maybe the price — it’s not a budget tent by any means. But in this case you get what you’re paying for.
The REI Kingdom 4 is a palace of a tent with enough room for four adults, board games, and bedtime stories. It’s also guaranteed to make your camp neighbors jealous.
Where to Buy REI Kingdom 4
We tested the REI Kingdom 4 tent. There is only one version by that name. REI also makes the Kingdom 6 and Kingdom 8, which are both larger than the Kingdom 4, and generally named to fit the number of people inside.
The Kingdom 6 is an excellent tent, and one we recommend if you need to size up. It has two entirely separate areas with a divider in the middle, so a family can get separate rooms, or you can have a waterproof room and a star-gazing room. The Kingdom 8 is massive, and really meant for huge families or groups.
REI also makes the Kingdom Garage, which is a separate extension piece to any Kingdom tent. It creates a very large vestibule area off one end of the tent, where one can store a table for cooking, have chairs for relaxing, or whatever suits your fancy. The Garage can be closed against the rain, or opened for chilling. It’s a handy attachment.
See the Kingdom 4, 6, 8, and Garage prices below.
One response to “REI Kingdom 4 Review”
lovey dovey this tenty wenty!