REI Kingdom 4 Review

  • Car Camper

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.

See the full REI Kingdom 4 review below.

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.
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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.

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Setting up the extremely large REI Kingdom 4.

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.

REI-Kingdom-4-Tent-with-rainfly-next-to-other-tent
The Kingdom 4 dwarfs other tents and takes up a significant amount of room in camp.

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.

REI-Kingdom-4-Tent-standing-tall
Standing proud in the REI Kingdom 4. The 6’3″ peak height makes for happy campers.

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.

Digging Deeper

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.

REI-Kingdom-4-Tent-door-stuff-pocket
Conveniently labeled “Door Stuff Pocket”, the Kingdom 4 has a special place for every last detail.

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.

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Yes, that’s a huge backpack containing the Kingdom 4. The tent comes in that case, which makes it easy to haul around camp.

Sleep Comfort

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.

REI-Kingdom-4-Tent-interior-pockets
The side pockets line the walls, allow you to have a separate space just for your stuff, and keep everything small off the floor.

Durability

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.

REI-Kingdom-4-Tent-review-pole-setup
The hub pole design lets you set up the frame of the tent, then you add in a couple ridge extenders. All fairly easy, but it’s big enough that it will usually take two people.

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.

Vibe

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.

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The Kingdom 4 without the rainfly. However you set this tent up, it feels like home.

Grievances

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.

Final Word

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.

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kara kieffer bio pic

Kara Kieffer

Kara grew up a grubby tomboy in Boulder, CO, where she spent most of her time outside collecting rocks in her pockets, much to her mother's chagrin. Now, as a Los Angeles based art director and writer she still loves being outside and exploring every chance she gets. On any given weekend, you can find her backpacking, hiking, or running ridiculous distances up and down mountains. You can follow her blog, Wild Country Found, or check out her personal website for more information.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.