REI's entry in the 4-season mountaineering tent market. This is a 4-pole design and is designed to sleep 3. 2 doors, with a vestibule integrated into the rain fly. Click here for REI's product specifications on this tent.
NOTE: THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE 1992 MODEL OF THIS TENT
ANOTHER NOTE: when I first reviewed this tent, I gave it 3 starts and said some bad things about it. Since then, I bought a Sierra Designs Omega Tent, and have compared the two. In light of the comparison, I have revised the review more favorably.
I bought my REI Geo Mountain 3 back in 1992 and have used it on several Colorado mountains in winter, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Rainier, in addition to several backpacking trips. For the price, the tent has held up well. It is roomy and holds up to high winds very well.
Here are the downsides:
1) On the 1992 version, none of the seems were sealed, so I had to do it myself, which is not as good as factory sealed seems
2) The tent sleeves were made of this cheesy mesh material (like the stuff inside swim trunks). Numerous tears quickly appeared in the mesh, which meant that the poles would pop out of the sleeves each time I tried to push them through. The new design goes for a clip system, so this problem has been eliminated.
3) The poles were pretty feeble and eventually bent at the stress points. One of the pole sections cracked. I don't know if new versions use these same poles.
4) The 1992 version did not have an integrated vestibule. You had to buy a separate one and set it up. It was heavy and a pain to set up. New versions have an integarted vestibule.
The positive attributes:
1) The tent is built like a brick s$%@house and can withstand some pretty heavy wind.
2) The tent is relatively light for a 3-person, 4-season model.
3) It actually packs down to a pretty small size. Buy a separate stuff sack for the tent/fly and another store the poles seperately. This way, you can stuff the tent/fly into a 6X10 bag.
Other than these complaints, the tent was about $150-$200 than others in the market and functioned pretty well. I slept in it on two or three occassions were the wind was blowing between 20 and 50+ knots, but the tent held its shape pretty well. Considering the price, I will purchase a second one of these tents if they have addressed the above concerns.