Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 vs. Rei Kingdom 8

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 vs. Rei Kingdom 8

INTRODUCTION:

A good camping tent really matters when it comes to vacationing outdoors. No one would want to be poured on in the dead of the night, while you run around for refuge to the nearby trees, especially if you have got a few members of family with you. Camping under the open sky is fun only if you are protected from the bad weather and wild animals and insects.

Camping is a fun and enjoyable activity, which deepens the bond with your family or friends. So, you should try to make it as pleasant and relaxing as possible. Of course, there is only so much you can control while you are out there on your own, but you can still take some measures that will ensure you a pleasant experience. For example, you can select the tents made of high-quality material. Only go for waterproof and windproof tents that are known for their reliability.

If you are not sure that you can choose a good tent on your own then we are here to help. In this article, we have compared two popular camping tents that are suitable for 8 people. That is what the 8 stands for in their names.

Features

The market for camping tents is huge. If you start looking for it, you will come across hundreds and thousands of products. While it means that there would be a lot of variety it also means that it would be confusing to select the final product. That is why we have selected a few features that are important in every camping tent and reviewed our products keeping those in mind. Those features are as follows:

  • Tent Setup
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Ventilation
  • Durability
  • Space
  • Affordability

Now we are going discuss all of these features in detail and find out why they are important and why you should make your decision based on them.

Tent Setup

When it comes to big tents, what you should first think about is the setup. To put it simply, it should be easy to setup. If it takes you more than 30 minutes then you should probably think about buying a tent that is easy to setup. You may think that 30 minutes is not that long, but don’t be so hasty in making that assumption. When you are tired from the day long walking and hiking even 10 minutes will feel long to you.

Also, you can never be sure when it rains. If you can’t easily set your tent up, you along with your family will get wet and cold. Every tent should be easy to setup and it shouldn’t require more than 3 people to complete the process. Some manufacturers make setting up easy by making color coded and reflective poles and guylines that glow in the dark. This makes sure that you can setup your tent even if it gets dark.

Waterproof and Windproof

If you are going to spend a night out in the wild, you need a tent that is waterproof. So that while you are not harshly pulled out by the cold rain from the dreamland in middle of the night. We don’t even need to tell you how important it is for your tent to be waterproof.

Always go for tents that have sealed seams. Sealed seams are not only necessary in the rainfly and the canopy, but also the floor. Guess where the rains goes when it pours down the rainfly. You are right, it goes down to the earth where your tent rests.

So, if your tent floor is not made with right material and is not properly sealed even if you are protected from above the water will sweep in from below in to the floor where you are lying.

Also, it is necessary for the tent to be able to weather bit of the strong wind. Buy tents that have strong poles made of aluminum or another strong alloy. They shouldn’t bend or break easily. 

Ventilation

As important as it is for your tent to be weatherproof, it is also essential for it be breathable. That is only possible if the tent has rainflies, windows and more than one door. Rainflies are important even in the damp weather. They ensure that condensation doesn’t happen. Condensation can make a dry tent wet.

Windows and doors with mesh cover let in fresh air in without allowing mosquitos and other insects. This way you can rest in the comfort of your tent enjoying the fresh air. Most tents have a mesh cover and some other fabric as a canopy, which is covered by the waterproof rainfly. Those tents are even more breathable. 

Durability

When you are out in the open with your children and other family members, you solely rely on your tent for cover. It is your temporary home. So, of course it should be durable enough to last for a few trips. If your tent is made with good quality materials then there is a good chance that it will last for while if you take care of it and store it properly. The more water resistant and windproof it is the more durable your tent will be. Because that means the manufacturer paid extra attention to the quality of the material.

Space

If you are reading this review then that means that you are interested in buying a big tent. You must be looking for space in the tent. The bigger the floor space of the tent the better. You can place your essentials and bags in one side and use the rest for sitting and sleeping.

Most of the big tents offer the feature of vestibules. Vestibules are a good addition in your tent. You can get imaginative and use this extra little space for so many things. You can place your wet boots, coats or socks in there to dry. You can cook here or watch the drizzle from nearby while you sip on your coffee or tea. You can even set it up to make shade in the warm days. Or if you think that inside the tent is cramped you can even place your luggage in the vestibule and make room inside.

Affordability

No matter how great a product is if it is out of your reach money-wise then it is no good of a use to you. There should be a good balance between the product’s quality, features and its price.

Best 8-person Tent Reviews

This article makes a comparison between the two best 8-person tents: Big Agnes Diamond 8 and Rei Kingdom 8.

Big Agnes Diamond 8

Big Agnes Diamond 8

If it is space that you wanted in your family size tent then Big Agnes provides plenty of it with its large floor space. It will give your family all the protection and space that they need. It is well ventilated with its double closing doors, windows and rainflies. It protects against rain and wind with its durable and strong canopy and rainfly. It will stay intact for multiple future adventures of yours with your family and friends.

It has a packed size (L X W) 8 X 27 inches and weight of 27 Lbs. Its peak height reaches 6 feet. It can stand pretty firmly despite its lightweight with just 6 poles. It comes with 12 mesh pockets and several gear lofts. It comes with 20 aluminum hook stakes for more storage options.

Pros

  • It offers a lot of space.
  • It is easy to setup.
  • It has double closing system for doors.
  • It is highly weatherproof and durable.

Cons

  • It is expensive.

Tent Setup

By now you will know this, but this tent is huge. It would be difficult to set it up by yourself. So, to make the process easier for you Big Agnes has attached the pole sleeves and plastic clips to the pole frame. The webbing and the buckles are also color coded. This will definitely cut the setup time by at least 20 minutes. The guylines are reflective so that there is night time visibility. You can complete the setup in less than 20 minutes with 2 people helping you.

Waterproof and Windproof

Big Agnes doesn’t kid when it comes to weatherproofing its tents. The floor fabric of this tent is coated polyester. It is sealed at the seams with solvent-free polyurethane tape. The fabric of the canopy is ripstop polyester which lies above the nylon mesh. The rainfly covering the canopy is made with coated ripstop polyester. It won’t let in even a drop of rain inside.

This tent comes with 4 aluminum poles that are at least 11 to 13 mm thick. They are strong and won’t bend even in the face of strongest winds. That might not be completely true, but that they are strong enough to put up a good fight. It is rated as 3 to 4 season tent so it will keep dry and warm in cold weather and comfortable in the warmer days.

Ventilation

This tent has one big door which double closing system and a small door at the back. There are also mesh windows in the canopy to let in fresh air. There are multiple rainflies in the canopy as well to prevent condensation. All of these openings will ensure enough ventilation both for winters and summers.

Durability

As we already said this tent is made with coated polyester and nylon. The poles other accessories are also made with high quality materials. This tent is at least 1200 mm waterproof. This means that the tent is strong. It will last for a while.

Space

This tent wins when it comes to providing more space. The floor space of this tent is 112 sq ft. As we said earlier it offers about 6 ft peak height, which is enough for you to move around. It has two vestibules. The vestibule space of the tent is 35 sq ft.

Affordability: We have got to put it out there, this tent is expensive. But we think that the features and quality that it offers is worth it. It is lightweight for a family tent, easy to setup, weatherproof and breathable. It comes with a briefcase style bag that has a long shoulder strap and some pockets. The footprint is sold separately.

Rei Kingdom 8

Rei Kingdom 8

Rei Kingdom tent is roomy and high-quality family tent. It comes with a room divider, a highly waterproof rainfly and some other add-on options. This tent is lightweight and supple, but it stands firm on the ground in the face of strong winds. It is made with durable and strong polyester and nylon taffeta. It has sealed seams and comes with durable and thick aluminum poles. It will keep you and your tent buddies comfortable and warm in the middle of wherever it is that you have ventured.

The peak height of this tent reaches 6 ft 5 in. The packed size (L X W X H) of this tent is 25 X 17 X 9.5 inches. It offers vestibules and plenty of storage options. The footprint is sold separately.

Pros

  • It is comparatively affordable.
  • It is easy to setup with instructions provided on the bag.
  • It is made with high quality nylon and polyester.
  • It provides great weather protection.

Cons

  • It feels cramped for 8 people.
  • It is not available on Amazon.

Tent Setup

This tent is not hard to setup at all. It comes with two hubbed poles and two crossover poles. All that you have to do is follow the instructions on the carrying bag of the tent that comes with it. You have to connect the Y-shaped hubbed poles together. Then you have to insert the corner pole ends in other four corners. This will lift the body of the tent. The rest of the poles go over the top of tent. All the things needed in setting up the tent are color coded with black and orange tabs. Some people did complain that they never found the tabs. For that reason, only we think that it’s be best to try pitching the tent you home yard first.

Waterproof and Windproof

This tent has coated nylon oxford fabric with sealed seams for floor. The fabric of the canopy is nylon taffeta. The rainfly is made with coated polyester taffeta. It will make sure that no rain comes in. It comes with 6 guylines with tighteners and 8 stakes.

They will help plant your tent firmly in the tent. It will be able to face strong winds and rains. It comes with 4 poles which will not let your tent crumble to the ground.

Ventilation

This tent has 3 large doors that are protected against bugs. It also has 4 zipper sliders which will improve the breathability of the tent. It also a weather protective awing which prevents condensation from forming whenever it’s damp outside. It might be okay in winters, but if in summers it feels stuffy you can just sleep with the mesh panel zipped close.

Durability

Rei has done a good job with this tent; its weather protection alone makes it a grade above some of the expensive options out there. It is made with high quality material and is also constructed very well. Its sealed seams will keep you dry and warm in all kinds of weather conditions.

The hooped shape of the tunnel does make it a bit less stable due to its unique shape. You can double guy the rainfly by adding more guylines to the attachments on it. If you properly use it and store it, it will probably last you for years.

Space

This tent is recommended for 8 people, but it would probably get uncomfortable. If you and your buddy campers can sleep in cramped spaces then it’d be a great option. If one of you likes to toss and turn then they’d probably be uneasy in this. The floor space of this tent is 104 sq ft, which is less than what Big Agnes offers.

Other than that, this tent has vestibules with area of 33.3 ft. It is also less compared to Big Agnes. But the peak height of this tent is 5 inches higher than what Big Agnes offers.

Affordability: This tent is cheaper than Big Agnes, but some would still consider it expensive. It does lack in a few areas where Big Agnes excels, but most of the campers might be okay with it. For example, its space is a bit cramped and there not as many storage options. Also, its setup is not as easy as is Big Agnes’s. It comes with a backpack, pole repair tube and pole and stake bags. The footprint is sold separately.

1.  Can I fit maximum number of people in my tent?

The maximum number of people that the manufacturer says can fit in their tent is mainly for advertisement purposes. If you put your sleeping bags, mats and bags inside the tent there is a good chance that you won’t be able to cram the maximum number of people that the manufacturer suggests.

2.  Can I use the tent stakes that come with my tent?

If your tent stakes are made with plastic or even aluminum they will break or bend easily in the face of strong winds. They might even break if you hammer them in the ground. So, you’d be less frustrated if you buy some sturdy stakes that can take the abuse of hammering and the force of strong winds.

3.  Are the Big Agnes 8 and Rei Kingdom 8 suitable for hiking?

No, they are family size tents. They are big and very heavy. You will not be able to hike with them. The best thing that you can do is carry it around in the trunk of your car.

4.  Can I use these tents in snow?

If you are out camping and it starts snowing then, yes, you can use them. But you should avoid using them in the snow. They are mostly 3-season tents and not suitable for very cold weather.

5.  How do I make my tent waterproof?

Both of the tent that we mentioned here are reliably waterproof. But just for the sake of this question there are a few things that you can do to make your tent waterproof.

  • Use silicone seam sealer
  • Use nylon patches for mending patches or tears
  • Use spray coating for increasing the waterproofness of your tent

Conclusion

Tents are necessary if you want to camp out alone or with your family. It is better to take one big tent rather than carrying multiple tents. In this article we have reviewed two tents from respectable brands. Big Agnes shines when it comes to providing ample space, lots of storage options, good weather protection and ease of setup. But Rei Kingdom 8 provides great weather protection in less price as compared to its competitor. However, it is not that easy to setup and it does feel a bit cramped for 8 people. Both of these tents are great options for families who want to experience the outside world.

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