REI Arete 2 ASL tent review and photos from the hike


Turbo Monkey
May 23, 2002
Bellingham, Washington ~ U.S.A.
For those who were interested in the review, sorry I'm a day late on posting this...

I left my house at about 4:50 PM on Sunday and got to the trailhead (just south of town on the freeway and up a gravel road) at 5:30. I hiked up 4-5 miles (I dont know the exact amount) to the lake where I was going to camp, which had about 2 inches of snow on frozen ground at that elevation. It only took me a few minutes to set up the tent by myself; it is really simple to set up, which is nice. After setting up (about 7:00) I hiked up to the top of the hill, on top of a 200+ foot cliff to catch the sunset and eat dinner.

Overnight it snowed and hailed a little bit, and was likely freezing or below (I lift my muddy and wet pants outside the tent in the vestibule and in the morning they were frozen - I had another pair anyway). As I said before, the tent is 60x90" and by myself was plenty big, and I'm sure that two people could fit inside to sleep comfortably enough. The tent stayed dry inside and the rain fly took all the moisture as it should. I'm not sure what else to say for a review, since it was really a simple overnight, but I think it is a great tent for one or two people and could be used in much worse conditions than I was in.

In the morning I ate some good oatmeal and left the lake all packed up by 8:00 or so, headed for the bat caves at the base of the cliff I had been on top of the previous night. I had to cross a sketchy and icy bridge on the way to the caves, and the rocks of the caves were all icy and I had to use a lot of caution to climb on them (didnt want to slip and fall, or worse, fall into an opening). After climbing on top of the rocks for a while I got my headlamp from my backpack and went into one of the caves. It ended up as a dead end, not connnecting to the other caves, but it was still a cool adventure about 30-40 feet below ground level, climbing down a very tight space.

After that I hiked down and was home by 12:30 on Monday.


My chosen campsite

Lake in the morning

Tent in the morning

Cliff that I took the sunset photos from the top of

Bat caves

Rocks and caves

Going down... to get an idea, that space is just big enough to crawl through.

Going back up

I can see the light

Yes, it was cold

Hey look, I found a rock.

Yes, you can bike on these trails too...

That's all, hope you liked it. If anyone has any specific questions about the tent, I can answer them more easily than I can think of them myself. :biggrin:


Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
I need to go there and camp with the family. That looks awesome.


Mar 29, 2006
I have been in the market for a new 2p tent. My old Kelty Vortex is getting a little worn out. Is it reasonably priced? Did you weigh it before you packed it? Does it pack up reasonably small?


gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
Sutton, MA
For 3 season also check out REI's new Quarterdome T3 tent. It got Backpacker Magazine's Editor's Choice Award and weighs in at under 4.5lbs. I was just checking it out in the store and it looks really nice and is well constructed with some nifty features.


Turbo Monkey
May 23, 2002
Bellingham, Washington ~ U.S.A.
ohh man, the bat caves...ive been itching to get back in those for a couple months now

thanks for the motivation to get in the woods with a pack this weekend
Thanks, and have fun!

Do you just venture off in the woods like this all the time, by yourself?
None of my friends do anything like this, so yeah, I'm usually on my own.

Is it reasonably priced? Did you weigh it before you packed it? Does it pack up reasonably small?
It sells regularly for $250. I haven't weighed it on my own yet, but the advertised weight is about 5 pounds, and yeah, it packs up pretty small. If I remember, I'll weigh and measure it tomorrow and post back here.

looks cold though
Yeah, but when you're hiking around with a pack, it feels pretty good. I had my sleeves on my fleece rolled up most of the time.