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I have both the REI Base Camp 6 and the REI Wonderland 6, and in this article, I’ll go through all 17 key differences between these 2 tents. But first, here’s a quick summary:
The REI Wonderland is more suitable for fair weather and summer camping, because of the ample amount of mesh for hot days. On the other hand, the REI Base Camp is much more suitable for rainy weather and shoulder season camping, thanks to its full length rainfly, less mesh, and vestibules.
RELATED: Best 6-Person Tents
|Characteristics||Base Camp 6||Wonderland 6|
|Peak Height||73 inches||81 inches|
|Length||109 inches||120 inches|
|Width||109 inches||99 inches|
|Base Area||82.5 square feet||82.5 square feet|
|Door Height||62.5 inches||72.5 inches|
|Set Up Timing||17.5 minutes||19.5 minutes|
|No. of Vestibules||2||0|
|Vestibule Area||52.4 square feet||0|
|1-Hour Rain Test||Passed||Failed|
|Packed Size||28 x 13 x 9.5 inches||30 x 15 x 10 inches|
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Check out the REI Base Camp 6:
Or, check out the REI Wonderland 6:
Let’s first go through how the Wonderland did better than the Base Camp.
1. Peak Height
First, we have a much higher peak height in the Wonderland, coming in at about 81 inches, or almost 7 feet. This peak height was actually 3 inches taller than marketed, which is a huge thumbs up.
To reach the top of the tent, I have to not only stretch my arm upwards as much as I can, but I also have to stand on tiptoes at the same time.
I could also jump around, walk around on my mattresses, and even stretch my arms out too.
Base Camp 6
On the other hand, the Base Camp has a peak height of just 73 inches, or a whole 8 inches shorter than the Wonderland.
Not the tallest peak height I’ve seen, so I can easily reach the top of the tent by just raising my arm up. I don’t even have to stand on tiptoes.
2. Livable Space
On top of just having a higher peak height, the Wonderland also has a lot more livable space inside the tent. 2 reasons why.
First, I get the peak height, give or take a few inches, across the entire length of this Wonderland tent, which is cabin-shaped, and is super cool.
The height at the extreme left measured 77 inches, while the extreme right measured 76 inches, it’s so roomy I can stretch my arm upwards throughout the entire length of the tent.
And also, this is the second reason – with this Wonderland 6, these U-poles create extremely vertical side walls, especially the poles at the extreme right and left of this tent. (I call them U-poles because they look like an inverted U.)
In fact, I can press my body against the side wall of this tent, and stand completely upright against the wall, which basically shows you how vertical it is.
Base Camp 6
On the other hand, for the Base Camp, it’s not a cabin shape, it’s more of a dome shape, so just take note that the peak height is only at the center.
When I take 3 small steps away from the peak height, my head would touch the top of the tent right here.
And the height where my head touches the sides of the tent is about 61 inches.
3. Base Area
Both the Wonderland and the Base Camp have exactly the same base area, which is 82.5 square feet.
Queen Bed Sizing
But, the Base Camp could fit only 1 queen bed, while the Wonderland could fit 2 queen beds. Why, when they have the same base area?
Base Camp 6
Well, I measured the length of the Base Camp to be about 9 feet and 1 inch, and the width to also be 9 feet and 1 inch. This, is a square base area.
On the other hand, for the Wonderland, it has a length of 10 feet and a width of 8 feet 3 inches, which is a rectangular base area, which made it a lot easier to fit 2 queens.
But just bear in mind that after the 2 queen beds go into the tent, it can feel a bit tight after, and there’s not that much space to move around the tent after you put 2 queen beds in.
4. Door Quality
The quality of the doors on the Wonderland is also better than the doors on the Base Camp.
The Wonderland has 2 doors, one on the left, and the other on the right, and both are exactly the same. Both these doors are huge, measuring 66 inches in length, by 64 inches in width, and each door takes up almost the entire wall of the tent.
Also, each door measures about 72.5 inches from the ground to the top of the door. And since I’m only 5’3/160cm tall, I didn’t even have to duck when getting in and out of the tent.
Both doors of the Wonderland are completely snag-free, and I could unzip the door completely in just 3 seconds. In fact, I could do so completely one-handed, with no fumbling at all.
After that, all I had to do was just tuck the door fabric into one of the pockets next to the door, taking another 4 seconds to do so. Very quick and very user-friendly.
Base Camp 6
As for the Base Camp though, while it has 2 doors as well, each pretty big, measuring about 74 inches in length by 59 inches in width, these doors measure just 62.5 inches from the ground to the top of the door, so a whole 10 inches shorter than the Wonderland, and I had to tilt my head a little bit to get in and out of the tent.
I found unzipping the doors to be completely snag-free as well, with the same 3 to 4-second zipping experience. There are these above door pockets to stuff the fabric of the doors into, so very user-friendly as well.
However, here’s another difference. When I was zipping the doors up, I found that I sometimes had to use 2 hands to pull the zipper past this bend here, so not completely one-handed.
Unlike the Wonderland, this Base Camp doesn’t have extra stake loops at the bottom of the tent, under the door, so sometimes I had to use two hands to zip it up.
5. Room Divider
While the Wonderland comes with 1 room divider, allowing me to split the tent into 2 rooms, the Base Camp doesn’t come with any room divider.
I really quite liked the Wonderland’s divider, it has a zip in the middle so that I could easily access either room without having to take down the entire divider, the fabric isn’t too see-through, and also the gaps around the divider aren’t too big.
6. Ceiling Mesh
There’s also a lot more ceiling mesh on the Wonderland than on the Base Camp.
When I take the rainfly off the Wonderland, and I recommend doing so for sunny days, check out how much mesh there is on the top of this tent.
There’s an insane amount, the mesh doesn’t just cover only the roof, it extends down the sides of the tent as well, and I think easily more than half the tent is covered in mesh.
Base Camp 6
In the Base Camp though, it’s so different. With the rainfly off, there’s only a rather tiny skylight, which is nothing compared to the Wonderland.
7. Amount of Mesh
In fact, the overall amount of mesh in the Wonderland is just so much more than the Base Camp. Here’s what the Wonderland looks like from the outside, there’s just so much mesh.
Base Camp 6
On the other hand, here’s what the Base Camp looks like from the outside, it’s definitely made of more fabric and less mesh, for less hot day ventilation.
And now, let’s go through all the ways that the Base Camp beats the Wonderland.
8. Ease of Set Up
Set Up Timing
This isn’t a super huge difference, but the Base Camp takes 2 minutes less to set up than the Wonderland, they both come in at about 17.5 and 19.5 minutes respectively.
I think it’s because the Base Camp has a simpler dome tent set up, while the Wonderland has a very unique cabin tent set up, so it took slightly longer.
That’s basically my experience, cabin tents tend to take slightly longer to set up than dome tents.
A pretty big difference between the two tents is that the Base Camp has 2 vestibules, while the Wonderland has none, although you can buy this separate mud room if you’d like, but that’ll cost extra, of course.
Back to the Base Camp, the front vestibule has a base area of about 31.1 square feet, while the back vestibule has a base area of just 21.3 square feet, and altogether, this comes up to 52.4 square feet of vestibule area alone.
Base Camp 6
As for storage, the Base Camp has more than double the amount of storage that the Wonderland has.
It has a whopping 14 pockets all around the tent. Most of these pockets are pretty huge, and some of these pockets run all around the tent.
On top of that, there’s a mind-blowing 20 loops to hang tons of stuff from.
On the other hand, the Wonderland has 8 pockets in the tent, and 7 loops to hang stuff from.
And that’s only because I included 5 usable divider loops as well; I found that I could hang my lanterns up even with the divider in place.
But, if I don’t include these divider loops, the Wonderland would have only 2 loops, 1 loop over each door, like so. So, a lot less in terms of storage.
As for vents for ventilation, the Base Camp also has better options than the Wonderland.
Base Camp 6
In the Base Camp, there are 2 roof vents, and 2 floor vents, for a total of 4 vents.
What I really loved about the Base Camp is that I could open and shut these vents from the inside of the tent, which is one of the rare few tents that I have that could do that.
I find this really useful, especially when you’ve got horizontal rain coming into the tent.
On the other hand, with the Wonderland, there are these 2 above door vents, but these are the tiniest vents I’ve ever seen in my life, and I honestly didn’t feel like they helped very much at all, whether on rainy days or hot days, so I wouldn’t even consider them to be vents.
12. Rain Protection
The Base Camp is also much better when it comes to rain protection than the Wonderland.
Base Camp 6
The Base Camp is actually one of the rare few family camping tents I have with a full rainfly, and when I tested this tent through 1 hour of heavy rain, I found that the entire tent was still dry, and there was not a single drop of water inside the tent.
That’s because the rainfly provides almost full coverage protection from the rain, and it protects the inner tent really well.
In fact, notice that the water drips off the rainfly and onto the ground directly, without touching the inner tent body too much. This is how a full rainfly works in the rain.
As for the Wonderland, I put it through about 1 hour of heavy rain, followed by a few hours of light rain after, and I found that the divider loops at the bottom of the tent have started leaking water into the tent.
These divider loops are right at the bottom of the tent, and the rainfly doesn’t cover this part of the Wonderland at all, so it’s the most vulnerable seam to the heavy rain, for sure.
13. Seam Taping
I felt that the seam taping in the Wonderland was a little more thorough than the Base Camp though.
For example, all the flooring seams have been nicely and thoroughly taped, and so were the corner seams.
Also, here, you can see the outline of the rainfly from the inside of the tent. And I found that the general rule is that all the seams directly under the rainfly have not been taped, while the seams not covered by the rainfly have been taped.
The thing is, the divider loop here wasn’t seam taped, and that’s why it leaked.
Base Camp 6
As for the Base Camp, the flooring seams running the length of the tent have been nicely taped, and the corner seams of the flooring are also taped.
However, the rest of the seams are not taped, and only inverted, and that includes these flooring seams here.
And I think it’s because REI figured that a full rainfly would be able to protect these seams, and it does, but if you go through crazy rains and flooding, you will have to seal these seams yourself.
14. Wind Protection
Base Camp 6
For wind protection, I think the Base Camp has got the Wonderland beat because it’s more of a dome shape, and 4 of the provided poles intersect each other to create a much more secure tent.
I found that the Base Camp did pretty well in the light wind, better than your average budget-friendly dome tent with only 2 intersecting poles (like the Coleman Sundome 6), instead of 4 (like the Base Camp 6).
The Wonderland, on the other hand, doesn’t have any intersecting poles, and it’s more of a cabin shape with vertical side walls.
The profile is pretty big, and even though I didn’t camp in any more than light to moderate winds, almost half of my aluminum poles bent after a few weeks. This is one of them:
I didn’t have the same problem with the Base Camp.
Strangely enough, when it comes to the number of guylines, the Wonderland has 14 guylines, while the Base Camp has just 6 guylines, and I wish they put more on the Base Camp instead.
A couple of smaller points, the Base Camp is about 3 pounds lighter than the Wonderland, and these come in at about 20.6lbs. and 23.6lbs. respectively.
17. Packed Size
And also, the Wonderland’s packed size is about 30% bigger than the Base Camp, and here are the dimensions of both tents:
- REI Base Camp 6: 28 x 13 x 9.5 inches
- REI Wonderland 6: 30 x 15 x 10 inches
I think that’s because the Wonderland has more materials, and REI gave me a bigger stuff sack to pack everything up.
As for the Base Camp, it has slightly less materials, and a smaller stuff sack, so honestly it was a bit of a pain to pack up the Base Camp.
Overall, the Wonderland does much better when it comes to spaciousness and hot weather camping.
Recommendation #1: I would definitely recommend the REI Wonderland 6 if you love cabin tents and the livability inside your tents, and you camp in pretty much more fair weather than anything else.
I wouldn’t recommend the Wonderland though, if you expect heavy rains or any kind of wind, although it does really well in the light rain. I just don’t think this tent was meant for crazy weather.
Recommendation #2: That’s where the REI Base Camp 6 comes in, and it does a lot better in rainy weather for a couple of reasons.
First, the full rainfly, of course, which helped to keep the rain out.
Second, the extra vestibules, which is very useful to have when it comes to wet gear on rainy days.
Third, it has way more user-friendly vents than the Wonderland, which is great again for rainy weather.
Recommendation #3: The REI Base Camp 6 also does much better when it comes to shoulder season camping, because of the full rainfly and the less mesh, which helps to keep the heat in.
So, I think there are very distinct seasons and reasons why you’d pick either tent, and I hope this made your decision a little easier.
Bonus: Must Read!
However, for a more in-depth look at how the Wonderland and the Base Camp compare not just to each other, but to other 6-person tents in the market, check out this article right here where I spent more than $2,000 and 6 months testing seven different tents.
Or, check out the REI Base Camp 6:
Or, check out the REI Wonderland 6: