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Rating and Summary
The REI Wonderland 6 is easily the most spacious cabin tent that I’ve ever seen in all my years of gear testing. The peak height spans the entire length of the tent, the walls are completely vertical, and this is just the start of the pros. There are so many others that I’ve got to show you in this post.
However, like all other cabin tents, I wouldn’t recommend using this tent if you’re expecting strong winds and heavy rain. It works perfectly well in light wind and light rain though.
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Check out the REI Wonderland 6:
- Rating and Summary
- Product Details
- Testing and Performance
- 1. Set Up
- 2. Pack Away
- 3. Base Area
- 4. Single Pad Sizing
- 5. Queen Bed Sizing
- 6. Room Divider
- 7. Center Height
- 8. Right & Left Height
- 9. Tent Shape
- 10. Side Walls
- 11. Wind Protection
- 12. Awnings
- 13. Doors
- 14. Windows
- 15. Hot Day Ventilation
- 16. Storage
- 17. Rain Test
- 18. Window Ventilation
- 19. Rainfly Ventilation
- 20. Vents
- 21. Materials Used
- 22. Pole Quality
- 23. Seam Quality
- 24. Seam Taping
- 25. Portability
- Pros and Cons
- Bonus: Must Read!
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought this Wonderland Tent in a 6-person version, you can only get it from REI, so that’s where I got mine from.
Here’s what the outer cardboard packaging looked like directly from REI:
In the Box
After unboxing this REI Wonderland, here’s everything that I found in the box.
First up, I got a black carry bag that held everything (not pictured below), the tent body, a room divider, a green rainfly, poles in a separate carry bag, plus stakes and guylines in another smaller carry bag.
I also took all the poles, stakes and guylines out of their carry bags, and basically, I got these 5 poles, 18 stakes, and 8 red guylines.
Here’s all the data that you might need on the REI Wonderland 6:
- Peak height: 81 inches
- Right height: 76 inches
- Left height: 77 inches
- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 8 feet 3 inches
- Base Area: 82.5 square feet
- Floor material: 150D polyester
- Bathtub flooring: No
- Tent body material: 75D polyester
- Rainfly material: 75D polyester
- Pole material: Aluminum
- Number of poles: 5
- Mesh: Micro-mesh (Unsure if it’s no-see-um, not specified)
- Zippers: YKK (doors), no-brand (windows)
- Number of awnings: 2
- Number of guylines provided: 8
- Number of guy-out points: 14
- Number of stakes: 18
- Number of doors: 2
- Number of windows: 4
- Number of vents: 2 (but these are tiny)
- Number of pockets: 8
- Number of lantern loops: 2 (but there are 5 usable divider loops on top of that)
- Number of gear lofts: 0
- Room divider: Yes, 1
- Number of rooms: 2
- Power port: No
- Black-out: No
- Packed size: 30 x 15 x 10 inches
- Weight: 23.6lbs.
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (1 person): 19.5 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 16.5 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 6
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 2
Note: All of this data are my personal measurements, not REI’s. My measurements may differ slightly from REI’s marketed specs.
Check out the REI Wonderland 6:
Testing and Performance
I put my REI Wonderland 6 through these 25 different tests:
- Set up
- Pack away
- Base area
- Single pad sizing
- Queen bed sizing
- Room divider
- Center height
- Right & left height
- Tent shape
- Side walls
- Wind protection
- Hot day ventilation
- Rain test
- Window ventilation
- Rainfly ventilation
- Materials used
- Pole quality
- Seam quality
- Seam taping
1. Set Up
Set Up Timing
When I set up my REI Wonderland 6, including staking and guying out the entire tent, it took me about 19.5 minutes. (This was the timing after a decent amount of practice.)
Pros of the Set Up
That’s one of the pros of this Wonderland’s set up – it didn’t take me very long.
Also, I liked that I could set up the entire Wonderland tent on my own, and I’m not even very tall, I’m only about 5’3” (160 centimeters). I found it very manageable, in fact.
If you need more info on this set up, I put together this step-by-step guide, which is also on my YouTube channel if you ever need to refer back to it:
Moving along, I also liked that the instructions were pretty good, I could figure out how to set everything up from just these instructions, and these are sewn onto the carry bag, so you won’t ever lose them.
Cons of the Set Up
On the other hand, here are two small things that I didn’t quite like.
The first is that the pole sleeves are not color-coded, and all of them are this gray-ish color. I found that a bit surprisingly, especially considering that the poles, the grommets, the webbings and even the pole clips are color-coded.
And also, REI didn’t give me enough stakes and guylines. Basically, I’m short about 6 guylines and a whopping 10 stakes.
2. Pack Away
Pack Away Timing
As for the ease of take down and pack away, the take down isn’t too difficult, it’s just the opposite of the set-up, I never had any issues, and this itself takes just 7 minutes.
But it was the pack-away back into the carry bag that actually took longer, it took me almost 10 minutes, for a total timing of a whopping 16.5 minutes.
- Take down: 7 minutes
- Pack away: 9.5 minutes
- Total: 16.5 minutes
Carry Bag Design
I go through how I pack away my Wonderland 6 in my YouTube video embedded above (in the ‘Set Up’ segment), so I’m not gonna go through that here, but one thing I wanna mention is that for such an expensive tent, I think the carry bag can definitely be improved.
I don’t know why REI got rid of the Kingdom carry bag, which looks like a backpack, and has a much bigger opening.
And now, instead, the Wonderland comes with this side-loading carry bag. This means that the opening of the bag is at the side, the opening is much smaller, so it’s more difficult to get everything back in.
3. Base Area
For the base area, I measured the length of this Wonderland 6 to be about 120 inches, and I measured the width to be about 99 inches.
This is right about the marketed dimensions of 120 by 100 inches, so a thumbs-up to the Wonderland 6 for this.
Oh, and this gave me a total base area of about 82.5 square feet.
4. Single Pad Sizing
On top of the base area, I also wanted to look at how many single pads I could fit into this Wonderland 6. I’ve inflated some of my sleeping pads, and here’s what having 6 pads looks like.
So, basically, you can fit 6 single pads or 3 double pads into this Wonderland 6, and there’s even a tiny bit of space for storing gear by the side (at the bottom left of the picture below).
Take note that all the pads that I used here are pretty much regular size of about 20 inches to slightly over 20 inches wide, and as you can see, it’s already a bit of a tight fit.
- Exped MegaMat Duo 10 (green): 74 x 43 inches
- Klymit Double V Uninsulated (blue): 74 x 46 inches
- Sea to Summit Camp Mat SI (yellow): 72 x 20 inches
If your pads are like 25 inches, even 30 inches wide, there’s probably no way you can fit 6 of them in the Wonderland 6.
5. Queen Bed Sizing
Instead of 6 people, I recommend fitting a maximum of 4 people inside this tent, and here’s what the queen bed sizing looks like.
I’ve inflated 2 queen beds inside this tent, and surprisingly, they both fit inside this Wonderland 6 rather nicely.
On top of that, there’s also some room at the foot of each mattress for storing gear.
6. Room Divider
Number of Room Dividers
This Wonderland 6 comes with 1 room divider, so I was able to split the tent into 2 rooms.
How to Use the Room Divider
To put this divider up, it comes with 7 toggles to be attached to the 7 loops around the tent, one at the top and 3 at each side.
Here’s a close up shot of the toggles and loops.
When using the divider, each ‘room’ can actually fit 3 sleeping pads.
This is another way you can fit 6 people into the tent, with a little leftover room at the foot of each pad.
And when I put the divider up to create 2 separate rooms, 3 pads fit into each room, it’s probably a bit of a tight fit, width-wise, but at least it’s possible.
You can also fit just 2 pads in each room, so it doesn’t feel too tight, and you get quite a bit of leftover space for gear.
Or, if you want, you can fit just 1 queen bed, although each bed fills up each room quite snugly too.
Pros of the Divider
So, that’s one thing that I really liked about this room divider, the size of each room is pretty good.
I also really like that the divider has a zip in the middle so that I could easily access either room without having to take down the entire divider.
And also, I could keep the divider open by pulling back the sides of the divider, and tying up each side using the loops on the divider to the same toggles that I used to hang it up.
Another great design is that each room has a good amount of mesh for ventilation, plus a door to get in and out of the tent, so very user-friendly.
I also like that the fabric isn’t too see-through, and also the gaps around the divider aren’t too big, like so.
Cons of the Divider
However, I would have liked if the divider extended all the way to the ground though. It currently doesn’t.
7. Center Height
The height at the center of this Wonderland 6 is also its peak height, and it measures about 81 inches. And of course, I’m not very tall (I’m 5’3/160cm), so I can stand completely upright under the peak height.
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, like what I’m doing in the picture above.
8. Right & Left Height
And here’s something really cool that I noticed – as I moved around the tent and towards the left, the height at the extreme left side of this Wonderland 6 measures a whopping 77 inches.
I also measured the height at the extreme right of the tent, and it was about the same, at 76 inches.
Extended Peak Height
So, basically, you might have guessed it, you get the peak height, give or take a few inches, across the entire length of this Wonderland tent, which is super cool, and makes it feel so roomy inside.
9. Tent Shape
I feel like the very unique tent shape of the Wonderland 6 is what makes it feel so incredibly spacious. It’s a bit like a cabin tent, but not exactly like your standard cabin tent.
Standard Cabin Tents
See, most cabin tents have 2 or 3 roof poles, and then 4 or 6 leg poles, depending on the size of the tent. For example, my Eureka Copper Canyon LX 6 has 2 roof poles and 4 leg poles.
This is the standard cabin tent set-up.
Wonderland Tent Shape
However, my Wonderland 6 comes with 3 of these U-shaped poles; these span not just the side walls but also the roof of this tent:
(By the way, I made up the term ‘U-pole’ on my own. I call them ‘U-poles’ just because they look like an inverted-U.)
On top of that, the Wonderland also comes with 1 straight pole right at the top, running the entire length of this tent.
This pole structure is what gives the Wonderland its peak height throughout the tent, which is super awesome.
10. Side Walls
My opinion: I think this Wonderland 6 actually has more vertical side walls than regular cabin tents.
For most regular cabin tents, the leg poles are actually set up a little bit angled, not completely vertical, so your side walls are also almost vertical, but not completely vertical.
The blue line shows the slight slope of the walls of the Eureka Copper Canyon LX 6. The red line is a vertical line straight up. Compare the 2 in this picture below:
On the other hand, with this Wonderland 6, these U-poles create extremely vertical side walls, especially the poles at the extreme right and left of this tent.
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.
11. Wind Protection
I’ll admit here that wind protection is not going to be the best, especially because:
- The profile is pretty big; and
- The side walls are pretty vertical (especially on the right and left widths).
However, I think this tent could shed wind a little better than regular cabin tents, because the walls on the 2 lengths of this tent are a little more angular at the top (where the red arrow is pointing to in the picture below):
Number of Guylines
And also, this Wonderland 6 has a whopping 14 guy-out points for 14 guylines, which is much better than most 6-person tents that I have.
This Wonderland 6 comes with 2 awnings, 1 on each width of the tent:
When staked down, each awning extends out about 15 inches, and I really like that they provide not only some shading, but also a little bit of rain protection over each door.
So, if it’s raining, the rain from the roof doesn’t drip right into the tent when you open the door.
If you prefer to un-stake the awnings, you can tie the fabric back with 1 toggle on each side, and the top will still provide some shade.
Number of Doors
Moving on to the doors, there are 2 of these huge doors, one on the left of this Wonderland 6, and the other on the right. Both are exactly the same.
The zippers on the door are YKK, each door has 2 of these YKK zippers, and I found the door zippers to be completely snag-free.
If you’re zipping or unzipping from the inside of the tent though, just take note that each of these doors has a rain/storm flap that you have to avoid.
So, for example, if you’re zipping the door up, you’ve got to gently push the fabric out just a little bit, so that it won’t catch onto the zipper.
You can see the rain/storm flap in this picture below (only the bottom half of the door has the flap):
I love how I could unzip the door almost completely. And when the door is open, I could stuff the door fabric into one of these pockets next to the door, so very user-friendly.
Each door measures about 66 inches in length, by 64 inches in width, so I think they’re very big.
They’re about 4 times my size, and honestly, I don’t think REI could have made them much bigger even if they wanted to, because right now the door takes up almost the entire wall of the tent.
Number of Windows
This Wonderland 6 has a total of 4 windows inside the tent.
2 of the windows are on the 2 doors, so 1 on each door. Each of these windows measures about 54 inches in length, by 26 inches in width.
In this picture below, the door window is on the left:
The other 2 windows are more like triangle mesh panels rather than windows, 1 on each length, at the bottom of the tent (to the right in the picture above). The longest length measures 32 inches, and the longest width measures 28 inches.
I found all the window zippers to be snag-free as well. However, I noticed that the window zippers aren’t branded; they don’t have the same YKK engraving on the zippers like the doors, but the quality still felt OK.
I also noticed that the triangle windows at the bottom come with this black toggle to roll the fabric up:
On the other hand, the door windows don’t have this same toggle, so you’ve got to roll the fabric up neatly and then stuff it into the small pocket at the bottom, so kind of a minor con here.
15. Hot Day Ventilation
And yes, I know the windows aren’t very big, but I think that hot day ventilation is still awesome in this Wonderland 6. Here’s why.
When I take the rainfly off, and I recommend doing so for sunny days, check out how much mesh there is on this tent.
There’s an insane amount, and I’ll give you more details about this later in the ‘Pros and Cons’ section.
For storage, this Wonderland 6 has 8 pockets around the entire tent, each of them measure about 9 by 12 inches, so not too big, and with 2 pockets taken up by the door fabric, you’re left with only 6 pockets.
And to hang stuff up, you can actually use the divider loops to do so (there are 5 usable divider loops), even with the divider in place, like what I did here:
There’s also 1 extra loop over each door (so 2 additional loops), if you want to hang a lantern up (or something else).
17. Rain Test
How I Rain Tested the REI Wonderland 6
So, this was my overnight heavy rain test. It rained pretty heavily for about 1 hour or so, and tapered off to a light rain by the next morning.
Rain Test Results
So, I checked in on the tent the next morning for the test results, and here’s what I found.
I noticed that the divider loops at the bottom of the tent have started leaking water into the tent. This happened on both lengths of the tent.
Why did they leak? I think there are 2 main reasons.
First, these 2 loops are right at the bottom of the tent, and the rainfly doesn’t cover this part of the Wonderland 6 at all.
And second, on the inside of the tent, notice how the loop attachment isn’t taped or sealed? So, the water seeped into this fabric here, and eventually leaked into the tent as more and more rain fell at night.
Thankfully, this was the only leak into the tent, and the rest of the seams, plus the rest of the fabric, like the flooring, walls, and rainfly, were holding up really well.
18. Window Ventilation
Top Door Windows
As for window ventilation in the heavy rain, I noticed that the awnings on the outside of the tent provided pretty decent rain protection over the doors. So, this window mesh (red arrow below) was still completely dry even in relatively heavy rain.
Bottom Triangle Windows
On the other hand, the other triangle windows at the bottom of the tent got completely soaked through.
This is because the rainfly doesn’t cover it at all, and even though I guyed out the rainfly slightly above this window, it didn’t help at all.
19. Rainfly Ventilation
Pro Tip: Speaking of the rainfly, I highly recommend guying out the entire rainfly using all the guy-out points.
Because when you guy out the rainfly, there’s a good amount of space between the rainfly and the tent body for air to flow in and out of the tent, which is especially important for rainy day ventilation when the rainfly is over the tent.
On the other hand, if you don’t guy out the rainfly, it’ll sag a little bit, like this, and cut down on the ventilation.
Number of Vents
This Wonderland 6 comes with these 2 above door vents, and these are the tiniest vents I’ve ever seen in my life.
Apparently, these are supposed to help with chimney venting, where the cool air could come into the tent through the windows and rainfly, and the hot air would rise to the top and escape through these tiny vents.
But honestly, I felt that it didn’t work, they’re too tiny, and all the hot air rose to the top of the tent and couldn’t get out.
I could actually feel the heat difference when I raise my hand to the top of the tent, like this:
21. Materials Used
Now, onto the materials of this tent.
The flooring of the REI Wonderland is made of 150-denier polyester, and looks like this:
Tent Body Quality
The rest of the tent body, as well as the rainfly, are made of 75-denier polyester, so half as thick.
The door zippers are YKK, the window zippers are not branded, but all of them were pretty snag-free.
The mesh is probably just micro mesh. I think it looks like no-see-um mesh because the holes are really fine, but this was not specified by REI.
I was able to keep out every single bug while camping in this tent.
One minor thing I didn’t like here are these tiny mesh runs on one of my windows.
The awning straps come with reflective strips, and I expected the guylines to have the same reflective strips too, but they don’t.
Thankfully, there were at least a few reflective strips on the tent at night (3 in the picture below):
22. Pole Quality
I think the pole quality of the Wonderland deserves its own section. And that’s because the poles are made of just regular aluminum, and not high quality DAC.
So, unfortunately, after a few camp-outs with my Wonderland 6, 2 out of 5 of my poles bent quite a bit.
One of the poles is this orange pole, for the sides of this Wonderland, and as you can see, it’s bent quite a bit at one end.
The other pole is my Y pole, which is basically this Y-shaped pole, and the end of it is bent quite a bit as well.
And this just from using it in my yard, and I honestly don’t usually camp in strong winds or very crazy weather.
I think the bent poles are because of the pole structure of this Wonderland.
Unlike standard cabin tents, this Wonderland 6 features these 3 arched poles, bent from one side to the other side of the tent. Can you imagine how much stress is being put on these poles, just from holding the shape of the Wonderland?
23. Seam Quality
I felt that the seams in this Wonderland 6 are pretty good quality, mostly double-stitched, and very consistent:
The webbings from the outside were properly reinforced from the inside of the tent, and also, I didn’t find any loose threads in this tent at all.
24. Seam Taping
Outside the Wonderland
As for seam taping, on the outside of the tent, I checked the rainfly, and all the seams are taped.
Inside the Wonderland
And for the inside of the tent, 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 of the seams directly under the rainfly have not been taped, while the seams not covered by the rainfly have been taped.
For portability, I measured the packed size of my REI Wonderland 6 to be about 30 by 15 by 10 inches.
Here’s what it looks like beside my Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent, and also one of my 32-ounce Nalgene bottles.
Ease of Carry
And it also comes with a shoulder strap, which I could use for easy carry.
And this Wonderland 6 weighs about 23.6lbs., including all the provided stakes and guylines.
Pros and Cons
For pros, I think the best thing about this Wonderland 6 is the incredible amount of livable space inside the tent.
1. Peak height throughout the entire tent length
Not only can I walk the entire length of the tent with my arm stretched upwards (thanks to the humongous peak height, which you’ll get throughout the entire length of this tent), but I can even stretch my arms sideways, completely horizontal, and still walk the entire length of this tent.
2. Lots of livable space
In fact, I could even walk around the entire tent quite a bit, not just the length.
3. Higher peak height than marketed
Also, the peak height that I got in my Wonderland 6 was actually 3 inches taller than marketed, which is a huge thumbs up.
I could jump around, walk around on my mattresses, and even stretch my arms out too.
Another really awesome pro about this Wonderland tent is the amazing door design.
On top of all the details that I gave you in Test 13 (Doors) above, here are even more of the best pros about this tent’s doors.
4. No need to duck through the doors
First, each of this Wonderland’s doors measures about 72.5 inches from the ground to the top of the door.
And since I’m only 5’3”, this is much taller than my height, so I didn’t even have to duck when getting in and out of the tent. This is one of the rare few tents that I didn’t have to duck, at all.
5. One of the best zipping experiences ever (for me)
Second, it is amazingly easy to zip and unzip these doors. I timed myself, and found that it takes only about 7 seconds to not just unzip the door (3 seconds), but tuck the fabric into the door pocket (4 seconds) as well.
That’s because there’s an extra stake loop at the bottom of each door, to make the zipping process easier, so, I could do so completely one-handed, with no fumbling at all.
The design of these doors is mind-blowing, and I really loved it very much.
6. Lots of mesh
Yet another pro to this Wonderland 6 is the impressive amount of mesh all around the tent.
For regular summer cabin tents, only the roof has ceiling mesh, plus a few large or maybe even not so large windows.
However, for the Wonderland, 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.
7. 360 views
I also got to enjoy 360 views, because of not just the 2 half-door windows, but also the 2 bottom windows. I really loved that I was able to sit down or lie down and look out at the same time.
8. Lots of features
On top of the amazing doors and 360 views, this Wonderland 6 also comes with a room divider, a decent number of pockets and loops, 2 awnings, plus 14 guy-out points, 10 on the rainfly, and the remaining 4 on the tent body itself. So, very feature-rich.
9. Manageable set up process
I also found the set up to not be too difficult, I loved that I could do it myself with no issues, and the instructions were great.
Check out the REI Wonderland 6:
1. Bending of poles
As for cons, I think the biggest one is easily the bending of the poles, which I went through in a lot more detail in Test 22 (Pole Quality) above.
2. Not a full length rainfly
Another con is that unlike the previous REI Kingdom 6, the rainfly of this Wonderland 6 doesn’t extend all the way to the ground, so this tent wouldn’t cut it in too many hours of heavy rain.
3. Vents are tiny
On top of that, rainy day ventilation is pretty limited to just the gap between the rainfly and the tent body, plus the ridiculously tiny above-door vents.
4. Not great in winds
Also, please keep this tent away from crazy winds as well. Light wind is fine though.
5. Carry bag can be improved
A smaller con is the side loading carry bag. I would very much prefer a top loading carry bag instead, and I don’t know why REI got rid of the Kingdom carry bag.
Now that we’re done with the pros and cons, here is my recommendation to you.
If you’ve always loved cabin tents and livability, this REI Wonderland 6 is easily better than standard cabin tents, and will be a great pick for you.
Why, you may ask?
Well, this Wonderland 6 actually has the most vertical side walls I’ve ever seen, the set-up feels very intuitive, the amount of mesh on this tent is unbeatable, and adding the cross-ventilation of the 2 doors, hot day ventilation in the summer is incredible.
Plus, it has a longer rainfly than most cabin tents, and is perfectly functional in light rain, and even about an hour of heavy rain.
Check out the REI Wonderland 6:
In contrast, standard cabin tents have slightly less vertical side walls, there’s definitely less mesh, for some cabin tents, I even had trouble setting it up on my own, and for most cabin tents, the rainfly is tiny, covering only the very top, and I had issues even in light rain.
Bonus: Must Read!
But unfortunately, while the Wonderland 6 is a good quality tent, sadly I just can’t say that it is the best tent I have, simply because of the amount of stress you put on the poles to get to the tent shape.
So, I highly recommend that you check out this post where I spent over $2,000 buying and 6 months testing the best 6-person tents on the market. Alternatively, if you don’t need specifically a 6-person tent but a big family tent instead, this blog post will work better for you.
Or, if cabin tents are more your speed, I have another blog post here where I spent almost $2,500 testing the top cabin tents out there.
Or if you’re planning to camp in heavy rains, here’s a comparison testing some of the best family tents that are waterproof.
I also featured the Wonderland in these 2-tent comparisons:
Or, check out the REI Wonderland 6: