by Mindy Winograd
The difference in these two tents is astronomical. Let me start by saying do not buy the Base Camp. Get the Kingdom.
Where to go from there: we used the base camp on a primitive base camping weekend over New Year’s Eve. My dad is new to camping. I started him out in a Big Agnes Rattlesnake2 mtnGLO, to which he said, verbatim: “This is not for two people. This is for two yorkies.” He wanted to try something roomier, and I suggested we get the Kingdom 4 based upon Christian’s suggestion.
Unfortunately REI Dallas was sold out, I was exhausted, and Southlake wasn’t a sure bet as they only *maybe* had just one in stock. So we tried the Base Camp 4.
Ok. I like both these for the fact that everything fits into its own backpack, which made packing the .6 miles into the campsite much easier with this (personally unnecessarily) enormous tent.
Everything about the Kingdom is better, from start to finish. The instructions are easier to understand. I still have no idea what’s going on with the Base Camp instructions, and I don’t understand why there were so many pole sleeves or how the rain fly was supposed to go on. We eventually gave up and just sort of used it tarp-style.
The Kingdom is really self explanatory. You don’t need the instructions to understand its setup, and it takes just a couple of minutes with two people. Pro tip: even without wind, stake that sucker down. The slightest breeze will tip the giant over.
Base Camp was killer on my back. Its doors were weirdly designed. I don’t know how else to explain it. You were forced to hunch at a peculiar angle. Bear in mind you’re talking about 15in height difference in the two models. You can stand fully straight at 6’3 inside the Kingdom 4, and its doors are spacious.
Another great feature of course is the two room concept, however this does make it difficult to enjoy the entire space all opened up. Not really missing much in my opinion, not for the trade offs.
My last beef: the zippers on the base camp. Oh. My. God. I wanted to set the tent on fire. They were impossible to pull, caught on the tent material at every opportunity, and made it so you spent extra time hunched over trying to get in or out of your tent.