Who Makes REI Tents? (Are They Good? Quality + More)

Who Makes REI Tents

Do you know who makes REI tents? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

REI tents are made in one of the many factories they have in China and another in Vietnam, where it’s less expensive to manufacture goods. REI’s brand, REI Co-op is something the company is proud of. They established their own brand to bring outdoor products with similar quality as those of the heavy hitters in the industry to adventurers at a lower price point.

REI Co-op has factories in 11 different countries, including several in the U.S. There are tent factories set up in Yangzhou and Dalian, China.

There is also a camping goods factory in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. This article is about how makes the REI tents for the company’s brand. Keep reading to find out more about the REI Co-op manufacturing operation.

Who Makes REI Tents?

REI holds contracts with manufacturing companies around the world to have goods produced for their brand, REI Co-op.

Though parts of the tents may be manufactured in other factories and then provided to the tent producers, the tents are mostly made in China. 

REI has a contract with Tai Viet Camping Products Industries Co., Ltd. in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, as well. It’s highly likely that some of their tents are made there, or at least parts of their tents.

The vast majority of REI Co-op tents are manufactured by Yangzhou Jinquan TG Co., Ltd. in Yangzhou, China, and Yunan (Dalian) Tent Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in Dalian, China. 

Why Are REI Tents Made in China?

Many companies find it more cost effective to enter into agreements with established manufacturers for the goods they want to produce because the factories are already up and working.

It makes the manufacturing process less expensive because there’s no up front cost to build or lease a factory.

Labor in China is less expensive than in other parts of the world. That allows REI to price its own brand of tents lower than those made by well-known companies where some of the prices is based on the brand.

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What Are REI Tents Made Of?

REI tents are made of a few kinds of materials. One that is popular is nylon. Nylon is less expensive than some other materials.

It’s a good material for light or moderate campers. It doesn’t hold up well in bad weather, however.

Sometimes they’re made of polyester. It’s much like nylon when it comes to the durability factor. It’s also an inexpensive material. 

What Company Owns REI?

REI is unique in that it’s not owned by a parent company. It’s owned by members. Members join by paying a fee that establishes them as lifetime members. 

Members of REI vote for board of directors’ candidates. They also may receive dividends sometimes.

Is REI an Ethical Company?

While REI is a somewhat ethical company, some would say they can do better. REI uses a lot of recycled materials and eco-friendly fabrics. That part is easy to see.

Little is known about REI’s supply chain. It’s not evident that the company does anything to reduce its pollution footprint on the planet. The reduction of greenhouse gases is not a focus for REI. 

REI also uses a lot of water and there are no known water conservation practices in place by the company. 

REI is rated as “good, but not good enough” by some company reviewers.

What’s the Best Tent Material?

Outdoor enthusiasts are finding that canvas tents are the best. They’re highly durable so they hold up to the elements better. They’re thicker so the sun is blocked out. They can stay cooler because of the thickness of the material. 

Canvas tents keep condensation out. They’re made of cotton, which is a biodegradable substance. Cotton is also easy to patch, so repairs are much more durable, as well. 

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What Are the Downsides of Canvas Tents?

Canvas is much thicker and, therefore, much heavier than nylon or polyester tents. Canvas tents are meant for backpackers who are trekking all over with their tents attached to their bodies. 

Another big downside is their typically expensive. Now, we say that’s a downside, but the reason they’re more expensive is they’re more durable and should last you a long time. Your canvas tent may be the last tent you’ll ever have to buy.

Does REI Co-op Sell Canvas Tents?

The REI Co-op brand tents are not made of canvas. The brand was established to provide affordable tents to more people. Canvas tents are more expensive to manufacture, as well as heavier to ship.

 Canvas tents do not fit into the mission REI had to sell less expensive tents to campers.

Where Are REI Stores?

REI has stores nationwide in the U.S. Not all states have the same number of stores. For instance, states with a lot of outdoor activities to participate in, such as Colorado and California have several locations. 

Other states don’t have as many. Florida only has two, while Idaho has just one. 

The good news is, that there’s always the REI website where you shop from the comfort of your couch.

Final Thoughts

REI tents are made in China and Vietnam so you can purchase a nice tent at an affordable price.

REI establishes contracts with manufacturing companies in other parts of the world to take advantage of cost-effective practices.

You’ll find different types of tents for all sorts of camping adventures priced reasonably enough for most families. So, take an REI tent on your next outdoor adventure.




Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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