Weight: 7lb. 13oz.
Seasons: 3 Season
Capacity: 3 Person
Pro's: very roomy, very durable, weatherproof, vents well, no condensation, attractive design, spacious dual vestibules, sturdy in strong winds, compresses well
Cons: somewhat heavy for backpacking, difficult to set up
The Full Story:
The Taj 3 is simply put the master of compromises, roomy but light enough to bring backpacking, warm and weatherproof but won't form condensation, and sturdy but not too difficult to set up. It is the perfect tent for the uninitiated because of its versatility but won't satisfy the hardcore because of its weight. Still, it is plenty comfortable for car camping and light enough for moderate backpacking and for its space the weight is acceptable.
While the Taj 3 does strike the balance between weight and spaciousness very well it makes no compromises when it comes to weatherproofing. The peace of mind that comes with a tent that wont leak and wont form condensation on the inside is invaluable. If only all that defense was a little easier to set up this tent would move up to an elite level. Sadly the rain fly takes some work to set up and the whole thing really should not be set up in a storm (or broken down and packed away in a storm). Setting up the tent, the rain fly and staking everything down takes about ten or fifteen minutes even with practice. Once the defenses are up though REI has made a comfortable fortress to ride out the storm in.
In the end the compromises the tent makes in weight, size, and strength are its only limiters and the Taj 3 is perfect for those yet to fully warm up to the whole idea of camping. REI had designed a comfortable, durable, yet efficient tent that will last you through your first car-camping trips and keep you warm and cozy right into the back country.
Test Locations: Mt. Lassen Backcountry, Pt. Reyes National Seashore