Photo: REI

Don’t leave home without it.

Don’t even think about buying a cheap tent from your neighborhood store. The low dollar sign may look enticing, but a good night’s rest is sometimes worth the cost.

Ditch your mortgage payment and your rent and invest in a REI Half Dome 2 HC. It’s a simple, easy to set up, two-person presidential suite. It’s lightweight, has two entry doors, and takes about as much time to set up as making your morning coffee.

For under $200, it’s the best deal for the quality and the features.

I took it on our long bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It turned out to be the best gear I brought.

Tip: Purchase a tent footprint. It prolongs the life of your tent.

Minor setback: You might lose some friends because you’ll be sitting next to fire, while they are still trying to find the directions for their tent.

Cost: $169

Where to buy: REI.com