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Rating and Summary
I love the high quality instant mechanism of the Caddis Rapid 6, its peak height and also its rain protection, all of which I found to be much better than your average instant tent on the market. (Trust me, I’ve bought and tested at least 7 different instant tents.)
There are 2 relatively big cons to this tent though – the door and the rainfly. If improved, this would be an even more awesome instant tent, for sure. I’ll explain more as we go along.
RELATED: The 7 Best 6-Person Tents
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Check out the Caddis Rapid 6:
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought this Caddis Rapid 6 from REI Co-Op, and here’s what the packaging looks like:
Also, here’s me unboxing it!
In the Box
Inside the package, I got a black carry bag (not pictured below), 2 compression straps, the tent body with pre-attached poles, a blue rainfly, a gear loft, the rainfly pole in a separate carry case, 15 stakes in another carry case, and some instructions as well.
Here’s all the data that you might need on the Caddis Rapid 6:
- Peak height: 77 inches
- Length: 9 feet 9 inches
- Width: 9 feet 9 inches
- Base Area: 95.1 square feet
- Floor material: 210D polyester taffeta
- Bathtub flooring: Yes, ~7 inches
- Tent body material: 190D polyester taffeta
- Rainfly material: 190D polyester Taffeta
- Pole material: Steel, pre-attached
- Mesh: Micro-mesh (Unsure if it’s no-see-um, not specified)
- Zippers: Regular (No brand)
- Packed size: 50 x 15 x 9.5 inches
- Weight: 25.0 lbs
- Number of guylines: 7
- Number of stakes: 15
- Number of doors: 1
- Number of windows: 4
- Number of vents: 3
- Number of pockets: 6
- Number of lantern loops: 1
- Number of gear lofts: 1
- Room divider: No
- Power port: Yes, 1
- Black-out: No
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (1 person): 9.5 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 7.5 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 6
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 2
Note: All of this data are my personal measurements, not the brand’s. They may differ slightly from the brand’s.
Testing and Performance
I put my Caddis Rapid 6 through these 14 different tests:
- Set up
- Take down
- Pack away
- Livable space
- Base area
- Rain test
- Rainy day ventilation
- Hot day ventilation
How to Set Up the Caddis Rapid 6
To set up this Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent, first unfold the tent flat on the ground, and it should look something like this:
The 4 poles around the tent are actually folded, so you have to first unfold them. Don’t worry if it can’t be fully unfolded, I recommend not forcing it so that you don’t rip the tent.
Then, pull up on each elbow joint (which is covered in a black neoprene covering), and extend each pole upwards. There are 4 of these poles to make up the walls of your Caddis Tent.
The first time that you extend these poles, they can be quite stiff, and I personally had to use all my strength to extend them. After that, it became much easier.
For each of these wall poles, pull them apart until you see a silver button pop out and click into place on each pole, and that’s when you know the pole is fully extended.
After that, grab the rainfly, and drape it over the tent. The shortest part of the rainfly is at the front over the door, and the other 3 sides of the tent have much longer rainfly lengths.
Then, buckle up the 4 corners of the rainfly to the other end of the buckle at the bottom of the tent.
To tighten and secure the rainfly, just pull on the rainfly strap with one hand, and pull on the buckle strap with your other hand.
There are also Velcro strips on the rainfly to attach to the poles, 2 for each pole (so 8 altogether), but I usually use just 1 Velcro strap for each pole.
Now, break out the rainfly pole, which is for holding the rainfly away from the tent body, over the door at the front of the tent.
To set this pole up, there’s a pole sleeve at the tip of the rainfly, and 2 rings in 2 of these pole clips for the 2 ends of the pole.
Finally, stake down the tent body with 8 stakes just for the tent body itself, and guy out the tent with the 7 pre-attached guylines on the rainfly. (So, 15 stakes needed altogether, which are all provided.)
Set Up Timing
It took me about 9.5 minutes to set up the entire Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent, including staking and guying out the entire tent.
To take down this Caddis Rapid 6, first unzip the door, then remove the rainfly pole, the stakes, and all the guylines around the tent. After that, unbuckle the rainfly, and take it off.
Now, to take down the tent body, just press on the silver button on the 4 telescoping wall poles, push down on all the poles, and your tent will likely just collapse on the ground.
How to Pack Away the Caddis Rapid 6
After taking it down, fold in the 4 poles at the corners of the tent, until your tent goes back to being flat on the ground, in the original square shape (I showed this many pictures above, at the beginning of the ‘Set Up’ segment).
Then, pick up the 4 edges of the square, and fold all the poles together.
With all the poles together, place it on the ground horizontally, like this:
After that, roll the rest of the tent fabric together, while gently pushing out air.
Finally, pack it up together with the rainfly. (For the rainfly, I usually just keep folding it in half, while tucking all the guylines and buckles in nicely.)
Then, I place the rainfly around the tent body, roll everything up together, and use the 2 compression straps to tie everything up.
Before placing everything back into the bag, remember to unzip the bottom zip of the carry bag to expand the bag. After that, fitting everything back in, including the stakes, rainfly pole and gear loft, is actually pretty easy.
Pack Away Timing
It took me about 7.5 minutes to take down and pack up the entire Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent back into the carry bag.
For more details on the set up, take down and pack up, you can check out this video that I published to my YouTube channel (it’s a lot better to watch the set up/pack away, rather than to just read about it!):
The peak height inside this Caddis Rapid 6 is about 77 inches, and I can stand upright no problem at all.
Even when jumping as high as I can, my head doesn’t touch the top of the tent. (But then again, I’m not very tall, I’m only about 5’3 or 160 centimeters tall.)
The lowest height in the tent, which is at the four corners, is about 68 inches, which is still taller than my height, so I could stand up there too.
The side walls of this Caddis Rapid 6 are somewhat vertical, which gives it a nice cabin shape, as well as quite a bit of livable space inside the tent.
I can freely stretch my arms out and even walk around the tent easily. Overall, I felt that it’s really spacious for someone with my height.
The length of this Caddis Rapid 6 is about 9 feet and 9 inches, and the width is also 9 feet and 9 inches, so it’s quite a few inches smaller than the marketed dimensions of 10 by 10 feet.
Single Pad Sizing
But I could still fit 6 regular sleeping pads inside the tent, and here’s what having 6 pads looks like.
You do have to sleep shoulder to shoulder (if you want to fit 6 people), but there’s still this small space here to fit a little bit of camping gear.
I think it’s a little bit of a tight fit if you have to sleep at the sides of the tent though. When I raise my arm up, it touches the wall of the tent, and so does my head when I sit up on the pad.
Queen Bed Sizing
Having 4 people on 2 queen-sized camping mattresses would be a much more comfortable fit, and here’s what the Caddis Rapid 6 looks like with these 2 queen beds.
There’s also quite a bit of leftover room for storing gear at the foot of each mattress, which is always very nice to have.
One of my mattresses is actually 4 inches shorter in width than a true Queen (which is usually 80 by 60 inches), which is why it fit nicely into the tent.
When I pushed it all the way to the side of the tent, it was just maybe 2 inches away from my other Queen bed.
Note: The length of the Caddis Rapid 6 is a few inches shy of being able to fit 2 actual Queen beds, so just keep that in mind.
Number of Windows
This Caddis Rapid 6 comes with 4 windows, if you include the mesh panel of the door at the front of the tent.
However, with the rainfly on, just take note that only 2 of these windows can be opened fully. (I’ll explain more about this in just a minute.)
The window at the front measures about 52 inches in length, by 33.5 inches in width, and the other 3 windows measure about 63 inches in length, by 22.5 inches in width.
Rainfly over the Windows
From the outside of the tent, you can remove the guyline at the back of the tent, unzip the rainfly, and clip the 2 sides of the rainfly to the sides, 1 clip on each side, like this.
Alternatively, you can just clip up one side of the rainfly, like this. This is only accessible from the outside of the tent though.
However, while the back of the tent has a zip down the center of the rainfly, the other 2 sides of the tent with longer rainfly lengths do not have the same zip. So, instead of windows, you get vents instead.
And this is the reason why there are only 2 windows that can be opened fully when the rainfly has been set up over the Caddis Rapid 6.
Other Window Features
Each window comes with 2 black metal zippers.
After unzipping the window, you can just tuck the window fabric against the mesh of the window. You can also use the window toggle to keep the window open and make sure the fabric doesn’t unravel.
When the window is open, there’s micro mesh to stop any kinds of bugs from getting into your tent.
Number of Doors
This Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent comes with just 1 door, at the front of the tent.
With the 2 door zippers, you can unzip the door almost completely, leaving just this little bit of fabric attached to the tent.
I couldn’t find any latches or door toggles to tie the door fabric up, though you can use the pocket next to the door for tucking the fabric in, if you want to leave the door open.
This door is super huge, and measures about 58 inches in length, 55.5 inches in width, and about 58 inches from the ground to the top of the door. This is still a little shorter than my height though (I’m 5’3), so I do need to duck a little when going through the door.
For storage, the Caddis Rapid 6 has a total of 6 pockets. There’s 1 pocket on each side of the door, plus another 2 pockets on the left, and another 2 pockets on the right of the tent.
These 2 pockets together (above) measure about 17 by 6.5 inches, and each single pocket near the door (below) measures about 18 by 8 inches.
There’s also 1 loop at the top of the center of the tent, where you can hang a lantern for lighting at night.
Around the lantern loop, you’ll find another 4 loops, which is for attaching this provided gear loft, with the S-hooks on the gear loft. It measures about 23 by 25 inches.
Also, there’s 1 Power Port, or e-port, at the bottom of the tent with a Velcro closure.
Light Rain Test
When I put this Caddis Rapid 6 through some light rain, there were no leaks inside the tent even after 5 to 6 hours.
This is because the seam taping around the tent, especially on the flooring, as well as the corners, are really quite thorough. (Pictured later under ‘Pros and Cons’.)
Heavy Rain Test
I wanted to also test for heavy rain, so I used this water hose on the Caddis Rapid 6, I (or rather, my bro) tried to spread the rainfall evenly across the entire tent, and after 1 hour, I stopped the rain test to check in on the tent.
At the 3 sides of the tent that have really long rainfly lengths, there was no leaking at all. Like zero leaks.
Everything was dry, because the length of the rainfly covers at least a good three-quarters of the tent body, and offers really good rain protection, especially when guyed out.
However, at the front of the tent, I found that there was some leaking through the 2 corners of the tent.
Even though it was taped (pictured above), the rainfly at the front is really too short to provide enough rain protection.
In fact, the rainfly was so short that it didn’t even provide enough shading over the door. After I opened the door, I found that the water on the roof of the tent just dripped right into the tent when the door is open, which is kind of silly.
For more details on this rain test, I have this separate video on my channel.
Rainy Day Ventilation
Long Rainfly Length (Sides & Back)
On a rainy day, the 3 sides of the Caddis Rapid that have really long rainfly lengths completely protected my windows from the rain. So, I could leave these 3 huge windows open in the rain, like this.
With the rainfly in place over the tent, these windows become like vents (above), which measure about 19 inches in width from the outside (below).
And this is what the windows look like from inside the tent.
Short Rainfly Length (Front)
Also, at the front of the tent, although the rainfly is pretty short, I found the rainfly pole pretty useful in diverting the rainfall away from the front window mesh.
The rain mostly fell towards the sides of the tent instead, and not on the window mesh, so I could crack the front window open a little bit.
Hot Day Ventilation
On a hot day, you can remove the rainfly from the outside, for even more ventilation. Because now, instead of vents, the rainfly no longer blocks the 4 huge windows around the Caddis Rapid Tent.
You can also zip the windows shut for more privacy, if you want to.
On top of the 4 unblocked windows, without the rainfly over the tent, there’s a lot of mesh on the roof of the tent, which is great for not just hot day ventilation, but stargazing as well.
The flooring of this Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent is made of 210D polyester taffeta, and the bathtub flooring of 7 inches provides great protection against light flooding.
Tent Body Quality
The rest of the Caddis Rapid 6 is made of 190D polyester taffeta (this includes the tent body and rainfly).
After 1 hour of heavy rain, I found that the rainfly and the fabric all around the tent body were still completely dry.
Inside the tent, I found that all the seams that were not covered by the rainfly, like the tent body to bathtub flooring seam (below), as well as the door seam, have been taped.
Not a great picture, I know. Sorry about that. But trust me – it’s been well taped!
On the other hand, the seams that are covered by the rainfly, like the window seams, have not been taped.
The seams are generally good quality, double-stitched, and consistent, and I found only a couple of loose threads.
I also really liked how the fabric under the center hub has been reinforced with extra fabric for more durability.
Even the parts under the 4 elbow joints around the tent have been reinforced too.
Window Zipper Quality
The zippers are also decent quality (although they’re no brand), and all the window zippers are completely catch-free.
Door Zipper Quality
The door, however, was honestly a lot snaggier than I expected. Unzipping the door is generally not a problem, but zipping it up can be quite annoying, because it snags quite a bit. 2 reasons why.
First, I noticed that some parts of the seam tape juts into the path of the zippers, which adds to the snaggy-ness.
And second, this rain flap always gets in the way. So, from the inside, I had to push the door out when zipping it up, and from the outside, I had to lift the rain cover away from the door when zipping it up.
This Caddis Rapid 6-Person Tent has a packed size of 50 by 15 by 9.5 inches.
Here’s what it looks like beside a Coleman 6-Person Sundome Tent, a 2-Person Sundome Tent and a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.
Ease of Carry
It comes with a neat Velcro handle, and I can sling it over my shoulder.
It weighs about 25.0 lbs. for everything.
Pros and Cons
For pros, I found the instant tent mechanism and design to be high quality. The set up is super easy, and the hub is so thoughtfully designed even for an easy take down, just by bringing all the poles together.
On top of that, I’m also able to lay the Caddis Rapid 6 down on the ground flat for easy cleaning, which is rare for instant tents.
On the other hand, for most other instant tents, I can’t seem to lay them flat on the ground, and the center hub always sticks out, making them harder to clean.
Also, I really liked that the inside of the tent underneath the hub and elbow joints are reinforced with extra fabric for added durability.
And that’s not all. This Caddis Rapid Tent also has a taller than average peak height for instant tents. It is one of my taller instant tents for sure. I can jump around, walk around, and even stand up on pretty thick air mattresses.
The rain protection of this Caddis Rapid Tent is also better than your average instant tent. I love that the seam sealing is really quite thorough all around the tent, and the rainfly is also much longer than most instant tents out there (except for the front, of course).
Ventilation is also good, complete with ceiling mesh and 4 large windows, plus most of the windows can be left open in the heavy rain.
There’s also a decent amount of storage, complete with a provided gear loft, and the door is decently huge.
However, I’m not a big fan of the door though. It was a lot snaggier than I expected, and you have to use 2 hands to work the zipper for sure.
And I also didn’t like how it droops in, which is bad in rainy weather, because then all the rain rolls off the door and into the tent.
Also, another big con is that the rainfly at the front of the tent was so short that it didn’t even provide enough shading over the door. After I opened the door, I found that the water on the roof of the tent just dripped right into the tent when the door is open, which is kind of silly. (Pictured earlier in the ‘Rain Test’ segment.)
On top of that, the front of the Caddis Rapid 6 also has this exposed mesh, which will be so bad in heavy wind, because it’ll blow the rain right into the tent.
And one small con is that the packed size is huge, it’s almost twice as long as a regular Sundome 6-Person Tent without the instant set up.
But overall, I feel that this is a solid case where the pros outweigh the cons, for sure. There are 10 pros, and only 4 cons.
If you’re looking for a great instant tent that fits maybe 4 people or so, this Caddis Rapid 6 is one of the best instant tents out there on the market.
If Caddis had made the rainfly at the front of the tent longer though, the rain protection would have been phenomenal for an instant cabin tent. How do I know this?
Bonus: Must Read!
Well, I’ve bought and tested quite a few 6-person tents over the years, and 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.
I’ve done the same for instant tents as well, and I’ll link that right here when it’s ready (it’s still in the works, sorry about that!)
Or, check out the Caddis Rapid 6: