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Caddis Rapid Shelter Review

Durable and easy to use shelter that struggles most when it comes to its portability
Caddis Rapid Shelter
Photo: Caddis
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Price:  $200 List | $199.95 at REI
Pros:  High peak, quick release system
Cons:  Poor travel case, lower clearance
Manufacturer:   Caddis Sports
By Michael Wood ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 28, 2019
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Livability - 25% 7
  • Ease of Setup - 25% 5
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 7
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Portability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Caddis Rapid Shelter offers 100 square feet of floor space and quick push release buttons which make setting up simple and smooth. This tent offers plenty of space for people or product and is durable enough to last you a good while. The durable and sturdy nature of this tent makes it a good multi-day option. However, the heavyweight and poor transportation bag makes it difficult to transport. We'd recommend setting this tent up and leaving it rather than utilizing it as a "pop-up, pop-down" kind of shelter.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Caddis Rapid Shelter
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price $199.95 at REI$199.98 at Amazon$69.99 at AmazonCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$76.20 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros High peak, quick release systemEasy to use quick release system, 3-year warranty, high ceilingInexpensive, easy to use, fast set up, portable, compact, lightweightLightweight, easy to setup, easy to transport, maneuverable sun-protectionInexpensive, adjustable height, lightest of its type in our review
Cons Poor travel case, lower clearanceHeavy, wobbly wheelsLower quality materials, small footprint, walls block breezeOnly for the beach, little head room, not impressive in windy conditionsWeak joints, difficult push tabs, weak materials
Bottom Line Durable and easy to use shelter that struggles most when it comes to its portabilitySimple to use and transport, this canopy looks sharp and provides an accessible and reliable shelterAn inexpensive beach tent with an easy setup and great portability, this our favorite choice to pack along on every trip to the beachPortable and user friendly, this is a decent sun shelter for favorable conditionsAffordable, but lacking in durability and structural ingenuity
Rating Categories Caddis Rapid Shelter E-Z Up Pyramid Pacific Breeze Easy... Neso 1 AmazonBasics Pop-Up
Livability (25%)
7.0
9.0
3.0
3.0
7.0
Ease Of Setup (25%)
5.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Wind Resistance (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
3.0
Portability (15%)
5.0
5.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Specs Caddis Rapid Shelter E-Z Up Pyramid Pacific Breeze Easy... Neso 1 AmazonBasics Pop-Up
Measured Weight (lbs) 52.5 lbs 54.1 lbs 5.0 lbs 6.9 lbs 44.1 lbs
Peak Height (feet) 11.0 ft 10.4 ft 3.9 ft 6.8 ft 8.0 ft
Pole Material Steel Steel Fiberglass Aluminum Steel
Number of Poles 4 4 Poles integrated into tent material 2 4
Floor Dimensions 120" x 120" 120" x 120" 87" x 49", half-dome shape 80" x 84" 118" x 118"
Packed Size 63" x 9.5" x 8.7" 62" x 8" x 8" 40" x 5" x 5" 20" x 5" x 4" 60" x 8"
Main Material Polyester Polyester Polyester 4-way stretch nylon/Lycra Polyester
Design Type Free-standing Pop-Up Pop-Up Free-standing Pop-Up

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Summertime lounging under the reliable Caddis canopy tent.
Summertime lounging under the reliable Caddis canopy tent.
Photo: Michael Wood

Livability


With three adjustable heights, the Rapid Shelter can reach peak heights of 10.3', 10.7', or 11'. There isn't a max clearance of 11 feet, though, since the support structure drops below the peak (see image below). This structural design offers around 8ft of head clearance, with the appearance of an 11' peak, which is aesthetically pleasing but misleading. With 100 square feet of floor space, this shelter is spacious and can contain families or setups for whatever your event needs may be.

Peak height varies from the actual available headspace.
Peak height varies from the actual available headspace.
Photo: Michael Wood

Ease of Setup


Like all commercial canopies, we recommend using at least two people for set up. Due to the push release buttons, though, set up feels relatively effortless. An initial set up, involving placing the fabric on the frame is needed but only takes about 5 minutes, after which setup is a breeze. With an average set up time of 1 minute 56 seconds, this tent is fast so you can spend more time setting up your products or spending time with family.

This push button helps glide the poles to the desired height.
This push button helps glide the poles to the desired height.
Photo: Michael Wood

Take down is even easier since a simple click of the quick release buttons start the process, and due to the quality of materials, the joints glide into place, not requiring any excessive force, unlike the AmazonBasics model.

These push tabs make adjustments much easier on your fingers.
These push tabs make adjustments much easier on your fingers.
Photo: Michael Wood

Wind Resistance


At 52+ lbs, this shelter's weight increases its wind resistance. Tie downs for the fabric are available on each side of the tent, which keeps the fabric from tearing or rubbing due to contact with the frame in windy conditions. Stakes are also provided which will help anchor the tent, but can only be used when the shelter is set up on soft ground. Additional stability options (sandbags) may need to be purchased if you plan on setting this shelter up in high wind.

Foot stakes help a bit when the wind blows, stabilizing the legs to...
Foot stakes help a bit when the wind blows, stabilizing the legs to the ground. They aren't invincible, though.
Photo: Michael Wood

Durability


With a 420D polyester fabric, Caddis claims that this tent is not only waterproof and UV protected but also fire-resistant. While we didn't test the flammability of this shelter, it did resist rain in our tests and provided shade. Like all tents, we wouldn't recommend leaving it out in a deluge, but it did keep out light rain. The legs are sturdy and feel very stable, even under windy conditions. Added stability is available due to the inclusion of stakes. At 52 lbs 8 oz, this is a heavy tent, and this weight along with a one-inch steel frame gives it a sturdy foundation that feels solid and reliable. Caddis also offers a 1-year manufacturers warranty on their site.

Canvas straps reduce friction from the wind.
Canvas straps reduce friction from the wind.
Photo: Michael Wood

Portability


This tent is a beast and transportation is not made easy by the carry bag provided. The bag comes with neither wheels or a shoulder strap, and the hand straps offer little comfort. Just transporting this tent the 20 yards is rough alone, so we would recommend setting up right out of the car or using two people to haul it to the desired location, hopefully not far. To add to the transportation issues, after only one use we already noticed a slit in the bag. The material itself does not seem strong enough to support the 50+ lb tent for an extended period of time.

Durability extends to the carrying case of your canopy. This canvas...
Durability extends to the carrying case of your canopy. This canvas bag lacks the burliness regular use requires and developed a small tear during the first outing.
Photo: Michael Wood

Best Application


Due to its weight and sturdy structure, this shelter is best for multi-day use for events or family gatherings. Since it is a major hassle to transport, we recommend setting it up and keeping it in its intended spot, rather than moving it around multiple times. If you're looking for a tent with better mobility check out the EZ-Up Pyramid.

Value


The Caddis Rapid Shelter is a tent that you can afford and rely on for many uses. The value is fine, but this model would benefit from a better carrying case to be a great deal.

Conclusion


This is a fine canopy tent at a solid price. The main drawback here is the case used for transporting it from one place to another lacks any user-friendliness and longevity, making it harder for us to recommend this one over others in the same price range. But, if you don't need to move it from A to B very much, it's a well-built model that will likely serve you well.

Michael Wood