Inexpensive well made tent that packs well. Slightly…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
Inexpensive well made tent that packs well. Slightly confusing pole setup, but it becomes easier with practice.
- Low weight
- Well made
- Dual zipper door
- Packs small
- Low cost
- Roomy vestibule
- No vent for rain fly
- Confusing pole setup
I bought this tent on clearance from REI for $100. I had previously used single wall tents for backpacking but was tired of struggling with guy lines and interior condensation issues so I decided to go with a free standing tent. When I saw this one on clearance, I decided to give it a try.
What I like most about the tent is that it packs small. With a compression sack it's only slightly bulkier and heavier than my Sierra Designs Flashlight 1 tent, which is pretty impressive considering that the Rimrock has a separate rain fly and poles (the Flashlight does not).
Setting up the Rimrock takes some getting used to because of how the poles attach to the tent. I highly recommend practicing a few times at home before using it for camping or backpacking. But once it is set up, the tent is taut and well made with abundant mesh to let air in and bugs out. The rain fly goes on easily and has ample guy lines to keep it taught in case of rain.
The great thing about the rain fly is that it has two door zippers that allow you to open a large area for getting in and out. The rain fly also forms a surprisingly big vestibule. I have not yet used it in the rain, but the rain fly extends nearly to the ground and the bathtub basin of the tent should keep downpours out. I do wish the rainfly had some vents, although condensation has yet to be an issue for me.
Inside, the tent is narrow but long. Broad shouldered men will likely find it to be too small. But it is long, so there's plenty of room to store backpacks and other things if need be. I took my border collie backpacking with me on my tent's maiden voyage and he slept comfortably at my feet. Sitting up there should be ample room for all but the tallest backpackers.
There are attachment points in the ceiling for a gear loft and there is a large wall pocket for storing eyeglasses, headlamps, etc. I can't speak to durability as I have only taken it on two overnight trips but it seems very well made. The fabric is light rip-stop and the tent should endure many trips if treated well.
I find the yellow color to be cheerful and easy to spot. If you like to stealth camp, this isn't the tent for you.
This is an all-around decent solo backpacking tent.
Source: $100 close-out floor model, semi-used, technically new
This is an all-around decent solo backpacking tent.
- Modest weight
- Quick setup
- Small vestibule
- Unintuitive pole arrangement
I purchased this tent on close-out some four years ago for a lighter option on solo trips. As it was on close-out and a former floor model at REI, it didn't have any stakes or a footprint, but it was cheap as chips. Given my budget at the time, it was a no-brainer.
I made sure to set it up in the yard before I went out on the first trip, as the pole design is not 100% intuitive—but it is clever and efficient. The poles are color-coded to the tabs and clips on the tent, but they cross over to tension against each other and provide excellent stability. It's a robust, effectively fool-proof system with the minimum of potential failure points.
The rainfly has clips as opposed to grommets, and a double zipper that allows you to open it like an awning with the use of your trekking poles. The trick with setup is to put both poles into their floor tabs before attaching any of the clips. Some tents, that's not a big deal—you can put the tent up any old way—but that's not the case here.
For all that it's not "easy" to set up, it is quick. And while there isn't an option to set up the fly first and then put the tent under, it still goes up fast enough that even a moderate storm won't get the tent very wet before the fly is on.
I've had it out five or six times in the last four years, from hot weather to thunderstorms. For the most part, it's nigh-bulletproof. Only on this last trip did I experience any "trouble" from weather conditions, as a trip in the Cascades received three big thunderstorms in two days. While condensation on the interior of the rainfly has always been moderate, and never quite managed to drip on the interior of the tent, this weekend's driving rain and hail managed to splash a bit up under the fly onto the sidewalls and mesh.
Nothing ever had a chance to dry out, and by the end of the trip, the waterproofing seemed to be failing. This may have been due to constant, heavy condensation and rain, or due to the waterproofing actually failing due to age and abuse. I expect a fresh coat of waterproofing will take care of any future problems outside of condensation.
I am short and small, and this tent is plenty large for me. It has a single small mesh stash pocket by the single door, and loops along the roof. The vestibule is pretty darn small, and given the slope of the fly not so easy to stash things under—I tend to put needful items on my camp chair and put that under the fly in the vestibule, and it pushes against both the mesh and the fly. Not ideal, perhaps, but adequate. But the pack must remain outside, and even with a rain cover on it was pretty damp after this weekend's triple-storm.
This isn't an ultralight tent. But it is lighter than most other options in its price range. If you can find one somewhere, it will likely serve you well with just a little care.
40 years of hiking, backpacking, and car camping; seven different tents ranging from ancient Sears A-frames and fiberglass-pole domes to modern free-standers and hammocks.