Hey folks. This week on the blog, I’m taking a look at one of the most affordable lightweight tents I’ve seen yet: the Grand Canyon Richmond 1. I picked this tent up for a song on Amazon, almost as a ‘what the hell’ backup option. Nevertheless, I had high hopes for it. I’ve had similar tents to this one in the past (I’m looking at you, Coleman Cobra) and felt aware enough of their strengths and limitations that I wouldn’t get buyer’s remorse. Let’s take a look at the specs for it.
Overview / Specs
Materials & Design
The Grand Canyon Richmond 1 tent is pitched by erecting the inner first, then placing the rain fly over the top. I like this design, as it allows you some versatility. If you’re expecting dry and clear conditions, you can save some weight by leaving the rain fly out of your pack and use the tent more like a bivy bag. In fact, you could probably argue that the Richmond is more of a giant bivy than a small tent. This tent is single entrance with a small vestibule, and also has a standard valuables / headlamp pocket inside. It’s made from 100% Polyester, with a 2000mm hydrostatic head.
The stakes that come included are basic round steel pegs, so there’s definitely an opportunity there to switch to something more lightweight. At the head and foot of the tent there are flaps to allow airflow, but these are opened by pegging the ends out with guy lines. A few minus points there, as I prefer the velcro strap design that allows you to easily control airflow without having to re-peg anything.
Size & Weight
The Richmond 1 packs down fairly well, fitting into a 13 x 28 cm stuff sack. There’s not much extra give in the stuff sack, so it’s a bit of a squeeze to fit everything back inside. The inner tent is a tight 90 cm at its widest point, tapering down to 65 cm at it’s narrowest. So definitely don’t expect room to starfish in this thing. But at 250 cm long, the head and foot clearance shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The stated weight on the tent is 1.7 kg, and during our weigh-in it came in at exactly that. Spooky…
Grand Canyon Richmond 1 Tent Review
The Grand Canyon Richmond 1 is pretty damn easy to pitch. You simply stake the inner tent down, slide in the hoops, then clip the outer rain fly to it. When pitching the inner tent, you really get a sense of what a good bivy option this tent could be if you ditch the fly. The mesh will stop bugs getting in, but obviously you’ll get no protection from a downpour. Nevertheless, if saving weight is your goal, then this is where the Richmond goes from being an affordable entry-level tent option to a viable lightweight shelter.
Let’s take a look at the initial pitching – here’s where you could leave things if you you didn’t need the extra protection of the rain fly:
And now let’s take a look with the rain fly on:
Space and storage
Okay, so let’s talk space. There’s no getting around the fact that Grand Canyon Richmond 1 is a bit of a coffin, so it’s worth having that expectation from the beginning. If you toss and turn a lot, or like to stretch, then this probably isn’t the right tent for you. Ditto if you’re tall and want to be able to sit up with a lot of head clearance. I’m 6 feet tall and I squeezed in just fine, but I think anyone who is significantly taller – or who has feelings of claustrophobia – might struggle.
In terms of gear storage space, this is also as minimal as you’d expect. You can easily squeeze a day pack into the vestibule, but you might struggle with something larger like a 65 litre multi-day pack. You could probably still fit it, but expect to have a large pack leaning into either your door or the outer fly.
Although it’s small, and a little heavier than it probably should be, I couldn’t help but like this tent. Would I take it mountaineering? Hell no. But that’s not to say it doesn’t serve a purpose. Ultralight purists may want to look away now, but I think it definitely does well if you’re upgrading from a tent in the 2kg+ range.
If you then ditch the fly, and maybe swap out the included stakes for something more lightweight, you’ve got a viable lightweight shelter for an absolute steal of a price. If you’re looking for a lighter pack weight without wanting to spend a fortune, this tent could be just the ticket. Just don’t expect to do your morning yoga routine in it 🙂
Well folks, that’s all for now. Anyone else out there had experience of the Grand Canyon Richmond 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time.