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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

RDS Gear Obsidian Tent First Impressions

I recently sold my Turtleback Expedition Trailer, which I’d used for the better part of four years as my primary overlanding rig. I loved that trailer, but I found myself taking fewer and fewer trips with it in favor of a lighter, more agile setup that allowed me to pack up and go at a moment’s notice.

A good buddy of mine – who appears in many of my videos on the 4WDTalk YouTube channel – has an RDS Gear Obsidian tent. He’s been so impressed with it and has spoken so highly of it that I decided to reach out to RDS Gear (which stands for Rapid Deployment Shelter) to see if I could get my hands on one of these bad boys to test out.

So, in this first impressions review, I’ll give you the dime tour of the tent, tell you a little about RDS Gear, and give you my thoughts on whether this tent is worth the price of admission. Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

A Little About RDS Gear

rds gear obsidian tent roof

After my buddy spoke so highly of the RDS Gear Obsidian tent, I had to learn more about the company behind the tent that had him so impressed.

As it turns out, Rapid Deployment Shelter is a Texas-based brand that focuses almost exclusively on this tent. This is important because it explains why my buddy has been so impressed with this tent. With the company’s time, money, and energy focused on developing the Obsidian, it stands to reason that the final product would be impressive.

If I had to distill the company’s mantra down to a few words, I’d say “year-round convenience and comfort.” The whole point of this tent is to be something that deploys rapidly (thus, the company name!) and that offers you a long list of features to enhance your comfort level no matter the season.

Now, while I haven’t had this tent long enough to test it in all four seasons, what I can tell you is that so far, it has provided every bit of convenience and comfort I expected after my buddy’s glowing recommendation.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the tent’s specs and features so you can get a better idea of what’s under the hood.

RDS Gear Obsidian Tent Basic Specs

rds gear obsidian tent features

Let’s start with the size of the RDS Gear Obsidian tent

This thing is BIG. With roughly 110 sq. ft. of interior space, it easily accommodates up to eight people for a good night’s sleep. And it isn’t one of those tents that has tons of space, but you have to crawl around inside because there’s no headroom, either. In fact, I’m over six feet tall and can easily stand up inside this tent.

rds gear obsidian tent ac ports

One of the most important specs of the RDS Gear Obsidian tent is its four-season engineering. The tent has 60-gram insulated Oxford 600D walls that help regulate the interior temperature. There are ports for air conditioning hoses or heater hoses, too, which is hugely convenient for keeping the tent just the right temperature.

The tent comes with a waterproof rainfly with guy lines, so even during monsoon season, you’ll have a nice, dry place to take shelter when the rain starts pouring down and the wind starts to blow. The removable 1200D PVC-coated waterproof floor ensures you aren’t walking around on dirt or mud, too!

rds gear obsidian tent reinforced corner

Other essential specs include the following:

  • High-quality YKK zippers on all windows, doors, ports & vents
  • 4 zippered rooftop vent ports (to facilitate ventilation and prevent condensation)
  • 2 zippered electrical cord ports
  • 1200D reinforced top corners (as shown in the image above)
  • 1200D reinforced side hubs
  • Removable top hanging pocket for keeping gear up and out of the way
  • 2 removable side hanging pockets to enhance gear organization
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel stakes and tie-down ropes

Of course, that’s just the start of what comes with this tent. Let’s have a look at some specific features that I appreciate most about the RDS Gear Obsidian.

RDS Gear Obsidian Tent Features

rds gear obsidian tent exterior 2

What I don’t like is a tent that feels like a cave during the daytime. So, the fact that the RDS Gear Obsidian tent has two doors and 16 windows (sixteen!!) is a welcome feature. With all that see-through real estate, you have nearly a 360-degree view of your surroundings (but without worry of bugs, thanks to the NO-SEE-UM mesh on all the doors and windows).

Those Walls, Though…

But, remember the insulated walls I spoke of earlier? They have a secret – 600D Oxford fabric with a blackout interior. So, if I’m up late shooting the breeze around the campfire with my buddies and want to sleep in the next morning, this tent helps me do so.

On top of that, the walls are water-resistant, flame-resistant, and UV-resistant. Not bad, right?

The RDS Gear Obsidian Has Tons of Organization Features

rds gear obsidian tent hanging pocket

Another feature I really appreciate is the dedication to helping you keep your gear organized and within easy reach. Part of that comes from the hanging pockets I mentioned earlier. However, when you consider there are webbing loops on every corner of the rooftop, you have even more space to attach whatever accessories you might need. These loops are inside and outside the tent, so you get double the convenience for hanging lights, hats, clothes, toiletry organizers, or whatever else you need but want out of the way.

Setup is a Breeze, Too

rds gear obsidian 1

One of the best features, though, is how easy it is to set up this tent. It isn’t called Rapid Deployment Shelter for nothing! In fact, despite its size, it can be fully set up in less than a minute. That’s impressive, to say the least!

Whether you’re getting to camp late and don’t want to dilly-dally getting camp set up or you’re trying to dodge an afternoon downpour, this tent couldn’t be easier or faster to deploy. And when it’s time to leave, taking the tent down is equally as easy. Transporting it is easy, too, with the included waterproof carry bag.

What’s truly impressive is that this 110 sq. ft. tent collapses into a 75″ X 13″ X 13″ form factor that you can whisk away to your vehicle in just a couple of minutes. It truly is an impressive feat of design and engineering!

Is the RDS Gear Obsidian Tent Worth It? Or is It a Hard Pass?

I think by this point you probably know where this is headed…

Is the RDS Gear Obsidian tent worth it? Absolutely! It is impressive at every turn, top to bottom, inside and out.

As I discuss in the video above, this tent couldn’t be easier to set up, and the space it provides is second to none. I have several other tents that are equally big, if not larger. Yet, many of them are extremely heavy and cumbersome.

That’s just not the case with this tent. You get all the benefits of a large tent without any of the hassle of setting up a traditional tent with complicated poles. Plus, the fact that it’s an insulated four-season tent really speaks to my love of camping year-round.

rds gear obsidian 2

Again, as I said earlier, I haven’t had this tent long enough to test it in all seasons. But you can bet that’s the plan moving forward. I know now why my buddy spoke so highly of this tent. It is an absolute rock star in every way, from ease of use to its design to the quality of the materials and attention to detail.

If you’re in the market for a big tent with tons of features and amenities, give the RDS Gear Obsidian a good, long look!

Heads up: Clicking on our affiliate links and exploring our sponsored content helps us at no extra cost to you, and we only recommend gear we’re absolutely crazy about!

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