Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent Review: The Best Family Tent Buy?

If you’re packing up the whole family for your next campout, you want to check out our Coleman Montana 8-person tent review. You’re looking for comfort, weather protection, durability. But, does Coleman still live up to its reputation for quality camping gear?

Are You Ready for a Family Tent?

You’ve already moved your lightweight equipment to the back of the shelf to make room for new gear. Your younger self would have been surprised to see you embrace this new stage. But instead, you feel like you are nobly passing the camping torch to your kids.

You’re introducing them to all the wonderful experiences of the great outdoors. Secretly, you’re even pretty excited about the luxuries that come with car camping: a cooler full of food, no weight limits on gear, roaring fires, and maybe even a real toilet.

Best of all, you’ll have a large tent with so much luxurious space that you can sleep on an inflatable mattress! Now you are ready to find the perfect tent for your family camping adventures. And any Coleman Montana 8-person tent review will tell you it’s one of the best large tent options on the market right now.

Coleman Tent for Camping | Montana Tent with Easy Setup for Outdoors
  • Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in;...
  • Hinged door: Easily opens and closes and includes an extended awning
  • Storage pockets: Keep small gear organized and off the floor

a group of campers surrounding a bonfire

Basic Design

The Coleman Montana 8-person tent is a modified dome tent, available in green, blue, or black fabric. It uses the familiar system of fiberglass poles that are connected with shock cord. They lock into place, forming long, flexible poles. The tent has a 16 by 7-foot footprint, with a 6-foot, 2-inch central headspace.

Coleman has manufactured this tent with a variety of features to provide protection and comfort for the three seasons that most campers are active.

Features and Specifications

In order to summarize the details of our Coleman Montana 8-person tent review, we’ve listed the basic manufacturer’s specs:

Specifications

  • 16 by 7 foot
  • 6-foot, 2-inch center height
  • Polyguard™ fabric
  • 1-year limited warranty

Features

  • Extended door awning
  • WeatherTec™ weatherproofing
  • Hinged door
  • Angled windows
  • Continuous pole sleeves
  • Patented pin-and-ring system to secure poles
  • E-Port for electrical power
  • Storage pockets
  • Rain fly include
  • Expandable carry bag

mattress bed, soft bedding

Size Matters

Does it really fit eight people? As with most tents, campers tend to agree that they are most comfortable fitting one less person than recommended by the manufacturer. But, here are a few details for you to consider before determining the number of people that will fit comfortably.

The manufacturer has designed this tent to fit three queen-size air mattresses inside the tent. If you have three mattresses of this size, there will be no room for walking around. You’ll also find it difficult to find enough room for storing gear or allowing the family pooch to roam around.

Configuring your space

An ideal configuration for this tent includes two queen-size mattresses with two or three ground sleepers. You’ll be able to fit some gear indoors, which means six or seven people would fit more comfortably.

Of course, there are many other ways you could set up the sleeping area. For example, without mattresses, you could pack in more people. This makes it a prime choice for a scout troop weekend. With the tent being only 7 feet wide, though, it is more difficult to accommodate larger cots.

In arranging the interior of the tent, you may want to keep the central space open. With a 74-inch center height, the average adult can stand comfortably without stooping down. So, at least you can change your pants without falling over.

herring tenta anchor fixing tent

Ease of Setup

Will you be able to set up this tent before dark? It seems that we have said good-bye to the old days of complicated tent-raising. We now have an alphabet of labeled poles and a book full of instructions.

Family tents are simple to set up now. This is a large tent, but it’s essentially still a variation of a dome style. If you’re familiar with the typical setup of a dome tent, then this will be easy for you.

Utilizing shock-cord connections, you can easily snap the fiberglass rods together. This results in color-coded poles that slide through sleeves of the matching color. You then secure the poles to pins at each end, forming the arch shapes associated with dome tents. Afterward, attach the clips that are in place along the path for each pole. Finally, secure the tent to the ground with the provided stakes.

You can set this tent up in about 15–20 minutes. One person can get the job done. But of course, two people are best. The most difficult part of set-up is the rain fly. However, that’s not a problem with a little attention to the orientation of the fly. And it helps to have an extra pair of hands at the ready.

Weatherproofing your tent

Tent setup is the critical component to make sure the tent functions as expected and to stay dry. Be sure to stretch those guy-lines out from the tent body. Then stake them to the ground while maintaining adequate tension. As with any tent, expect to take a little longer on setup the first time around.

Taking down the tent is also simple. Make sure you have allowed the tent to dry before unclipping poles. Then slide them out of their sleeves. A durable bag is included to pack your tent back to the car. Remember to store your tent stakes separately.

dark clouds

Weathering the Elements

Next to size, protection from uncomfortable weather is really the most important aspect of your tent. You probably aren’t planning to take the kids to Everest. But you’re probably looking for reliable three-season camping comfort for your family.

Staying Dry

Will you stay dry in this tent? This is the big mystery when you purchase a new tent. However, Coleman has high standards with a great reputation. They only give passing grades to tent designs that let in less than two tablespoons of water during rain tests.

With this model, Coleman has done its best to include some great water-stopping features to help you stay dry.

The tent has a tub-floor. This is common for most dome tents and refers to the way the floor of the tent curls up the sides. It rises several inches above ground level before stitching is done.

WeatherTec system

Speaking of stitching, anything that is fabric must be stitched. All those little needle holes are normally the real culprit behind waking up in a puddle. Coleman has addressed key problem areas to prevent this. It uses inverted seams, which tuck the stitching into the interior of your tent. This protects needle holes from exposure to rain.

The zipper around the door has a sizeable cuff of fabric protecting the zipper from rain. Additionally, the corners of the floor are reinforced so no needle holes exist in these typical problem areas.

coleman montana 8-person tent review -- roomy enough for your kids and your gear

Design upgrades

Coleman has also constructed the windows of this tent at negative angles. This makes it more difficult for rain to come in while vented.

Last but certainly not least, a large and sturdy rainfly keeps you dry. And a sizeable vestibule that helps keep rain well away from the door.

The key factor in staying dry is the proper setup of your tent and rainfly. Make sure you stretch the guy-lines taut so the fly doesn’t rest directly on the tent fabric.

And although the manufacturer doesn’t require it, you should always take the time to treat the seams before you use the tent. You’ll appreciate the extra protection when the downpour begins.

Temperature and Ventilation

As for ventilation during warm weather, you can skip the rainfly and enjoy the large mesh ceiling and three additional windows. End windows are set at negative angles to help you keep the air flowing during rain.

If the weather is a bit colder, you can rely on the tent to withstand winds of more than 35 mph. And using the rainfly and zipped windows also helps add warmth.

happy female camper sitting outside her tent

Creative Features

One thing you can count on is that Coleman has been in business long enough to know how to solve problems. Quite often, you’ll run into a host of small, nagging inconveniences. This is especially true when you’re camping with kids. Thankfully, Coleman has already come up with design features to address them.

Hinged Door

The most loved feature mentioned in any Coleman Montana 8-person tent review is the rigid, hinged door. Instead of a zipper, Velcro closures work to keep the door secure. Now you can avoid the incessant, repetitive sound of zipping for every entrance and exit your kids make. All they need to do is pull and push the door.

This is also a huge convenience for large groups. And it makes it easier for small children, who may have difficulty with zippers. The door works by using another set of rods that slide through a sleeve of fabric around the door. This gives it enough rigidity to move with ease.

Front Porch

One outstanding feature we need to point out in this Coleman Montana 8-person tent review is the front porch space. Unlike other modified dome tents of this size, the Montana 8 is constructed with a fairly large, open vestibule. It’s like a porch for your tent, providing enough cover to change shoes or to store some gear.

It’s also very convenient that the vestibule doesn’t have another zipped door. So, you won’t have that airlock-like inconvenience of having to go through two sets of doors to get in or out of the tent. This is a nice compromise.

Interior Conveniences

Say what you will about using technology when you’re out enjoying the great outdoors — most families appreciate the peace of mind that comes with keeping a phone charged while in your tent.

Many tents are including a cord access port now. This allows you to pass an electrical cord through a tent wall. One of the best features we discovered while researching this Coleman Montana 8-person tent review is that the access port in this model zips closed when not in use. This, again, helps you keep your tent and your gear dry.

Some more typical interior features include a ring at the center of the tent roof. This is a useful option for hanging an LED lantern. You also get several mesh pockets for storing small necessities, like a phone, flashlight, or pair of glasses.

two hiking shoes in color blue and yellow

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent Review and Comparison

While researching this Coleman Montana 8-person tent review, we found comparable models from both Coleman and other reputable manufacturers. Considering their features and benefits side by side has helped us decide whether the Montana is the best family tent on the market.

As for comparisons to other modified dome style family tents, all include tub-floor construction and similar pole systems. Most also include standard interior pockets and storage, with cord access ports. The Montana stands out as being the only tent with a hinged door and sizeable front porch. A few models do have an added intake vent to draw in cooler air from the ground.

Montana Elite 8-Person Tent

Coleman has a variation on the Montana — the Montana Elite 8-Person Tent. The Elite model still includes the hinged door but also features an interior light feature and self-rolling windows.

CORE 9-Person Extended Dome

The CORE 9-person Extended Dome tent is about the same price. It includes two more feet of space on the width but provides slightly less headspace in the center. The CORE also has a vestibule but only has a very small awning for rain protection at the door. It does provide an intake vent for improved airflow.

Wenzel Great Basin 10

The Great Basin 10 is roomier, with an 18-by-10-foot design and 78-inch height. The main differences for this tent are the divider curtains. These allow you to create separate rooms and privacy on the interior of the tent. One exciting feature is the mesh pocket in the overhead gear loft that allows you to add any flashlight or LED lantern. With this, you can brighten the whole tent by means of the special reflective material overhead. This tent is slightly more expensive.

Timber Ridge 8-Person Family Tent

The Timber Ridge 8-person tent is about the same price but is larger. It features a 14-by 8-foot footprint and the same 74-inch headspace in the center. The interior space is divided into two rooms and includes plenty of organizational pockets. You’ll also get a gear loft as well as a cord port.

Coleman Red Canyon 8-Person

Coleman has another modified dome family tent with a larger footprint of 17 by 10 feet, with a 72-inch center height. The 8-person Red Canyon is slightly less expensive than the Montana 8. This model includes removable curtains for privacy, which provide up to three separate rooms. It includes an intake ventilation panel, but this model doesn’t have a cord access panel.

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent Review: Consumer Ratings

A professional Coleman Montana 8-person tent review can provide additional insight when shopping. However, consumer reviews and ratings can go a long way in making a buying decision. After all, it’s the frequent user who gets an accurate feel for a product’s quality over time.

Amazon buyers have awarded their own Coleman Montana 8-person tent review rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. Most positive reviews mentioned its generous proportions. And while many buyers said it was quite spacious, many conceded that fitting in eight people was a bit of a squeeze.

Complaints about the Coleman Montana mainly focused on its permeability. Many consumers fail to seal their tents before using them, which often leads to dissatisfaction.

The Montana 8-Person Tent Review: Pros and Cons

This generously oversized family tent sounds like the perfect fit. However, a quick summary of its advantages and disadvantages makes it easier to come to a decision.

Pros

  • Hinged door for easy entrances and exits
  • Rain-proofing design
  • Undivided, spacious interior
  • Tall enough at the center for the average adult
  • Zipped portal for electrical cords
  • Large, open vestibule for storing additional gear 
  • Well-constructed and tested for durability
  • Established and reliable manufacturer
  • Low cost and good value

Cons

  • The floor plan does not work well with large camping cots
  • Ventilation is inadequate with rainfly attached
  • Rainfly is slightly more difficult to set up
  • There are no interior privacy divider curtains

campers outside their tents

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent Review: Verdict

For more than 117 years, the Coleman company has been in business. Coleman continues to make quality products. Its wide range of gear enables everyone the opportunity to experience the outdoors with comfort and convenience.

With a well-established organization like that, you can count on quality innovation, design, and testing. The Coleman Montana 8-person tent is perfect for your family now and as the kids grow. This a solid choice when you are looking for something big and comfortable for the whole family.

Have you been shopping for a family tent for long? What models have impressed you the most? Tell us about your favorite picks in the comments.

Featured Image: Via Amazon

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