Camping season is in full swing. Whether you like backpacking through the mountains and sleeping wherever you find space to set up your backpack tent, or you’re a family of five that loves to set up camp alongside other families during long weekends, you need a sturdy tent that keeps you dry, comfortable and safe while you sleep. Of course, you also want it at a good price. Coleman Tents is known as one of the most affordable tent manufacturers on the market, but do their products stand up to the elements and wear and tear that comes with camping? Check out this Coleman Tents review to find out.
Coleman Tents: Weathermaster Series
The Coleman Weathermaster series are spacious tents that are meant to hold families or groups of friends. Coleman claims that the tents are available for four, six, eight or 10 people, although users mention that the eight-person tent only holds six or seven people comfortably. Even so, each model is divided into three separate rooms to add a bit of privacy, with one screened-in room so that users can enjoy the weather and the outdoors, even when they are inside. Depending on the model, Coleman Weathermasters reach heights of 6’4″, so most people can stand in them comfortably.
One of the most popular models is the Coleman Weathermaster 10-Person Hinged-Door Tent, which has an average rating of 4.4 stars. The two-room tent is available in brown and gray and takes about 30 minutes to set up with the use of color-coded poles. It weighs about 31 pounds. The hinged door makes entry and exit easier than it would be in a traditional zip-up model, and the mesh roof includes a rainfly so that you can choose whether to let the sunshine in or protect yourself from the rain. Inverted seams and welded floors ensure no water seeps in from beneath. A second, traditional door at the rear of the shelter provides a second exit method. While the tent is large enough for a family, it is also a good size for people who want to bring air mattresses and is still small enough for a single person to set it up alone.
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Coleman Tents: Bayside Series
Coleman touts its Bayside models as elite, but reviews seem to think otherwise. About 50 percent of people who have purchased the Bayside models claim they are simply basic tents. These tents include a small porch area for lounging, but it is not large enough to keep you dry if it begins to rain. The bright orange color is easy to recognize among a sea of blue, gray or brown tents, and a hinged door makes it easy to enter and exit the tent. Even though they should house up to eight people, users note that the two small windows do not provide enough ventilation for that many people. The biggest advantage of Bayside tents is how easy they are to pitch. It is important to note that Bayside models use fiberglass poles, which aren’t as reliable as aluminum, and are sold as water-resistant and not waterproof, which means you’re likely to get wet if the weather gets bad. With all of that said, it is a good model for a quick weekend away on the cheap as long as you know the weather will remain good. However, Coleman recently stopped manufacturing new Baysides, so if you go for this model, you’ll need to find it used.
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Coleman Tents: Red Canyon Series
The largest of the tents provided by Coleman, the Red Canyon Tent is a 17-foot by 10-foot dome tent. The three-room, eight-man model is six feet tall at the center and uses shock-corded, color-coded poles that take about 10 minutes to pitch. Separate rooms mean more privacy for each person, while the center space can act as a common room. Alternatively, you can remove the privacy walls to create one large area. While the product claims to sleep up to eight people, users say only six will fit comfortably. There is only one door, which means a lot of shuffling past other people to enter and exit the space, and the tent does not provide a lot of insulation, which means it’s usually too cold to use outside of summer months. The Red Canyon’s mesh roof allows sunlight or moonlight to get in, or if the weather looks cloudy, you can Velcro the rainfly into place to protect your belongings. Inverted floor seams provide some weather resistance, but the Red Canyon is not known to be waterproof.
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Coleman Tents: Sundome Series
Coleman Tents provides their Elite Sundome model in three different sizes. The 12-foot by 10-foot model claims to sleep up to six people and has two separate rooms. It includes a zippered privacy wall, two different doors, a remote-controlled light and a mesh ventilation window. This model is six feet tall. The tent provides a rainfly to protect from inclement weather, but users claim the cord breaks easily, and the dome window covering doesn’t prevent rain from entering the tent. The 9-foot by 7-foot model houses up to four people and has better overall reviews. The center height is just shy of five feet and features large mesh windows. The windows offer great ventilation but can also let in too much cold air at night. Users also say the tent bag is small and the door’s zipper is of poor quality, making this model best for backyard camping. Finally, Coleman offers a 7-foot by 5-foot model that is acceptable for one or two people. Users appreciate that it features an internal light and is easy to pitch. The size is spacious for two people, and the price is affordable, but it is poorly designed overall and can be leaky in inclement weather.
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Coleman Tents: Rockwall Series
The Coleman Rockwall is a 12-person cabin tent with four separate rooms. The easy-to-pitch tent uses Insta-Clip technology and features a gazebo style. At nearly seven feet tall and 168 square feet, the tent offers plenty of space for the entire family to spread out, and a hinged door means better airflow and easier entrances and exits. Integrated, remote-controlled lights and self-rolling windows mean you control how much light you get as well as how much ventilation and privacy you have. Users claim it comfortably fits up to ten people but that the tent is poor in quality overall. Perhaps quality issues are part of the reason that Coleman stopped releasing new models of the Rockwall. Even so, if you can find one used, it’s still an excellent and affordable choice for weekend getaways during good weather.
Coleman Tents: Evanston Series
Coleman Evanston Tents are available in 4-, 6- and 8-person models. The dome structure and front porch create plenty of space for sleeping and relaxing. An electrical access port allows users to charge cell phones and tablets, and the privacy vent window offers extra ventilation. Height ranges between 5’8″ and 6’2″, making it a roomy option for most people, but the tent poles are made of fiberglass, which isn’t always sturdy. The outdoor porch area doesn’t include a screen on all models, so for some, it is no different than simply setting a lawn chair under a tree at the campground. The tents also are not as easy to pitch as some of the other Coleman models. Although Coleman claims the Evanston tents can hold as many as eight people, expect to be crammed in like sardines unless you cut down on the number of people in the space. Finally, it is essential to set up the tent correctly if you want it to be water-resistant, and it will never be fully waterproof.
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Coleman Tents: Hooligan Tent
Unlike previous models, which were all car tents, the Coleman Exponent models are backpacking tents. These lightweight tents weigh under six pounds each and have reviews that put them in competition with some of the best backpacking tents on the market. Each of these two-person tents features a two-way compression sack, a fly design that keeps the inside of the tent dry even if you’re pitching it in the rain, and aluminum tent poles that are sturdy and long-lasting. The Hooligan Tent is just over 31 square feet and is insulated enough to work in three seasons, while the Avior X2 is 25 square feet and sturdy enough for use in three seasons. Each has a vestibule for holding gear. The biggest disadvantages of these models are how long they take to pitch, and the fact that fitting two adults into one tent can be cramped.
Coleman Tents: Instant Series
With models available that sleep four, six or eight people, the Coleman Instant Tents purportedly have an interior that is large enough to fit two queen air mattresses. The eight-person model can divide into two separate rooms. Instant Tents use a WeatherTec system to help keep the product dry, although most Coleman tents are not completely waterproof. A built-in, vented rainfly does add extra protection from the weather. The four-person Instant Tent is less than five feet in height, while the six-person and eight-person models are more than six feet tall. Instant Tents get their name because users should be able to set them up or take them down in less than one minute. reviews rate this model higher than most other Coleman tents.
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Overall, reviews of Coleman Tents are mediocre at best. Users who rate them highly mainly talk about the price, as Coleman products are some of the most affordable on the market, often starting at $200 or less. Many users also like that most of the models are very easy to set up and take down. However, negative reviews are much more common. For one thing, most Coleman tents only claim to be water-resistant. While this is fine if you experience a light mist or sprinkle while you’re camping, a significant rainstorm will leave most tents submerged in a puddle. Insulation is another problem. While Coleman claims that many of its models are usable in spring, summer and fall, the reality is that many of them do not have enough insulation to be warm enough for use in early spring or late fall. Durability is also a problem. While the tent material itself is usually durable, most of the poles are made of fiberglass. Fiberglass breaks more easily than aluminum, and if you break a pole on a Coleman tent, you might have trouble finding a replacement.
The poor reviews go beyond the quality of the product, too. Several reviews state that customers used coupon codes to get free gifts or other discounts. When placing their order, it looks like the cart accepts the coupon codes and the order goes through their banks correctly. However, a day or two later, some customers notice an extra charge in the amount that the coupon code was for. Upon calling the company, some customers received help, but others felt that the sales representatives had no idea what was going on either and offered poor customer service rather than get to the bottom of the problem. Additionally, some customers who order online claim they do not receive the right products and have to fight customer service to complete an exchange.
Comparison to Other Brands
Overall, expert reviewers and consumers alike agree that the only place where Coleman Tents are better than other brands is in price. Even so, you get what you pay for. If you want something durable and that will last for many years instead of just a few camping trips, you’re better off spending a little extra money and going with a different brand.
When it comes to choosing the right tent for your needs, consider your situation. If you expect to walk a lot while carrying it, you’ll want something lightweight. If you want to camp with a large group, aim to purchase something that claims to hold one or two more people than you’ll have with you. No matter what you buy, remember to keep your receipt or any confirmation numbers. Doing so will make exchanging or returning the tent easier if you find a problem, which seems especially important if you purchase something from Coleman Tents.
Last update on 2022-01-30 at 12:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API