Customer Reviews: Coleman Instant Canopy with LED Lighting System
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on June 21, 2012
We were very excited about this canopy. We set it up over our picnic table while car camping at Salt Creek. I had bought it because the wife hates camping in the rain and the forecast called for such on Saturday.

The frame is ultra slick. My six year old son and I got it up in about 10 minutes. The whole thing unfolds without too much effort, and then up it goes. The lights are attached to the frame and with the exception of the battery pack (which is very cool) it's all one piece. It comes with very large straight stakes that fit nicely into holes in the foot tabs at the bottom of each post.

The canopy material itself is nice and thick, and once the thing is up it is pretty attractive for what it is. The Velcro straps that attach it to the frame are well placed and surprisingly snug. It has four guy lines and the included stakes for it, while not the impressive vampire killers for the frame itself, are adequate.

Taking the thing down is easier than it going up. The canopy doesn't snag on anything as you slide it off. Once all the locks are popped and you're ready to pack it up the thing collapses right back to its original shape without a hitch. Further, the carrying case has a recessed plate at the bottom which securely holds the unit upright. There's no cursing trying to get the thing back in. It just fits.

This is a remarkably well engineered product.

So given all that, why two stars? This is a sun shade and nothing more. On Saturday under mostly intermittent, occasionally persistent, but mostly LIGHT, rain it readily leaked at the seams. By the end of the day the LED cups had filled with water. How disappointing!

Please note that nowhere on this item, or in its documentation, does it say NOT to use it in the rain. It says not to use in high wind, not to use under a tree (right, as if...), not to use where lightning is present, etc... It never says not to use it in the rain. To be fair, also note that no where does it say it IS waterproof either! However, come on, the thing is made by Coleman for God's sake, people are going to use it camping, and when people camp, their stuff is potentially, perhaps likely, going to get hit with some rain.

On taking it down I examined the canopy. The material is sound. The problem is, there was absolutely no attention given to the seams whatsoever. The are just stitched together. Stitching = thousands of holes. There has been no attempt to seal them at all, and therefore, there's been no attempt to make this canopy sound for use in even moderate rain. The water drips right through every seam and then runs along the inside of the shelter, dropping where it collects. After a while it is raining inside your canopy. Since the LED cups are along those seams as well, they fill with water.

I know that one of the reviews here claims this item is waterproof. This means to me that perhaps he hasn't used the item under rainy conditions, or maybe (unlikely) I got the one in a million that Coleman forgot to seal. There is no way, with these seams, that this product can repel rain for more than 15 minutes or so.

Forewarned: If all you need this thing for is a sun shade, get it. It's damned slick and performs well. However, if you ever plan to use it for any length of time when, or where, it might rain at all, buy it knowing going in that you will have a lot of work ahead of you to seal all the seams, or, plan for things under the canopy getting wet. Oh, and those nifty LED lights for which you paid extra are going for a swim.
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on November 12, 2011
I've owned about 4 canopies before this one, & I've noticed how through the years, the companies get smarter, making significant improvements. This canopy is, by far, the top of the line. I have to say that any canopy is quite difficult to put up or take down if you don't know what you're doing. With my first canopy, I didn't know how to take it down the correct way & I completely screwed up the entire frame. You need to be careful & read the instructions.

Once I became an avid canopy user, I thought I needed to step up my game, which is why I bought this Coleman canopy. I go camping every year & I can see this canopy being the highLIGHT of my next camping trip! I love the dimmer effect. And the LED lights do not attract the bugs like a standard lantern would.

I go camping this summer, & without fail, it will rain! It always does. I will update my review after I see whether this canopy can hold up to Catskills Mountain rain. So far it's fine in sunny/slightly windy conditions.

This canopy is a little pricey compared to others, but I haven't seen too many with the LEDs built in. It's worth it for the convenience factor. I waited until I got a gift card to Amazon before I pulled the trigger on buying this one. I wish this canopy came with the extra wall because it makes a big difference in the wind & rain, but it doesn't. That will have to be a separate purchase when camping time comes around. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the purchase!

UPDATE (9-2-12)
Well, it definitely POURED when I went camping last month & the canopy held up well. We had a picnic table under the canopy and all our gear under the picnic table. We also had a bunch of camping chairs leaning up against the picnic table. Our items were a little damp, but definitely not soaked. There is no way to keep things completely dry while camping unless you put them in the car during downpours. Overall, I was satisfied. This kept our stuff as dry as with any other canopy I've used. The transformer for the LED lights did get wet, but still worked once it dried out. This is definitely a keeper. The LED lights still attracted some Catskill Mountain knats, but not as bad as my propane lantern. Again, this gadget was definitely the hightLIGHT of the trip especially when we were cooking at night or playing cards. We didn't need our headlamps on while eating. This canopy gave us plenty of light even at a dimmed setting. I'm very pleased!
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on October 9, 2013
I am a BIG fan of Coleman products and was very excited to see that something like this was available. Let me start off by saying that EVERYTHING lived up to what standards Coleman has always delivered. The lighting is AWESOME to say the least. The dimmable levels of light are perfect. The 4 led lights put out an even "low glow" or a "VERY BRIGHT" atmosphere. underneath the canopy and beyond. Everyone that saw this canopy was amazed at it and they were interested in buying their own. That being said, an unexpected rain came one of the first days that I had this thing in use. It didn't take long before it started leaking from everywhere. It was hard to trace exactly where the rain was coming in since it was running and dripping all over. We ended up moving, rather quickly, underneath a cheap Ozark Trail canopy from Wal-Mart to stay dry. By the end of the rain-shower, the led lights were partially filled with water. I thought that I had certainly gotten a "bad" one. After getting home, I read the full reviews on Amazon and noticed similar stories, all the way down to the led lights filling with water. I then proceeded to research this item a little bit more in depth. Even on the Coleman website it says absolutely nothing about this shedding rain. In fact it says nothing at all about being waterproof or water resistant. All it says is that it is a "sun shade". I don't fault Coleman for the water leaking through but do think that they should have sealed the seams as they do on their tents. This would have, no doubt, solved that problem. I would definitely give more money for this item if I knew that it would be waterproof. They didn't advertise waterproof so I can't fault them for it. The AWESOME lighting, sturdy construction, and ease of erection definitely make up for the water problem. I ordered some Rust Oleum "Never Wet" to spray the seams with (since that appeared to be the problem area) which will hopefully solve the problem. In short.... don't purchase this item as a rain shield to stay dry. The lighting is phenomenal though.
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on April 10, 2015
I bought this Coleman Instant Canopy, via Amazon Prime as a great price, with LED Lightning a couple of weeks ago. It came well packed with no damage. It set up easily, especially for first time. Instructions are a little spare, but I was familiar with such. It would be hard for one person to erect the shelter, but it can be done with knowledge a patience. The LED lights are fairly bright and really nice to have.

I set it up in my back yard for Easter and my many guests really liked it. Two of my relatives said that they wanted to buy one. The fish on the Texas coast a lot. I kept the canopy up for 6 days through one thunderstorm and it held down and I saw no significant leaks. The rain period was short and winds were not too high.

Instructions did not say to keep the cover on while folding the unit away. I kept it on, and it seemed to pad the lights and made the unit snug in the great bag (with wheels) that comes with the unit. It was very easy to fold up and put in the bag, but it requires two people due to weight. I suppose one strong person could do it. There are nice foot holders as part of the bag bottom where the unit feet fit in, which was nice for a solid bottom. I also bought a Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall Accessory for about $20 which fit nicely on one side. The battery pack (which must be removed to fold up the unit) and the stakes went in the top of the bag. Even the sunwall fit in the top of the bag and gave the battery pack a little padding.
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on August 26, 2015
Only used the tent twice when and part of the frame broke! (See Photo) What really sucks is that Coleman doesn't offer the replacement part for that simple piece!

I've been using coleman products for years. Growing up they used to stand behind their brand. Now not so much. They only offered me a 20% discount on a completely new unit. NO THANKS!
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on July 15, 2015
Love the canopy, hate the Coleman customer support (or lack of). Easy to set up, lighting is awesome, recommend spraying it with scotch guard or similar product to help keep the water out.
First camping trip I used it on, a freak wind gust bent one of the side truss bars. They are bolted in, so no biggie right...wrong. Coleman will not sell you replacement parts for these. I looked high and low for a replacement and found another company with the same sized bar on their canopy. "Ozark Trail-First Up 10x10 Gazebo Canopy" uses the same truss bars.
I have no affiliation with either company. Had Coleman supported their products, I would have given this a 5 star rating. Included photos of the bent Colman bar next to the new Orark bar as well as the measurements of it.
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on March 10, 2015
Bought this to take with us when we take our RV camping. Its been great so far in setting under when its super sunny or just for some protection from the elements. I will say this is NOT a 1 person setup item. You really need two. I fought and fought with doing this myself and in the end, it was impossible. My husband and I can easily put it together quickly and its much more sturdy that I thought it would be. Held up nicely in the wind. The dimmer lighting system is pretty handy too when its starting to get dark. Overall, I'm really happy with my purchase!
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on September 13, 2013
I have read many of the reviews of the Coleman canopy and was a little more than worried about taking it to such a harsh environment with high winds. Thing is, that with any high wind situation you need to take extra measures to be sure that any canopy is secure. I used 4 ratchet straps to hold the canopy down and it performed incredible well. The lighting system was by far my favorite option it came in handy for the moonless nights on the lake bed. It took me only 15 minutes to fully set up the canopy by myself and 15 minutes to take it down. Yes, sinking the stakes for the rathcet straps took extra time, like 10 minutes. To fully set up, with a tarp around the inside for wind protection it took a little over a half an hour to fully setup and same to take down. Hell, it was really easy and if I had a person helping it would take no time at all.
I did have 1 issue, one of the buttons that hold the top up got pushed back into the pole. It didnt happen at the event, it happened at home once I went to put the canopy up in front of my loft. Thing is, you dont even notice that its missing.

I recommended this to all of my friends, since the price is right and the lights are incredibly useful.
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on August 27, 2015
First , when we received this product, we were quite impressed, seemed really sturdy and very nice looking as well.... We have them on our deck for summer shade and evening light , well that lasted a bit under two months, as we had some wind yesterday, between 5-10 mph, on and off, and we looked out and saw that one entire side of this, was totally ripped away.... No way could it be fixed , and of course since we have had them since the end of June 2015 and they are all but 2 months old... they will not think of replacing them.... I will never order from Coleman again, they use to be, very reliable and you could count on their goods, No MORE, crap , probably made in China... Don't buy these...
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on May 9, 2015
Was looking for 12 canopies to provide shady for a school function. These were perfect and very easy to assemble and breakdown. Didn't have an opportunity to use the lights but from the placement and size it is easy to see that they should provide plenty of light. The case comes with wheels and the entire thing easily fits back in without removing the canopy. It was also a pleasant surprise that the case itself was designed with pockets for holding small items like the stakes and was not designed skin tight like some other brands on canopy so you end up sitting on it like an overstuffed suitcase to get it the zip shut. This was an easy one man operation to repack.

Opening and closing is very possible with just one person but way easier with two. Be prepared to circle it like a bird of prey if you're alone as you'll need to expend it or retract a little bit at a time. Now a word of caution, after picking up dozens of these things after the school function, the Coleman was by far the easiest o the back but it of about three dozen canopies from various makers (Quick Shade, EZ Up, etc.) one canopy lifted a bit in slight wind and two flipped over. You guessed it, both of the ones that flipped were the Coleman canopies. Easy enough to fix by simply placing canopy weights on the legs. You can find a nice set of four 5 lb or 7.5 lb (each) weights for about $20 or just use cinder blocks or sandbags. I used the 7.5 lb weights on my canopy and even a pretty good breeze didn't move it a bit so it really doesn't take much weight to secure your investment.
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