Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Rain battle tested, but annoying pole-sleeve design and overpriced.
on December 22, 2014
I find the "tent pole sleeve" design to be a huge pain compared to other tents that use plastic c-shaped fasteners to secure the poles to the body. With sleeves the poles always catch so you spend time pushing, wiggling, pushing, wiggling, until finally you get both poles through. Then repeat that annoying process for teardown. With c-connectors you can connect the poles to the corners and start connecting clips in whatever order you feel like. This is probably the #1 reason I won't buy this tent again.
On the plus side, this tent has held up well in numerous heavy rainstorms. One time there were several inches of water outside but nothing came through!. The floor felt like a waterbed with the inch or so of water UNDER the tent. Quite impressed. However, 2 sides of the tent are screen mesh without any ability to close. In heavy storms with wind some mist will get inside. I got a little damp and it kept me from sleeping well, but I was mostly dry and plenty warm.
In heavy wind at Big Bend and the beach you will need to tie additional guy lines to keep the tent from caving in. Unfortunately there aren't any connection points for this on the rain fly. I ended up looping rope under the fly and inside some of the tent pole sleeve openings, but it was far from perfect.
This ok tent is overpriced. My previous car-camping tent was the 9'x9' Timber Creek Cumberland II Dome Tent that cost $35 from Academy. It worked great for about 5 years until the door zipper blew out. I could probably get it fixed but I decided to "level up" and get this coleman tent. I figure it costs 2.5x more, it must have great zippers, seams, design, etc. Well I must say I'm disappointed. I should have just bought another Timer Creek.
The Coleman tent BARELY fits my queen airbed. It has to go in sideways (long direction faces the door), which means one person has to climb over the other person. In this configuration one of the handy storage pockets hangs in your face, the other gets whacked by your feet. My Timber Creek tent had a clever "attic" mesh storage that was great for things like a headlamp, glasses, etc. The Coleman has a small round plastic loop that could be used to hang something, if you remember to bring some string or a very small carabiner. "4 person" is a HUGE stretch, it is really a 2 adult tent, and even that will feel a bit cramped.
Very easy to set up. I like the way the rain fly cantilevers over the front and back using a pole, providing good rain drainage for the screened windows, as well as shade. The rain fly system seems to be well designed to make minimal contact with the tent for maximum time before "wetting out".