13 Best Coleman Tents Reviewed — Are They Any Good?

By Emma

Here are our thoughts on whether Coleman tents are good. 

As an avid camper, I’ve tried more than a dozen tents over the years in all sorts of conditions. Hot and humid summer nights, torrential downpours, solo camping, family camping, you name it. 

Coleman tents have always caught my attention for how affordable they are. But are they really good? 

With 10+ hours of research and some personal experience, I’ve got a great answer for you: 

Coleman makes decent tents at a great price. Most are waterproof, roomy, and easy to set up. If you only camp a few nights a year, you will likely get more value from a Coleman tent than a more expensive one.

In other words, there are higher-quality tents on the market, but they aren’t worth the higher price tag for most people. Coleman tents will meet the needs of most recreational campers.

After reading hundreds of reviews and studying the competition, we found a best Coleman tent for everyone

But not all Coleman tents are created equal. Let’s get into more details.

Note: all images in this post are from Coleman’s official website

Table of Contents

What To Look For in Coleman Tents

Coleman tents aren’t perfect. Here are some things to look out for to get the best Coleman tent for yourself. 

“Size Up”

You probably know that you want to buy tents 1 to 2 people larger than the actual numbers of campers. This is because most tents are too small for their labeled capacity. 

Coleman tents are no exception. If you want everyone to sleep comfortably with some extra space for gear, bump it up by 2 sizes. This means getting a 4 person tent for a group of 2, a 6 person tent for a group of 4, and so on.

Are Coleman Tents Waterproof?

All Coleman tents are advertised to be waterproof with Coleman’s WeatherTec system. However, this may not be true in reality. Most Coleman tents will stay dry in heavy rain, while a few will leak. It is recommended that you apply some seam sealer and waterproof coating before your first trip.

If you want the best chance of staying dry, avoid the Instant Cabin Tent and the Elite Montana Tent. These have poor rainfly coverage and the most number of complaints about leaking. 

All other Coleman tents have fully waterproof sleeping areas. But the screen rooms aren’t waterproof at all since the rainfly doesn’t cover them.

In my article on how to tell if a tent is waterproof, I mentioned you should look at the waterproof rating, the seams, and the floor design. 

I find it a little annoying that Coleman doesn’t tell people the waterproof ratings on most of their tents. So you should spray the walls with some durable water repellent before you take it out to be safe.

As for the inverted seams, they are pretty effective in keeping the water out. But sometimes water still gets in from the door and window zippers. Remember to apply seam sealers before you go. Better safe than sorry.  

Coleman does a pretty good job of waterproofing the floors. Most tent floors are thick like tarps and have the “bathtub” design to prevent water from pooling inside. 

Extra Features

Screen Room – this creates a bug-free lounge area and extra storage space. Tents with this feature:

Standing height – it would be nice to stand up in your tent and walk around like you would at home. Tents over 6”5’ tall: 

Instant setup – spend less than 1 minute setting up your tent

Blackout fabrics – sleep in after sunrise and stay cool in your tent

Lighting – you can feel more at home and extend the night with a built-in light in your tent. Only the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Screened Tent has this feature.

Coleman Sundome Tent 

Best for: campers who want a basic and affordable tent that gets the job done; $

Verdict: Unbeatable value for an entry-level tent

Do you want to get into camping without shelling out a fortune? Do you usually camp in fair weather? If you answered “yes”, the Coleman Sundome may be the perfect tent for you. 

Yes, the Coleman Sundome is cheap. But that doesn’t mean it’s low quality. In fact, it should cover all your needs on most camping trips. I’ve looked at quite a few budget entry-level tents, and nothing comes close to the Sundome.

To begin with, it’s quite roomy. You should be able to fit a queen-size air mattress in the 3 to 6 person models. And the peak is high enough that even tall people can sit up straight. 

And it keeps you dry even if it’s pouring outside. This is not only true in my personal experience but also confirmed by thousands of reviews. Just remember to use a tarp or footprint to protect the bottom of the tent.

But strong winds could cause some issues. Coleman says it’s tested for up to 35 mph, but people reported significant bending at winds of 20 mph. Given the average wind speed is 6 – 12 mph, this shouldn’t be a cause of concern for most of you.    

Pros:

  • Bargain price
  • Well-ventilated with large windows and roof vents  
  • Can withstand moderate rain and wind 
  • Roomy; 4P and 6P models can fit a queen-sized air mattress
  • Easy setup under 10 minutes 
  • Easy to bring electricity inside with E-port 

Cons: 

  • Not suitable for very windy weather; tent stakes are fragile
  • Not suitable for very hot or very cold weather

Coleman Pop-Up Tent 

Best for: solo campers and couples who want to waste no time setting up a tent; $

Verdict: one of the best value among basic pop-up tents

Do you wish you never have to set up your tent when camping? Well, the Coleman Pop-up tents make that happen. 

This tent literally “pops” into place a few seconds after you take it out of the bag, thanks to its elastic and preassembled poles. 

Takedown is also simple but requires some practice. The instructions from Coleman aren’t very clear. Make sure you aren’t forcing anything, otherwise the poles may snap. Here’s a video demo of the setup and takedown: 

The ease of setup also makes this tent great for festivals and events, where you may want to move a lot.

You won’t have to worry about rainy weather, either. The waterproofing is surprisingly good – people have reported staying dry inside the tent even when there are puddles of water outside. 

But be prepared to “size up”. The 2 person model is very spacious for one person, even if they are very tall. The 4 person model would be way too tight for 4 adults but would comfortably fit 2 people and some gear. 

Pros:

  • Easy setup and takedown 
  • Highly waterproof
  • Meshed ceiling and windows provide great ventilation
  • Very affordable

Cons: 

  • Floor is a little thin; needs a tarp
  • Unclear instructions for folding down; may want to watch YouTube videos and practice before you go
  • A little hard to zip up the door; can be mitigated by not staking down the tent

Coleman Tent Octagon, 6 Man Tent with 360° Panoramic View 

Best for: couples and families going glamping; $$$ 

Verdict: absolutely amazing price for a glamping tent

Wow, I must say I’m blown away by this tent. You’ll get to experience the outdoors in true comfort and style without a steep price tag. 

Let’s talk about how spacious and versatile this tent is. The entire floor area is 13 ft x 13 ft with near vertical walls and a room divider. Here are a few inspirations on how you can use all this room:

  • 2 adults: most luxurious option with separate bedroom and living room. You can have tables, chairs, and even cooking supplies in the living room. In the bedroom, you can easily fit a tall airbed, complete with night stands
  • 4 adults: use the curtain to create 2 bedrooms, each with 1 queen-size airbed and plenty of storage space
  • 8 adults: Lay down 8 sleeping pads side-by-side in 2 rows; will average to 3ft of width per person, which is very generous among tents

Oh and did I mention the 7 feet tall ceiling? You can walk around and dress up just like you would at home. 

You can take off the rain cover to transform your tent into a screen room in seconds. Then simply relax and take in the scenery all around you without any annoying bugs.

Also, no need to worry about bad weather. The Coleman Octagon has stood up to heavy rain and winds, thanks to its 2000mm waterproof rating and steel poles.

The Coleman Octagon ain’t cheap, but it’s more affordable than 99% of glamping tents ($500+). Sure, it’s not a bell-shaped canvas tent, but it does the job very well. If you want a more affordable option, check out the Coleman Octagon 98

Pros: 

  • Spacious – 170sqft can actually fit 8 adults or 4 adults with a living area 
  • Standing height 
  • Room divider included
  • 360 degrees view of your surroundings
  • Transforms into a screen room  
  • More waterproof (2000mm rating) than your typical Coleman tent
  • Sturdy in winds with steel poles and 8 guylines 
  • Hinged door that swings open for easy entry and exit 
  • Easy to transport – storage bag comes with wheel 
  • Relatively easy setup with color-coded poles 

Cons: 

  • A little difficult to put back to the storage bag 
  • Stakes may bend easily 
  • Very heavy at over 40 pounds; may be a challenge for hike-in sites

Coleman Tenaya Lake Cabin Tent with Built-in Closet 

Best for: families and large groups who want a comfortable and weatherproof tent; $$

Verdict: very high-quality among Coleman family tents, but not the cheapest 

Want a large camping tent that really stands up to rain and winds? Consider the Tenaya Lake Cabin tent. 

It’s very roomy. There’s enough floor space for you to put down 2 queen-size air beds with some gap in between. And most of you will be able to stand up straight in this tent under the 6 ft 8 in ceiling. 

There’s a 2 ft x 2 ft closet with some shelves and a hangar bar. You’ll no longer have your clothes and shoes scattered all around your tent. 

Perhaps the biggest selling point is how weatherproof it is. Multiple people have slept in it through heavy storms (very windy) without a drop of water inside. 

This is in part due to its steel poles, which are much more sturdy and durable than fiberglass ones. The rainfly covers only the top, but the walls are highly waterproof.

In terms of setup, Coleman advertises it at 9 minutes. But more realistically, it’ll take you 10 – 20 minutes depending on your experience. It’s still pretty simple for a tent of this size, though.

Pros:

  • Highly weatherproof and sturdy with steel poles 
  • Spacious – 13ft x 9ft
  • Standing height
  • Built-in closet for extra gear and clothes 
  • Mesh ceiling for great views and ventilation 
  • Hinged door for easy entry and exit  
  • Relative easy setup in 10 – 20 minutes
  • Power port makes it easy to bring in electricity  
  • Easy to transport – carry bag comes with wheels

Cons: 

  • Heavy at over 30 pounds; hike-in sites may be a challenge 
  • Poles are a tight fit, so be careful not to stretch the stitching during setup
  • No top zipper on windows; rain might blow in from the window flaps 

Coleman Hooligan Backpacking Tent 

Best for: entry-level backpackers on a budget; $

Verdict: can’t go wrong with this tent given the price, but perhaps it’s too heavy for extended backpacking trips

Coleman is really not known for making backpacking tents. But the Hooligan is an exception. And it’s certainly not a bad backpacking tent. 

To begin with, it’s quite spacious. The 2 person model comes with 39sqft of floor space, sufficient for 2 tall adults with gear. Most 2P models only have 28 – 33 sqft of space. 

And it’s very waterproof. Reviewers have said it stays bone dry even in heavy rain, thanks to its full-coverage rainfly and tarp-like bottom. 

My biggest concern about this tent is its weight. At 7 pounds for the 2P model and 12 pounds for the 4P model, it’s one of the heaviest backpacking tents. You will feel uncomfortable if you hike with it for a long time, and you will want a buddy to share the weight with you. 

Also, it’s not exactly a freestanding tent. It comes with only 1 pole, so you will need to stake it down to make it stand up. 

All in all, it’s a great entry-level backpacking tent given the low price. If you have a higher budget, there are plenty of lighter options like the Featherstone backpacking tent and the Marmot Crane Creek.

Pros:

  • Spacious; 2P model actually fits 2 adults and gear 
  • Very affordable 
  • Can withstand heavy rain with full-coverage rainfly 
  • Vestibule gives extra space for gear storage
  • Inner mesh wall for stargazing and excellent ventilation

Cons: 

  • Heavy for a backpacking tent; 2P model weighs 7 pounds
  • Not freestanding with single-pole design

Coleman Skydome Tent

Best for: couples who want a roomy and easy-to-set-up dome tent; $

Verdict: great for the price; the middle ground between a traditional dome tent and a full-blown cabin tent

Camping is very fun, but you won’t like everything about it. Maybe you dread setting up your tent, or hate being stuck on the side of your tent with little headroom. 

You won’t have any of these issues with the Skydome. It has 20% more headroom than traditional dome tents, thanks to its near-vertical walls. The floor space is generous, too. 

And it would only take around 5 minutes to set up. The poles are already connected to the tent, so no more effort sliding those poles into the sleeves. A downside of this, though, is that you may have to replace the entire tent if one pole breaks.

Pros: 

  • Easy setup 
  • Waterproof with Coleman’s WeatherTec
  • Roomy with more headroom 
  • Durable floor
  • Storage pockets and gear loft for organization

Cons: 

  • The entire tent is in jeopardy is one pole breaks
  • Won’t be very sturdy in high winds due to more vertical walls

Coleman Instant Cabin Tent

Best for: couples and families who want an easy-to-set-up cabin tent for fair weather camping; $$

Verdict: cannot recommend this due to the leaking; OT QOMOTOP has a better alternative 

I’ve been a big fan of Coleman. Most of their gear is so affordable yet high-quality. But the Instant Cabin Tent misses the mark. 

It stays true to its claim of instant setup. Even if you’re doing it all by yourself, it should take you no more than 2 minutes. 

It’s also quite spacious. You should be able to put a queen-size air mattress along with a camping cot in the 4 person model. If you go with the 6 person model, you may be able to stand up straight inside the tent with a 6ft center height. 

But it’s not waterproof. Don’t be surprised if you wake up wet after a night of rain. It doesn’t come with a rainfly, which you need to buy separately. 

Even if you get the rainfly, it’ll only cover the very top of the tent. Rainwater will still seep through the walls and windows. You are more likely to stay dry by fully zipping the windows, but it’ll get stuffy real fast. The tiny roof vent is just not enough.

In short, I can’t recommend this tent for how much it leaks. If you still want a super spacious cabin tent that’s easy to set up, check out this OT QOMOTOP Tent. It comes with a top rainfly with highly waterproof walls. The ventilation is also better with adjustable ground vents.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Spacious with large floor area and near-vertical walls
  • Durable 150D fabric

Cons: 

  • Likely to leak in the rain; may want to apply seam sealer and DWR before leaving
  • Only 1 little roof vent; poor ventilation with windows closed
  • Rainfly sold separately

Coleman Tent Coastline 3 Plus

Best for: couples and families who want a tent with a living area; $$

Verdict: one of the most affordable tunnel tents

Sometimes, we all want to hang out in our tents. But most tents are designed for sleeping only. Not the Coleman Tent Coastline 3 Plus. 

It’s comes with a spacious living area. You can put some camping chairs and tables to hang out with your fellow campers. Or simply use it to store some gear and take off your shoes. 

The big flap at the front of the tent is very useful. You can extend it to enjoy the views under some sunshade, or keep it open for ventilation during the rain. 

And entering and exiting the tent couldn’t be easier with the 2 side doors. 

This could’ve been the perfect tent, but there’s one downfall. The side door zippers may leak during heavy rain, while the rest of the tent would stay bone dry. So be prepared to move some of your gear to the sleeping area when you expect a downpour.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable living quarters 
  • Can open the front flap to enjoy the view while staying in the shade and allowing airflow
  • Great ventilation throughout the tent
  • Spacious sleeping area (2m x 2.2m) for 2 – 4 people 
  • Relatively easy to set up and take down
  • 3 entry points into the tent

Cons: 

  • Side door zipper may leak during heavy rain; may want to place a cook pot to collect the water

Coleman Evanston Tent with Screen Room

Best for: Couples and families who want a decent tent with a screen room; $$

Verdict: overall amazing value, hard to beat

Do you ever get tired of trying to fit all your gear inside the tent? Or do you want your tent to be more than a sleeping area? Well, Coleman Evanston gives you all these options. 

The most notable feature is, of course, the screen room. This creates a space to store your gear and take off your dirty shoes so that the inside stays clean.  

You can also use it as a bug-free living space. Put some chairs down, hang out with your family, and take in the scenery without any annoying critters.

Though it looks a bit unconventional, the Coleman Evanston is actually pretty easy to set up. It shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes with two people. The process is similar to a traditional dome tent. 

If you want a faster setup, check out the Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch tent. Everything is the same except that the Steel Creek goes up in 7 minutes.

The Evanston tent is also pretty waterproof. People have reported that it remained dry inside the dome even during heavy rain. 

But the rainfly does absolutely nothing in keeping the screen room dry. This means you’ll have to take all your stuff inside whenever you expect a rain shower. A little annoying, for sure, but you still can’t go wrong with the Evanston tent at this price point.  

Pros:

  • Large screen room (10 ft x 5 ft) adds almost as much space as another tent 
  • The dome part is highly waterproof 
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Great ventilation with screen room and mesh back panel
  • Roomy enough to fit 2 queen-size mattresses (6P model)

Cons:

  • Screen room will get wet during the rain

Coleman Dark Room Dome Tent with Screen Room

Best for: couples or families who want to sleep in past sunrise and stay cool in their tent; $$

Verdict: few competitors on the market; Coleman has the best value

I’m not a morning person, so I’m always annoyed by how bright my tent is right after sunrise. And it turns into an oven during the day unless I choose a very shady spot. If you have similar concerns, consider the Coleman Dark Room (Carlsbad) Dome Tents. 

This series uses a special blackout fabric that blocks out most of the sunlight, allowing you to sleep in past sunrise. Who wouldn’t want a bit more energy for outdoor activities during the day?

Another perk is that it’ll be cooler inside the tent. It’s like you’re camping in a much shadier area.

A caveat, though, is that the “dark room” fabric is only applied to the rainfly and windows; the bottom half of the tent is made from normal materials. So the tent will be darker than regular ones but not completely dark. 

If you are looking for tents with 100% blackout fabrics, check out the Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent or the Quechua (Decathlon) Fresh & Black Pop-Up Tents.  

With all blackout tents, you sacrifice the mesh ceiling as well as some view out of the windows.

Pros: 

  • “Dark room” fabrics block out the early morning sun and keep the inside cool 
  • Can withstand some heavy rain and wind 
  • Fast set up (10 minutes) with some preassembled poles 
  • Screen room adds more space and bug-free lounging
  • E-port allows you to easily bring electricity into your tent
  • Great price for these features  

Cons: 

  • You sacrifice some views with the dark room technology
  • Screen room comes with no stake point and no rainfly coverage 

Coleman 8-person Red Canyon Tent

Best for: large groups and families who want a spacious tent with privacy; $

Verdict: one of the cheapest and most feature-rich family tents out there

Camping is fun with your family and friends. But sleeping in a large tent means sacrificing your privacy. That won’t be a problem with the Coleman Red Canyon tent. 

It’s very spacious but comes with two detachable room dividers. This makes it very versatile. 

For example, you can have one large space during the day to play games and spend time inside the tent. And most of you will be able to stand up in it with the 6ft center height.

But at night, you can put up the dividers to create your own room and have some privacy. The floor space would allow you to put down 3 queen-size sleeping pads or thin air mattresses. 

The Red Canyon is also pretty waterproof. The rainfly coverage is better than most large family camping tents I’ve looked at, and the tarp-like bottom keeps the floor dry. 

That being said, I’d still recommend you apply seam sealer and waterproof spray if you expect heavy rain. The coating and seams from the factory may deteriorate after a few uses. 

Pros: 

  • Spacious – 170 sqft can fit 6 adults comfortably
  • Most people can stand up in the middle with the 6ft high ceiling 
  • Detachable room divider creates privacy and flexibility
  • Relatively easy to set up – around 15 minutes  
  • Waterproof with large rainfly and tarp-like bottom
  • Gear loft with mesh pockets on the side
  • Meshed ceiling and windows offer great ventilation
  • Great price for these features   

Cons: 

  • Stake tabs rip easily; be gentle during setup 
  • May want to apply some seam sealer if you expect heavy rain
  • Windows cannot be zipped, so a little hard to control the ventilation 

Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Screened Tent 

Best for: Groups and families who want roomy tents with lighting; $$$

Verdict: the built-in light sets it apart, but it’s not good value unless you really care about the light

Do you want a super livable tent? Do you want to extend your night just a little longer? Check out the Elite WeatherMaster 6 with a Screen Room.

This Elite model comes with a LED overhead light. You can adjust its brightness through a wall switch. It will make reading or playing games throughout the night so much easier. No need to worry about everyone’s headlamp pointing at each other. 

It’s also a very roomy 6 person tent with more than 150 sqft of floor space. This means you can put 2 queen-size air mattresses with lots of space in between. The 6 ft 8 in ceiling will allow you to stand up and stretch out as well. 

If you want even more room where you can fit 3 queen airbeds, check out the regular Coleman WeatherMaster tent. It doesn’t come with a light or screen room but has more interior floor space.

In terms of weather resistance, people have reported staying dry in heavy rain and storms. But the porch area will get wet since it’s not covered by the rainfly. So be ready to move all your stuff into the sleeping area when it rains.  

Pros: 

  • LED overhead light with wall switch
  • Screen room for bug-free lounging
  • East to roll up the windows with “slap bracelets”
  • Sleeping area can withstand heavy rain and storm 
  • Standing height
  • Hinged door for easy entry and exit 
  • Mesh roof for stargazing and ventilation
  • Easy to access electric cord

Cons:

  • Screened porch is not waterproof at all 
  • Not very affordable

coleman elite montana tent

Best for: Large groups who want to do some basic camping; $$

Verdict: good value given its size and functions; waterproofing can be hit or miss 

Are you going camping your family or friends? Do you just want a tent with a lot of space? Meet the Coleman Elite Montana Tent.

The most notable feature is its capacity. You can fit 2 tall queen-size air mattresses on both ends of the tent with a lot space left in the middle. Coleman says it’s for 8 people, but realistically, it will be comfortable for 4 – 6 people. 

And the Elite Montana tent is actually 7 feet tall! So unless you play the NBA, you should be able to stand up straight. The hinged doors are convenient too. 

For a tent this size, the setup is actually pretty simple – it would probably take you 10 – 15 minutes with two people. 

All that being said, it’s a pretty basic camping tent. You need to be careful when using it in the rain — there’s a gap between the top rainfly and the meshed ceiling. Make sure the gap is not facing the rain, otherwise you may get soaked. 

Meshed ceilings really help with ventilation. But the window positions don’t really allow any cross breeze. So the tent may be a little stuffy with the rainfly on.

Pros: 

  • Can stand up in it 
  • Setup in 10 – 15 minutes 
  • Very roomy for 4 – 6 people
  • Hinged door is very convenient and zips easily
  • E-port gives easy access to electricity   

Cons:

  • Poor ventilation in the rain
  • Need to be careful when using it in the rain

Final Verdict

In short, Coleman tents are very good for the price. They will meet your needs just fine if you are a casual car camper. 

Are they perfect? No. Do I think the quality is on par with performance brands like REI or ALPS Mountaineering? No. But will you ever go terribly wrong with a Coleman tent? No.

After hours of research, we have identified the best Coleman tents based on their size, features, price, and weather resistance.

Best Coleman tents for solo campers and couples:

Best Coleman tents for camping with family and friends:

That’s it for now. We hope you find your dream tent and enjoy camping!

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AUTHOR

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips over the past few years. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.