6 Best Core Tents — Are They Any Good?

Here’s our detailed review of the six best tents from Core

After hours of debates and deliberations, the 9 person Instant Cabin tent was chosen as the best Core tent.

As usual, we went through all the standard steps to evaluate the best products from Core. That means data collection, research, and going through the feedback of users and experts.

Are Core tents any good? 

If you want good features at an affordable price they are right down your alley. We will surely recommend them for weekend campers and large families.

Coming to our topper, the 9 person Instant Cabin tent, it comes with two rooms and excellent head height. You also get a lightning-fast 60 seconds setup time, superb ventilation, and a pocket-friendly price tag. By far our favorite choice in this category.

Up next is the 4 Person Instant Dome tent. It offers good floor space and an unbelievably fast setup time of less than a minute. Moreover, it’s superbly ventilated and the stability is good enough for tackling the occasional bad weather.

In the third spot, we have the 9 Person Extended Dome tent. This cool-looking tent is super spacious and offers excellent head height. The space-to-weight ratio is top-notch and the affordable price is the icing on the cake.

Best Core Tents – Top Recommendations

Here are the top Core tents that we recommend.

Best Overall: 9 person Instant Cabin tentA well-rounded package for large groups that’s super easy to set up.

Best for Large Groups: 12 Person Instant Cabin TentA super-spacious tent that offers the right privacy for two families.

Best Value Choice: 9 Person Extended Dome TentSpacious, airy, and affordable- a perfect value for money tent for budget buyers.

For small groups: 

Best Backpacking Tent: 4 Person Dome TentAn affordable and easy-to-use tent for short hiking trips.

Best Car-camping Tent: 4 Person Instant Dome TentEasy to pitch and excellent ventilation makes this perfect for weekend summer camping.

Best for Tall Users: 4 Person Straight Wall Cabin TentA good car camping tent with excellent head clearance for taller individuals.

What’s Unique about Core Tents

The people behind Core are passionate about offering the best experience to the campers. And they do it through innovative design, quality engineering, and proper customer support.

Let me say this straight. The tents from Core are not professional-grade or meant for hard-core adventurists. That means you don’t get fancy features, ultralight fabrics, or the ability to survive extreme conditions.

But you know what…

They focus on providing practical features that offer a great user experience at an affordable price. So at the end of the day, you get a dependable performance and solid value for your money

Here‘s a quick look at some of the special technical features in their tents.

  • Core does away with the concept of a complex setup process with its Instant Hub Technology and pre-assembled poles. The durable polymer hub is equipped with springs and hinges to assist with super-fast tent assembly. With this technology, they have reduced the setup time for even the larger tents to just a minute.
  • The H2O Block Technology uses a special PU coating that blocks water and also prevents stains on the tent fabric. In addition, they use taped seams and inverted stitching.
  • A new Pin-and-Ring Setup system that acts on the bottom of each pole. A funnel-shaped cap gets connected with a metal pin to offer maximum stability.

Quite simply, Core has developed a great line-up of tents for casual backpackers and campers. Their spacious designed tents are worth a closer inspection, especially if you enjoy camping in large groups.

CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 5/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

Frankly, there are quite a few exciting features in this 9 person tent from Core 9. Among them, two things that we loved are the intelligent design and the super affordable price tag.

To start with, Core mentions the set-up time is just 60 seconds.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

In reality, first-time users can take anywhere between 3 to 5 minutes to set this up.

Being a freestanding tent, you can use it without the stakes. But we highly recommend staking tents to the ground at all times.

You get 126 square feet of floor area divided into two rooms. That’s good enough for a group with a few kids. But not so for a group of adults. We felt that it’s perfect for 6 to 7 adults to rest comfortably along with the gear.

As expected from a cabin tent, the center height is 78 inches. The walls are almost vertical and you get excellent headspace.

The tent fabric is 68D polyester that comes with the special H2O block technology. That makes the water runoff faster. Also, the heat-sealed seams prevent any water leakage.

Keep in mind that this is mostly a single-walled tent. The fly acts as a protective layer only on the roof. There’s plenty of mesh on the roof of the inner tent and the windows. Great for enjoying panoramic views.

Users mentioned it performed well in heavy rains. But the tall design doesn’t make it a great choice in foul weather. Still, a few users pointed out the structure was stable enough in 20 to 30 mph strong gusts.

Reviewers admired another excellent feature of this tent – the superb ventilation. An air intake vent draws cool air from the ground level while the hot air moves out of the mesh ceiling.

At 37 lbs, this isn’t a lightweight tent by any means. The packed size is also on the larger side. Surprisingly, even a single person was able to manage it easily during setup. 

Note, it doesn’t come with a footprint. Not that we were expecting it at this price.

One downside users mentioned is the lack of a vestibule. Firstly, that reduces storage space. Next, if you enter the tent in the rain, water will come in through the door.

Overall, we were impressed by the engineering of the Core 9. Considering the price, we feel that it offers a superb balance of quality and comfort for car camping trips.

Pros

  • A spacious tent at an affordable price
  • Superquick setup and disassembly
  • Adjustable vents provide excellent ventilation
  • Room divider for privacy
  • Water-resistant electrical cable ports
  • Multiple storage pockets and a lantern hook

Cons

  • It’s a heavy tent with a large footprint
  • Lacks a vestibule
  • Not the best in terms of weather resistance

CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 9/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10 
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 5/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

Core has a series of instant cabin tents that come in multiple sizes. The 12-person design is the largest size in this category.

The prime features and structure are similar to the 9-person version. Again, the price to performance ratio is top-notch.

One major difference is the larger size. This tent offers 180 square feet of floor area. That’s good enough for 12 people. However, since the design lacks a vestibule, we feel it will be best for 9 to 10 people with gear.

Note, the tent can be divided into three rooms. The central room can be used as the living space with two separate bedrooms at each end.

With 80 inches of head height, users loved the extra headspace in the tent. That makes it one of the tallest tents in this category.

With the larger size, the setting time has also gone up to 2 minutes. Even so, the Instant Hub Technology makes the task super easy. That said, some users found fixing the rainfly difficult due to the tall design.

Anything else?

The tent material is 68D Polyester with H20 block technology for weather resistance. The fabric offers good waterproofing and the doors and windows come with rain-resistant seals.

One thing users mentioned is that the bottom of the tent isn’t raised like a bathtub. So keeping rainwater out during a heavy downpour can be difficult.

Users also liked the two huge doors and windows. That makes this tent a great choice for enjoying panoramic views. On top of that, the ventilation is great, thanks to the combination of adjustable vents and the mesh roof.

But here’s the rub…

The large size and good airflow mean a lack of warmth in colder temperatures. We would recommend this tent for summer camping only.

With a packed weight of 47.8 pounds, the 12 person tent is super heavy. Moreover, being a very large tent, it may not be suitable for every campsite.

If you enjoy trips with large groups, the 12 person tent is an excellent option at an affordable price. But don’t forget, the 9 person tent offers a similar area to weight ratio at a lower price.

Pros

  • A spacious stent with great head height
  • Dual room dividers for privacy
  • Great ventilation makes it ideal for summer camping
  • Two exit doors
  • Electrical ports and storage pockets
  • Can accommodate two queen size beds

Cons

  • Lack of vestibules make organizing the gear difficult
  • Not enough storage packers for 12 people
  • Needs a large clear space for setup

9 Person Extended Dome Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%)- 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) –7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 6/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 8/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

The first thing that attracts your attention about this Core tent is its unique design. The tallboy design and the short fly makes this tent stand out from the rest of the competition in terms of looks.

In terms of floor area, it’s one of the best in class. You get 144 square feet of space and a generous head height of 72 inches. In fact, the huge size prompted some users to mark it as a “tent mansion”.

Moreover, you can easily fit three queen air mattresses in this tent. That makes it perfect for glamping trips.

Even with its large size, users loved how easily the tent can be set up. In most cases, the setup time took around 5 minutes.

However, there’s only one door and no room dividers. So if you’re looking for privacy check out the other options from Core.

The ceiling panels are made from mesh and the rainfly is 68D polyester. The floor is P.E. 115gsm. Honestly, we are not fans of this flooring material, but it gets the job done. Using a tarp or a footprint will be best.

You get the standard Core waterproofing technology for weather resistance. The waterproofing is adequate to tackle moderate rainstorms. That said, it’s not the best choice for tackling foul weather.

Some users also mentioned issues with the door zipper jamming up. That can be a problem in the rain.

The trademark adjustable ventilation system from Core does a great job in keeping the interiors airy. The mesh roof offers great airflow, and once you remove the rainfly, it offers superb panoramic views.

And you know what?

With a weight of just above 18 lbs, it’s one of the lightest 9-person tents in the market. It also folds up in a compact shape in the given carry bag.

Lastly, at this price point, this tent is a steal. With the excellent price to performance ratio, we had no doubts about marking it as the best value product in the Core stable.

Pros

  • Large interior space and head height
  • Mesh roof offers great ventilation
  • Excellent space to weight ratio.
  • Multiple storage pockets and an electric port
  • A great investment for large families

Cons

  • Floor material quality isn’t the best
  • Fiberglass poles aren’t the most durable
  • Comes with a single door

4 Person Dome Tent 

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 6/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

The 4-person Dome tent from Core is a good choice for hikers and backpackers in less demanding environments. It comes with the usual Core trademark- a combination of practical features and an affordable price tag.

With 63 square feet of space, the area is good enough for 4 campers. A family of 4 with two kids will find it supremely comfortable. The center height is 54 inches, which is decent.

That said, some users above six feet found the length to be on the shorter side.

The tent comes with a freestanding design. Setting up the tent by connecting the fiberglass poles is super easy.

The tent material is typical from Core. The fly and the upper part of the tent are made from double-coated 68 denier polyester. The floor material is polyethylene. We wouldn’t recommend pitching it on rough surfaces without a footprint.

The outer fabric is water repellent and the seams are taped. Users faced no water leakage during camping in moderate rain. The dome structure was able to withstand strong winds too. There are two windows and one door that come with rain protection.

Note, the fly doesn’t provide full coverage and the fabric’s water resistance isn’t on the higher side. It’s not the best choice for use in heavy rains.

However, the design of the fly ensures that you can enjoy the views from the inside.

Users added that the tent offers superb ventilation. There were no issues related to condensation. Adjustable ventilation panels and a mesh roof keep the airflow steady.

The cool thing is, there’s a small vent at the back end of the tent that can be kept open even in the rains.

What about weight?

Well, at 8.3 lbs, this isn’t an ultralight tent. But it can be used for short backpacking trips and car camping trips.

This model from Core has acquired a reputation with its simple, practical design and affordable price. On the whole, you definitely get excellent dollar value with this product.

Pros

  • A well-designed tent that looks cool
  • Spacious interiors and ample head height
  • Very easy to set up
  • Secure electrical port for connections
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Not the best in terms of weather resistance
  • Fiberglass poles aren’t as durable as aluminum
  • Only a single door

4 Person Instant Dome Tent 

  • Space & comfort (20%) – 8/10
  • Weight & Portability (20%) – 5/10
  • Weather resistance (20%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 6/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 10/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

Before you think this is another simple 4-person tent, let me point to the word “Instant”. Keep in mind that this isn’t a pop-up tent. But the setup time is just 30 seconds!

But I’m jumping ahead…

The tent comes with 63 square feet of floor space and a liberal head height of 54 inches. That makes it spacious enough for a family of 4. Couples can enjoy the best comfort by fitting in a queen-sized mattress

One thing is, the lack of vestibule space makes it difficult to find sufficient space for gear. So 4 adults with big rucksacks will find it cramped.

To be honest, the marked setup time of 30 seconds isn’t much of an exaggeration.

Setting up the pre-attached poles is very easy. Connecting the rainfly takes some more time. But with some practice, users could manage it in under a minute.

The tent body and fly are made from 68D polyester. The floor material is PE and it feels durable. Still, we would be careful while pitching it on rough ground.

Some users mentioned that the tent was very stable even in 35 mph winds. Others found the waterproofing to be reliable in rainy conditions. The special waterproofing technology from Core along with the sealed seams work well.

At the same time, this isn’t a heavy-duty tent designed for rough weather. In fact, some users mentioned water coming in through some of the lower vents during heavy rains.

Now, the venting system works superbly to prevent any condensation from forming. As usual, the mesh ceiling helps in maintaining the airflow. While this makes the tent great for summer camping, it is not the best choice for winters.

But here’s the problem…

With a weight of nearly 12 pounds, this isn’t a tent that you can carry around with ease. That restricts its overall versatility. 

To sum up, this is an excellent camping tent that’s great for weekend camping trips in summer. Not to forget, it’s also a budget-friendly option.

Pros

  • Superquick pitching time
  • Good stability and decent weather resistance
  • Gear loft and lantern hook
  • Zippered privacy panels on windows and doors
  • Mesh ceiling is perfect for stargazing

Cons

  • Rainfly doesn’t cover the entire tent
  • Best suited for summer camping

4 Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 6/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10
  • Company reputation (10%) – 7/10

Fact is, Dome tents are not the most comfortable option for tall campers. This cabin tent from Core addresses the space problem with its straight walls and superb head height.

The tent offers 56 square feet of floor space. Honestly, that’s not the most spacious in this category. Then again, there’s no extra storage space in terms of vestibules. We feel that it’s best for couples on a weekend getaway.

Keep in mind that this tent is also available in a 6-person variant. In case you need more space, check out the larger model that offers 90 square feet of floor area.

At 72 inches, the head height is great. Users mentioned the near-vertical walls also make the interior roomy. 

Both setting up and taking down the tent are simple. With the color-coded poles, the newbies were able to pitch it within 5 to 8 minutes. However, some users mentioned that pitching it in windy conditions isn’t easy.

Core uses the standard 68D polyester and the 115gsm P.E.for the tent body and floor respectively. While these aren’t as durable as premium-grade tents, users were satisfied with the overall performance.

For weather protection, there’s the standard water repellent H2O block fabric. The waterproofing was appreciated by most users.

When it comes to stability, the tent feels solid when staked down properly. But the vertical walls and the fiberglass poles aren’t the best choices for tackling rough weather. Still, users found it stable enough to withstand the occasional strong winds.

Frankly, if you prefer to pack light, this isn’t the right choice for you. At 13.4 lbs, it’s best suited for campsites with vehicle access.

Pros

  • Great head height for tall people
  • It looks great
  • Excellent ventilation system 
  • Core H20 technology and sealed seams for weatherproofing
  • Can fit one queen-sized air bed
  • Mesh ceiling is perfect for stargazing

Cons

  • Floorspace isn’t sufficient for 4 adults
  • Not ideal for windy conditions
  • Some users faced issues with zippers

Final Verdict

Time for a quick recap.

The 9 person Instant Cabin tent is superbly engineered to deliver a quick and hassle-free setup and good interior space for two small families. We feel it’s perfect for summer camping trips with kids.

The 4 Person Instant Dome tent combines the best features of a traditional dome tent with a super quick setup time. While it’s not for ultralight travelers, it’s a great choice for small families and occasional campers.

When you want a super-spacious tent at an affordable price, pick the 9 Person Extended Dome tent. With a stable frame and a lightweight design, it’s a no-brainer for friends on a hunting or fishing trip.

There you have it. We have listed the best Core tents to choose from for your next camping trip. Some of them might be too much for your needs but the others will fit just right.

So give it a go.

Emma

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 since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.

Emma

Emma

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 since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.