Which Coleman tent is the best?

Coleman has been producing high-quality camping equipment since 1900, with its tents providing reliable shelter for campers worldwide. When choosing the best Coleman tent, focus on features including capacity, durability and weather resistance.

While Coleman offers a wide variety of tent options ranging from smaller two-person shelters to extra-large 12-person options, selecting the right one comes down to preference. If you’re in the market for a sturdy tent with an easy setup process, the Coleman Instant Cabin Tent is a solid choice.

What to know before you buy a Coleman tent

Type 

When shopping for a new Coleman tent, you’ll likely come across both dome and cabin styles. A dome tent has a rounded design with sloping walls and a slight center peak. Cabin tents are more rectangular to increase headspace and provide extra room.

Capacity 

Most Coleman tents sport a capacity rating between two and 12 people. Capacity may vary slightly depending on the size of the campers and whether or not you’re bringing a pet or want to store a ton of gear in the tent.

Interior dimensions

The interior dimensions are how much livable space is inside the tent. While backpackers may want a smaller tent so it more easily fits inside a pack, car campers may want a little extra room to stretch out or store equipment. Taller campers should pay close attention so they can choose a model that won’t feel cramped.

Season rating

Most Coleman tents have a three-season rating, making the tent a viable option for spring, summer and fall camping. If you’ll be camping in cold weather or at high altitudes, opt for a four-season tent, which provides better insulation and withstands snow.

What to look for in a quality Coleman tent

Tent stakes and poles

Every Coleman tent comes with tent stakes and poles. Even when using a freestanding tent, staking down the corners provides extra security in windy or stormy conditions. Depending on the environment, you may want to invest in terrain-specific stakes.

Coleman tent poles are sturdy and durable enough to keep your tent standing through harsh weather. Coleman tents feature either aluminum or fiberglass pole options.

Rainfly

The rainfly is what will keep you dry during those unexpected downpours. A majority of Coleman tents feature an exterior removable rainfly you need to install separately, while a few options, specifically the instant and pop-up models, may have integrated rain protection built into the tent.

Vestibule

The vestibule is the area of the tent campers use to store gear and equipment. The overhang of the rainfly creates most vestibules, while others may be built-in and might feature mesh netting to keep out bugs. Choose an option with a sizable vestibule if you camp with a lot of gear.

Ventilation

Without ventilation, a tent would heat up quickly on hot days while trapping moisture inside. The mesh on the windows and doors helps create a cooling airflow, while roof and ground vents ventilate even when it’s raining.

Doors

The tent doors also serve as the windows, and most feature either full mesh or partial mesh screens with a waterproof layer. You can zip these screens closed. Coleman offers standard zip doors as well as hinged doors for easy in-and-out access.

Additional features

Interior storage pockets, gear lofts, lantern loops and E-ports are common features in a variety of Coleman tents. There also are models that utilize Coleman’s Dark Room material, which helps block sunlight so you can have a restful night’s sleep.

How much you can expect to spend on a Coleman tent

Coleman tent prices vary depending on style and capacity but most are $50-$150. Smaller inexpensive options can cost as little as $40 while large high-end tents can run as high as $350.

Coleman tent FAQ

Should you use a footprint with your tent?

A. A tent footprint is a protective layer that goes underneath the base of your tent. While they aren’t always necessary for casual camping on softer terrain, they can help extend the lifespan of your tent, keeping it from ripping or tearing.

What should you do if your rainfly is no longer keeping out water?

A. After years of use, the rainfly may not work as well as it once did. To return your rainfly to its previous condition, consider a waterproof seam sealer. Apply a durable water-repellent coating (DWR) to increase water resistance.

What’s the best Coleman tent to buy?

Top Coleman tent

Coleman Instant Cabin Tent

Coleman Instant Cabin Tent

What you need to know: This tent is ideal for anyone who wants a quick and simple setup that will keep them protected no matter the weather.

What you’ll love: Since the poles come attached, you won’t have to worry about misplacing them. The built-in rain protection means you won’t need to set up a rainfly.

What you should consider: The overall storage area can be limiting for some campers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Coleman tent for the money

Coleman Sundome Tent

Coleman Sundome Tent

What you need to know: Available in multiple sizes, this best-selling tent is an affordable option.

What you’ll love: By utilizing convenient ventilation panels, you can stay comfortable in a variety of climates and weather conditions. The compact size and light weight makes this tent easy to transport.

What you should consider: The Sundome tent doesn’t offer the most headroom compared to other Coleman options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent

Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent

What you need to know: Crafted from sunlight-blocking material, this tent is made for those who enjoy a good night’s sleep.

What you’ll love: The interior is large enough to fit a queen-sized air mattress. The front mesh vestibule area provides a space to relax and unwind when the bugs decide to swarm.

What you should consider: While still simple, the setup process takes slightly more time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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