Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent Overview
There’s no mystery to the unique selling point and purpose of this tent- the title says it all: INSTANT! The claims are that this tent can be assembled in one minute or less. Considering most ‘normal’ tents boast about how they ‘only’ take 15 to 20 minutes to set up this is a bold claim indeed. Does the Coleman 8 person instant tent deliver on its promise and do we get ‘instant’ at the expense of quality and features?
The tent is recommended for occasional campers. Its great for this in fact. However its not a tent for serious hikers or people who are planning on camping in tropical rainstorms. But if you’re about to climb mount everest then its unlikely you’re looking at large family camping tent anyway! If you want a quick and easy tent for your occasional family outings then this tent has a huge amount to recommend it.
There is a reason the tent has over 140 five star reviews and is consistently the second best selling tent on Amazon. There are tents with similar features at the $500 instead of $200 but its not just the price that make Coleman tents popular. But like I say, do not expect these popular more low priced Coleman models to match up to top of the range models like North face or Kodaik Canvas Flex. That’s not a fault – they’re not supposed to match up as they have a different function.
Tent Build and set up
By and large most customers have found the ultra quick set up actually works as described. OK so it often takes people 2 or 3 minutes rather than the 1 until they’ve practiced a few times. And once you’ve knocked in the pegs and guy ropes its probably 10 minutes. But lets not quibble. What is comes down to it that this tent CAN be assembled quickly and easily without many of the usual hassles involved.
The tent is made from reasonably good quality material and features Coleman’s usual WeatherTek system. It has to be said this aspect of the Coleman design is a bit overhyped. The WeatherTek is a series of precautions that make the tent a little more resistant to bad weather: coated polyester fabric combined with anti-wicking thread, webbing, and zippers. A few people seem to have had duff models and experienced leaking but the overwhelming majority of customers have found the tent can keep dry in mild rains. Some people who did experience leaking even in light rains have often done things like set the tent up on an exposed site with the door facing directly into the rain and other mistakes of inexperienced campers:
Waterproof or not?
Don’t expect it to keep out torrential rain. You will need a rain-fly or tarp for anything other than mild rains. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of using a rain-fly then site the tent in a sheltered spot or don’t leave the window blinds open. A few customers seem to have been making this mistake: leaving the windows open to ventilate the tent and then being surprised when they find that the rain has come into the tent during the night. The mesh windows do not provide protection from the rain without the blinds down. As with most cheaper tents it s a good step to provide an extra level of protection buy getting some seam sealer and applying it to the seams of the tent.
Unlike some 8 person tents you can actually fit 8 people in it without being packed in like sardines. Most people will be able to stand up inside. The only slight downside is that most people feel more storage pockets etc could have been supplied. A few people seem to have got the idea that you could actually go walking with this tent packed up on your back. That’s not the best idea. This is a BIG tent and the way its designed to allow easy set up also makes it HEAVY. This is a ‘take-it-out-of -the-car-and-set-it-up’ job.
Easy set up, large and spacious, tough material. Its designed for occasional family camping outings and it fulfills that job excellently. Try to use it for other purposes or go moutnain trekking with it and you’re likely to get frustrated.
Still confused about tents and the different models? Check out this handy tent guide Tent buying guide HERE
Pros & Cons of Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent
- The tent actually is easy to set up
- parts are all connected to avoid loosing pieces
- made of good quality materials
- its recommended that you put a tarp underneath the tent but it DOES remain dry during rainstorms
- tent can be divided into room- flexible design. Just the right amount of window in the tent
- solid engineering- the tent allows some sway during winds which helps keep it stable
- Sturdy. After a test of 4 heavy duty camping trips in bad weather the tent was intact with no rips or tears at all
- Some of the poles can be tricky to
- The supplied tent pegs are not sturdy enough. (this is a common issue with Coleman tents) You will need to buy more heavy duty ones such as the Coghlan’s ABS Plastic Tent Pegs
- Really you need a rainfly attached to the tent for more than mild rain.
- Slight lack of compartments and storage solutions inside the tent.
Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent FEATURES
- entrance height: 6 feet 5 inches
- tent base: 14 feet by 10 feet
- sleeps 8
- 2 doors
- 7 windows
- Tent fabric is 150D polyester
- Limited 1 year warranty
Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent Review
Top Tips for using the Coleman 8 person instant tent
- Buy a tarp large enough to cover your tent, either by draping it directly over the tent and staking it down (best) or by attaching a tarp over the tent and attach it to trees (OK). This will make your tent COMPLETELY WATERPROOF–nothing else but this will work
- Buy extra strength tent pegs to replace the ones supplied by Coleman
- Get a simple tarp or groundsheet to put underneath the tent so you don’t have to clean the bottom
CUSTOMER Q & A
is it really as easy to put the tent up as is claimed?
“It takes a bit of practice, but with 2 people you can get this tent set up in a minute, just as advertised. It took myself and my 14 year niece about two minutes to put up the first time. It was so easy that I thought I missed something. It goes down just as quickly. The Trickiest part of the whole build/takedown process is (no, not getting it into the bag) during the takedown, getting the spider on top to fold, as it locks into place”
Whats the deal with the claims the tent is not waterproof?
“The tent is not claimed to be ‘water proof’ but water resistant. yes its a bit mis-leading. Here’s where most people are going wrong – not installing a rainfly AND then leaving the windows open so the rain comes through the mesh. Doh! Anyway I called Coleman and they said it is recommended to spray the tent with a water-resistant before use, though this wasn’t mentioned in the product documentation. After reminding Coleman of their guarantee they agreed to send me a couple cans of sealant for free.”