I tend to camp quite a bit, and more and more I’ve been noticing the Coleman Instant Tent popping up (literally) at every campsite. To be honest, up until last week I was still using the basic tent I bought from Walmart several years ago. It was branded as being easy to set up and all that jazz, but no matter how many times I put it together, it was always a bit confusing.
During one of my recent trips I befriended the neighboring campers and watched the wife put together their massive instant tent in less than two minutes. I kid you not, my jaw dropped open. Not only does my tent require two people to assemble, but it always takes a good fifteen to twenty minutes to put together. I knew right then that my cheap Walmart tent was destined for life in my attic.
How does it work?
With most regular tents you have to put together a bunch of collapsible poles and string them through holes on the outside of the tent. What makes the instant tent unique compared to their traditional counterpart is that there are no flimsy poles that you have to deal with. The tents frame is already attached to the tent, so basically all you have to do is extend the poles to the intended length and put your stakes in the ground. If that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense check out the video below for a demonstration on how easy the set up and break down of the tent is.
What I like about the Instant Tent
I think it is pretty apparent that the main selling point of the instant tent is how quick and easy the tent it is to set up. This would be great for solo campers who would like more space than your typical one person assembled tent provides. Coleman offers the tent in a variety of sizes, all of which offer the same ease of use. Even though I typically camp with just my girlfriend, I ended up buying the largest tent, which is the eight-person 14 x 8 ft tent. It was a little bit more money, but since it’s just as easy to assemble I figured the added space would be worth it.
Another fantastic point to make is that this tent has somewhat of a cube shape to it allowing for more height throughout the tent. This is a big plus for me being a taller guy, because in most tents I am unable to stand up in or can only stand up in the dead center of the tent. The Coleman stands at 6’5 allowing me space to comfortably move around the tent without having to bend down. In my opinion, the cube shape and high ceiling also makes the tent feel a lot larger.
What I don’t like
The only real issue I see with the instant tent is that you’ll need to buy the rain cover separately. Alone this tent can stand up to a little sprinkle, but one good rain storm you’re going to wake up soaked. The rainfly can be order separately and typically run around $50. I did get lucky and found a rainfly on Amazon for less than $40.
The only other negative I see is really a minor one. Most tents have little snaps or strings for the windows when they are unzipped. The instant tent doesn’t have anything like that. The tent is also lacking designated holes for extension cords, or whatever wire you need to run into the tent. I didn’t have a problem putting an extension cord through the main entry and zipping it up around it.
Overall, this is the best tent on the market… period. The ease in setting up and breaking it down makes the tent well worth the investment. I am all about finding ways to make my camping trips as relaxing as possible and this tent takes away the added stress of setting up your outdoor home away from home. Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!