The Coleman 6-person Instant Tent is part of the Coleman Instant Tent series, which has models for sleeping from three to eight people. Setup is quick and easy, and the 6-foot ceiling gives campers room to move. The WeatherTec system protects again the elements with taped seams and strong frame poles, but reviewers suggest purchasing the rainfly.
No rainfly. The Coleman 6-person Instant Tent features Coleman's WeatherTec System, a combination of features to protect campers from the elements, such as protected (and taped) seams, waterproof floors, zipper protection and more. Coleman guarantees these features will "keep you dry," but we found many reports of low-to-moderate leakage. The Instant Tent does not come with a rainfly, but one can be purchased separately (Est. $35), and reviewers strongly recommend doing so.
Taller campers appreciate the 5-foot, 11-inch ceiling. While the name suggests this tent is a good choice to sleep six campers, users and experts disagree, saying it's a better fit for four people. Experienced campers say you should plan to figure one person plus gear to equal two people. The Coleman Instant Tent series also offers models that sleep from three to eight people; the only difference is size.
Owners enjoy the three large windows, but a few complain that when completely open, the shade flaps hang inside the tent. This can be easily remedied, as one camper explains, "If you leave each zipper zipped up about four inches, rather than fully open, you create a pocket of sorts, between the mesh and the fabric parts of the windows. Just stuff the flap into this little pocket, and call it good." The lack of a mesh top means better heat retention in the winter. For summer use, the large windows add ample cooling, and the tent gets great reviews for ventilation.
The Instant Tent features a square door, meaning two zippers are needed -- one horizontal, one vertical. The two zippers do not close flush, one camper points out, leaving a tiny gap in which insects may still enter.
Sets up in seconds. The Coleman Instant Tent series' claim to fame is the fact that they can be set up very quickly, and the Coleman 6-person Instant Tent gets great reviews for this feature. Of the hundreds of reviews we consulted, nearly every camper mentions the ease of setting up and taking down the Coleman Instant Tent. Guylines and staking are not considered in the setup time.
While easy to set up, the Instant Tent is not meant to be carried on the trail like a backpacking tent. At 24 pounds, it's too heavy and does not fold compactly for storage.
Withstands the elements somewhat. The Coleman 6-person Instant Tent is equipped with Coleman's WeatherTec system, which features taped seams and a waterproof floor. The Instant Tent is not the sturdiest or toughest tent, as one expert source says, "It will resist rain -- a little -- but when you get that downpour, it's not as effective, not very breathable ...." He continues to warn that the tent does not shield wind well; campers must ensure it is staked down "really well."
Owners do not comment on the longevity of the tent, but the walls and roof are made from polyester taffeta 150D. Several campers state the tent is "durable" but do not offer any supporting details. Coleman makes an extra effort to incorporate a tougher, more tarp-like floor in their WeatherTec system. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
Review Credibility: Excellent In more than 300 reviews, the Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent has earns an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Campers love the tent's ease of use, sturdy build and roomy interior but pan the leaking issues and the lack of ventilation and storage.
Review: Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Monica Prelle, About.com's camping guide, reviews the Coleman Instant Tent series. She does not provide many details on how much experience she had with the product, but breaks down her brief review into pros, cons, specs, her opinion and favorite feature. She says, "The Instant Tent is ideal for a family car camping trip."
Review: Coleman Instant Tent, Monica Prelle, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good Devin Chance of Outdoor Gear Lab performs a hands-on review of the Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent. His review is extensive and detailed. The page also contains a video in which he briefly demonstrates the pole locking mechanism, although he does not show the full assembly. The reviewers name it their Best Buy for providing "the most bang for your buck."
Review: Coleman Instant Tent 6 Review, Devin Chance, Sept. 12, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Coleman product managers Nick Vonn and John Rose demonstrate how the Instant Tent can be assembled (without stakes or guylines) in less than 30 seconds. They do not offer any critical points, and this is not a competitive review, but rather an abbreviated product demonstration.
Review: Coleman(R) Instant Tent - Watch the Product Guys Set It Up, Nick Vonn and John Rose , Aug. 27, 2010
Review Credibility: Good About 21 reviewers give the Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. In addition to in-depth reviews, owners can break down their ratings by comfort, ease of setup and quality. Reviewers concur with Coleman's ease of setup claims, saying it really does take only a few minutes. However, there are complaints of leaks and quality issues.
Review: Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent, Contributors to Target.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Good Online retailer Meijer has about two dozen customer reviews for the Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent, which earns an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Owners can select pros, cons and best uses for each product, plus add comments. Each review is brief but the general consensus is clear; the tent is quick and easy to assemble, but leaks without a rainfly.
Review: Coleman 6- Person Instant Tent, Contributors to Meijer.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Good Avid adventurer and editor-in-chief of GearJunkie.com, Stephen Regenold shares his experience after taking the Instant Tent for a camping trip with his wife and three kids. He says it's easy to use, but suffers from design and quality issues. His main complaint is poor ventilation.
Review: Coleman 'Instant Tent', Stephen Regenold, June 6, 2011