Coleman Sundome Tent Review – Is This a Good Family Tent?

Coleman Sundome Tent Series

Coleman Sundome Tent Series
7.5

Size and Comfort

8.0/10

Weather Proof

7.0/10

Weight

6.0/10

Ease of Set Up

9.0/10

Dismantling

9.0/10

Accessories

6.0/10

Pros

  • Large D-shaped doors make for easy entry and exit.
  • 2 mesh storage pockets in the interior allow you to store items.
  • The hooded door and window ensure excellent cross ventilation
  • Dome style design makes it very sturdy against wind and water resistant
  • Easy to set up and disassemble
  • Comes with an electrical access port to run AC power
  • Made from fire resistant material

Cons

  • Heavy rainfall of more than 1.5 inches can cause seepage near the floor
  • The large meshed vents under the fly cannot be closed making it unsuitable for Anything other than summer weather
  • Some situations will require longer stakes then those provided

Having the right tent can make or break a family camping trip. It has to strike an even balance between durability, comfort and ease of use. Not forgetting also, the right size. The Coleman Sundome tent series does all this and provides a range of sizes to suit any number of potential campers. If you are looking for a good family tent for your summer camping trip, the Coleman Sundome series can cover all your needs.

Size and comfort

When deciding on any good family tent, the first question to start with is ‘How much space do I need?’ Coleman covers all sizes to suit any number of people, from two up to six. Each one measures as follows:

  • 2 person – 7 x 5 feet – center height 48 inches
  • 3 person – 7 x 7 feet – center height 52 inches
  • 4 person – 8 x 7 feet – center height 59 inches
  • 5 person – 10 x 10 feet – center height 72 inches
  • 6 person – 10 x 10 feet – center height 74 inches

Although this tent series comes with a range of sizes to choose from it is common practice among camping aficionados to choose a size one above what you think you’ll need. Unless you have a vehicle to store some of your gear you may find things a bit tight.

The best advantage with these tents is that there so waterproof. With over 33% water resistance than most similar brands they will keep you high and dry through most weather but they may run into trouble in rainfall above 1.5 inches.

Another downside is their structural quality. These are relatively cheap tents but with only a 1-year warranty, serious campers may find them a bit lacking. They do though have excellent ventilation thanks to their adjustable Variflo system that ensures proper air flow.

The tradeoff to this increased ventilation is that the wire meshes can’t be closed, making the tent unsuitable for colder weather.

Session and weather

Before choosing any tent, you need to consider what sort of weather conditions you’ll be putting it through. Being dome tents, these are fairly wind resistant and can certainly hold up against most stormy weather. Although it is marketed as being water resistant some reviewers have complained about water leakage around the corners in a heavy downpour. So long as all the zippers are fully closed it should be enough for most weather conditions but they have their limits.

Floor

The polyethylene floor is welded to the sides and turns up which keeps it a few inches above ground level. This ensures better protection against rain seeping in.

Weight

Coming in five different sizes you have more than a bit of choice in what weight is right for you. When fully packed up each tent weighs as follows:

  • 2 person – 6.3 pounds
  • 3 person – 8.3 pounds
  • 4 person – 9.7 pounds
  • 5 person – 19.4 pounds
  • 6 person – 16.2 pounds

As you can see, they’ve done some improvements with the Sundome 6 which cuts an extra 3 pounds off compared with the Sundome 5. Even so, that’s still a hefty weight making it unsuitable for anyone moving on foot to the campsite.

Nonetheless, for the extra weight, you get a lot more space making it well suited for families.

Ease of set-up

A big plus for this tent range is the ease of set-up. Dome tents are known to be very easy to pitch and the Sundome series is no exception. For the Sundome’s 2-4, just one person can get away with pitching the tent. In strong winds, you may need a little help but all that help really consists of is having someone hold down one end. To make things super easy, the set-up instructions come on the carry bag so you can always refer to them when you need to. Set-up shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

The fiberglass poles can be easily pushed through the sleeves and once you’ve got the peg rings in on one side they can hold it in place while you secure than with stakes. To finish set-up the rain fly is strapped to the upper pole and rests on the top secured to the four peg rings. It’s always advisable that you do a test-run at home before trying it out in the field for the first time.

Good Family Tent     

Dismantling and breaking camp

Dismantling is just as easy and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for one person to take down the Sundome’s 2-4. Even the 5 and 6 are just as simple to take down and repack, taking perhaps 2-4 minutes more than their smaller versions. That said though you will want to practice a bit before taking one on its first trip. Coleman recommends keeping the poles and stakes separated in different bags to avoid tearing.

Best use for camping situations

The stakes that come with the Sundome series are metal but won’t be strong enough for family beach camping if that’s what you’re planning. Depending on how you plan to use the tent you may need to buy longer and thicker stakes. The Sundome 2 is perfect for couples if the weight is distributed between them but might be a bit heavy for solo trekkers. For bicycling or motorbike camping, the Sundome 2-4 is perfect but the 5 and 6 may require a larger vehicle unless you can split it between several people.

Are you thinking of using it for the kids when they have a sleepover? No problem, the ease of set-up makes it a cinch to get it ready in the backyard.

Seasoned campers though may find this series a bit lacking in versatility. While it does hold up pretty well against rain and wind you may find it lacking in more extreme conditions. Keep in mind that this series is meant for ‘light camping’ and shouldn’t be taken to extremes.

Customer Experiences

Reviews have been very positive across the whole series with a few complaints depending on what people’s expectations were. Some have complained that the stated size of a model was not enough while others found it more than adequate. There have been some complaints about water leakage but not as many compared with those who found the Sundome series held up fine against heavy rain and wind.

I did not come across a single reviewer who complained about the ease of set-up, most, in fact, stress this as its best feature.

Out of the box

Each tent comes with everything needed to set it up. The stakes are metal and require no cord as the stakes go through loops attached to the tent. The carry bag has excellent durability and has separate storage bags for poles and stakes giving you greater peace of mind. Coleman was definitely thinking ahead by stitching the set-up instructions to the inside of the bag and on tent material rather than a sheet of paper that would only get lost on the first trip.

     

Manufacturer

Coleman has been manufacturing outdoor equipment for over 100 years and continues to put out a great line of products that make spending time outside a pleasure. With a massive catalog of over 8,000 SKU’s and new products coming out every year, they are one of the biggest outdoor companies in the world. While most of their products are made in Asia they’re making a pivot now to more manufacturing in the U.S.

As of now, they have three domestic plants and employ over 1000 people who make gear. Their facilities in Minnesota, Texas and Kansas produce about 13,000,000 units a year, including coolers, airbeds, LED lights, portable grills and much more. When it comes to outdoor equipment they’re a trusted brand that keeps surprising people with new products and innovations.

Accessories – included or to consider

Each tent comes with a one year warrantee. A spare parts and repair kit can be bought separately and it is recommended that you pick on up. Although each tent has an integrated floor it’s recommended that you purchase a tarpaulin to put between the tent and the ground. This will give it extra protection against punctures and keep it clean for when you’re repacking it. Other than that, first time buyers will also need a portable lantern if they don’t already have one.

Features

Depending on which size you choose each will have different specifications but all models come with the same features as follows:

  • Spacious interior with room to move around
  • Dome design for quick setup, 5 – 10 minutes
  • Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup
  • Rainfly awning for shade and rain protection
  • Large windows help keep the tent cool
  • Storage pockets keep your gear organized
  • WeatherTec™ System—patented welded floors and inverted seams keep water out
  • Insta-Clip™ Pole Attachments stand up to wind
  • Limited 1-year warranty

Pros

  • Large D-shaped doors make for easy entry and exit.
  • 2 mesh storage pockets in the interior allow you to store items.
  • The hooded door and window ensure excellent cross ventilation.
  • Dome style design makes it very sturdy against wind and water resistant.
  • Easy to set up and disassemble.
  • Comes with an electrical access port to run AC power.
  • Made from fire resistant material.

Cons

  • Heavy rainfall of more than 1.5 inches can cause seepage near the floor.
  • The large meshed vents under the fly cannot be closed making it unsuitable for Anything other than summer weather.
  • Some situations will require longer stakes then those provided.

Consumer ratings

Reviews have been largely positive with each version scoring an average of 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 in most reviews. There have been complaints about the quality of the materials and its water tolerance but provided it’s not taken through extreme conditions each version holds up for the most part.

Conclusion

The Coleman Sundome series is meant to provide value for money as a good family tent. For beginners or irregular campers, the Sundome series will cover most of their needs and get them through moderate to rough conditions. However, be wary about taking it too far beyond its limits. Anything above 1.5 inches of rainfall and you could run into trouble. If you expect you can get away with that though the Sundome series should be more than adequate.


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