Coleman Sundome

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Whenever late spring and early summer come rolling around, those of us who have had just a little too much of the ‘city life’ look to go out an find a nice quiet place to relax. When we do, we know we may want to spend more than a few hours relaxing and plan for a few nights. If we do not want to have our vehicle doubling as a bed, or brought some friends or family along, we will want to have room to stretch out while sleeping. So, of course, we want to bring along a tent or two. Everyone who has gone camping (whether in our yard or the true outdoors) has run across the bad attempt at a tent. We would prefer to help you in not having to worry about what your money is going for, and that means we research to bring to the front a tent that works and will last more than one round of camping if cared for and used properly. The Coleman Sundome is a small tent meant for up to four adults, but more comfortable sleep up to three. It, of course, has its benefits and a few cons as well, so as always, we will cover all of that for you here, so you can decide if this is what you need for your ideal camping tent.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy set up (can be put on nearly every terrain)
  • 2 pockets for storage
  • Electricity Port
Cons
  • Only good in light rain
  • Tight fit for 4 people
Materials

Materials

For its price, this tent is a great buy. While it can’t hold up to heavy rain, winds, nor is it good with true cold, it is ideal for warmer and more calm weather. Coleman used quality material when putting this tent together, and did a wonderful job when designing it, so it is great on almost all types of terrain but needs more support to hold it in place than rocky terrain can usually offer- especially for the less experienced camper. The tent comes complete with everything you need to set it up, from stakes to fiberglass shock-corded poles to the main fire-retardant body and carrying bag. The material is also lightly water-proofed to a moderate degree. This means that it is designed to hold to decent weather but is meant to only be used occasionally and not as a long term, all-season, tent.
Capacity

Capacity

The description claims it is a four-person tent. When it is labeled without specific reference, it is referring to full-sized adults, but the actual measurements may only just fit certain sized sleeping mats. In this case, four long but thin adult sized mats can fit side by side, but it leaves no real room for anything else. If sleep is all you intend to do in the tent, that is fine, but if you want to have room for other things, such as games, then you may want to plan this one for 2-3 adults instead of the full 4. Another consideration is in just how big each adult in it will be. All-in-all it is a good small-sized tent, with the places for everything you might need on the occasional camping trip. For those looking to spend a long time though. This may not be exactly what you need if going with a larger party of people in mind for a single tent. Of course, if you are planning a trip with two adults and two kids, this is likely to have plenty of room to spare.
Waterproofing

Waterproofing

Built for calmer weather, this tent is not meant to withstand a typhoon, but it definitely works for weather more suitable for camping. If you can hide under an umbrella and know you will not get wet from the material not holding up, then you can expect the same in this case. The tent has only a little more resistance than your average umbrella, so it can hold out against most wet weather, but a true rainstorm may still leave you and your things wet inside. All that it means though, is you will not have to worry so long as you plan ahead for your trip. Most camping trips are planned for dry weather, and at the most to get a little bit of rain. Keeping an eye on the weather is a good strategy for anyone who seeks to traverse the wild anyway, so you will likely be warned of any sort of rain that would surpass the capability of your tent keeping you dry. The actual measurement for the material used is right around 600, so if you know an umbrella is about 100 less, even if you do not quite understand what the scale means, you can take a good guess with that in mind as to what this one can handle.
Style

Style

While there is not a very large selection when it comes to colors with this tent, the overall design is what gives this one a good sense of style when it comes to tents. It needs to be said that tents are not exactly what one would call a fashion statement. They are not worn or really meant to be shown off as a sense of taste, rather they are designed to be able to keep you safe and dry while providing temporary shelter in the wild. This one will do that in calmer weather and provides a decent amount of space for its price. Most tents this size and for this kind of space do not provide the height to really stand and walk around in, but this one has a surprising amount of room- with a 99-inch height, even taller people will find they can rise and shine without feeling folded in half just to get up. You have two pouches to place your belongings in, plenty of breathing space for airflow, and even a spot to run your electricity port through, you will have it here. The design even provides an awning just outside the door, so you can get shade when it is perhaps a tad too warm to be inside the tent itself. The floor of the tent even holds up on most terrain and with such an easy setup, you will not find yourself struggling to find an area your tent can be put- which is great news when you are out with a larger group who all have to find a spot for their own tents.
Durability

Durability

This is a fair-weather tent with a great price, but it is not intended for use all year round. This is the kind of tent that is meant to be used sporadically and taken care of. While it will not rip at the first touch of camping, it will wear out more quickly under heavy constant use. For its design it is durable, but it can’t take constant sun bleaching or bad weather. If you want to be sure that it lasts more than a single use, a good idea is to take the time to care for it properly and make sure you are only planning to use it when you are planning short trips with the family. A week or two outside is best, but many have found that spending an entire summer in it has left them with a tent that may or may not hold up to a second run. So, is it durable? Yes, but only when used as intended- like most things used for protection, it does have an expected life span that should be respected.
Protection

Protection

This is marked as a three-season tent, in other words, spring, summer, and fall, however, we have found that those who have used this tent suggest it is really best for fair weather. What exactly is ‘fair weather’? Well, it will keep you safe and protected when it comes to sun, light to light-medium winds and some types of rain. It is not insulated for colder weather, and it has about the same level of protection from rain as your average umbrella, only from all sides instead of just from above. What this means is if you are expecting high rains, heavy winds or weather cold enough that a sleeping bag may not be warm enough protection, then this tent is not likely to hold up either. It does a great job when the weather affords it but keeping an eye on what is expected is a good idea. Expecting any product to go beyond what it was designed for is foolish though, and most family tents are not intended to be a constant shelter against all elements. On that sentiment, those who have used it have found it performs exceptionally well for its affordability when all things are considered.
Weather Resistance

Weather Resistance

This one is labeled to be a three-season tent, intended for spring summer and fall type weather. However, we have done a bit of research and found that most who have used this tent all agree on something- it is best in moderately warm weather, can handle light to light-medium rain and mild winds. It does not really do very well to insulate against cooler weather and its water resistance is about the same, only a little better, than an average umbrella. As for wind, it doesn’t tend to hold well against heavy winds, or “kite-flying” days. This is due to the rain flap on top coming off, or the tent itself becoming uprooted from the ground. That being said, it does hold up to moderate weather and is a great purchase if you plan ahead and need something large enough to enjoy for a small family outing. The intention behind this tent make was specifically for such occasions and not really for more extensive or rough use in harsher climates.
Price

Price

Here is where everything comes together to draw the attention. For most family-sized tents, this size you could expect a price somewhere in the hundreds. A tent this size even for moderate weather does not usually hold back on pocket gouging and so you would have to go looking for a small dome tent where getting up to stretch would be nigh impossible. With enough room for four adult-sized sleeping bags, and tall enough for most adults to stand before exiting, you and your family can enjoy your outing and not have to worry if it starts up in a light rain. You will still be able to stretch your legs now and then while keeping dry and can just hang out till the weather clears. This tent is surprisingly cheap for such an advantage and sits at around $50-60, which for both its quality and size is amazing. So, if you are looking for a cheap tent that is not cheap in its build, this is definitely it.
Key Features

Key Features

-99-inch height
-Fits 4 average sized adult sleeping bags
-A place for your power cord to run in
-Easy to set up
-Good on most terrains
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This is a great family tent made with quality items for a fair-weather trip into nature. While it may not be well suited for harsher weather, if used as intended and taken care of, this tent can hold up for years of spring, summer and fall family vacations. The tent is roomy, has plenty of its own advantages and will not leave you gouged out of extra vacation money for items or activities you may want to do when not in your tent. If you are looking for something to use cross country, or in more rugged terrain and weather though, you will need to look elsewhere. That is not because the tent is not good quality, but because this is not for the more rugged adventurers, instead it was built with families in mind. It holds up to what is needed when it’s a stationary trip to get away from all the hustle and bustle of home, school and work for a little while and reconnect with what really matters. After all, camping is a great way to spend time with your family and not let the rest of the world keep getting in your face or preventing those moments when just talking and sharing time are important.