Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

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Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:53 pm

Hey guys,
I have been doing a lot of research on different tents to take to BM, between the BM 1st timers guide, the forums and Google searches, etc and one that I liked a lot was the Coleman Instant 8 person tent. I like that it is very easy to set up and take down, is seemingly sturdy (should stay up in the wind storms and that it has a big door (we are bringing a futon to sleep on as my fiance and i have bad backs, and the air mattresses just don't cut it for us). Have any of you either used this or seen anyone use this or any of the instant tents by coleman or have any other recommendations that are similar to this tent that i haven't found in my endless search for the best BM tent? We do like also that it has 2 rooms, one for sleeping and one for holding all our stuff but that is not the number one reason for this tent. We may end up going with one of the smaller one room versions of this tent if we cant figure out a shade structure for a decent price that will cover the tent too. All ideas welcome. Thanks in advance!!! :D
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby AntiM » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:55 am

Unless you can get your tent under a bit of shade, any tent will become an oven by mid-morning. You won't be able to stand it even to duck in and change clothes. You need a bit if shade at least as a "porch" to sit and do whatever it is you do in camp during the day. For me, tents are for sleeping and sex and nothing else. We store our things in bins and so on, under our shade. Otherwise, you track dust into the tent, and you'll have to take extra measures to keep your sleeping area dust-free.

We had a Coleman six person, I hated it. It was under a carport, so the wind didn't bother it at Burning Man. However, we had it up at our regional here in Utah, and a brief 70 mph wind gust pushed it sideways and snapped a couple of the poles. It was done, we went back to our small tent exclusively.

I've seen the room tents like that, perfectly staked, laying flat in the wind on the playa. Perhaps guying helps, but one loose guyline and you can lose the entire tent.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:11 am

Yeah, that particular tent looks like it wouldn't hold up well in the wind. You could get a costco carport for about the same $$ and it would be much sturdier. They take up a lot more space and are heavier though.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Bob » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:31 am

Looks great for the woods, if you want everybody to see you undressing.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby yurtgirl » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:25 am

Last year we used the Coleman instant 4 person tent and it held up fine, but then again, last year didn't have record wind like some years. We also built a sturdy monkey hut that was the envy of the camp so that helped alot, I'm sure. Planning on taking them both again this year. Fingers crossed for some good weather again.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby AntiM » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:59 am

Last year was the best one I'd ever experienced in 11 years. Hardly any wind or dust at all. I wouldn't count on such mild conditions again.

I looked at that tent online. That is a LOT of mesh, even if the windows and panels do zip up. If you ever unzip one to open it, you'll have an instant mini dust storm into your tent. What I can't see is if there's a zipper across the bottom of the front door. Without one, you're living in a dust scoop.

The instant up is very much like our tent, but our tent is sheltered. I wouldn't trust those little ribs to withstand high winds.

The guys are sewn into the tent. A high wind would rip one right out, and your tent would have a gaping hole which duct tape couldn't begin to salvage. Absolutely must be protected from the wind. For that price? You can do better. Kodiak or Springbar come to mind right off.

Does your futon have a frame? Are you hauling a trailer? Do you want a tent you can stand up in?
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:33 am

Wow thanks for all the tips guys! Just woke up and was so grateful to see you guys posting on this thread.

@AntiM - We will be renting a utility van, but no trailer, and yes the futon does have a frame, we are also planning on bringing carpet or AstroTurf to make sure the legs don't rip through the flooring of whatever tent we end up getting. And you have a great point about the mesh and windows and what have you. i looked into springbar and kodiak, ouch, expensive, but well worth it if it is going to last for many burning man trips to come. And the whole reason we wanted a bigger one was to keep all our crapolla in one room and sleep and as you stated have sex in the other. if we do end up with a smaller tent we will need one that has a big enough door to fit the futon through, the mattress i am not worried about as id folds and bends, but the frame not so much. I will get measurements of the futon later when Kris gets home (i am nursing a broken leg right now) and will start looking. It really sucks searching online though cause a lot of the time they don't include the dimensions of the door. Maybe i will have to talk my hunny bunny into taking me out to big 5 and sport chalet over the next week or so to ask the experts about the door size issue. If you have any suggestions for smaller tents that we wont be hunched over too much (a little is fine but we have bad backs so, yeah) that have big enough doors to get a futon fram in and out of it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a bunch!

@yurtgirl - we were concidering making a monkey hut, they seem to be popular with the long time burners as they seem to work. I found a pattern for one, but it only said to put the ends of the PVC onto the rebar, but other than that it didn't say anything about how to make sure it doesn't go flying away if wind gets an under gust sail effect type thingy going on. Any tips on how to make sure it stays put?

@ Bob - haha doesn't really bother us since we will have the monkey hut over it

@mudpuppy - we were debating between a carport and a monkey hut for a shade structure. Any tips or tricks to make a sturdy carport or monkey hut?
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby AntiM » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:28 pm

There are existing monkey hut threads. Carports are pretty much out of the box, some of us have modified the set up. I think the monkey hutters duct tape the poles to the rebar?

Have you read through the what are you sleeping on thread? I have a very bad back also, we sleep on a self-inflating queen mattress with a memory foam topper. Incredibly plush. I had a bit of a problem getting up off the ground, but I've gotten stronger over the last year or two. There's also suggestions for raised beds. A futon on a frame will require a larger entrance, so it can't hurt to look over what works for others.

You still have some time to settle on a tent. If you can figure out how to shade/shelter the Instant, is should work. Practice your set up though. I laughed at the youtube guy setting up his tent on grass with no wind. He needs to do it in a hurricane.

Hope your leg is doing better soon. Our campmate had to come out one year with his arm in a cast. We lent him the trike or he'd have been grounded.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Carports (from Costco) are pretty much ready to go out of the box. All you need are some ratchet straps and heavy stakes to hold it down. I was actually thinking of using one as a "tent" and just having furniture or whatever in the car port. They tend to get toasty during the day though, so would need some sort of extra shade over it, or open up the sides and let the wind blow through it.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:47 pm

Yeah i have been reading through those threads. the problem is that so many people have experiences that contradict the experiences of others so i have been taking the stance of getting as much advice from as many people as possible and mulling it down to the pros and cons and trying to find the closest to a middle ground that i can. i will have to go back to see if i can find the monkey hut thread specifically, i was going through the shelter thread in general.

definitely looking forward to getting my trike out there, i am pretty sure i am going to go with a Schwinn 3 speed if i can find one for a decent price and maybe replace the tires with all terrain tires or something that will work well in heat and sandy environments, just in case the playa ends up being soft this year or in years to come (i fully intend on going again after this year!!)

Thanks again!
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby yurtgirl » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:17 pm

http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/

i got my monkey hut instructions here after cruising the interwebs as well as eplaya for a year resources on here are limitless and invaluable. of course, everyone has an opinion and its hard to come up with the best way. Just use your judgement and since you are planning this far out you should be fine. the instant tent we had did well keeping out the dust (but once again, it was a mild year). I had to remind the beau on numerous occasions to zip the damn thing shut. day 5 he finally did it! he's used to midwest camping! in 09 there was a dust storm early in the week and we were in an rv and even that damn thing got dusted. so it goes with the territory. and, my, what a wonderful territory it is.

good luck
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:25 pm

Yup that is the page i found too. Did you have any problems getting the monkey hut to stay on the re-bar in wind? or should some well placed guy lines do the trick?

I suppose we will be getting dusty no matter what we do haha, just gonna have to figure out a way to minimize it
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:35 pm

Don't know if I read this or just now thought of it, but if you drive 2 pieces of rebar side by side where each leg of the monkeyhut will go, then you can slide the pvc over one and duct tape the pvc to the rebar beside it.

I would even get a short piece of steel pipe with a cap that would fit over the end of the 2 pieces of rebar so that I could drive those twins at the same time! 8)
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:40 pm

EXCELLENT IDEA FIGJAM!!!!! That is DEFINITELY going in the plans!!! Thanks a bunch!
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Drucifer303 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:50 am

I have the Coleman instant 6, and i would not bring it to Burningman. I use it for festival camping in non desert conditions. I can not see it handling the desert that well. heat, dust wind, all will make it pretty miserable. Maybe under a really good monkeyhut..

buuuut.. i'm a burgin too so take it for what its worth.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Trishntek » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:15 pm

have any other recommendations that are similar to this tent that i haven't found in my endless search for the best BM tent?


If you want simplicity along with "the best BM tent", take a serious look at Springbar or Kodiak tents. They are pricey, but are very simple to setup, no guylines required and are considered four season tents. I know you probably read this more than once in your searches, but it does remain true. I can set up or break down my Kodiak in 15 minutes by myself.

Another tent I have is a Rhino portable garage which is not easy to set up, but will sustain about anything the playa can throw at it when staked properly. If you want the best portable shelter which provides shade and wind protection for a tent inside, this is the shit.
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:47 pm

Mrs.Damato wrote:Yup that is the page i found too. Did you have any problems getting the monkey hut to stay on the re-bar in wind? or should some well placed guy lines do the trick?

I suppose we will be getting dusty no matter what we do haha, just gonna have to figure out a way to minimize it


Get a good rope, a kernmantle climbers rope preferred; used are cheap on ebay since climbers replace them before they wear out. Run your GOOD ROPE through grommets along the sides of your cover, near the ground where you have left a 6-12" wind vent on each side (which will also keep down the dust inside). Secure the ropes to the rebar at each end. That is really all you need. It is a very flexible and sturdy design.

Your rebar should be 1/2 in diameter and 2 feet long, driven 12 inches into the playa. The playa will hold the rebar, the rebar and cover will hold the PVC in place. Lateral force will not shift it, and once the hut is firmly covered there is too much tension on the PVC to lift it off the rebar; the sharp ends of the rebar grab the inside of the pipes.

A flexible knit like aluminet handles wind a lot better than solid tarp, just sayin; and it is silent and beautiful.

Check your ropes, grommets, cords etc at least twice a day.

Oh and I am sure you are planning to do this, but I will tell you anyway: Set your Monkey Hut up now, and practice with it. See how it works. It's really cool. 8)
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Mrs.Damato » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:41 pm

Yeah i for sure will be setting it up. We have a backyard that is all solid dirt with loose dirt on top, so i think it will be at least similar enough surface to get an idea of if it will stay put. And to top it off, i live on the side of a mountain so we get our really windy days. I am going to try setting it up on one of the windier days. It doesn't get up to the 70 mph winds i have heard of that happen on the playa, but at least we will have an idea nonetheless. and i will definitely look into the climbers rope. thanks for the tip!
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Re: Coleman instant tent reviews? Suggestions?

Postby Zolita » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:40 am

Buy a Kodiak- you will never look back. I bought the 10X14 and it's a palace. You can walk around in it, have a large sleep area, room for your gear- I have a clothes line and throw my stuff over it in there, and get dressed no problem.I did the side by side comparison with the Springbar and for the extra $50 it's worth $100 more just for the larger windows, extra gear hangers, pockets and the 2 top air vents. The completely zip-sealable feature makes it a clean almost dust free sleep / storage area-get a cheap used carpet for your area- and go shoeless at the door when you can...It is so air tight that you can't raise it without unzipping the door and windows...as far as raising it- it takes about 15 minutes. Stake the corners, attach the bars, raise and stake the rest-2 people operation-but one tall strong person can do it on their own. Super fast. and the bonus? No guy lines! The tent comes with deep stakes, but I still recommend buying the deeper planting stakes at Sports Basement and also securing with at least 4 pieces of rebar. You will also need a to figure out how to cover it for shade. It's tall. One thing I bring with me to BRC? A small brush and dustpan from IKEA- they are usually around the check out area for a dollar. I sweep up the inside of my tent almost every day- takes a minute and I return to the default world with my tent needing very little maintenance.

I am back from Symbiosis with 40+ mph winds on Thursday-and my tent took it with no problem. Yes the Kodiak is pricey, but they hold their value if you ever decide you want to sell it- they are rarely found used anywhere. Oh, and they sell out this time of year- apparently the Boy Scout Jamboree likes to buy a lot of these- so if you wait any longer you may be searching all over for one. Cabelas has them usually- I bought mine from some other dealer last year- no tax and free shipping. Check around. Good luck and see you in BRC!
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