Get camping in an instant with the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup. This one-step insta-tent is a pop-up style abode that makes up with quickness and ease what it lacks in amenities and overall size. The smallest tent in terms of floor space AND height in our camping tent review, the Coleman is still a charming, affordable, "quick" solution to simple and fast overnight trips, backyard stay-cations, no-frills "couple's retreats," or a stress-free kid's tent. It's these applications where this tent finds a fun, unique niche in the camping world; just don't kid yourself that you're getting anything very technical or durable.Editor's Note: We updated this review on April 19, 2022, to add more information on overall value and suggestions for other products you may want to consider.
Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup Review
Cons: Low headroom, poor overall construction
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|Pros||Super easy set up, good views, very nice price||Spacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high value||Spacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensive||Simple, quick to set up, lightweight||Great fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat concept|
|Cons||Low headroom, poor overall construction||Not the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bag||Fiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly on||Cheap poles, bad door zippers, small footprint||Hard to setup, doesn't do well in rain, poor quality|
|Bottom Line||This tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areas||This tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gear||Wherever this tent falls short in quality, it makes up for it in size, features, and overall value||A classic lightweight 4-person dome tent that gives a little extra headroom and has a few nice features||While this tent looks good in photos, it performs poorly in weather resistance and general use|
|Rating Categories||Coleman 4-Person Ca...||The North Face Wawo...||Kelty Wireless 6||Kelty Tallboy 4||Coleman Evanston Sc...|
|Space and Comfort (35%)|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Family Friendliness (15%)|
|Specs||Coleman 4-Person Ca...||The North Face Wawo...||Kelty Wireless 6||Kelty Tallboy 4||Coleman Evanston Sc...|
|Weight||18.2 lbs||21.9 lbs||17.2 lbs||11.0 lbs||20.9 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||4' 11"||6' 6"||6' 4"||5' 10"||5' 8"|
|Floor Dimensions||8' x 7'||10' x 8' 6"||9' 10" x 8' 10"||7' 1" x 8'||10' x 9'|
|Floor Area||56 sq ft||85 sq ft||86.9 sq ft||57 sq ft||90 sq ft|
|Windows||3||2||Mesh top||Mesh top||2|
|Number of Doors||1||3||2||1||1|
|Vestibule Area (total)||0 sq ft||44.7 sq ft||28 sq ft||0 sq ft||40 sq ft|
|Packed Size||39.5" x 8" x 8"||9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5"||27" x 8" x 8"||24" x 7" x 10"||27.4" x 14.8" x 10.31"|
|Floor Materials||150D polyester||150D polyester||68D poly 1800mm||68D Poly 1200mm||WeatherTec|
|Main Tent Materials||150D polyester||150D polyester||68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh||68D Poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh||Polyguard|
|Rainfly Materials||Polyguard 2X||75D polyester||68D poly 1200mm||68D Poly 1200mm||Polyguard|
|Number of Poles||4||4||3||3||4|
|Pole Material||Aluminum||14 mm aluminum||Fiberglass||Fiberglass||Fiberglass|
|Extras||Integrated rainfly protection||Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop||Pole pockets for easy setup||Light weight||Covered vestibule with floor|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup is a sweet little tent that doesn't try to be anything other than super easy to set up. The tent goes from bag to fully erected and staked well under the 60 seconds it claims. But the build quality isn't great. The door only opens halfway, and the window covers simply flap in the wind once open, but if you're looking for a very simple tent that is cheap and fast to set up, stop researching: you found a winner.
Space and Comfort
At 56 sq ft, you can fit two twin air mattresses with about a foot of hallway left or fill the entire tent wall to wall with a full and a twin. The Cabin wasn't built for four, but you could make it work in a pinch. The door only opens halfway, a disappointing feature found in other Coleman tents. This makes getting in and out awkwardly difficult.
The Cabin has three large windows, easy access vents in the ceiling (these are accessible from inside the tent thanks to zippers in the ceiling), and two storage pockets. The only ding on the windows is that they have no ties or way to secure them once opened, so they are left to simply dangle.
The Cabin will fair well in both warm and cold weather[. The single walls are seam-sealed and have good coverage all the way around. The tub-style floor and tent walls are made of thick 150D polyester. The six stakes will hold the low-profile design down just fine with the two pre-attached guylines. Should the weather turn hot, the large windows on both sides of the tent and door paired with the two top vents allow plenty of air to run through.
Ease of Use
Not much to say here — this is an instant setup tent, after all. Once out of the bag, simply lift each side of the tent until you hear a "click," and you're done. The hardest part of the setup is putting the stakes and guyline in. You could give this tent a knock for its weight, coming in at 18.2 lbs, and a ding for the bag size — packing this one back up did take a little extra smushing, but it wasn't too bad.
This is a great tent to bring along for the kids or some extra covered storage, but not ideal for the entire family. At only 56 sq ft, this will be tight quarters, and should the rain come, spending a full day in this tent will test everyone's strength. The Cabin is the perfect kids' tent, parent tent, or gear tent, but you only get to choose one.
The main structure isn't the worst, with the entire tent made of 150D polyester and all seams sealed. However, the zippers and the mesh netting are poorly made, and the bag will not last more than a season before it rips or springs a leak. The poles are made from aluminum, but many moving plastic pieces hold them together.
Should You Buy the Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup?
There is magic in the speed this tent goes up. Sleepovers, backyard movies, and allowing your kids to bring a friend because you have this tent as a second are all good reasons to consider the Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup. Just remember you are buying simplicity and speed, nothing more.
What Other Camping Tents Should You Consider?
The Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup is a good discount grab when you mix the low price point with the super simple setup. Just don't expect anything fancy. Our top choice for overall value is the Kelty Wireless 6 if you want to step up in size to a 6-person tent.
— Rob Gaedtke
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