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Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup Review

This tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areas
Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup
Photo: Coleman
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Price:  $160 List | $145.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Super easy set up, good views, very nice price
Cons:  Low headroom, poor overall construction
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Space and Comfort - 35% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Family Friendliness - 10% 3

Our Verdict

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 in 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $160 List
$145.90 at Amazon
$449.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$270 List$80 List
$79.52 at Amazon
$200 List
$119.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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85
73
51
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Star Rating
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Pros Super easy set up, good views, very nice priceSpacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high valueSpacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensiveSimple, very cheap, lightweightGreat fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat concept
Cons Low headroom, poor overall constructionNot the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bagFiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly onToo simple, cheaply made, not durableHard 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 areasThis tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gearWherever this tent falls short in quality, it makes up for it in size, features, and overall valueA starter tent that works for those looking to get into camping on the cheapWhile 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 Coleman Sundome Dome 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Space And Comfort (35%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
3.0
Durability (15%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
3.0
3.0
Family Friendliness (10%)
3.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Specs Coleman 4-Person Ca... The North Face Wawo... Kelty Wireless 6 Coleman Sundome Dome 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Weight 18.2 lbs 21.9 lbs 17.2 lbs 9.8 lbs 20.9 lbs
Max Inside Height 4' 11" 6' 6" 6' 4" 4' 11" 5' 8"
Floor Dimensions 8' x 7' 10' x 8'6" 9'10" x 8'10" 9' x 7' 10' x 9'
Floor Area 56 sq ft 85 sq ft 86.9 sq ft 63 sq ft 90 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season
Windows 3 2 Mesh top 2 2
Pockets 2 6 6 1 2
Number of Doors 1 3 2 2 1
Room Divider No Yes No No Yes
Vestibules 0 2 2 0 1
Vestibule Area N/A 44.7 sq ft; 21 sq ft 28 sq ft N/A 40 sq ft
Packed Size 39.5" x 8" x 8" 9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5" 27" x 8" x 8" 6.75" x 6.75" x 23.75" 27.4" x 14.8" x 10.31"
Floor Materials 150D polyester 150D polyester 68D poly 1800mm Polyethylene 1000D-140g/sqm WeatherTec
Main Tent Materials 150D polyester 150D polyester 68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh Polyester mesh 68D Polyguard
Rainfly Materials Polyguard 2X 75D polyester 68D poly 1200mm Polyester taffeta 75D 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 E-Port 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 in well under the 60 seconds it claims. 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 stupid fast to set up, stop researching, you found a winner.

Performance Comparison


Putting the chairs and table together took longer than pitching this...
Putting the chairs and table together took longer than pitching this instant tent.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

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 really built for four, but in a pinch, you could make it work. The door only opens halfway, a bummer feature also 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.

A full and a twin air mattress just barely fit in this 4-person tent.
A full and a twin air mattress just barely fit in this 4-person tent.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Weather Resistance


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 the tent walls are both made of thick 150D polyester. The included six stakes will hold the low-profile design down just fine, along 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.

The surprising large windows unfortunately have nowhere to tuck away...
The surprising large windows unfortunately have nowhere to tuck away when unzipped.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Ease of Use


Not much to say here — this is an instant setup tent, after all. Once out of the bag, simply lift up on 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, as well as a ding for the bag size — packing this one back up did take a little extra smashing, but it wasn't too bad.

Handy soft mesh covers the fulcrum points to protect your fingers...
Handy soft mesh covers the fulcrum points to protect your fingers should you forget to pull them out before closing.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Durability


With the entire tent made of 150D polyester and all of the seals seam-sealed, the main structure isn't the worst. 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 there are a lot of moving plastic pieces that hold them together.

Included guylines are of questionable quality.
Included guylines are of questionable quality.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Family Friendliness


This is a great tent to bring along for the kids or for 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 OR parent tent OR gear tent, but you only get to chose one.

As a secondary tent for friends or gear, this tent is perfect.
As a secondary tent for friends or gear, this tent is perfect.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Value


When you mix the low price point with the super simple setup, you get a good value grab. Don't expect anything fancy other than a tent even the kids or your newbie camping buddy can set up.

Conclusion


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.

A top-down view of the small but fast Coleman Cabin.
A top-down view of the small but fast Coleman Cabin.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Rob Gaedtke

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