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Coleman Evanston Screened 6 Review

While this tent looks good in photos, it performs poorly in weather resistance and general use
Coleman Evanston Screened 6
Photo: Coleman
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Price:  $200 List | $119.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Great fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat concept
Cons:  Hard to setup, doesn't do well in rain, poor quality
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Space and Comfort - 35% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 3
  • Durability - 15% 3
  • Family Friendliness - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Coleman Evanston is a beautiful-looking 6-person tent with a large following. But that is about where the compliments end. The quality of the material, rainfly coverage, and general design of this tent leave much to be desired. Add to that an extremely frustrating setup and a cheap bag, and about the only other positive for this tent is the price. As one of the cheapest tents in our lineup for this size tent, the age-old adage applies here: you get what you pay for. Still, if you just need something affordable for occasional use, this could suffice.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $119.99 at Amazon$449.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$270 List$159.99 at Amazon$69.99 at Amazon
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Pros Great fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat conceptSpacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high valueSpacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensiveSuper easy set up, good views, very nice priceSimple, very cheap, lightweight
Cons Hard to setup, doesn't do well in rain, poor qualityNot the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bagFiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly onLow headroom, poor overall constructionToo simple, cheaply made, not durable
Bottom Line While this tent looks good in photos, it performs poorly in weather resistance and general useThis 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 valueThis tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areasA starter tent that works for those looking to get into camping on the cheap
Rating Categories Coleman Evanston Sc... The North Face Wawo... Kelty Wireless 6 4-Person Cabin with... Coleman Sundome Dome 4
Space And Comfort (35%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
3.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
3.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
3.0
Family Friendliness (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
3.0
4.0
Specs Coleman Evanston Sc... The North Face Wawo... Kelty Wireless 6 4-Person Cabin with... Coleman Sundome Dome 4
Weight 20.9 lbs 21.9 lbs 17.2 lbs 18.2 lbs 9.8 lbs
Max Inside Height 5' 8" 6' 6" 6' 4" 4' 11" 4' 11"
Floor Dimensions 10' x 9' 10' x 8'6" 9'10" x 8'10" 8' x 7' 9' x 7'
Floor Area 90 sq ft 85 sq ft 86.9 sq ft 56 sq ft 63 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season
Windows 2 2 Mesh top 3 2
Pockets 2 6 6 2 1
Number of Doors 1 3 2 1 2
Room Divider Yes Yes No No No
Vestibules 1 2 2 0 0
Vestibule Area 40 sq ft 44.7 sq ft; 21 sq ft 28 sq ft N/A N/A
Packed Size 27.4" x 14.8" x 10.31" 9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5" 27" x 8" x 8" 39.5" x 8" x 8" 6.75" x 6.75" x 23.75"
Floor Materials WeatherTec 75D polyester 68D poly 1800mm 150D polyester Polyethylene 1000D-140g/sqm
Main Tent Materials Polyguard 150D polyester taffeta 68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh 150D polyester Polyester mesh 68D
Rainfly Materials Polyguard 68D polyester 68D poly 1200mm Polyguard 2X Polyester taffeta 75D
Number of Poles 4 4 3 4 3
Pole Material Fiberglass 14 mm aluminum Fiberglass Aluminum Fiberglass
Extras Covered vestibule with floor Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop Pole pockets for easy setup Integrated rainfly protection E-Port

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Coleman Evanston has features that fail miserably in all but very specific situations. The fully netted and sealed floor performs quite well on warm days and bug-filled nights, but outside of that, it just doesn't stack up.

Performance Comparison


This tent looks great in nearly every photo, but don't be fooled...
This tent looks great in nearly every photo, but don't be fooled, looks are about all this tent has going for it
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Space and Comfort


You will have plenty of square footage with this tent at 90 sq st of interior space and an additional 40 sq ft of vestibule space. The main tent will easily fit a full and a twin air mattress, while the vestibule will hold two chairs, a table, and then some. However, both areas are short, with a max height of 5' 8" — and that is only at the top dead center. The vestibule area is a little shorter than that at 5' 4", forcing most campers to duck and change sitting down.

There are only two pockets in this 6-person tent, and in our version, one of the pockets was sewn on backward. Getting in and out of the Evanston is also oddly difficult, as the doors only open about halfway. Not only does this make things awkward, it is impossible to inflate or deflate your beds anywhere but inside the tent. The door also has a very strange window. Because the door only opens halfway, they added windows on each side forcing a large seam down the middle. We should also point out that when the windows are open, there are no clips or ties to tuck them away, so they just dangle in the wind.

The tent does have great ventilation, with most of the back and about half of the top being full mesh. When the rainfly is on and the side windows unzipped, you can still see outside, a nice feature and added reason to simply keep the fly on at all times.

The rainfly allows for outside views when the windows are unzipped
The rainfly allows for outside views when the windows are unzipped
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Weather Resistance


The Evanston is a solid dome design with a fairly low profile and heavily slanted walls. It also comes pre-installed with guylines and a full set of totally adequate stakes, so this tent passed our wind tests quite well. It is extremely well-ventilated with or without the rainfly, thanks to all of the open mesh and optional window covers.

However, when it comes to rain, this tent prefers to collect it rather than shed it. A totally open vestibule with an attached floor means while you may be dry inside your tent, all your gear will be taking a bath. Not a great design feature to say the least.

The view without the rainfly shows how much mesh this tent actually...
The view without the rainfly shows how much mesh this tent actually has.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Ease of Use


The tent took our team 14 minutes and 20 seconds to pitch fully — much longer than the majority of our other tents and with much more frustration between the team. First, the cheap fiberglass poles get snagged when pushing them into the sleeves. The poles also use a pin setup instead of the grommet setup seen on all the other tents in our lineup. Once the poles are on, it's time to move on to the fly. However, you can't put the fly on without fully staking the entire tent first. But because Coleman uses cheap elastic straps that clip to rings attached next to the poles, it is very hard to clip everything when under tension. The rainfly also must be velcroed to the vestibule area in four locations. Needless to say, setting up this tent is not simple.

The look of frustration and defeat as we struggle to get the rainfly...
The look of frustration and defeat as we struggle to get the rainfly up for the second failed attempt on the Coleman Evanston.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

As mentioned before, the door on the Evanston only opens halfway. This means getting your gear in and out of the tent is much harder than it should be. Add to that only two pockets and a weight of 20.9 lbs, and you get a tent that scores very low in the ease of use category.

The door that only opens halfway? A very odd and inconvenient way...
The door that only opens halfway? A very odd and inconvenient way for Colman to shave some manufacturing costs.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Durability


When it comes to durability, the Evanston falls short again. Fiberglass poles, cheap mesh, and tarp-like flooring are all connected by mid-grade zippers and inverted seems (instead of the superior seam-seal). The bag is also very poor quality and will inevitably require ducktape after the first or second season. The stakes and guylines seem adequate for the tent, and the rainfly, though frustrating to set up, is made of polyester taffeta 75D.

The cheap fiberglass poles get stuck sliding through the fabric.
The cheap fiberglass poles get stuck sliding through the fabric.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Family Friendliness


The size of this tent and the mesh-covered vestibule are great for a family. Four people and furry friends will easily fit with some extra room leftover. Storage is a problem with this tent, however, not only because it only comes with two pockets but because the vestibule isn't properly protected from the rain. A pile of wet gear does not make for happy campers. Likewise, should your family be stuck in the tent during a storm, there is no way to cook unless you do so completely inside the tent, which is never a good idea.

The obstructed view looking out of the main door window. Why Colman...
The obstructed view looking out of the main door window. Why Colman decided this was a good design, we may never know.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Value


While the price of this tent is low, so is the quality and overall design. If you are looking for a summer weather tent in a bug heavy area, this could perhaps provide good value. But for most normal camping conditions, the value just isn't there.

Conclusion


The Coleman Evanston Screened 6 is a budget tent that has a couple of good aspects, and the low price point certainly gets it noticed. But it fell short in every category and scored among the worst in our entire lineup. If you are looking for a budget 6-person tent, we are sorry, but this isn't the one we would recommend.

Rob Gaedtke