The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is our number one choice for a full-size, transportable propane grill. We appreciate the easy assembly process and just how effortless it is to convert from travel mode to cooking mode. The way that the three burners are configurated allows you to keep separate zones at different temperatures and offers an impressive degree of control. One of the best elements of this model is its huge cooking area. The Roadtrip 285 is a great grill to have for tailgating the big game, base camping, or even to be used as your primary patio BBQ. But as a full-sized model, this grill is still pretty heavy and cumbersome to wheel around. If you're looking for a smaller model, check out our extensive portable grill review.Editor's Note: The Coleman Roadtrip 285 was added to our testing lineup on November 11, 2022.
Coleman Roadtrip 285 Review
Cons: Bulky, heavy
Compare to Similar Products
Coleman Roadtrip 285
$264.99 at Amazon
$259.00 at Amazon
$71.00 at Amazon
$397.00 at Amazon
$84.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great burner system, quick to assemble, even cooking, rolls well||Excellent heat retention, convenient side tables, consistent ignition||Sturdy, simple, good sized coal bed and grill space||Fast warm up, efficient on fuel, amazing steaks, clean operation and transport||Well insulated, gas efficient, sturdy|
|Cons||Bulky, heavy||Less portable due to weight and lack of latching lid, hot even on lowest setting||Handles get hot, vents are hard to adjust, requires more preparation than gas grills||Mixed windy performance, no slow-cooking function and poor medium-rate cooking||Poor control of heat range, quick deterioration of grill surface|
|Bottom Line||This wheeled model offers top-tier cooking performance and a cooking area that is on par with many grills that aren't meant to leave the back patio||From folding side tables to easy to clean cooking grates, this thoughtfully designed model makes grilling on the go fun and easy||Simple and highly effective, this portable charcoal grill will help you show-off your pit cooking skills away from home||If you know you like infrared grilling at home, consider this for your portable choice||With a lot of heat output from a single burner, this compact powerhouse specializes in high-temperature grilling at a fair list price|
|Rating Categories||Coleman Roadtrip 285||Weber Q 1200||Weber Go-Anywhere C...||Solaire Everywhere||Cuisinart Grillster|
|Output Power (25%)|
|Cooking Area (20%)|
|Wind Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Coleman Roadtrip 285||Weber Q 1200||Weber Go-Anywhere C...||Solaire Everywhere||Cuisinart Grillster|
|Weight (pounds)||47 pounds||31 pounds||12 pounds||15 pounds||13 pounds|
|Cooking surface area (inches)||285 sq in||189 sq in||140 sq in||135 sq in||148 sq in|
|# of Burners||3||1||N/A||1||1|
|Grill material||Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron||Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron||Plated steel||Stainless Steel||Enameled steel|
|Packed Size (inches / cu ft)||39" x 14" x 19" / 6 cu ft||15" x 26" x 14" / 3.2 cu ft||14.5" X 21" X 12.2" / 2.2 cu ft||21" x 8" x 13" / 1.3 cu ft||20.5" x 12" x 10.2" / 1.5 cu ft|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 may share the appearance of many wheeled portable grills, but it excels in cooking performance. The design and configuration of the burners distribute heat in a consistent way that is easy to control.
When it comes to heat, the Coleman Raodtrip 285 is one of the best models that we've ever tested. With a total output of 20,000 BTUs, this model gets hot relatively quickly, and the heat remains constant.
To verify the manufacturers' BTU rating, we conducted our own temperature tests to chart the output power of each grill. We cranked this grill to its highest setting and used an infrared thermometer to take temperature readings every five minutes for a period of twenty minutes. After five minutes, the Roadtrip 285 was already at 450°F. Between the 15-minute and 20-minute intervals, its temperature only varied by five degrees, settling in at a maximum of 696°F. From our culinary experience, we know that the best temperatures for searing range from 300 to 500 degrees, depending on the cut of meat or vegetable of choice. So this grill's heating capabilities are well beyond the needs of most backyard chefs.
For this metric, we inspected and compared the control knobs, ignitors, and burner configurations of each model. We experimented with cooking at low, medium, and high settings to monitor temperatures and analyze consistency. With the grills on high, we covered the cooking surface with white bread just long enough to lightly toast the slices in order to create a visual heat map and to identify any hot spots.
When it comes to propane models, the Coleman Roadtrip 285 is on par with the best of the best. The knobs are conveniently located on the front of the grill, much like the type you'd expect to see on a backyard propane BBQ. The piezoelectric ignitor fires the burners right up without any issue.
Instead of the burners being in a side-by-side configuration, the Roadtrip 285's overlap. The main burner is bar-shaped and runs most of the length of the grill from side to side. The two remaining burners are half-oval-shaped and complement the main burner on each half of the cooking surface. This unique arrangement allows you to select between various heating configurations, like using only one half of the grill on its own, setting the two halves to two different temperatures, or heating the entire grill evenly.
The combination of the burner configuration and the accurate, easy-to-use dials makes for some truly impressive heat distribution. In our years of testing, we've found models that will burn half of your food but leave the other half undercooked. Our white bread test results showed that the Coleman Roadtrip 285 is devoid of hot spots or dead zones.
Portable is a very subjective term. Depending on where you'd like to go, your cooking equipment could range anywhere from a one-person backpacking setup to a 500-square-inch smoker that's capable of preparing enough food for a party.
Compared to all of the other models in our review, transportability is not a strong suit for the Coleman Roadtrip 285. But keep in mind, we compare a lot of shapes and sizes of portable grills in this review. While it doesn't have the most impressive score for this metric, the Roadtrip 285 is one of the most portable options for larger, wheeled grills.
One thing that we love about the Roadtrip 285 is its long handle. While a few other wheeled versions force you to hunch over at the waist while rolling the grill around, this model allows you to walk upright in a comfortable, more natural position. The Roadtrip 285 has large plastic wheels that easily roll over desert dirt and rocks, and the process of folding or unfolding the legs is super easy.
When selecting the best grill for your needs, it is important to consider how much room you want for cooking. If you're cooking for yourself or a small group, a compact grill is probably fine. If you want a grill for tailgating, backyard parties, or large-group base camping, we'd recommend a larger tabletop model or a wheeled model like the Roadtip 285. For this metric, we physically measured the actual cooking space offered by each grill.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 offers one of the largest cooking areas of any model that we've tested to date. As the name suggests, there are 285 square inches – nearly two square feet – of cooking space for you to sear up anything from zucchini chips to tri-tips.
A windstorm blowing out the flames of your BBQ is problematic at best. In the worst-case scenario, high winds can ruin your meal. For this metric, we considered the effects of wind on each model. In the past, we conducted a fan test but eventually learned that variables such as the ambient air temperature and overhead winds largely affect results. We now test like you would cook – we grill out on a windy day.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is one of the best propane models we've cooked with in the wind. The holes in the burners are smaller than most, and the overall shape of the grill body is fairly aerodynamic and low-profile. We didn't experience any issues while grilling food with this model on a windy night in the high desert at an elevation of 7,000 feet.
Should You Buy the Coleman Roadtrip 285?
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is one of our favorite portable models, especially when it comes to wheeled options. If you're considering this model, the main factor to take into account is its size and weight. If you have a smaller vehicle, limited storage, or are unable to lift 50 pounds, you should consider a smaller grill. The Roadtrip 285 is a top-tier option for people who don't mind hauling around a bulkier grill if it means that they can efficiently cook for a party.
What Other Portable Grills Should You Consider?
Because this is such a broad category of products, there is a lot of variation between portability, performance, type, and price. If the Coleman Roadtrip 285 is too bulky for your needs, then the Weber Q 1200 is our favorite tabletop propane model. Pellet grills have recently exploded in popularity. If you're a fan of pellet cooking and you're looking for a mobile version, we highly recommend the Camp Chef Portable Pellet. We all know that person who refuses to grill over anything but charcoal. For them, the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is our top choice for a compact, portable charcoal grill.
— Ross Patton
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More