I hate setting up tents.
I’ve been camping countless times, so if I still despise it, I can’t imagine what it’s like for new campers. When I go out with my friends and family, I don’t want to spend an hour trying to get the stakes in deep enough while the poles keep buckling.
For that reason, instant cabins are lifesavers—so let’s take a look at this one and see how it holds up to a regular tent.
In our Coleman 6 person instant cabin tent review, we see it’s an excellent tent for dry weather camping. It’s easy to set up with no snags in under five minutes, perfect for an after-journey nap and great for not boring the kids during the setup process.
About the Product
Who’s It For?
The Coleman 6 person instant tent cabin is a savior sent to anyone who hates pitching a tent.
If we’re talking size-wise, it’s for small groups who don’t mind being in close quarters—think four close friends/adult siblings, or parents with two kids and maybe a dog or two.
There are many fast-pitch tents out there that you can get up and running in 15 minutes or so. But to an impatient group at the end of a long drive into the wilderness, that sounds more like 15 hours.
You want a 6 person tent more like a pop-up book when you’re exhausted. No poles, no assembly, just sleep and somewhere to cool off after a sweaty car ride.
That’s this tent.
With a helper, the 6 person tent should be up fast—five minutes at first, but a minute with help and experience. Less if you don’t use the rainfly.
Then you can dive right in and sleep. It’s a dark room tent that blocks sunlight so you can sleep any time of the day or night.
With this tent, the only thing stopping you from taking a nap after your journey is the over-excited kids. Or that one friend who seems to never tire and wants to run straight down to the lake to fish with his bare hands.
Features and Benefits
It’s hard to imagine an instant tent is anything more than a pop-up piece of fabric that’ll keep the rain off for a while. What can it really do, and can it live up to some of the other Coleman tents we’ve put under review?
Durability: Does It Last?
Although the Coleman instant cabin tent for 6 is built to last using double-thick fabric, does it hold up? And what of the small stakes?
Customers found the stakes more durable than they thought they’d be, and the bulk of the tent durable to the elements. Our concern, however, is the pre-attached poles.
Most Coleman tents use steel or similar poles to stand the test of time. However, some users reported that the poles bend or even snap relatively easily.
While the delicate nature of the poles is understandable—it makes the tent lighter and easier to remain instant—it’s best to take extra care when handling the pre-attached poles.
For many campers, bendy poles wouldn’t be a huge issue, but for campers with kids who may bounce around inside or against the tent, it’s more of a worry-factor.
Try and keep your kids still and calm around the 6 person tent, because you can’t risk it with those poles. They withstand wind, but can they live through a direct hit from an over-excited child?
Size: How Many Really Fit?
The tent says six people fit, and so six people fit—but it’s not a matter of seeing how many sleeping bodies you can cram into the confined space. It’s a matter of how many you can cram in comfortably, with gear.
Your answer there is about four—or five if three are children and one’s a very small child or dog.
The tent fits two queen mattresses, letting the kids take one and the parents take the other. Or if you’re with friends, you can sleep two adults to a mattress with relative comfort, so long as the friends are willing to share.
In place of the mattresses, you could easily fit four sleeping bags side-by-side to keep a degree of personal space and bodily privacy. We’re just thinking comfort-wise about sleeping; sleeping bags are fantastic but they don’t offer much padding.
If you do want a sleeping bag, however, a quick review of the Monarch Sleeping Bag tells me it’s comfortable and fit for all conditions in your 6 person instant tent.
Sleeping bags do have the added benefit of being easy to tuck away in the 6 person instant tent during the day, so you have more room to walk around and socialize. There’s ample room to pitch a few folding chairs, and even room for you to walk around … if you’re under 6 feet tall.
Tall men and women may face some difficulties with headroom as the tent’s center height is 6 feet. Bend at the knees, not at the neck or shoulders, folks.
Setup: Is It Instant or Clickbait?
The “instant” part of the Coleman 6 person instant cabin tent is a little clickbaity. When I hear “instant” I think of the first step of this tent’s assembly: pulling it into shape and making the pre-attached poles click together, so it forms a pop-up cabin.
You still have to stake the tent, then equip the rain fly over the top of the tent. If you make this a two or more person job, you’ll speed things along, but it’s still far from as instant as I’d want, personally.
Then again, I’d take this 6 person instant tent over another setup, and even the rain fly is easier to attach than on the average tent. You secure the rain fly to the tent using velcro, although you also have to pull it tight and stake it.
If you want to avoid this, just camp in the driest area you know. You don’t need a rainfly if there’s no rain! Now we’re edging back into instant territory.
Features: Any Fancy Add-Ons?
Although it’s a plain tent without many frills, there are a few aspects of it that make it desirable, besides the quick setup.
Dark Room Tech
Remember the scenario from earlier? Being exhausted after the drive and wanting to sleep the day away? That’s totally doable with this tent.
Most tents have some form of mesh window, usually transparent in some way, so you can view the outside like with a real window. If you’re more of a creature of the darkness, then this is the tent for you.
The 6 person instant tent has those mesh windows, but you can zip black covers around them that work similarly to blackout curtains. Coleman states this technology decreases light by 90 percent. Perfect for putting kids down for afternoon naps or for when the bare-hands-fish-guy finally crashes after one too many beers.
Black attracts the sun. Won’t the tent be scorching hot with the dark room technology? Luckily not.
With the ventilation covered, you’d think the place would get stuffy too. Yet again, no.
The dark room tech is so effective that when it attracts the sun, the heat stays on the outside and reduces warmth buildup inside the tent by 10 percent, according to Coleman.
No way is this useful if you camp in fall or winter, but for those summer weekend trips where you teach the little ones about nature, it’s perfect. You don’t want them to miss nap time because the tent’s too hot—overheated and overtired is something you never, ever want to deal with on a camping trip.
Although not part of the Coleman Weathermaster range, the Coleman 6 person instant cabin tent does a pretty good job at keeping you dry.
The welded floors are like tubs with patented corner welds, and you have covered seams around the parameter.
Window covers paired with weather protection double-thick fabric should also keep the rain at bay, and that’s all without the rain fly. Add that and … you may or may not get wet.
One customer’s Coleman 6 person instant tent was the only tent that leaked in a group of the same tents. Another person, a solo camper with the tent in the backyard, had leaky seams. There’s an equal amount of customer feedback praising the tent and complaining about leaks.
The tent has the WeatherTec system in place but upon further review of it, it doesn’t seem to work that well on this one.
If you’ve got your heart set on fall camping and are expecting storms, go ahead and grab yourself a tarp or two. The rainfly doesn’t hold up on its own with the Coleman 6 person instant tent cabin.
Sometimes you really need to keep your personal belongings safe while you sleep. While you could place them next to you, they’re easily stepped on and destroyed this way.
Thankfully, like all good Coleman tents, there’s a storage pocket to suit your needs.
The pocket isn’t too large but could easily house some phones, a tablet, a lunch box, glasses, a book, a torch and some minor camping gear.
Unlike most of the Coleman tents’ storage pockets, this one isn’t net but clear. This opens the opportunity to hang pens or sunglasses from its edge without snagging. It also means it’s less expandable than other tents’ storage, which is disappointing.
What are people saying?
Let’s back up our claims with some proof from the masses.
I have one- make sure you tie it the hell down! It has the ropes coming from the top- tie those down (and make sure they are wrapped with elwire or something so you don’t trip in the dark), along with rebar stakes. I didn’t bother to do the top and woke multiple nights with my tent blown over on top of me!
One camper had this to say about Coleman’s instant tent range. Stake it all down, because that cabin can collapse on you in the wind. It’s not the best day when you wake up swallowed by a tent.
Coleman Instant tents are where it’s at.
If you’re 4 people, get a 6 person tent. My SO and I share a 4 person and it’s enough for us to sleep in and store all our clothes.
This camper can attest to the tent’s size. If the tent says it’s 6 for people, it’s a 4 person tent. Always shave off two people to make your tent more comfortable.
Be wary of the Instant Tents in rain. I have a Coleman 6 Man Instant Cabin and it does not repel rain AT ALL. It leaks like a sieve and does not have an appropriately sized rainfly.
That said, it is super roomy, very airy with the windows open and easy to setup. Great tent for dry climates, but any rain in the forecast and it stays home.
Here’s a camper that can attest to the tent’s failures in the rain. Like we suggested earlier, waterproofing and a tarp are your best friends—along with sticking to dry weather. The Coleman 6 person instant tent just doesn’t live up to peoples’ expectations in that department.
We used a Colman instant cabin before I bought the pop up camper. My buddies actually weathered a Tornado in it in Minnesota last year.
On the other hand, here’s a camper with friends who waited out a tornado in the Coleman instant 6 person tent. There are no details, but one would assume the tent was waterproofed and otherwise sealed.
So, don’t rule out the Coleman instant 6 person tent on its storm-weathering abilities alone. This tent is a viable option when used with care.
Okay—did you rule out the Coleman 6 person instant tent, or maybe you want to shop around? What are your other options that are similar enough to the Coleman 6 person instant tent to pass your approval test? Let’s take a look.
Coleman 6 Person Sundome Tent
Does the “instant” part of the Coleman 6 person tent not matter to you as much? You just want a tent that’s a 6 person sleeper, and you like the Coleman brand?
This Sundome tent is one to consider. It has near enough the same dimensions as the instant tent, but it takes longer to set up. Coleman claims it takes 10 minutes, but we all know it’ll take longer.
With room for 2 queen size air mattresses and its included rain fly with an awning, this should hold up better in weather while remaining the type of 6 person tent you’re looking for.
As opposed to the instant tent, this tent:
- Costs a little less.
- Takes longer to set up.
- Has an e-port.
- Lacks the dark room system.
- Has enhanced ventilation.
Check it out here.
Ayamaya 4–6 Person Pop Up Tent
You like the instant tent aspect, but not the brand. Understandable—so how about an Ayamaya instant tent instead?
This tent offers you a separate room to store your gear, keeping it out of your way at night. Despite having this two-room feature, it still sets up in seconds and has two doors, four windows and hooded vents to keep you comfortable throughout your use.
Here’s how it differs from the Coleman:
- Better rain performance.
- Option for large awning.
- Has separate rooms.
- More ventilation.
Check this one out here.
Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tent Deluxe
If you decide you’re into camping for the long haul, consider this as your upgrade for the future. The canvas is sturdy and withstands rain, you can stand up in it regardless of height, and it has plenty of ventilation while keeping things private.
This 6 person tent is more deluxe than the original product and its alternatives, but customers feel it’s a worthy investment for camping-lovers.
Compared to the Coleman:
- Better ceiling height.
- Not a dark room.
- Quick but not “instant” setup.
See it here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent Waterproof?
The Coleman 6 person instant tent claims to be waterproof, but after further investigation, the tent has proven itself faulty. You’ll need to waterproof this tent as best you can yourself—water gets inside the tent easily and it definitely won’t withstand torrential rain.
Is This a Good Tent for Six People?
This is a good tent for six people who don’t mind a tight fit. Realistically, it’s better for four. On the other hand, it would make a fantastic tent for backyard camping for six kids.
Is It Easy To Carry?
The Coleman 6 person instant cabin tent is incredibly easy to carry. It comes with a large, square carry bag with long handles. You can carry it like a handbag or a backpack, though the former would be more comfortable due to its significant but not overly-heavy bulk.
How To Setup the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent
The tent is easy to set up, but as we explained earlier, not instant.
- Take the tent out of the carry bag and spread it out.
- Pull the tent upwards at its center point with the legs anchored on the ground.
- Gently tug on the pre-assembled poles, extending them until they click into place.
- Stake the tent.
- Line the rainfly up to the tent and secure it to the poles with velcro and clips.
- Stake the rainfly and any other pegging points.
Can You Fit a Queen-Sized Air Mattress in This Tent?
Yes, you can fit a queen-sized air mattress in this tent. Actually, you can fit two queen size air mattresses in the Coleman 6 person instant cabin, with some room left to store your gear.
Getting It Pegged Down
In this Coleman 6 person instant cabin tent review, we unveiled the secrets of the tent. It’s more suitable as a four person instant tent, it’s pretty easy to set up, the poles may be weak and the WeatherTec system isn’t great.
It’s safe to say this is the first Coleman we’ve reviewed that truly warrants its budget price—it’s just too questionable to be priced higher, unlike other models that exceed expectations set by the price.
By no means is this a bad tent, but it’s best for beginners, casual trips and only during the summer. It would also make a great tent for kids camping in the backyard.