Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent Review

3.8/5

Our Verdict

The Coleman Sundome series is a fantastic option for first-time campers. Although they are low-cost, they are generally reliable tents. The Elite model comes with extra bells and whistles that got us even more excited than the standard model. 

Pros

Convenient hinged door system
Fantastic ventilation
Plenty of space
Insta-Clip pole system is easy to use
CPX energy pack provides power

Cons

Doesn't perform well in heavy rain
Can get chilly in the cold weather
The stakes could be more durable and stronger

This tent is spacious, simple to set up, and budget-friendly. It’s ideal for occasional camping trips with family, friends, or even during festivals.

This Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent review will cover everything you need to know to decide if it’s the right choice for you!

Product Description

Overview 

The Coleman Elite Sundown 6-person tent is a great entry-level outdoor shelter for camping trips. It’s packed with features that promote convenience and ease-of-use such as auto roll windows, built-in LED lights, and patented hinged doors. 

The included Coleman CPX battery system allows you to pick your preferred power supply, where you get to choose between the CPX rechargeable cartridge or the 4D cell batteries. Thanks to this nifty gadget, you can charge your devices via a USB port.

The Elite Sundown 6-person tent relies on the WeatherTec system to keep you dry, with welded floors and inverted seams to ensure protection against rain.

Additionally, there are Insta clip pole attachments to provide stability during windy weather, as well as snag-free pole sleeves to save as much time as possible when setting up.

The Elite Sundown 6-person tent is tall enough for you to stand and move comfortably. It has a mesh lining to support ventilation while keeping the insects out.

Who’s it for?

If you’re a beginner camper or your camping skills are rusty (in other words, last time you pitched a tent you were wearing a neckerchief and merit badges), then this is ideal for you since it’s pretty much foolproof

The setup is straightforward with a design that offers plenty of room for people and some gear too.

Moreover, the Coleman Sundome has been successfully tested to withstand wind and rain, with the wall and fly fabric made out of strong 75D polyester and the floor made using 1000D polyethylene.

Features and Benefits

Spacious – Can it really fit six people?

Right off the bat, you can tell that the Elite Sundome 6 offers a lot of room. The floor measures 12’ x 10’, providing campers with a living area of 120 square feet. 

If you also add the 6’ center height to the equation, you’ll end up with plenty of space for 6 adults.

More so, this tent can accommodate six camp pads or two queen size air mattresses with space to spare so you can even store some gear inside. 

If you’re going on a trip with fewer than 5 people, you might be able to throw in a couple of chairs as well.

Hinged Door System – How easy is it to enter and exit?

One thing I was instantly impressed with is the hinged door, which is an exclusive feature to Coleman Elite Tents. 

What’s so special about it? Well, instead of having to zip and unzip every time you get in or leave the tent, the door here opens like a regular door and features light velcro so it stays shut.

Additionally, it has zippers just like a traditional tent. The Elite Sundome 6 has two doors and two rooms, which is a plus for extra privacy if you want to separate the kids from the adults or the singles from the couples.

Built-in LED Lighting System – How bright does it get?

The built-in LED lighting system in the Coleman Elite Sundome 6 is very handy. It’s powered by a 4D battery and includes 3 settings: the high setting with 100 lumens, the low setting with 40 lumens, and the night light.

A standard 40W bulb produces about 400 lumens of light, so 100 lumens should be comfortably bright enough inside your tent without lighting up your whole campsite!

You can find the switch that turns the LED light on and off on the wall of the tent next to the door. Additionally, all the wiring work for the lighting system runs through sleeves inside the tent. This way, the wires won’t get in your way and you can avoid tripping accidents. 

To use the lights, you just need to plug in the power pack and you’re all set.

Ventilation – Does it allow adequate airflow?

The ventilation in the Coleman Elite Sundome 6-person tent is another impressive aspect, especially if you consider its budget-friendly price point. 

The sufficient airflow is courtesy of the ground vent as well as the two auto roll windows. Such a design also ensures you don’t have to deal with any moisture buildup.

This is a suitable time to also mention the included rainfly that covers half of the walls, allowing for good airflow as well. However, this can become a disadvantage in cold weather camping. 

Additionally, there are small mesh windows on the doors that boost the air circulation inside the tent. There’s even a mesh roof tent that provides ventilation in hot weather conditions.

Set Up – Is it a one-person job?

The Coleman Elite Sundome 6-person tent comes in a simple design that consists of two main body poles, two rain fly poles, and two-door poles. The setup process is so simple that one person can have this tent standing in about 10 minutes.

User Reviews

I found various users on Reddit who reported being very impressed with the size, durability, and ease-of-use of the Elite Sundome 6-person tent.

We have sons that are in scouting, the troop’s tents are all Coleman 6 person size. They are huge and super heavy, but they have taken a beating every month for several years now and are just finally starting to get worn out and in need of replacement. Obviously these aren’t backpacking tents, on trips like those the troop usually bring personal tents or hammocks.

Thanks to the sturdy materials used to build the Elite Sundome 6, the tent was able to withstand several years of heavy usage.

Its a great tent, especially for starting out. Sundome was my first tent and it served me well. Upgraded now but always recommend the Sundome to people starting out.

In another post comparing Eureka and Coleman tents, a user who described themself as a “Eureka fanboy” was positive about their experience of using Coleman tents as a beginner.

I’m a Eureka fanboy, but I will say that I started out with a Coleman and a $6 can of spray water proofer and that tented lasted a long time and I didn’t cry when the kids eventually trashed it. I now own 5 tents, 4 of which are Eureka and I can say they make really good stuff.

On the whole, customers seem satisfied with their Coleman Elite Sundome tents. They are well thought of by campers as tents for newbies who need something simple, reliable, and low-cost.

Alternatives

If the Elite Sundome isn’t the tent for you, there are some great alternatives to consider.

More spacious but still has the built-in LED lighting system and hinged door
An affordable, easy to carry tent with good ventilation
Incredibly simple set up and excellent airflow

Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Tent

If you’re in the market for a bit of an upgrade space-wise, then consider the Coleman Elite Montana 8-person tent. This version features a huge floor footprint of 16’ x 7’ dimensions floor footprint that you can easily pitch by inserting the poles into the tent sleeves and secure using a pin and ring system.

The Coleman Montana 8-person tent has all the features that I mentioned in the Elite Sundome 6-person tent, including the WeatherTec system, the LED lighting technology, and the automatic roll-down windows.

You’ll also get the hinged door and the efficient ventilation systems – offering the same great value for money.

ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 6-Person Tent

If you want a reliable 6-person dome tent but can’t afford Coleman’s tent, the ALPS Mountaineering Mermac 6-person tent could be a perfect choice.

With a 100 square feet living space and a 6ft ceiling, you won’t be losing much space in comparison to the Sundome. You’ll even get two doors to easily move in and out of the tent.

The Meramac also offers good ventilation and it’s pretty simple to carry using the included bag.

Ayamaya 6-Person Pop-Up

It’s not common to come across a large pop-up tent, which makes this Ayamaya tent a catch if you’re mainly concerned about how easy setting up will be. 

This 6-person tent also features two doors, rear hooded vents, and four windows, which provides excellent ventilation across the tent’s interior. However, this tent does cost a little less, so it may not be as durable as Coleman’s Elite Sundome.

Pairs well with…

The handy lighting system in the Coleman Elite Sundome means you don’t necessarily need to bring a flashlight, but it might be a good idea for getting around your campsite at night.

If you’re concerned about the durability or quality of the Sundome tent stakes, Coleman has a Tent Kit which includes improved stakes and a mallet to ensure they are securely in the ground. Or if you want to upgrade to some serious quality stakes, check out the MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes which are both lightweight and strong, suitable for every trip!

FAQ

What is the difference between the Elite model and the standard Sundome?

There are a few differences between Coleman’s Elite Sundome 6-person tent and their standard version. 

First of all, the Elite model is a bit bigger with a 12’ x 10’ floor size vs a 10’ x 10’ floor size in the standard model. The Elite version also comes with a LED lighting system that’s absent in the standard version and a hinged door instead of a regular zipper door.

Is the Coleman Elite Sundome tent waterproof?

Coleman’s WeatherTec system helps protect you from getting wet. The tent features polyester-coated fabric combined with anti-wicking thread zippers and webbing to ensure you stay dry. 

Additionally, the floor has inverted seams the make the tent more water-resistant. Coleman is quite confident in its WeatherTec design that they tested the tent in a rain room that simulates very heavy downpour, along with a wind machine that generates hurricane-force gusts. The tent comes out dry even after all this.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a hydrostatic head rating for this tent. We reached out to Coleman for more information and their advisor told us that their tents “don’t stop water but will stop UV”. So if you’re looking for a tent guaranteed to keep you dry, this model might not be the best choice.

Is this a good tent for six people?

This tent offers a large space that can fit six people, but only if they squeeze in.

This can be a fine solution for families camping with young kids, but might not be great for a group of friends looking to head outdoors together.

This tent would provide plenty of comfortable space for a group of between two to four campers.

Is it easy to carry?

Weighing about 22 lbs, the Elite Sundome 6-person tent isn’t exactly portable enough for backpacking. However, the carry bag comes with a rip strip to make storage and carrying easier.

How to set up the Coleman Elite Sundome

  1. Lay the tent on the ground.
  2. Peg out the four corners loosely.
  3. Assemble the fiberglass poles and insert the two long poles into the pole sleeves.
  4. Insert the pins into the pole end on one side, then push to form the dome and insert the pins into the other ends of the poles.
  5. Clip the tent to the poles.
  6. Spread out the flysheet.
  7. Put the last pole through the velcro tabs and place the ends into the webbing pockets.
  8. Take the flysheet over the tent (the back is labeled).
  9. Attach the flysheet’s velcro tabs to the poles to secure and then hook to the ring at ground level.
  10. If required, tighten the pegs and then peg out the two guidelines
  11. Lastly, install the doormat and secure it with pegs.

Wrap Up

The Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent from Coleman is an excellent choice for beginners and casual campers who occasionally go on trips with family or friends thanks to its spacious design, easy setup, and reasonable price. 

Overall, I think it’s worth investing in as an entry-level camping tent.

Model sizes

Pairs well with

Alternatives

Technical specs

Price: $$
Doors: 1
Weight: 22 lbs
E-Port: Yes
Comfort Capacity: 2-4
Width: 12'
Length: 10'
Height: 6'

Disclosure

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    Pairs well with

    Technical specs

    Price: $$
    Doors: 1
    Weight: 22 lbs
    E-Port: Yes
    Comfort Capacity: 2-4
    Width: 12'
    Length: 10'
    Height: 6'