Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for a low-quality tent. Just because you’re looking for a good value tent doesn’t mean you can’t find one that is easy to set up and able to cope with occasional use in the summer.
In our Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent Review, we’ll explain the features of this affordable yet reliable tent and describe the value it brings to your outdoor adventure. Keep on reading to decide if this is the tent you should buy.
The Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent is an entry-level budget-friendly dome tent. It can be used by up to three campers or as a backup tent for extra gear and essential equipment if you’re camping with a big group.
Three campers can fit in this model but only if they’re going to use sleeping bags. If you plan to use sleeping pads or an air mattress whilst camping, you won’t have enough space for three people in this tent
Since it’s mainly designed for car camping, this might actually work. If you and your campers manage to keep all your hiking and camping gear in your car, you will be able to spend the night in this tent.
This affordable tent is designed for a fast and hassle-free setup, so even a first-time camper can put it together in no time. The durable construction guarantees that this camping tent can withstand the wind up to 35 mph, so it can be used when the weather gets a little bit challenging.
It features a single zippered door with an awning to keep water away from the tent’s interior when it rains. Nevertheless, if you’re planning to use this tent in the rain, you might want to make a few adjustments, like adding a waterproof coating.
However, I believe that this is an excellent tent for dry and warm weather. The door and the large windows made from mesh improve the airflow inside the tent, keeping the interior cool, even when the temperature increases.
The ground vent improves the airflow by pushing the warm air out of the tent to be replaced by cool air for more comfort.
Who is it For?
Although the name of the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent implies that it’s suitable for three people, this might be a bit exaggerated. This tent isn’t big enough to fit three adults with their equipment.
However, this is an excellent entry-level tent for car camping, where you can keep your gear in the car and sleep or chill in the tent. It’s suitable for couples, as well as friends and camping buddies, as long as they will keep their hiking and backpacking gear in a vehicle.
Even veteran campers can get some value from this tent. If you’re struggling for space in your main tent, the Sundome can offer an additional storage space for your camping and hiking gear.
This can be great for helping you get as comfortable a night’s sleep as possible, with plenty of room to spread out!
Young adults and teens will love this tent because it’s hassle-free and easy to set up. You won’t spend a long time trying to figure out how to put it together because it’s so straightforward to assemble.
Because this tent doesn’t require long assembly time, it will leave time for hanging out and having fun. After all, that’s the goal of your camping trip.
This tent is also great for teaching kids and teens about personal responsibility when camping. It’s so easy to set up that kids with a little bit of prior camping experience will be able to set it up with no bother!
In case something goes wrong, replacing this tent won’t be an issue because it’s quite affordable. That means you don’t have to bite your nails watching your kids figure out how to set up a tent by themselves for the first time. Sit back and enjoy the experience!
You can even pack this tent for music festivals and other outdoor events. I recommend this tent for festivals because the construction offers adequate ventilation, so you can spend longer periods inside the tent without feeling any discomfort.
The ventilation is particularly great for those delicate mornings after a long night dancing!
Features and Benefits
Durability: How Durable is this Tent?
The Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent is a fairly durable tent with an affordable price.
It’s made of high-quality 75D polyester taffeta and features well-made zippers that glide well. The fabric offers great UV protection inside the tent.
It features fiberglass poles that hold the frame of the tent. Fiberglass poles can sometimes shatter and tear the tent fabric or damage the pole sleeves.
If you’re worried about the durability of the polyethylene floor, you can use a tarp to protect the tent and help it last a little bit longer. However, it might not be necessary unless the ground is rocky or uneven.
This model comes with tent stakes that secure it to the ground, and they work perfectly if you’re setting up the tent in your backyard or in a campground. They might struggle in harder terrain, but for the most part, they should be fine.
However, if the weather is a little bit windy, or you want to secure the tent a little bit more, it will be a good idea to replace these stakes with longer and sturdier ones.
Coleman also offers a 1-year limited warranty so if the tent has an issue with the materials or workmanship, you can easily get it sorted.
Suitability: When Can You Use this Tent?
The Sundome is a great tent for occasional fair-weather camping in the summer. Taking it out in spring and fall might push the dome tent to its limits as it isn’t a fully three-season tent.
But if the forecast suggests the weather should be relatively dry and warm, you can still probably use it in the months either side of summer.
Because this tent is straightforward to set up, it’s great for a weekend adventure. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for longer trips.
Weatherproof: Does it Work for Cold and Rainy Weather?
I believe that it’s crucial to think about when and where you like to go camping and pick a tent that would work for your specific needs. There are several tents that work for all-year camping, but the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent isn’t one of them.
This tent is an excellent choice for camping in warm weather because the overall design aims to improve the airflow and keep the interior well-ventilated.
For the same reason, spending time in this tent can be a little bit challenging when the temperature drops. It’s likely that you will feel too cold if the temperature drops significantly because the material of the tent doesn’t insulate heat.
Thanks to the dome-style design, you can expect your tent to resist the wind. However, this is not the tent you want to use in extremely windy weather because the poles and stakes can break if you’re not careful.
Multiple features guarantee that the tent’s interior will stay dry when it starts raining. The inverted seams manage to keep most but not all of the water outside the tent if it rains heavily.
The WeatherTec System helps keep this 3-person dome tent dry, but you can improve the waterproof feature by using a sealer to make sure that the seams are perfectly protected.
Whilst some other reviews list a variety of values for the Hydrostatic Head Rating of Coleman tents with their WeatherTec System, it appears that these figures are not accurate.
We emailed Coleman asking for more information about the system and they explained that whilst their tents are tested in conditions to simulate rain and strong winds, they do not give their tents an official Hydrostatic Head Rating.
Capacity: How Many People Can Use this Tent Comfortably?
The interior of the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent can be suitable for three people, but there will be no room for anything else. If you do use it with three people, it’s not going to be a comfortable space to hang out in.
The floor is 7’ by 7’, with a center height of 4’4”. This means the total floor space isn’t very large and the ceiling of the tent is fairly low.
If you’re planning on camping with two other people you’d have more fun and sleep better if you invested in a bigger tent Check out our reviews of the Coleman Sundome 4-Person and 6-Person tents to see a larger model.
This tent will work for a maximum of two people, with room for maybe a small- or medium-sized dog. If you’re camping with your kid, it will also work, and there will be plenty of floor space for your gear as well.
You should also note that there isn’t much storage in this tent. There’s a single pocket for your essentials, and although it can be expanded, you shouldn’t expect it to fit lots of stuff.
Some people prefer camping alone. This is an excellent option for solo trips, especially if you have lots of gear and equipment that you want to keep nearby. If you don’t have a nearby vehicle where you can keep your stuff, this tent might work for you.
The Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent will work for:
- 2 adults and a medium-sized dog.
- 2 adults with their equipment.
- An adult and 2 children.
- A solo camper with lots of gear.
Assembly: Can One Person assemble it?
Definitely! The 3-person dome tent can be set up in 10 minutes by a first-timer. If you’re more experienced with tents, you’ll be able to set it up in less time.
The snag-free poles slide effortlessly into their designated slots, cutting down the assembly time to a few minutes.
Features: What Should You Expect?
As a low-cost option, this tent doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some modern tents. But there are a couple of nifty extras that help raise the value of the Sundome.
There’s a storage pocket on the wall, lifted away from the floor where you can keep your essential items.
You can also use the E-port to bring a cable into the tent and charge your smartphone or any other electronic device that you might need while you’re away from home.
If you’re looking for something a little more special, consider checking out the Elite version of the Sundome. It is only available as a 6-person model however, so it is significantly bigger.
If you’re an occasional camper or looking for an affordable yet durable tent, the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent will work for you. Users agree that it’s good value for money.
I got one of these for the kids to use, Walmart for $75 on sale.
Easy up easy down, even made it through a severe rain storm without indecent.
Are there better tents? Yes
Are there better tents for the price? Not even close
Camping snobs love to bash Coleman, truth is they make an average product for casual users.
Whilst the Coleman might not be a top of the range model, it’s reliable for occasional campers.
Coleman tents are freaking awesome for cheap tents. They are mostly all factory waterproof, even in severe thunderstorms. If taken care of they also last a good 5 years minimum…. for the price you can’t beat it.
Five years might be a hopeful minimum life expectancy for this tent, but if taken care of there’s no reason this tent can’t give you years of service.
I’ve found that they’re good tents and good prices. They might not be the lightest or feature packed but depending on your needs they can be a solid choice.
Overall, users are fairly positive in their reviews of the Coleman Sundome. But expectations should definitely be managed – it’s not fair to expect the world from this tent.
Alternatives to Consider
If the Coleman Sundome doesn’t feel like the right tent for you, check out these alternative options that are also great picks.
This versatile 3-person dome tent can be used in multiple camping situations and is quite easy to set up. It weighs only 5 pounds, so it’s suitable for hiking and backpacking because it’s more portable than the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent.
However, this 3-Person version is more expensive than our Coleman 3-Person tent. With a center height of less than 4ft, it is also shorter than the Sundome.
You don’t have to worry about assembling this tent because it can be set up in just 10 seconds. It’s more spacious than the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent, so it can work for 3 adult campers. It can even fit a queen-sized air mattress.
This tent is perfect for hot weather because it offers excellent ventilation, but it’s not rainproof.
Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great tent. This tent is at the same price range as the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent.
In rainy weather, this tunnel tent won’t let you down because it has a Hydrostatic Head rating of 3000 mm. The PE groundsheets are robust and waterproof, so this tent will be suitable for camping in cold weather. However, this tent can be a little uncomfortable in hot weather.
Although this is a 2-person tent, the vestibule at the front adds storage space that makes spending time inside this tent way more comfortable – even with two people. Unfortunately though, it isn’t big enough for three campers.
Pairs well with…
For the difference in cost between the Coleman Sundome and the most expensive alternative we considered at the time of review, you could buy a well-made sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a flashlight with a solar panel and hand crank for your trip.
We think this approach makes more sense for new campers. The products are low-cost but like the Coleman Sundome that doesn’t mean they are low-quality.
Is the Coleman Sundome Tent waterproof?
The fabric is waterproof, and the inverted seams keep the water away from the interior of the tent.
However, if you’re usually camping in extremely wet conditions, you can use a sealer to make sure that the seams will keep all the water away from your gear and equipment.
Is this a good tent for three people?
The tent can fit 3 people, as long as you manage to keep the gear and equipment in a separate tent or in the car. If there are three adults inside the tent, there will be no room for anything else.
With a center height of 4’4”, the roof isn’t very high for taller campers which might be an issue.
Is it easy to carry?
This tent weighs eight pounds, so it’s not designed for backpacking. However, the poles and stakes come in two separate bags, so you can split the weight with another camper.
Nevertheless, in most cases, people who are backpacking would go for a tent that weighs a maximum of five pounds.
It is still easy to carry for car camping thanks to it’s handy carry bag.
How to set up the Coleman Sundome:
- Pick level ground to set up the tent. Make sure that it’s free of rocks (consider laying down a tarp to protect the polyethylene floor of the tent if you have one).
- Secure the corners using the stakes. You might need to invest in longer stakes.
- Let the snag-free poles slip into the sleeves for a fast and easy setup.
- You can attach the rain fly attaches to the smaller pole.natu
Will a queen-sized air mattress fit in the tent?
Yes, it will. However, it will take the entire floor space, and there will hardly be any room to move around. If you wish to use a queen size air mattress, you need to set up your Sundome and inflate it inside the dome tent as it, unfortunately, won’t fit through the door.
Wrapping It All Up
Hopefully, this review has shown that if you’re looking for a reliable yet budget-friendly great tent, you should consider the Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent. This well-made tent is an excellent choice for experienced and new campers because it’s easy to set up.
Thanks to its durable construction, this tent can work in dry and windy weather. However, a few adjustments are needed if you wish to set it up in the rain or when the weather is a bit challenging.