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Coleman 4-Person Cabin with Instant Setup Review

This tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areas
coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review
Credit: Coleman
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Price:  $160 List | $117.31 at Amazon
Pros:  Super easy set up, good views, very nice price
Cons:  Low headroom, poor overall construction
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 19, 2022
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Space and Comfort - 35% 5.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Family Friendliness - 15% 3.0
  • Quality - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

Get camping in an instant with the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup. This one-step insta-tent is a pop-up style abode that makes up with quickness and ease what it lacks in amenities and overall size. The smallest tent in terms of floor space AND height in our camping tent review, the Coleman is still a charming, affordable, "quick" solution to simple and fast overnight trips, backyard stay-cations, no-frills "couple's retreats," or a stress-free kid's tent. It's these applications where this tent finds a fun, unique niche in the camping world; just don't kid yourself that you're getting anything very technical or durable.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on April 19, 2022, to add more information on overall value and suggestions for other products you may want to consider.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $160 List
$117.31 at Amazon
$350 List
$350.00 at REI
$270 List
$201.93 at REI
$149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$200 List
$180.45 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Super easy set up, good views, very nice priceSuper light, very quick to pitch, amazing views with and without the fly, multi-use capabilitiesSpacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensiveSimple, quick to set up, lightweightGreat fair weather vestibule, spacious interior, neat concept
Cons Low headroom, poor overall constructionSmall square footage, guyline stakes not included, very low ceilingFiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly onCheap poles, bad door zippers, small footprintHard to setup, doesn't do well in rain, poor quality
Bottom Line This tent is fast, easy, and inexpensive, though it falls short in some key areasA simple tent just big enough for car camping but arguably light enough for the occasional backpacking trip tooWherever this tent falls short in quality, it makes up for it in size, features, and overall valueA classic lightweight 4-person dome tent that gives a little extra headroom and has a few nice featuresWhile this tent looks good in photos, it performs poorly in weather resistance and general use
Rating Categories Coleman 4-Person Ca... Mountain Hardwear M... Kelty Wireless 6 Kelty Tallboy 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Space and Comfort (35%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
3.0
Family Friendliness (15%)
3.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Quality (10%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Specs Coleman 4-Person Ca... Mountain Hardwear M... Kelty Wireless 6 Kelty Tallboy 4 Coleman Evanston Sc...
Weight 18.2 lbs 7.1 lbs 17.2 lbs 11.0 lbs 20.9 lbs
Max Inside Height 4' 11" 4' 0" 6' 4" 5' 10" 5' 8"
Floor Dimensions 8' x 7' 7' 6" x 5' 8" 9' 10" x 8' 10" 7' 1" x 8' 10' x 9'
Floor Area 56 sq ft 42.5 sq ft 86.9 sq ft 57 sq ft 90 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season
Windows 3 Mesh top Mesh top Mesh top 2
Pockets 2 5 6 4 2
Number of Doors 1 2 2 1 1
Room Divider No No No No Yes
Vestibules 0 2 2 0 1
Vestibule Area (total) N/A 37.5 sq ft 28 sq ft N/A 40 sq ft
Packed Size 39.5" x 8" x 8" 7" x 25" 27" x 8" x 8" 24" x 7" x 10" 27.4" x 14.8" x 10.31"
Floor Materials 150D polyester 68D ripstop polyester 68D poly 1800mm 68D Poly 1200mm WeatherTec
Main Tent Materials 150D polyester 40D polyester mesh, 75D ripstop polyester 68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh 68D Poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh Polyguard
Rainfly Materials Polyguard 2X 68D ripstop polyester 68D poly 1200mm 68D Poly 1200mm Polyguard
Number of Poles 4 2 3 3 4
Pole Material Aluminum DAC Pressfit Fiberglass Fiberglass Fiberglass
Extras Integrated rainfly protection Fly rolls back and secures halfway for stargazing, footprint included Pole pockets for easy setup Lightweight Covered vestibule with floor

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup is a sweet little tent that doesn't try to be anything other than super easy to set up. The tent goes from bag to fully erected and staked well under the 60 seconds it claims. But the build quality isn't great. The door only opens halfway, and the window covers simply flap in the wind once open, but if you're looking for a very simple tent that is cheap and fast to set up, stop researching: you found a winner.

Performance Comparison


coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - putting the chairs and table together took longer than pitching this...
Putting the chairs and table together took longer than pitching this instant tent.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Space and Comfort


At 56 sq ft, you can fit two twin air mattresses with about a foot of hallway left or fill the entire tent wall to wall with a full and a twin. The Cabin wasn't built for four, but you could make it work in a pinch. The door only opens halfway, a disappointing feature found in other Coleman tents. This makes getting in and out awkwardly difficult.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - a full and a twin air mattress just barely fit in this 4-person tent.
A full and a twin air mattress just barely fit in this 4-person tent.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

The Cabin has three large windows, easy access vents in the ceiling (these are accessible from inside the tent thanks to zippers in the ceiling), and two storage pockets. The only ding on the windows is that they have no ties or way to secure them once opened, so they are left to simply dangle.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - a top-down view of the small but fast coleman cabin.
A top-down view of the small but fast Coleman Cabin.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Weather Resistance


The Cabin will fair well in both warm and cold weather[. The single walls are seam-sealed and have good coverage all the way around. The tub-style floor and tent walls are made of thick 150D polyester. The six stakes will hold the low-profile design down just fine with the two pre-attached guylines. Should the weather turn hot, the large windows on both sides of the tent and door paired with the two top vents allow plenty of air to run through.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - the surprising large windows unfortunately have nowhere to tuck away...
The surprising large windows unfortunately have nowhere to tuck away when unzipped.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Ease of Use


Not much to say here — this is an instant setup tent, after all. Once out of the bag, simply lift each side of the tent until you hear a "click," and you're done. The hardest part of the setup is putting the stakes and guyline in. You could give this tent a knock for its weight, coming in at 18.2 lbs, and a ding for the bag size — packing this one back up did take a little extra smushing, but it wasn't too bad.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - handy soft mesh covers the fulcrum points to protect your fingers...
Handy soft mesh covers the fulcrum points to protect your fingers should you forget to pull them out before closing.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Family Friendliness


This is a great tent to bring along for the kids or some extra covered storage, but not ideal for the entire family. At only 56 sq ft, this will be tight quarters, and should the rain come, spending a full day in this tent will test everyone's strength. The Cabin is the perfect kids' tent, parent tent, or gear tent, but you only get to choose one.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - as a secondary tent for friends or gear, this tent is perfect.
As a secondary tent for friends or gear, this tent is perfect.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Quality


The main structure isn't the worst, with the entire tent made of 150D polyester and all seams sealed. However, the zippers and the mesh netting are poorly made, and the bag will not last more than a season before it rips or springs a leak. The poles are made from aluminum, but many moving plastic pieces hold them together.

coleman 4-person cabin with instant setup camping tent review - included guylines are of questionable quality.
Included guylines are of questionable quality.
Credit: Rob Gaedtke

Should You Buy the Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup?


There is magic in the speed this tent goes up. Sleepovers, backyard movies, and allowing your kids to bring a friend because you have this tent as a second are all good reasons to consider the Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup. Just remember you are buying simplicity and speed, nothing more.

What Other Camping Tents Should You Consider?


The Coleman Cabin with Instant Setup is a good discount grab when you mix the low price point with the super simple setup. Just don't expect anything fancy. Our top choice for overall value is the Kelty Wireless 6 if you want to step up in size to a 6-person tent.

Rob Gaedtke
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