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Coleman Roadtrip 285 Review

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
coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review
Credit: Coleman
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $320 List | $264.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Great burner system, quick to assemble, even cooking, rolls well
Cons:  Bulky, heavy
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 15
  • Output Power - 25% 8.0
  • Control - 25% 8.0
  • Portability - 20% 5.0
  • Cooking Area - 20% 7.0
  • Wind Resistance - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $320 List
$264.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great burner system, quick to assemble, even cooking, rolls wellExcellent heat retention, convenient side tables, consistent ignitionSturdy, simple, good sized coal bed and grill spaceFast warm up, efficient on fuel, amazing steaks, clean operation and transportWell insulated, gas efficient, sturdy
Cons Bulky, heavyLess portable due to weight and lack of latching lid, hot even on lowest settingHandles get hot, vents are hard to adjust, requires more preparation than gas grillsMixed windy performance, no slow-cooking function and poor medium-rate cookingPoor 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 patioFrom folding side tables to easy to clean cooking grates, this thoughtfully designed model makes grilling on the go fun and easySimple and highly effective, this portable charcoal grill will help you show-off your pit cooking skills away from homeIf you know you like infrared grilling at home, consider this for your portable choiceWith 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%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Control (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Portability (20%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Cooking Area (20%)
7.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
Wind Resistance (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
3.0
8.0
Specs Coleman Roadtrip 285 Weber Q 1200 Weber Go-Anywhere C... Solaire Everywhere Cuisinart Grillster
Total BTU 20,000 8,500 N/A 14,000 8,000
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
Piezo Ignitor Yes Electric No Electric Yes

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.

Performance Comparison


coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285 offers backyard bbq performance in a form...
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 offers backyard BBQ performance in a form that is transportable and perfect for your next picnic or tailgate.
Credit: Ross Patton

Output Power


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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285 heats up quickly. we verified the...
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 heats up quickly. We verified the manufacturer's claims by checking the output temperature with an infrared thermometer.
Credit: Ross Patton

Control


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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285 controls are simplistic and intuitive.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 controls are simplistic and intuitive.
Credit: Ross Patton

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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - when you think of three burners, this is not the configuration that...
When you think of three burners, this is not the configuration that comes to mind. The burner design on the Coleman Roadtrip 285 distributes heat very evenly, even in strong winds.
Credit: Ross Patton

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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - it would be very difficult to beat the white bread heat distribution...
It would be very difficult to beat the white bread heat distribution test results produced by the Coleman Roadtrip 285.
Credit: Ross Patton

Portability


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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285 is not the easiest grill to move, but the...
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is not the easiest grill to move, but the large wheels and long handle certainly help.
Credit: Ross Patton

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.

The process of extending or folding the Coleman Roadtrip 285's legs...
The process of extending or folding the Coleman Roadtrip 285's legs is quick and simple.
Large plastic wheels help while transporting the Coleman Roadtrip 285.
Large plastic wheels help while transporting the Coleman Roadtrip 285.

Cooking Area


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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285 has a massive cooking area.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 has a massive cooking area.
Credit: Ross Patton

Wind Resistance


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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - we tested the grills side-by-side on a breezy fall night to uncover...
We tested the grills side-by-side on a breezy fall night to uncover any issues regarding wind or ambient air temperatures.
Credit: Ross Patton

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.

coleman roadtrip 285 portable grill review - the coleman roadtrip 285's assembly process only takes a few minutes.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285's assembly process only takes a few minutes.
Credit: Ross Patton

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
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