Review: Coleman Instant Tents

The Coleman’s Instant Tent has been my tent of choice for almost four years now; my first one – the six man version – was bought in 2012 and has seen service in the desert, on beaches and in wadis.

There are times when we need a bigger tent – such as when one of our sons visits us, or if we want to put our camping chairs under shelter – so we purchased the eight man version back in 2013 before embarking on our Omani Odyssey trip.

You may have noticed I tend to camp a lot, typically 60 nights per year and occasionally we lend our tents out to friends too, so they have seen lots of service.

These days my saluki needs to sleep in the tent too so I have just purchased a four man instant tent for when it is just the two of us.  In the cold weather, a small tent keeps you warmer!

Camping in Liwa

Camping in Liwa

Each tent comes with a zip up bag which has a very handy printed instruction sheet sewn into the seam – the tents are so easy to erect and dismantle you probably won’t need to refer to it after your first time out.


As mentioned above, there are three different sizes available – if you are over 5’10” tall and want to stand up inside the tent then the 8 man version is a good buy.


Sizes are

  • 4-man: 8′ x 7′ – height 4’11”
  • 6-man: 9′ x 10′ – height 5’11”
  • 8-man: 14′ x 10′ – height 6’5″

The clever thing about the Coleman’s Instant Tent is that the poles are on the outside and fold along with the tent, making setting up camp easy and quick.


The four man and six man versions come with a single door, whereas the 8 man has a double door to open wide, useful if camping on the beach. Due to its high roof and large size it also serves well as a communal/majlis tent.

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Here in the UAE the temperatures we camp in vary widely – overnights can vary from 6C in the winter to 30C in April and October – so I like a tent with plenty of windows to maximise airflow in the warmer months.  Another useful feature I find with the Colemans Instant Tent is that the windows can be closed from the inside – it is all very well going to sleep at 30C with all the windows open but when the temperature drops before dawn it is great to be able to close up some from the inside!

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One person can easily put up and take down the tents, although if it is breezy then two people will accomplish the task more easily!

Although they are not the cheapest tents on the market personally I think they are worth the price tag.

  • Thoughtfully designed with features such as the windows mentioned above, good quality fabrics and zips, sewn in groundsheet, lamp hook and torch/car key pockets increase your comfort when camping
  • My experience has been that they outlast supermarket own brand tents by a huge margin – before making the switch to this brand I tried various cheapies from Supermarkets and found that after 2 or 3 weekends away they were beginning to fall apart.
  • Coleman’s Instant Tents are a popular brand in the UAE and if looked after well, they have a good resale value should you leave the country and not want to take it with you.

You can find these in Carrefour BUT if you are Abu Dhabi based I recommend you purchase them from the main Colemans agent there – their prices are competitive and in the unlikely event of a problem they are more likely to be able to help you than a supermarket.  Their shop is called HyperMarket and is quite near CitiBank in AD – GPS 24.481804 54.376855 – Tel 02 6347673 – tell them the Desert Diva sent you!


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