I Tested the Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent (Review)
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Rating and Summary
I was pleasantly surprised by how many features the Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent offered – it’s super easy to set up, the dark room technology is phenomenal, and there’s plenty of ventilation on hot days, to name a few.
However, the peak height (73.5 inches) is a little lower than I expected, ventilation is minimal when it’s raining, and I highly recommend sealing the inverted seam connecting the bathtub flooring to the tent body, if you expect rain.
That being said, I think this is the absolute perfect tent for hot summer days. I was so comfortable inside this tent, and didn’t feel like I was baking (even at 12 noon, when the sun was scorching).
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Check out the Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent:
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought the Coleman 10-Person Dark Room Instant Cabin Tent from Amazon, and here’s what the packaging looked like, which is pretty nice:
In the Box
Inside the Coleman Instant Tent package, I got the carry bag (black with red handles), tent body (grayish black), a room divider (blue & black), and the rainfly (green). These are all pictured below.
On top of that, I also got a small ground sheet, 16 steel stakes in a carry case, fiberglass poles for the hinged D-door, some warranty information and also, some instructions. (I’ll show you these later in this blog post.)
The poles and guylines are all pre-attached.
Here’s all the data (including my personal measurements) that I gathered on this Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent:
- Peak height: 73.5 inches
- Lowest height: 59 inches
- Length: 13 feet 11 inches
- Width: 9 feet 9 inches
- Base area: 135.7 square feet
- Floor material: Polyethylene
- Bathtub Flooring: 4 inches
- Tent body material: Polyester
- Rainfly material: Polyester
- Poles material: Steel
- Packed size: 50 by 17 by 12 inches
- Number of guylines: 6
- Number of stakes: 16
- Number of windows: 5
- Number of doors: 2 (one is hinged)
- Number of vents: None
- Number of pockets: 2
- Number of gear lofts: None
- Number of lantern loops: 1
- Room divider: Yes (1)
- E-port: Yes (1)
- Black-out: Yes
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (2 people): 7.5 minutes
- Set up timing (1 person): 16 minutes
- Take down timing (2 people): 5 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 10 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 10
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 4
I go through all the above specifications in the sections below, in more detail, if you’re interested.
Testing and Performance
I put the Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent through these 7 tests:
- Ease of Use
- Comfort & Features
- Rain Protection
Here’s how the Coleman 10-Person Tent performed.
Ease of Use
For ease of use, I looked at how easily I could:
- Set up, and
- Take down + pack up
this Coleman Instant 10-Person Cabin Tent. I did this on my own, so 1 person, and also, I tested this with 2 people as well.
How to Set Up
To set up this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent, first unfold the tent until it lays flat on the ground, except for this central hub here.
Caution: The central hub is where all the poles are pre-attached, and it’s a pinch point hazard, so do be careful.
After that, pull upward on the 6 elbow joints around the tent body (which are covered by a black neoprene covering) until they’re propped up at about a 90-degree angle.
Once all the poles have been propped up, extend the 4 roof poles at the top by pulling them apart.
Tip: Only the 4 roof poles at the side (so the 2 at the front, and the 2 at the back) can be extended. The middle 2 roof poles cannot be extended.
After the roof poles, pull apart or extend the 6 telescoping wall poles as well. All the telescoping poles (both roof and wall poles) have silver lock buttons that click into place when fully extended.
Next, pull the tent out tight and drape the rainfly over the tent. The green side of the rainfly is the right side up, and the underside of the rainfly is black.
Also, the 4 corners of the rainfly are black in color, like this, which makes setting it up easy:
After, secure the 6 s-hooks of the rainfly to the 6 loops on the base of the tent.
Then, stake out the tent. You will get 16 steel stakes that look like these:
These 10 smaller stakes (on the right) are for staking out the tent base.
Use 3 stakes for the front, 3 stakes for the back, 1 stake for the left, 1 stake for the right, and the last 2 stakes for the small ground sheet (pictured below).
Then, use these 6 bigger stakes (on the left) for the guylines.
Finally, insert the green-colored fiberglass pole through the door pole sleeve (which can be zipped open and close).
To secure the hinged D-door in place, there are 2 of these rubber gaskets, one at the top and the other at the bottom:
Set Up Timing
It’ll take about ~7.5 minutes for 2 people to set up this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent.
When I put this tent up on my own, it took me about ~16 minutes. (I’m only 5’3″, and I was able to get the entire tent set up on my own, rainfly, hinged door, and all.)
How to Take Down
To take down the Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent is the exact reverse of the set up process. Just remember to press on the silver lock button on all the telescoping poles and push on them until they cannot be retracted further.
Take Down Timing
Taking down the Coleman 10-Person Tent and then packing it up takes slightly more than 5 minutes for 2 people, and about ~10 minutes on my own, excluding washing and drying, of course.
If you want more detailed instructions on how to set up, take down, and pack up this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent, you can check out this video that I uploaded, right here:
For spaciousness, I looked at the peak height, slope of the walls, and base area.
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent has a peak height of 73.5 inches, and I can reach the top of the tent very easily by just stretching my arm out.
The lowest height in the tent, which is at the four corners, is about 59 inches.
I’m about 5’3″ (63 inches) tall, so I could stand up almost everywhere inside this Coleman Cabin Tent, except for the 4 corners.
Slope of Walls
I felt like there weren’t enough pole clips in this tent, and the tent body felt a bit droopy, especially on this side of the tent.
Also, the side walls aren’t as vertical as I expected them to be. This reduces livable space a little bit for sure.
The length of the Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent is about 13 feet and 11 inches, while the width is about 9 feet and 9 inches, so slightly smaller than the marketed dimensions (which is about 14 by 10 feet).
Also, there’s no vestibule, so if you leave your shoes out, it will get wet if it rains.
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent can accommodate 10 single sleeping pads or sleeping bags, and here’s what having 10 pads in this 10-person tent looks like:
To accommodate 10 people in this tent, it’s almost shoulder-to-shoulder sleeping, although there’s some space down the middle for a little bit of camping gear.
This Coleman 10-Person Tent can also fit 4 queen-sized camping mattresses, and here’s what the tent looks like with these 4 mattresses:
The mattresses that I used in this tent are slightly smaller than queen size, but almost queen sized (give or take a few inches). Even so, these 4 mattresses take up almost the entire tent, with barely any space leftover for camping gear.
Comfort and Features
For comfort and features, I looked at the windows, doors, bug nets, and more.
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent has 5 windows around the tent, excluding the 2 doors (on the widths of the tent).
Including the mesh from the 2 doors, there are 7 windows, which are all in different sizes, so let me give you the dimensions here:
- Mesh of hinged door: 34 by 37 inches
- Window beside hinged door: 31 by 38 inches
- Biggest window (x2): 50 by 38 inches
- Second biggest window (x2): 43 x 25 inches
- Mesh of back door: 41 by 26 inches
Each window has 2 zippers. If there’s no rain, you you can unzip the windows for more ventilation, and there’s a bug net to prevent larger bugs from getting in.
The holes are quite large, so I’m pretty sure that it’s not no-see-um mesh.
Each window comes with a small latch to tie the fabric of the windows up, so that it looks neater.
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent has 2 doors, one at each width of the tent.
The door on the left width of the tent is this hinged D-door.
The hinged D-door measures about 50 by 34 inches in dimensions, and is only about 47 inches from the ground to the top of the door, because the side walls aren’t really that vertical.
At 47 inches tall, it’s not very tall, so I did have to duck quite a bit when entering.
Here’s what this D-door looks like in comparison to my size:
The other door at the right width of the tent doesn’t come with any fiberglass poles, so it’s not hinged, and you do have to zip it open and close.
The back door measures about 47 by 46 inches in dimensions, and it’s about 53 inches from the floor to the top of the door. Again, because of the slant of the walls, I do also have to duck quite a bit to get in and out of the tent.
Here’s what the back door looks like in comparison to my size, so slightly bigger than the hinged D-door:
Both doors also have bug nets, and when you open them up, they act just like windows. The window spans almost the entire length of the D-door (pictured earlier), and for the back door, the window spans about half the door:
If there are no bugs, you can increase ventilation by leaving the hinged door open, and also by unzipping the other door, rolling it up and clipping it to the side right here like this.
There are 2 of these clips or latches for keeping the door open.
Each door has 2 zippers for the bug net, and 2 for the door itself. FYI, the hinged D-door can also be zipped open and close, if you want to (but that defeats the purpose of the hinged door, right?)
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent comes with a removable room divider, so you can split the tent into 2 rooms.
The divider comes with S-hooks that you can easily attach to loops at the top of the tent, and also at the sides (5 of these in total).
Each “room” can then fit either 5 sleeping pads or sleeping bags, or 2 queen-sized beds. One room, on the left side of the tent, will have 3 windows and the hinged D-door, while the other room will have 2 windows and the other door.
The divider has a zip in the middle so that you can access either room, and you can also pull back the sides of the divider for easier access.
You can also fit just 1 or 2 queen-sized beds in one “room”, and use the other as a living room (2 pictures above).
The divider extends all the way to the floor, but there are pretty big gaps at the sides of the divider.
Also, it’s not completely opaque, and you can actually see quite a bit through it.
There are 2 pockets in the entire tent, both measuring about 7 by 8 inches, which is really tiny for such a large tent.
There’s 1 lantern loop in the tent, at the very top of the tent, right in the center, for some lighting at night.
Also, there’s 1 e-port at the bottom of the tent with a zippered closure.
One of the best features about this tent is the dark room technology. In the above pictures, you saw what this Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent looked like with all the windows open.
Now, here’s what the dark room feature looks like with all the windows closed, in the middle of the day:
If I were being nitpicky, I would say that there’s a little bit of light seeping in through the gap between the roof and the rainfly, and also from the bathtub flooring at the bottom of the tent.
But apart from that, I think this is really great for sleeping in, and it’s also quite a bit cooler inside this tent during the day than my other tents.
And if you’re the type that doesn’t like a single spot of light when you’re sleeping at night, well, you’re in luck. With all its windows closed, this Coleman 10-Person Instant Dark Room Tent is almost pitch black, even though there are still street lights from the outside.
Related: Is Coleman’s Dark Room Worth It? (3 Tests!)
For ventilation, I looked at how much mesh the Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent has. After all, more mesh equals more ventilation.
This Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent has a lot of mesh on the roof of the tent, which looks like this:
The rainfly is removable, but only from the outside.
I recommend removing the ceiling mesh on hot days, if you need more ventilation. You can also stargaze through the ceiling mesh when it’s not raining.
Window + Door Mesh
Apart from the roof, this Coleman 10-Person Tent has 5 windows and 2 doors, almost all of which are pretty massive, allowing for plenty of ventilation when it’s not raining.
Rainy Day Options
But when it’s raining, the rainfly provides very little rain protection, because it’s quite small (and its main purpose is to protect only the ceiling mesh). On top of that, the tent body slants outwards a bit, so the water drips onto the window or door mesh directly.
Even in light rain, majority of the mesh will get wet, as you can see in the picture above. I could crack the windows open a tiny bit in light rain, but in heavier rain, it’s best not to.
There are no ground vents in this Coleman 10-Person Tent, so there’s hardly any ventilation when it’s raining, except through the gap between the roof and the rainfly.
For weather resistance, I looked at rain and wind protection.
It was raining for quite a few hours over the few days that I was using this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent, and it was mostly light rain.
After about 15 to 30 minutes of light rain, I noticed that water started seeping in through the inverted seam connecting the black fabric of the tent body to the bathtub flooring, because it has not been seam taped.
Also, I noticed a pretty big pool of water from the zipper of the hinged D-door at about 30 minutes of light rain (so maybe it started leaking at around 15 minutes in).
I tried to make sure that the zippers were protected by this yellow rain cover thing on the outside, but it seems to be soaked with water, and made the leaking worse.
So, if you have this tent, I recommend putting the zippers higher up where it’s more protected by the rainfly, instead of lower down, where water can seep in.
After about 3 hours of light rain, all the fabric of the main tent body (both the blue and black fabric) was still dry, which was great.
However, there was water inside the tent from the constant leaking through the inverted seam and the zip of the D-door. To check out the damage/for more info, you can check out the full rain test video that I uploaded, right here:
I don’t think this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent will do very well against strong winds. This is a cabin tent, so the shape isn’t aerodynamic at all.
The pole structure is also very simple, and there are only 6 guylines in total for such a large tent.
For quality, I looked at the flooring, the main tent, stitching, and more.
This feels like your regular polyethylene flooring, and the bathtub flooring extends up to about 4 inches.
After about 3 hours of light rain, I noticed that no water seeped through the bathtub flooring, and it was still dry, which was great.
I’m pretty sure the main tent body and rainfly are made of polyester, but I could not find any info on the Denier rating or the water resistance rating, though I did find out that the main tent body was still dry from the inside even after 3 hours of light rain.
I did find a bunch of loose threads and excess materials on the floor when I first got into the tent though. (But this isn’t a big issue to me.)
I found the stitching to be pretty consistent with no huge holes, although you can see some light coming in through the seams.
But it’s probably more obvious in this tent than other tents because of the dark room feature.
The seam tape wasn’t very well applied around some of the windows, so it kind of blocks the zipper, and makes it less smooth and more snaggy than it would have been.
And also, the hinged D-door is great and super user-friendly (though it still snags if you want to zip it up), but the other door without the fiberglass poles does snag from the outside because of the yellow rain cover.
The holes of the mesh are too big to be no-see-um, and also, I found a couple of small holes in the mesh of one of the windows. (I think it’s clearer in the video than in the picture below.)
The poles of the Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent are made of steel, and are all pre-attached for an easy set up and take down.
The guylines are white, and are all pre-attached as well.
The carry bag is black, and the bottom can be expanded for an easier pack up.
The poles and pole clips of this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent are all pre-attached, so that was really convenient for putting it up and taking it down.
However, I wouldn’t say that Coleman has the best instant tent mechanism, at least for this tent. Sometimes, one of the elbow joints of the poles would jam and won’t prop up properly, and I’d have to fold it back up and try to prop it back up again.
Also, my Coleman Instant Tent came with a defective pole that was attached the wrong way, and could not extend and retract properly.
I tried for many hours to fix this issue, but the pole just wouldn’t budge, even though I tried to unscrew it and tried to loosen it up by oiling it and stuff like that. So, that was a bit disappointing, but I guess manufacturing defects do happen, so this is probably just a one-off thing.
The Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent is about 50 inches long, which is quite a bit longer (40% longer) than traditional tents of the same size (10-person tents).
I forgot to weigh the tent before I sent it back to Amazon (because of the manufacturing defect), but I think it’ll weigh anywhere between 30 to 32 pounds (as do the rest of my 10-person tents).
Pros and Cons
For pros, I found the Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent much easier to set up than regular 10-person tent, taking anywhere between 30 to 90% less time.
Also, even if you’re not tall like me (I’m 5’3″), you should be able to set it up on your own.
The second pro is that the dark room technology is phenomenal. Not only is it a lot darker inside the tent during the day, it’s also a lot cooler as well, so it’s great for sleeping in.
When you wake up, you can open all the window and door mesh panels, and get plenty of ventilation through all these massive mesh panels, so it doesn’t feel too stuffy in the tent during the day.
You can also leave the tent easily, and get back into the tent easily, through this super, super user-friendly hinged D-door on the left width of the tent. It works just like a regular door, with no need for any zipping.
As for cons, this Coleman 10-Person Cabin Tent doesn’t have quite as much livable space as you’d expect.
Its peak height of 73.5 inches is lower than most other 10-person tents, the tent body feels a bit droopy on the widths of the tent, and the side walls aren’t as vertical as I expected them to be.
Another con is that there isn’t much ventilation when it’s raining. There are no vents, no windows that can be opened, and the only ventilation that I got was through the gap between the ceiling mesh and the rainfly.
Also, if you’re expecting any rain at all, you do need to seal this inverted seam.
Some smaller cons are that the room divider is quite see-through, with pretty big gaps at the sides, and the only 2 pockets in the tent are ridiculously tiny.
Also, instant tents have a much bigger packed size than regular tents of the same size.
Overall, I felt that this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent was perfect for summer use, with the awesome dark room feature and plenty of ventilation. I felt the most comfortable in this tent in the hot summer days, compared to my other 10-person tents.
I highly recommend this Coleman 10-Person Instant Cabin Tent if you’re expecting high temperatures and hot weather, but not if you’re expecting plenty of rain.
Bonus: Must Read!
How does this Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent compare to other similar tents though? Well, here’s a blog post where I bought, tested and compared 6 of the best 10-person tents.
Alternatively, check out this blog post where I pitted the Coleman Instant 10 against 13 other Coleman tents: I Bought & Tested the 14 BEST Coleman Tents!
Or this other blog post where I tested Coleman tents with hinged doors: I Bought & Tested the 4 BEST Hinged Door Tents!
Or, check out the Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent: