Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent Review (Bought & Tested!)

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Rating and Summary

The Coleman Carlsbad Tent has 2 main selling points – its screen room, as well as the dark room feature.

I love that the screen room adds an additional 27.6 square feet of storage space for gear (yes, I measured this myself!), but I found that there’s hardly any rain protection at all over the screen room.

As for the dark room feature, while this Carlsbad Tent is certainly darker than any regular tent, I was a tad disappointed to find my dark room feature to be a little defective. I’ll show you more pictures on this in a bit, so do read on to find out!

This is a picture of me next to my Coleman Carlsbad Tent in my yard.
This is a picture of me next to my Coleman Carlsbad Tent in my yard.
7
Ease of Use
7.5
Spaciousness
8.6
Comfort & Features
8.5
Ventilation
8
Rain Protection
7.1
Quality
8.5
Portability
Overall Score 7.7 / 10

Pros: Generous base area, easy set up and pack away, decent ventilation
Cons: No rain protection for screen room, can’t stand in the 4-Person version, dark room tech seems slightly defective

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Check out the Coleman Carlsbad Tent:

Product Details

In this section, we’ll touch on the following:

  • Unboxing
  • In the Box
  • Specifications

Unboxing

I bought this Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent from Amazon, and here’s what it looked like when it first arrived:

The Coleman Carlsbad Tent before unboxing. This is the original packaging.
The Coleman Carlsbad Tent before unboxing. This is the original packaging.

And here’s what it looks like out of the box:

This is a picture of me unboxing the Coleman Carlsbad Tent from the original packaging.
This is a picture of me unboxing the Coleman Carlsbad Tent from the original packaging.

In the Box

Inside the package, I got a black carry bag, the tent body, the green rainfly, a foot mat, as well as 4 poles and 15 stakes.

From left to right: In this picture, you can see the carry bag (black), tent body and foot mat (gray), and the rainfly (green) of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
From left to right: In this picture, you can see the carry bag (black), tent body and foot mat (gray), and the rainfly (green) of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

The fiberglass poles and the steel stakes come in their own little separate carry cases, which look like this:

This is a picture of me unboxing the stakes and poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is a picture of me unboxing the stakes and poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Specifications

Dome Tent Specifications

Here are the measurements for the main dome tent of the Carlsbad Tent, not the screen room:

  • Peak height of dome tent: 60 inches
  • Length of dome tent: 8 feet 8 inches
  • Width of dome tent: 6 feet 9 inches
  • Base area of dome tent: 58.5 square feet

Screen Room Specifications

And here are the measurements for the screen room:

  • Peak height of screen room: 54 inches
  • Longest length of screen room: 8 feet 8 inches
  • Shortest length of screen room: 5 feet 9 inches
  • Width of screen room: 3 feet 10 inches
  • Base area of screen room: 27.6 square feet

More Specifications

And here’s even more specs, in case you need them:

  • Total base area: 86.1 square feet
  • Floor material: Polyethylene
  • Bathtub flooring: Yes, ~9 inches
  • Tent body material: Polyester
  • Rainfly material: Polyester
  • Poles material: Fiberglass
  • Number of poles: 4
  • Mesh: Regular
  • Packed size: 26 by 11.5 by 8 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 lbs
  • Number of guylines: 7
  • Number of stakes: 15
  • Number of doors: 1+1 (dome tent + screen room)
  • Hinged door: No
  • Number of windows: 3
  • Number of vents: 1 (mesh wall vent)
  • Number of pockets: 2
  • Number of lantern loops: 2
  • E-port: Yes, 1
  • Black-out: Yes

I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:

  • Set up timing (1 person): 11 minutes
  • Take down timing (1 person): 10 minutes
  • Number of single sleeping pads: 4
  • Number of queen-sized mattresses: 1

Testing and Performance

I put my Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent through these 7 tests:

  1. Ease of use: Set up, take down
  2. Spaciousness: Height, base area, mattress sizing, screen room
  3. Comfort and features: Door, windows, storage, dark room technology
  4. Ventilation: Hot day ventilation, rainy day ventilation
  5. Weather protection: Light rain test, heavy rain test
  6. Quality: Material, mesh, seams, stitching, zippers, poles, dark room
  7. Portability: Weight and packed size

Set Up

Instructions

First up, take note that the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent comes with these 4 poles.

These are all the fiberglass poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
These are all the fiberglass poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

First, grab the 2 poles on the left. These 2 poles are slightly longer than the other 2 poles, and these are for the main body of the tent.

Insert these 2 poles into the blue pole sleeves at the center of the tent, and this will form an X shape across the tent.

The first 2 poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent have been inserted through the respective pole sleeves.
The first 2 poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent have been inserted through the respective pole sleeves.

Then, prop both poles up by securing each end of both poles into the pins at the bottom of the tent.

This is what the Carlsbad Tent will look like with both poles propped up.
This is what the Carlsbad Tent will look like with both poles propped up.

For these 2 poles, use the pin between the red fabric, right here.

The pin between the red fabric is for the tent body poles.
The pin between the red fabric is for the tent body poles.

After that, attach all the pole clips around the tent (8 altogether).

Then, grab the next green pole, the second pole from the right. Notice that it’s slightly shorter, and it’s for the screen room. Insert it into the blue pole sleeve at the front of the tent, prop the pole up, and secure each end into the remaining pins.

This is a picture of me setting up the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is a picture of me setting up the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Now, grab the last pole, which is on the extreme right. This is the rainfly pole, and it has these black tips of both ends.

The rainfly pole of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent has these black rounded tips at both ends of the pole.
The rainfly pole of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent has these black rounded tips at both ends of the pole.

Insert this rainfly pole down the center of the rainfly, like so:

This is a picture of me securing the rainfly pole of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is a picture of me securing the rainfly pole of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

To secure this rainfly pole, there are these 2 tiny pockets at each end of the rainfly, and also 2 Velcro strips between.

This is one of the tiny pockets on the rainfly. Notice I've already secured the rainfly pole in it.
This is one of the tiny pockets on the rainfly. Notice I’ve already secured the rainfly pole in it.

Then, drape the rainfly over the tent by grabbing the rainfly pole, and position the pole horizontally across the tent, like so.

This is a picture of me securing the rainfly above the Coleman Carlsbad Tent. The red arrow is pointing to the rainfly pole.
This is a picture of me securing the rainfly above the Coleman Carlsbad Tent. The red arrow is pointing to the rainfly pole.

Secure the 4 S-hooks of the rainfly to the 4 rings at the bottom of the tent where your poles are attached.

A close-up shot of me attaching the S-hook of the rainfly to the ring at the tent base.
A close-up shot of me attaching the S-hook of the rainfly to the ring at the tent base.

There are also Velcro attachments on the underside of the rainfly along each pole to better align the rainfly, 2 on each side of each pole (8 altogether).

After that, stake the tent body down with 6 stakes (4 stakes for the dome tent, and another 2 for the screen room). Also, guy out the entire tent with the 7 pre-attached guylines (4 at the front, and another 3 at the back of the tent).

This is a picture of me guying out the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is a picture of me guying out the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Timing

It took me about 11 minutes to set up the entire Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent, including the screen room, on my own.

Take Down

Taking down the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent and Screen Room is just the opposite of the set-up, and it took me about 10 minutes for the entire take down and pack up.

For more details on the set up, take down, and pack up, as well as tips on how I set this up on my own (like getting the right rainfly position!), you can check out my YouTube video here:

Peak Height

The peak height in this Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent is about 60 inches. I can somewhat stand up, I’m actually slouching a little, and my head presses against the top of the tent (I’m 5’3”, by the way).

This is me standing under the peak height of the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.
This is me standing under the peak height of the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.

Also, the peak height is only at the center, because this is a dome-shaped tent. The rest of the tent slopes downwards.

Base Area

The length inside the dome tent itself measures about 8 feet and 8 inches, while the width measures about 6 feet and 9 inches, so slightly smaller than the marketed dimensions of 9 by 7 feet.

This is the logo of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent. The red arrow is pointing to the marketed dimensions of 9' x 7'.
This is the logo of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent. The red arrow is pointing to the marketed dimensions of 9′ x 7′.

Single Pad Sizing

But I could still easily fit 4 regular sleeping pads inside the dome tent itself, excluding the space in the screen room. In fact, here’s what having 4 pads looks like:

This is what 4 pads look like inside the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent. From left to right: Exped MegaMat Duo 10, Sea to Summit Camp Mat, Big Agnes Friar sleeping bag.
This is what 4 pads look like inside the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent. From left to right: Exped MegaMat Duo 10, Sea to Summit Camp Mat, Big Agnes Friar sleeping bag.

You do have to sleep shoulder to shoulder, but notice that there’s a little bit of space between the 4 sleeping pads, so you could fit slightly wider pads too. There won’t be any space leftover for gear though.

Queen Mattress Sizing

Alternatively, instead of 4 pads, you can fit 1 queen-sized camping mattress, and having just 2 people is a much more comfortable fit. There’s also quite a bit of leftover room for storing gear, which is always very nice to have.

This is what a queen bed looks like inside the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.
This is what a queen bed looks like inside the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.

You can also fit the queen bed in vertically, just take note that it will take up the entire width of the tent.

Even though the mattress I used in my Carlsbad Tent is quite thick, around 9 inches thick, I still had plenty of livable room to sit up and lounge around inside the tent.

Screen Room

This Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent also comes with a screen room.

This screen room has a width of about 3 feet and 10 inches, and the longest length is about 8 feet and 8 inches, which is the same as the dome tent. It tapers off a bit at the front though, so the shortest length is only about 5 feet and 9 inches.

This is a picture of me measuring the shortest length of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent's screen room.
This is a picture of me measuring the shortest length of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent’s screen room.

The peak height in this screen room is only about 54 inches though, which is shorter than the peak height in the dome tent, so I couldn’t even stand upright in the screen room.

This is a picture of me standing in the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.
This is a picture of me standing in the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.

Windows

This Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent has 3 windows in the entire tent. There’s 1 window on each wall of the tent, and the last wall is a mesh wall. (I’ll show you pictures of the mesh wall down at the ‘Ventilation’ section in a bit.)

Here are 2 of the windows in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
Here are 2 of the windows in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

All the windows are about the same size. Each of the side windows measures about 35 by 18 inches, and look like this:

This is one of the side windows in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is one of the side windows in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Meanwhile, the window that’s part of the door at the front of the tent measures about 34 by 20 inches, and here it is:

This is the front window of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is the front window of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Each window comes with a window latch to hold the fabric together when the window’s open, 2 white zippers, and also a bug net to prevent larger bugs (like mosquitoes) from getting in.

A close-up shot of the window zippers in the Carlsbad Tent.
A close-up shot of the window zippers in the Carlsbad Tent.

Dome Tent Door

The Coleman Carlsbad Tent has 1 door on the front length of the dome tent itself. It measures about 47 inches in length, and about 35 inches in width, so it’s pretty decently sized, and here’s what it looks like when I stand in front of it.

A picture of me standing in front of the door to the Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent.
A picture of me standing in front of the door to the Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent.

This door also measures about 52 inches from the ground to the top of the door, and I’m about 5’3″/160cm tall, so I had to duck when getting in and out of the tent through this door.

A picture of me ducking to get through the door of the Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent.
A picture of me ducking to get through the door of the Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent.

This door comes with 2 door latches by the side to tie the door fabric up to keep it open, and it also comes with 2 black zippers to zip it open and shut.

A picture of me tying up the door fabric of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
A picture of me tying up the door fabric of the Carlsbad Tent.

Screen Room Door

The screen room of this Carlsbad 4-Person Tent comes with another 1 door. It spans almost the entire length of the screen room, measuring about 5 feet and 2 inches in length, so it’s really quite big in size.

A picture of me taking the dimensions to the screen room door of the Carlsbad Tent.
A picture of me taking the dimensions to the screen room door of the Carlsbad Tent.

It’s only about 50 inches in height though, so a little shorter, and I had to duck even more when getting into and out of the screen room.

A picture of me ducking to get through the Carlsbad Tent's screen room door.
A picture of me ducking to get through the Carlsbad Tent’s screen room door.

The door of the screen room comes with 2 door latches, 1 on either side of the door (you can see this in the above picture), to hold the fabric when it’s open.

It also comes with 3 black zippers for zipping open and shut.

The 3 zippers to the screen room door of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
The 3 zippers to the screen room door of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

I think this screen room door should have come with 1 extra stake loop at the front here, to make unzipping a little easier.

I had to use my foot to press down on the tent fabric before I could unzip the screen room door easily.
I had to use my foot to press down on the tent fabric before I could unzip the screen room door easily.

Storage

Pockets

For storage, there are 2 pockets inside this Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Dome Tent, each measuring about 9 by 7 inches.

This is one of the pockets inside the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is one of the pockets inside the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Lantern Loops

Inside the dome tent, there’s 1 lantern loop at the very top of the tent, where you can hang a lantern for lighting at night.

Also, just outside of the screen room, there’s another 1 more lantern loop as well.

Here's the lantern loop on the outside of the Carlsbad Tent's screen room.
Here’s the lantern loop on the outside of the Carlsbad Tent’s screen room.

So, altogether, 2 lantern loops.

E-Port

Also, there’s 1 e-port at the bottom of the tent with a zippered closure.

This is the e-port of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is the e-port of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Dark Room Technology

This Carlsbad Dome Tent also comes with Coleman’s dark room technology, and this is what it looks like with the windows and door closed.

A picture of me lying down in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent with all the windows and door closed.
A picture of me lying down in the Coleman Carlsbad Tent with all the windows and door closed.

It’s a little bit darker compared to a regular Coleman tent without the dark room tech, but I don’t think that it blocks out 90% of the light (which is what Coleman markets its dark room tech to be). As a reference, here’s what a Coleman Sundome Tent looks like without the dark room tech:

This is a picture of me lying down in my Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent.
This is a picture of me lying down in my Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent.

After testing out a few other Coleman tents with the same Coleman dark room tech, which are seriously a lot darker, I realized that this Carlsbad tent isn’t as dark because Coleman used a different fabric for the bottom of the tent (red arrow below). The fabric is supposed to be pitch black (like the window), not translucent black.

What the Coleman Carlsbad Tent looks like with dark room technology. The red arrow is pointing to what I think is the defective part of the dark room tech.
What the Coleman Carlsbad Tent looks like with dark room technology. The red arrow is pointing to what I think is the defective part of the dark room tech.

Check out the fabric of my Coleman Sundome Dark Room Tent (pictured below). Notice the difference in the blackout fabric?

This is a picture of me touching the blackout fabric of the Coleman Sundome Dark Room Tent.
This is a picture of me touching the blackout fabric of the Coleman Sundome Dark Room Tent.

Light Rain Test

It rained lightly while I was using this Coleman Carlsbad Tent out camping, and here’s what I found.

Even in light rain, the entire screen room at the front of the Carlsbad Tent got wet, and everything I had inside the screen room was wet as well. There’s no rainfly protection, very little fabric protection from the top, and even the entire sides of the screen room had lots of mesh that let water in.

Light rain dripping down the sides of Coleman Carlsbad Tent's screen room.
Light rain dripping down the sides of Coleman Carlsbad Tent’s screen room.

Thankfully, it didn’t rain for very long, maybe about 30 minutes or so. After the rain stopped, I found that the entire screen room had small droplets of water.

Here's what the bottom of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent looked like after the rain.
Here’s what the bottom of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent looked like after the rain.

Inside the Carlsbad Dome Tent itself though, there were no leaks, and the tent was still dry.

Overnight Rain Test

I also slept in this Carlsbad Dome Tent overnight in my yard, while it rained lightly to moderately for many hours over the entire night.

Rain beating down the Coleman Carlsbad Tent at night.
Rain beating down the Coleman Carlsbad Tent at night.

When I woke up the next morning, I found that there were a few small puddles of water on the ground, seeping in through the corners and also from the untaped but inverted seam of the bathtub flooring (the blue seam in the picture below).

Small puddles of water on the ground of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
Small puddles of water on the ground of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

The black fabric nearer the bottom was also pretty much soaked through, though the blue fabric nearer the top with more rainfly protection was still dry.

The black fabric of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent felt really damp to me.
The black fabric of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent felt really damp to me.

The window mesh was also dry, and though I left the windows open the entire night, no rain got into the tent from the windows.

Also, because there was a little bit of flooding in my yard overnight from the many hours of rain, all the dead grass and leaves washed up against my tent and got trapped in the mesh of the screen room, which was a bit of a pain to clean out.

Dirt and leaves trapped in the mesh of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent.
Dirt and leaves trapped in the mesh of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent.

Heavy Rain Test

To test for heavy rain, I had to use a water hose. I concentrated the rainfall on the front of the tent, also near the screen room, because I wanted to see how the tent and the screen room would hold up.

A picture of me using a water hose to hose down the Coleman Carlsbad Tent in my yard.
A picture of me using a water hose to hose down the Coleman Carlsbad Tent in my yard.

At about 30 minutes in, when I checked in on the Carlsbad Tent, I noticed that there were a few droplets of water already inside the tent from the leaking seam of the bathtub flooring.

This bathtub flooring seam of the Carlsbad Tent is always the first place that leaks. Notice the droplets of water on the floor near my hand?
This bathtub flooring seam of the Carlsbad Tent is always the first place that leaks. Notice the droplets of water on the floor near my hand?

Tip: If you need your Coleman tent to last longer under heavy rain, I highly recommend using some seam sealant to seal the bathtub flooring seam.

Also, because of the huge, unprotected mesh panels at the sides of the screen room (pictured earlier in the ‘Light Rain Test’), the rain sprayed right into the screen room, and everything got wet.

Huge puddles of water on the ground of the Carlsbad Tent's screen room.
Huge puddles of water on the ground of the Carlsbad Tent’s screen room.

If you’d like to watch all of my rain tests on this Carlsbad tent, you can check out my YouTube video right here:

Light Rain Ventilation

For some ventilation during the light rain test, I was able to leave the windows open, because the light rain didn’t get on the mesh of the windows.

The window of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent was left open in the light rain.
The window of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent was left open in the light rain.

I was also able to leave the door open, thanks to the little bit of protection from the screen room.

The opened door of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
The opened door of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

The mesh wall at the back of the tent was also still dry after I took the rainfly off.

Heavy Rain Ventilation

During the heavy rain test, even though the rainfly and the rainfly pole did quite a good job of protecting the window mesh from the heavy rain, the bottom of the mesh still got wet, because of the angle of the rain. The top of the window was still fine though, so you could crack it open a bit.

The windows of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent will get partially wet in heavy rain.
The windows of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent will get partially wet in heavy rain.

Also, because of these big and unprotected mesh panels at the sides of the screen room, I realized that I couldn’t leave the tent door open, or everything in my tent would get wet.

Rain dripping into the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
Rain dripping into the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Thankfully, even though I had to close the windows and door in heavy rain, there’s this 1 mesh wall inside the Carlsbad tent, which becomes a vent when the rainfly is in place over the tent.

The back wall of the Carlsbad Tent is partially made from mesh.
The back wall of the Carlsbad Tent is partially made from mesh.

It spans almost the entire length of the tent, and I was able to stake down the rainfly and leave this vent open in heavy rain.

This is what the vent of the Carlsbad Tent looks like.
This is what the vent of the Carlsbad Tent looks like.

Hot Day Ventilation

On a hot day, you can take the rainfly off from the outside, for more ventilation through not just the windows and door, but especially this mesh wall.

This is what the mesh wall of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent looks like when the rainfly has been taken off.
This is what the mesh wall of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent looks like when the rainfly has been taken off.

Just bear in mind that privacy might be an issue when you take the rainfly off.

This is what the mesh wall of the Carlsbad Tent looks like from the outside of the tent.
This is what the mesh wall of the Carlsbad Tent looks like from the outside of the tent.

The screen room has this fabric that’s fixed in place at the top of the tent though, so you can’t remove that.

The bottom up view of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent.
The bottom up view of the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent.

Quality

Flooring Material

The flooring of this Coleman Carlsbad Tent is made of polyethylene, and the bathtub feature extends up to about 9 inches. So, even though there was a little bit of light flooding in my yard overnight, the bathtub flooring actually kept my tent dry.

Water running over the bathtub flooring of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
Water running over the bathtub flooring of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Tent Body Quality

Both the tent body and rainfly are made of polyester, and I had no issues with them.

Seam Taping

The seams on the rainfly were taped, while those inside the tent were not. Only some seams inside the tent were inverted, like the black tent body to bathtub flooring seam here:

A picture of me touching the bathtub flooring seam of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
A picture of me touching the bathtub flooring seam of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

These seams have been inverted (though not seam taped), because they have less rainfly protection, being further away from the rainfly.

Meanwhile, the seams with more rainfly protection, like the window seams, which are higher up the tent, have not been inverted (and also not seam taped).

A close-up shot of the window seam of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
A close-up shot of the window seam of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Stitching

The seams of the Carlsbad Tent are generally good quality, double-stitched, and consistent, with only 1 tiny loose thread.

Mesh Quality

The mesh is just regular mesh, not no-see-um mesh, and it’s decent quality.

A close-up shot of the mesh of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
A close-up shot of the mesh of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Zipper Quality

The zippers are also decent quality, and all of them are catch-free. I didn’t have snagging issues on the windows, and also no snagging issues on both the tent door and the screen room door.

A close-up shot of the Carlsbad Dome Tent's door zippers.
A close-up shot of the Carlsbad Dome Tent’s door zippers.

Pole Quality

While the zippers were color-coded white and black (white for windows and black for doors), I wish Coleman had color-coded the poles as well.

They’re all made of fiberglass and come in only one color. Plus, they’re all about the same size too!

All the fiberglass poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent come in this yellow/green color.
All the fiberglass poles of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent come in this yellow/green color.

I also wish Coleman made the pole sleeve for the screen room a little shorter, I found it super long and very snaggy.

The blue pole sleeve for the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent is super long.
The blue pole sleeve for the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent is super long.

Dark Room Quality

I’ve had this Coleman Carlsbad Tent for a few years now, used it lightly, and I realized that some of the dark room fabric is scraping off a little. It’s not that bad though.

The dark room fabric of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent after a few years of light usage.
The dark room fabric of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent after a few years of light usage.

Portability

Packed Size

This Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent has a packed size of 26 by 11.5 by 8 inches, and here’s what it looks like beside a Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent and a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle for a size comparison.

From left to right: Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent, Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent, 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.
From left to right: Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent, Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent, 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.

Because of the extra screen room, this Carlsbad 4-Person Tent has a packed size as big as my Sundome 6-Person Dark Room Tent.

The Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent beside the Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent for a size comparison.
The Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent beside the Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent for a size comparison.

Weight

Oh, and the Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent weighs about 14.4 lbs for everything, stakes, guylines and foot mat included.

This is a picture of me carrying a packed up Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.
This is a picture of me carrying a packed up Coleman Carlsbad 4-Person Tent.

Pros and Cons

Pros

For pros, the base area is pretty generous in size, and you can squeeze 4 adults into the dome tent, not counting the space in the screen room. Including the screen room, you’d have space for about 5 people.

That's me lying down in the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
That’s me lying down in the screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

I also found the set up pretty easy, taking me just 11 minutes on my own including the screen room. Even the pack up was easy, and I could get the entire tent back into the carry bag, without even ripping the strip out at the bottom of the carry bag to expand the bag.

This is a picture of me zipping the Coleman Carlsbad Tent up.
This is a picture of me zipping the Coleman Carlsbad Tent up.

I also really liked that I had quite a bit of ventilation on not just hot days, but rainy days as well.

This is what the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent looks like when you lie down in it.
This is what the screen room of the Carlsbad Tent looks like when you lie down in it.

Cons

As for cons, I think the biggest one is that rain protection for the screen room is terrible. The rainfly doesn’t cover it at all, so you’d need to get an extra tarp or canopy if you expect rain, especially prolonged heavy rain.

Notice how the rainfly for the Carlsbad Tent stops just as the screen room starts?
Notice how the rainfly for the Carlsbad Tent stops just as the screen room starts?

And the clean up is a bit of a pain, even though it comes with this mesh drainage for draining water.

The screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent comes with a mesh drainage area.
The screen room of the Coleman Carlsbad Tent comes with a mesh drainage area.

I also couldn’t stand up in both the dome tent and the screen room. To get through both the doors of the tent and the screen room, I had to keep ducking, which can be a bit of a strain, especially if you have back problems.

This is a picture of me ducking to get into the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.
This is a picture of me ducking to get into the Coleman Carlsbad Tent.

Tip: If portability isn’t an issue, I recommend upsizing to the 6-Person Tent (which has a 6-foot peak height).

Also, the dark room tech for this particular Carlsbad tent, and this tent only, seems to be a bit defective and a lot less dark than other Coleman tents with the same blackout feature. I suspect mine was defective. So, do check yours immediately when you get it!

Recommendation

After testing 2 Coleman dome tents with screen rooms, which is this Carlsbad (in a 4-Person version) and another one called the Evanston Tent (in a 6-Person version), I think I prefer the Evanston Tent. It doesn’t have dark room tech, so it’s quite a bit brighter inside the tent, but it does have many advantages over this Carlsbad.

First, there’s a lot more peak height, and I could stand up and walk around the Evanston 6-Person Tent.

This is a picture of me standing under the peak height of the Coleman Evanston 6-Person Tent.
This is a picture of me standing under the peak height of the Coleman Evanston 6-Person Tent.

Second, the rainfly of the Evanston Tent covers a little more of the screen room.

Here’s how much the rainfly of the Coleman Evanston 6-Person Tent protects the screen room. The red arrow is pointing to the rainfly. Notice that the screen room juts out quite a bit, and is exposed to the elements.
Here’s how much the rainfly of the Coleman Evanston 6-Person Tent protects the screen room. The red arrow is pointing to the rainfly. Notice that the screen room juts out quite a bit, and is exposed to the elements.

Third, and I think most importantly, I paid about the same price for both tents, so the Evanston definitely gave me more bang for my buck.

But if you prefer the dark room tech, then the Carlsbad Tent wins hands down, and I’d say go for it! It’s still a fantastic tent, and I enjoyed camping in it very much.

Bonus: Must Read!

But wait, before you buy either of them, you should check out this blog post where I compared more than 10 Coleman tents against each other, including these Carlsbad and the Evanston Tents: I Tested the 14 Best Coleman Tents!

This is the thumbnail I used for my 14 Best Coleman Tents video. From left to right: Coleman Instant Cabin 4-Person Tent, Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent, and Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent.
This is the thumbnail I used for my 14 Best Coleman Tents video. From left to right: Coleman Instant Cabin 4-Person Tent, Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent, and Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent.

Or, check out the Coleman Carlsbad Tent:

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