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Rating and Summary
The Coleman Elite Sundome Tent is an incredibly feature-rich tent. Not only do you get an extra hinged door, a room divider, auto-rolling windows, and pre-attached lighting, you will also get a bigger base area.
However, I found the price point of the Elite Sundome to be quite steep, compared to the regular Sundome. Is it worth it though? Well, I go through everything you need to know in this blog post, so do read on to find out!
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Check out the Coleman Elite Sundome Tent:
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought this Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent from Amazon, and here’s a picture of me unboxing it:
In the Box
Inside the package, I got the tent body, the rainfly, a foot mat, 15 stakes in a carry case, 6 poles in another carry case, a lantern and power pack in a small cardboard box, with a small black bag to store them.
Here’s all the data (including my personal measurements) that you might need:
- Peak height: 74.5 inches
- Length: 11 feet 7 inches
- Width: 9 feet 6 inches
- Base Area: 110.0 square feet
- Floor material: Polyethylene
- Bathtub flooring: Yes, ~9 inches
- Tent body material: 68D Polyester
- Rainfly material: 75D Polyester Taffeta
- Poles material: Fiberglass
- Number of poles: 6
- Mesh: Regular
- Packed size: 30 by 13.5 by 10 inches
- Weight: 21.4 lbs
- Number of guylines: 6
- Number of stakes: 15
- Number of doors: 2
- Hinged door: Yes, 1
- Number of windows: 2
- Number of vents: 2
- Number of pockets: 2
- Number of lantern loops: 0
- Room divider: Yes
- Number of rooms: 2
- E-port: Yes, 1
- Black-out: No
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (1 person): 16 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 12 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 7
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 2
Testing and Performance
I put my Coleman Elite Sundome Tent through these 7 tests:
- Ease of use: Set up, take down
- Spaciousness: Base area, height, mattress sizing
- Comfort and features: Divider, hinged door, auto-rolling windows, lighting, storage
- Ventilation: Hot day ventilation, rainy day ventilation
- Weather protection: Heavy rain test
- Quality: Material, mesh, seams, stitching, zippers, poles, carry bag
- Portability: Weight and packed size
First, here’s what all 6 poles for the Elite Sundome tent look like when you take them out of the carry case:
To set up this Elite Sundome Tent, first grab the 2 longest and thickest fiberglass poles (extreme left in the picture above), and insert them into the 2 blue pole sleeves at the center of the tent. This will form an X shape across the tent, like so:
Then, prop one of the poles up first, by securing both ends of the pole into the pins at each corner of the tent.
Do the same with the other pole, adjust the pole sleeves, and your tent should look like this:
Once both poles have been set up, attach all the 8 pole clips around the tent body. This pulls the tent body fabric outwards to give you more livable space inside the tent:
Next, grab the rainfly, and drape it over the tent, with the blue part of the rainfly over the D-door with the hinged feature.
Secure the rainfly using the 4 S-hooks of the rainfly to the 4 rings at the corners of the tent, so the rainfly doesn’t fall off. There’s 1 S-hook for each ring.
There are also Velcro attachments along each pole to better align the rainfly, 2 for each side of each pole, so 8 altogether around the Elite Sundome Tent.
After that, stake down the entire tent with 7 stakes (3 at one length, 3 at another length, and 1 more under the hinged D-door). Also, guy out the entire tent with the 6 pre-attached guylines.
Now, grab the 2 black fiberglass poles with these metal tips at each end of the pole.
These are for holding the rainfly away from the tent body, like so:
To set this pole up, there’s a short pole sleeve at the tip of the rainfly, and 2 rings in the tent body for the 2 ends of the pole.
1 pole is for the front of the tent over the hinged door (2 pictures above), and the other is for the back of the tent over the other door (below).
The last 2 poles with black tips at each end are for the hinged D-door. Here’s what the black tips look like:
The shortest pole with black tips is for the straight side of the door, and the longest pole with black tips is for the curved side of the door.
When I set up this Coleman Elite Sundome Tent on my own, it took me about 16 minutes for the entire set up.
Taking down the Coleman Elite Sundome Tent is just the opposite of the set-up, and it took me about 12 minutes for the entire take down and pack up.
For more details on the set up process, and tips on how I set this up on my own (in case you’re not tall, like me) (I’m 5’3″, by the way), you can watch this video that I uploaded to YouTube:
The peak height in this Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent is about 74.5 inches high, and I can stand upright here no problem.
I’m also able to stand upright on thick queen mattresses, and bounce around too.
But this is a dome-shaped tent though, so the peak height is only at the center. When I take 2 steps back, my head would touch the top of the tent.
The length inside this Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent is about 11 feet and 7 inches, while the width is about 9 feet and 6 inches, so slightly smaller than the marketed dimensions of 12 by 10 feet.
I was surprised to find that I could fit not 6, but 7 regular sleeping pads inside the tent, and here’s what 7 pads looks like inside the Elite Sundome Tent.
You do have to sleep shoulder to shoulder, but even with 7 pads inside the tent, there’s still a little bit of room leftover for camping gear. There isn’t enough room for an 8th pad though.
Instead of having 6 or 7 pads inside the tent, you can also fit 2 queen-sized camping mattresses easily, this is what the Elite Sundome Tent looks like with 2 queen beds:
I think this tent is perfect for 4 people (2 people on each queen bed). Plus, apart from the queen beds, you also get quite a bit of leftover room for storing gear, which is always very nice to have.
This Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent comes with 1 room divider, to be put up at the middle of the tent.
To attach the divider, there are 6 latches on the divider and 6 loops on the tent, so 3 on each side. They look like this:
When the room divider is up, each room can fit only 3 pads, with some leftover room for gear:
Instead of 3 pads in each room, you can have 1 queen bed in each room, plus lots of room for gear as well.
The divider isn’t too see through, which is nice, and there’s a zip down the middle.
For easy access into either room, you can unzip the divider, and clip it up at the sides with the 2 provided latches, 1 on either side (5 pictures above).
This Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent has 2 windows, 1 on each width of the tent.
The window at the back measures about 42 inches in length, and about 25 inches in width.
The window at the front measures about 29 inches in length, and 22 inches in width.
Each window has 2 white zippers, and also a bug net to prevent bugs from getting in when the window is open.
One super cool thing about these windows is the auto-rolling feature. Inside the package, Coleman should also provide you with these black circular tubes.
First, straighten each black strap out by clicking both ends into place.
You’d notice that one of them has an orange sticker, and this is for the orange-tabbed window at the back of the tent. The other strap has a yellow sticker, and this is for the yellow-tabbed window at the front of the tent.
Next, to install the feature, pull down on the Velcro strap beside each colored tab, and slide the black strap in. Make sure the sticker is facing you (picture above).
Now, make sure that the top bit of the strap is slightly bent, so press on it until it clicks again.
This allows the entire strip to bend as you roll down the window. Notice how this causes the window fabric to roll up nicely?
Thanks to the auto-rolling feature, you won’t have droopy window fabric anymore!
The 2 windows are actually part of the 2 doors of this Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent, 1 on each width of the tent.
The front door is this hinged D-door, and Coleman will provide you with 2 fiberglass poles to install the hinged feature.
This hinged D-door measures about 47 inches in length, 29 inches in width, so not super big.
It also measures about 49 inches from the ground to the top of the door, so I did have to duck quite a bit when going through the door in and out of the tent.
The hinged D-door also comes with a handle on both the outside and the inside, and it’s really like a regular door, which is very nice.
You can zip this hinged door up even with the fiberglass poles in place. If you don’t want to zip it up, there are 3 Velcro strips around the door that will keep the door closed.
The back door is not hinged, and you do have to zip it open and close. This door measures about 52 inches in length by 42 inches in width, so it’s quite a bit bigger than the hinged door.
It’s also about a little taller, about 54 inches from the ground to the top of the door. I still had to duck when getting in and out of the tent through this door though.
This door also comes with 2 door latches by the side to hold the door open. They’re white in color, and you can see it in the above picture.
Both doors come with 2 black zippers for zipping open and close.
Oh, and when using the divider, each room will have 1 door, which is awesome.
The Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent also comes with a light, and a power pack.
The power pack runs off of 4 D batteries, and is to be connected to a plug at the corner of the tent. This is what the power pack looks like:
Unfortunately, mine doesn’t work because the plug doesn’t fit, so this was a bust for me. I also couldn’t find anything else to power this.
But if your power pack works, just install the provided lantern above, at the top center of the tent. To do so, align the 2 white dots, then turn it gently and it’ll be fixed in place.
Then, use this switch near the hinged door to control the lighting.
There’s wiring connecting the switch at the hinged door, up to the lantern at the top, and down to the power pack at the other end of the tent.
If you prefer not to have this feature, you can remove it entirely, by undoing the Velcro strips along the connecting wire, unplugging both the switch and lantern, and pulling the rest of the wire out. (That’s exactly what I did! Because I have my own lanterns.)
For storage, the power pack and light come with this small black carry bag, which you can hang up at the corner of the tent with an S-hook.
There are 2 pockets inside this Elite Sundome Tent, each measuring about 9 by 8 inches.
Unfortunately, there’s no designated lantern loop at the top because of the pre-attached light, so I just used one of the hooks of the divider to hang my own lantern.
The Elite Sundome Tent also comes with 1 e-port at the bottom of the front of the tent, near the hinged door. It has a zippered closure.
I rain tested this Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent using a water hose, and the rainfall was pretty heavy on these 2 walls of the tent:
On this back wall of the tent, it took about 30 minutes for the first few droplets of water to seep into the tent through the un-taped seam of the bathtub flooring.
The seam is pretty much soaked, so I highly recommend using sealant on it.
The bottom part of the window mesh was also damp, though the top was still dry, so you could crack the windows open a bit in heavy rain.
Both the white fabric at the top-half of the Elite Sundome Tent, as well as the blue fabric at the bottom-half of the tent were still dry, and so was the rainfly.
On this side wall here, there was no leaking at all after 30 minutes. The mesh wall (underneath the white rainfly) was still dry, all the fabric was still dry, and even the un-taped seam was also dry with no leaks.
For more info on this rain test, you can check out this short rain test video on my channel.
One more thing to note is that while this rainfly pole holds the rainfly away from the tent body, it protects only the door, and not anything outside the tent. (So, your footwear outside the tent will get wet even in light rain.)
Heavy Rain Ventilation
Rainy day ventilation in this Elite Sundome Tent is actually pretty decent. I could crack the windows open a little in heavy rain, although in heavy wind, it would probably be better to shut the windows entirely.
Light Rain Ventilation
In light to moderate rain, the window mesh stayed totally dry, which is very nice.
Mesh Wall Vents
There are also 2 mesh walls spanning both entire lengths of this Elite Tent, which look like this when the rainfly is off:
With the rainfly on and guyed out, these mesh walls become vents, each about 14 inches wide (this is the longest width) from the outside. Bear in mind that these mesh wall vents can’t be zipped up though.
Hot Day Ventilation
On a hot day, you can take the rainfly off from the outside for even more ventilation through the 2 mesh walls, not to mention the 2 doors as well. There won’t be as much privacy when the rainfly is off though.
The flooring of this Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent is made of polyethylene, and the bathtub features extends up to about 9 inches. Even after 30 minutes of pouring rain, no water seeped through the flooring itself.
Rainfly and Tent Body
The rainfly is made of 75D polyester taffeta, and looks like this:
The rest of the tent is made of 68D polyester, and look like this:
They both stayed completely dry after 30 minutes of pouring rain as well.
Seams and Stitching
All the seams inside the tent have not been seam taped, and those exposed to the rain have been inverted, like this tent body to bathtub flooring seam:
The seams are pretty good quality, double-stitched, and consistent, with no loose threads or big holes.
The mesh of the windows and mesh walls is just regular mesh, not no-see-um mesh, and it’s decent quality.
The zippers are also decent quality, and all of them are catch-free. I didn’t have snagging issues on any of the windows.
The doors didn’t snag as well, but the design of the rain cover outside the doors sometimes gets in the way. So, I just try to hold the rain cover away when zipping it up, and it won’t snag at all.
All the poles are made of fiberglass, and I wish they were color-coded, and not all black, for easier identification:
Also, I wish that the rainfly poles weren’t so thin or are designed a little differently. They both bent permanently after a few days of use.
The carry bag is made of a thicker, higher quality material than regular Coleman carry bags, and can be expanded by unzipping the bottom part of the bag.
This Coleman Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent has a packed size of 30 by 13.5 by 10 inches, and here’s what it looks like beside a Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent and a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.
It weighs about 21.4 lbs for everything.
Pros and Cons
For pros, I found the Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent very feature-rich.
When you buy an Elite Sundome tent instead of the regular Sundome, you get a hinged D-door, which makes going in and out of the tent much more convenient, and isn’t available for many Coleman tents.
You also get 1 extra door, so 2 doors in total, a room divider to create 2 separate rooms, super cool auto rolling windows, and also pre-attached lighting.
The only feature that I wasn’t a big fan of was the lighting; I found it pretty gimmicky. Personally, I don’t like using D batteries because they’re pretty expensive and very heavy, and this small light requires 4 D batteries, so I think I’ll stick to my rechargeable lanterns instead.
Another pro is that you also get a bigger base area in the Elite Sundome 6-Person Tent, and this tent can fit up to 7 people, not just 6 like your regular Sundome. And you also get a much higher quality carry bag.
Similar to the regular Sundome tents, ventilation is pretty good on both hot and rainy days, and rain protection is not too shabby either.
As for cons, I didn’t quite like this rainfly pole design. The pole is really thin, and there’s a lot of pressure on it when you put it up, so it’ll permanently bend after a few days.
I much prefer the regular Sundome pole design. It’s just one pole across the tent, but it’s much thicker, doesn’t warp so easily, and provides just as much rainfly protection.
Another con is that the Elite tents tend to be more expensive than the regular tents.
Overall, I did enjoy the features, but my recommendation would be to check out the prices of this Coleman Elite Sundome Tent against the Regular Sundome and the Blackout Sundome.
If it’s not too much more expensive, and you like these extra features, I think the Elite Sundome Tent would be worth it.
Bonus: Must Read!
But wait, before you buy anything, I compared this Elite Sundome Tent against 13 other Coleman tents in this blog post, so I highly recommend that you check it out: I Tested the 14 Best Coleman Tents!
Or, check out the Coleman Elite Sundome Tent: