Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent Review (Bought & Tested!)
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Rating and Summary
I found the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent to be great value for money. It’s really quite inexpensive, and I got lots of features, complete with a front porch and hinged D-door.
However, I wouldn’t recommend using this tent under prolonged heavy rains. The rainfly doesn’t cover enough of the tent, and ventilation in heavy rain is also limited.
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Check out the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent:
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought my Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent from Amazon, and here’s what the cardboard packaging from Amazon looked like:
And here’s a picture of my brother taking the tent out of the cardboard packaging:
In the Box
After unboxing the Montana, I got the following items:
- The tent body;
- The rainfly;
- 21 stakes in a carry case; and
- 7 fiberglass poles for the entire tent.
Here’s all the data (including my personal measurements) that I gathered on this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent:
- Peak height: 74 inches
- Length: 15 feet 4 inches
- Width: 6 feet 9 inches
- Base Area: 103.5 square feet
- Porch dimensions: 103 by 32 inches
- Floor material: Polyethylene
- Bathtub flooring: Yes, ~7 inches
- Tent body material: 68D Polyester
- Rainfly material: 68D Polyester
- Poles material: Fiberglass
- Number of poles: 7
- Mesh: Regular
- Packed size: 26 by 15 by 12 inches
- Weight: 23.4 lbs
- Number of guylines: 9
- Number of stakes: 21
- Number of doors: 1
- Hinged door: Yes
- Number of windows: 3
- Number of vents: 0
- Number of pockets: 2
- Number of lantern loops: 1
- E-port: Yes, 1
- Black-out: No
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (2 people): 11 minutes
- Set up timing (1 person): 22 minutes
- Take down timing (2 people): 7.5 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 14.5 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 8
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 3
Testing and Performance
I put my Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent through these 7 tests:
- Ease of use: Set up, take down
- Spaciousness: Base area, height, front porch, mattress sizing
- Comfort and features: Door, windows, storage
- Ventilation: Hot day ventilation, rainy day ventilation
- Weather protection: Light rain test, heavy rain test
- Quality: Material, mesh, seams, stitching, zippers, poles
- Portability: Weight and packed size
Before I provide you with the set up instructions, here’s what all 7 fiberglass poles of the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent look like:
Set Up Instructions
To set up this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent, first insert the 2 longest black fiberglass poles into the 2 green pole sleeves at the center of the tent. This will form an X shape, which looks like this:
Then, insert the ends of the black fiberglass poles into one of these pins at the bottom of the tent.
After you’re done inserting all the ends into the respective pins, the poles and tent should be propped up, like this:
Then, go ahead and attach the pole clips to the black poles.
Next, grab the 2 gray colored poles. These are for the sides of the tent, both the left and right.
To do so, insert them through these green pole sleeves:
Secure each end of each gray pole into the pins at the bottom of the tent as well.
To fix up the hinged D-door, grab the 2 thinnest and shortest fiberglass poles. The shortest pole is for the straight side of the door, like so:
The slightly longer black fiberglass pole is for the curved side of the door, like so:
For this pole, push it through the sleeve, curve it, secure both ends to the rubber gaskets, then zip the pole sleeve up.
Now, grab the last fiberglass pole, which is black in color with a red ring, and insert it into the red-tipped pole sleeve of the rainfly. Secure the pole with 4 of these Velcro attachments.
Then, put the rainfly up. The front of the rainfly is green, and the rest of it is white.
At the back of the tent, secure the S-hooks of the rainfly to the rings at the bottom of the tent.
There are 2 S-hooks for each ring, and here’s what it looks like when secured:
At the front of the tent, bend the fiberglass pole, like so:
After that, secure each end of this rainfly pole into the last pin at the bottom of the tent. Also, hook the 2 s-hooks to each ring.
Then, stake out the extended edges of the rainfly for your front porch, like so.
There are also Velcro attachments along each pole to better align the rainfly, if you want to use them.
Now, pull the rainfly over the edge of the window, and then guy it out. Do so for both sides of the Montana tent.
There are another 3 guylines at the back of the tent, and another 4 at the front of the tent, so 9 guylines in total. Use another 8 stakes to stake out the tent body (4 at the front, and 4 at the back).
Set Up Timing
It took my bro and I about 11 minutes to set up the entire Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent, including staking and guying out the entire tent. When I put the tent up on my own, it took me about 22 minutes, so about double the time.
Taking down the Montana 8-Person Tent is just the reverse of the set-up, and packing it up wasn’t super difficult, but I had to rip out this strip at the bottom of the bag to get everything back in.
It took my bro and I about 7 and a half minutes for the entire take down and pack up. On my own, it took me about 14 and a half minutes.
For more details on the set up, take down and pack up, I have this separate video on my channel.
The peak height in this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is about 74 inches, and I can stand upright here.
But this peak height is actually only at the center of the tent. When I take a few steps away towards the sides of the Montana tent, notice that my head touches the mesh at the top of the tent.
This is because the mesh sort of droops downwards a bit, and the height where my head touches the mesh is only about 61 inches (pictured above). I’m about 5’3”, by the way.
Also, there’s this small triangular area at the sides of the tent, which doesn’t have much livable space, and the height before this small area is just 44 inches.
The length of this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is about 15 feet and 4 inches (smaller than marketed length of 16 feet), while the width is about 6 feet and 9 inches (smaller than marketed width of 7 feet).
This Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent fits 8 regular sleeping pads, and here’s what it looks like.
To really fit 8 people in this tent, you do have to sleep shoulder to shoulder, and there’s no space left for camping gear inside the tent.
Instead of 8 pads, you can fit 3 queen-sized camping mattresses, and here’s what the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent looks like with these 3 mattresses.
Notice that there also won’t be much room leftover for gear.
Also, if you have to sleep at the corners of the tent, you might feel a little claustrophobic. This is because the corners of the tent slope off quite a bit, and my head touches the wall of the tent when I sit up. It can feel quite tight at the sides.
This Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent has a nice little porch area, which measures about 103 inches in length, and about 32 inches in width.
It provides quite a bit of shading from the hot sun, so you can put gear here as well. I liked that it kept my flip flops cool instead of superheating it.
Remember the 2 gray poles that were put up? That’s actually for the 2 windows of this Montana 8-Person Tent, 1 on each width of the tent.
Each of these windows measures about 51 by 15 inches, has 2 white zippers, and a latch to hold the fabric when the window is open.
When the windows are open, there’s a bug net to prevent larger bugs from getting in. (This is not fine no-see-um mesh.)
There’s also another 1 window at the front of the tent, which is actually part of the door. This window has the same features, but it’s a little smaller in size (about 27 by 24 inches).
So, altogether, 3 windows in this tent.
This Montana 8-Person Tent has only 1 door on the front length of the tent, which comes with 2 black zippers. I use these zippers to zip the door up at night before sleeping.
During the day, however, I absolutely love using the awesome hinged D-door feature.
Coleman provides 2 fiberglass poles to insert into the door pole sleeves to form the hinged feature. Complete with a handle outside and inside the tent, it’s really like a regular door.
Note: I think the 6-Person Montana Tent doesn’t have this same hinged feature.
To keep the hinged door open, you can push it behind this black fiberglass pole here:
If you find that your hinged door doesn’t close properly, it could be because there’s too much tension, and I recommend undoing one of the pole clips connected to the black poles. It works fine after that.
This hinged door is about 46 inches in length, about 27 inches in width, and 58 inches from the floor to the top of the door. I’m about 5’3″, so I had to duck when getting in and out of the tent through this door.
For storage, there are only 2 pockets inside this Montana 8-Person tent, each measuring about 10 by 7 inches.
There’s also 1 loop at the top of the center of the tent, where you can hang a lantern for lighting at night. Other than that, there are no other loops for room dividers or gear lofts.
Also, there’s 1 e-port at the bottom of the tent with a zippered closure.
I put the Montana 8-Person Tent through 15 minutes of light rain, which looked like this:
After this light rain test, here are my findings. First, the sunshade over the porch area managed to protect my flip flops from getting wet.
Second, not much water dripped onto the mesh windows, so you can probably leave them open in light rain.
Third, and most importantly, all the seams and fabric were dry from the inside after the rain stopped 15 minutes later.
Conclusion? The Montana 8-Person Tent is great against light rain.
To test for heavy rain, I had to use a water hose, and I also used a stopwatch to time how long I conducted this heavy rain test for.
I concentrated the rainfall on this spot at the left width of the tent.
At about 20 minutes of heavy rain, I stopped the rain test because I found that a little bit of water had started leaking into the tent. (I think it probably started leaking at about 15 minutes in.)
The main leak was through the above seam connecting the tent body to the bathtub flooring. This seam was not covered by the rainfly, so it was the most vulnerable.
I also found that the green fabric at the bottom of the tent was damp after 15 minutes of heavy rain as well.
Actually, even the rainfly is very slightly damp. It doesn’t look damp, but you can see a few droplets of water on this pole, which is underneath the rainfly. It’s not super damp, but it is slightly damp.
Also, you’d have to zip the windows up, because quite a bit of water will get in through the window in heavy rain.
Under the sunshade at the front of the tent, I found that the door mesh panel was slightly wet at the bottom.
Also, my flip flops were getting wet, especially when there’s wind blowing the rain into the porch.
I created a video on this rain test, if you’d like to watch it. (It’s much better visually than just looking at pictures, I promise.)
Hot Day Ventilation
For hot day ventilation, this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent has a lot of mesh on the roof of the tent. The rainfly is removable from the outside, and you can stargaze when it’s not raining.
Apart from the ceiling mesh though, the 3 windows inside the tent aren’t very big, and there are no vents in this Montana Tent.
It would be great if Coleman made the existing 3 windows bigger, and also put another window on this wall here (below) for more ventilation on hot days.
Right now, the back wall is just made of fabric, with no mesh at all. This definitely limits ventilation inside the tent.
Rainy Day Ventilation
When there’s heavy rain, you do have to close most of the windows, which really limits rainy day ventilation as well.
To test for quality, I looked at a few factors, such as the:
- Tent body
The flooring of this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is made of polyethylene, and the bathtub feature extends up to about 7 inches, which is useful when there’s light flooding.
After 20 minutes of heavy rain, no water seeped through the bathtub flooring itself, and kept the tent dry.
The main tent body is made of polyester, I think it’s 68D Polyester like most other Coleman tents, and the rainfly as well.
After 20 minutes of heavy rain, I noticed that the lower part of the tent body (the green portion) was slightly damp, and the rainfly was starting to let a little bit of water through as well.
Seams and Stitching
All the seams in this Montana 8-Person Tent are inverted and not taped.
The double stitching was consistent and pretty good quality, with only the occasional loose thread and excess mesh.
Speaking of mesh, I found quite a bit of this inconsistent mesh around the ceiling of this tent. The holes of the mesh are too big to be no-see-um, so it’s just regular mesh.
The zippers are decent quality, with no leaking issues, and all of them are catch-free.
All 7 poles of this Montana 8-Person Tent are made of fiberglass, which is not the sturdiest, and I did struggle a bit to put the 2 longest black poles up on my own. It collapsed on me a couple times before I got the hang of it.
This Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent has a packed size of 26 by 15 by 12 inches. For a size comparison, here’s what it looks like beside a Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent, as well as a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.
Ease of Carry
The strap here isn’t long enough to be slung over my shoulder.
The Montana 8-Person Tent weighs about 23.4 lbs for everything (including all stakes, guylines, etc.)
Pros and Cons
For pros, I found this Montana 8-Person Tent very reasonably priced, for the number of features that you get.
My favorite feature has got to be the hinged D-door feature, which makes going in and out of the tent super easy. Not many Coleman tents actually have this feature.
I also really liked the porch area on hot summer days, most Coleman tents don’t have this feature as well.
The 4 fiberglass poles around the Montana tent keeps the tent body up as much as possible for a decent amount of livable space inside the tent.
As for cons, I was surprised that there was only 1 door in this 8-person tent. I expected at least 2 doors for an 8-person tent. There are also only 2 small pockets for the entire tent, so not enough storage options.
This Montana 8-Person Tent is also not great against heavy rain. It lasts at most 15-20 minutes before water starts leaking in through the seam connecting the green fabric to the bathtub flooring.
I highly recommend using waterproofing spray at least on the rainfly as well as the green fabric at the bottom of the tent, and also seam sealant for the bathtub flooring seam.
There’s minimal ventilation when it’s raining heavily, because all the windows do have to be closed.
I also found it a bit difficult to put this tent up on my own, and I really struggled with these 2 black fiberglass poles. It’s pretty easy with 2 people though.
Overall, I think this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent offers superb value for money. It’s pretty feature-rich for the price that you pay, and the quality of the entire tent is pretty good as well. It’s not a top of the line kind of tent, but I definitely got more than what I paid for.
If you’re looking for an 8-person family camping tent on a budget, this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent is a great pick for sure.
Bonus: Must Read!
How does this Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent compare to other Coleman tents though? Well, don’t worry, because I’ve already done the comparison for you, in this blog post: I Tested the 14 Best Coleman Tents!
Or, check out how the Montana 8 compares to other Coleman tents with the hinged D-door feature in this blog post: I Bought & Tested the 4 BEST Hinged Door Tents!
Or, check out how the Montana 8 compares to other specific Coleman tents:
- Coleman Montana Tent V.S. Red Canyon Tent (I Bought Both!)
- Coleman WeatherMaster Tent V.S. Montana Tent (I Bought Both!)
Or, check out the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent: