Coleman Montana Tent V.S. Red Canyon Tent (I Bought BOTH!)
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I have both the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent and the Red Canyon 8-Person Tent, and in this blog post, I’ll go through all the differences between these tents.
The Coleman Red Canyon Tent has a significantly bigger base area, it sets up slightly faster, it has slightly better ventilation, and with slightly more storage options. Meanwhile, the Coleman Montana Tent has a front porch, hinged door, and e-port, all of which the Red Canyon doesn’t have.
|Characteristics||Montana Tent (8P)||Red Canyon Tent (8P)|
|Set Up Timing||22 minutes||20.5 minutes|
|Take Down Timing||14.5 minutes||14 minutes|
|Expandable Carry Bag?||Yes||No|
|Peak Height||74 inches||73 inches|
|Tent Shape||Extended Dome||Extended Dome|
|Length||15 feet 4 inches||16 feet 4 inches|
|Width||6 feet 9 inches||9 feet 7 inches|
|Base Area||103.5 square feet||140.6 square feet|
|Number of Doors||1||1|
|Hot Day Ventilation||~2,200 square inches||~3,300 square inches|
|Rain Test||~15 minutes||~15 minutes|
|Weight||23.4 pounds||20.2 pounds|
|Packed Size||26 x 15 x 12 inches||26 x 13 x 10 inches|
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Check out the Coleman Montana and Red Canyon Tents:
- Set Up & Take Down
- Carry Bag
- Front Porch
- Hinged Door
- Room Divider
- Storage Options
- Hot Day Ventilation
- Rainy Day Ventilation
- Rain Test
- Bonus: Must Read!
Set Up & Take Down
Set Up Timing
The Red Canyon 8-Person Tent took me about 20.5 minutes to set up on my own, while the Montana 8-Person Tent took me 22 minutes.
Set Up Process
The Montana took me slightly longer for 2 reasons.
First, I had these 2 extra fiberglass poles to fix up the hinged D-door. There’s one pole for the straight side of the door, and the other one is for the curved side of the door.
And second, I also had to set up the rainfly pole. I had to first insert it into the pole sleeve of the rainfly, and secure it with 4 Velcro attachments.
Then, after getting the rainfly up, I had to bend the rainfly fiberglass pole, secure each end of the pole, hook up the s-hooks of the rainfly, then stake out the extended edges of the rainfly.
All of this took a couple extra minutes.
Take Down Timing
On the other hand, the take down and pack away for both tents is about the same, the 8-Person Red Canyon took me 14 minutes, while the 8-Person Montana took me 14.5 minutes. So, about the same.
But take note of these 2 relatively important differences in the carry bag.
Expandable Carry Bags
For the Montana, I could easily expand the provided carry bag by ripping out this strip at the bottom of the bag.
However, for the Red Canyon, I couldn’t do so, which I thought was a little bit weird. So, I recommend folding it up as neatly as possible.
Carry Bag Quality
But one great thing about the Red Canyon carry bag is that it’s actually slightly higher quality and thicker than the Montana carry bag.
For spaciousness, both tents are quite similar in terms of peak height and tent shape.
Peak Height & Tent Shape
The peak heights in the Red Canyon and the Montana 8-Person Tents are 73 inches and 74 inches respectively, and both tents have an extended dome shape, with the peak height only at the center of the tent.
When I take 3 small steps away from the peak height in either tent, my head would touch the mesh at the top of the tent.
But, there’s a huge, huge difference in the base dimensions of both tents.
For the Montana 8-Person Tent, I measured the length to be about 15 feet and 4 inches, and the width to be about 6 feet and 9 inches, and I calculated the total base area to be about 103.5 square feet, which fits 8 pads side by side with no leftover space.
On the other hand, for the Red Canyon 8-Person Tent, I measured the longest length to be 16 feet and 4 inches, and the longest width to be about 9 feet and 7 inches, for a total base area of about 140.6 square feet. I could easily fit 8 sleeping pads into the tent, still with leftover room at the sides of the tent for some gear, or maybe even 2 more pads.
My Montana 8-Person Tent has a nice little porch area, which measures about 103 inches in length, and about 32 inches in width, and this is something the Red Canyon doesn’t have.
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.
While both my Montana and Red Canyon Tents have only 1 door each, I much prefer the door on the Montana, because it’s this awesome hinged door.
Complete with a handle outside and inside the tent, it’s really like a regular door, and I don’t have to fumble with any annoying zippers to get in and out of the tent.
I can even keep this door open by pushing it behind this black fiberglass pole here.
Red Canyon 8
On the other hand, I had to use the zippers on the Red Canyon door, as well as the 2 door latches by the side if I wanted to leave the door open, like so in the picture below.
The Red Canyon 8-Person Tent has 2 room dividers, while the Montana doesn’t have any. You can put up the 2 dividers at the 2 sides of the tent.
In the middle between the 2 dividers, you can fit 4 regular sleeping pads or 2 double pads, and behind each divider, you can fit either a double pad, or 2 separate pads, but nothing bigger (it can’t fit a queen), so the space behind each divider is really minimal.
And also, there’s no zip down the middle for easy access into each room, so I had to take down one of the latches, and then climb over the divider, which is so not user-friendly, so I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of this.
There are slight differences to the storage options in each tent.
Pockets, Loops, Gear Lofts
While both these 8-Person Tents have 2 pockets and 1 lantern loop each, the Red Canyon comes with an extra gear loft at the top of the tent.
The Red Canyon also comes with this pre-attached string that you can use as a clothesline, and it’s my only Coleman tent to come with a clothesline.
However, my Red Canyon doesn’t come with an e-port, though the Montana comes with this e-port at the bottom of the tent with a zippered closure.
Hot Day Ventilation
For hot day ventilation, I took the rainfly off each tent and calculated the amount of mesh there is on the tent.
Red Canyon 8
The better ventilated 8-Person Tent on a hot day is the Red Canyon, with ceiling mesh, plus 4 more windows, for a total of about ~3,300 square inches of window ventilation.
The Montana 8-Person Tent also has a decent amount of ceiling mesh, but there are only 3 windows, which are not very big, for a total of about ~2,200 square inches of window ventilation.
This is just two-thirds the amount of ventilation in the Red Canyon, and can definitely be improved, especially by installing another window on this last wall here.
Rainy Day Ventilation
For rainy day ventilation, I looked at the number of windows and vents that can be left open in the heavy rain. And well, let me just say that both tents didn’t do very well for this.
Red Canyon 8
While the Red Canyon 8-Person Tent has 3 vents inside the tent, they’re all pretty tiny, so there’s not a lot of ventilation.
And as for my Montana tent, this doesn’t have any ventilation at all, because no windows can be opened, and there are also no vents.
If you’re wondering how both these tents did in the rain test, I would say that they’re about the same, staying dry for about 15 minutes each before the first drop of water got into the tent.
For the Montana Tent, while it looks like it has a decently long rainfly, notice that the widths of the Montana Tent isn’t covered by the rainfly at all, and it’s where it leaked first.
Red Canyon 8
As for the Red Canyon Tent, while the rainfly for this tent is extended at the sides of the tent, the front of this tent has a really short rainfly, and it’s where it first leaked.
But the reason why these tents leaked is because Coleman inverts their seams, instead of taping their seams. So, if you seal these seams, these tents should be able to last at least a couple of hours under heavy rain before leaking.
For portability, the Montana 8 is not only a little heavier, but also a little bulkier than the Red Canyon 8.
The Montana weighs 23.4 pounds, while the Red Canyon weighs 20.2 pounds.
Also, the Montana has a packed size of 26 x 15 x 12 inches, which is about 30% bigger than the Red Canyon, which has a packed size of 26 x 13 x 10 inches.
For pricing, I found both these 8-Person Coleman Tents to be equally affordable. If I remember correctly, I think I paid about the same price for both tents, around about $150 bucks. This is actually really affordable for an 8-person family camping tent.
Overall, both the Red Canyon and Montana are great value for money family camping tents. I mean, for like $150 bucks, I think it’s pretty good value.
But if I had to pick just one, I actually prefer the Red Canyon a little better. The biggest reason is the humongous base area inside the Red Canyon. In fact, the base area is so huge, it’s like 37 square feet bigger than my Montana, and this base area is almost as big as my WeatherMaster.
I mean, just check out the base area of the Red Canyon compared to my Coleman 10-Person Tents. It’s pretty amazing right?
|Coleman Tent||Base Area|
|Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent||143.6 sq. ft.|
|Coleman Red Canyon 8-Person Tent||140.6 sq. ft.|
|Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent||135.7 sq. ft.|
On top of that, from my testing, the Red Canyon also has better hot day ventilation and rainy day ventilation, than the Montana.
It also comes with 2 dividers, a gear loft, and a clothesline, which the Montana doesn’t have, so pretty feature-rich. But, the Montana has a hinged D-door and e-port, and also the front porch, which the Red Canyon doesn’t have. And I do really like the hinged door a lot.
Just bear in mind this biggest con of the Red Canyon – It has these thin rainfly fiberglass poles, and one of them snapped on my first use, so I highly recommend buying and bringing along maybe a couple of these tent repair pole splints (click here to check price), which costs only a few extra bucks, so not a super big deal to me.
In summary, if you prefer having more space in your tent, go with the Red Canyon Tent. On the other hand, if you don’t mind having a little less space, but you like all the features of the front porch, hinged door and the e-port, go with the Montana Tent.
Bonus: Must Read!
To find out how the Montana and Red Canyon compare against my 12 other Coleman tents, I highly recommend that you read this blog post: I Bought & Tested the 14 BEST Coleman Tents!
Or, check out the Coleman Montana and Red Canyon Tents: