Coleman Sundome Tent V.S. Skydome Tent (I Tested BOTH!)
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I have not only the Coleman 4-Person Skydome Tent, but also the 6-Person Sundome Tent, the 2-Person Sundome Tent, and in this blog post, I’ll go through all the differences between these tents.
Coleman produced the Skydome Tent as an update to their classic Sundome. From my testing, I’ve found that the Skydome has a little more headroom, it has a better door, more storage options, and better ventilation. However, it also has a little less rain protection, it’s a little more expensive, and isn’t exactly a quick-pitch.
|Characteristics||Sundome Tent (4P)||Skydome Tent (4P)|
|Set Up Timing||8.5 minutes||9.5 minutes|
|Peak Height||59 inches||59 inches|
|Dimensions||9 by 7 feet||8 by 7 feet|
|Heavy Rain Test||~35 minutes||~15 minutes|
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Check out the Sundome and Skydome Tents:
Set Up Timing
Setting up a 4-Person Sundome Tent takes about 8.5 minutes, while a 4-Person Skydome Tent took me about 9.5 minutes, or about a minute longer.
Set Up Process
I know the Skydome is supposed to be a quick pitch in under 5 minutes, complete with these pre-attached poles, fast-fitting feet, and pole clips instead of pole sleeves.
But this is definitely not accurate, because the poles are only pre-attached to the back of the tent, so you still have to put the entire pole together, and then secure the other end with the fast-fitting feet, which is the more difficult part.
Then, you’d have to clip all the pole clips onto the poles, and there are 14 of them around the tent. So, all these features don’t exactly speed up the process at all.
On the other hand, the Sundome pole sleeves are actually pretty short and very snag-free, so it was really easy for me to put everything up, even for the 6-person Sundome, on my own.
Another selling point of the Skydome tent is the 20% more headroom, because these pole clips at the top of the tent pull the tent body upward and outward. It definitely feels a little bit roomier, but whether it’s actually 20% more headroom, I’m not really sure.
Height and Base Area
The 59-inch peak height in the 4-Person Skydome is about the same as a regular Sundome, but surprisingly you get 1 foot less in length. A 4-Person Sundome has 9 by 7 feet, while a 4-Person Skydome has 8 by 7 feet.
But I could still easily fit 4 regular sleeping pads, or 2 double pads, inside the tent without leftover space, or 1 queen-sized bed with plenty of leftover space.
While both the Sundome and Skydome have just 1 door each, I love the extra big door in the Skydome Tent. The 4-Person Skydome Tent’s door measures a whopping 4 feet in length, making it really easy to walk in and out of the tent.
I also really love the door pocket here by the side, where I could stuff the door fabric in when the door is open.
On the other hand, regular Coleman tent doors come with 2 latches by the side to tie the door fabric up, which takes a lot more fumbling and a lot more time.
While regular Sundome tents come with just 2 small pockets, no matter the size of the tent, my 4-Person Skydome tent not only came with a pocket behind the door pocket, this big pocket here that’s been split into 4, but even a gear loft at the top of the tent.
Sadly though, my Skydome Tent didn’t have an e-port, while all my Sundome tents came with e-ports.
Hot Day Ventilation
My Skydome Tent came with not 1, not 2, but 3 humongous mesh walls, which makes hot day ventilation without the rainfly pretty awesome.
The Sundome Tent, on the other hand, has only 2 mesh walls.
Rainy Day Ventilation
Even with the rainfly on for rainy days, my Skydome Tent has 3 humongous mesh wall vents, which beats the 2 mesh wall vents in the Sundome Tent.
There’s also a third ground vent in the Sundome Tent, but it’s pretty small and doesn’t do as much for ventilation.
But if you like to keep the rainfly on and look out at the same time, the Skydome won’t be as good for you, because it has only 1 window at the front of the tent, while the Sundome has 2 windows around the tent.
For rain protection, the length of the rainfly of my Sundome Tent is pretty decent, covering about one-third of the entire tent body, and it leaked only after 30 to 35 minutes.
As for the Skydome Tent, even though 3 sides of the tent have a decently long rainfly length, the front of the tent has a much shorter rainfly length.
As such, the front of the tent doesn’t offer quite as much rain protection, and water started seeping into the flooring seam here after 15 minutes.
Also, I found that the rainfly pole doesn’t provide enough shading over the door of this Skydome Tent.
After I opened the door, the water on the roof of the tent just dripped right into the tent when the door is open, which is kind of silly.
Overall, I do think that the Skydome Tent is somewhat of an improvement over the Sundome Tent, with a little more headroom thanks to these pole clips (pictured below), I really love the much more user-friendly door and door pocket, the greater storage options, and also the increase in ventilation.
However, I didn’t quite like that the rainfly pole over the front of the Skydome Tent doesn’t extend outward enough, and that I needed to add seam sealant on my own.
Also, if you’re expecting the Skydome to be a quick-pitch, well it’s not. And the last disadvantage is that it’s also more expensive than your regular classic Sundome Tent.
Until Coleman fixes the rain issue with a longer and better rainfly, I still think that the Sundome tent offers more value for money than the Skydome, especially since the Sundome is super inexpensive.
Bonus: Must Read!
But before you buy anything, I highly recommend that you read this blog post where I compare not just the Sundome Tent, but also the Skydome Tent, against more than 10 other Coleman tents.
Or, check out the Sundome and Skydome Tents: