Camping & Backpacking Reviews

Coleman Sundome Review – Worth It or Bust?

coleman sundome review
Written by Bertie

Every summer Sundome tents fly off the shelves. It's not hard to explain why. Coleman are a well-known, trusted brand and the Sundome series is probably the cheapest series of tents on the market today.

So we're saying you should buy one, right?

Well...not exactly. A trusted brand and a cheap price point does not necessarily mean you will get a tent that's right for you.

We'll dive into much more detail below. But if you're after a quick and dirty summary, here you go:

Pros 

Let's face it, the main pro is that they're cheap. And the overwhelming majority of people who buy one seem happy with their purchase. So they definitely work.

They make a fantastic tent for kids, especially for backyard camping. They're a very low-cost investment to test out if it's something the little ones will enjoy or not. (Can you imagine investing 100s only to find out they hate it?!).

By that same token, they're a really good first tent for anyone, including adults, who wants to test the water without breaking the bank.

Plenty of people report that they've had great success using the Sundome for scouts, festivals and car camping in the summer.

Cons

It doesn't have a proper rainfly. This means that in anything but the lightest drizzle, you're opening yourself up to the risk of getting wet. That's not to say you will definitely get wet. There's plenty of folks who say they've stayed bone dry in a downpour.

But the design (which lacks total coverage) does increase the risk of water ingress.

And the lack of total coverage also means that the tent has more ventilation than tents with a full fly. That's great in hot weather. Less good as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

In Summary

It's a summer tent aimed at kids, festival goers and first-timers looking to dip their toe into the world of camping. If you're on a budget and expecting fair weather, then you probably won't be disappointed.

On the flip side it's not a tent you should expect to survive really heavy use. And we wouldn't take it backpacking, especially not in anything but the fairest of weather (and even then only if we were on the tightest of budgets).

Where to Buy Sundome Tents

coleman sundome review

Coleman Sundome 2 - 35sq feet, weighs 7lbs and fits a queen size mattress.

coleman sundome review

Coleman Sundome 3 - 49sq feet of floorspace and weighs around 9lbs.

coleman sundome review

Coleman Sundome 4 - 63sq feet of floorspace and weighs a little over 9lbs.

coleman sundome review

Coleman Sundome 6 - 10' x 10' of floorspace.

The Sundome series is a range of inexpensive, no-frill tents for basic car camping, a scouting trip or a music festival. Sundome tents are near as damnit the cheapest tents you can find anywhere. 

These tents come in different sizes intended for anywhere from two to six people, and here's everything you need to know about each one.

Coleman Sundome 2 Review

In our Coleman Sundome 2 person tent review, we've listed some of its advantages and shortcomings. 

First of all, it doesn't fit two adults along with their gear. So, it should be either two travelers with few pieces of equipment or one traveler with a lot of gear.

Secondly, the tent is friendly for tall people. We've seen reports where 6'2" folks could easily fit in the tent with no problem.

Also, although the tent is water-resistant, it can't withstand heavy showers and might leak after a few times of use in wet weather.

Overall, although the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent might not be the best choice for pro campers or through-hikers, it works well for beginners and those who need minimal conditions of shelter.

Product Specifications

The Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent is a three-season dome-style packaging tent that’s 7x5 feet and has a height of 4 feet, providing a 48-inch maximum headspace at the center.

It also weighs 3.26 kilograms and comes with 8.5 mm fiberglass poles, with an included flysheet made of polyester taffeta 75-denier fabric.

The tent has two windows that provide airflow, plus a single D-shaped door that adds an extra window and screen. It also features a floor vent in the back of the tent, near the rear.

It's equipped with an O-shaped ring at the top of the tent, and there are also storage pockets and gear lofts inside. 

This 2-person tent contains an electrical access port but lacks any vestibule space.

Interior Size

Although the tent is big enough for two adults, it doesn't offer much space for mass storage, which means if you and your partner are going to bring piles of stuff, the tent will be a bit crowded.

But, with its two hanging pockets, the Coleman Sundome will not only fit your food, clothes and gear, but also provide enough legroom to walk in, and out.

Plus, the tent has enough space for a queen-sized airbed, but it isn't tall enough to fit a two-layered mattress. Therefore, if you're planning to buy the tent, go for a single-layer mattress or sleeping pad.

Ultimately, if you’re not comfortable with this tent’s size, take a look at the Sundome 3.

Frame Strength

The tent is tested for its resistance to both heavy and light rain, and it's stable enough in harsh weather.

To aid with this, it has a sturdy frame that withstands over 35 mph winds, plus a durable flysheet that covers the roof, door and side windows to keep you dry on rainy days.

Also, the tent’s backward seams and fused corners are specially designed to prevent water from getting in. However, some customers have reported that the tent leaks at the little zipper in the corner.

"No other leaks except the zipper," says a pleased reviewer who’d spent four days of heavy rain in this tent, adding, "it passed my extreme weather test… and I consider it a great tent for the money."

Material Quality

When buying a Coleman Sundome tent, you don't need to worry about the quality. The brand produces extremely durable tents that can last for nearly 10 years if properly maintained.

In particular, the inner layer of the Coleman Sundome is made of a 75-denier polyester mesh, and its rain fly is polyester taffeta fabric—a highly durable, water-resistant material.

Also, the zippers are durable and won't wear quickly, while the fiberglass poles are also high quality. They can keep the tent firm in tough weather and will last for years. 

Thanks to the heavy-duty tarp material—polyethylene—of the floor, you won't experience any leakage issues from beneath, making the tent even more durable.

Finally, this Coleman Sundome has a one-year limited warranty, starting from the date of the original retail purchase.

Ventilation and Light

With its two-sided zipped windows, the tent seems to offer excellent ventilation for most customers.

You can unzip the windows to let both light and fresh air in, keep bad smells out, and at the same time, enjoy the beautiful view in front of you. You can also zip up the windows to block winds and storms, or, have some privacy.

What's more, the tent comes with an extra vent near the bottom that enhances airflow and circulates the air when the windows are closed.

Weight

Before investing in a tent, you should first consider how heavy it is and how far you're going to take it. So, weight is quite an essential matter.

A little heavier than other models, this tent isn’t a favorable option for long trekking. It has a total weight of 3.26 kilograms and is best for those who camp in places with car access.

But, for solo backpackers or those who want to walk several miles away from their car, this tent might be a little cumbersome to carry.

However, the manufacturer has come up with a smart solution for its heaviness—offering individual bags for each component. For this, there’s separate packaging for the poles, fabric and stakes. So, if you're traveling with a friend or a partner, you can split the load, so you don't feel any pressure while carrying them.

Set-Up Convenience 

If you're looking for an easy-to-set-up tent, the 2-person Coleman Sundome might be your best choice because you can install it in less than 10 minutes!

It also has a very simple instruction notebook that makes the setup process even easier. So, even if you're traveling alone, you can set it up with no problem. All you need is to take it out of the bag and follow the guidelines. 

Taking the tent down is just as easy. You just have to fold it three times—twice into half, and once into thirds—and then you're good to go.

Seasons 

Although the product description introduces the tent as a tent for three seasons, our Coleman Sundome 2 person tent review concludes that it's best for camping in warm weather.

Despite the tent's high resistance to rainy, snowy and breezy weather, it probably won't keep you warm during the winter or even in the fall. If you're going to camp in cold climates, the Sundome 2-Person Tent isn't your safest bet.

Scenarios Where the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent Shines

Music Festivals

According to customer feedback, someone who bought the tent for a Bluegrass Festival was particularly pleased with what he got. He said he would "definitely give five stars for this little gem!"

He’d decided to go camping for the first time in over 30 years when he bought the tent, and still, he was pleased by the comfort.

Although there was no rain in his first venture, he approves the waterproof feature after five years of use in a review update. He’s also used the tent nine times since the date of purchase, and—except for the first festival —it rained each time he took the tent camping.

He said the tent remained completely dry on those trips but had a tiny bit of leakage on the last one. Therefore, he suggests using waterproofing spray before setting up the tent.

As for the storage, he says, "It was just me, my guitar and a duffel bag in the tent." So, it provided enough space for him, but if they were two people, they’d have to put the gear outside the tent.

Backyard Camping

One particular happy customer bought the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent as a Christmas gift for his son.

The boy was just 11 years old, and he put the tent together all by himself. He brought his dog and some playing stuff, and camped in the backyard almost every day—and even nights!

According to the customer, the tent turned out to be both bug-proof and waterproof, making it an excellent option for backyard or car camping.

Scouts

A reviewer bought two of these Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tents—one for his 10-year-old son and the other for his 13-year-old son—and gave it top marks for its easy setup, enough storage and compact size.

The boys used the tent when they joined the Boy Scouts, and they were able to set up with zero assistance. And, according to the buyer's Coleman Sundome 2 person tent review, there was enough space for an adult, two kids, plus other equipment. 

He also added that the tent rolled up really small so that they could easily carry it in a backpack or on a motorcycle. 

Alternatives to the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent

Although the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent is an excellent choice for many novice campers, if you're looking for an alternative in the same price range, you should consider these options: 

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1

With its freestanding design, easy-attach poles and weather-protection features, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 is a great alternative.

Although it might cost you a few more dollars, it's about 1 kilogram lighter than the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent, comes with a big vestibule and is a little wider.

Kelty Grand Mesa 2

If you don't mind the price and are looking for a durable, light, two-sleeper tent, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is definitely worth your attention.

Coleman Sundome 3 Review

The Coleman Sundome 3-person tent weighs 8.7 pounds, with a 7 by 7 floorplan. It’s 4 feet 4 inches at its tallest point in the center.

You enter this space via a single door, with an awning to keep the rain out. As well as the entrance, you also have two windows for ventilation. The polyethylene floor has a nearby vent allowing for ventilation, too.

Both the floor and walls are also waterproof—the entire tent is meant to be weatherproof, and some customers vouch that it’s a 4-season tent. The manufacturer doesn’t state a season-rating for the tent, so all we have to go off is customer opinions.

There’s an expandable pocket large enough for phones, sunglasses and similar basics. Also easily accessed from the floor is an e-port, so you can power a laptop or radio without opening the windows or doors.

Features and Benefits

While the specs are great for the price, some are very beneficial, but others have their downsides.

Weight

8 pounds isn’t a lot for an adult to carry, but it’s substantial for a child, depending on their age and strength. This might cause a slight struggle for kids going solo, for example, with the Scouts.

That’s also quite heavy for a 3-person tent. According to some backpackers, any weigh less than 5 pounds—even many premium 5-person tents weigh less.

However, you’re likely to pay more for a lighter tent, as the manufacturers have to use lighter, costlier materials.

Floor Space

There’s nothing over or underwhelming about the Coleman Sundome when it comes to sleeping three people. The 7 feet of space side to side is enough to have two people and a small child—or a medium-sized dog!—sitting comfortably cross-legged.

You could fit three adults sitting in this fashion, too, but two of them might be touching the walls, and there’d be no wiggle room.

Lying down, it’s another world. There’s more space to spare even with three adults, and you could fit a king-sized mattress for you all to share.

However, this will compromise storage space if you don’t have a vehicle. So, cutting down to a queen-size gives you room to place your backpacks and other essentials besides the mattress.

Lengthwise, you’ll have about a foot of space between the mattress and the entrance to work with, regardless of mattress width.

So, to optimize the tent’s floor space, you’ll either need:

  • To not have three adults in the tent if you have gear and no vehicle.
  • An enclosed, lockable vehicle.
  • To only use the tent for short trips requiring minimal gear.

Height

Unless you have a bad back, you should have no problem with the height of this tent. Extensively tall people will find it cramped, but 4-feet 4-inches is plenty to get around for most adults when stooping. 

Realistically, you’ll be sitting or lying down in the tent. You’ll only be standing to get in the door, which measures a little under 4-feet tall. Any discomfort will be quick.

When sitting, there’s plenty of room overhead, even when kneeling.

Stakes

7 feet is wide, and 4 feet is taller than you’d think. For these reasons, the 

stakes that come with this tent might not hold well.

Coleman Sundome 3-person reviews from customers particularly mention that they’re cheap and lightweight—as is often the case with budget tents. It’s hard to see how they’d suffice if the weather were windy or if the ground is too hard or soft.

They may also bend on too-solid ground—customers had this issue with other Sundome models.

Don’t let this put you off buying the Sundome 3, though. Tent stakes are easily replaced, so consider replacing the standard set with higher-grade options.

Ventilation

Ventilation is vital in a tent, especially when it’s warm and crowded. Luckily, there are two windows to help keep the air circulating.

These are made of a meshy material that’s supposedly waterproof from the outside, but allows more flow from within.

It’s the same story with the small vent flap you can open low down on the tent, which provides extra airflow when sleeping.

Keep in mind, the more ventilation you have, the colder the tent will get in the wind or frost. It’s a budget piece of equipment and wasn’t made to withstand harsh, freezing conditions.

Consider adding extra insulation if you’re handy with a needle and thread. Keep in mind; this will increase the tent’s weight.

Temperature and Weatherproofing

Every tent will advertise how it’s waterproof and stays warm—even the lowest-quality tents come with this claim.

The Sundome 3 is of mid-quality, and Coleman advertises that it’s WeatherTec-patented and waterproof, with a door awning to keep rain out.

Weatherproofed it may be, but you’d be safer reinforcing the exterior with an extra layer of insulated waterproof material.

You’d also be smart to invest in a tarp to cover the tent in the direction the rain is falling, if not the whole tent. If you can’t do this straight away before your first trip, don’t worry. People found the tent will keep you dry—but the question is, how many trips and days of heavy rain will it work perfectly for?

Customers also found this is definitely not a cold-weather tent, so be prepared and take some blankets or extra insulation with you.

Storage

This tent has nothing fancy in terms of storage. There’s no gear loft, and pockets are minimal.

If you want to keep your valuables safe, there’s one small, low pocket inside the tent. It’s expandable but definitely not infinite, so it’s really only there to hold your phone, wallet, torch, water bottle and anything else you may need in the night.

The pocket is easily accessed, though—to the back and on the left side looking in. Although, if you tend to flail in your sleep, you may end up hitting it due to its proximity to the ground. This may unseat your valuables, so secure them well.

E-Port

One of the best features of the Sundome 3 is the e-port. While external battery packs are always convenient to charge a phone, you can’t really use them to power anything bigger.

When spooky stories get boring, or you just can’t sleep, it’d be nice to have a laptop or radio to liven things up. Or, some pleasant twinkle-lights to comfort young kids.

The e-port makes this simple. You run a (weatherproof) extension cable through it from a vehicle to your electrical device of choice. If you’re backyard camping, you could also run the cord from the tent to the house.

Having the e-port ensures you can keep the door closed, keeping out any rain, wind or insects. It makes it an altogether safer and more pleasant experience.

Inverted Seams

A smart feature this tent possesses is inverted seams, meaning the joinings of the tent are on the inside. This is to protect them from weather damage and is an extra move to keep water out of your tent.

Although the inversion will protect them from external damage, there’s no telling the quality of the stitching. At this price, it may be one of the areas lacking in the tent—reinforcing the seams would be a wise move to extend the tent’s longevity.

Snag-Free Pole Sleeves

One of the most irritating parts of tents is the setup. To make this one a breeze, the manufacturers attempted to keep the tent snag-free, so it slides onto the poles with ease.

It seems to have worked—customers rave about how easy the tent is to assemble.

The simple assembly makes this an excellent buy for beginners or for kids who’ll be setting up solo.

Alternatives

If the Sundome 3-person isn’t for you, the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 3-person tent is another great budget option. For a few more dollars, you'll get a proper 3-season tent that’s also suitable for backpacking and thru-hiking.

You won’t need to upgrade this one quite as much as the Sundome 3, either.

Coleman Sundome 4 Review

The Sundome 4 isn’t fantastic for campers with lots of gear. It will fit a king or queen-size mattress, but after that, there won’t be room left for much else.

It makes a wonderful tent for families with one small child, for those early-days camping trips. It’ll be a squeeze if four people use the tent, but with two adults and a child, it’ll be roomy and secure.

The tent would be more secure with sturdier stakes and a larger rainfly, but those are upgrades you can obtain in the future. If you’re still in the market for improvement, seam sealer and a waterproofing spray coating would go down well, too.

All in all, it’s not the greatest tent in the world, but it does the job well for a mid-quality and inexpensive piece of equipment.

Specs

The 3-season Sundome 4 measures 7 by 9 feet, with a center height of 59-inches (5 feet). The single door is almost as tall as the tent’s maximum height.

Despite the large size, the tent condenses down into a smaller package weighing 10.47 pounds.

Contained within this semi-lightweight tent is also a storage pocket for a small amount of gear inside. The storage pocket isn’t the only add-on to this tent, as it also features an e-port to run a cable through. 

Lastly, there’s a ventilation window close to the ground to ensure airflow throughout the tent.

Features and Benefits

For the price, these are some impressive specs, especially as the tent is very much mid-quality and far from bad. But, some aspects could be improved upon.

Weight

10 pounds isn’t heavy—but, it is in comparison to other tents of this size. In fact, it’s double what some 5-person tents weigh.

Coleman’s Sundome 4 being heavier than average shouldn’t put you off buying it, though. But just be warned, if you’ve had other, lighter tents in the past, you’ll likely notice the difference.

The weight may also be too much for children if you plan to use this for your kids’ scouting trips. However, with some practice, they should get used to it. After all, it’s only double what the average school backpack weighs.

Floor Space

The Sundome 4 is about average in terms of floor space. With its 7 by 9 feet size, it seems like there’s plenty of room for four people. Each person gets two feet of space, leaving a foot for gear.

But, a foot isn’t much for gear, especially for four people. And 2 feet isn’t a lot for a person who likes personal space. Additionally, if one or more campers have a larger build, then it’s definitely not ideal.

Truthfully, 4-person tents are better suited to three people, or even two. A couple with a small child or dog would have plenty of room. You may even be able to fit the child and the dog.

Height

Kids and smaller people will be able to stand tall in the almost 5-foot height, but taller people will have to stoop to get in. Once you’re in, you can sit down with plenty of room to spare.

Stakes

Several buyers found they needed to replace the stakes with this tent. They’re not terrible, but still not ideal for windier weather or ground that’s too hard or soft. 

As far as upgrades go, this is one to do sooner rather than later. They’re of a lesser quality than the rest of the tent—according to customers, they bend easily and are light.

Ventilation

There’s plenty of ventilation in the Sundome 4. The two windows and ground vent work as they should, but are better in windless, warm conditions.

You can’t close the ground vet, so you’ll feel the chill if it’s cold. Also, if it’s windy, the air won’t circulate as efficiently.

Although it’s a tent that will hold up well in all seasons bar winter, you may need extra blankets if you camp in fall. There’s no insulation in the tent’s material, and, paired with the ventilation, it can get chilly.

Weatherproofing

Where with the Sundome 3 some users found it had leaky seams, the Sundome 4 has an improved design. Several users didn’t seal the seams and had no issues with leaks, even in heavy rain.

Although, after several sodden beatings, it might be wise to seal the seams anyway, along with waterproofing the tent.

A buyer who used waterproofing spray and let it cure for 48 hours had the tent survive a storm. The interior remained bone dry throughout the extreme weather.

Storage

With only two adults inside, there’s plenty of storage space on the floor. But, the built-in storage is minimal.

Down towards the back on one side, there’s a small pocket for essentials—phones, torches, water bottles and the likes. But, if you have tons of gear to stow away, it’s best to travel with a vehicle to keep it in.

E-Port

Not only can you utilize your vehicle for storage, but you can use it for electricity, too. The Sundome 4 features an e-port to run a cable through, so you can light up the tent, or fill it with movies and music.

Warranty

Customers have had mixed experiences when it comes to the Sundome 4 and a warranty.

Some had trouble obtaining even a 1-year warranty. Others discovered wind damage isn’t even covered.

However, others found that contacting Coleman for replacing parts was simple. Even so, they didn’t specify whether or not these cost extra or were included.

Festivals

One of the most positive and excited customer reviews of this tent implores you to use it at festivals.

First of all, it’s easy to assemble, so there’s more time to enjoy the festivities. Secondly, it’s great for a couple of friends at a festival, but there’s not much extra room if you meet new pals and want to shelter.

It’s also breathable, so even if you’re cramped, you’re comfortable in that regard.

As a budget tent, it’s also not too much of a disaster if it gets wrecked, which occurs far too often at festivals. And if they only wreck part of it, there’s always the warranty to fall back on.

Backyard Camping

A beautiful part of kids growing up is their desire for independence, and backyard camping in this Sundome tent works well for this.

Due to its simplicity, you should have no problems getting this tent up in the yard on a moment’s notice. And, even when you’re exhausted in the morning, it’s a breeze to take it back down.

It’s not just for nights, either. The Sundome 4 makes for an excellent playhouse for kids to put up whenever they have friends over. The e-port lets you add string lights as decoration, or set them up with movies and popcorn for the day.

Even if you’re not an avid camper and only need the tent for one-time use, it won’t go to waste. It’s perfect for fun-loving families and kids who want a world of their own. 

Scouts

Another practical use for this tent is if any of your kids are in the Scouts. Or, if you’re a Scoutmaster.

There are only two snag-free poles holding up the Sundome 4, and even beginners find it only takes 15 minutes to get it set up. This makes it suitable for children to put up, even young ones.

Weekends Away

Although you may want something more premium for long camping trips, this little tent isn’t bad for a weekender. It’ll sleep you and your partner or friends for a few nights pleasantly.

In fact, one buyer was able to fit four grown men in the tent for an entire weekend. It was tight, but not unbearable.

On a weekend of relaxation and no hiking, all you’ll need is a small backpack of essentials, so storing gear is no problem.

Alternatives to the Coleman Sundome 4

If you like the Sundome 4 but it’s not your perfect match, you may like one of the following:

ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4 - For slightly more money, the ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4 has a similar size and weight to the Sundome 4. However, it’s slightly more durable, can survive storms and seals in heat well.

GeerTop Toproad 4 - If you have a considerably larger budget, the GeerTop Toproad 4 may be more in line with your requirements.

It’s of a similar size to the Sundome 4 and with the same capacity, but excels in these areas:

  • Higher quality.
  • More durable stakes.
  • 4-season tent.

Coleman Sundome 6 Review

In my Coleman Sundome 6 person tent review, we’ll look at some of the tent’s benefits and features, as well as shortcomings. 

The tent has a lot of pros, and it’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for an option that won’t break the bank. 

However, it also has a few downsides, such as questionable weatherproofing and a snug interior despite being advertised as a tent for six people.

Specs

The Coleman Sundome 6 person tent is a roomy option with a floor space of 10 feet by 10 feet, weighing approximately 16.6 pounds. It consists of a polyester taffeta 75 denier flysheet that’s been rain and wind tested. 

The Sundome has a spacious D-shaped door with a wind and waterproof zipper. It comes with a steady frame, designed to withstand winds of up to 35 miles per hour. On the sides, it features large ventilation windows, suggesting it’s a comfortable accommodation during warm summers.

The Sundome also has a few extra features. This includes an E-port, which helps you stay connected, as well as additional storage compartments and one center hook for a light. 

The tent stands 6 feet at the center and can fit two queen-sized air beds. Additionally, Coleman includes a one-year limited warranty. 

However, it isn’t all good. For instance, it might be too snug if you’re planning on housing six adults. It might be a better fit for four adults, or two adults and three kids. 

You should also consider purchasing a compatible tarp for extra protection during rainy seasons. The large ventilation windows don’t come with a cover or zipper, which means that rain and wind can easily enter. 

Weight

Considering the size, the Sundome 6 person tent is rather light. It weighs 16.6 pounds—this is including the frame and all accessories. It comes with an expandable storage bag, making it easy to pack up and store. 

The weight makes the tent easy to transport from place to place. It fits easily on the back of a bike or in a backpack if you’re on foot. 

Floor Space

The spacious floor space of this dome tent is impressive—it’s enough to fit two queen-sized airbeds. 

Of course, it might be a little too snug for some people’s comfort with two beds, so a couple of sleeping bags may be a better option. 

A few campers said that the six-person tent is better for four people or less. Then you’ll have ample room for sleeping bags with spare floor space for storing other items, like a cooler or bags.

Unpacked Dimensions

Once out of the bag, the Coleman Sundome 6 person tent measures 10 feet by 10 feet. There should be ample room for four adults to stay without feeling too snug. Although, it might not be sufficient for six adults—depending on how comfortable you are with each other.

Doors

The Coleman Sundome comes with one door, suited with a zipper cuff, that’s made with weather-resistant fabric, preventing water from seeping in. Overhead, you have a door awning that leads the water out and away from the tent, hopefully keeping you dry.

With that said, the door is a little snug, and, depending on your height, you’ll have to hunch over. It also isn’t wide enough for two people to enter and exit simultaneously. 

Storage

The Sundome comes with a few internal mesh pockets where you can store things like books, devices or perhaps some light clothes. 

The mesh pockets are sewn into the walls, keeping them secure. However, there aren’t many of them, and besides these, you don’t have other storage options. For instance, there’s no gear loft or vestibules, allowing you to stash larger items. 

Highest Point

In the Coleman Sundome 6 person tent you have a ceiling height of 6 feet. However, because this is a dome-shaped tent, only the center will be this tall. To the sides and outward, it might become more challenging to stand upright. 

Ventilation

One of the great details about this tent is the ventilation options, suggesting it’s a fantastic tent for summer.

On the side are large mesh windows. These allow air to ventilate the interior, keeping the atmosphere comfortable and less humid. Then along the floor run ground vents—these bring cool air in, forcing the heat out.

However, this is where there seems to be a problem. 

You can’t close the mesh windows, meaning that when it rains or there’s a strong wind, it might compromise your comfort. You can counter this by investing in a separate tarp to go over the top. 

Frame

The Sundome 6 person tent is engineered to be steady and capable of withstanding strong winds. This is thanks to its wind-responsive frame with guy-out triangles and redesigned poles. 

It’s also effortless to set up. Coleman includes Insta-Clip suspension, which is supposedly snag-free. In addition to this, there are snag-free continuous pole sleeves as well as a patented pin-and-ring system. 

All in all, Coleman suggests that it takes no more than 10 minutes to get it up.

In saying this, it seems that a point of complaint is the stakes. They’re prone to snapping and may not keep the tent up once the weather roughens up. However, this is often the case with budget tents that are designed to be lightweight.

One way to prevent this is simply by purchasing new, more durable stakes.

Other Features

The tent comes with a few additional features to improve your experience. 

For starters, you’ll receive Coleman’s WeatherTec system, which is an all-inclusive bundle. In this, there’s a tub floor, designed with welded corners, inverted seams as well as a covered zipper. 

It also includes a rainfly and a covered awning, allowing the water to drain away from the door and zipper. 

At the center of the ceiling is a hook where you can hang a small, lightweight fan. 

Included with the tent is also a tote bag for easy travel. This makes it quick to pack up and get going. 

Down toward the side, there’s an E-port, enabling you to draw a cable into the tent without needing to open the door. That said, if it rains, avoid keeping the cable port open as it can provide a way for water to seep into the floor. It may also present a shock hazard. 

Rated Seasons

The Coleman Sundome tent is advertised as a three-season tent. In saying this, three seasons might be stretching it. 

The tent doesn’t include any insulation features, and due to the open windows and vents, it would get too cold. It’s also not designed to withstand hail and severe rainfall, which may make it unusable during fall. 

Still, it’s an excellent summer tent that you should be able to use during early fall and late spring. Perhaps bring extra clothes and blankets. 

Scenarios

To help you get a better idea of where this tent performs best, I’ve included a few scenarios below: 

Music Festivals

One reviewer said that they bought the tent to bring with them to the Electric Forest music festival. One of the reasons for buying it was for its weatherproofing since it was going to be a wet weekend. 

Overall, the Coleman Sundome performed well. Despite harsh winds and lots of rain—inches of water outside—the tent weathered through without being treated with a water sealant beforehand. 

The tent held up effortlessly through the five-day festival with only the rainfly and a tarp, which covered about half the tent.

Another point is how breathable it is. 

When it rains, it often increases the humidity inside a tent. However, thanks to the vents and windows, all the humid air is able to escape, keeping the inside comfortable. 

It was also a breeze to set up and take down again. However, it may require some quick thinking to get back into the tote bag. 

Windy Camping

Windy weather is a camping killer if you don’t have the right tent. With the Coleman Sundome, there seem to be some mixed feelings. 

Our next scenario is a camper who stayed out during a Florida thunderstorm with heavy rain and harsh winds. 

To begin with, the tent was super easy to set up, despite the poor weather conditions. It was a no-nonsense process, and all it took was two poles and seven guy lines—in all about 15 minutes. 

Coleman advertises the tent as being capable of withstanding strong winds—and it isn’t far off. The camper states that the walls shook and moved around during the storm, but it all remained intact. 

This is another camper who didn’t have time to treat the material with any waterproofing or seal the seams. However, they did set up the rainfly for additional protection. Fortunately, the Sundome didn’t disappoint and stood its ground through the storm. 

The one place of concern was the E-port. Although there’s a zipper, it did leak a few drops of water into the tent. Perhaps a notable spot to apply some sealant. 

For this trip, our camper housed only two people in the six-person tent. And although the ceiling is high, there isn’t much room for more people, plus gear. 

Despite the tent holding up, they recommended placing a 10 foot by 10 foot tarp underneath and a 10 foot by 20 foot tarp over it. 

Warm Weather Camping

Warm summers are perfect for camping, but it can quickly get too hot. Our next scenario is a camper who bought this as a last-minute replacement for an ‘ideal weather’ camping trip. 

On a warm, sunny day, with all the vents and windows sealed, the tent’s temperature rose a bit. Fortunately, it didn’t overheat or get too uncomfortable. 

Once you open the vents and unseal the windows, the temperature drops, and it becomes more manageable. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t place it in the sun. Find a shaded spot to set it up to avoid overheating. 

On the other hand, the night got a little chilly, which made the inside quite cold. This also shows that it isn’t suitable for late fall/winter camping. 

The walls don’t retain heat very well, so even with a space heater, it would be cold. You may be able to find a tarp or other material to seal the windows.

Still, thanks to the spacious ceiling and floor space, it was comfortable for the summer. The tent didn’t feel claustrophobic with everyone inside, but it would be snug with six adults. 

Mountain Camping

Our last scenario is a camper who brought the tent with them to the Spanish Peaks in Colorado around mid-May. The camper said they stayed at 10,000 feet for multiple nights. 

Sadly, the tent didn’t perform as well during the night. 

As the temperature dropped to a low 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it became freezing cold inside. The wind gusts entered through the floor vents and mesh windows, causing all the heat to escape. 

On the bright side, the rainfly kept out rain effortlessly, keeping everyone inside dry. The rainfly also provided some insulation, which might make the tent suitable for three seasons. However, it didn’t hold out completely. 

The camper suggested that if you’re going to the mountains where it’s colder, bring wool blankets to keep between the floor and mat. Then remember a good, insulating sleeping bag, and you should be fine. 

Alternatives to the Coleman Sundome 6

If you don’t think the Coleman Sundome 6 person tent is for you, I’ve included two alternatives below. 

CORE 6 Person Dome Tent - The CORE 6 person dome tent is a spacious option, suitable for two queen air beds. With a center height of 6 feet, there should be room to stretch. 

The CORE dome is a three-season tent. It comes with CORE’s H20 Block Technology, which consists of water-repellent fabric, made with active bean technology. This enables water to glide off without penetrating. It also includes sealed seams by the windows and door. 

Compared to the Coleman Sundome, the dome tent from CORE is better suited for summer camping. 

The dome tent includes a full panoramic mesh ceiling and windows, making it excellent in warm weather. Near the floor runs advanced venting systems that draw in cool air from the ground, pressing the hot air out. 

It also features a few more good-to-have extras than the Sundome does. This includes a roomy gear loft with a lantern hook for a lamp. There are also smaller pockets to keep your things organized and away from the floor.

That said, it isn’t suitable for cold weather, even with the rainfly up. It leaves a small space open, enough for cold wind to enter the tent. This may suggest that the Sundome is the better option for a late fall camping trip.

ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 Person Tent - Dome-shaped tents do limit the amount of room you have. So, as an alternative to the Sundome, you may want to check out the ALPS Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 person tent. 

This is a straight-wall tent with an extra-tall, 7-foot center, which allows for more room. You can easily fit six adult sleeping bags inside. 

The Camp Creek tent is suitable for three seasons. It comes with a weatherproof fly that adds large awnings over the entrance and back window. 

Like the Sundome, it comes with a hub design and pole clips, making set up quick and effortless, despite the size. But in contrast to the Sundome, it features more storage options. 

However, it is quite heavy, weighing 23.8 pounds, suggesting it isn’t as portable as the Sundome.

Bottom Line

Coleman tents come in different sizes and styles. In this review, we rounded up the most practical ones for beginners, first-time campers and low-budget folks.

Choose the best option for your needs based on how many people you're traveling with, how tall you are, what mattress you want to use, and what climate you're going to camp in.

The Coleman Sundome 2-person tent is the best option for solo campers or couples with limited baggage. Its price makes it especially appealing to those who don’t want to spend a fortune on their first tent. 

If you’re willing to spend a few more dollars to have more convenience, you should go with the 3-person model. It’s ideal for camping in warm weather with your partner and pet, but it isn’t a good option for the winter.

The Coleman Sundome 4-person tent comes with a polyester rainfly, which protects you against storms. It’s also designed to prevent water entering from below the tent. However, the single-door design can make the tent a bit tough for four people to use. 

Finally, you should buy the 6-person tent if you want an easy-to-set-up tent for an entire family adventure. But, it doesn’t score high on the privacy scale because it has a revealing gap between the rainfly and the windows.

History of the Coleman Brand

When it comes to quality, few companies enjoy the credit and reputation of Coleman.

Founded in 1900, Coleman has been manufacturing recreational, camping and outdoor gear for over 120 years. 

William Coffin Coleman—the founder—dedicated his whole career to creating and selling quality products. When he died in 1953, Coleman's investors and his grandchildren kept the company moving forward. 

In its early years, the company was just a maker of lighting equipment. In 1914, while the American allies struggled in the Great War, Coleman used to ship lanterns to farmers so that they could work at night and produce more crops for their soldiers, citizens and allies. 

In less than five years, Coleman made a name for itself and became widely known worldwide.

In the 1940s, the company expanded its range of products to pocket stoves and distributed them for military use. These compact, portable stoves could work with almost any kind of fuel and easily fit into a soldier's pocket.

After World War II ended, the company entered the recreational sector. To meet its outdoor customer’s needs, it started to produce different types of camping gear, such as camp stoves, lanterns, tents and even coolers. 

Since the company’s core objective is to make the outdoor experience easy and affordable for all groups, Coleman now provides the most inexpensive, high-quality camping tents for outdoor enthusiasts.

Read on to learn more about the best Coleman Sundome tents, along with its core features.

About the author

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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