Coleman Instant 8
A cabin tent might be spacious but it’s a pain to erect. Not this one, says Mark Johnston.
Why is it awesome?
A cabin tent is a nightmare to set up, what with all those mysterious corner joints and poles of different lengths.
This tent does away with the hassle and uses an all-in-one hinged design that pops open in seconds.
From out of the bag to fully standing takes about a minute. Seriously!
What’s it made of?
The base is 1000 D polyethylene and the body is made from a heavy-duty 600 D polyester that feels much thicker than a regular nylon tent. This is important because the tent doesn’t have a flysheet.
The poles are steel and vary in thickness from 16mm to 22mm. A great feature is the large side windows – seven in total – that are all sealed with mozzie netting so they can be zipped open on hot nights.
How does it perform in bad weather?
Logic dictates that an ungainly tent like this will take a hammering in strong winds, but the Instant 8 copes surprisingly well, thanks to the 12 peg points (six on the base and six guylines) and the asymmetrical poles, which are stronger than conventional round poles.
Not a complaint, just a caution: a tent without a flysheet is obviously lighter and easier to pitch, but the fact that there’s only one layer between you and the elements can be a concern.
One poke from a thorn tree and the rain will come through. A flysheet also provides insulation by trapping air between the inner and outer layers.
Coleman is apparently developing a flysheet for this tent. When it comes out, buy it.
Is it easy to pack away?
The bag is nice and big, and provided you take the time to fold the tent up properly and squeeze out all the air, it packs away easily.
Number of people: 8
Size: 4,26m x 2,43m x 1,93m
Price: R1800 (January 2012)
Contact: Makro 0860 300 999