There’s something about Coleman tents that for me conjures up images of camping on the edge of a vast lake in the American mid-west, miles from civilization. In my head, their tents should be pitched beneath huge starry skies to a soundtrack of distant howling wolves and John Denver tunes. All the while there’s the lurking threat of black bears prowling around the wilderness searching for scraps of food left by careless campers...
Now, I’ve never been near the mid-west in my life, let alone rubbed shoulders with grizzlies so this association has more to do with the company’s legacy (50 years as the leading US camping gear manufacturer) and clever marketing than reality.
And of course, it is far removed from the sort of family-friendly campsites that the vast majority of Coleman tent owners will frequent. Luckily the company is well aware of this and their tents are perfectly suited to the needs of the likes of you and me.
The Lakeside 6 Deluxe is new for 2012 and lives up to the quality you’d expect from a global market leader. It is a good-sized tunnel tent, with sleeping units at the back of a generously proportioned living area. It’s more than big enough to comfortably house a dining table and chairs and headroom is excellent throughout, especially in the living space.
The sleeping arrangements are flexible, depending on your specific needs. There are two inner tents – one self-contained double and a larger unit that has a removable dividing panel and could potentially sleep four. If like us you are a family of four (mum, dad, two kids) the best option would probably be to remove the divider in the larger room and create a spacious double. We fitted it out with a big double airbed and small bedside table on each side.
There is a lack of storage space, although if as is likely, you’re traveling by car this may not be too big an issue as you can always use the boot. I particularly liked the two large doors, at the front and on the side wall. These can both be fully zipped open, a Godsend on the kind of hot summer days we’re certain to enjoy this year (ahem). I also love Coleman’s self-rolling window blinds. They may be a novelty but these are the little extras that make a tent stand out from the crowd.
Cable entry points and lantern hanging hooks are also useful extras. The sewn-in groundsheet, on the other hand, is something no self-respecting family tent should be without.
A fabulous tent for a family of four on longer camping trips.
83cm x 35cm x 35cm
• Outer: Polyester (PU coated with taped seams)
• Inner: Breathable polyester
• Poles: Steel
3,000mm hydrostatic head
• Outer: 560cm x 445cm
• Height: 220cm (min 190cm)
• Bedroom 1: 220cm x 280 cm
• Bedroom 2: 220cm x 140cm