The Skylodge 6-Person Instant Camping tent is designed for summer car camping adventures. The entire tent set up is completed in less than 2 minutes.
Coleman 6-Person Montana Cabin Camping Tent with Extended Awning is a family-friendly 3-season tent. It features slanted windows, an extended awning, and a large rainfly for protection. Set up takes less than 15 minutes with its coded tent poles.
Comfort and Space
So we know that tent camping is a bit removed from glamping, but the space is nice. Let’s explore this one-room dome tent.
This 6-Person Montana is a mid-size tent with 12 x 7 ft or 84 square feet (7.8 sqm) of floor space. It can accommodate 2 queen size mattresses or 1 queen and 2 twins. This will cover the entire area and not offer much leeway to move about or storage space for luggage.
The Montana is a bit cramped for 6 people. Most reviewers recommend using this tent for 4 people, 2 adults and 2 children used only as sleeping quarters. 2 parents and one child would have ample storage space.
RELATED: Best 6-Person Camping Tent: Top Tents for Family Camping
The dome is 5’ 8” (173 cm) at peak height. The average male height in America is 5’9” (175 cm) and for females, it is 5’4” (162.5 cm). That means women will have an easier time standing up in the dome’s center. Shoulder space will be tight with six people on 2 queen size mattresses. The dome shape and sloped walls allow for a spacious living area for 3 to 4 people.
The Montana encourages togetherness with its single room design. Single room tents are typical in small and mid-size tents. The extended awning adds to the livability in different ways. It provides protection from the sun and the rain as well as a lounging space. Add a couple of camping chairs, and you have a functioning porch.
Breathability and Ventilation
Angled windows allow ventilation when it is sunny and aerated and dry during bouts of rain. The windows and door have a protective bug mesh as well as zip closures for privacy. By zipping them up by degrees, you can customize the temperature inside.
Coleman included a mesh dome top for the feeling of camping under the stars and air circulation. Dome tents may slope and feel small, but they perform exceptionally well in high winds and rank high for ventilation. Breathing in the fresh air will not be a problem in the Montana.
Weather is unpredictable. Storms can come without warning, especially when near a body of water. It is vital to know how your equipment will perform.
You will find that Coleman tests all its tents in winds up to 35 miles per hour, the Montana not excluded. Dome tents do endure high winds better because of their shape. Reviewers have verified these claims adding they did upgrade the tent stakes. I think this is advisable.
Coleman has some tricks up its sleeve when it comes to testing. They don’t just use an air tunnel but also have an artificial rain area. In this area, conditions from a mist to a downpour are simulated.
These experiments led to the innovation of a tent material and coating called WeatherTec. The Montana has a rainfly, angled windows, inverted seams, airtight zippers, and an extended awning using this WeatherTec system.
Another key feature is the lip at the door that serves as protection from the rain running in from the ground. This lip is advertised to limit dirt and elements brought into the tent.
All this said a word of caution. This Coleman tent is not 100% windproof or waterproof. Choosing moderate weather conditions when using the Montana would be wise.
Durability seems to be a debate between reviewers. Complaints include the fiberglass tent poles snapping and failing water resistance.
The Montana includes fiberglass folding tent poles, which are budget-friendly but can lack durability. Fiberglass is second rate to the more durable aluminum poles when it comes to strength. Fiberglass poles are more flexible and can snap but are rustproof and economical.
Some reviewers brag that they have had this tent for years, and its durability is excellent. The patented polyethylene welded floors are very sturdy and do not seem to have any complaints.
The coated polyester material, as well as the anti-wicking thread and webbing, holds up well. Others add that the durability is good, but the tent may need to be waterproofed again after a few years.
The No-See-Um Mesh is well loved for ventilation and bug protection but tears easily. This seems to be the case from day one, not just after years of use.
All in all, we must consider the different levels of care people believe is necessary. There are do’s and don’ts to keep your tent in optimum shape. Proper care does affect durability.
Ease of Use
Coleman boasts this tent can be assembled in less than 15 minutes. Many reviewers agree. Many don’t.
The external frame tent poles are color-coded and the instructions are sewn right into the storage bag. This seems like a piece of cake. Maybe so, but many report it taking 30 minutes or more because of the confusing directions.
Others who have knowledge about pitching tents say the directions are straightforward and easy to follow. It seems that experience is key to its easy setup. There are videos available to make setup easier.
Here’s how to assemble the Coleman Montana tent:
- Lay tent out flat and drive in stakes
- Assemble the tent poles by unfolding
- Slide the poles through the long sleeves on the tent
- Use medium pressure to arch the poles
- Place clips along the perimeter
- Stretch tent until fixed tight
- Attach rainfly if desired
Packed Size and Weight
The Montana comes in at under 17.1 lbs (7.7 kg). This is very manageable. Its carrying case is near 2’x 8’. It is a great family and friends tent and can be handled easily by 2 people. It is fantastic to throw in the trunk of the car with some supplies and head the family on an adventure.
It is not recommended for remote backpack camping because of its weight and difficulty to assemble alone. Weight and ease of use should be deciding factors.
Pros and Cons
- No-see-Um Mesh Top
- Comes in just under 20 lbs
- Compact when packed for storage
- Extended Awning adds space and protection
- Angled Windows allow ventilation and rain protection
- WeatherTec technology keeps you dry
- Strength of Fiberglass tent poles
- Assembly not friendly to newbies
- Cramped for 6 persons
- Long term waterproofing may fail
- Durability of No-see-Um Mesh
|Comfort and Space||7|
|Ease of Setup||5|
|Size and Weight||9|