Zen and the art of tent selection

Coleman Instant TentThis is a Coleman Six-Person Instant Tent. My wife and I have been challenged for years by our previous tent — a “gimme” tent that came with my father-in-law’s Jeep when he bought it — and I decided that I could not take another year of arguing at the campsite while we once again worked out a strategy for raising that beast. The Jeep tent actually is quite nice but nobody needs that kind of stress in their lives when they’re trying to relax.

This tent costs a Jackson or two more than a typical casual tent of its size — and suffice it to say that I am rather suspicious of its claims that it does not need a rain fly — but Coleman alleges you can put it up in one minute. It still has to be staked out after you put it up, but nobody fights over that part of the tent-raising process.

We gave it the initial Barn-Raising Test on Saturday. It was up in less than 30 seconds from the time I unrolled it. Knockdown will take a little longer, but I bet we can do that in less than three minutes from the time we remove the stakes and lines.

This tent is more than just convenient. It’s a Zen device that should eliminate the hour of mutual seething that usually accompanies a trip to a campsite. Thus, it is the best money I’ve ever spent.

Here’s a YouTube video of the tent being put up. This video is of the larger, eight-person tent — ours has only four vertical posts, not six, so it’s even easier:


Leave a Reply