Coleman Montana 12 Review

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:58
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Hey guys and girls,

So I thought I would post a brief review of the Coleman Montana 12 Dome tent.

We picked up this tent in early April. Previously we had the Coleman Chalet 9 XL CV. We weren't too happy with the sloping walls of the Chalet which were caused by its use of long fiberglass poles only. Also We felt that the bedrooms were a little bit small in the Chalet. However we did love the large annex/vestibule area.

We went with the Montana because of its upright walls due to the steel pole/fiberglass pole combination and because of its large internal space. After using the tent over the 4 days at easter we were very impressed.

The tent is significantly easier to erect than the Chalet. This is largely because the Montana does not have the extended vestibule which we found a little frustrating at times to set up correctly. We had no frustrations with putting up the Montana and the whole process probably took no more than 40 mins or so (first time).

The Montana is a big tent, whilst I have seen bigger tents this one is certainly not small by any means. The 3 internal rooms are quite large and the upright walls and rectangle design mean that the internal space is very useable. The ceiling is incredibly high (my parter could not even touch the ceiling in the middle room)!

With the windows and awning up the tent is very well ventilated and allows lots of air to pass through. It will obviously still get extremely hot if sitting in the sun on a warm day in summer, but the ventilation certainly helps to make this bearable.

That brings me to the awning, most people buying this tent will be interested in its large awning. This is certainly an attractive and useable feature of the tent. The entire front side lifts up to create a full length awning and two side walls drop down to provide protection from the wind and to create some privacy. We raised the awning everyday and found it invaluable for escaping the sun during the day. It is fairly easy to raise once you get the hang of it. One criticism I would have is that you have to raise and lower the awning each day. Some people may want to leave it up over night, but I would personally not want to take this chance in case a strong wind picked up over night. Also the awning is not designed to allow water to run off, unless you get creative with the height of the awning poles, water is going to pool on the awning if it rains. This means that the awning is effectively a fair weather awning only, if the wind is too strong or if it is raining you will need to lower it which restricts you to the inside of the tent only. We found it mildly frustrating to have to lower the awning each night and raise it each morning, however this was a 5-10 min process at the start and end of each day that we can deal with. However this is a similar flaw of almost all dome tent awnings.

The floor of the tent is not the usual tarp style floor, it is a PVC coated, smooth, green coloured floor. This is definitely more comfortable then the traditional tarp style floors, and it looks much more aesthetically appealing as it does not crease and crinkle like tarp would. However it did seem a little fragile. One grass the floor will slide around under your feat quite a bit. While I would not imagine this would tear easy at all, it did strike me as a potential weakness.

The overall quality of the tent was very good. We had some high winds on the last night which completely destroyed a couple of gazebos at the campground, but the Montana barely budged. Granted I am a bit anal when it comes to guy ropes and I like to ensure they are all very taught before going to bed, but the strength of the tent was obvious in the wind. We did not have any rain over the long weekend so I can't comment on waterproofness but if it is anything like the Chalet it will be superb.

Would I recommend this tent? Yes I would, we camp with just myself and my parter (we like to camp some what luxuriously) and this tent provided plenty of space, however for 4-6 people it would be very comfortable still. The only criticisms I would have is that without a permanent sheltered outdoor area (like a vestibule or screen room) you are very limited in the event of rain. This isn't an issue for just the 2 of us, but 6 people might struggle. However an additional gazebo can easily resolve this.

Also these tents are everywhere!!! Coleman certainly has the monopoly on family dome tents! There were 3 more of these at the campground and 3 Chalet's! So if you are hoping to stand out from the crowd you should be looking elsewhere.

We will be keeping this tent until at least next easter. We like to change our tents around quite frequently (kind of like going to a different hotel lol) and will likely be checking out the Outdoor Connection Galaxy Plus next.

Anyways, not quite a brief review but hope it is helpful. Happy to answer any questions anyone may have.

Simon
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Reply By: philw- Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:27

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:27
Very good and thorough review. I personally prefer canvas tents but the Coleman range look like decent tents at a decent price. Cheers Phil.
AnswerID: 484204

Follow Up By: Simon H1 - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:54

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:54
Thanks Phil. Yeah I really like some of the big Multi room canvas tents too, but they are very bulky when packed away and as we are currently camping without a trailer or roof racks boot space is at an extreme premium. Also the cost for me was harder to justify. The Montana only costs $500. The type and size canvas tent we would want would be well over 4 figured. Maybe down the track we will give these a try.

Simon
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