Coleman Instant Cabin 4 Review: Easy family camping

Review of the Coleman Instant Cabin 4: Easy family camping

Coleman Instant Cabin 4


Imagine sitting back with a drink and a happy family, watching other campers as they struggle to get their tents set up. With the new style fast pitch instant tent you will be set up stress free in no time. Perfect for those late arrivals into camp when everyone is tired and you need shelter fast.

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Assembling the tent only takes about a minute, you can then get started on your adventure. You can even go and give your less fortunate fellow campers a hand…

This instant tent will not suit everyone, but the unique points of the Coleman Instant Cabin will be valuable for those it does.

I’m going to cover the setup and features of the tent and what you can and can’t do with it.

If you are looking for specific information, check out the table of contents below. If not, let’s get this thing out of the bag!

Tent Style

Designing the Coleman Instant Cabin revolved around focusing on creating an affordable tent designed for ease and speed of setup. The inner and fly are integrated and the poles are permanently attached.

Pulling out the floor of the tent separates the corner poles, which then swing up and lock into place.

The tent is tall and square, and due to the almost vertical walls maximum use of the floor space is possible. Pockets on the internal walls are great to keep the tent tidy.

Designed without a vestibule or an overhanging fly, the waterproof panels on the door and on the windows should be closed when it is raining. The Instant Cabin is waterproof in light showers.  With the optional Rainfly Accessory is fitted, heavier rain is not usually a problem, although if you are likely to encounter extended heavier rain there are other models that are better suited.


Coleman Instant Tent
Optional Rainfly Accessory fitted


Key features

  • Single layer design.
  • Simple fast setup.
  • Heavy-duty materials.
  • Freestanding tent.
  • Large windows.


  • Capacity: 6 people.
  • Weight: 24.9 lb (11.3 kg).
  • Dimensions: 10 x 9 ft (3.05 x 2.74 m).
  • Floor area: 90 sq ft (8.4 m²).
  • Peak height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m).
  • Packed size (L x D): around 48 x 9 in (122 x 23 cm).

What do owners say?

Reading reviews on the tent on  Coleman site, Amazon and other forums is informative. Most owners are very happy with the speed and ease of setup and the large space available in the tent. The vertical walls give lots of internal room. The large windows allow plenty of airflow for those sweaty summer nights. Several reviews mention hanging a battery powered fan from the central roof hook for a breeze on still nights

The negative reviews are almost all involve use in heavy rain where the tent does not as waterproof as more expensive, but more sturdy alternatives. Buying the optional Rainfly Accessory was almost always recommended by users. Sealing the seams of the tent before you head off from home is also widely suggested

Very few issues were raised with tent use in windy campsites, interesting for such a slab-sided design.

What’s in the Bag?

Pulling the tent out of it’s expandable bag is simple and you can pack it back away easily in 5 minutes or so.  Although some people have complained that the bag felt a bit thin I did not read a review saying that the bag actually failed. Pegs are provided, but I would recommend also taking some heavier pegs as the ones supplied are a bit on the short/thin side. To be honest this is a recommendation I make on all tents.  Due to a weight of 25lb (11kg) this is definitely a car-camping tent! I think a bit of extra weight for peace of mind if the wind picks up is a good trade off.

Weaving reflective thread into the guy ropes is a genius idea. Tripping over the guys will still happen, just a bit less often!

Is this instant tent for you?

I have been the guy struggling to set up a tent in the rain with overtired children just wanting to be in bed. I can wholeheartedly recommend the simplicity of a fast pitch instant tent. My personal maxim is that camping should be easier and more relaxing that being at home, this tent meets that criteria superbly.

If you are looking for a summer tent or a cheaper instant tent to dip your foot into the camping world? This tent is relatively inexpensive while the size, simplicity and value for money it represents make it an easy choice.

If you are headed into wetter areas you may be better off looking at a Coleman Elite Montana 8-Person Tent. With a $299 price tag the Montana Tent is bigger, better featured and sturdier. You will also find this tent heavier and more complicated to set and pack up

Venturing into more extreme conditions? Consider the MSR Stormking 4-season tent. A bombproof dual-skinned geodesic design tent that will take almost anything nature will throw at it. At roughly $1499 you would hope so!

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If you are not heading into the mountains or the depths of winter and appreciate maximum tent space, ease of setup and value for money there isn’t better value for a simple, spacious family tent than the Coleman Instant Cabin 4. Setting up is faster, packed up is easier. Finally you have the peace of mind of investing in a well established name in camping.

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