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Aug 18, 2023

The Expert

It only takes 10 minutes to set up. We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Travel + Leisure /

It only takes 10 minutes to set up.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Travel + Leisure / Madison Woiten

I’m a lifelong camper — I practically lived in forts when I was a kid — and these days, I spend more time tent camping than ever since I test gear for Kampgrounds of America. And because I’m no longer a kid who has all the time in the world, I appreciate a tent I can construct in 10 minutes or less. My standards for what constitutes a good night’s sleep have also skyrocketed, and of the many tents I’ve tried, I keep coming back to my trusty Coleman Sundome Camping Tent.

And I’m in good company: this affordable tent is not only an Amazon No. 1 best-seller but Travel + Leisure editors also dubbed it the best budget tent after testing and reviewing many models. I discovered it a few years ago; it was the peak of the pandemic, but instead of holing up in my house, I social distanced in the mountains of Montana with this camp as my home sweet home.


Starting at just $70 for the four-person model, it was cheaper than a one-night’s stay at a motel. And it was quick and easy to set up all by myself. Assembly didn’t require tools, and unlike what you get from IKEA, the instructions were intuitive and easy to follow. Complete with a rainfly, it marries affordability with convenience and comfort.

Like most tents under $100, the Coleman Sundome Camping Tent is made out of water-resistant polyester. While it’s not technically waterproof, it does come with two protective awnings that cover both windows, and I’ve never had rain or dew seep in. In terms of wind, I’ve never camped in a tornado, but I have camped in 25 mph winds and had no trouble. According to Coleman, the tent’s frame is built to withstand winds of up to 35 mph. While I wouldn’t recommend this tent for winter (it’s a three-season tent), it has enough ventilation for hot summer days, and is warm enough for mild autumn and spring nights.

Katie Jackson / Coleman

At nine pounds, the Coleman Sundome Tent isn’t among the best backpacking tents, but it’s ideal for car camping, which is what I mostly do. It comes in three colors and several sizes ranging from two-person to six-person. I have the four-person model which comfortably fits my queen-sized mattress and leaves plenty of floor space for my gear and my 150-pound dog.

I use the tent’s two side pockets for stashing smaller items like my new GoPro Hero 11, my favorite portable charger and my packable pepper spray (for Bigfoot; for bears, I use bear spray of course). The tent also has a loop for hanging a lantern and an e-port which I can use when I want to run an extension cord into the tent so I can plug in my beloved Pura diffuser to get rid of any unwanted smells after eating fireside hot dogs.


The Coleman Sundome Tent has been ranked No.1 on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Camping Tents since at least 2019, and it has more than 34,800 five-star ratings. In fact, nearly 80 percent of shoppers give it a perfect five-star rating. One avid camper who calls it the “Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla of tents” because it’s so reliable wrote, “If you’re the engineer that designed this baby I want to buy you a drink and shake your hand.” Another shopper raved about how well it performed despite three consecutive days of downpours, “Everyone had tarps over their tents but my site had no nearby trees to tie up a tarp over it. This tent was all dry inside and the floor was not even damp.”

But the review that really sold me on this tent came from a shopper who said they sleep better in this tent than they do in their own bed. They wrote, “On a recent trip to Crater Lake, Ore. we took off the rain fly as there was no chance of rain and were able to gaze at the Milky Way, and saw many shooting stars through the rain fly. It was magical.”


While I won’t go so far as to say I sleep as soundly in the woods (after all, it’s home to bugs, bears, and Bigfoot) as I do at home, I definitely don’t have any complaints when it comes to this tent. This shopper summed up how I feel. “This tent was inexpensive, easy to set up, held up in rainy weather, and was easy to take down. I highly recommend it.”

If you’re looking for an affordable five-star adult-sized fort you can enjoy three out of four seasons (and set up without uttering a single four-letter word), the Coleman Sundome Camping Tent is the tent for you. Pro tip: if you want to keep the inside clean — and keep unwanted critters out — invest in this best-selling unwelcome mat.

If you’re still on the hunt for a the perfect tent, there are plenty of quality, highly rated choices at Amazon, whether you’re looking to hold two, four, six, or eight people. Read on for some of my favorites, including a Coleman 8-person family tent that’s 63 percent off right now!





At the time of publishing, the price started at $70.

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