9 July 2017

REVIEW: Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent

Not a rocky night's sleep.

Camping? If you're new to the adventure that is family camping, or if you're a seasoned pro looking for a new home from home, we're here to help. Recently we took to the great outdoors once again to test the single most important thing you need when camping (other than good mobile internet signal), a tent. We review the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent.

We're no strangers to the tents made from Coleman, and in fact this summer is our third in a row for testing a family sleeper from them (previous ones include this and this). We were expecting something not only comfortable to spend a couple of days in, but also innovative and convenient to erect. And that's exactly what we got.

However, compared to the Cortes Octagon 8 and Fastpitch Air Valdes 6 linked above, the Rocky Mountain 5 Tent is actually the smallest of the three. At first we thought this might be an issue, as it's always nicer to have more space when camping, right? But the testament to good tent design is how that space is used, and this one seems to nail it. At least that is what we think, after spending 55 hours living in it with kids.

The Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent is a five-person tent. It is essentially split into two compartments; the bedroom section and the main living space. The bedroom part can actually be split up further with an internal divider, so you can have two rooms, one for three, and the other for two campers. Also, the bedroom section, which is a separate part that clips onto the inside of the main tent shell, is one of Coleman's awesome 'black-out bedrooms', which we enjoyed on last year's tent. The black fabric blocks about 95% of daylight, and also helps to regulate the temperature.

We found this was most useful in the morning, especially in summer, when the sun starts shining at about 4am here in the UK. It also meant that the night time temperature in the bedroom was about 1 degree warmer than in a standard tent, and also cooler during the day - the vent at the back of the tent also helped with this.

Warning: pathetic jokes incoming! Getting it up was easy (tee hee), and we found that the erection (tee hee) process took only ten or so minutes. It wasn't hard at all (tee hee), and we barely had to follow the instruction sheet sewn into the tent's bag. Once we had grabbed our poles (tee hee) we discovered that they were colour-coded, making it a simple job of slipping them in (tee hee) to the correct mesh folds. Also, all packed away in the carry bag, the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent was refreshingly light - certainly compared to the Air Valdes 6, and also a lot smaller than the Cortes Octagon, which required a wheeled carrier.

In the living area you have the main door and also a side door. Both have an inner mesh cover, and also a waterproof outer cover. There is also a large window on the other side, which uses a toggle-sealing cover for privacy. There are a couple of smaller windows by the front door, also using covers. With everything open, the space is bright and breezy and offers more than enough space for furniture, cooking equipment, and the bags and clothing for five people.

Set between the two doors to the bedroom section (which have half-opening mesh sections for ventilation) are several handy pockets, and above this a hook for a lantern. The position of this hook is the only negative we felt about the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent, as it is directly above one of the pockets, and so any lantern you hang there will pressed against both the pocket and whatever you've put in it. There isn't really any other spot in the tent from which this hook could feasibly hang, so fair enough. But it was the only thing that we didn't like.

But that is small when compared to the great couple of nights we had in there. The black-out bedrooms are incredible, and we found ourselves retreating there a few times during the day when the sun was just a tad too hot to handle. And, as that section is something you install, there is a double ground sheet, so insulation from the cold ground below at night was fantastic.

So although it doesn't boast any kind of gimmick such as glamping or inflatable tubes, the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Tent is probably our favourite so far from those guys. Subtle innovations, small size when packed up, and a truly comfortable night's sleep make this an excellent choice for your camping adventures.

Around £269

Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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