5 September 2018

REVIEW: Coleman Event Shelter

Finding shelter

At time of writing, the blazing-hot summer of 2018 has finally lost its bite and we can feel the refreshing chill of autumn in the air. Although we're not usually ones to pick out any one item from our back catalogue of reviews, we have to say that one of the best things we were sent this summer was the portable gazebo from Aldi's Camping Range. being able to whip up a quick sun shelter when enjoying the summer weather was life-saving, and definitely something we'll continue to use. However, that was small and pretty flimsy - what if you need some tough sun and weather shelter for your whole family? Easy, you get a Coleman Event Shelter.

Coleman have, over the years, become our go-to camping specialists. Only a couple of months ago we reviewed their beefy Valdes 6L Inflatable Tent which was hugely impressive, and more recently we've been enjoying (or rather sheltering from) the last of the summer sun beneath their equally large Event Shelter 3x3. As you might have guessed, it's so named as you really could hold a small event under there.

With a footprint of 3.6 metres square, and head height of well over two metres, this thing is a lot larger than the portable one from Aldi. Whereas that could be erected in a heartbeat, this chunky monkey actually requires some assembly, and those included steel poles are neither light nor small. 

Constructed from a central cross section and four curving arches, the Coleman Event Shelter, once up, is far more rigid and secure than your average tent - even tents from Coleman themselves. The cover sheet, which, as you might expect, is open on all four sides, hooks to the feet of the frame and can be tightened to keep the entire structure as sturdy as possible. Combine that with pegs which can pin those feet down, and guy ropes to fasten it to the ground to prevent against wind issues, and you might consider moving into it permanently (especially because Coleman also separately sells walls to turn it into a full-blown tent).

The cover sheet is both water and UV proof, so this is just as useful in a downpour as it is in the middle of the desert, and there is an air vent at the very top (although Coleman advise against cooking under it. Coz fires). And, thanks to the light colouring, light is let in to keep the sheltered area well-lit and still feeling very much like the outside.

The process of getting this thing erect (tee hee) is actually surprisingly simple, and once done, it is an easy routine to follow. The whole thing comes in a carry bag, although due to the 15.5kg weight, we can't recommend you carry it very far. As you might assume, this has been designed purely for garden and camping deployment, and of course the likes the school fairs and church fetes. We can easily see little old ladies setting up a stall under one of these, selling their knitted wares. Bless 'em.

To test the blighter, we took it camping. Although the aforementioned Coleman Valdes 6L tent has a front canopy, setting up the Events Shelter before it, or just to the side, expanded our living area hugely; both as a sun block during the days, and as a shelter under which to eat dinner at night. However, the room it took up in the boot was quite significant, so if space is a premium, you might have to leave it at home.

But, it'll be well used there at least. For garden parties, play parties, and even for setting up to provide a touch of shelter from a raining day while gardening or building, it was great. Even as we enter the colder, less-outsidey months, the Coleman Event Shelter would be a sound investment for extending the time in which you can have fun in the wild.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk


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