Hello friends, today we are writing to share with you our experiences with the Coleman Evanston 6 person tent. We purchased this item earlier this year, from Field and Stream, and I have to say, it is one of the better tents that we have used so far, especially for the price. Twice we have taken this tent on days where it just poured rain, and twice it kept us dry inside and out. I say out because even though it was raining the attachable awning gave us a place to sit and still enjoy the outdoors while we waited for the storm to pass. One of these storms had very high winds and the extra anchors on the front really helped to keep the awning stable.
Now there were a couple of downsides to this tent and even though we didn’t really have too much trouble it is still a concern for us. Firstly, if the awning were to ever blow off, due to winds, you would have no shelter from the rain, and all of your stuff would get soaked. This is largely due to the fact that the top of the main tent itself is all screen and the cover/awning sits slightly above the main tent on its support poles. This design also boxes much of this area in, as far as air flow is concerned, and aside from small vent holes built into the main tent, where the support poles rest, there really isn’t many places for the air to flow freely. The upside is that this design makes it harder for the wind to get underneath to rip the cover off but the downfall is that the tent also gets very humid to the point where everything inside feels damp. We suggest that you take some kind of fan, or heater, with you to help the air circulate a little easier in case you can’t open the side panels. For us the directions are the biggest complaint because this tent has three sets of different size poles, and nothing is labeled, or described, in anyway. The single page direction simply says two poles here, two poles here, and a pole here then you are left up to your own trial and error to figure out which is which.
That said, after the first time through the setup is fairly simple. We arrived at a campsite, during our second camping trip with this tent, three and a half hours away. When we arrived it was after dark, we were in the middle of nowhere, but we were still able to set the tent up in about 10-15 minutes with little more than a flashlight. The bottom of the tent is a heavier tarp type material that comes up about 4-6 inches on each side. We always put another tarp down under our tent but the first camping rainstorm it made no difference. Our tent was in about an inch of water, since the rain was so heavy, but we experienced no leaks, above or below, and everything was still dry on the inside, except for the dampness.
The inside is very spacious, we are getting older so we do like the queen size blow up mattress, and there is plenty of room, on the inside, to have one. The picture shows it directly in the middle, just for comparison, but when we set that off to the side we still have plenty of room for our gear, and enough space for an average size person to change. Packing up is a bit tricky, the carry bag is relatively small and it is very difficult to get all of the air out of the folded tent to fit it back in that bag unless the tent is upside down in the dirt. What we found works best is to just fold the tent into a large plastic contractor bag, clean it at home, let it dry on the lawn, in the sun, then fold it upside down in the grass. So far using this method we have experienced no “tent smell,” the tent remains clean, and has no leaks.
For a tent that ranges between $100.00 – $160.00 bucks we are happy with it, and we are happy to recommend it to others. We also recommend that you just be careful with it in windy areas.
-Spencer and Kimberly