The problem with tents is that somebody, at some time in the distant past, decided that the best way to measure the damn things was to state how many average-sized chaps could lie shoulder to shoulder in the sleeping space. What that doesn’t indicate is any sort of real-world information on what a tent is actually sized for. It’s frustrating for us at GearWeAre, and I can only imagine that it drives tent manufacturers up the wall.
So, the Galileo 5 will physically fit 5 chaps for a nice night’s sleep, providing that they’re not claustrophobic, flatulent or uneasy in each other’s intimate company. But… For those of us who live in the real world it will be a good fit for a couple with a pair of smelly dogs, a young family or a pair of campers who like to sleep separately but are happy to share a tent.
It’s a nice big tent. It’s tall and feels roomy, with massive windows and enough space inside the living quarters that the wife and I can actually survive a weekend’s camping without me “being in the way” too often.
The sleeping quarters comprise of a separate inner section with two zippered doors. Each side is big enough for a double mattress, and they’re separated by a vanity mesh. Be warned that if you’re sharing the tent with a couple of the aforementioned smelly dogs or children, the vanity mesh isn’t zippered in, and cold noses and sticky fingers can easily reach under and join you for very early morning cuddles.
The remainder of the space is gargantuan for a 5-man tent. It’s easily big enough for 6 camping chairs and a game of poker, or a proper table setup. In real world terms it’s also plenty big enough for husbands to stay out of the way quite effectively too.
And the sewn-in groundsheet is very effective at keeping rising moisture out, and easy enough to wipe off if you get it muddy.
The Galileo 5 is accessed by a side door, which is the grey portion on our first photo. It’s a nice wide door with chunky, positive zipper. Being on a tunnel-shaped tent, it does let rain in if it’s open though.
And for when the weather is clement, or last night’s dinner was Stagg Chilli, there’s a massive end door which rolls up or props up on poles (not included) to become an awning. We had this as the main door during use, and the only potential reason against this is the enormous bucket-lip at the bottom being a bit of a trip-hazard.
Battening down the hatches is easy and no rain got in except when we forgot to close the bottom of the big door.
A small hatch for power leads is placed next to the door so you can properly shut all those zippers when needed. And plenty of large ventilation ducts have been built in to keep a breeze through even with the thing shut-up tight.
So, on paper, all is good with the Galileo 5. Except for one small issue, that it. Pitching is a massive pain in the backside.
Firstly, the poles themselves are OK, but the elastic in them is fairly weak, so the sections separate easily – always when they’re deep within the tent’s sleeve.
And then once they’re in, the Tunnel design just wants to collapse on itself, meaning that 1-man pitching is a lesson in frustration, and 2-man pitching involves placing and re-placing every single peg at least once. And God forbid you should trip over the main guy-line at each end, because the whole thing collapses on itself.
Oh, and since it’s so well built, a vacuum forms inside the tent that, unless you’ve left the doors open, means that pulling it up using the poles is substantially difficult.
Perhaps I just wasn’t in a pitching mood at the time, but it just seemed to be more difficult than other tents of its size.
So, in conclusion… the Coleman Galileo 5 is a great little family tent, with oodles of room and height. It’s built well, has a nice liveable-in quality and isn’t a bad price for a solid tent. If you can live with the slightly erksome pitching, then it’ll do you well.
Price: £299 rrp (much cheaper online)