Are you the type of couple or family who get on really well? Nothing comes between you, and you work as one. All smiles and joy, and happiness as a family. Until you get to the campsite and it all goes horrifically wrong as dad can’t work out the poles, mum can’t get the guylines unknotted. The kids are sulking. And the dog was last seen peeing on someones caravan.
Well, if that’s you, then take a look at Coleman’s Instant 5 tent. This weekend camper has been designed to let you keep those smiles, and get the thing pitched, positioned and perfect in less time than it takes the dog to go and roll in fox poo.
I’m a big fan of Coleman’s instant tents. They work on pre-assembled telescopic poles and a central pivoting hinge, so all you need to do when you get to the campsite is spread the tent out on the floor, pull the centre hinge up off the floor, and extend the telescopic legs until they click in to place. Then you simply spread the legs until the tent is nice and taught, and peg it down. No fuss, no repositioning.
However, the Instant 5 is strictly a car-camping tent. Those sturdy telescopic poles bring the weight up and you wouldn’t want to consider backpacking or bicycle touring with this bad-boy. It’s also a single-skin tent, which means that it’s suitable for British Summer use. In the colder days of Spring or Autumn you’d get chilly without the insulating effect of a liner.
That said, the Instant 5 is designed for the typical British Summer – it’s waterproof to 4000mm, which is enough to keep out the strongest of rain.
Size wise, it’s a 5-man tent – which is to say that 5 men could lay shoulder to shoulder inside. In practical terms we had a double airbed in there, and there was loads of space around the edges for bags, a dog bed, socks, empty bottle of tonic water and grass that we’d trodden in from the field outside. It would be suitable for a 1-child family comfortably, or 2 young ones at a push.
The Instant is a cracking little Summer weekender, which will give you more drinking time, less stress, and more room than many other tents of the same size. I’d love it to have a second layer for those cooler British nights though.