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REPOST: Owner Review - Coleman Rock Springs 8-Person Tent

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  • dalejenhedrick
    Ok, so I m going to try this again - I got some help and now it should work - not gorgeous, but close enough. I m also working to get the spaces removed from
    Message 1 of 1 , May 26, 2005
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      Ok, so I'm going to try this again - I got some help and now it
      should work - not gorgeous, but close enough. I'm also working to
      get the spaces removed from my HTML version, and am going to try to
      have a revision posted to the test folder sometime tonight. Thanks
      for bearing with me on this one.
      ~ Dale

      Owner Review - Coleman Rock Springs 8-Person Tent

      Reviewer Information:
      Name: Dale Hedrick
      Age: 25 years old
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6 feet 2 inches (1.8 meters)
      Weight: 275 pounds (125 kilograms)
      Email Address: dhedrick AT wi DOT rr DOTcom
      City, State, Country: Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
      Date: May 11, 2005

      Backpacking Background:
      I have been camping my entire life - only sporadically as a child,
      but over the past 4 years I have been camping more and more. I am
      married and have 2 young children who often accompany me on my
      trips, so we generally car camp and I take dayhikes from there,
      although I am starting to take more weekend backpacking trips too.
      We car camp at least once a month, and I try to make it backpacking
      at least once a month as well. I also hike on local trails from 5-
      10 miles (8-16 kilometers) 1-2 times per week - about half of the
      time with a 30 pound (13.6 kilogram) pack. I consider myself a
      lightweight backpacker, but will never be ultralight because I
      refuse to give up many of the amenities that I enjoy. Most of my
      current camping/backpacking is done in the Wisconsin State Parks on
      relatively flat land. Temperatures generally range from 32 degrees
      Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). Most
      of my backpacking is done between April and October, with an average
      temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius).

      Product Information:
      Manufacturer Coleman
      Year of Manufacture 2004
      Manufacturer's Website www.coleman.com
      Listed Weight 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms)
      Actual Weight 31.2 pounds (14.2 kilograms)

      Product Description:
      Occupancy 8 person tent
      Rooms 4 rooms & a screened porch (total 5
      - 3 doors to the outside
      Material 185T polyester, 1000D polyethylene
      Poles Fiberglass
      Listed Dimensions (Open) 72 inches (183 centimeters)H x 204
      inches (518centimeters)W
      x 168 inches (427centimeters)
      Actual Dimensions (Packed) 11 inches (28 centimeters)H x 23
      inches (58 centimeters)W
      x 13 inches(33 centimeters)D

      Field Information:
      I have used this tent as my family's sole tent for the past 10
      months. During this time we have camped in southeastern Wisconsin
      on numerous occasions and throughout the rest of the state a few
      times. The terrain has been very similar every time - level,
      slightly rocky terrain. It has been used in beautiful 70 degree
      Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) weather, in downpours when it was only 40
      degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius), and pretty much anything in between.

      My biggest concern when first considering this tent was the weight -
      at over 30 pounds (14 kilograms), it truly is a beast. I would
      never consider using this tent for anything but camping when a
      vehicle was within 2 miles (3 1/4 kilometers) of the campground -
      any further and it would be too much of a burden to make it
      worthwhile. While this tent packs down small for its size, it is
      still a monster and will take up a large part of any pack. Due to
      the sheer space that this tent takes up, it often requires a
      separate trip to the car. The only time that I would even consider
      taking this tent further than a few miles would be if I was using it
      at a base camp for an extended (a month or longer) trip, but even
      then I would favor just using lightweight tents or hammocks. I've
      been able to park within ΒΌ mile (1/2 kilometer) of our campsite each
      time I've used it, so the weight was not much of an issue so far.
      The biggest selling point for us on this tent was the size - while
      there are only 4 of us who use this tent regularly, it is nice to
      have some extra space in case the kids have friends that tag along.
      It is also very nice for me to have a tent that is tall enough that
      I can stand up inside with no effort. While the tent doesn't stay
      at full height for the entire inside of the tent, the taper to
      shorter heights is very gradual, ending at approximately 60 inches
      (1.5 meters) high where the walls drop down - this is high enough to
      be comfortable while moving around just about anywhere inside. This
      tent met all of my criteria for choosing a family car camping tent,
      and then some.

      The second concern was how difficult setup would be. I
      am "technically challenged" to begin with, and I have had a very
      hard time setting up large family-style tents in the past. Imagine
      my terror when we realized that the instructions had not been
      included with our tent! Quite honestly, I was amazed with the setup
      of this tent. It definitely requires two people to set it up, but
      for the two of us, it was a breeze - from opening the tent to having
      it fully set up took us less than 5 minutes. A true testament to
      the ease of set up is that even with 6 poles and a huge tent, we had
      no trouble even without any directions.

      If there were to be a dictionary definition of torture testing a
      family tent, having two young & rambunctious children spend an
      entire weekend in it while it is cold and raining would probably be
      at the top of the list. This is exactly what happened to us on one
      trip. The floor is a bathtub style floor where it extends up the
      sides of the tent for a short distance so that the seams are not
      directly on the ground where they might end up sitting in puddles of
      water, and this worked out wonderfully for us - there was no leaking
      of any sort through the whole ordeal, and there was no shortage of
      toys (and children) bouncing off the walls, and fingers leaving
      smudges on the fabric - it stayed comfortable and put up with as
      much abuse as we could give it. Another blessing was the screened
      porch, which is basically a jumbo fly screen made of no-see-um
      netting that drops to the ground, but is designed to be staked in
      the corners which creates two walls and a door with a zipper up the
      center. The porch does not have a floor, but simply relies on
      flashing at the bottom of the walls to make contact with the ground
      and help keep out water and ground bugs. This is pretty effective
      for bugs, and while it didn't keep 100% of the water off the ground,
      it stopped the ground from becoming a large mud puddle like the rest
      of our campsite, which meant that the inside of our tent stayed
      pretty dry with minimal mud being tracked in. There is a fullly
      zippered door to access the tent from the porch, which can be tied
      back for easy entry, but does not have a no-see-um netting layer to
      allow for ventilation while still having the tent closed off from
      the porch. Not only have the material and seams (which come factory
      sealed) held up wonderfully to water, but the fabric has
      demonstrated its durability by withstanding the abuses of children
      playing inside the tent, and also playing with sticks swinging
      towards it on the outside. Another added bonus is that there are a
      plethora of mesh pockets inside, so there is no lack of storage for
      anything that I want to have at my fingertips. This tent allows for
      fantastic ventilation, as there are three doors. The main door
      provides ventilation only when unzipped to access the porch, but the
      other two doors have a half-zip option that allows for the top to be
      opened which lets plenty of air through the no-see-um netting.
      Since there are doors on three different sides, if they are all
      opened there is wonderful cross ventilation. All of the tabs for
      the windows & doors have worked flawlessly. They are long enough to
      easily work them, and I have had no problems with them loosening
      themselves or allowing the tied back portion to droop. Unlike many
      tents with multiple rooms, this tent has removable walls, which
      allows us to divide the tent into as many (or as few) rooms as we
      would like. The walls are attached using tabs similar to the ones
      used to hold the doors open, and secure in place quite well. While
      there is the possibility to divide the tent up into 4 rooms, we
      usually only set it up with 2 rooms and occassionally 3 rooms - it
      is very nice to have this added flexability to make rooms different
      sizes depending on the circumstances.

      Overall, this tent is fantastic - there are only a few small
      downsides. First, and most obviously is the weight, but that's the
      price I pay to have a huge tent to sleep in, and for me it is worth
      it when car camping with my entire family. Second, there is no
      screen to zip around the primary entrance, as the screen porch
      serves that purpose - I would much prefer to have a second screen so
      that the screen porch could be tied open, or so that I could sleep
      with only the screen zipped shut, but not let in the few bugs that
      might crawl under the porch. Another problem, which is only an
      issue when camping in cold weather, is that because of the sheer
      size of this tent, it can be quite chilly. This has not been much
      of an issue for me, as I am more than happy to put on more clothes
      if I am cold at night, but is definately something to be aware of.
      Finally, the stakes that are provided with the tent do not hold up
      well. They are nail type stakes (6 inch (.15 meters) steel if I
      remember correctly), and they are very prone to bending in the rocky
      soil that covers most of Wisconsin, but since I have had this
      problem with ALL of my previous tents, I was prepared and brought my
      preferred heavy duty plastic stakes (Reliance Power Peg - 9 inch
      (.23 meters)) along just in case they bent. My only other complaint
      is that the tent is advertised as a 4 room, 8 person tent, but it is
      really sized that it should be a 3 room, 6 person tent. It could
      accommodate 8 people, but would not be comfortable at that size
      except for sleeping, and with a tent this large I need everyone to
      be able to be active inside in the event of bad weather. Based on
      the way tents are sized, the listed capacity seems accurate - for 8
      people to be able to be active inside a tent, I know that I would
      need to purchase a 10-12 person tent. This is the exact reason that
      I chose this 8 person tent when we never have more than 6 people
      (and usually only 4).

      While this tent will never be my only tent (it's too heavy to even
      be considered for a weekend backpacking trip), it will remain my
      only car camping tent for as long as it lasts. It has proven to be
      the perfect match for my family, and has been extremely durable. At
      a glance, this tent looks like it has only been used once or twice
      even after 10 months of steady use because it has held up so well -
      in reality it's seen a great deal of use, but is still in near
      perfect condition. I have had no problems with zippers or with the
      material/seams fraying/tearing, and I have no reason to expect any.
      I am very pleased with the quality and durability that this tent has
      demonstrated to this point.
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