Coleman Weathermaster 6XL BlackOut Air Tent!
When we first started camping as a family I would say we were rather fair weather. We had none of the right gear which would have made it hard to be anything else and actually, I wouldn’t say it was always an enjoyable experience. Camping is cheap and family friendly but there are certain things you do need to make an initial outlay for in order to make a stay worthwhile and a tent, the right tent, is paramount. Especially if you are holidaying with small children!
We have tried out several Coleman tents in the past to review for the blog and one thing they all have in common is their patented technology for BlackOut bedrooms – my word these are a game changer when it comes to camping with children and I can honestly say that my children sleep better in a tent purely as a result of these rooms. Amazing! We have tested out some bigger tents and smaller family tents too and while they each have merits that I still stand by I have to say the one we have most recently tried is by far, streets and villages ahead of any other. The Coleman Weathermaster 6XL BlackOut Air Tent, (£1,099.99) has quite literally changed the face of camping for me!
So, packing up a car for camping with a family of five (soon to be six – this is not lost on me) is no quick trick. You have to be methodical and even with a huge boot like ours (we have a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso) we find we need a top box and have to pack the foot wells too. Camping means taking EVRYTHING with you so EVERYTHING needs to be chosen wisely and like I said, starting with the best tent you can find is the way forward. For us this is the very best we have found. Now look, if you want techy advise on this tent I will tell you further on down as the Coleman website has all the info and I will give you the points from it but what you really need, as a family in search of a decent family tent to make camping easier, is the opinion of a Mum, speaking as a Mum and reviewing after having used with three children. And this tent is the one!
Air tents have been something I’ve looked longingly at on every single camping trip we have ever been on. They looked SO easy and seemed so much less hassle but I always wondered if their merits would reflect the inflated price tag as they are very definitely more expensive. Now, having used this Weathermaster 6XL BlackOut Air tent and I can confirm yes. YES THEY DO! Save up, buy one and you will not regret it. My husband put this tent up on his own (I’m not proud to have not helped but someone needed to watch the baby) in 20 minutes. TWENTY! It was not hard work, he was not exhausted at the end of it, he didn’t get annoyed at any point… It just went UP! With ease. The pump comes with it and the hardest part was locating where the valves were on a tent that wasn’t up yet – that was all us not the tent as it was pretty obvious!
So first you have to lay the tent out, peg the four corners down (it comes with substantial pegs) and then do the inflation. Literally each chamber took a minute or so and with only 4 to do all that was left was to leg down all the guy ropes. SUPER EASY PEASY! We were very lucky with dry weather but will invest in the Coleman Weathermaster 6XL footprint as it does protect the bottom of the tent and makes the porchway area have something under foot – currently this has a saving of £5 and is priced at £59.99.
I think for us with three children already and this time next year a fourth, we just needed a tent that was big enough so we knew it would have to be big in the bag as well. I will admit I hadn’t been expecting it to be as big as it is inside the bag and that was a bit of a shock but the good thing is it’s quite square and fits easily into the boot. It didn’t take up ALL the room and a much smaller boot like the one of our Vauxhall Corsa could have taken it but in that case it would probably fill the entire space. It is however not very heavy and it’s on wheels so easy to move. My initial gasps at the size are now very relaxed because I’ve seen what this beauty can do – it’s worth canning some other things if you need to make space for this tent. Obviously we have a big car so we didn’t have to compromise on other things either but I would have done if necessary. If necessary I’d have left Jonny behind (although he is handy for the pitching and set up)!
We had a great holiday in the Weathermaster 6XL BlackOut Air tent and of course those BlackOut bedrooms do make a world of difference. None of my children were awake before 8am which is brilliant for all of us as we were well rested despite two out of three air beds – this is what I mean about buying cheap and buying twice – going down!
We had an absolutely top time camping made all the better and easier by this tent which for the take down, no word of a lie, also took 20 minutes – including folding it up and seamlessly putting it back in the bag. We had many admiring glances as the tent went up and quite a few people sidled over to look at the pitch during and after but we had by far the most amount of comments about how easily it went down, folded up and slipped easily back into the bag. Camping is a lot of fun but hard work either side with packing, prepping and then de-camping with all the washing and tidying away. Putting down a tent is a hassle we hate but this one won’t ever be dreaded. Single handedly pitched and packed away – not sure there’s many 6 man tents you can say that about. The air tent element makes this an absolute dream!
The New Weathermaster 6XL Air sits mid range in the Weathermaster Air collection – perfectly equipped for a great family camping holiday boasting the same great range of quality features as the smaller 4XL and quick pitching FastPitch™ Air technology for a secure structure. The polyester flysheet has a 4500mm HH performance that is more than equal to the rain and the integrated groundsheet will provide a dry, draught and bug free environment.
A tunnel tent design with two spacious living areas provide space to relax for all the family, with large windows providing great views and zipped window shades providing adjustable privacy. Should more living space be preferred, the end bedroom can be removed to free up space. A large porch area features a flexible door that can be fully zipped back giving you the option of extending your living space outdoors, or fully zipped in to offer maximum protection from the elements, with a vertical front living area wall ensuring internal space usage can be maximised.
A useful side entrance features an eyebrow canopy for flexible wet weather entry, whilst high and low ventilation combine to reduce the risk of condensation within the tent. A barrier free access system allows for unimpeded access in and out of the front of the tent and sturdy storm straps provide extra stability during poorer weather.
BlackOut Bedroom® technology can be found to the rear of the tent, comfortably sleeping six persons in the XXL bedrooms which feature a zipped divider allowing a bedroom to be removed to increase space. BlackOut Bedrooms® block up to 99% of daylight from entering the sleeping area, helping you get a longer and more restful sleep – whatever time of day. The BlackOut Bedroom® can also be keep you up to 5°C cooler during the day and up to 1°C warmer during the night, helping to manage the temperature.
Innovative features include cable entry, a lantern hanging point and useful storage pockets in the living area, helping you to keep your living space well organised.
And the spec:
|Tent Size||6 Person Tent|
|Material||WeatherTec™ Polyester PU coated, HH 4500mm with Taped Seams, UV Guard™ (SPF50), Fire Retardant.|
|Groundsheet||PE, welded, fully integrated, with rainsquirts|
|Poles||FastPitch™ Air technology – five inflatable poles for simple inflation & deflation / Side canopy pole|
|Pitching Time||10 – 20 Minutes|
|Includes||Carry bag, manual pump & pegs.|
|Open Dimension||450 x 665cm (W x D – Floorplan Size)|
|Pack Size||78 x 58 x 53cm|
We loved this tent and all that she gifted us for the easiest family camping holiday we have had to date. Mega easy is the overriding feature that tells me all I need to know and we cannot wait to use her again in a couple of weeks time when we go to Southwold. I did a mini time lapse of the pitch on my stories this trip but will do another one for my Instagram grid next time – watch this space!
Lastly, my top ten camping tips for families:
- As well as that cereal trick pack lots of individually sealed snacks like pain au chocolate and brioche. Hungry kids are no fun at camp.
- When we cook we use the Campingaz Party Grill which you can cook anything on including pizza, BBQ and simply making the tea!
- Freeze your food (milk, bacon, water etc) and use it as slowly defrosting ice packs in the ice box!
- Take real pillows – no explanation necessary!
- A dustpan and brush is necessary
- Pack clothes methodically and give each person a plastic box with them in order of how they will be worn! Pack the boxes inside each other in the car with the clothes in one big bag then decant on the unpack for organisation!
- Pack spare batteries – lights and torches!
- Remember the little bits like bin bags, washing up liquid (and a scourer) and a bottle/can opener!
- Buy a potty – doesn’t matter how old your kids are!
- Book an electric pitch and buy a cable – that way you can take your hair straighteners (or other things which might benefit everyone else like a toaster, phone charger and electric cool box – but still, hair straighteners are a good pack)!
Our Weathermaster 6XL BlackOut Air Tent featured was gifted to us from Coleman.