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Tent Reviews: Coleman Instant 4

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Coleman  >  Instant 4 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
4  (more 4 berth tents)
19.50 KG
Fully Sewn-in
Pop up
Average User Rating:
5.24/10 from 21 reviews

Viewed: 68142 times

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21 Reviews of the Instant 4         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3  

By: Andredup  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Downgraded my review of 2014. Two resin elbow joints snapped at different times (I made replacement ones with ply and bolts ,and the telescopic arms jammed( A devil's own job to unjam them at home),fortunately after the camping trip.Maybe it was because over enthusiastic amateurs were tasked with striking and folding the tent ,but if an outdoor item is not trooper proof and repairable in the field it is useless. I see that this tent (the large one ,not the smaller instant tourer appears to be discontinued by Coleman.
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By: Mgjackson  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

My tent which is 2 years old is now about to go down the dump after its second outing on a holiday.

We spent a week in Normandy by the coast, and it survived some quite gusty wind conditions, however, over the week, 2 of the 3 zips on the door broke and when we came to take it down, one of the bolts that connect to the central spider snapped and we couldn't use the tent for the second part of our holiday.

I've just been trying to repair it and what has happened is that most of the poles have twisted, either bending the bolts that hold them or tearing the metal around the holes which means the tent won't hold itself upright while you try to erect it.

I think the lesson here is avoid tents that are overly clever - stick to poles and canvas and you can't go too far wrong :-)
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By: Mushed  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Just left a review for the Outwell tomcat mp, which I've just bought, but the reason I just bought it was because of this one . The Coleman instant :(

I go camping on my own with the kids, I also hate poles . So when I saw this tent I had to have it!

I got it!

First trip out, amazing! easy to put up, very spacious! . Loads of head room! . I couldn't fault it, I thought this was the tent I would have for years .

2nd trip . One of the leg 'knuckles' snapped, the plastic casing literally snapped in half. Not to worry though, the gaffa tape did the trick, held it together nicely and again . Great tent

3rd trip, Everything great again, put more gaffa tape on the snapped knuckle, went up fine. Rained and rained on this trip which was the start of the problem . I had to pack a wet tent. On arriving home I got it out to dry and this is where it went wrong, completely wrong . A leg twisted, another fell and ripped the canvas, the poles got stuck and wouldn't unclick . With much help I managed to get it partly away but that was it . Love affair over .

This tent is great when it does what it's supposed to do, but when it goes wrong it's a disaster, one thing leads to another and before you know it you're stuck with a tent that won't budge up or down . For that I give it 5, it's no good if you go camping on your own with kids. I was going to tip the tent, but knew someone who was looking for one who was a lot more 'hands on' than me . They did actually manage to get through to Coleman, explain the problem (be told it's very common for the knuckles and screws to fail)and get more parts sent to them . They could fix it and hopefully it will be used again. BUT like I say, it's not for someone who wants to get out with the kids and have an easy time of it . I'm hoping the tomcat is the one for that!
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By: Mgjackson  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

When this tents fold-out mechanisms work, its pretty impressive, when its goes wrong, you're battling a many legged beasty.

We used ours in France last year, and the French family who were having their lunch as we rolled up were astounded (gaping open mouthed, pretty gross as they were eating, as well as them being French :-) ) that within a minute I had a standing tent.

It survived a heavy torrential down pour, the only problem was that I had left the lower zip on the door open and so the outer tent because of the sown in groundsheet was flooded. The door is pretty fiddly because its 3 zips and not one continuous one.

When we came to pack away, I got changed into my going home clothes, but the only way to get it back into its bag is basically to jump on it to squeeze all the air out. This meant I got covered in dirt. So bit of a flaw there.

Where trouble with this tent lies is that is that the poles slide into themselves and either the pole gets twisted or come under tension and so jam. The locking mechanism can also be very stiff. The secret is not to force it as that will break something. If you've done 5 legs and the 6th sticks, you've also got a large billowy unstable tent to contend with.

On the whole, the tent is pretty good, and the concept is there - Good for a weekend camping and even when it's being difficult it goes up quicker than a normal tent.
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By: Andredup  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Bought one in March 2013 despite reviews (or rather,my wife bought one since she liked the tent ). I would rather have made my own design tent !

Have used the tent 4 times last year,once setting it up in very rainy and gusty (40mph + ) conditions - I had to tether the tent while setting it up.

So far have had no problems with the tent ,spent a total of 12 nights in it . Spacious sleeping compartments-able to take my Laguna Xl and wife's standard camp beds in sleeping compartment as well as camp table,chairs and cooking equip in outer compartment.

Like all tents , if it says 4 man-it sleeps 2 in comfort with camp beds etc

Set up time -about 20-30 minutes -but we practised in back yard.

No condensation problems found in inner sleeping compartment and opening the vents and mesh in outer compartment seemed to obviate it there.

Used a heavy duty green tarp from toolstation as a footprint, so had no underfloor moisture problems.

A reasonable tent, a tad heavy -but overall a good purchase, I think
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By: Rapide  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Bought tent then saw reviews, oh dear I've made a big mistake. We opened and erected at home all was ok . We went to Yorkshire coast this weekend. Pitching - once you have put it up previously its fast. We have had no issues with faulty legs canvas etc. The weather was awful, 50 mph gusts, heavy rain, others had problems but we were fine. Only fault was condensation and door design could be better - when raining you open the door and with sloping wall water drips in. We are very happy with the tent up to now don't foresee any problems. Look forward to next trip
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By: Mpc1  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

The concept is good and it seems to work for the smaller model, which seems to get good reviews. But the build quality vs weight of this model does not.

A hybrid of umbrella and gazebo.

I bought my one from Amazon for speed of delivery rather then cost. Great service from Amazon as ever, thats why we all shop there like it or not.

I was surprised by the weight , Unpacked it and started to set it up in the garden for a dry run. The only instructions, as with most tents was sewn into the bag. Which I followed as well as I could, given that they were fairly basic.

Laid the tent out lifted the central column which is a bit like a helicopter rotor.

Extended the top part of the frame till it clicked in place on all legs,

Then started to extend the lower parts of the legs at about the half way point one of the legs collapsed and the tent toppled over.

I lifted the tent back up but discovered that the pin holding the elbow joint had sheered off and broken.

I immediately called Coleman's customer service. I received an initial cold response saying that I should contact Amazon if there was a problem with the tent. I wasn't going to be fobbed off so I explained that I needed the tent for the weekend. They said that it sounded like customer error, 'Had I watched the youtube videos showing how to erect the tent?' No I said , I expected instructions to come with the tent.

'There was a company who supplied spare parts in Lancashire, however they had no stock as they were waiting for them (Colemans) to supply new parts.'

I could see that this was something I could fix with a nut and bolt but as the Coleman's rep agreed this would invalidate my Guarantee. Plus I had just spent £280 on a tent which had broken on the first attempt at putting it up.

He gave me the number of the SW England sales rep , Who could explain to me how I had put up the tent incorrectly.

I called first Lancashire Sports Repairs who supply Coleman's after sales. Who were fantastic! and got a spare to me the very next day despite being out of stock and took it to the post office personally.

The Coleman sales rep phoned me back, later the next day. Told me how great the tent was , how they had had one up out side head office all year long with no problems. Reiterated that it sounded like customer error agreed that the instructions with the tent were not very good but crucially that they expected that the dealer would demonstrate how to erect the tent in the show room!

I pointed out that like it or not we now but every thing on line, and they should provide proper written instructions on how to put it up and what if there is no WIFI where I'm camping?

Fair point and He said that I should put in a warranty request for a new frame for customer services. (Even though they were out of stock.)

I didn't bother mentioning that I already had a spare joint. However when I returned to the tent I found that another pin had sheered of and another leg was broken dismantling the tent was impossible and I ended up removing the tent from the frame as the only way to get it folded back up.

The tent is now awaiting collection by Amazon for a refund, and I had a wonderful weekend camping in a 4 man pop up tent cost £69 from Halfords, which I can sling over my shoulder.
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By: Cjssydney  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Brilliant concept, shocking quality. Hadn't even got it up fully the FIRST time of pitching before it came apart at the seams.Quite literally. Stitching appalling. A bit gutted really since in every other respect it's absolutely perfect for me as a single woman camper. Can't go away in a ripped tent though.Returned it on the same day it got delivered :(
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By: 0ldbeemer  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Have just used the Instant 4 at Silverstone (BSB weekend).

Prior to this had it erected in the garden for 2 days during wet & windy weather. Leaked in 6 places, so I used Go Outdoors seam sealer (this turns white when wet.)The instructions are useless, and so are the various internet videos that I have seen.You need to appreciate the mechanism and give it some TLC.The metal fixings for legs, central hub etc, are poor quality and need replacing with stainless. The central hub collects water which will spill onto the tent whilst folding. Drying this tent is difficult.Big space needed.Time up is not 1 minute, more like 10mins.Time down the same.The front door arrangement will encourage rain ingress. The tension elastics are very small and put great strain on the tent fabric (suggest throw them away and attach longer similar material type), more so because the tent and frame are not well matched for height/width. The middle legs on my version are about 50mm short of the ground, so have to be staked down and this increases stress.Keep 8 of the metal tent pegs to stake the legs down - throw away the rest and buy some good plastic ones.The velcro attached pieces that erect the vents will bend to nought after a while, and the roof vent allows rain ingress in windy weather.Inner tent attached to outer by plastic snap links which require big effort. The guy lines supplied will swell after rain and become difficult to use.Plenty of room, good window design. The space/cost equation needs to be considered.This is a lot of tent for £250, and I guess it will do 2 seasons which is not unreasonable IMHO.
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By: Avojones  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

This tent is a toy! I wouldn't recommend committing to a holiday in it without at least some modifications.

It's debut and only trip so far (Dorset), culminated in catastrophic failure. On our 4th and final night the wind and rain did pick up a fair bit but not in a way that ought to threaten a quality tent.

During the early hours one of the corners ripped away from the peg tearing the fabric attachment. This was temporarily repaired to see us through the night. Then a couple of hours later two of the arms tore themselves from the central hub resulting in an alarming collapse, whereupon we chose to evacuate! We bundled everything into the car and set for home in a slight state of shock, not to mention embarrassment. All the other tents present including childrens ones were fine.

We have enjoyed camping all over the place including the Highlands and Islands in worse weather and lesser equipment with no such issues.

So much for Coleman's wind tunnel testing - they must have turned the fan down for this one!

PJ Camping (St. Albans) showed no sympathy only stating their demo had been up for a long time without any problems. (Yes, in a protected enclosure surrounded by other tents.) Then suggested I contact Coleman.

This I did but they had their excuses ready saying it's not guaranteed against extreme weather. (Which it wasn't)

Sensing I was on a loser I elected to repair/modify.

I have now replaced all the puny screw-in steel pins at the joints with larger diameter stainless steel nuts and bolts at a cost of less than £15. If only Coleman had done the same.

I do like this tent and hope now I can use it with some confidence.

Wish me luck!
5 from 5 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

21 User Reviews of the Instant 4 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3  

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Manufacturer's Description

Instant Tent™ 4
The Coleman® Instant Tent™ introduces a revolutionary technology with sturdy steel poles already connected to the tent. This spider-like structure helps to make pitching extremely fast: the tent is up in just 1 minute!
Besides spacious dark bedrooms the Instant Tent™ size 4 provides a large protected living area, large (selfrolling) windows and high quality fabrics with super-strong weather proofing.

Steel poles
• 1 min Pitch-in-one
• Sewn-in groundsheet
• 3000 mm fabric
• Rain protection peak
• Wind and rain tested
• Pack size 125 x 31 cm
• Weight: 19.5 kg

... there may be more info on their website

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