Coleman camping gear we’re using this summer:
Carlsbad Fast-Pitch tent:
The Carlsbad tent sleeps six and includes two living spaces: a 10 x 9 ft. tented space and a 10 x 5 ft. screen room. It’s roomy vertically too, with a ceiling of 5 ft. 8 in. Families can easily spread out, with extra sleeping space in the screen room if the weather is dry, or you can use that space for a few chairs, a game of Uno, or everyone’s shoes and gear.
A few features we love: The Carlsbad features Coleman’s ‘Dark Room Technology’, which means it stays darker inside than the average tent. When you have kids with an earlier bedtime or hope that you’ll all sleep in a bit, this is golden. You also get window awnings, which is more than just a cute feature: they allow you to keep windows zippered down, even in rain, which reduces condensation in the tent. Lastly, the Carlsbad is one of Coleman’s ‘Fast Pitch’ tents, which means that for its size, it’s very easy to set up. Forget the heavy, awkward set up stage: some of the poles are pre-inserted, and it really only takes five minutes to be up and running. Buy on sale for $169 on Amazon, or grab a 4-person model for only $134.
Big N Tall cot:
We’ve really fallen in love with cot sleeping when we’re car camping. To be honest, we sleep outside on cots much of the summer. Cots are more comfortable than air mattresses for us, and sleeping off the ground simply feels like a luxury when we’re camping. The Coleman Big N Tall cot is part of their Big N Tall line, which, in our opinion, isn’t just for bigger people. The oversized cot is simply more stable and wider, which is good news for anyone. It’s designed in a military style with an X frame, and is quick to set up.
A few features we love: The design on the Big N Tall cot is a manly yet understated topography map design in sand tones. I realize a cot’s selling feature isn’t its looks, but it’s always nice to have something nice looking in your campsite! It comes in a rolling carrying case, with is really good, since this baby is heavy! Pick up the Big N Tall for $135. You can also find standard-sized Coleman cots for $79 and under.
Mountain View Screen Dome Shelter:
Coleman’s 12×12 screen dome shelter went up in our yard in May and won’t come down until August, except to go camping! We use it daily for bug-free outdoor space and outside sleeping space throughout the summer months, and it’s a wonderful addition to car camping sites when you need a bug-free zone. It has an open bottom/floor, which means you can set it up around fixed picnic tables at campsites for mosquito-free eating or card games during the twilight hour. I won’t lie: set up takes longer than for your average tent (it took us about 15 minutes) and the poles are bulky and heavy.
A few features we love: You get 50+ UPF, and the roof is waterproof (we’ve tested it extensively). You get some side-panel ‘walls’ you can drape on one or more sides if you desire, which is helpful for keeping out sun on one side, privacy, or during rain storms. If you don’t need the shelter to be screened to keep out bugs, you can zip away the attached screens to use the shelter as just a sun dome (great for sporting events). The inside height is over 7 feet, so you won’t need to duck. Pick it up for $181 on Amazon.
Conquer 200L LED Headlamp:
Sorry, flashlights, but we’ve switched entirely over to headlamps for our illumination needs while camping. We love the hands-free convenience, and the way headlamps easily convert from pathway illumination to reading lights to lanterns (just wrap one around a large plastic bottle of water). The Conquer headlamp is bulkier than we’d like for backpacking, but ideal for car camping and for kids to take to camp. It’s rugged exterior can take a beating, and the headband can be adjusted to fit just about everyone.
A few features we love: The Conquer features BatteryLock, which stops battery drain. Believe it or not, you won’t be changing out the batteries constantly! It has five modes, including high spot, high flood, low spot, low flood, and red, and lumens ranging from 200 (high spot), 150 (high flood), 70 (low spot), and 20 (low flood). You need three AAA batteries, but the LEDs never need replacing. Pick it up for just $25. There are stronger, brighter models available as well, going up to about $45, but honestly, this is all you need.