Walkthrough Tour: Design and Features
The Sundome Tent is Coleman's most popular and economical dome tent and is available in 4 sizes.
Coleman has redesigned the Sundome. They have enlarged the rear ground vent and added a hood to cover it. The vent can now remain open in rain to keep the tent better ventilated.
The new colors are white over green to better blend in at the campsite.
A 3/4 rainfly covers large mesh panels on both upper sidewalls of the tent body.
A front-to-back ridge pole raises the rainfly to form a hood over the front door and back window.
The large mesh panels keep the tent comfortable on very warm evenings, when front and back windows may be closed for privacy. Warm air can continue to rise out of the tent.
The front door zips open, rolls to the side and can be fastened there by ties. The window rolls down to be fastened by ties at the bottom.
A ground vent
Under the back window of the tent lies a simple, but ingenious and effective ground vent.
A hood over the outside of the large, screened vent opening also serves as a storm flap.
When the hood is not staked out, it lies fairly flush against the vent screen to seal out drafts in cool temperatures. When the hood is staked out, it allows air to flow into the lower tent body, sheds rain away from the screen opening and offers privacy to campers sleeping inside.
The vent hood is designed to support the opening in the tent wall in the wind.
The author would like to see a similar vent on many other economy family tents with otherwise poor ventilation in the lower tent body. The simple, but effective design would require a minimum of extra materials and workmanship, but could greatly increase comfort while sleeping on very warm nights.
On more expensive family tents, a separate internal storm flap with zipper could be added to the hooded vent to seal against cool temperatures and allow the hood to be left permanently staked out.
6 man family tents or larger could offer two such ground vents.
Okay. Back to the Sundome...
A heavy-duty, polyethylene (tarp-like) floor provides good standing-water resistance and keeps the tent affordable.
A small zippered e-port (electrical cord port) slot to the left of the door at the lower corner of the tent wall is covered by a velcro flap to shed rain.
The various Sundome models can comfortably sleep from 1 to 5 adults.
Coleman and Campetent rate the Sundome as a 2-season tent to perform in light to moderate winds, moderate vertical rain showers, light wind-driven rains and in warm to hot temperatures.
Note that the mesh panels on the sidewalls cannot be closed off. However, a piece of light fabric and some clothespins may be able to cover the open mesh and adapt the tent to an occasional cool, still evening.
The Coleman Sundome Tent offers tent campers a better choice in the bargain, dome-tent market, which was previously crowded with house-brand models that had underperformed.
The Sundome models vary mainly in size, except for the Sundome Elite, which has several additional features.
The smaller Sundome tent models are more suited to solo or duo camping or as a secondary tent for family camping.
The floor dimensions are 7' wide by 5' deep by 48" high.
The 35 square feet of floorspace is rated to sleep up to 2, although the tent should more comfortably sleep 1 adult for recreational camping.
Because this model is wider than it is deep, adults will need to sleep across a single door. If 2 adults are sleeping in the tent, one will need to get over the other to get to the door.
With 5' by 7' floor dimensions, tall adults will find the tent a bit cramped.
The 48" ceiling height offers kneeling height for adults.
For family camping, the Coleman Sundome 2 tent is a good second tent for 2 to 3 young campers, who will find the 48" ceiling tall enough to get around and to dress inside the tent.
A single, interior gear pocket is available to store small items off of the floor.
The floor should hold a single, twin air mattress or a couple of self-inflating pads.
The Coleman Sundome 2 weighs 7 lb.
The Sundome 3 floor dimensions are 7' wide by 7' deep by 52" high.
The 49 square feet of floorspace is rated to sleep up to 3, although the tent should more comfortably sleep 1 to 2 adults.
Since both floor dimensions are the same length, campers can sleep along the side walls, allowing better access to the single door in front.
The 52" ceiling height allows kneeling height for adults.
2 organizer pockets, one on each side wall, offer storage.
Again, the 7' walls may be a bit cramped for tall adults, but will be fine for young campers who are ready for their own space at the campsite.
The tent floor should hold a queen size air mattress with little to no further access to floorspace for couples who want a sleeper tent.
The tent is much more suited to a single, twin air mattress for a solo camper. Two self-inflating pads will be fine.
The Coleman Sundome 3 weighs 8 lb.
The Sundome 4 is 9' wide by 7' deep by 59" high.
The 63 square feet of floorspace is rated to sleep up to 4, however the tent should more comfortably sleep 2-3 adults or a family of 4 with small children.
This tent is large enough to be a main camping tent for a small family.
The 9' wall at the back will allow a tall camper plenty of space to stretch out.
2 storage pockets are available to organize small items.
The 59" of ceiling height offers stooping space for adults, allowing campers to get to their feet for dressing or for getting around the tent.
The tent floor should comfortably hold a couple of twin air mattresses with some access to floorspace for gear and for moving around.
The Coleman Sundome 4 weighs 10 lb.
The Sundome 6 floor dimensions are 10' wide by 10' deep by 72" high.
The 100 square feet of floorspace is rated to sleep up to 6.
With 1 door, this tent should comfortably sleep 3 to 4 adults, or a family of 4 to 5 with small children.
The Sundome 6 should be a suitable tent for a young family of 4.
Campers who prefer 2 doors should consider the Coleman Elite Sundome 6 model below.
A 72" ceiling allows most campers to stand upright in the center of the tent.
The hooded low vent on the back wall should keep this tent comfortable, even if occupied by a family.
This tent should hold three twin-air mattresses with a bit of floorspace for gear. Two queen air mattresses will press against the tent walls on the sides, which is not a good practice for staying dry in rainy weather.
This tent will comfortable hold a standard queen air mattress and will also hold a raised queen air mattress, although the sloping walls will necessitate placing the taller mattress more towards the center of the tent.
The Coleman Sundome 6 weighs 16 lb.
The Elite Sundome features white-over-blue tent-fabric colors with red border trim or "piping" along the edges.
The floor dimensions are 10' wide by 12' deep by 72" high. This model offers 20 square feet more of floorspace than the standard, white-over-green, Sundome 6. The Elite offers enough extra floorspace to sleep another camper.
The 120 square feet of floorspace is rated to sleep up to 6.
The Elite Sundome offers several additional "luxury" features over the standard Sundome models:
Two doors, front and back, allow more access to the interior.
The front door to the Elite Sundome 6 Tent is hinged, which means that it swings open and shut. A flexed fiberglass pole forms the outer edge of the hinged front door to keep its shape when unzipped.
Velcro tabs hold the unzipped front door closed. Children and adults can then easily go in and out of the tent without having to work the zipper open and closed each time.
Two brow poles, instead of a single ridge pole, over the front and back doors provide more headroom at the doorways.
Flat spiral springs insert into vertical sleeves on the front and back upper windows to allow them, when unzipped, to automatically roll down and neatly coil below the screens without needing to be tied off.
A larger, side-opening, back door can be rolled to the side and tied off to keep the doorway open.
With the extra door and floorspace, this tent can comfortably sleep 4-5 adults.
Unlike the white-over-green, standard Coleman Sundome 6, the Elite can comfortably hold two queen air mattresses and keep them away from the walls.
The tent may have a side-to-side divider curtain or attachment loops for one. Look for loops along the walls and ceiling that a divider with toggles can attach to. If necessary, campers can easily fashion a divider curtain with toggles to attach to the loops.
Cool Air Port
Instead of a hooded vent, the Coleman Elite Sundome 6 Tent has had the original Cool Air Port, a zippered opening near the floor towards the back corner. A small flap zips open to allow air to pass through a mesh screen into the tent.
This is a port, as well as a vent, so the screen also zips open to allow access into the tent to retrieve small items without needing to open the tent door.
This port is not hooded and will need to be closed in rain.
Campers should note that the Cool Air Port feature may be disappearing from Coleman Elite Tent models. If the feature is important to campers, they should verify that the boxed tent has it: If facing the front of the Elite Sundome 6, the port has been located on the back right sidewall of the tent. If facing the back door, it has been to the left, just around the corner of the tent.
Energy Pack and Ceiling Light
An interior LED ceiling light is included, which hangs from the center peak of the dome.
Also included is a "CPX 5-volt Energy Pack" that runs on 4 D-cell batteries or a specially designed, rechargeable battery pack. The energy pack provides a 5-volt plug for the LED ceiling-light cord as well as for other small personal electrics that are designed for 5 to 6 volts.
The Energy Pack also includes a 5-volt, USB power port to recharge personal electronics -- note that this port is not a USB data port.
Elite Sundome Specs
Additional stake-down loops in the center of each tent wall reduce distortion and flapping in moderate winds.
The rainfly and canopy are 75 denier polyester, 450mm coating. The 75-denier yarn fabric is denser than the standard Sundome fabric, so the Elite should be somewhat more resistant to rain.
The Coleman Elite Sundome 6 weighs 22 lb.
The Sundome is well suited to very warm weather. An open mesh panels on each upper sidewalls allow the tent to exhale and stay more comfortable on warm evenings.
The hooded vent allows cooler air into the lower tent body.
Windows at the front and back of the tent allow a breeze to pass through.
The 3/4 rainfly has a separate guyout point in the center of the sides to keep the fly fabric off of the tent body mesh and to provide more ventilation on warm days.
Due to the non-closable mesh on upper side walls walls of the tent, the unmodified Sundome is not suited to lower than moderately cool temperatures. Family campers may need to take extra measures to ensure that they are warm enough inside the tent on cool evenings as well as at higher elevations.
Rainfly and walls
Hoods over the front and back windows allow them to remain partially open in the rain, offering ventilation and a view out of the tent during inclement weather.
The 450mm polyurethane-coated walls and rainfly resist light to moderate rain. Moderate to heavy rains over longer periods of time may require tarping the tent to keep the walls from saturating.
Be sure to carefully seal any exposed seams and test the tent in the rain before camping with it.
The rainfly is factory seam taped, so much of the sealing has been done for the end user. Campers will need to finish sealing exposed tent-body seams, rain test the tent and seal any further leaks.
Since the tent has mesh walls on the sides, be sure to test and seal any leaky spots along the rainfly seams before using the tent.
The guyout points in the center of the edges of the rainfly, keep the rainfly off of the ceiling mesh in rain, which improves the resistance of the rainfly fabric to water seeping through in heavy rains.
Although the tent should perform satisfactorily in vertical rain, in wind-driven rain, the large mesh sidewalls may allow a bit of sidespray into the tent -- especially if the tent is on an open campsite without trees to protect it from the wind.
The rainfly completely covers each mesh panel on the sidewall. Since the rainfly only extends a couple of inches below the mesh panels, wind-driven rain may cause occasional spray into the tent. The Sundome is mostly suited to vertical rain.
The bathtub floor is heavy-duty, 1000D-polyethylene, which is a cost-effective way to prevent standing water from entering the tent as well as to resist wear and tear.
The bathtub-floor corner seams are "welded", meaning fused, instead of sewn together to keep any standing water from coming into contact with stitching.
Campers looking for an inexpensive family tent with better resistance to wind-driven rain can consider the Coleman Evanston Tent.
The rainfly and tent wall fabric is 68 denier, 450 mm polyurethane-coated polyester, which should perform for most 2-season, warm-weather camping.
The window and side-wall mesh on all Sundome models is 68-denier, heavy-duty screening.
The Sundome 2, 3, & 4 use two 8.5mm (11/32") fiberglass poles. The Sundome 6 and Elite Sundome 6 use two 11mm (7/16") fiberglass poles.
A separate fiberglass ridge pole comes with each tent to support the rainfly over the front door and back window.
The tent dome canopy attaches to the support poles by sleeves and clips.
The poles attach to ring-and-pin connectors at the tent-floor corners.
The standard Sundome has previously been available for years in orange over gray colors. Although most of the tent specifications remain the same, the redesigned features listed above refer to the green-and-white Sundome tents.
The Coleman Sundome Tent is an economical dome tent that has been designed and tested by a well-known camping-equipment manufacturer. It has been redesigned to increase ventilation. Campers looking for a bargain dome tent that will perform satisfactorily in warm weather and moderate rain should consider this model.
Please note that Campetent does not own this tent model. Campetent strives to research and to provide accurate information for site visitors, but cannot guarantee every detail.
Tent models are subject to feature changes over time. Tent campers should always perform due diligence to verify any important features before purchasing a tent.
The author hopes that the information provided in this article will go a long way towards that goal.
The tent has a limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. As with all tents, campers should carefully examine the materials and workmanship and make sure that they are satisfied before using the tent.