-The tent with fly
-a small (14"x14"ish) gear loft
-a bag of steel tent stakes (enough to do the job right)
-a nice carrying/storage bag
I purchased this tent in store in Bangor, ME. My wife and I were looking for a larger, more comfortable replacement for our aging (OK... downright OLD!) small dome tent. After shopping around and coming up on a purchase deadline as we had a trip scheduled and wanted to buy a new tent before leaving, we decided on the Coleman Spring Valley Dome Tent. It hit all our major criteria; It was in stock, it was large enough for me, the wife, and our two dogs, it would fit perfectly on the platform at the campsite we were going to, and the price was pretty reasonable. So, I made the purchase, brought it home and (pay attention here novice campers!) set it up to check out the stitching and seal the seams before we left. Setup was fast & easy as you'd expect with a two pole dome tent, taking under 15 minutes with two people from start to finish. The take down time is equally fast, and again, having a second set of hands makes all the difference in easily folding & storing the tent. The ventilation looked superb, with both the sides and rear being 2/3 mesh netting. The fly has a zipper running up the rear to expose the mesh, and there's a ground vent at the rear to help with ventilation when this is closed. So far, so good.
At the site
We arrived at our campsite and despite having to use a additional rope for a combination of lashing to trees, the platform, and the use of a few stakes my wife and I had our tent up in about 20 minutes. It easily accommodated our full size air mattress and would have just as easily taken our queen size, along with room for all our gear, the doggie sleeping bag, and extra floor space to boot. The included gear loft sits high enough so that it clears my head at 5'9", and made for handy storage of sunglasses, cell phones, keys, and the like. We hung two lightweight LED lanterns from the gear loft anchor loops as well. These hung low enough for me to bump into by a couple of inches. In addition to the gear loft, there are two mesh storage pockets in the tent, one in the corner by the door opening and one at the opposite rear corner of the tent. I found this to be a great spot to store my headlamp at night. We were both very pleased with the amount of space and the excellent ventilation.
Is it weather worthy?
Our first night at the campsite was one that we got to enjoy spectacular weather. It was sunny, there was a nice onshore breeze all day, and the temps were mild considering the time of year. The evening and night were exceptionally pleasant as well. As to be expected while camping in a tent, morning brings with it some moisture from condensation, but the excellent ventilation that this tent offers had everything feeling dry again in no time once we opened up for the day. Our second night wasn't as nice though, as a front moved in and treated us to greyed out skies by early evening. By the time we'd turned in, it was already sprinkling out lightly. It's worth nothing that prior to heading to bed for the night, my wife noticed a defect in the stitching in the door panel itself. There was a small 1/4" gap that had appeared at just about the spot on the door where the zipper goes from horizontal to vertical. Rather than attempt to stitch it and seal it as it was already beginning to rain, I elected to use duct tape to prevent any drips for the evening. We went to bed, the wind picked up, and the rain started to fall harder lasting for a few hours into the night.
When we woke up the next morning I naturally took a survey of how the tent weathered the storm overnight. There wasn't a single leak. If the gusts had been heavier and not hitting the front of the tent square I'm not certain that we wouldn't have taken a bit of spray up and under the fly through the mesh on the other three sides of the tent. But, as it was, we and our gear were nice and dry.
I'm very happy with this tent. So much so that I actually took the time to write this review. We intend to use it for camping from late spring thru early fall when the temps are more mild. In colder weather, this one will be staying home in lieu of something we can seal up better. It sets up easy, vents really well, is large enough for our needs, and the price couldn't be beat. That's my $.02
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