Coleman Montana 12'x7' Modified Dome Tent

11:02 a.m. on April 19, 2005 (EDT)

My family is planning a 1st time camping trip in June. Looking for an inexpensive tent, easy but reliable. Noticed the Montana on sale for $70 something. Can find no ratings for it. We don't want to get wet, have a finicky 19 year old daughter, any suggestions? Remember, needs to be as cheap & easy as possible. Thanks.

12:34 p.m. on April 20, 2005 (EDT)
346 reviewer rep
982 forum posts

I'm not familiar with this tent, but to paraphrase an old saw: "Cheap, easy, or dry. Pick any two."

In reality, a lot of the "bargain" tents don't even give you two; they're just cheap. But Coleman and Eureka! tents probably offer the best value for your dollar in an entry-level family camping tent. Both of these brands tend to be better designed and built than most of the cheap "store brand" tents (Northwest Terrirtory, Hillary, Ozark Trail) that you might be tempted to buy.

In any case, here are a couple hints that will help keep you dry and happy:

- Make sure the tent's rainfly fully covers any windows or doors. A full-coverage fly that extends nearly to the ground and can be held away form the body of the tent with guy lines will keep you dry the best. A 6-person tent with a 4'x4' fly over the peak of the roof won't keep anybody dry.

- Set up the tent at home before you go camping. Make sure you have all the parts and understand how they go together. Any tent will take a while to figure out at first, but a little practice goes a long way.

- With the tent set up at home, seal the seams with a product like McNett's SeamGrip or Coleman's seam seal kit. The thousands of tiny stitching holes in each seam will let water into the tent unless they're properly sealed. (Even the most expensive mountaineering tents require seam-sealing to be made reasonably waterproof.)

- Buy or make a groundsheet/footprint to put under the tent and protect it from abrasion, punctures, and moisture. You can easily make a ground sheet from 3-mil plastic sheeting or a tarp. Just make sure that whatever you use is slightly smaller than the base of the tent; otherwise it will collect rain water and channel it under the tent.

June 20, 2018
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