Peak 1 Cobra
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $33
Light weight and reliable.
- Light weight
- Easy to put up
- Feet get wet
I came across this tent about twelve years ago completely by mishap. I was fortunate enough to be working at a Big 5 Sporting Goods at the time where we had three of the tents get shipped to my store on clearance. Also, lucky enough to have my district manager in the store that day. We did not even have the code for the product in our system and each tent was marked $99.97.
I grabbed all three tents, went to my dm and asked if I could have all three for $99.97, he said yes and I got each tent for only $33. One for me, brother, and a friend.
It has been my standby tent ever since. Extremely lightweight, one of the lightest on the market for many years. I have had no problems with worn fabric, tears, or zippers. It has been flaw free. It is a one pole construction, so some may not like that it must be staked in order to be set up.
The only design flaw I have noticed is that due to the one pole construction the tent seems to sag around the foot. Every time I have camped in the rain my feet have gotten wet.
The only other drawback is that Coleman/Peak 1 never produced a footprint for this tent. I started off carrying a large heavy tarp for under, till I realized I was being an idiot, then I took an old ragged car camping tent and cut my own footprint out of the bottom of it.
I would recommend this tent to anyone.
Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 1 - 2
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: about $90
I had never owned a tent in this price range so I was a little skeptical. Fairly straightforward setup--one pole and 10 stakes. But, you have to get the stakes just right or the fly will come down and touch the tent.
Roomy enough for ONE person (the propaganda with the tent says two-person) and gear. There are two vestibules and two doors. I use one for entry/exit and the other as a "closet" I can reach by way of the other door. I'm 6' tall and don't feel cramped inside. There's a neat mesh bag nearly full width across the top that holds a light and asst. small items.
All-in-all, a good tent for light hiking, but I'll let you know more about how it stands up to weather later. Durability? Dunno yet, hadn't had it long enough. How can you say 'no' to a $90 tent?
For most trips, I'll still carry my Kelty.
Update: April 2, 2000
This is a follow up to my review earlier. I finally got this tent wet! It seemed for a while that if I carried the Cobra, we would get beautiful weather despite what the forecast called for. This time it rained bunches.
Well, it's got a nylon fly and that means when it gets wet it sags. It did. I had to leave the tent to answer nature's call, so I restaked the rainfly and it worked sooo much better.
All in all, I stayed pretty dry. It rained hard for several hours, along with thunder and lightning, but there were no major leaks. If you use this tent in the rain, or even if you just suspect it will rain, pull the fly TIGHT. Real tight!
Design: three season
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: under 4#
Price Paid: $90
I've had this tent a few years and still love it. I'm a small woman and was originally attracted by the weight, price and two opposing doors, (one for storage, one for entry). I use it for backpacking and even car camping when I'm only staying one night and don't want the bother of my big tent.
I'm sleeping in a tent about every 3 weeks, so this tent gets a lot of use and has held up well with no defects. The no-see-um mesh protects from the very small biting "sand flies" in Florida. I tie up the side rain fly when there's no rain for great cross ventilation. There is condensation on the interior of the fly at night. (Florida is very humid) but it harmlessly drips down the fly. Be sure to seam seal it. It's not freestanding. I made a "footprint" of sturdy plastic. The fly will stretch when wet and may touch the tent at the foot. I bought an extra pole (from another design tent) and attached it under the fly by the foot. I also bought a slightly larger stuff sack to include the footprint.
Great tent for the money.
Design: one-pole (not free standing)
Ease of Setup: tricky
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Price Paid: $79
I got this tent as a gift when I first started backpacking a couple of years ago. It's been on quite a few trips, and has proven very durable.
My brother and I (both 6 feet) have shared it, but it's cozy. Now I only use it when I will be sleeping solo and don't want to carry the weight of my bigger tent.
The ceiling is very low at the feet, and it is pretty hard not to brush up against the rainfly, especially since it will stretch when wet. The foot of my sleeping bag is usually damp in the morning, even if it doesn't rain, because there is no ventilation, and condensation is a problem. There are a couple of things you can do to help this. Stake the tent out (tight) before you put the pole up. Guy up the foot of the rainfly using trekking poles or forked sticks. Vickie's suggestion of a second pole is a good one, but I'm a cheapskate.
I will continue to use this tent as a comfortable alternative to a bivy.
Design: Modified bivy design
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $89
Now called the Coleman Exponent Inyo, I have the older, almost identical, Cobra.
Small package (5.5x14.5 inch)
1 pole setup is very easy - takes maybe 5 minute including attaching rainfly.
Quality seems good.
Sleeps 2 in reasonable comfort.
I've had it in 40 mph winds and it held up fine.
Sleeps 2 but is cramped if you are spending time in tent other than sleeping.
Your feet will touch the ceiling at the foot of the tent unless you move all the way up. I think in rainy weather this will cause a leak. A second pole there would be a nice upgrade but obviously will increase bulk and weight.
Overall I'd recommend it if you are limited on packing space. I use it on my motorcycle trips and it is great for that.
Design: 3 season backpacking
Ease of Setup: very easy one pole design
Weight: under 4/4+ with good stakes
Price Paid: $100
I have taken this tent on many weekend trips and it has held up very well. Even better than the high dollar tents in many cases. It packs up super small and has plenty of room for me (a BIG guy) and the vestibules on the side keep all my gear dry.
It is not freestanding however and the ONLY complaint is the stakes it comes with are not very durable. Replace them with more sturdy steel or titanium. Great tent. If you want to camp with the big boys but dont have the cash, this is a great tent. Definitely worth more than what they charge. Just wish they sold a footprint tarp for it underneath, but it was easy to make a custom one.
Design: single hoop tent
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: approx. 3 lbs
Price Paid: $89
I have used this tent for years. It is a bit small for me at 6'2". My feet or head are always touching one end, which means that end gets wet in the rain. When the fly is fastened down it touches the tent near the bottom, which means that whatever touches that part gets wet in rain. I have slept in it for days and days of rain: downpours, drizzle, thunderstorms, etc.
Overall, it is a good tent, but would be better for a shorter person. There is not much room as it is, with no room for a pack to stay in with you, but it is lighweight, extremely compact, and easy to set up.
Ease of Setup: high stakes
Price Paid: $100
After looking long and hard for a good one-person, two-if-tight tent, with a mesh roof and a good fly, room to sit up, and light weight, I think this is IT! The design is wonderful -- only one pole, a door on each side (so handy with two people!!), some vestibule space, and in a pretty small little package. I don't know about durability, but it seems well-made (sturdy materials and seams), and for that price you might as well buy two, in case they choose to discontinue it...
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: very easy
Price Paid: $90
This is a very good tent for the price. The set up is fairly easy, but craming it all back into the bag can be a bit tricky. It is very roomy (for one person and gear). I really like the storage compartment at the top and the awesome headroom. It seems very sturdy and looks like it would keep you protected from the elements well. The thing that attracted me to the tent was the price and compact size when in bag. I really like this tent.
Sleeps: 1-2(if your REALLY intimate)
Ease of Setup: very easy to set up(so long as you have ground to put stakes into, not free standing)
Weight: 3lb 14oz
Price Paid: $99
This tent is great to set up and cool to look out of if you have great weather (the whole top is no-see-um mesh). Even so the fly does a great job of covering and has a small vestibule on either side for gear storage. A piece of 6mil plastic from home depot for a footprint and you're set for a lot less than the expensive makes.
Where to Buy
The Peak 1 Cobra is not available from the stores we monitor.
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