The Coleman Montana Tents have been a popular series among families and other small groups. Within the line there are the standard 6 person and 8 person models, as well as the upgraded Elite version.
While it may appear that the Elite and Lighted are different tents, they are in fact the same – the Montana Lighted Tent is in fact the Elite tent, and the lights are built in.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper, or doing your research as a newbie, you’ve probably seen Coleman pop up on your radar. The brand was founded way back in 1900, and has been a major player in the world of outdoor recreation products for many years.
Now, it’s no secret that the Montana tents are often compared to the Coleman Red Canyon model. The Red Canyon is a beloved model and thought to be one of the best 8 person camping tents available on today’s market, for a budge price of course.
However today, we’ll be analyzing Montana’s notable features and functions to see how it stacks up against its other competitors, keep reading to discover a detailed overview of the three models in the Montana line.
Coleman Montana Tent Reviews
Coleman Montana 6 person
- InstaClip suspension
- Angled side windows
- E-port for electrical cords
- Mesh pockets
- Front door awning
- Mud mat
Coleman Montana 8 person
Color: Green, Blue, Black
- Large front hinged D-door (more rounded on 8 person)
- Patented WeatherTec system
- Removable rainfly
- Fully mesh roof
- Bathtub style flooring
- 15 minute pin-and-ring set up
Coleman Elite Montana Lighted Tent
- Angled side windows
- Self-rolling windows
- Carry bag
- Integrated remote-control light with replaceable 15W tube (on Lighted version)
- 100 lumens of light
- 22 hours of luminosity
At first glance, these tents appear to be rather classic in design and shape. They feel like a safe choice to go for, because there aren’t any fancy gimmicks or over-the-top features.
We feel that these are best used in mild conditions, as the tall construction doesn’t work well in harsh winds. However, this is the case for most cabin-style tents, so we’re not expecting them to be used in extremely tough conditions.
However you do benefit from the somewhat aerodynamic sloped roof, which makes for much better wind resistance than your typical block shaped cabin tent.
For 6 and 8 person capacities, we think the price range is great. The Elite edition is more expensive, but that’s to be expected when you’ve got added features. We’ve noticed there are more colors to choose from with the 8 person models than the 6, but that really comes down to personal preference.
Considering differences, the only main difference lies in the size, where the 8 person version is obviously larger, and the shape of the doors are slightly different to that of the 6 person tent. Then comparing the standard 8 with the Elite, the differences lie in the built in lighting system.
Also the color themes, the 6 is only available in green, the 8 has 3 color variations to choose from, and the Elite is stuck with the blue color theme.
Overall, they all seem like reliable picks for a family or group camping trip in summer, spring, or autumn.
Analysis – Breaking Down Every Detail
Before we get into it, just a little reminder that the 6 and 8 versions are near identical. Therefore, the 8 person model breakdown will cover only the features that set it apart from its smaller counterpart.
On each tent model, a patented type of fabric is used called PolyGuard, in addition to a system called WeatherTec. WeatherTec merges four different elements to create a more durable tent. There are inverted seams, cuffs on the zippers, bathtub style flooring, and a frame made from redesigned poles to be more wind responsive.
These factors are what make this tent ideal for 3 season use, although it is important to remember that the tall cabin-like shape means it won’t withstand extreme winds.
This aspect relates to spaciousness, and what you can do with the interior layout. The middle dome space lets you move around quite comfortably, while the dual slanted sides add that little extra bit of convenient space you wouldn’t get with a regular dome model.
With 2 mesh storage sacks on the wall, you can keep some smaller items off the ground, like sunglasses, keys, your wallet, and even a small drink bottle. We do wish there were more storage options, though. A flashlight loop on the ceiling gives you the choice of hands-free light, and the exterior electrical port lets you feed cords through with ease.
For the 6P, we recommend use by 3 people. For the 8P, 4 people is the way to go. This allows for extra room that can be used for storage, or larger beds. If you don’t have heaps of gear, you can fit 2 queen airbeds for added comfort.
Fiberglass poles make up the structure, which provides added wind resistance. You’ve got 7 in total. Continuous pole sleeves and Insta-Clip system makes things snag-free, plus it makes it stronger to stand up against high winds. Without the fly, there are two massive mesh roof panels, plus 3 mesh windows. These provide plenty of ventilation, but we would have liked to see some ground vents.
We love the awning that covers the front D-door – it’s rather wide and covers quite a bit of space when compared to other mini awnings we’ve seen. Slanted windows are another standout feature, as they help to prevent water leakage. While the fly does give quite a bit of coverage, it doesn’t fully shield the windows, so we appreciate that they’ve paid attention to the angles.
The hinged door is a smart addition, and one you don’t see all the time with budget-friendly tents. It allows easier entry and exit.
Let’s get right into the main difference between these models and the previous ones – added features. First of all, there is a ground vent at the rear. It’s quite large, and is covered by a mini awning, which is again covered by a larger awning above. We certainly appreciate this add-on, because it allows more airflow when it’s raining with the fly on.
Secondly, there are rolling windows. These automatically roll down when you unzip them, which lets you angle in the natural light when it’s raining. Finally, you’ve got the Lighted option. An LED light has been built into the center of the roof. It comes with a wall switch, a 22 hour battery life, and gets up to 100 lumens.
The WeatherTec system is again in full force with this model. In terms of waterproof protection, the inverted seams, zipper cuffs, and tub floors ensure protection against low to medium level rainfall. Also, the floors are made from 1000D PE, which means they are thicker than average.
As this is an 8 person model, there is plenty of room for a family or group of 4, with additional space leftover. The angled side walls are the perfect spots for resting your head, as they feel more comfy and enclosed.
8 Person Model Differences
Now, obviously this size is going to have more space inside, because it’s a bigger capacity. While there aren’t many variances with features between the previous version and this one, we did notice that the side sections are slightly more roomy. They angle out further, which gives a little more headroom.
As we mentioned earlier, the WeatherTec system is synonymous throughout the whole series. The seams are protected through inversion, where water can’t leak through the stitching holes. For stronger wind resistance, the framework has been redesigned. All zippers are shielded by cuffs, and the tub floors and welded seams prevent seepage from puddles.
Even though this also has a hinged door, the D-shape is definitely different. It’s actually not as wide as the previous model, but we don’t see that as a disadvantage. It’s still large enough to comfortably move in and out of.
Most Asked Questions
Can these be set up by one person?
Due to the size and capacity, it is possible to do on your own, although we wouldn’t recommend it. You should ideally have at least one other person with you for the fastest and safest installation.
Do they need to be secured down?
Yes, they do. These are non-freestanding models, which means that they require guylines and stakes in order to stand and be stable during winds.
Is there a lot of airflow?
The ground vent works with the side windows and full mesh roof to create circulated airflow throughout the tent. Cold air is sucked from the ground, distributes inside, then flows out the top.
Is the LED light rechargeable?
The light is powered by 4 D-cell batteries, which you can switch out once they have run out of power.
Conclusion on the Coleman Montana Tent
We’re so pleased to have covered the Coleman Montana Tent line to understand what makes them so popular among the camping community.
They’re affordable, offer modern features with traditional designs, and are built from tough materials to withstand 2 to 3 season camping.
We love their blend of classic designs with user-friendly features that have been updated to accommodate to the modern camper.