As a family camping tent, the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is one of the best of its kind on the market. With such a high level of popularity amongst many in the camping community, we want to take a deep dive to discover why it’s so well-loved.
It’s the perfect size for a family of 4 with room leftover and it sets up in a matter of 60 seconds. For camping in the warmer months, it’s got all the essential features. You’ve got over 100² feet of space, and you even have the option to make 2 separate rooms.
As a large capacity tent, it’s still rather lightweight, which is a huge advantage, as it makes it easier to carry. Home comforts are often amiss when camping, which makes it exciting having such a comfortable shelter for braving the outdoors.
But is it really worth it?
Does it stack up to all the rave reviews? We’re going to break everything down so you can see why it could be a good choice for your upcoming adventures.
CORE 9 Person Tent Full Review and Guide
Our First Thoughts
As a classic 3-season tent, we feel that this is one of the safest and smartest options out there. It’s intended for use in lighter weather conditions, plus it’s freestanding which means you can move it around the campsite without disassembling. We think it’s a reasonable price based on the size and great quality. Although we wouldn’t use it for rugged camping, we know it’s not made for that.
Simple things can sometimes be the hardest to do, as there is so much room for error. Yet, this tent does such a fantastic job of giving you a reliable build with excellent features for a streamlined camping experience. For sure one of the best instant tents out there on the current market.
Important Specs at a Glance
Freestanding Instant Cabin
168“L x 108“W x 78“H
$230 – $300 or over depending on where you purchase from.
Instant with Pre-Attached Poles
Tent & Rainfly – 68D Polyester
Floor – 125gsm Polyethylene
7-inch Steel Stakes & Poles
48“L x 11.6“W x 11.6“H
600mm Water Column
2 with Removable Divider Curtain
Overview of Features
- Speedy 60 Second Set Up
- Lightweight for Large 9-Person Capacity
- Spacious Interior
- Carry Bag, Stakes, Guy Ropes & Rainfly All Included
- Durable Steel Framework
- Large Side T-Door & Front D-Door
- Removable Divider
- Waterproof Technology with Sealed Seams
- Storage Pockets & Electric Cord Port
- Full-Mesh Roof with Separate Rainfly
What We Love – Our Top 3 Features
What really makes this tent so special? How does it stand out from the others? Here are our top features that we think make this tent a staple amongst its competitors.
GOLD QUALITY – Fast & Easy Set Up
You may think that an instant set up is only possible with smaller tents, but Core shows that this certainly isn’t the case. It can be pitched by just one person, which is something you won’t find a lot for larger tents. 60 seconds is all it takes.
The design is innovative and made to be as easy as it gets. Each pole has been pre-attached to the fabric. These poles are structured like a telescope, meaning all you need to do is extend them and lock in each joint.
SILVER FEATURE – Full Mesh Ceiling
Things can get pretty hot and stuffy whilst living in a tent. Even for a larger one that holds a big capacity, there is no exception. More people living inside means more body heat, thus heightening the risk of humidity.
The complete mesh roof on this tent is such an awesome feature. Not only does it provide a wonderful amount of ventilation, but it also allows everyone to stargaze at night, without worrying about bugs getting inside.
You’re also given the option of a rainfly when the weather turns. While it’s not full coverage to the ground, it protects the main roof area. Even with the fly on, you can leave the ground vents open to receive a nice breeze.
BRONZE HIGHLIGHT– Lightweight, Yet Durable
27 lbs for a 9-person tent? You probably won’t find much better than that, especially at this price. While it’s not necessarily light enough for backpacking, we think this weight is an advantage for any group of campers. Even if you’re carrying it from your car to the campsite, it makes it so much easier when it won’t weigh you down as much as some others can. We love that despite the lightweight polyester materials, the quality and your safety aren’t compromised thanks to the sturdy build and H2O Block Technology.
Main Overview – Breaking Down Every Detail
Set Up – Simplicity at its Finest
The instant pitch saves you so much time and can be done by just one person. We love this type of set up because it doesn’t compromise on the structural integrity, it simply makes the process so much easier. As it’s also freestanding, you can install it on any type of terrain, and you aren’t required to stake it down as it supports itself. We do recommend to always secure it with guy lines and stakes though, just to be safe.
Taking it down isn’t as complicated as you may think. It doesn’t perform like some pop-up models, where the folding and storage process can be frustrating. Instead, it’s a matter of disjointing the connectors and sliding the poles back into each other, like a telescope.
Multiple Doors – Freedom to Move Around
Other than the usual front door, you’ll find a large T-shaped entrance on one of the side walls. This is a unique part of this tent that we love so much. It’s such a well-thought-out aspect that generates a more open plan feel, a unique feature among tents of this size.
As well as the increased flow of space, 2 openings mean double the opportunity for people to get in and out. With more people occupying an area, it can get a little crowded at times. Having such a large side opening allows people to effortlessly enter and exit.
Customizable Space – 2 Room Options
Another great thing about this tent is the ability to make 2 separate rooms. Why is this such a great feature? Because it gives you the power to organize your space exactly how you want it. Use one room for storing all the heavy bags and dirty clothes or use it as a dining area with a table and chairs. This way, your sleeping area can remain private and clean. If you’re camping as a family, use the second room as the kid’s area. The added divider wall offers so much versatility.
Innovative Materials –Weatherproofing & Framework
Specialized Core H2O Block Technology ensures a dry and comfortable experience inside. The 68D polyester material is engineered to make moisture form into beads and slide off faster, rather than have a chance to leak through. The flooring is an even thicker 125gsm polyethylene, and both materials have a waterproof column of 600mm. As we’ve mentioned, it’s not ideal for heavy rain, but can definitely last against light to moderate downpour.
For larger capacity, you still want a framework that will hold up against the elements, even if this tent is only intended for use in lighter conditions. Robust steel poles and stakes make up the structure, giving you peace of mind that it will stay stable in the wind.
Most Asked Questions – We’ve Got You Covered
Can 1 Person Set it up?
Simply unfold, lay flat on the ground, and extend the poles until their joints click into place. Repeat until all 6 poles are standing, then you should stabilize it using the provided stakes and guy lines.
1 person can easily install it in around 2 minutes, or 2 people in 60 seconds or under.
Does a Footprint Come with it?
There is no specific footprint that is sold with this model. However, you can find many on the market that will fit the floor size of 168” x 108”.
Are there Storage Options?
Multiple interior storage pockets can be found throughout for storing smaller valuables like phones, torches, sunscreen, and so on. There is also an access port for electric cables.
Our Final Thoughts
Based on the reasonable price and ingenious instant pitch design, we’ve uncovered why this is such a highly regarded tent. You’ve got all the classic features of a 9-person tent, yet everything’s been upgraded with a modern twist to truly suit 3-season camping. As a family, you can relax in comfort with the ground venting system and huge panels of mesh, plus you have the option to create your own space.
2 rooms give you endless storage and living space opportunities, and you’ll stay dry from light rainfall with the patented Core waterproof technology. In comparison to others in the same range, we especially love that you can fully open and expose one side to create a more spacious environment.
Hello there my name is Allen and I am looking for a new tent I am torn between the Core 9 person instant tent, Coleman 10 person darkroom, and the Ozark trail 10 person dark room. I keep finding bad reviews on the Coleman saying it came with holes and water gets in. I also see reviews about the Ozark trail being cheaply made. I also see bad reviews about the core tents construction and it not being very good. I live in Wyoming it gets very windy at time and I want a tent that cant handle the wind and rain fairly well I plan on water proofing the seams of what ever tent I get just in case but was wondering if you had a opinion. I was learning more towards the Ozark or Coleman because the cool sleep design. I would like to know if u ran into any of the problems stated. Thanks for your feed back
Hey Allen thanks for reaching out, and a great question. First off i’d like to just say in terms of reviews, they tend to give off the wrong impression, at times. When people are happy they rarely come back to comment that. However, if you think about perhaps 15,000 sales, of that maybe 1% might be defect or damaged in delivery, it happens. Then you have 150 angry/unhappy customers itching to vent, thus giving the wrong impression to perspective buyers. With this in mind i would urge you not to be put off by delivery defects, all top companies will refund or replace these issues pretty swiftly. Moving onto the tents, Ozark is good, but for instant tents, i cant help but feel they have just tried to copy CORE’s structure and design. Specifically in their 10 room instant tent with screen room, is just like CORES. Then there Dark Room tent is pretty close to Coleman’s. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, for that reason i would tend to go for the original. Now depending on whether you really need the dark room or not, i would probably lean towards the CORE 9, just for the sheer volume of satisfied customers in comparison. On a personal level, im not THAT keen on the Coleman 10 darkroom design and look, however i know a few people using it happily too. I would say CORE for me, others may differ, i am just really fond of their instant tent line, especially now with their new lighted versions coming into play. Hope this helps, or at least to share some opinions, thanks for reaching out.