Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6 Person Tent Review

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The Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6 Person Tent is a dome tent with a Screen Room attached to the front. The Carlsbad features Dark Room™ technology that blocks 98.4% of sunlight to keep the tent darker if you want to sleep while the sun is up, and it also reduces how much the tent heats up during the day by up to 11.4%. The Fast Pitch™ system uses pre-attached, color-coded poles and hub, fast fit feet and snag-free Insta-Clip™ suspension to let you set up your tent 50% faster than a comparable Coleman® tents with a conventional setup. The screen room is a great way to stay away from bugs while enjoying the great outdoors, and with a full floor you can use it for extra sleeping space on warmer nights.

Setup

The Coleman Carlsbad is without a doubt the easiest tent that I have ever setup. The Fast Pitch™ system uses pre-attached, color-coded poles and hub, fast fit feet and snag-free Insta-Clip™ suspension to let you set up your tent painlessly and with speed.

Setting up on a tarp
Tent, Rain Fly, Poles and Stakes
Color Coded Pole Inserts
Layout of the Carlsbad - 10 x 9 ft. with 10 x 5 ft. screen room

Start with the obvious, staking the tent to the ground. Then it is time to move onto the poles, which moves along just about instantaneously. The main poles use an “X” hub that comes already attached to one of the poles, then it is as simple as inserting the remaining poles into the hub and then the ground part of the pole into the red fast fit feet. The front screen room is setup with a single pole inserted into the black color coded fast fit feet.

"X" Hub for Main Poles
Fast Pitch "X" Hub
Main Dome Pole Set Up
Front Screen Room Pole Install

Clip on the Insta-Clips and the Coleman tent is up! Fast, easy and effortlessly.

Side View of Fast Pitched Tent
Rear View of Coleman Fast Pitch Tent
Front View of Screen Room

Installing the rain fly is just like any other tent. Throw it over the top, find the correct orientation, then clip down the rain fly edges with the attached bungee cord clips. There is also a Velcro attachment strap about half way up the on the underside of the rain fly for each main pole, that allows you to secure it down on the dome portion of the tent.

When it was time to head home, take down and packing everything away was just as simple as the setup. The tent comes with an easy to store zip up bag, which weighs in at about 20 pounds packed up.

Interior

“The Dark Room™ technology on this tent blocks 98.4% of sunlight to keep the tent darker if you want to sleep while the sun is up, and it also reduces how much the tent heats up during the day by up to 11.4%.”  – Coleman.

While I am not sure of the exact percentages, the tent remained dark enough to sleep in during full sunlight and there was a substantial difference in temperature in the Carlsbad compared to our neighbors tent, it was by no means air conditioning, but comfortable enough to not break out in a sweat if you were to go into the tent to change clothes or take a nap.

The awnings over the windows also created a nice cross ventilation and will protect the main interior from any rain.

Interior Light Without the Rain Fly On
Interior Light with the Rain Fly On
Full Sunlight Through the Roof
Side Window

The center height of the main room is 5 feet 8 inches and offers up 90 square feet (10 ft. by 9 ft.) of sleeping space. I was able to fit in two queen size mattresses snugly side by side. Which provided sleeping room for 4, this left just enough room at the foot of the mattresses to squeeze in two more sleeping bags, which made for a total of six people sleeping inside the tent. As for six adults sleeping in the tent? Take away the comfort of air mattresses and it is possible. I do think that when families are shopping for tents they should add two to their family size (for instances, my family size is 6, add 2 and my ideal tent size would be an 8 person tent) to gain the extra space that is needed when you do family camping, with all of the extra clothes, toys and gear that families bring.

One thing of note is the rear window does not have a privacy zippered flap on it. So without the rain fly installed anyone walking by will have a view of the interior of the tent.

Looking Out to the Screen Room
Two Queen Sized Air Mattresses Fit Snugly Side by Side
Rear and Side Window

The screen room is 50 square feet (10 ft. x 5 ft.) and will fit a chair or two if the bugs are bad and you need to hide from them. It can also add for extra sleeping space on warmer “dry” nights.

Exterior

The Carlsbad comes equipped with Illumiline™ reflective guy lines that are more visible at night and helped keep my kids from tripping on them when they were walking around in the dark. These should come on all family tents….just brilliant.

Let’s talk about the rain fly. Look closely at the picture below and you will notice that the rain fly only covers the dome portion of the tent. What?? In my situation with a family of six (two adults and four kids between the ages of 4 and 13) we had just enough room in the tent for sleeping only, which had us keeping our gear in the screen room. What would happen if it rained, sure we would stay dry in the tent, but everything in the screen room would become soaked. I am sure that Coleman did not intend for the screen room as storage, but if you have ever been camping with kids you know that you pack just about everything including the kitchen sink and need somewhere to store it at.

The screen room is equipped with the WeatherTec™ system with its patented welded floors and inverted seams will help keep the main room dry, which means that there is a drainage screen built in the floor of the screen room, just before you step into the main tent. Which can be seen in the picture below (black screen material across the length of the screen room floor).

Features

  • Dark Room™ technology blocks 98.4% of sunlight for sleeping in or early bed times
  • Reduces up to 11.4% of heat in tent versus a comparable standard Coleman® tent
  • Screen room with full floor for bug-free lounging and added sleeping space on warm, dry nights
  • Up to 50% faster setup than a comparable standard Coleman® tent with conventional setup
  • Fast Pitch™ system with pre-attached poles and hub, fast fit feet, and snag-free Insta-Clip™ suspension
  • Illumiline™ reflective guy lines for greater visibility at night
  • WeatherTec™ system – patented welded floors and inverted seams help keep water out
  • Window awnings let you keep the windows open, even in the rain
  • E-Port makes it easy to bring electrical power inside your tent
  • Storage pockets to keep your gear organized
  • Included rain fly for extra weather protection
  • Durable, Polyguard™ fabric is made to last season after season
  • Easy setup in about 7 minutes
  • Spacious interior has room for 2 queen airbeds
  • 10 x 9 ft. with 10 x 5 ft. screen room
  • 5 ft. 8 in. center height
  • Carry bag included
  • 1-year limited warranty

Conclusion

Coleman absolutely nailed the speed and ease of set up on the Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6 Person Tent. While I did not personally find the Darkroom technology useful, my kids did end up sleeping in a little longer than normal, allowing for me to enjoy my cowboy camp coffee in peace and quiet. The rain fly setup has left me perplexed, if you manage to get six people in the dome portion of the tent, your gear will be left outside in the screen room and if it rains you will be left with soaking wet gear and clothes. If your camp weekends are rain free or you are only planning on bringing four people, allowing room for your gear to be stored inside the dome portion of the tent, the Coleman Carlsbad would work well. If you are bringing six people and gear and there is a possibility of rain, I would look elsewhere. For more information visit www.coleman.com or www.amazon.com/coleman.

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.

View Comments (4)

  • Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this I found it very helpful. My question is simple, I think. Can this tent, the Coleman Carlsbad 6 person fast pitch tent, be set up by one person?

    Thank you & best regards,
    Michael

    • Hi Michael,
      It definitely can be setup by one person. As with most things, it is a lot easier and faster with extra hands. Thanks for the question!

  • When I got the tent, the hubs were tied on to the body. Is it OK to repack it like that? Do I need to do anything specific? The half page of instructions sewn into the bag are handy, but not incredibly detailed.

    • Hi Tam,

      If the hubs you are speaking of are the four corners, those stay permanently attached. If you are speaking of the ones on the poles, I don't leave them tied to the body, I pack them away with the poles.

      Thanks

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