Review: Is The Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent An Instant Tent

The Instant Coleman Pop Up Tent Makes Setting Up Camp Easy

Watch this video on YouTube.

Before we started living in a travel trailer our camping was done out of the trunk of a car. We would go almost every weekend and we traveled to a lot of places.

When you have limited time to spend out in the wilderness you don’t want to use half a day setting up your tent.

That’s why instant pop up tents like the ones by Coleman are so amazing, they set themselves up in a matter of seconds.

As a bonus, they are also easy to carry around and even shake the dirt out of before folding it up and putting away.

Pop-up tents also known as instant tents take up barely any space and weigh very little. We got a Coleman 2 person pop-up tent when they first came out. At the time stores only carried the 2 person model, so that’s what we went with.

I’m going to tell you right now that the 2 man instant tent is very small. We fit in the tent, but barely, it’s pretty cramped.

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It still works for two people though, and it’s not any smaller than a regular sized 2 person tent, we just like a little more space in our tent when camping.

The smaller size does make the Coleman two person instant slightly better for colder weather as it’s easy for two people to keep it as warm as you can keep a tent.

The Coleman 2 person pop up tent is also perfect for kids as well. You can pop it up in the back yard for sleepovers or even use it as an instant play place inside. There are many uses for a tent that you can set up and take down in just seconds.

Coleman now makes a 4 person instant pop up tent (click to view on Amazon) that is just as easy to set up and take down. It’s probably a better option if there will be two people or more sleeping in the same tent.

So what’s so great about Coleman pop up tents? We used our 2 person pop up tent regularly for 3 years before we upgraded to a travel trailer and I can tell you right now that I was and still am very impressed with the instant tent overall.

In this review, I’m going to go through all the things that are great about it and some of the things that are not so great. In the end, I hope you will have a better understanding of what a pop up tent is exactly and what kind of camping the Coleman 2 person pop up tent is perfect for.

Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent

Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent , Green/Grey

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Girl walking with the Coleman 2 person pop up tent in a bag.
The Colman pop-up tents fold into a round easy to carry shape with a convenient storage bag.

Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent Features

There are a lot of great things about the Coleman 2 person pop-up tent that not only make it super easy to transport and set up but also make it a great instant tent overall.

It’s simple in design and is very small for a 2 person tent. For one person though, it’s amazing. The footprint is 7 feet 6 inches long and 4 feet 6 inches at the widest point. It has an oval shape and slowly starts to round off.

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The ends of the tent are around 2 feet 6 inches wide. It is enough space for two pillows and there’s room to store your stuff in the leftover space on each end, but it’s a little cramped if you are two adults camping for longer than just a weekend.

The tent is a dome shape that is 2 feet 11 inches at the tallest point and rounds down to around 2 feet tall before it ends. It’s enough space for people who are no more than 6 feet tall to sit up.

Coleman 2 person pop up tent set up in the desert.
Like most 2 person tents the Coleman pop up tent is small but it folds up to a small size and is easy to transport.

The entire instant tent weighs only 6 lbs, that’s counting the small included tent stakes, storage bag and pop up tent. The instant tent folds into a circle and comes in a zippered storage bag that has two carry handles.

The circle is around 49.5 inches wide and a few inches thick. It’s very easy to leave in the trunk of a car and you can put light camping gear on top of it without damaging anything.

There are some included tent stakes but they are the thin standard metal kind. I suggest getting at least 4 of the larger tent stakes like these (click to view on Amazon) to secure each end of the Coleman pop-up tent really well to the ground and use the included stakes to stake down the edges of the tent.

There are also two guy lines on each end you can use to secure the wind/rain cover to the ground as well.

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The Coleman instant tent is waterproof and in my experience does really well in even heavy rains. The shape also makes it very wind resistant but I do suggest tying down the wind cover on the sides as well as each end.

We experienced some very high winds when camping in southern Utah and although it was very noisy (like all tents in the wind) I never felt like the whole thing was going to blow away.

There are 3 mesh panels on the inside roof and two door panels. The first door panel is wind and waterproof and the second door panel has a mesh window on the top section. The wind cover is extremely easy to remove so you can enjoy the breeze or lay under the stars at night protected from mosquitoes.

Inner door with mesh opening on the Colman 2 person pop-up tent.
Trona Pinnacles, CA

There are also 2 mesh pockets hanging inside you can use to store phones and flashlights for easy access.

The Coleman pop-up tent is made of thin but durable polyester and uses lightweight pre-assembled fiberglass poles that can be twisted to fold but also pop open to their original shape when released.

The fabric is flame-retardant and uses TDCPP to comply with CPAI-84 requirements. The mesh is woven tight enough to keep bugs out and loose enough to see through very easily.


Coleman 2 person pop up tent set up in a campground
Even though it’s short the Coleman 2 person pop-up tent still has room for everything you need.

My Review Of The Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent

What I Like

How Easy It Is To Set Up & Take Down

After 3 years of regular use, I can honestly say that I really like the Coleman 2 person instant tent. Most of the time we’ve been driving to places and camping out of a car, so using minimal space, and easy set up/take down were really important.

I love that all I have to do is pull it out of the storage bag, remove the elastic strap that’s keeping it from flying open, and just let the pop up tent go. It instantly springs open and is ready to be loaded up with bedding.

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Some people are worried about figuring out the folding part. Luckily Coleman has a lot of resources for you to use in order to understand the process.

There are pictures on the storage bag you can use for reference and you can check out the youtube video (click to view) they’ve made to help you understand all the steps better and also learn a few tips to use when putting away the tent.

It only took me a few tries while watching the video to understand how it folds up.

Since buying the Coleman pop-up tent I’ve invested in a few other pop-up style structures and I’ve found that they all fold down the same way. Learning how to fold up a pop-up tent has been very useful knowledge.

Simply unhook the outer shell to get some sun or star gaze in the Coleman pop-up tents.

The Wind/Rain Cover Is Very Easy To Remove

Most of the time I like the wind/rain shell to be on the pop up tent, but when it’s a beautiful sunny day and I want to take a nap or when the stars are out I like a tent cover that is easy to throw off and then put back on.

The Coleman pop-up tent’s cover is super easy to remove. It’s held on with a few hooks and some velcro straps.

It’s permanently attached with two elastic straps on the back so all you have to do is unhook it and throw it over to the other side.

You don’t have to worry about it blowing away in the wind or finding a place to store it because it’s attached permanently.

Cleaning Is A Breeze

One of the biggest pains when putting away any tent is having to sweep it out and also making sure it’s totally dry.

I found that with the Coleman 2 person pop-up tent all you have to do to clean it is literally just pick it up and shake it. I leave the door flap open and any dirt inside just falls right out.

If it’s early morning and we have to put the instant tent away so we can get to the next campsite I just pick it up and shake off most of the early morning dew before folding it up.

If the pop-up tent was wet when I put it away I just pop it open when I get home and let it dry out. It’s really easy and not nearly as much of a hassle as drying a regular tent.

It Holds Up Well In The Wind

The wind is a common enemy to every kind of camper. It doesn’t matter if you are in an RV, a pop up camper, or a tent, the wind is going to be noisy and shake everything around.

Most tents are built to withstand winds of around 15 to 30 mph, once you get around 20 mph most regular tents really start to act like they are going to blow away and take you with them.

Because of the dome shape of the Coleman 2 person pop up tent, the wind can still be an issue when it starts to get crazy but I was surprised by how secure everything felt when wind speeds starter to get into the 30’s when we were camping out in the desert one weekend.

It’s not built for high wind speeds like hardcore mountain tents, but it’s better than most.

Of course, the 4 man Coleman pop up tent that is quite a bit bigger isn’t as good in the wind as the 2 person model but it’s still better than most.

What I Don’t Like

Everything has its imperfections and the Coleman 2 person pop up tent does have a few things I don’t like.

And while the pros greatly outweigh the cons they are worth mentioning.

Inside picture of the Coleman 2 person pop-up tent
The Coleman 2 person pop-up tent is perfect for one person and a cat.

A Little Too Small For Two 

I’ve said it a few times already but I’ll say it again. This instant tent is really just for one person.

To be fair most 2 person tents are quite small and a little cramped when used by two people but because of the oval and dome shape of the Coleman instant tent, it’s even more cramped than usual.

If I could do it again I would buy the 4 person Coleman pop up tent and I even have suggested doing just that to people who have asked for my recommendation.

I’ve been able to borrow the 4 person version from family and it was much nicer for two people. That being said for one person the 2 person pop up tent is absolutely perfect, and it’s a great size for kids.

The inner door with the mesh opening can be closed but it's not as easy as I would like it to be.
Trona Pinnacles, CA

The Inner Door Is Hard To Close

One of the first things we noticed when we took this tent camping was how difficult it is to zip up the inner door flap.

It can be done but there’s a lot of strain on the zipper and the seams around it. It’s mostly because of how the tent is built and this isn’t a problem that’s specific to just Coleman, lots of pop up tent brands have this exact problem.

Luckily the outer door flap closes just fine and if you want to make closing the inner flap easier all you have to do is leave each end of the tent staked a few inches off the ground.

This takes some of the pressure off of the center of the tent and makes it easier to close. Or you can just roll up and tie up the inner tent flap and not bother with it at all.

Durability Review

I can only speak from my experience with this tent but so far it’s held up very well. I’ve set up and taken it down at least 100 times since I’ve bought it and there’s been no failure in the pop up pole system and all the seams are still watertight.

I’ve used this tent in windstorms, rainstorms, hot sunny days, and cold fall nights and everything is still as good as new.

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If you take care of your camping gear it will take care of you. I pretty much always use at least a tarp under the Coleman tent and when I don’t have a tarp or mat to set it on I make sure to remove any large or sharp rocks before I stake it down.

After 3 years of weekend camping trips, I’d say the Coleman 2 person pop up tent is very durable and has held up much better than expected.

Coleman 2 person pop up tent staked to the ground
There are 6 loops around the base of the Coleman instant tent you can use to secure it to the ground.

Portability Review

Like most 2 person tents this instant tent is very lightweight and super portable. I wasn’t sure about the 49.5 inch circle the Coleman pop up tent folds into and how it would fit with all my other gear in the trunk of a car but it lays flat and doesn’t take up hardly any space.

Normally I put the tent on top of my gear so it’s easy to access when I get to where I’m camping but it can be placed in the bottom and have lighter things like sleeping bags and clothes placed on top.

Now that I live and camp in a travel trailer RV I don’t use my instant tent nearly as much. It fits under the camper bed and I use it occasionally when I want to take a nap outside, have a beach shelter, or when I need extra sleeping space for visitors.

I know a few people who use this tent as an emergency item they have in their car. If they ever need a place to sleep or shade during the day they have the Coleman pop up tent sitting in their trunk, ready to use at any time.

Usability Review

Easy to set up instant tents like the Coleman pop up’s have more usability than traditional stake and pole tents because they can be taken out for an hour nap and put away just like that.

They are great for the beach and can be used as a nice little shaded area for yourself, kids, and even pets.

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I occasionally even use my instant tent as a place to store my RV camping gear when it’s raining outside. When something is easy to set up like this the usability goes up and you can find lots of little uses every day.

Conclusion About The Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent

When people ask me what affordable instant tent they can buy for small weekend outings I always suggest the Coleman pop up tents. They are not only easy to set up and put away but they last for years and years.

The Coleman pop up tent can be used for much more than just camping and it’s something you can leave in your car to use at any time.

If you buy the right size for the number of people you are camping with there really is only one con which is the slightly difficult closing of the inner door flap. This issue is more of an annoyance and definitely not a deal-breaker for me.

I highly recommend Coleman instant tents and I still use my little 2 person one to this day.


Girl sitting outside the Coleman 2 person pop up tent
Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Similar Pop Up & Instant Tents

If the Coleman Instant Tent isn’t for you there are a few other options that are similar with a few different features.

Pop-up Tent and Automatic Instant Portable Cabana Beach, Camping Tent Pop Up Shade Tent - Suitable for 2 People - 2 Doors - Water-Resistant, UV Protection Sun Shelter with Carrying Bag (Sky Blue)

Abco Tech Instant 2 Person Tent

The Abco is a very simple pop up tent that is more of a rectangle shape than the Coleman. It doesn’t have a removable cover but does have two small square windows on each end and there is a door on each side with mesh panels to let air in but keep bugs out.

The footprint is 7 feet 4 inches long and 3 feet 11 inches wide. This is more of a 1 person instant tent or a good pop up shade tent for the beach.

The highest point is 3 feet 1 inch. It weighs around 4 lbs so it’s very portable and easy to carry around.

Because there is no wind/rain cover the Abco Tech pop up tent is not as waterproof as the Coleman and is better for fair weather weekend camping. The two doors are a very nice feature though.

ZOMAKE Pop Up Tent 3 4 Person, Beach Tent Sun Shelter for Baby with UV Protection - Automatic and Instant Setup Tent for Family (Blue)

Zomake Pop Up Tent

The Zomake pop up tent only comes in the 3-4 person size. Its footprint is 7 feet 11 inches long and 5 feet 11 inches wide. It’s also 3 feet 4 inches at the tallest point.

Because this is a larger 3-4 person pop up tent it’s not a great direct comparison to the Coleman 2 person pop up tent but it’s still a great option if you want a large easy to use and portable instant tent for camping.

It has a small removable wind/rain cover and there are 4 doors, one on each side.

Each door has a mesh panel you can use to open everything up and get a nice breeze. There is also a small mesh panel on the roof under the cover so you can see the stars at night.

There is a rain cover but it’s small so the Zomake is more water-resistant than waterproof and may not be as good as Coleman pop up tents for heavy rain.

The Zomake instant tent is a great alternative to the Coleman 4 person pop up tent.


Frequently Asked Questions About Coleman Pop Up Tents

Is the Coleman pop up tent waterproof?

Yes, Coleman pop up tents are waterproof. I’ve used mine in a few rainstorms and there was even a little flooding, everything inside the tent stayed nice and dry.

Does the Coleman 2 person instant pop up tent have a window?

Yes, there is a small window on the top section of the inner door panel on the Coleman 2 person pop up tent. There are also 3 star gazer panels/windows on the top you can see through when you remove the rain cover.

Can you fit a full size air mattress in the Coleman 2 person pop up tent?

Yes, the Coleman 2 person pop up tent will fit a full size air mattress but the rounded corners will have a little bit of stress on them. On that same note, the Coleman 2 man instant tent will not fit a queen size air mattress, you will have to get the 4 person version for that.

How is the Coleman two person instant tent in cold weather?

Because the Coleman 2 person instant tent is so small it actually does pretty well in cold weather.

There are a few open mesh panels on the top that let out some warm air even with the rain cover over them but when compared to other kinds of 2 man instant tents it’s one of the better ones for cold weather.

If you are planning on doing some full winter camping I would suggest getting a more specialized tent for winter camping. Instant tents are usually better for warmer temperatures.

How do you fold up a pop up tent?

It’s hard to describe in words, you can check out this video by Coleman (click to view on Youtube) that goes through the steps to help you learn how to fold pop up and instant tents.

Are pop up tents worth it?

Pop up tents, in my opinion, are definitely worth it. They are very fast to set up (instant), lightweight, portable, easy to clean, durable, and worth every penny if you are a weekend tent camper.

Are pop up tents good for camping?

There are lots of different kinds of pop up and instant tents. Some are just for shade, others are for the beach, and some are for changing or for showering in.

If you are going to get a pop up tent for sleeping and camping make sure you get one like the Coleman pop up tent that is waterproof and can hold up against the wind.

What is a pop up tent?

There are a few different kinds of pop up tents but in general, they usually fold into a circle much like car windshield shades.

To set them up all you have to do is remove any straps and throw them in the air. A good pop up tent will immediately pop open and land on the ground ready to sleep in.

To put it in fewer words, a pop up tent is a tent that pops open instantly and is ready to go in seconds.

Which pop up tent is best?

The best pop up tents for camping will be waterproof, windproof, durable, easy to set up, lightweight, and very portable.

The Coleman 2 person pop up tent (click to view on Amazon) is all of these things and more.

In my experience, Coleman makes one of the best pop up tents for camping.

Are pop up tents waterproof?

Not all pop up/instant tents are waterproof, some are just water-resistant.

If there is a removable outer shell that covers the top of the tent it should be waterproof or at least more water-resistant than the kind that doesn’t have a cover.

Have any more questions about the Coleman pop up tent or instant tents? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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