Coleman Weathermaster 8XL Air Tent Review #ad
Last weekend we were finally able to go camping (and this time not in the garden). Our first camping trip of 2020 has been much later than usual thanks to the confines of COVID but let me tell you, it was well worth the wait because we were in a brand new Coleman Weathermaster 8XL Air Tent.
Coleman Weathermaster 8XL Air Tent
The Coleman Weathermaster 8XL Air Tent is an 8 person tent which ticks every box on my camping wish list! We first saw the Weathermaster family tent at the Camping, Caravan & Motorhome Show back in February and it was most definitely love at first sight.
- Storm straps – front and back
- Blackout bedrooms
- Air poles
- Tunnel structure tent
- Integrated groundsheet
- Taped seams
- Inflates in 10-15 minutes with one person
It comes as no surprise that the Coleman Weathermaster 8XL won Camping Magazines Editor’s Choice Awards 2020 Commended for Best XL Family Tent. It is also available in a Weathermaster 4XL Air and Weathermaster 6XL Air tent for slightly smaller families.
Pitching the tent
Our new Coleman Weathermaster arrived a few days before we were due to go away so we didn’t really have time to get it out and have a practice run at home. This video shows us pitching the tent first time out of the carry bag. There are 6 air poles to inflate using the pump which is provided. You twist open the cover on the bottom of the pole, press the pin to make it pop out and then attach the hose for the pump. The pump inflates on the up and down motion so no energy is wasted.
The bedrooms are already in place so once you have inflated all the poles the tent interior is ready to go. This is perfect for adverse weather because everyone else can start setting up the beds and furniture whilst someone else pegs out the guys and storm straps. I loved the addition of the storm straps and the high-vis guys, hopefully, I won’t be tripping over them in the night.
I always like to pitch the tent as much on my own as possible so that when I take the children away in the Summer with my Mum I can do it. On this occasion, you can see that the very excitable children wanted to have a go too and it was pretty windy on the top of the hill so I needed a little help with the guys. This time it took us 20 minutes but I know that I will be able to do it quicker next time as I will know where everything is.
Next time, I’m going to let Simon have all the fun and pitch the tent whilst I marshall the kids into emptying the car!
The 8XL air has a very generous living area with a total of 32 m2 which is divided into Sleeping area 12 m2, Living area13 m2, Porch 7 m2.
Once we were pitched and set up, we were all convinced that it was far larger than our Valdes 6XL which had 29.1 m2 total area. Then we realised, the difference came thanks to the enclosed porch.
I never thought I would find a Coleman tent which I would love as much as I do the Valdes 6XL but the Weathermaster 8XL pips it at the post. Having the option to close the front porch made it an extremely versatile space. In the past, we would position our table and chairs in the open porch when the weather was dry and warm but if it was cold we would move it into the living area.
With the Coleman Weathermaster, we were able to leave the table and chairs in the porch all the time, opening and closing the front according to the weather. This left the living area free to spread out.
Coleman’s XXL bedrooms offer more space than in the average family tent, a whopping 70cm per person. Larger double camping beds will fit comfortably in all of the bedroom pods. In the new Weathermaster, all three blackout bedrooms can be opened up to make one supersize bedroom or zipped to provide three separate rooms.
It’s not called a Coleman Weathermaster 8XL for anything, there is a fourth double sleeping pod which can be attached in the main living area without impacting on the space. It can be positioned to the left or right of the doorway into the porch. This makes it the perfect tent for a larger family or to take extended family members with you. We had planned for Nanny to come with us but due to COVID she is still shielding so will have to wait for next year which is a shame.
We cannot sing the praises of the Coleman blackout bedrooms enough, they have completely revolutionised our quality of sleep from previous brands we have owned. Gone are the days of children not being able to get to sleep in the evening because it was too light and gone are the mornings where the whole family were woken up at the crack of dawn by the light streaming in and the heat rising.
The blackout bedrooms are hands down the best on the market offering blocking out 99% of daylight. Not only that but it helps to keep the bedroom up to 5°C cooler during the day and 1°C warmer at night by storing energy from the sun in the surface of the fabric.
The new porch area very quickly became my favourite place to sit no matter what the weather (and we saw it all bar snow). The face of the integrated porch can be fully closed, partially open or fully removed. We used it partially open and fully closed because the weather didn’t quite make it to scorching temperatures whilst we were at the tent.
I loved the large window which offered a beatiful view down the campsite to the rolling hills of the Peak District beyond, it was especially cool to sit there watching a thunder and lightening storm rolling in.
Those who know me and have followed our camping expeditions over the last 6 years call me a hardcore camper because I have camped through pretty much everything (including snow). I have never been one to let the weather spoil my fun, I figure you just have to embrace it and go with it.
The Coleman Weathermaster hasn’t been named so because it has control over the weather, you are not instantly guaranteed perfect weather because you have the tent. Instead, it protects and shields you from the weather so that you can enjoy your holiday.
WeatherTec waterproof fabric has an impressive hydrostatic head of 4500mm, this means a 4.5m colum of water can be placed on the fabric before any drops will show through the underside of the fabric.
The Air Poles and storm straps keep the tent standing firm in strong winds and the fabrics SPF50 will protect your family from the sun’s UV rays.
Coleman tents are made from fire retardant fabric which will not flare out of control and will self-extinguish. This will provide you with time to get your family out of the tent to safety.
I was pleased to see that Coleman has kept their zipper stops halfway up doors to ensure that doors cannot be zipped so high that a child is unable to reach them and exit to safety.
Additional features we loved
Sometimes it’s the little things that impress me more than anything and with the new Weathermaster range there were plenty of thoughtful details which didn’t go unnoticed:
- Condensation Baffle which allows moisture to run out of the tent rather than into the tent
- Dropdown door access makes it easier for pram and wheelchair access
- Zipped curtains offer more privacy when needed
- Mesh hanging tension points
- Bedroom ventilation – the entire width of the back can be opened
- RainSafe Canopy on the side door (with re-inforced pole ends) so the rain doesn’t run in when you open the door
- Additional Storage Pockets
- Bedroom Cable entry point and light hooks in each bedroom
- Hanging loops on every air pole
- Manual Pump Included
- High & Low-level ventilation to increase the airflow into the living space
- Rain Skirts which allow the water to flow off the tent with ease
- Internal Mesh Door – allows airflow without allowing bugs in
- Cable Entry so you can feed your EHU into your tent to power your camping appliances
- Oversized Wheelie Bag
The oversized wheelie bag was a blessing because the tent is pretty heavy to carry and there’s always the worry that you won’t get the tent and parts back into the bag on going home day. The oversized bag made it super simple. We always roll the tent up to the bag and then put the bag over the tent and roll it again to get to the zips and close the bag.
I will do a ‘taking down video’ on our next trip to show you how simple it is. On our Peak District trip, the weather was due to change and so we only decided at 9 pm to pack up and go home a day early but which time I didn’t think about a video. We were off the campsite inside of an hour.
The only tent accessories you might want to consider purchasing for the Coleman Weathermaster 8XL is a footprint and a tent carpet for comfort and warmth. We have just bought the footprint for the 8XL Air because we feel they protect the tent from the damp ground and if you happen to be camping anywhere with lots of sticks or roots.
We have previously found when camping in the forest that the tent floor can be easily damaged by sticks, stones and mini cones no matter how much we try to clear the pitch before we start.
We have used tent carpets for many years and they definitely add to the warmth and comfort. This year we have also added carpets to the bedrooms for additional warmth.
FREE Camping and Caravanning Club Membership with Coleman Tents
When you buy any Coleman Weathermaster or Coleman Valdes tent through selected tent partners, you will receive free Camping and Caravanning Club membership worth £46.
Member benefits include:
- Over 1,500 member-exclusive sites tucked away in secluded locations that commercial sites couldn’t even get close to
- Monthly award-winning magazine
- 30% off Club Site fees
- Over 60’s get an additional 25% off
- Exclusive discounts with specially selected retailers where you can save 10%
- Save up to 30% on a host of special attractions
- Discounted tailor-made insurance and breakdown cover
If you are already a member, you won’t lose out. Just keep the pack until your current membership expires and then renew using the pack.
We have been camping at Camping and Caravanning Club Sites for the past 6 years and love them. You can read my site reviews in my camping section.