The Coleman Da Gama 6 has 3 double bedrooms, a good sized living area, and a well designed rain-resistant tent entrance. A good choice for families. We tested this tent in a very bad storm.
The Coleman Da Gama 6 is an excellent family tent. We’ve been using it for most of the season, so read our in-depth review below, including how it faired in a storm that lasted for days.
What is the Coleman Da Gama 6?
The Coleman Da Gama 6 family tent gives you 3 bedrooms and room for six. These bedrooms are arranged along the back of the tent, with a good sized living area in front of them.
The divider between two of the bedrooms can be unzipped. This can be useful if you have young children as you can easily get to them in the night without even leaving your sleeping bag!
The Da Gama has a well designed entrance at the front of the tent. Unlike some tents that place the entrance door on the sloping sides, the Da Gama has a vertical entrance protected by a small porch. This helps keep the water out of your tent if it rains (tents with doors on sloping sides can let in water if it rains and you open the door).
Our Experience with the Da Gama 6
Pitching and using the Da Gama 6 has been very easy for us, and we found the wide living area very useful, as cupboards and bags can go to the side and still leave plenty of space in the tent.
The living area is nice and light, with a big window (which has blinds), smaller front windows, and lighter material on top to let in more light (there is darker material over the sleeping compartments, which is a great idea).
All the windows have blinds.
We haven’t yet used the side door as a door, but we have unzipped the outer layer leaving just the zipped up fly screen.
This adds a bit more light, but more importantly, really helps cool the tent down on hot days, especially when you open the big front tent door.
There is also a fly screen that covers the entire front door, so you can roll the door completely up and out of the way, but still keep the bugs out.
The sleeping compartments can each fit a double sized air bed.
If you used a raised air bed or camping bed you may find the back of the inner tent on the bed, as the back of the tent has a slight slope. If this is the case, pitch the tent so that your head is at the door side of the sleeping pod.
The zip between two of the sleeping compartments was really useful for getting to our youngest during a stormy night. This actually has two zips holding it in place: one along the bottom and one on the side. We found this a better arrangement and prevents the zips getting snagged as you see to the younger ones.
Each sleeping compartment has a fly screen on the top half of the door, which can be zipped up. We recommend you leave this unzipped during the day to let the air flow and remove condensation. You only need to zip it all the way up if you want the privacy for getting changed.
How to pitch the Coleman Da Gama 6 Tent
Pitching the Da Gama 6 is really easy.
You can pitch the tent single handed, though with two people it is a bit easier. The first time a couple of us pitched the tent together we had the main tent out the bag and up within 20 minutes. It did take a bit longer pegging out the guy lines, but for a large tent that’s not very long to pitch at all.
Here’s a video I made on how to pitch the tent.
Our review of the Coleman Da Gama 6 in Bad Weather
We took the Da Gama 6 to a very wet and windy hill top that over looked the sea in Cornwall. Although this was a fantastic spot when we arrived, we soon took the full force of an Atlantic storm (with Met Office weather warning), complete with thunderstorms, torrential rain, gale force winds, and even some hale (yes, it was Summer time!).
The weather front soon moved in and the fast pitching time helped us get everyone and everything into the tent before the heaven’s opened…. all except me who was pegging out the guy lines when the storm hit.
The steel poles kept the tent upright throughout, and the tension adjusters helped keep things tight.
I was impressed with the waterproofing. Rain lashed down and poured off the tent (see the video below).
This storm went on for days (we had half a day of sunshine within the four days of storm!).
The first night the wind was really strong and got under the tent. This started lifting the floor slightly.
The tent pegs supplied by Coleman are the ‘wire pegs’. Whilst these are thicker than many wire pegs supplied with tents, they are no substitute for pegs designed for bad weather (see this post on tent pegs). Putting in some better anchor pegs and we had no more lifting from wind.
I normally put in stronger pegs but I wanted to see how the Coleman set-up worked on its own in these conditions. The answer is: always get the appropriate pegs for the environment and weather.
The rain was so bad it was like a fire hose had been turned on the tent. It was so strong that it came through the tent fabric like fine mist. This wasn’t a leak, just what happens in extreme weather. The volume and force by which the rain came down must have far exceeded the tent’s Hydrostatic Head.
Making the dash outside at night I was also really pleased to have the Coleman CPX Hybrid Lantern (read our review here). The small torch that docks and charges with the main lantern means there’s always a torch ready at hand, and it’s really bright too.
Outside and the guy lines lit up. Woven into each line is a thread of reflective material. You don’t notice in the day time but shine a torch on them in the dark and they light up really clearly. Another neat design touch.
The ground sheet never let in any water, though we did suffer a few leaks as the wind had lifted the rain skirt by the electric hook-up zip and also the protection around the side door, and some water had seeped in. This wasn’t a lot and easily mopped up with a towel.
Actually, compared to many other tents, we did quite well. We were in the most exposed spot of the campsite, and others had pitched in relatively calmer spots, yet everyone had stories of leaks, tents starting to fly off, gazebos and awnings taking flight, and even one family having to have a donation from the campsite for dry bedding!
We’ve camped in some pretty bad weather plenty of times, but that storm was something else!
Watch our fun video below to see just how wet and windy it was.
Coleman Da Gama 6 Extras
As well as the carpet for the Da Gama 6 (and recommended: see why), you can get an extension for the Da Gama 6.
The extension is ideal for longer camps or when it is wet or windy.
Da Gama 6 Extension Video Review
We put the Da Gama 6 extension through the same bad weather down in Cornwall.
Fixing the extension to the Da Gama 6 Tent
I find putting tent extensions up can take longer than the main tent sometimes. Fortunately the Da Gama extension attaches easily to the tent (even when putting up in a thunder-storm!).
The extension has two steel tent pole sections that go together in exactly the same way as the main tent.
The back of the extension clips on to the main tent.
There are three buckles at the front of the Da Gama: one at the top and two on the side.
The extension then has some material that goes over the top of the tent. This simply clips to the main frame of the Da Gama tent, and includes a tension adjuster.
Inside the Da Gama 6 Extension
The Da Gama 6 extension is quite large and really extends the living space.
It comes with a ground sheet that you can optionally fit. Not having the ground sheet permanently fixed to the extension is a good thing: it was very wet when we tried this extension and the space was great as a wet/dry zone, and perfect for hanging wet rain coats and leaving muddy shoes – something you wouldn’t want to do if you had a ground sheet in.
The no groundsheet option is also great if you want to keep bikes or other potentially muddy gear inside.
Just like the main tent, the Da Gama 6 extension has big bright windows with blinds. One large window both sides plus panoramic windows at the front.
The extension has a large ventilation flap at the front so you can get good airflow through the tent (just leave the screen door zipped on the main tent and you’ll keep the bugs out).
There are two lantern hanging points plus velcro cable tidies if you are on an EHU….. but we found these also great places to hang wet clothes!
The Front Canopy
With the extension you also get a set of two straight tent poles so that you can turn the large front door into a sun canopy, which is a nice touch.
Tent Extension Size
To illustrate how big the extension is, we used it as a garage!
Yes, it was still wet when packing away, so we reversed the car up to the extension canopy and wheeled the trailer right inside the extension.
We could now get all the interior of the tent packed up and transferred to the car or trailer in the dry.
All we added was an additional tarp to go right over the back of the car, but that was just as an added precaution since we had the tarp available.
Conclusion – Was the extension worth it?
We were certainly glad we had the extension for our Coleman Da Gama 6 tent.
Great for keeping the wind off.
Excellent at keeping the rain out.
Need something smaller?
If the Da Gama 6 is too big, why not have a look at the Da Gama 5.
Thanks to Coleman for supplying us with a Da Gama 6 to try out in real camping conditions and bring you this review.
- A good-sized affordable steel frame tent that you can use for weekend camping or for family camping holidays (especially with the addition of the Da Gama extension).
- Not too many bad points with this tent. The Hydrostatic Head is only 3000mm, but we found no problem with this despite being in a thunderstorm with torrential rain.
Specification: Coleman Da Gama 6 Family Tent
|Recommended Tent Use|