A six-person family tent with two double bedrooms, all of which are blacked out for a good night's sleep. Note: 1-year Camping and Caravanning Club Membership when you buy this tent from selected retailers.
Our Score: 8.8/10
We've given the Coleman MacKenzie 6 Family 'BlackOut' Tent the Thumbs Up award.
- The BlackOut bedrooms are very effective.
- Good ventilation with bug mesh on all entrances and windows.
- Good layout, including some storage space and a hanging rail.
- The tent felt well made and good quality.
The not so good
- Steel poles, although strong, can make pitching heavy and don't always slide apart easily when putting the tent away.
- It doesn't have a great 'rain-safe' entrance, but you can use something like the Coleman Classic Awning for that.
This was a hands-on product review. The product was supplied to us to test and conduct the review.
Coleman MacKenzie 6 Family 'BlackOut' Tent Videos
Coleman MacKenzie 6 Family 'BlackOut' Tent Photos
We've reviewed several great family tents from Coleman over the years, so we asked Coleman to send us a review sample of the MacKenzie 6 tent so we can get a closer look at one of their latest tents, and they kindly agreed :-)
The Coleman MacKenzie 6 Family Tent
The MacKenzie 6 is a tunnel tent with a door and window on both sides, but with a porch over the door on one side.
Inside the tent are three double bedrooms, each with dark black-out material to stop the early morning light from waking you up.
There are also extras like a hanging rail and storage space.
Pitching the MacKenzie 6
The Coleman MacKenzie 6 tent uses sturdy steel poles. The metal poles can make the tent bag quite hefty (35.5kg) and so you'll find it easier if two people lift the tent in and out of your car.
To make the tent bag lighter, you can pack the steel tent poles separately, as they come with a separate bag. Just remember to bring both bags the next time you go camping!
I always recommend that you try and pitch the tent at home first to get used to it. There are instructions printed on the inside of the tent bag, but they can be a little confusing until you get all the tent parts out and see how it goes together.
Now unfortunately for me, I did not follow my advice. Just see what a pickle I got into the first time I pitched it in our video! ;-)
The correct way to pitch
To see the correct way to pitch the Coleman MacKenzie 6 tent, watch Coleman's video.
The tent's steel poles slide into colour-coded sleeves on the tent and slot together.
A part of my confusion when first pitching the tent is I appeared to have two 'yellow' poles. The instructions said one. However, one of the yellow tags came off a pole when I got it out of the bag, and I think I must have slid it back onto the wrong pole.
There also appears to be an extra sleeve on the tent, which is colour-coded black. This isn't on the instructions (well, not until later), so I couldn't figure out what poles went into that sleave. As it happens, a black fibreglass pole goes into it, but you don't need to put that in until later.
It is also crucial that the two silver steel poles with slots on their sides go on the porch side of the tent. Again, I missed that the first time pitching!
If you get confused about pitching this tent, watch our video to see what it should be like.
As it happened, we had to move and repitch the tent anyway. Pitching the tent the second time was faster, and I made no mistakes. See, you should always try and do a practice pitch first ;-)
Using the MacKenzie 6
The layout of the Coleman MacKenzie suited us. Unfortunately, not all of us were able to go camping, so we didn't fill the tent: it was just three of us plus a dog - and so there was plenty of space :-)
Our youngest bagged the double bedroom, and then Shell and I shared the big bedroom with the dog.
If you also have a dog, all the doors on the Coleman MacKenzie 6 zip shut so no four-legged friends (or small kids!) can escape.
One of the big features of the Coleman MacKenzie 6 is the BlackOut bedrooms.
If you are used to a tent with light bedrooms, these black bedrooms might need a bit of getting used to - but they do work and come into their own when it gets light early during the summer.
We all had an excellent night's sleep in these bedrooms, and weren't woken up by the dawn light.... but of course, the blacked-out bedrooms couldn't block out the sound of a blackbird singing the dawn chorus at 4 am!
Once we did emerge from the bedrooms, it was noticeable how light it was in the central part of the tent. The MacKenzie's bedrooms were much better at blocking out the light than our bedroom at home.
It's quicker packing the tent away than pitching it. For the most part, the tent poles slide out quickly and fold back up. However, a few poles were tightly stuck together. Wiggling the poles as you pull them apart normally does the trick, but spraying something like WD-40 might help make things easier (spray it away from your tent).
We decided to keep the heavy tent poles in their bag separate from the tent to make transporting them more manageable.
There are some compression straps on the tent bag. I put the pole bag under these compression straps to keep them with the tent bag when I got home...just so I don't forget them the next time :-)
We liked the Coleman MacKenzie 6 tent and gave it the Thumbs Up Award.
However, if you get one, I recommend pitching the tent at home first. The pitching instructions could have been a little clearer, and the coloured plastic ends come off the poles, making things a little more confusing.
The steel poles aren't as fast to pitch as an inflatable tent, and pitching single-handedly is much more difficult. If you have two or more people helping, it is much easier and quicker.
Inside the tent, there felt plenty of space, yet the tent isn't too big for weekend camping.
If you plan on a longer stay in the tent with your family, such as a week, you'll need more living space. However, that needn't be in the tent but is ideally outside, even if you have to put up an awning, tarp, gazebo, or event shelter.
The lack of a large front porch and somewhere to leave wet shoes, for example, is the main thing missing from this tent. However, the Coleman Classic Awning works well with this tent if the weather doesn't look great and you need additional shelter.
The quality of the materials was good, and they were put together well. I didn't notice any stitching errors.
Features such as bug mesh on all the doors and windows haven't been skimped on either; you can close up the tent and yet have good ventilation. The doors and windows on both sides of the tent helped keep the temperature down when the summer sun did come out.
Storage pockets, cable entry, and even a hanging rail are inside the tent, so it is well-specified.
|Attribute||Coleman MacKenzie 6 Family 'BlackOut' Tent|
|Recommended Tent Use||Ideal for Weekend Camping, Ideal for Longer Stays|
|Frame Type||Rigid, steel or alloy poles|
|Fly Hydrostatic Head||4500 mm|
|Tent Living Space|
|Pitching and Storage|