We’ve been using an inflatable tent now for about 2.5 years. We’ve looked at inflatable tents from Outwell, Zempire, and Vango. Now our friends over at Coleman have sent us over one of their inflatable tents, the Coleman Valdes 6L.
Inflating the Valdes 6L
So each brand of inflatable tent adopts a slightly different approach to inflation.
With the Coleman Valdes 6L, you pump up each air tube individually, like a great many other tents. However, the valves for the tubes are on the inside of the tent.
Some of these you can easily access through a zipped open door, or they have their own zipped flap enables you to reach the valve from outside the tent.
In a similar fashion to the Vango AirBeams, the pump comes with an attachment to hold it in place on the valve as you pump. Also similar to the Vango tents, the same valve is used to inflate and deflate: you simply press a button on the valve and the air quickly comes out of the tube.
However, unlike the Vango AirBeam tents, I did find the Coleman set-up more fiddly. Because the valves are on the inside of the tent, I found it difficult to attach the pump hose correctly when trying to do so through the small valve access flaps. And then when I finished pumping, I would accidentally catch the air release button when disconnecting the hose.
A couple of the air tubes I had to inflate several times.
I’m sure with practice you can disconnect the pump without deflating the tubes.
Coleman Valdes 6L Layout
We really like the layout of the Valdes 6L.
It has three double bedrooms and a living area, but that living area is divided with the 3rd bedroom.
You could easily remove this bedroom if everyone could fit in the bedrooms at the back of the tent. However, for us, it means there are two bedrooms at the back of the tent (one for girls and one for boys), and Mum and Dad get the bigger bedroom in the middle of the tent.
This is the number of people that the manufacturer reports the tent could accommodate. Some manufacturers provide larger bedroom dimensions than others, so take the tent’s bedroom sizes into account. On some tents you will want less people than this number to make it more comfortable.
We class a bedroom as a separate compartment that you can sleep in from the main living space. A sleeping area may be divided into separate bedrooms. Make sure the bedroom is big enough for your needs.
Ideal for Weekends
This is a tent you might want to consider for weekend camping, where you will only be sleeping in it for a night or two, but you want something quick and easy to pitch.
Ideal for Longer Breaks
This is a larger tent ideal for longer stays where you will be sleeping several nights or even a couple of weeks.
This is an inflatable tent, where you pump up air tubes instead of inserting tent poles.
Hobbit Door and Darkness
One of the things that are distinctive with this range of Coleman tents is that it has a ‘solid door’.
Unlike many tent doors, that you have to roll up to get out of the way, the Coleman tents uses some thin tent poles to give the tent’s entrance a solid door.
The door is slightly rounded, so I’ve been calling it a ‘Hobbit’ door…though of course that is a completely unofficial name for it!
Another distinctive feature is the blackout bedrooms.
There are many tents these days that have slightly darker material in the bedrooms. When you are camping, it is typically in the summer months when it starts getting light very early in the morning. With darker material in the bedrooms, the theory is that you get to sleep longer.
Well, Coleman has taken that concept to the extreme and coated the bedrooms to make them into dark rooms (anyone remember the old days of developing photos in dark rooms?).
These rooms are dark. It’s like having two dark caves at the back of the tent.
Now, completely dark rooms may not be to everyone’s taste. But if getting to sleep (and staying asleep) in a tent is something you have a problem with, then maybe this design feature is for you.
Note that the third bedroom, that is in the middle of the living area, doesn’t have the black out feature.
Getting to and from the campsite
As with many large family tents, this is a large heavy bag to transport (though not as big and heavy as some other tents).
We recommend that the Coleman Valdes 6L is best being used as a family holiday tent, where you are staying many nights, and where the additional space the tent provides can be used fully.
Outside and Entrances
The Valdes 6L has the ‘solid’ door on the front, plus a side door on both sides of the tent.
The front of the tent has a small porch area that may provide a bit of shelter if entering or leaving the tent in the rain….depending on the rain’s direction of course 😉
Thanks, Credits, and Disclaimers: We would like to thank Coleman for sending us over their Valdes 6L to try out and review.
Image credit Coleman for the Valdes 6L layout. All other photos, and opinions, are our own.