If there’s one thing I’ve discovered throughout my years of camping and writing on my blog, it’s that people want to know if CORE tents are better than Coleman.
Instead of replying to each and every person individually, I thought I’d just cover it in a post so everything is in one place.
Keep in mind that I am completely unbiased and not afraid to tell the truth.
If you’re a long-term reader you will already know that anyway 😛
Alright, lets get started!
What CORE Specialize In
CORE specialize in high quality products.
They aren’t afraid to go all out on a tent, hence why they provide special H20 Block Technology, water repellent fabrics and active bead technology.
All of this combined creates a vastly superior waterproof tent that has no trouble keeping the rain out even in a torrential downpour.
They also have the “instant” feature, meaning all poles are pre-attached to the body.
It’s just a matter of unfolding the tent, extending it and pitching it – all can be done in a mere 60 seconds flat.
The adjustable ground vent promotes ventilation to stop any condensation buildup.
Massive wall organizers, large windows and mesh ceilings are also included!
So yes, you can stargaze easily with CORE tents.
- Affordable – Their tents may not be as cheap as Coleman but they definitely are not highly expensive either. For what you get they are in a great price range if you ask me
- Extreme water protection – The CORE H20 Block Technology has been put on all of their tents. They give the best water run-off possible
- Strong wind protection – Taking a look at all my reviews on CORE tents, they all seem to have great wind protection. Even their cabin tents do well in the wind, so you’ll be safe if an unexpected storm passes through the night
- Options for all size groups – Core offers many size options from a 6 person tent up to 12 person cabin tent.
- Zippers – There’s been reports of bad zippers with almost all CORE tents. They get stuck on the outer fabric frequently
What Coleman Specialize In
Coleman are well-known for their extreme affordability and vastness.
They are one of the most common brands and there’s a good reason why. They specialize in highly affordable family tents but aren’t afraid to go smaller for those that need them.
Because they specialize in 5-8 person tents, their smaller tents don’t perform as good. However, Coleman always focus on “decent” quality for a good price.
Their tents have “okay” water and wind protection, but I can’t say they perform beyond expectations because they don’t.
In saying that, I’ve reviewed many Coleman tents on this exact website and found one that stands out the most.
It is the Coleman Steel Creek 6 Person Tent.
The Coleman Steel Creek 6 Tent
- Highly Affordable – Coleman tents are actually less expensive than CORE. You can purchase a really great family tent for less than $150 bucks!
- Can sometimes find a bargain – They are always releasing new tents and growing their arsenal, so over the years there have been some great bargains. You may find a tent that’s created with more quality of the same type. These lasts for many many years
- The quality is a bit shaky – There’s a downside to their tents being in a highly affordable price range, the fact that they aren’t constructed as well as CORE tents. This means there’s more of a chance for your tent to have bad stitching, weak material, bad floor, etc
Literally the most common complaint with CORE is the bad door zippers, although it is an extremely minor issue since Coleman suffer from bad quality and weatherproofing.
However, don’t get me wrong.
I have no problems with Coleman because they definitely have some great tents.
Because of them, families have been able to get out in the great outdoors and enjoy a camping trip with their children for many many years.
So yes, they do have good tents. It just means more research will be needed to find the major and minor cons before making your final decision.
With the CORE brand, there are less options but better quality. You pay a little extra money without needing to do as much research.
So that is what I think about the two brands.
I cannot recommend one or the other because they are both good and both have their own pros and cons.
Well thanks for reading.
Let me know what you think of the two brands below. Are you a CORE or Coleman fan?
Cheers and have a great day!
44 thoughts on “Are CORE Tents Better Than Coleman Tents?”
I have only owned Coleman brand tents, so I guess that would consider me a Coleman fan. The zippers on some Coleman tents have been issues for me, but all in all, mine have lasted a good beating. Thank you for the insight to the Core tents.
Thanks for your feedback Irene. Some Coleman tents can take a good beating but others will crumble in the first big gust of wind. Luckily you haven’t experienced any of this yet and I hope you never do.
I’m old school with 6 kids born and raised in Hawai’i and was handed down a Coleman 10 man tent that finally gave up the ghost. I’ve been researching a comparable tent, specifically the Weather Master by Coleman as it is “Made in the USA” can you please tell me where the Core tents are manufactured?
Core is a Kansas company. So right in the heart of the good ol US of A!
But it says imported so that means NOT made in the USA
Hi Brandon, I agree with you. I think both types of tents have its advantages and I wouldn’t mind either of them. But you have given us a clear picture of the pros and cons for each one. Thanks for taking the time to help us out with this post.
No problem Habib. Thanks for the comment 🙂
Very interesting!! This is a great article for me to come back to when my kids get a little older. I’d love to take them camping, and this will help me pick a good yet affordable tent!
Thank you for your insight!
Yes it will Sarae, and I’ll be happy to see you back here 🙂 Until next time…
We’ve had Coleman tents in the past and they definitely didn’t hold up very well and it was just my husband and I. We got some good uses out them, but after a couple of years, they definitely had some wear. Now that our two kids are a bit older, we’re planning our first family camping trip this summer and we’re looking for a new tent! I’ll definitely look more into the Core tents after reading this, thanks!
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Coleman. They aren’t the best because they focus more on affordability, however, hopefully you can find a great CORE tent that you will like.
You explained the pros and cons very well and after reading this post, I would go for a CORE. A tent is something that you don’t buy every day so in my opinion, quality should be more important than price when deciding on getting the right one. Great post!
I absolutely agree with you Blanka. Even if you’re on a budget, wait a little longer and go for the quality tent. I wholeheartedly believe that your research shouldn’t be skimped over.
It’s the only thing keeping you and your family alive other than your sleeping bag, which is keeping your body at a the right temperature!
Thank you for the very detailed comparison! I will go with Coleman if I were to take a camping trip with the extended family, with grandparents, the kids, and all. Since they are so affordable, and we’re not about to go into any kind of extreme weather for any of our camping trips, so a reasonable quality will do for us.
That is a great option Joo. Coleman are known for their good quality and affordability. You will do great if you decide to go this route.
When I was a kid, camping was done in our RV at a beach camp site. I never had the chance to hike into the woods and camp out in a tent. We have talked about getting a nice 5 person tent but never got around to it. The review is good, and quality means a great deal when we purchase anything. We are one of the few families that believe you get what you pay for and although Coleman is a good company with a long standing history, I would definitly consider CORE. CORE is new to us, we have never heard of them before. Where can we purchase them? Who makes them?
Thanks for your opinion, Candice. CORE definitely are more expensive but at least you get a very waterproof and stable tent. I believe that you should pay a little more for better quality, but that’s just my opinion.
Interesting article , I want to go on a trip with some friends and I was looking to buy a tent, now I have a clear vision on what I want to buy.
Happy to help 🙂
Another great article. How much of a difference is the price for an average size tent, are they both around the same price range?
I’ve had some coleman tents in the past and they’ve served me well but I do always seem to get some condensation or water inside if it gets wet or dew-y and they start to fall apart sooner. Think I’m going to look into the Core brand and just be a little more careful using the zipper! Sounds like this might be a little better option to spend a little more up front but get more quality, would you agree?
Great info- thanks
What do you mean by “average” size? Do you mean something smaller? Because the smaller the tent size the less expensive it will be, if that’s what you’re asking.
Yes I definitely do agree. If you have the money to actually go more expensive, then DO IT! It’s better to be safe than sorry in the great outdoors.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, don’t skimp on your research because you may regret it later on.
Great post. I myself have went camping my entire life as a child I went with my parents and when I had children of my own I took them at least once a month. When my children grew up I started going camping with friends. I have always used a coleman tent and for the most part have had no issues other than as they age they started to leak. I have never herd of core tents but may need to check them out. thank you for the information.
At least once a month? That’s amazing. I commend you for doing that with your kids on a regular basis. Great job because it’s not easy! I hope to see you around here more Jackie. Thanks for the comment 🙂
I think you don’t know what your talking about. The 12 person instant Core tent has 600mm water resistant rating which is substandard. They don’t advertise this and I don’t know what the floor rating is, but 3,000mm would be the benchmark based on MSR tents. You should take down your post which is misleading to people who are less informed
I don’t think you understand what I’m talking about, G…
Show me where I talk about MSR tents in this article, because I don’t, not even once.
I went into this article completely unbiased, showed the pros and cons of these 2 brands (CORE and Coleman) based on my findings then came up with my own conclusion, nothing more, nothing less.
I think you’re overthinking the whole topic and confusing yourself brother.
I was sad to see your post about Core zippers. We had a 8-person Coleman River Gorge that died too soon because of the door zipper. It worked like a champ in very bad weather and winds but the zipper is what did it in after fewer than 15 uses. The 8-person River Gorge must have been a small run because I don’t see it any longer. We loved the tent and I found it under another name at Bass Pro Shop under the name Coleman Blue Springs. I was excited to find that the design looks almost identical to the Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent and was hoping to get the Core since it has great reviews on quality. After reading your review, it seems that their quality is good for all things except what I am trying to avoid. So why am I writing this to you? Based on our zipper experience on the Coleman, I wanted to get your opinion on the Coleman Montana 8-person which has the swing door which doesn’t necessarily need to be zipped for our family. I was sad there was no back window on the Montana so I am curious if you have any opinion on it.
I’ve done a review on the Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent and found it to be not worth the money. It does have good zippers but the cons far outweigh the pros.
The Coleman ELITE Montana 8 Tent happens to be upgraded with better construction and features, so that is what I recommend as an alternative.
Sorry, Just read your other reviews and now know your opinion on my previous post. I got here from a google link and didn’t realize that you have a wonderful resource here. Please disregard my previous post.
Thanks for the reviews – we are into buying a CORE tent considering the prices are relatively cheaper on Amazon. How do you recommend we combat the zipper issue? Is there a fix you know of IN CASE we experience it? Ways to avoid it?
What’s up Russel.
Really the only way to avoid it is to be extremely careful every time you use it.
-Don’t yank the zipper
-Don’t use it quickly
-Only use it when you need to (always keep the door open during the day and only close at night)
There is no fix my friend. When the zipper goes so does the tent, and that’s with all tents not just CORE.
You’ll have to send the tent back and either CORE will fix the zipper themselves or send a new tent. I’m not 100% sure on this though.
I need to purchase a tent and found a core 9 person tent on sale for $105. Seems like a great price, I think I’m going with it
Wow, that’s such a low price for the CORE 9. Where is it from if you don’t mind me asking?
I have a full review on the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent if you want to know all its features, how waterproof it is, how it performs and how long it lasts.
You’ve made a great choice going with the CORE brand though, you won’t be let down 🙂
He’s talking about the dome, not the cabin, not sure if you’ve reviewed it.
Uhh…that makes more sense, thanks for clarifying that 😀
We bought the core 12 man tent because we have 3 dogs and 6 children. It didn’t last more than 2 TWO camping trips and the ZIPPER SPLIT and the hardware knuckle holding the poles together literally broke rendering the tent COMPLETELY USELESS and on top of it, so far, I have been unable to get CORE to stand behind their warranty because, unfortunately can not locate the receipt nor can I recall where I purchased it to be able to look up my receipt 🙁
That is such a bummer Amber and I’m so sorry that that happened to you and your family.
That is why I always recommend purchasing online, or even better, from Amazon since you’re completely covered for the first 30 days. You’ll be able to give it a “trial” so you know if it’s good for you or not.
The least you can do now is learn from your mistakes.
All the best,
I just bought basic Coleman 4 man dome tents (hi-line 2 from walmart/dicks, sundome, flatwoods II from target). All of them had small assembly issues when I tested them in my backyard (seams weren’t well done which resulted in water pooling in corners during rain. I just found the Core 4 man dome at CostCo for a few $$ more ($59), waiting for it to come in so I can test it. I was disappointed in the assembly quality in all the Colemans.
Hello Steve, thanks for your question.
I have reviewed most of the Sundome series and agree that they have seam issues and will need to be seam-sealed before going out in the field.
And that is a great choice! The CORE brand is more high quality and produce better results.
Cheers for the comment 😀
Great Blog… I have never owned a CORE, but I think I will try one, I have camped for over 35 years including 2 cross country hitch hiking sojourns in early 80’s. Eureka and Coleman have been my go to tent in the past. Your thoughts are well explained and give pertinent info. Thanks
Thank you John, I’m glad you found this article useful and it helps you gain more insight to these brands and the quality behind them.
you realize you just linked this article in a comment in this article right?
No I didn’t, lol. I just fixed it though so thanks for pointing that out!
I have been a Coleman girl since I started camping with my parents way back in the day (I won’t say how way back lol), and I was only just recently introduced to Core when a friend of mine started spouting about it. He is a bit of a know-it-all, although I do love him, but he is one of those people who always thinks the phone or the gadget he has is the best because he’s done his “research” and “knows.” So he is a big Core person. Funny, he didn’t mention about the zipper, though, I’ll have to ask him about that next time we go camping.
So I do have a tent now, but it is getting older, and I was thinking I’d get a new one. Maybe I’ll go ahead and try the Core this time.
Hahaha, definitely ask him about the zippers Babsie. He probably hasn’t owned it long enough to experience this problem yet but it’s coming! Don’t you worry, lol.