TENTS | Camping in The Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 Tent – Review

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Coleman Cortes Tent Review

What is it?

Coleman Octagon 8 Tent RRP: £290.00



  • Capacity: 8 People
  • Sleeping area: 15,7m²
  • Living area: -m²
  • Total area: 15,7m²
  • Set up: Inner first
  • Poles: Steel
  • Groundsheet: PE Integrated
  • Fabric: Polyester, PU coated
  • Seams: Taped seams
  • Polyester carry bag: Included
  • Pack Size: 85 x 30 x 30cm
  • Weight: 20,7kg
  • Water column: 2000mm

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewThe sturdy frame of the Coleman Cortes Ocatagon 8 tent

What did we think?

The best way to describe the unusual Coleman Cortes Octagon Tent is that it’s basically a large 8-person tent crossed with a gazebo. We decided it would be perfect to use for a wedding we were attending down in beautiful Devon. We hit the road after work and got to the site by nightfall. Armed with only a small lantern and our camping beers, 4 of us set to work raising the tent.

The Coleman Cortes is a pretty bulky and heavy tent. At 21kg it’s lighter than a similarly sized canvas bell tent, but although it’s often advertised as a festival tent, it’s too heavy in my option for festival use unless you have an enormous, heavy-duty trolley to transport the tent on.

It took two of us to lift it into the car where it took up the whole boot of our VW Polo. We really struggled for space in the car with 4 people on board and the boot monopolised by the enormous tent, so that’s definitely worth bearing in mind if you only have a small car! The Cortes tent bag does include wheels however, which we found were really helpful moving it around on concrete, but not so great on grass or soft ground.

Upon emptying the bag, all the poles were colour coded – though we still got confused as the poles were a slightly different shade to the colours presented in the instructions but the beauty of the Cortes poles is that they are well designed and wonderfully flexibl, which gave us the ability to get the structure up with relative ease once we ditched the instruction and figured it out for ourselves.

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewOne of the doors which provide multiple options to use as a window, with bug mesh layer

It took 4 of us around 40 minutes to put up the tent for the first time but with experience, I’m sure this could be cut down to the 15 minutes quoted by Coleman. We also found that we had extra bits left over that the instructions didn’t cover which puzzled us. But none the less, we discovered that the tent was incredibly sturdy- possibly the sturdiest tent we’ve ever used and thanks to wonderful weather, we had no need to use the guy ropes.

The space inside is incredible. This truly is a family-sized tent and there was also more than enough headroom which gave us plenty of space to get ready for my friend’s big day. In fact, many other wedding guests used the tent to get ready in themselves!

The shape of the tent means there is a lot of usable space – unlike bell tents with sloping sides, so this means that every corner can be used for storage. We managed to store half the wedding party’s suits and dresses on the hanging hooks inside, along with ourselves and the rest of our gear.

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewHandy storage pockets inside the tent

The Coleman Cortes was great in the summer heat. Along with 2 large entrance doors, the tent can be opened up completely turning it into something more akin to a gazebo. Say goodbye to boiling to death on hot sunny days, you can simply remove the fly sheet and open the windows and doors for maxium airflow. Having two doors makes the tent very flexible – a real help when popping to the loo at night as we didn’t need to climb over each other to exit the tent. For family or group use, the tent comes with a room divider which is easily clipped in to provide a 2 bedroom configuration.

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewThe Coleman Cortes Ocatagon 8 minus it’s fly sheet

We had no issues with dripping condensation overnight due to the high performance polyester and found the hinged door to be an excellent feature as we were popping in and out in our swanky wedding attire throughout the whole day. Taking the flysheet off the Coleman Cortes gave us a great opportunity to feel that bit closer to the lovely rural environment we were in, whilst still being away from insects and the weather. It was also a great space to eat in and allowed us to air out the tent in the day time without leaving the door wide open.

Packing down the tent was easy, but getting it back into its carry case took 4 people, and sadly, the tent bag split open at the zip. We were incredibly disappointed that the bag had broken on its first use and feel a far more generous case size would help matters.

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewBig D shape doorway

The verdict

The tent is big, airy and provides heaps of room for a family or friends and we love that it can be used either as a tent, or more as a gazebo. The downside however, is that it’s big and bulky to transport, so not a good choice for festivals or for those with small cars.

They quality of everything but the bag is very good, and the poles are particularly sturdy. Although we only spent a weekend in the Coleman Cortes, we felt that the tent has a lot to offer and we’re looking forward to using it on a more conventional camping trip next time. Despite the tent being marketed at festival goers, we do feel that it is more suited to a family camping holiday, or as a hub for a larger camping group.

Coleman Cortes Tent ReviewInside the tent with all doors zipped up


  • Excellent weatherproof material
  • Tons of space inside the tent, including great head space
  • Handy pockets which are ideal for storing torches and gadgets
  • Brilliant airflow with wide windows and several doors, so a good tent for use when it’s hot
  • The poles were of great quality and made the Coleman Cortes sturdy
  • Flexible configuration options allowing it to be used as a tent or more of a gazebo
  • Cheaper and lighter than a similarly sized canvas bell tent


  • We found the bag was heavy and bulky and the zip and material broke on first use
  • Took up the entire car boot of our small car
  • The wheels were great but unhelpful on grass and it’s much too heavy to carry with you for a festival
  • We found the Instructions misleading and it took longer than 15 minutes to set up on first use

Coleman Cortes Tent Review


DISCLOSURE | Thank you to Coleman who supplied the featured product for us to test. We were not paid for this review.

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