Review: Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent

We have recently returned from a camping trip with our new tent so I thought I would share a quick review of what we thought of it. I bought the Coleman Meadowood 6L blackout tent after wanting a larger tent for my family than our Decathlon 4.1 Arpenaz. My requirements were: a pole tent with black out sleeping area that was well under £1000.

A side and front view of the coleman meadowood 6L tent
Review of the Coleman Meadowood 6L tent


Review of the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent with Blackout


What I Love About The Meadowood 6L Tent

  • The tent is a really good size for a family of 5 or 6.
  • There is an outer porch area which saves the need for a gazebo and provides some cover from the rain without having to go inside.
  • There is one sleep pod which works well with our young children, although you can partition it into 3 sections.
  • There is one main entrance to the sleeping area, and two smaller ones. This means people sleeping on the edge don’t have to climb over others to get out the sleeping pod.
  • The sleep pod has blackout walls which reduces the amount of light coming in considerably.
  • You can unzip 'curtains' so that you can have large windows all the way round the living area.
  • The ground sheet is attached to the tent walls all the way round and the sleep pod is entirely separate within it. We had no slugs and far less insects inside than with previous tents.
  • I could stand up fully in both the sleeping area and living area (I'm 5ft 6).


What I Love Less About The Tent

  • The sleeping pod is a little short so double check if you have long beds or are tall. It was fine with our air beds, but due to the slight incline we had our head at the sloped end which meant needing to be further away from the edge to avoid fabric in our face and less leg space.
  • It requires at least two people to put up, we found it much easier with a 3rd person. Not surprising with a larger tent though.
  • It’s not easy to get back in the bag. In fact we haven’t yet managed it at time of writing.
  • The fully packed bag is quite heavy and takes a big chunk of our boot space, but it's pretty standard size for a 6 person tent. 
  • The tent is well ventilated which would be lovely on a warmer night, but the first night I was cold and could feel the breeze coming in so the following night I closed the flap at the back of the tent. You can only open and close the ventilation spaces from outside the tent.


Breakfast in our tent porch on a rainy morning
Having breakfast on a damp morning outside our new tent.


About The Meadowood 6L Tent

The Coleman 6L Meadowood tent is a great mid-price family tent. It has lots of good features and even my criticisms of the tent aren’t really negatives. It’s a fibreglass pole funnel shaped tent which consists of a totally sealed outer layer and a sleep pod which attaches inside at the rear of the tent. 

There are 2 entrances into the tent: one on the righthand side (as you look from front to back of the tent) and a main front door which leads on from the open porch area. Both doors are double layered so can have them fully closed or with just the see through netting zipped across.

The front door has separate zips along each side of the door and one across the bottom. The zip at the bottom is raised slightly off the floor protecting the tent from water running in, but the raised groundsheet can also also be unzipped at the sides to lie flat to the floor in the day preventing children tripping over when they run in and out of the tent. This is a clever design.

The porch provides rain cover (depending on wind direction) and was big enough to allow us to put our table underneath it. It also meant we didn't need to worry about rain getting inside the main tent because we could sit and take our wellies off in our own time under the porch without rain getting in.

You can buy a front face or vestibule to zip on to the front of the porch making it enclosed  (it comes with a groundsheet too). When I looked for this online it was mostly out of stock and also seems expensive comparative to the total cost of the tent for only a small benefit. I am still tempted to buy it for the extra security and rain protection though.

Front view of meadowood 6l tent from Coleman
View into the front of the Coleman Meadowood 6L family tent


Ease of Pitching the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent

We aren't the most skilled tent pitchers and found this tent straightforward to put up. The shorter pole with a red stripe goes at the back of the tent and the other 4 poles are identical and just slide through the outer pockets. You then just need to peg it out. 

With 2 of us we struggled to hold the arches up once the poles were in place and found it much easier once a 3rd person held it up for us to put pegs in. 

There are 2 thick straps (or guy ropes) at the front and back of the tent which should hold the tent in position while you peg the rest out which is a good feature. We didn't notice these initially so did it the hard way.

The tent came with the sleep pod already attached inside. This saved time while pitching however due to pitching in very heavy rain we had a large puddle inside the sleeping area once pitched which needed drying before we could set up beds etc.

We removed the pod when taking the tent down so hopefully we can keep the sleeping area completely dry if pitching in rain next time.

Taking the Meadowood Tent Down

It was really easy to take the tent down, but as a large tent it isn’t very easy to fold up well or get back in the bag. Ours is currently in our spare room still out of the bag...


The Sleeping Area of the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent

The sleeping area is at the back of the tent. It is effectively a pod which connects to the outer tent through clips and connectors. We had the sleep pod as one large room which works well for a family with young children. We had 2 double airbeds, 1 single airbed and a gap for a corridor in the middle so I think you could fit 3 doubles in the space if you wanted.

You can divide the sleep pod into 3 rooms using the dividing sheets included but these clip up rather than zip so it’ll provide separation but not complete privacy. 

If you are particularly tall then you should double check the length is long enough for you to lie down comfortably. It’s listed as 210cm but one end of that is the sloped outer edge which you wouldn’t want your head pushed right up against. It might be more of a case of making sure if there is a slope you pitch at the right angle.

The black out material on the sleep pod and the fly sheet at this end of the tent cuts out a huge amount of light, the literature claims up to 99% of daylight. I found light isn’t entirely blocked out as some areas of the the sleep pod are thinner to allow for ventilation, however with a light on in the living area the sleeping pod was still very dark. 

There are 3 doors into the sleep pod, a main one in the middle and smaller ones on each side, this is good because it means people sleeping on each end don't need to climb across anyone sleeping in the middle. The top section of each of the doors are double thickness allowing them to be partially unzipped in the day to allow light in (while still having a net layer to keep bugs out).

The zips are either glow in the dark or allow light through, I didn’t work out which from the comfort of my sleeping bag and I forgot to look later. It doesn't light the area up, but the nice thing about this it is that it provides something to break up the black and made it less scary for my children who would normally ask for a nightlight or glow stick in the dark.

The door zips have a stoppers which at first are a little bit confusing as you can’t work out why the zip won’t do up any further, but it means the zippers will always be in the same place when closed avoiding the need of feeling around in the dark to find a zipper. 

View inside the sleeping pod in the morning while my children are still asleep in sleeping bags and airbeds
Photograph taken in the morning opening the main sleep pod door slightly


Rain Protection

We had a fair bit of rain, although it wasn't very heavy most of the time and everything inside the tent stayed dry.  The design allows for the sleeping pod and outer layer not too touch without effort while pitching so you shouldn’t wake up in a puddle (tents require nothing to be in contact with the outer layer to keep the water out, but sometimes it can be fiddly to achieve).

The polyester flysheet has a hydrostatic head of 4000m and an integrated polyethylene fly sheet. The flysheet is attached all the way round which stops water (and insects) getting in.

This all means that even as a novice camper you should be able to keep everything inside dry if unlucky enough to have wet weather.

The flysheet is SPF 50 so if you have lots of sun instead of rain it should provide a good level of protection. I don’t think I have ever been camping in weather good enough to worry about being burnt while in the tent.


Ventilation

It got hot in the tent at one point during our stay, but after unzipping both doors to just the net layer it allowed the tent to cool nicely with a breeze blowing through. There are also ventilation flaps on each side of the tent and at the back which allow fresh air in without insects. These apparently reduce condensation inside too. 

I know I keep on mentioning insects in and that might seem odd for someone who is a fan of camping, but I’m not a fan of my children screeching loudly because they heard something buzzing around their head at night or a slug on my plates. Anyway the ventilation flaps on the side of the tent velcro closed (on the outside). The flap at the back is held open with guy ropes and I closed this on the second night to keep the tent warmer over night.


Windows

If you are spending a lot of time in the tent you will appreciate that it has a lot of large windows in the living area allowing you to see out in 3 directions. There are large windows either side of the main door, two on the left wall of the tent and one on the other side (with the second window on that side being the side door). Each of these windows has a flap which zips closed to give privacy when required. 

Side and front of the Coleman Meadowood 6L tent
Side view of windows on the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent


Pockets

There are a few pockets on the outside of the sleep pod and apparently some inside (my eldest put her kindle in one and left it there, not telling me until we were home and I discovered it was there). These pockets are handy for keeping glasses in at night so they aren't trodden on.


Electrical Access

For those who choose to have electrical hook ups when camping I spotted two little zips on either side of the tent (where the sleeping pod starts) which would allow cables to be run inside.


Size of Tent

The height in the middle of the tent is 210cm reducing to 200cm in the sleeping area. The height of the tent reduces towards the edges but there is lots of space for most adults to stand. The sleeping area floor space is 210cm x 400cm (ish), the living area 270cm x 410cm and the porch 130cmx410cm. The total outside footprint is 410cm x 625cm plus guy rope space.

In the bag folded up the tent is 75 x 39 x 39 cm and 25.8kg.

You can buy the Coleman Meadowood 6L tent from lots of places including Amazon.

Still undecided? Here are my tips for choosing a family tent

Family Tent Review: Coleman Meadowood 6L
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