Gear Review : Coleman Cobra 2 tent.


I'm led to believe that the original Cobra is a backpacking classic. I've used the updated version a few times now and have got the measure of the little blighter.
The new

The old


With a very similar design and spec to the Vango Banshee series, a budget wild camping staple, The lower price of the Coleman looks like an attractive purchase.

Pitching the tent is easy as you would expect from most modern Coleman tents. Once practiced, you'll have it up in five minutes. Pitching outer first, or both together, It's a two aluminum pole design, which are colour coded and slip through little mesh sleeves outside of the fly. The fly then snaps to the poles in the fashion of a lot of inner first pitching American tents.

My one. Reassuringly similar to the publicity shot.


Tensioning is ok, if a little fiddly and once up, the tent has a good amount of room for me and my gear. It'd be ok for two when adventure racing or something, but as always, 2 berth means 1 in practice. There is a great amount of porch space, with a decent amount of room under each 'wing', but weirdly only one outer door. I imagine to keep down costs or something.

After a few pitches and stays in variuos scenarios and weather i've found this to be a great little tent, with a couple of minus points, which in fairness are not out of order considering the price.

Firstly, I found that the ventalation (which is generally good), should be configured just right to minimise the amount of condensation you get.

Condensation issues


There is a nice facility in the inner door which allows airflow, while keeping bugs out, but I find that condensation control is only as good as it's fly performance.

The other problem I've had is that the inner tent seems to hang down excessively. This has resulted in it catching on my boot, and when anything as heavy as a head torch, for example is put in any of the inner pockets, the inner droops in a sad fashion to the groundsheet. I have a small hole in my inner due to this problem, which is bad news for me, but good news for the no good, low down, blood sucking spiders and other assorted creepy crawlies that want to crawl right over my face.

Other that these two minor issues, I really can't find too much wrong with the tent. And lets face it. These problems may well have more to do with me being thick than anything else.

Oh, and I'd prefer it in green. Any tent that has a potential wild camping audience should be available in green. And not bright green either. I'm talking to you, Coleman Avior!

The Coleman Cobra 2 is available at the time of writing for between 50 and £60 in various online outlets. It's under 2 kilos, packs down fairly small if you do it right, and looks nice. It's not much more money, or that much heavier than the Gelert Solo, has twice the amount of space, and people go rabid for that.It's waterproof and is ok with 'proper weather'. What more could you want?

Marks out of ten as a standalone tent would be a solid 7.5. Marks out of ten for value for money, 11.


Comments

  1. Hi I have bought this tent and for the price I think it's great! I'm struggling to pack it down well though and get it as small as possible. How do you pack it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, and thanks for the comment. It is a great tent no doubt.
      I lay the tent down flat, fold the sides into the middle. Then fold that in half again and then roll it all up tight. Then compress it in it's bag and Bob's your Uncle.
      Some people stuff their tents into stuffsacks like a sleeping bag, but I don't like to do that.
      If you're talking about struggling with fitting it all in a loaded rucksack, a good way is to put the poles and pegs in the hydration compartment, and then all that's left is the 'soft' part of the tent that can then be squished around whatever else is in your rucksack without too much hassle.
      Sorry. I really over-explained that probably. Ha ha. Hope it helps.

      Delete
    2. No you didn't and that is helpful!
      It is pretty much how I pack it now, I leave it in its bag and quite loose if its being put away, then just shove it in my rucksack when I'm taking it out!

      I think I need to invest in a smaller sleeping bag though, thats where all my rucksack space seems to go!

      Delete
  2. Tell me about it. I've lately been looking at a new sleeping bag. Needs to be Synthetic for me (allergies), so it's more difficult what with weight/size etc. I'm looking at a Gelert Extreme Lite 1200 (I think). Light and cheap, but 3 season. Check it out. Sorry about the delay answering by the way.

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  3. Have you looked at the softie 9 hawk brilliant sleeping bag and packs down into a very small compressiin sack

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  4. Thank you for your review.
    Always nice to hear from someone who have actually used items before you buy it yourself.

    I'm planning to buy this tent for hiking, so this was a nice read in addition to online reviews at Amazon etc.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback Nikolai.
      It's a great tent for hiking. Let me know how you get on with it.

      Delete
  5. I've an old style Cobra - been brilliant for wild camping but on recent trip the wind changed direction overnight (it only has guys on the high end - though to be fair it was one hell of a gust) and broke the (aluminium) pole.
    Struggling to find replacement aluminium parts: do you know where I can get ali ones (online or in UK) or, is it OK to mix al and carbon fibre sections?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for the comment.
      I wouldn't say you'd be able to mix pole types very easily, unless you used all carbon for the front and all aluminium for the back for example. Then again, I believe my poles are pre bent so you'd have a job finding the exact right shape perhaps.
      You might want to try 'Lancashire Sports Repairs' online. Send them an email to see if they can supply you with a replacement. Not sure how much it'd cost, but it'd be worth a try. You'd have to see what the cost would be, bearing in mind you could probably get a whole replacement tent for £60 or so.
      Hope that helps.

      Delete
    2. Hi, thanks for the comment.
      I wouldn't say you'd be able to mix pole types very easily, unless you used all carbon for the front and all aluminium for the back for example. Then again, I believe my poles are pre bent so you'd have a job finding the exact right shape perhaps.
      You might want to try 'Lancashire Sports Repairs' online. Send them an email to see if they can supply you with a replacement. Not sure how much it'd cost, but it'd be worth a try. You'd have to see what the cost would be, bearing in mind you could probably get a whole replacement tent for £60 or so.
      Hope that helps.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for that - I'll contact LSR (they already re-sole my boots) and see what they have to say.

      Delete
  6. its sad that theres no cobra tent availble here in the philippines

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  7. its sad that theres no cobra tent availble here in the philippines

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  8. I wonder if its possible to pitch the inner part first

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    Replies
    1. No it isn't. The poles are attached to the flysheet, and the inner tent is hooked inside the flysheet. You can pack it with the inner tent still attached to the flysheet though to make it easier next time.

      Delete
  9. hi i bought an old version by mistake. what are the difference?
    can i still mount inner + outer together like in the new version?
    is so, i can't figure out how!
    thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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