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.
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.
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.