The Ergohacks Verdict

Coleman’s Cortes Octagon tent is like throwing a big room in a bag to be carried off to the countryside. Standing height all the way through with a rigid door to boot, it creates 15.7m² of space that will sleep up to 8 or can be turned into a little studio for 3 – 4 occupants. It never gets hot or stuffy and the uninterrupted views are fantastic when setting up for a sea view or forest retreat. It can also double up as a bug-proof screened room in the garden or on clear, hot nights, leave the second layer off and sleep under the stars.

It is easy to pitch and pack up, has a small footprint for a relatively large interior, it has been sturdy on exposed, windy pitches, waterproof with the occasional drip on a very wet weekend and standing room throughout is a particularly fine feature. One word of caution – it’s a summer camping tent. It will do some rain, actually quite a bit of rain, and some wind, but it doesn’t do cold weather. We were caught out once with an unexpected spell of late frost. Temperatures dipped to -3 and it’s the coldest I’d ever been. We almost abandoned tent at 2 a.m. in search of a warm hotel. In the summer months though, it’s marvelous. On the hottest days we’ve camped, there’s always a breeze flowing through and as soon as the sun sets and temperatures drop, the air-flow inside the tent cools it off very quickly.

It’s definitely not a budget choice at £200, but for regular campers, it’s a sound investment. We particularly love it in warm, wet weather. There’s plenty of space inside to fit an inflatable chair or two as well as sleeping for three and we can sit and watch the rain whilst we’re warm and dry inside. The hinged door is a brilliant invention and makes it feel more like a hobbit home than a tent.

The Octagon is beautiful, stylish, comfortable and a fantastic investment for hot, sunny, summer camping trips. It doesn’t just look good, it creates a luxurious interior with an open, airy design. Camping with the Octagon for the last year, the biggest bonus has been that I don’t feel shut into a large, polyester bag. I feel close to nature, which is the whole point of camping. The circulating air brings with it the smell of flowers and trees and with a panoramic all-round view through six windows, it allows the outdoors in, but keeps the unpleasant parts – rain, bugs, mud and high wind, firmly on the outside. Highly recommended.

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Price: ± £200
Paid extras: None required, but accessories available.

About Coleman

William Coffin Coleman was a lamp seller by trade, based in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He bought the patent for a lamp in 1903, redesigned it and in 1914 produced the first Coleman Lantern. The company has since grown and diversified to become one of the most well-known brands of quality outdoor and camping gear.

Coleman is currently owned by Newell Brands. Coleman is a subsidiary of Jarden, which was acquired in 2016 by Newell Rubbermaid, which renamed itself Newell Brands. Newell Brands owns a large number of brands, including Coleman, Aerobed, Sharpie, PaperMate, Parker, Graco, Yankee Candle, Spontex, Quickie and more*.

Newell Brands have published their corporate social responsibility policy on their website which lists the steps they are taking to minimize their environmental footprint and increase sustainability of their operating practices and brand products. They also work with local charities and they have a “annual Global Day of Service” where employees spend the day volunteering within their local community where they live and work.

Design

The Cortes Octagon 8 has an interesting design with many benefits: standing height throughout, easy assembly in 15 minutes, a rigid door, it’s mainly mesh and lets in a cool draft on the hottest days, it’s bug-proof with taped seams and comes in a handy 21kg wheely bag that doesn’t have to be lifted.

There is a clip-on room divider with a zip opening down the middle for splitting it in half, but due to the circular design, we could not fit a double and single mattress on either side. A double only fit well, a double with a children’s airbed also fit in, but it will only fit 4 adults per room without the use of bulky air mattresses.

  • Target audience: Comfort centric campers
  • Target age range: All ages, some mobility and dexterity requirements to pitch
  • Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral design
  • Special considerations: It’s a great choice for many with chronic health issues, in particular those with mobility issues (who have help with pitching) or back pain that limits range of movement, heat sensitivity or claustrophobia (at full height with 360° views and access to a constant breeze it feels spacious and open).
Special considerations

Like the vast majority of polyester tents, the Octagon a fire resistant and water proof coating applied that result in that chemical smell once unpacked. This may be a problem for someone with a chemical sensitivity, migraine or asthma and I certainly struggled with it. We pitched our new tent in the back garden for a 2 – 3 weeks and the smell wore off over time. Over 2 months of regular use and eco-friendly cleaning, including camping trips as well as pitching and using it in the garden, it no longer has any scent when inside. This is not specific to this tent, but standard industry practice.

Specification

Pack Size: 85 x 30 x 30cm
Weight: 20,7kg
Tent size: 3.95 m x 3.94 m
Maximum Head Height: 215 cm (throughout)
Capacity: 8 Persons
Rooms: None (comes with 1 room divider)
Internal dimensions: 15,7m²
Colour: Orange or Green with grey
Materials: Steel poles, Fibreglass for doors, PE Integrated groundsheet, Polyester (PU coated) tent fabric.
Set up: Inner first
Seams: Taped seams, bug-proof design
Carry bag: Included
Water column: 2000mm

Decibels: No clanging, rattling or rustling sounds on a still night, but some minor flapping on windy nights.

ergonomicinclusivedesignBuild quality

The review is based on the Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 tent. This article was first published on 21 June 2016 and last updated on 13 July 2017.