The Ergohacks Verdict
The Coleman Event Dome Shelter is a top of the line roomy and very sturdy event shelter that looks great as an additional room in the garden and can be packed up in a few minutes for a day out. Coleman have produced an event shelter for years but the Event Dome Shelter is a relatively new option. Rather than a single set of crossed poles the Dome shelter has four curved poles over each doorway and a smaller cross to give the roof it’s peak. Each of the four doors has a zip away non-removable flyscreen and there are two removable shade walls that give you two solid blocks.
The Event Dome’s can be got between about £175 and £220 in the UK depending on the size and how much you shop around. That makes it slightly more expensive than most tents with a similar internal floor space but that doesn’t take into account headroom – the Event Dome will have much more useable space. Pop up gazebos can again be had for a little less but have the disadvantages of being both far less hardy and much larger and heavier when collapsed. In neither case is the price difference large. The Event Dome isn’t the cheapest option available, but it is a good cost effective solution.
When I first saw the Event Dome Shelter I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it and tried to work out how it could be used as a tent. I soon realised I was missing the point – the Event Dome isn’t a tent. It’s a room. Set it up in the garden and you’ve got a play room for the kids for the summer. Use it as a workshop to assemble a trampoline in the rain or take it to the beach for shade and a bit of privacy. The Dome is well designed and handles wind well and cuts back hugely on rain. If you’re an outdoor person, the Dome gives you a lot more flexibility in what you can do outside and if you’re not you’ll appreciate the shelter.
We borrowed an Event Shelter from Coleman for a few weeks and sorely missed it afterwards. It made a great outdoor office – cutting down glare and offering protection on wet days without being enclosed. It made a wonderful summer play space with its SPF 50 rating Cass could spend more time outside even on the hottest days. It’s offers great protection from the sun and some rain and could be packed up easily to provide extra sheltered space when camping. Recommended.
Buy it from Amazon, Blacks +:
Price: ± From £175 to £220 depending on seller and size
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.
Coleman claims that the event Dome takes 10 minuites to setup and while that’s optimistic it might be just about possible with two people who know exactly what they’re doing and not having any problems. In my testing I found I could put it up myself in just over 20 minutes and with help from Lily we could get it down to about 15. That’s not quite the 10 quoted but it’s short enough to be comfortable putting it up for a day out to block the sun or wind.
Once it’s up – particularly if you choose to peg every part in and use the guy ropes it’s very solid. We had out in two successive storms and it didn’t move an inch and crucially didn’t leak. It’s not perfect rain protection because of the huge doors but the centre of the shelter stayed dry even in quite extreme weather. If the weather’s nice it’s also got you protected – Coleman claims an equivalent SPF 50 protection which is more than a match for the hottest UK sun. There are two versions of the shelter available – the XL and the L – the L gives just over 13 metres of living space and the XL just over 20 metres squared. They’re otherwise nearly identical and being only a few pound apart in price this is a case where it depends if you like a larger or smaller option.
Flysheet: Polyester, 1000HH, PU Coated, Taped Seams
Bag: Zippered rectangular 64 x 22.5 x 22.5 cm
Living Area: 13.32 m2
Headroom: 218 cm (centre), 169 cm (sides)
Weight: 11.7 kg
Living Area: 20.25 m2
Headroom: 228 cm (centre), 190 cm (sides)
Weight: 15.5 kg
Warranty: Two years free from manufacturer defect.
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 3 weeks of tinkering, testing and using the Event shelter loaned by Coleman. This article was first published on 28 June 2016 and last updated on 13 July 2017.