There is absolutely NOTHING about camping that appeals to me.
(I’ll pause while fellow Canadians draw a sharp intake of breath. Yes, it’s scandalous, I know. So while I’m at it, I also dislike beavers, toques and totem poles.)
A few years ago, before little boys and toys were even a thought, a couple of friends asked my husband and I to go camping with them.
“Camping? Lena?” he snorted. “Her idea of roughing it is a 3-star hotel.”
He was telling the truth, of course. I’m just not an “outdoorsy” person – if I’m going to have breakfast somewhere other than the breakfast table, it’d better be in a big, comfy bed and delivered by room service.
I just don’t see the charm! Bugs, bears and bathroomless quarters are just the tip of the iceberg. The beauty of the outdoors? Bah. I’m a firm believer that nature should be observed from the inside of an air conditioned car or within the safe confines of an Art Gallery.
And so I am particularly fond of this new trend called “glamping”. It’s like camping – for prissy sellouts – like me!
To Glamp, you simply require a selection of luxury camping goods (think Coleman portable ovens, coffee makers and deluxe air beds), a safe, non-threatening landscape (preferably your backyard) and the ability to retreat to more favourable conditions at the first sign of a spider.
Plus, if someone says, “Do you own a tent?” – you can say “Of course!” They just don’t need to know that you hitched it in grandma’s backyard. In under 60 seconds. And connected wirelessly to check your e-mail while the kids jumped around in it.
Hence, when Coleman asked me to check out their latest designer camping gear – all very glamping-friendly – I agreed that the boys would love their Instant Tent 8 - the world’s easiest Large-Capacity Cabin Tent – which sets up in 1 minute or less!
Now even though I had seen videos like this – which clearly shows the tent being erected in under 60 seconds or so – I had my doubts that my husband and I (two directionally challenged, non-handy people with zero mechanical abilities) could possibly transform a tiny little carry bag into an 8-person tent. I mean, out of the bag alone, it was one scary mess.
Turns out: I should have had that camera rolling after all, because it took us just over 1 minute (the very first time and with no instructions!!) to have our amazing Instant Tent 8 up. Honestly, it was a piece of cake!
The tent sleeps 8 with 2 rooms (sectioned off with a removable lining). The spacious interior has front AND back doors, and is actually large enough to fit two queen airbeds! We loved that the vertical walls made it easier to stand and move, and with the no-fuss assembly, there were no parts or poles to lose.
Love peek-a-boo windows? So do we! SEVEN (count ‘em) windows provide great ventilation and a 360° view:
Now the pictures don’t do the tent justice when it comes to the space inside. It is 14’ x 8’ – people, that is the size of an average child’s BEDROOM. Seriously, we could easily take glamping to the extreme and move in some furniture and toys. In fact – the boys have a little play table that I’m constantly moving from one room to another; perhaps it will find a new home in our backyard, situated in the Coleman Instant Tent 8!
(I’m also thinking I could totally have the outdoor office I’ve always dreamed of. Bug proof, lots of sunlight, and an exclusive WeatherTec system that keeps me dry – what more is there to ask?)
After the boys had their fun, we came to the dreaded take-down. Even though assembly was a breeze, I had no illusions that we’d be able to fit the tent back inside the carrying case. I was quite petrified, actually.
Turns out, it took us about 10-15 minutes to adequately get the hang of taking it down. The trick is to do EVERYTHING in the reverse order from start to finish, and you should be okay. Although the learning curve was slightly longer, it still beats about 90% of other tents on the market when it comes to disassembling the product.
All in all we’re quite fond of our new camping accessory – the boys love having their own little home in the outdoors, and I’m looking forward to a fall get together with girlfriends – glamping style – with sangria, mini manicures and more!
The Coleman Instant Tent 8 retails for $279.99. Click here to visit Coleman Canada.