I’ve used a one person Coleman Kraz tent in the past. A decent, cheap starter tent. I picked up another Coleman, the 2 man Cobra, for £70 on an Amazon Black Friday deal.
Before purchasing, I took some time to read reviews across a number of websites. It seemed a very good price for a decent tent.
It arrived in it’s waterproof stuff sack.
At 48 x 18 x 15 cm, it’s small enough to fit easily into my rucksack.
The pitching instructions are sewn in to the carry sack so no chance of them getting lost although, to be honest, it’s simple enough to pitch without much help.
Whilst not the lightest tent at a little over 2kg, I was happy with it’s weight considering the price paid and the amount of room.
Being a two person tent, it gives a little extra space for one person. I certainly wouldn’t want to try and put two adults in it!
There is just the one door on the left hand side, another reason not to put someone else in the tent, the person on the ‘wrong’ side would have a bit of a scramble to get out.
Being a wedged tunnel design, the Cobra has two good size storage areas away from the inner tent.
I keep my 80l rucksack and all my kit on top of a drybag (to keep the kit off the grass) in the non-door side. Everything is out the way and remains perfectly dry.
My first attempt of pitching was done in the back garden. It was very simple. Peg out out the back, push the colour coded poles through the corresponding coloured mesh sleeves, put the poles in to the flysheet eyelets, clip the poles to the flysheet, bring the tent forward, then finally finish pegging.
First pitching took under 10 minutes. I was happy with that!
I do like the mesh pole sleeves, much easier to use than the equivalent on my Vango.
The inner and flysheet are attached so go up as one. I much prefer this over inner first, especially in bad weather.
Putting the Cobra away was simple. Simply put the poles and pegs in to their respective bags and roll the tent around them.
The stuff sack has a taco style wide opening, making getting the tent in very easy. The compression straps to shrink the size down.
The tent’s first trip out was to the Hulme End Campsite in the Peak District. A basic site with a couple of toilets and a washing up sink. No showers or reception area, simply pay the owner £5 when he turns up in his 4×4 (at around 4pm when I was there).
It was the middle of September. The kids were back in school and so there was plenty of space in the large field. I pitched on the right hand edge near the far end.
Once again, the tent went up easily.
After firing up the Jetboil for a quick coffee, I headed out for a walk around the local villages, passing through Warslow and Butterton. This route was mostly along roads but they were very quiet and it was a nice way to see the local area. A GPX file of the route is available on Viewranger.
I had dinner at the Manifold Inn, located near the entrance of the campsite site. I managed to get the last table, it’s well worth booking if planning on eating here!
I started with a plate of hams, olives and a big slice of ciabatta bread.
Main course was pie, chips and veg. I certainly didn’t leave hungry!!
Stuffed to the gills, I went back to the tent. I attached my phone to a power bank, placed it in one of the Cobra’s mesh pockets and settled down for the night.
It was surprisingly dark in the tent and the site was lovely and peaceful. I snugged down in my sleeping bag and a very good sleep soon followed.
I woke to discover it had rained quite heavily over night but no problem for the Cobra with it’s 3000mm hydrostatic head flysheet and 5000mm groundsheet.
The ventilated mesh inner tent did a good job of keeping the mini beasts and condensation at bay. One minor quibble is the headroom. I’m about 5 foot 11 (1.8m) and I wasn’t able to sit up properly but try find a 1 or 2 man tent with decent headroom! The Cobra is 77cm at his highest point.
Despite having my Jetboil and some porridge with me, breakfast was taken in the Manifold, I went slightly off piste and went for a large cafetiere of coffee and a black pudding toastie.
Back at camp, I wiped down the rain off the outside of the tent, removed the poles and pegs and lay it on the ground. After putting the peg and pole bags in the middle of the flattened tent, I folded the sides in to the middle and rolled it all up. Everything went in to the stuff sack fairly neatly.
Everything got chucked in the back of the car and I drove to the Hulme End pay and display car park just around the corner. In retrospect, I think I could have left the car at the campsite. Oh well….
I’d planned a 6 mile circular walk from the car park (which is available as a GPX file).
The route started on the Manifold Way, a tarmac path and cycle route.
I left this path and followed the road south to the caves at Wetton.
After a quick comfort break, I crossed the river and walked north.
There were two options, follow the Manifold Trail back to the car park or take a right and follow the water at the base of Wetton hill. I chose the latter.
The last part of the walk was along quiet roads, leading back to the car park and The Tea Junction for a well deserved coffee!