Innovations in Camping: Coleman Carlsbad Dark Room Tent with Screen Room


If you loved to camp before starting a family and now have babies and young kids still in the napping phase, sleep can be a huge barrier to getting back out into the outdoors. And depending on where you live and the time of year, the sun can shine literally twenty-four hours/day—Alaska parents, you especially know what I’m talking about.

An innovation long overdue in the camping industry, The Coleman Company, Inc has patented Dark Room Technology, a proprietary fabric that blocks 97.5% of sunlight and reduces up to 9.5% heat (compared to a standard Coleman tent). The product is now available on the rain fly and windows of the 4-Person and 6-Person Coleman CarlsbadTM Dome Dark Room Tent with Screen Room.

I received a 4-Person Coleman Carlsbad Dome Dark Room Tent with Screen Room earlier today and set it up in my back yard. True to the instructions, initial assembly time was around fifteen minutes. I had help from a kid but could have managed by myself; save the rain fly, which was a bit slick (the corners with the black dots face the screen room, something we figured out with the help of the photo on the front of the packaging).

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The tent is tested and rated to withstand wind and rain gusts in excess of 35mph; triangular-shaped awnings on the rain fly allow for cracked windows to vent even in a rain storm. Another “new to me” feature was the e-port electrical access panel in the front corner between the tent and the screen room. Patented welded floors with inverted seams also help keep water out of the main tent.

Carlsbad4pDimensions are 9 x 7 feet with 9 x 4 feet for the screen room and a center height of 4 feet 11 inches. A queen air mattress will fit comfortably inside the inner tent footprint. The overall product weight is around fifteen pounds and is what most backpackers would rank in the car camping category.

But, as a parent, I really wanted to know how “dark” the dark room tent really was.  Here’s a photo taken from the inside of the tent at noon in the full sun. All window flaps were zipped up and the rain fly was on. Truth be told, I had a difficult time taking this photo as my camera flash kept trying to activate. The tent was dark, but I didn’t have any trouble getting around in the daytime.

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Here’s a shot taken looking in from inside the screen room. Again, full sun. As you can see, the darkest portion of the tent is around the windows with some ambient light shining in from the lower portion of the room. This makes sense, as the Dark Room Technology specifically covers the rain fly and windows.

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In a nutshell, this tent is a “must have” for anyone who enjoys a few more minutes of sleep in the morning and/or attempting to keep their kids on a reasonable bedtime or nap routine. We look forward to putting the Coleman Carlsbad Dome Dark Room Tent to the campground test all summer long.

The 4-Person Coleman CarlsbadTM Dome Dark Room Tent with Screen Room is currently 35% off at Coleman.com, $123.49 with free shipping. This product also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Another cool Coleman product worth mentioning is the Comfort Cloud 40 Sleeping Bag, a fleecy synthetic sleeping bag with removable layer of memory foam for comfort and added insulation. This product is also on sale for $79.99.

comfortcloud40Happy trails and happy camping!


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.