When I go camping it’s like a mini holiday, and so there are days that I do not want to wake up with the sun. That’s where blackout tents come in. They are not only brilliant because they enable us to sleep in as long as we like, without being interrupted by the bright sun, but they also contribute to the temperature.
Inside a blackout tent, the temperature is usually a couple of degrees cooler on the inside than it is outside of the tent, so they really are perfect for summer.
As you’ll see from this list, Coleman tend to make amazing blackout tents, but we do have one other brand from this list that have a very interesting darkroom tent.
Blackout Tents – Top 5
The Coleman blackout tent is octagonal and comes in the color green. It’s a 4-season, dome-shaped tent that can comfortably fit 7-8 people inside, and the material the tent is made out of is polyester that is PU coated and fire retardant.
The floor is polyethylene, welded, and fully integrated and sewn-in so that water can’t get in.
The dimensions of this tent are 3.96 x 3.96 x 2.15m (L x W x H), with an interior of 15.7 square meters, weighing 20.7kg, and when packed up the size is 85 x 30 x 30cm.
In this dark rest tent, 99% of daylight gets blocked out so that you can have a good night’s sleep and not get woken up by the sun as soon as it rises. Also, inside of the tent, it’s 5 degrees Celsius cooler during the day from the outside.
The six large windows provide a 350-degree view so that you can see the beautiful nature surrounding you from every angle, and they enhance ventilation.
The mesh roof also helps a lot for maximum air circulation, giving hot air an escape when it rises.
The windows and roof are protected with no-see-um mesh so you don’t have to worry about little insects getting in. That, as well as Coleman’s Weather Tec system giving it 4500mm HH, and fully taped seams are what make this dark tent waterproof.
The door of this tent is hinged so that it opens like an actual door, making it easier to get in and out. It even opens silently, which is perfect for those late-night bathroom trips since you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone else.
The fiberglass and steel poles keep this tent sturdy and can withstand winds as strong as 35 MPH. Coleman’s tents are also tested to make sure that, even after having 35+ gallons of water rain down on it, little to no water managed to seep in.
Even though this tent is heavy and bulky, its carry bag does have sturdy handles and wheels so that does make up for it. Keep in mind that the wheels are useless on grass though.
The process to pitch this tent is straightforward. You start with the inner, which consists of a sewn-in groundsheet with fabric and mesh sides and roof panels. Once you lay this down flat on the ground, ideally on a footprint if you have one to protect the bottom of the tent, you just need to make sure that the doors are in the right position. Then, you can proceed with the poles and metal pins for the ground sheet.
The poles are color coded, making it really quick and easy to know which go where. The first time setting this tent up took me about 20 minutes, but ever since I’ve gotten faster.
The rainfly was no easy feat to do by myself, unlike the rest of the tent, but that is only because of my short height.
This Coleman dark tent is dome-shaped and available in the color red and black, which is suitable for 3 people, or wine and black which is a 4-person tent.
Apart from the colors and capacity/size, these two tents are the same, so let’s discuss the differences first.
The 3-person tent has dimensions of 3.25 x 1.85 x 1.2 meters (L x W x H), with an interior of 3.8 meters squared and a vestibule interior of 1.7 meters squared, and so the total interior is 5.5 meters squared. When packed up the size is 58 x 16 x 16cm, and it weighs 5.1kg.
As for the 4-person one, which has dimensions of 3.4 x 2.8 x 1.3 meters (L x W x H), with a 5.5 meters squared interior, the vestibule has an interior of 2.4 meters squared, making the total interior 7.9 meters squared. When packed up, the size is 58 x 20 x 19 cm, and it weighs 6.6kg.
These sun blocking tents can block 99% of daylight so that you can sleep in for as long as you’d like without the sunrise waking you, and it is 5 degrees Celsius cooler from the inside than it is outside.
The vestibule is perfect for keeping shoes there, knowing they’ll be protected from rain and, as a result, you reduce the amount of dirt being brought into your tent. You could also use this area to store gear, providing more space inside the tent for yourself, or you could sleep in the vestibule on particularly hot nights.
Lastly, you could just use the vestibule as a screen room for lounging during the day while being protected by insects.
These dark room tents are 100% waterproof with UV guards that provide SPF 50 protection from the sun’s rays. They are made of 4500 HH polyester and have taped seams and a fully sewn-in groundsheet to minimize the possibility of rain water getting in.
The fiberglass poles are flexible, lightweight, and respond great to strong wind.
There is a loop that you can hang a lantern from at the center of the ceiling, and there are storage pockets for each person inside the tent that are integrated into the walls. So, the 3-person tent has three storage pockets, and the 4-person tent has 4. These are great for keeping small items like your phone, wallet, and keys organized and in one place. Without them, I’d have had so much clutter all over the floor.
The ventilation is pretty good thanks to the vents and the two triangular windows at the sides of the main door.
Pitching these tents only takes about ten minutes, but when it’s time to pack up and go home is where the problems arise; I found it extremely difficult to fit everything back into the carry bag, it seemed almost impossible until I spent ages fumbling with it.
Personally, I would’ve liked more windows. For spring and fall, it’s perfect but when it’s really hot you want more air circulating through constantly.
This black out tent by Quechua is a 2-person pop up tent in the color white. It weighs around 7 pounds and is made of polyethylene with 2000mm water resistance.
It’s extremely easy and simple to assemble this blackout camping tent, it literally only takes a few seconds. Dismantling it is just as easy thanks to the easy guide system.
Quechua claim to have a patented exterior fabric that can reduce sunlight by 99%, even in broad daylight. I’m not sure why but I wasn’t expecting this to be true, perhaps because of the tent’s white color, but it actually is accurate.
The rainfly has two side panels that can be extended and fixed with side guy ropes that open from the inside for more fresh air. The entire rear sleeping area flysheet can be lifted from the inside just by tugging on a rope.
There’s space between the rainfly and ground on each side, in the middle of the sleeping area, to allow even more ventilation and to reduce condensation that normally builds up overnight.
All Quechua tents have been laboratory tested to withstand 200mm every hour per meter squared, without leaking. The tents are also rated capable of withstanding winds with a Force 6 rating, which are winds that can go as fast as 50kmph. They are tended in a wind tunnel on a turntable so that all sides of the tent have been exposed to strong winds.
Since this is a pop up tent, that means its freestanding. Whether this is an advantage or not is down to your own personal preference. Freestanding tents can be pitched anywhere, no matter the type of ground they are on, and if there’s no wind you don’t even have to use the pegs.
Personally, I don’t feel as secure in freestanding tents but on the right days they are perfect.
The tent is made with coated fabric that has a UPD of 50+, and all seams have been sealed with heat-bonded strips so that water can’t get in.
This one is rather pricey in my opinion, and I don’t think it would do well in cold conditions. It’s also quite short, as it’s only 3.3ft. It does my back in, not having a tent taller than I am, and I can only imagine how my poor, tall boyfriend must have felt.
Having said all that, the tent actually did really well on its first two nights because a storm hit and the inside remained as dry as a bone.
The seams, ropes, and even the zips all seem to be of good quality. So, overall, everything is pretty good.
The dimensions are 73 x 82 inches (L x W), it weighs 4.2kg which isn’t too bad but I expected better. It does come with a carry bag thankfully, and Quechua even offer a 3 years warranty.
The Coleman dark room tent is available with or without a screen room. Both come in the colors black and green, and they are both suitable for 4 people.
Firstly, the smaller tent without a screen room is dome-shaped, weighs 2lbs, and has dimensions of 24.02 x 6.69 x 6.69 inches (L x W x H). One queen-sized airbed can fit inside, and the center height is 4ft and 11 inches. It only takes about 10 minutes to have this tent set up.
As for the blackout tent with screen room; that weighs 22lbs and has total dimensions of 14 x 10ft. The inner room’s dimensions are 10 x 9ft, whereas the screen room is 10 x 5ft. So, the total area would be 140 ft squared. When packed up, the size is 26 x 11 x 11 inches, and the center height of the tent is 5ft 8 inches.
The screen room isn’t just perfect for bug-free lounging, but you can also use it to keep gear and shoes for extra space and less dirt. On really hot summer nights, it’s a great place to sleep in. It’s also the ideal place for pets to sleep.
It has a really large D-style door and windows that let in plenty of fresh air, and the inside is really spacious – two queen air beds can fit inside easily.
You can only enjoy the screen room if it’s not raining though. This is because there is nothing protecting that area when it rains, not even the rainfly. Also, there’s no stake point at the entrance, making it very annoying when unzipping the entrance because you have to hold down the base to do so.
Coleman have something called ‘fast pitch’, what it really means is that the shock-corded poles are permanently attached to the hub element. So, instead of having annoying sleeves throughout the hub that you’d have to pass the poles through, you just use clips instead. Also, the corners have a really innovative design – instead of pin and ring, or grommets, to attach the poles, you have a short tube that you just pop the end of the pole in. They call this the ‘fast fit feet system’.
The tents are made with 75D polyester taffeta, with durable bathtub-style floors.
Both tents can block 90% of sunlight and reduce the heat inside by 11%. They have also been tested to be able to withstand strong winds of over 35mph. They were also tested in the rain room, where over 35 gallons of water rained down onto the tents, starting at a light drizzle to a heavy downpour. If more than two tablespoons of water leaked into the tent, then it wouldn’t pass the test.
Welded corners and inverted seams are the reason water can’t get in, and the rainfly helps a great deal with that too.
They also have electrical cord ports, so that you can easily bring electrical power into the tent for everybody, and storage pockets that enable you to keep small personal items organized in one place.
The poles are made with fiberglass, which is not particularly durable. In the long run, I definitely plan to replace these.
The Coleman sundome tent comes in multiple sizes and the color navy blue with gray and a touch of bright green.
There are 2, 3, 4-person darkroom tents.
The two person tent has measurements of 82.7 x 59.1 x 47.2 inches and weighs 6.38 pounds, whereas the 3-person tent’s interior is 7 x 7 x 52 inches, only weighing 8 pounds. The tent for 4 measures at 108 x 84 x 59 inches and weighs 9 pounds.
The tent and rainfly are made with thick and durable 75 denier polyester taffeta, and the tent has welded corners and inverted seams which stop any water from getting in. The rainfly is for extra protection but when it’s not on, the top half of the tent mostly consists of mesh panels so that lots of fresh air can flow in.
It only takes around ten minutes to set up because of its pin-and-ring design that is very easy to do.
Aside from the large windows and plenty of mesh, there is also a floor vent that contributes to the ventilation. The ground vent works together with the mesh ceiling very well, because any hot air that enters is able to rise up and escape.
There’s an E-Port that lets you easily bring electrical power into the tent, and mesh storage pockets that have been sewn into the walls so that you can keep small items close by and organized. Also, the tent has a large D-style door so that it’s easy to get in and out of this tent.
To ensure that Coleman’s tents are weatherproof, they have to get tested against wind and rain before being available for purchase.
As for the wind test, large and strong fans blow winds of 35+ MPH while the tent is rotated on a platform and then afterward the tent is checked for any pole damage or tears.
In the rain room over 35+ gallons of water rain over the tent for ten minutes, starting from a light drizzle and then gradually increasing to heavy downpour. Then, the tent is checked for any water leakage and if over two tablespoons of water manage to get inside, then it’s a fail.
I’m just not happy about two things – the mesh walls are rather loose, and therefore not completely bug-proof. I’m not one of those people who fear every little insect, but the sound of a mosquito buzzing throughout the night would annoy anyone.
The other issue with this light proof tent is that I don’t trust the fiberglass poles. If I had been stuck in a thunderstorm, I don’t think my tent would have lasted.
Included with this tent you’ll find that you have everything you need – poles, rainfly (with pre-attached guy lines), ground stakes, instructions, and a carry bag.
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