Which is Best? Wenzel vs Coleman
When planning for a camping trip, one of the first things you’ll need to do is buy your gear or check to make sure your old gear is still in good condition. And one of the most important pieces of gear you should have is a tent. Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or looking to go on your first camping trip, there are an overwhelming amount of options for tents out there. In terms of family tents or mid-range tents we’ve chosen to look at Wenzel and Coleman. To help you make your decision, we’ve outlined the benefits of each below.
Wenzel has been making outdoor gear since 1887, so their tent designs are tried and tested. This brand isn’t as well known as Coleman, but it’s rapidly growing in popularity. If you’re looking for a reliable tent at a comparable price, this might be the brand for you.
What people love about Wenzel
Wenzel tents are known for being simple to set up and pack away. They’re lightweight and easy to haul. Customers have complemented these tents on their ability to withstand high winds and rain. They last for years, so you won’t have to worry about buying a new tent for a while.
Customers also love that these tents are waterproof and will keep you dry no matter what. Wenzel’s tents are made with “Weather Armor” fabric that is polyester and has a polyurethane coating to help the water shed off. These tents also have welded seams. Other tents have sewn seams, which allow water to leak through the little needle holes if not sealed properly.
A look at Wenzel’s products
Wenzel has a variety of tents available, from 3-person to 10-person. They also have a 10’x10’ canopy that is great for camping with a group; it will keep you in the shade and out of the rain. Their prices range from $50-$200. Here are a few of their most popular tents:
- Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent. This 8 person tent is 16’x11’. It has an attached screen room, which can act as a second sleeping room or a sun room. The main room can sleep 5, and the screen room can sleep 3. Because of weight this is definitely a car camping tent and wouldn’t do well on a backpacking trip. Customers say this tent is easy to set up and take down.
- Wenzel Alpine Tent – 3 Person. This tent measures 8’x8.5’ and would work well for a backpacking trip. It’s a lightweight, quality tent that’s at the low end of the price spectrum. The 3-pole pentadome design makes pitching it simple. It has a built-in loft for storing small valuables. See our guide for other lightweight backpacking tents.
- Wenzel Pine Ridge Tent – 5 Person. This two-room tent (with removable divider) is perfect for small families. It features Wenzel’s new Light Reflect system, which allows you to enjoy light throughout the tent by putting a light in the gear loft and aiming it at a built-in reflective panel.
Wenzel’s target market
Wenzel has tents for every type of camper, but they have especially great options for backpackers. Most of their tents are simple, cheap, and extremely lightweight.
Coleman is one of the best know tent brands worldwide. The company started selling gasoline-fueled lanterns, and now their name is synonymous with a variety of outdoor products.
What people love about Coleman
Coleman’s customers can be sure of the quality of their tents. Coleman has developed their own waterproofing system called the Weather Tec System. This system includes weather-resistant fabric, leak-free seams, water-proof floors, mesh fabric for ventilation, zipper protection, and wind-resistant framing. Like Wenzel, Coleman’s fabric is made from polyester and coated with polyurethane.
Coleman’s design allows for easy assembly. Most of their designs have the poles attached to the seams. Using this pole sleeve technique allows for a quick pitch (especially the Coleman ‘Instant’ tents)
A look at Coleman’s products
Coleman also has a variety of tents available, but they specialize in larger family tents. Their tents range in price from $50-$200. Like Wenzel, they have a screen room you can buy for when you’re traveling with a group of people and want a separate tent where everyone can gather to escape the elements.
- Sundome 2 Person Tent. This tent is great for backpacking trips. It’s 7’x5’ and packs up small and tight. It has mesh vents on the roof to add extra ventilation. Also, if it’s not raining, you can leave the rainfly off to get a nice view of the night sky. This tent has welded floor seams to keep water out, even on the wettest nights. Coleman’s Sundome series also comes in 3-, 4-, and 6-person tents.
- Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent. This tent is roomy and will work well for families or couples that want some extra space. The instant tent design allows for ultra-quick and simple assembly. There are lots of windows for ventilation and visibility. There’s also an option to put up a divider and make two rooms. Because of the weight, this tent is not ideal for backpacking.
- Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent. This 16’x7’ tent is good for family car campers. The rainfly allows you to keep the windows open and not get wet. The main complaint from customers is that the windows aren’t big enough to allow for adequate ventilation, but if you’re expecting cold nights, this tent will keep you warm. The hinged door has a great zipper system that won’t wear out with heavy use.
Coleman’s target market
While Coleman has a few great tents for backpacking, most of their popular models are a better fit for family campers. This brand carries several tents that have extra features and space, perfect for camping with groups but not great for carrying long distances.
What we’ve learnt about Coleman & Wenzel
Regardless of what type of camper you are, you can’t go wrong with either of these. Both companies have been in the outdoor business for a long time and have developed durable products that will last you for years to come. They both have high quality weather proofing systems. Both brands also have simple designs that campers at every skill level will find easy to use.
If you’re looking to take your family out for a camping trip, you’ll probably find more options with Coleman, whereas backpackers will find a larger variety of Wenzel tents that fit their needs.
That’s all folks, in future articles look out for reviews of the upper end of tents such as Big Agnes and MSR.