Offering a mix of livability, comfort, and versatility at the campground, the Coleman Skydome 8-Person Tent is a popular choice for 3-season family getaways. This tent comes in 2 different configurations—one with a screen room and one without—as well as a cozy interior for maximum functionality during your adventures.
Note: The 8-Person Skydome was once available in a full-fly version. We contacted Coleman and they are no longer producing this version of the tent. It has been removed from the company’s online catalog. So if you need one and you happen to find it in stock somewhere, grab it while you can.
Comfort and Space
Comfort is key with the Coleman Skydome 8-Person Tent. Let’s take a look at how it performs at the campground.
The internal dimensions of both versions of the 8-Person Skydome are 12’ (3.7 m) by 9’ (2.7 m). This works out to a total of 108 square feet (10 sqm) of floor space, which is generally sufficient for 8 adults on sleeping pads or 2 queen-size air mattresses.
However, this amount of floor space isn’t enough to accommodate 8 adults and all of their equipment. If you want to store the bulk of your gear inside your tent, this shelter is best used with a maximum of about 6 adults or 2 adults and up to 5 children.
Both versions of the 8-Person Skydome have a 6’4” (193 cm) center height. This center height is more than tall enough to accommodate most adult campers as they walk around the tent at night.
Even though the dome-shaped Skydome has near-vertical walls, it does slope slightly at the sides. Nevertheless, most campers shouldn’t find that their head brushes against the side of the tent while sitting upright in their sleeping bags in this tent.
But keep in mind that the Skydome comes with an overhead gear loft. This gear loft is fantastic for stashing smaller bits of gear, however, it does take away about 4” (10 cm) to 6” (15 cm) of overhead space. So keep this in mind if you or your fellow campers are particularly tall.
The 8-Person Skydome is designed as a single-room tent. That means that there are no internal room dividers or other similar features for added privacy. In an 8-Person shelter, this added room divider can be helpful. But families and other small groups might not mind sharing a single living space, anyway.
While the standard Coleman Skydome 8-Person Tent doesn’t have a vestibule, the screen porch version does come with a large outdoor living space. The screen porch on this model is approximately 12’ (366 cm) by 4’ (122 cm) in size, so it’s big enough to store a lot of camping gear.
Coleman also states that this screen room can be converted into an additional sleeping space for up to 2 campers. However, while the screen room does come with some waterproof zippered panels, we would be wary of using it as a sleeping space in foul weather. So, it’s best used as a gear storage space or as an additional sleeping area when the conditions cooperate.
Breathability and Ventilation
As is the case with most of the tents in the Coleman Skydome line-up, the 8-Person Skydome performs decently well when it comes to breathability and ventilation.
Both versions of this shelter are double-wall tents, so they have a large mesh canopy overhead for ventilation. The standard 8-Person Skydome also has a large mesh window on the door and in the rear of the tent for increased airflow at night.
Meanwhile, the screen room version of this shelter has a massive screen porch at the front of the tent. On fair-weather evenings, you can unzip the front door of the tent to allow for ample airflow through the screen porch.
The downside to both versions of the 8-Person Skydome is that they don’t come with integrated vents. For rainy conditions, this is a bit of an oversight as built-in vents can increase airflow in foul weather. But for use in frequently dry environments, this tent generally provides ample breathability.
Both versions of the 8-Person Skydome come built with Coleman’s classic WeatherTec system. This system uses bathtub-style floors with welded corners and inverted seams to help keep water out of your sleeping area. It also uses taped seams on the shelter’s rainfly to prevent leakage during a storm.
Additionally, this tent’s dome-style design helps it slough off rain during a downpour. The screen porch version also comes with removable weatherproof panels for added waterproofing in the screen room itself. However, the standard version of this tent doesn’t have a full-coverage rainfly. So it’s best used in mostly dry environments where heavy rain isn’t the norm.
When it comes to wind resistance, some caution is needed with the 8-Person Skydome. Although Coleman advertises this tent as being rated for use in 35 mph (15.6 m/s) winds, there are a few reasons why one shouldn’t purposefully seek out such conditions with this shelter.
First, the 8-Person Skydome features fiberglass poles. While affordable and relatively lightweight, fiberglass is more likely to snap in high winds than aluminum.
Second, both versions of this tent have high center heights. Although these high center heights are great from a comfort perspective, they’re not ideal in bad weather. That’s because tall tents become like miniature sails in the wind, increasing the risk of damage to your shelter at night.
As far as durability is concerned, the 8-Person Skydome performs reasonably well when used in moderate weather conditions.
This tent is made with 75D polyester taffeta fabric in the tent walls and fly. Polyester taffeta is a standard fabric in the tent industry and it offers a good mix of durability and affordability, even if it isn’t very lightweight.
For the floor, both versions of this tent feature 1000D polyethylene. This fabric is about as thick as a standard heavy-duty rain tarp, so it’s puncture-resistant enough for most campground adventures.
But there are 2 primary durability concerns to keep in mind with this tent: its fiberglass poles and its mesh screen room.
As we’ve mentioned, fiberglass poles simply aren’t as durable as their aluminum counterparts. For occasional car camping trips, they usually aren’t a problem, particularly when you camp in sheltered areas. However, this is something to keep in mind as you select a campsite in the future.
Additionally, the mesh used in the screen room of the 8-Person Skydome is inherently a durability concern. Mesh is a highly breathable fabric, but it is easily tearable.
Of course, mesh is a very popular material in camping tents. So having a lot of mesh fabric isn’t necessarily a durability-related deal-breaker for the Skydome. The key point here is that tents, like the screen room version of this shelter, that have a lot of mesh need to be treated with care if you want them to withstand the test of time.
Ease of Use
Overall, the Coleman Skydome 8-Person Tent is a relatively straightforward shelter to set up. Both versions of the tent come with the company’s pre-attached pole system, which helps to simplify the pitching process.
They also have corner pockets and quick clips to make pitching the tent much easier. Additionally, the screen room version of this shelter has a color-coded system to help you align the rainfly and the tent door with minimal hassle.
Despite these features, large tents like the 8-Person Skydome usually require 2 sets of hands if you want to pitch your shelter quickly and efficiently. Plus, while the pitching process of this tent isn’t inherently complicated, it can take some getting used to. So it’s always best to practice pitching this tent a few times at home before your first camping trip.
Packed Size and Weight
For car camping tents, both versions of the Coleman Skydome 8-Person Tent are a reasonable size and weight. The standard version tips the scales at 22.4 lbs (10.2 kg) while the screen room version weighs approximately 25 lbs (11.3 kg). These tents are too heavy for backpacking, but they are within normal range for a family car camping tent.
With regards to packed size, the standard version packs down to approximately 26 x 10 x 10” (65 x 25 x 25 cm) while the screen room version is 26 x 22 x 11” (66 x 56 x 28 cm). Although they’re far from compact in size, both versions are still small enough to toss in the back of your car for a weekend adventure.
Pros and Cons
- Straightforward pitching process
- WeatherTec system for improved waterproofing
- Included gear loft for equipment storage
- Screen porch version available
- Spacious interior for family camping
- High center height and plenty of shoulder room
- Lots of mesh paneling for breathability
- Quite heavy and bulky
- Standard version doesn’t have a full-coverage rainfly
- Not great in high winds
- Durability concerns with fiberglass tent poles
- No integrated floor or ceiling vents
- Doesn’t have a built-in room divider
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