In a hurry? Enter the realm of peaceful outdoor sleeping with our Editor’s Choice, the Coleman Dark Room Sundome. Its standout feature is the advanced dark room technology, adept at blocking 90% of sunlight, setting the stage for a tranquil tent rest, anytime. As an added bonus, this blackout tent comes equipped with great weather resistance, ensuring your camping experience remains enjoyable, no matter the elements.
We understand this tent may not be everyone’s first choice, so we’ve assembled a list of all the best options for blackout tents below.
In the world of camping, few things make a bigger difference to your outdoor experience than the right tent. Especially when it comes to enjoying a good night’s sleep or a midday nap without the interference of sunlight. Blackout tents, with their sunlight-blocking abilities, have revolutionized camping comfort.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or planning your first trip, we’ve rounded up the best dark room tents on the market to help you select the one that suits your needs the best. Each blackout tent on our list has been evaluated for its design, features, and user reviews to bring you the ultimate guide in blackout tents for camping. Let’s dive in.
5 Best Blackout Tents
These are our picks for the best blackout tent:
- Editor’s Choice – Coleman Sundome
- Quick Setup – Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
- Best for Summer – Bushnell Shield Series 9-person
- Extra Space – Coleman Carlsbad
- Best 5 Person Blackout Tent – Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent
Editor’s Choice – Coleman Sundome
Our top pick, the Coleman Dark Room Sundome, is the epitome of a stellar camping companion. With its advanced DarkRoom technology, this best budget blackout tent provides an unparalleled experience for campers who appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep or a respite from the midday sun. The tent fabric blocks 90% of sunlight, which meant we were able to sleep in without being woken up by the early summer sun and we were able to nap in a cool sanctuary even in the heat of the day.
But the Coleman DarkRoom Sundome isn’t just a one-trick pony – its capacity to reduce heat isn’t its only feature designed to keep you comfortable. Its spacious interior comfortably houses up to six people, ensuring a group of friends or a family can enjoy their camping adventure together. The ample space, coupled with the tent’s e-port for easy electrical power access, makes it ideal for those who enjoy a touch of convenience and comfort while camping.
What about set-up? We know that pitching a tent might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially after a long drive or a hefty trek. The Sundome, however, is a breeze to set up. In fact, it took us less than 10 minutes and we found it simple and easy to setup.
No tent is complete without being able to weather the elements, and the Sundome doesn’t disappoint. With its strong frame tested to withstand winds of up to 35mph and its included rainfly, it was ready to face whatever nature might threw at it. Additionally, its welded corners and inverted seams kept water from seeping in, even during a downpour.
The Sundome isn’t just about performance; it also ticks the box for durability. Its rugged Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric ensures the tent stands up to the rigors of the outdoors, making it a perfect companion for your family camping trips for years to come.
We think this blackout tent is awesome, but it’s not just us. With an average rating of 4.7/5 stars on Amazon with thousands of reviews, this tent is one of the most affordable and highest rated camping tents you could buy.
Ready for a camping experience that’s a cut above the rest? With the Coleman DarkRoom Sundome, you’ve got a tent that goes the extra mile in providing comfort, convenience, and resilience.
- Capacity: 6 (also available in 4-person)
- Peak Height: 72 inches (6 ft.)
- Dimensions: 10×10 ft.
- Square Feet: 100 sq.ft.
- Weight: 17 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Tent Shape: Dome
Click below to learn more about our Editor’s Choice, and you’ll soon discover why it leads the pack of the top dark room tents this year.
Quick Setup – Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
When you’re ready to dive straight into your camping adventure, setting up your tent quickly and efficiently is key. That’s why the Coleman DarkRoom Instant Cabin Tent earned a top spot on our list of the best blackout tents.
The standout feature of this blackout tent is its rapid setup time. With the pre-attached tent poles, we were able to get this tent standing in just about a minute, a benefit that’s hard to overlook after a long journey or an intense day of hiking. Simply unfold the tent, extend all the poles, secure it to the ground, and you’re all set to start enjoying the wilderness around you.
The instant cabin tent isn’t only about the speed of setup, though. It also offers a fantastic darkroom experience. Like our Editor’s Choice, this tent utilizes Blackout Technology, reducing 90% of sunlight and reducing heat buildup inside the tent. This feature ensures a cool, comfortable interior, whether you want to sleep in or escape the midday sun.
The Coleman DarkRoom Instant Cabin Tent provides ample room for up to ten people, which is a big bonus for larger groups or families, and its roomy 6ft. 7in. height allows most people to stand upright inside the tent. We were even able to walk around freely without worrying about hitting our head in the ceiling mesh. This isn’t just a place to sleep; it’s a home away from home.
Durability hasn’t been compromised for convenience here either. The tent’s rugged Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric ensures longevity, while its WeatherTec system, complete with a patented welded bathtub floor and inverted seams, kept the rain at bay.
With over 21,000 user reviews on Amazon and a high rating, this blackout tent is one of the most popular tents online – and for a good reason. We really loved using it, and the quick setup time had us excited to use our tent over and over again.
Ready for a camping experience that prioritizes both convenience and comfort? With its effortless setup and darkroom capabilities, the Coleman DarkRoom Instant Cabin Tent is ready to become your favorite outdoor companion.
- Capacity: 10
- Peak Height: 79 inches (6ft. 7in.)
- Dimensions: 14 x 10 ft.
- Square Feet: 140 sq.ft.
- Pole Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 44.6 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Tent Shape: Cabin
Click below to explore more about this amazing quick setup tent.
Best for Summer – Bushnell Shield Series 9-person
As the summer heat hits, camping can become a challenge, especially during those scorching summer afternoons. That’s where the Bushnell Shield Series 9-person tent comes into play, providing an excellent solution for summer camping. While not technically a dark room tent, it shines with its heat reflective technology.
This tent features a heat reflective rainfly designed to reflect UV rays, which significantly reduced the heat inside the tent. While this technology is different from the blackout style of other tents, it provided an effective means of keeping our tent interior cool and comfortable, even on the sunniest days we experienced while camping.
Perhaps one of the most unique features of this tent is its two AC ports. These allow you to connect an air conditioning unit, providing a level of cool comfort rarely seen in camping scenarios. It’s an absolute game-changer for those hot summer camping trips, making it possible to escape the heat and enjoy a restful nap or a peaceful night’s sleep.
The Bushnell Shield Series is also an instant tent, meaning setup time is significantly reduced to only a couple of minutes. It’s designed for fast and hassle-free setup, which allowed us more time to enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, with its standing height interior (6’6″), we were able to move around freely within the tent, adding to the overall comfort.
In terms of space, this tent is designed to accommodate up to 9 people, making it a great choice for larger families or groups of friends. With a combination of its unique summer-friendly features, easy setup, and spacious interior, the Bushnell Shield Series 9-person tent offers a great solution for those who refuse to let the summer heat disrupt their love for camping.
- Capacity: 9
- Peak Height: 78 inches (6ft.6in.)
- Dimensions: 15 x 9 ft.
- Square Feet: 135 sq.ft.
- Pole Material: Steel
- Fabric: 150-denier walls, 240-denier floor
- Weight: 45 lbs.
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Tent Shape: Cabin
With the Bushnell Shield Series, summer camping becomes a breeze. Click below to see how this incredible tent can take your summer adventures to a whole new level.
Extra Space – Coleman Carlsbad
If you’re seeking a tent that pairs the benefits of a dark room tent with the luxury of extra space, look no further than the Coleman Carlsbad Dark Room Tent. This remarkable tent made our list because of its unique offering of a spacious, bug-free lounge area.
The standout feature of the Carlsbad Dark Room Tent is its screened porch. This extended area provides you with a panoramic view of your camping surroundings without the worry of bugs and pests. It’s the perfect space to relax, enjoy a meal, reading a book, or simply chat with your camping buddies, all while being shielded from the elements and the critters.
But this blackout tent is not just about additional space. The Carlsbad model comes equipped with Dar Room fabric that’s only found in Coleman tents. This feature blocks out 90% of sunlight, keeping your sleeping space dark and cool, whether you want to sleep in or take an afternoon nap. The blackout technology also reduces heat in the tent, ensuring a more comfortable camping experience even on warm, sunny days.
Despite its spacious design, the Coleman Carlsbad Dark Room Tent doesn’t compromise on durability. Its sturdy frame is designed to withstand 35+ mph winds, and the WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams will keep you dry even when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
As a bonus, this tent’s structure is designed to be simple to erect, so you can spend less time fiddling with poles and more time enjoying your trip. It also features an extended window awning that allows you to keep the windows open for enhanced air circulation, even when it’s raining.
All in all, the Carlsbad tent offers a unique combination of comfort, space, and convenience, all for an incredible price point. Not only is it a great value for your money, but it’s also extremely highly rated and has thousands of reviews on Amazon, so you know it’s a great product that will be your favorite piece of camping gear for years to come.
- Capacity: 4 (also available in 6-person)
- Peak Height: 49 inches (4ft. 11in.)
- Dimensions: 9 x 7 ft.
- Square Feet: 63 sq.ft.
- Screen Room Dimensions: 9 x 4 ft.
- Screen Room Sq.Ft.: 36
- Pole Material: Fiberglass poles
- Weight: 16 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 Year
Click below to explore the Coleman Carlsbad Dark Room Tent further, and discover how it can elevate your camping experience.
Best 5 Person Blackout Tent – Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent
Rounding up our list of top 5 best blackout tents, we present the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent. This standout tent wins our selection for the best 5-person blackout tent, and it’s easy to see why.
The Coleman Rocky Mountain tent distinguishes itself with a unique design: the main living area is light and airy, while the separate bedroom area is incredibly dark, thanks to the BlackOut Bedroom technology. This design allows you to enjoy the brightness of your surroundings during the day and retire to a darkened room for a good night’s sleep. This feature excels at blocking sunlight (a whopping 99%) from entering the sleeping area, enabling you to sleep comfortably regardless of the time of day.
But the blackout bedroom isn’t the only thing that sets the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent apart. Its thoughtful design includes a peak height of 6 feet 2 inches, allowing most people to stand upright. With spacious sleeping and living areas, this tent provides plenty of room for five people, making it an excellent choice for families or a small group of friends.
Furthermore, the Rocky Mountain tent stands strong when it comes to weather resistance. With a high hydrostatic head rating and a fully taped rainfly, it offers impressive water resistance. Add to that the robust, wind-stable tunnel design and you have a reliable shelter ready to take on the elements.
So, if you’re looking for a comfortable, spacious tent that provides the best of both worlds – light-filled living space and a dark sleeping room – the Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent is your answer.
- Capacity: 5
- Peak Height: 76″ (6ft.6in.)
- Dimensions: 122″ x 149″ (10ft.2in. x 12ft. 5in.)
- Square Feet: 126 sq.ft.
- Pole Material: Fiberglass poles
- Hydrostatic Head: 4500mm
- Weight: 37 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Tent Shape: Tunnel
Click below to explore more about this fantastic 5-person blackout tent.
How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated the Best Blackout Tents
We love outdoor gear, and we love recommending gear that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear that’s worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.
We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite blackout tent may not be yours. That’s why we rate and review a wide variety of products currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the features and pick what’s best for you and your situation.
Thing to Consider When Choosing a Blackout Tent
Here are a few things to take into consideration when shopping for a blackout tent.
Blackout Vs. Reflective
When it comes to selecting a dark room tent, two popular technologies standout – blackout and reflective. In Coleman tents, you’ll typically find the blackout technology. This technology actively blocks up to 90% to 99% of sunlight from entering the tent, creating a dark inner tent even during bright daylight hours. This is especially useful if you’re someone who values undisturbed sleep, or if you simply want to take a break from the bright outdoor light. It’s especially great for families with kids who nap, as they can rest in a dark area out of the bright sunlight.
On the other hand, the Bushnell Shield Series uses heat reflective technology. While this does not block out sunlight as effectively as the dark rest technology, it helps to reflect UV rays, reducing the heat inside the tent. This can be particularly beneficial in hot summer months, keeping the interior of your blackout tent cooler during the day. Plus, the Bushnell tent has two AC ports, so you can use an AC unit to keep it even cooler inside.
The difference between these two really comes down to personal preference. If you’re interested in the Coleman Dark Room Technology because it keeps the temperature cooler, then the Bushnell tent could also be a good option for you. If you’re looking at darkroom tents for napping and sleeping purposes, then the Bushnell isn’t as great.
If you want something that’s the best of both worlds, perhaps consider the Rocky Mountain by Coleman. It has a bright and spacious living area with a separate darkened sleeping quarters for sleeping and napping. Either way, these darkroom tents have technology that goes beyond the standard tent.
Beyond light control, another critical factor is weather resistance. After all, camping isn’t always sunny skies and perfect temperatures. Look for blackout tents with features like the Coleman’s WeatherTec system, which boasts patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep water out. Another beneficial feature is a sturdy frame designed to withstand strong winds. A good rainfly can also provide additional protection, creating a barrier between your tent and the elements.
Normally when we talk about tents and weather resistance, we talk about waterhead rating (aka hydrostatic head), which is a rating of how waterproof a tent’s fabric is. Coleman does a great job of making weather resistant materials, but they aren’t technically waterproof because they don’t meet the minimum 1200mm waterhead rating.
That being said, most of them get the job done and offer sufficient weather protection for the average camper. If you’re consistently exposed to wet conditions, you may consider adding your own waterproofing spray to further enhance the tent’s ability to keep the interior dry. Continue reading: Are Coleman Tents Waterproof? The Truth Revealed.
Space & Height
Your comfort inside the best blackout tent is largely determined by its space and height. Always consider the number of people who will typically be camping with you. Most camping tents provide a capacity guide, but remember this is usually a close fit. If you want extra room for gear or just prefer a more spacious interior, it can be worth opting for a tent rated for at least two people more than your party size. Read more in depth to see what size camping tent you should purchase: Camping Tent Size: How Much Space Do You Need?
Height is another important consideration. Being able to stand upright in your tent significantly enhances comfort, especially on longer car camping trips. We’ve included the max height on each darkroom tent above so you can compare. The Coleman Sundome, Coleman Instant Cabin Tent, Bushnell Shield Series, and Coleman Rocky Mountain all offer interior heights of at least six feet. The Coleman Carlsbad is only 49 inches tall, but in exchange it offers a spacious screen room for bug-free hanging out. You just have to decide what’s more important to you!
The tent’s shape will also contribute to the interior spaciousness. Tall tents with straight walls are cabin tents (like the Coleman Instant Cabin Tent). These will have the most spacious interior. On the other hand, dome tents will have less spacious interiors (like the Coleman Sundome and Carlsbad) but they also offer increased weather resistance. Read more: Dome Tent Vs Cabin Tent – Which Should You Choose?
When you’re eager to start your outdoor adventure, the last thing you want is to spend a long time setting up your tent. The setup time varies greatly from one blackout tent to another, so this should be a key consideration. Tents like the Coleman DarkRoom Instant Cabin and Bushnell Shield Series are designed with pre-attached poles and a simplified setup, allowing your car camping tent to be ready in just about a minute. These instant tents are super quick and easy. Most blackout tents on this list still have an easy setup, but it won’t happen as quickly as the other two listed above.
Quality & Durability
A camping tent is an investment, and you want your investment to last. Pay attention to the quality of materials used and the overall durability of the tent. A double-thick fabric, like in the Coleman DarkRoom Instant Cabin, ensures durability and longevity. Also, consider the quality of zippers, poles, and seams, as these are common areas where wear and tear often show up first. Your camping tent should not only be able to withstand the elements but also the test of time.
Quality and durability are related to directly to price, as the higher quality the tent, the higher the price tag. That’s why tents like the Bushnell Shield Series and Coleman Rocky Mountain are going to be more expensive – they’re higher quality tents. More budget-conscious blackout tents like the Coleman Sundome (Editor’s Choice) offer a lower price tag in exchange for lower quality materials.
It’s essential to find the right balance of price and quality, that way you’re getting the best value for your money. As always, we recommend buying on the higher end of what you’re able to afford, that way you can increase the chances that your darkroom tent will last many car camping trips and several years instead of possibly breaking before you really even break it in.
Do blackout tents work?
Yes, blackout tents work! They employ special fabrics and technology to block out the majority of sunlight from entering the tent. Most blackout tents, such as those from Coleman’s DarkRoom series, can block out up to 90% to 99% of sunlight. This not only keeps your tent dark for uninterrupted sleep or rest but also helps in maintaining a cooler temperature inside the dark tent during the day.
What is the darkest tent?
The darkest tents typically come from the Coleman DarkRoom series. These blackout tents are designed with dark room technology that blocks out up to 90% to 99% of sunlight, making them among the darkest available on the market. The actual darkness can vary slightly between models, but overall, tents from the Coleman DarkRoom series are well-recognized for their superior light-blocking capabilities.
Are blackout tents worth it?
Blackout tents can definitely be worth it if you’re looking for a camping tent that blocks out sunlight for a more peaceful sleeping experience. You can sleep in later, and even nap during the day more comfortably with a blackout tent. Plus, they aren’t that expensive, especially the Coleman Sundome Dark Room Tent, so there’s not much risk in giving it a try!
Selecting the right dark room tent can truly elevate your car camping experience, providing you with restful sleep and a cool retreat from the midday sun. Whether you value fast setup, spacious living, or the ability to camp comfortably in summer, there’s a dark rest tent on our list designed with you in mind. Remember to consider blackout vs. reflective technology, weather resistance, space, setup time, and overall quality when making your choice. Happy camping and enjoy those sweet, shaded dreams in your new dark room tent!