Coleman Echo Lake Fast Pitch Tent

Best Tent for the Novice Camper and Their Family:
Coleman Echo Lake Fast Pitch Camping Tent

Cost might be what you are most concerned with when buying a tent for your first camping trip. But consider this: A good tent will cost less than a few nights at a decent hotel, and you can use it for years and years of family trips.

Right now, you might think a tent is just a place to sleep, an outdoor bedroom. But if you get caught in a rainstorm, grow weary of the cloud of black flies undeterred by your citronella candle, or simply need a place to shed your dust covered hiking clothes and wipe your filthy feet down with baby wipes in privacy, a tent is your shelter and your home away from home. A good camping trip can be made or ruined by a tent.

Here’s what to look for:

An easy to set up camping tent. 

The pre-attached poles on the Coleman Echo Lake Fast Pitch Tent make the tent go up super easy. With un-attached poles it may take several attempts to get them positioned right, and though over time (and camping trips) you will learn the fastest way to get the tent up, your first time won’t go smoothly.

Attached poles leave little room for error. You don’t want to find yourself sweating, angry, and over camping, in your first hour. Remember, there are still logs to chop for the fire so, save your energy. Don’t wear yourself out swearing at your tent. Also, it helps to set the tent up at least once before the trip. You know, practice and all.  

Enough Room. How big should your camping tent be?

If it’s your first trip, consider using an air mattresses (Please, not the kind you plug into a wall socket to inflate. You’re camping.) because the ground will be hard, and it will be rocky. That said, you may want to consider the number of people sleeping in the tent and add 2-4 people. Because if you try to cram 4 people into a 4 person tent, I promise it will be cozy and also, someone’s foot will end up up your nose. Consider yourself warned. You also want to have space for storage and to change clothes.

The Echo Lake offers ample space for 4-6 people (especially if several are children) and the high ceiling means adults can stand comfortably in the tent. The 6-person fits two queen air mattresses and the 8-person fits four, and both the 6- and 8- person versions are seven feet floor to ceiling. The larger tent comes with built in storage cabinets and room dividers.

Coleman Echo Lake Fast Pitch Camping Tent

A tent with easy to open and close doors.

The hinged D-doors on this tent swing open like a real door and can be either zippered shut, or there is velcro around the door if you are coming in and out and don’t want to zipper every single time. Because this will get annoying after a while.

Will your camping tent keep you safe?

Will the Echo Lake keep you safe from bears? Well, no. There is not a camping tent in the world that can keep a bear out. But you know, just don’t keep your pork rinds (or food product of any kind) in your tent and you’ll be fine. Feel free to run in and hide when you see a skunk or snake though.

Chances are you planned your trip months in advance, so you may end up camping in a rain, thunder, and/or windstorm. You didn’t plan for this! But make sure you are prepared. The Echo Lake is spacious, so your family can stay comfortably inside, safe, playing board games or telling ghost stories. For hours and hours and hours. We promise, this forced bonding time will be fun and good for you too! Oh and the peaked roof and special Weathertec System also makes the tent more rain and wind resistant.

At 35-37 lbs. make no mistake, this tent is heavy. But chances are, if this is your first camping trip you won’t be lugging the thing more than a few feet from your car. Most campsites provide parking at the site. The Coleman Echo Lake Fast Pitch Tent is like a house you take with you, complete with the comforts and safety that a house provides.