Coleman Meadowood 4 BlackOut review: a fantastic family tent, if a little small for four

New for 2021, the Coleman Meadowood 4 tent is designed for family trips in the great outdoors. Here's our review

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review
(Image credit: Coleman)
T3 Verdict

The Coleman Meadowood 4 BlackOut tent has been designed to help your family camping trip run smoothly. There's a light and well-ventilated living space, BlackOut bedrooms to banish the dawn sunshine, and plenty of thoughtful additions.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Light, bright and airy living space

  • +

    Spacious blackout bedrooms

  • +

    Well made and helpful features

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Minimal porch area

  • -

    On the small side for a family of four

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Brand new for 2021, the Coleman Meadowood 4 BlackOut is a tunnel tent designed for family camping trips. With space for four and an RRP of £429.99, it's the most compact and cheapest of the Meadowood range. For more space, you can opt for the Meadowood 4L BlackOut (which also sleeps four but offers some extra wiggle-room, with 18.8m2 of space rather than 14.1m2) or the six-berth 6L BlackOut, for larger families. And if you're not a fan of poles, there's also the Meadowood 4 Air, although you'll need to be willing to pay for it: this one has an RRP £749.99.

We maintain that Coleman makes some of today's best tents – especially in the family tent arena – so it's no surprise that we're big fans of the Meadowood. Read on for our full Coleman Meadowood 4 BlackOut review.

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review: design and usability

Coleman Meadowood 4 BlackOut tent: specs

Sleeps: 4
Pack size: 72 x 32 x 32cm
HH rating:
UV protection:
Total area:

With a fairly standard tunnel tent design, the Meadowood 4 is simple to put up, even for newbie campers. Different sized poles are colour-coded with their holes, and the extra popout awning section slots into place easily. These fibreglass poles are also slightly angled to give you more usable internal space. And of course, if you don't want to mess around with the poles, there's also an Air version available. 

For protection against the elements, you have a fully taped polyester flysheet and sewn-in PE groundsheet. The larger 4L and 6L Meadowoods include storm straps for extra support, but you won't find them on the 4. Mesh pole casings provide less wind resistance and allow the structure to flex as needed in the wind. 

There are wide front and side doors, both with a mesh layer for balmy evenings when you want some airflow through the tent without welcoming in all the local wildlife, and the front door has a flap that can be folded down for step-free access, for wheelchairs, buggies and the like (there is a step up into the sleeping compartments, though).

The walls of the living space that aren't doors mostly feature large clear plastic 'windows' (all with zippable 'curtains' for privacy), which combined with the pale fabric colour means this social area feels very light and airy. There are also added mesh vents for extra airflow.

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review

(Image credit: Coleman)

Move into the bedroom and the opposite is (intentionally) true. Coleman's BlackOut fabric blocks light remarkably well, and is a welcome addition for anyone who's sensitive to light in the mornings, or who has children that set their play hours by the sun. The sleeping compartment can be separated into two via a removable fabric divider. For extra airflow into the bedrooms, there's a mesh section at the top that can be opened to let more air in, and a two-way zip if you want to leave the top half open completely. 

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review

(Image credit: Future)

There are a number of thoughtful additions that help this offering stand out from the competition. Multiple cable entry points, with red zips so you can see them clearly. A selection of pockets on the column between the bedrooms, for storage. Hooks to hang a camping lanterns from in both the living area and the bedroom.  Colourful zipper stoppers you you can always find the zip pull. And although it's not the most important thing, we're suckers for the curvy shapes and cool aquamarine and lime green colour scheme. 

The only area that might cause you pause, really, is the lack of porchway. There's a little covered area that pops out the front, but it doesn't offer much in the way of outdoor living space. If you opt for the bigger 4L or 6L, you do have the option to add a vestibule (sold separately).

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review

(Image credit: Future)

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review: alternatives

If you're a fan of the Coleman style of family tent, there's are a few new and updated ranges worth exploring: the Castle Pines 4 BlackOut is very similar (RRP £429.99, same as the Meadowood), the Aspen 4 and Vail 4 are both slightly more basic (no BlackOut, for starters) and cheaper at RRP £349.99. All are based on the same kind of layout and you'll find similar features are variations on a theme in terms of features and layouts. 

We've also been testing out the Vango Joro 450, which is a new 4-man option from Vango that's made from recycled single-use plastics. As well as being eco-friendly, it boasts a large large porch area, although you do sacrifice a few bells and whistles elsewhere, including the BlackOut bedrooms. 

Coleman Meadowood 4 tent review: verdict

We're big fans of Coleman's family tents, and the Meadowood 4 BlackOut is no exception. It's well designed and easy to put up and down, the living space is light and airy, and the BlackOut bedrooms are dark and cosy. Thoughtful additions, such as the extra pockets and the vents on the bedrooms, make the Meadowood extra usable. We love the design, too. While it sleeps four, it's definitely on the compact side for that many people, especially given you can't add an extra porch to this one. Unless you're confident you'll be able to live mainly outdoors on your trip, we'd recommend looking at the 4L. 

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).