Dreaming of long sunny days on the beach with family? Paddling in the sea, peering into rock pools and wolfing down fish and chips? Well, with changeable weather conditions the reality can be quite different (especially in the UK) and that’s where the Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter comes in useful.
Offering protection against wind, rain and bright sunshine, this handy beach cover is designed to make your family day at the seaside comfortable and safe. It's one of the best beach tents around; we took it to the coast to put it through its paces.
- Keep food and drinks fresh and cold with the best cool box for camping
- Pull up a perch! These are the best camping chairs around
Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter review: size and assembly
Loaded with coolboxes, surfboards, towels, buckets and spades, every parent dreads that carthorse-style plod to the beach, so it’s key that any additional kit isn’t too bulky. The Coleman Sundome comes in a suitably small (51cm x11cm) drawstring bag, weighs a teeny 1.9kg and has a thick shoulder strap, so it’s easy to sling over your arm.
To put the beach shelter up all you need to do is insert the three fibreglass poles, arc and either peg down or fill the inbuilt sand pockets to secure it. There are also a few guy ropes you can use to stabilise against heavy winds and to take-down you simply reverse the process (we even managed to get it back in the bag first time too). All-in-all it probably took us about 10 minutes and it even had a few passers-by commenting on how easy it looked.
Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter review: features and design
Once erected, the shelter measures 118cm high and 248cm at its widest point, so it feels really broad and spacious. As the name suggests, the Sundome forms a (pleasingly deckchair-esque) blue and white-striped half dome over a thick attached groundsheet, which measures a decent 216cm and is easily big enough to lay out two full-sized beach towels or a big picnic rug.
One of the coolest features of the Sundome is the zip running around the groundsheet which allows you to close up the front and stash all your bits and bobs out of sight/ reach of the seagulls, while you all go off and enjoy a paddle. It can even be used as a little changing room, however it’s worth noting that it does feel quite small once zipped up and there isn’t any ventilation, so it’s for short periods only.
Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter review: performance and comfort
We were really impressed with the quality feel of the Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Shelter; despite the large open front, it was really secure even in blustery conditions, thanks to the addition of the guy ropes. The Coleman UVGuard protection fabrics with SPF50 sun protection mean children (and adults!) can stay out of the bright sunshine and still enjoy a great day on the beach.
The thick groundsheet was an absolute winner on wet sand and the dark colour meant it stayed nice and warm too, however this might be a slight issue in more tropical climates as it could potentially get uncomfortably hot. Inside the shelter it would be good to have one of two storage pockets to keep valuables out of the sand, yet still within easy reach.
Should I buy the Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter?
The Coleman Sundome has a generous canopy which provides fantastic protection from strong winds and bright UV rays. The large groundsheet gives you space to relax and keep all your essentials sheltered too. The inbuilt sandbags and guy ropes provide extra stability and the zip up front provides a neat little changing room or sand-free storage space. All this comes in a surprisingly lightweight, portable package that goes up and packs away without you having to break into a sweat on the sand.
In an ideal world the Sundome would have a few interior pockets and perhaps a ventilation panel too, but this is a quality piece of kit that will no doubt come along to every family beach holiday for many years to come.