Coleman are best-known for their family tents but they also make a range of low-priced backpacking tents that prove you don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to enjoy camping. The Bedrock 2 weighs in at a very respectable 2.5kg and benefits from two porches, two entrances and a window on the world outside. The inner can also be pitched on its own in warm dry conditions.
The Coleman Bedrock 2 is a wedge-shaped tent that requires just one pole. It is pitched inner-first with the single pole sliding through a short sleeve around the top of the inner. The pole ends are located onto plugs at the base and clips are then used to link the rest of the inner to the pole. The flysheet is draped over the top with a set of steel pegs stabilising the structure. The guy lines are required to tension the fly and hold it away from the inner and also to add a little more stability. The main bonus of the tent is the twin porches and entrances that extend down each side of the wedge. The inner and outer doors zip open and can be rolled upwards, where they are held in place with toggles.
On the hill
The Coleman Bedrock 2 pitches very easily, but even with the guy lines fitted, it is a little more ‘flappy’ than some other designs. The inner tent sags a great deal under the long slope of the wedge and I felt it needed attaching to the flysheet here so that some tension could be applied by tensioning the fly with the external guy line. The doorways can be zipped open and secured very well, but the outer doors only have single zip pullers so campers cannot vent these from the top. Only one inner door gets a separate midge net, to allow the inner to be vented without letting in the midges. While this saves weight and cost, having one each side would be an advantage for two campers. There is a vent on the steep side of the wedge but as there is not a vent at the other end of the wedge air cannot flow the length of the tent very easily to control condensation. As there is only one pole the headroom is very restricted too, and it tapers away rapidly once you move away from the main pole. So while the porch space is excellent, the living space inside the inner is smaller than expected. The weight and price are good, and this is a useful tent for backpacking, but it’s best used on sheltered sites in mild conditions so that the drawbacks don’t make the stay too uncomfortable.
Pole shock-corded fibreglass
Inner polyester and mesh
Outer PU-coated polyester, 2000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 260cm; width 135cm; height 93cm
Packed size 54x14cm
Packed weight 2500g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 70
Stockist details – tel. (01275) 845024; www.coleman.eu
Verdict: The Coleman Bedrock 2 is a good price; two porches and entrances; easy to pitch; steel pegs won’t bend. But its large, flat surfaces deflect in wind; fibreglass poles; inner tent sags a lot; minimal inner tent space; inner pitches first; more ventilation would be better. In summary, the levels of stability and living space make it best suited for relatively calm conditions.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2009