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CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent Review


CORE Instant Cabin Tent









The Review

Tents have become more and more sophisticated over the years. While camping is a fun experience, the preparation and setup can be a hassle, to say the least. One of the more tedious aspects of camping, especially for beginners, is setting up the tent. Depending on the model, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. The various lines, stakes, fabric, and design considerations can be extremely confusing with good instructions and downright impossible with those that are less than helpful. Enter the CORE Instant Cabin Tent, one of our contenders for best cabin tent for rain.

CORE has gained prominence in recent years due to their innovative approach to taking the drudgery out of setting up your camping tent. Their line of Instant tents claims to allow for setup in just a couple minutes in an easy to understand and intuitive setup. Obviously, this is very attractive for those new to camping to eliminate the normal frustrations associated with tent setup. Even experienced campers have raved about the ease of using these tents. Read our review of the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent to see what all the fuss is about.

Campers looking at ground near trees

Fantastic Setup and Value

CORE is well-known for their innovative approach to setting up the tent in as little time as possible. This CORE instant tent continues their tradition of providing effortless assembly. Compared to a normal tent, setting up this cabin tent can be completed in, literally, a couple of minutes. The first time naturally takes a little longer than subsequent attempts. After a couple times, expect 2-3 minutes to have your tent up and almost ready. Furthermore, taking the tent down and packing it away is similarly simple. A large bag is provided that is large enough to easily pack away the contents of your tent. It is really amazing at how simple this tedious process has become with the CORE line of tents.

This tent is also one of the better value buys in this price range. The tent is made of sturdy materials, provides very good weather resistance, offers simple setup, and has enough features to satisfy beginner and experienced campers. While you may find something a little more durable for a significant increase in cost, the value buyers get with this tent is hard to surpass. A spacious interior and straight walls inherent in the cabin tent design (learn more about cabin tents vs dome tents) allow for plenty of room for camping groups of all sizes. While the tent can handle up to 9 campers, it is often advisable to limit it to 4-6 to maximize comfort. Two queen sized mattresses with the room divider can easily be used in this tent with enough room for storage and gear. You can literally take your family on vacation in the great outdoors for the price of one night in a hotel room.

RaincloudStrong Weatherproofing and Versatility

Weather commonly affects our best laid camping plans and can be annoying if you have a tent that doesn’t adequately protect from wind and rain. Although the CORE cabin tent is easy to put up, it has proven to be very sturdy in driving wind and rain. This tent can easily withstand moderate to strong winds of 20-30 mph without any problems. Furthermore, the H2O Block Technology seals the seams by heat sealing from the rainfly and down. Ensure you place a tarp under the tent for additional protection and you are sure to stay dry all night. Various buyers have reported this tent withstanding severe thunderstorms with only minimal water or moisture entering the tent. The design and sealing do an excellent job in weatherproofing the CORE tent.

If you are camping in warm weather, the ventilation capabilities will come in handy. A large mesh ceiling, mesh windows, and side door allow air to move freely through the tent to keep it cool at night while you are sleeping. Additionally, ground vents are in place to further improve air circulation and they are an ingenious feature for summer camping. If you are camping in the winter, you may want to find another tent as the ventilation will not allow the tent to contain heat as well as other models. The rainfly can be attached to further trap heat in the tent, but that isn’t enough to keep the tent warm in freezing temperatures. Overall, this is a three-season tent that can be used in the winter, but the temperatures should be mild to maintain a good comfort level at night.

Convenience Features and Roomy Interior

A few other notable aspects of this CORE tent are the large side door, spacious interior, and features such as the electrical cord access port. The side door Is an entire side of the tent that can zip away to open up the side. This is deceptively convenient for a variety of uses and enhancing ventilation. Zipping away the door allows campers to move their mattresses inside the tent without the usual pushing, pulling, and twisting to get it inside the tent. Furthermore, the interior is large enough to comfortably accommodate two queen mattresses and still have enough room to be comfortable. Families of 2 adults and 4 young children (and a dog) will feel that there is plenty of room. Finally, several features such as the room divider and storage pockets further increase utility without hassle. One of the more exceptional features is the electrical cord access port to run electricity to the tent without the hassle of worrying about a nest of cords.

Red and blue zippersSome Problem Areas

While this cabin tent offers numerous benefits and conveniences, there are a few issues that buyers should be aware of such as the common problem with zipper systems, a thin floor, weak stakes, and poor customer support at times. As with many tents, CORE uses a zipper system that runs very close to the fabric. If you are not careful and are in a hurry, the zipper can easily run over the material and rip/tear it. This is a common problem with many tents, and the CORE tent is no exception. Another potential problem that is easily remedied is that the floor is exceptionally thin. This can lead to an easy tear in the floor if precautions are not taken. Simply laying a tarp underneath the tent will provide protection from sticks and other items that can tear the floor while also adding an extra layer of moisture protection for the floor.

Customer support is also less than exemplary from time to time. As is the case with many companies’ customer support, it really depends on how good or attentive the representative you speak with is. Some representatives are more knowledgeable than others, which could point to a lack of training. Finally, it is recommended to replace the stakes as soon as possible. The included stakes are fairly weak, and you can expect them to bend if anything goes wrong while setting them in the ground. You can find strong steel stakes for very little that act as a great replacement.

The Verdict

Finding the right tent for your camping trips is one of the more important decisions you’ll make. The CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is one of the better tents you’ll find for a variety of uses. Due to the dead simple setup, it works very well for beginner campers although those with more experience love how it takes out some of the hassle of camping. The upper-tier weather resistance and H2O block technology allows it to be very versatile and provide good shelter during all but the worst kinds of weather. It makes for a very good 3 season tent as the ventilation is exceptional during warm months, although this also makes it difficult to camp in extreme cold. The various features are commonly found on much more expensive tents and enhance the value you get from the tent. While there are some minor hang-ups, this CORE cabin tent can fit almost any group’s needs to ensure maximum comfort and usability.

Product Specifications

Floor Size14’ x 9’
Height78 in
Weight35.9 lbs (shipping)