The Core 9 could very well be the best cabin tent on the market. This is an affordable, freestanding model that’s very beginner-friendly and can accommodate up to nine people. The large, airy interior is perfect for those longer family camping trips, and the innovative freestanding design will allow you to set up or break down camp in a matter of a few minutes. This model is loaded with some nice extras, has a reputation for better than average airflow, and rated high for durability and ease of use.
Our Verdict: This large tent by Core comes loaded with mesh panel windows, air vents, and a large double entryway. While the manufacturer claims that it can easily sleep up to nine people if you’re bringing along a lot of gear, realistically, the tent can sleep around six adults, comfortably. It comes with some nice extra features such as an optional rainfly and interior storage spaces and pockets. One of its best features is its freestanding design, complete with telescopic poles. The design allows users to set up or break down this model in just sixty seconds, which is a big deal, especially if you’ve struggled to assemble a tent in the past.
This is a three-season tent, which means that it will work best when used during the spring, summer, and early fall. It can withstand light to heavy rainfall, but it does struggle to retain warmth, which makes it a poor choice for freezing weather. This durable, large, beginner-friendly model can be the perfect addition to your next family camping trip and for a price that’s right.
Overview and Features
This is a freestanding model, so you can expect a faster setup and breakdown time. It can be placed over any type of terrain. The manufacturer claims you can set this model up in a minute or less, due to the pre-assembled frame and attached poles. The poles feature a telescopic design that allows you to quickly unfold the tent, attach the six poles, and you’re done. Since this is a freestanding model, you don’t have to worry about staking it into the ground, although I recommend you do if you’re camping out in inclement weather.
Need a little privacy when you’re camping with family or friends? This model features a two-room design, via a large room divider, which can be zipped up for privacy or left unzipped to expand the size of the main room. The tall walls and high ceiling allows you and other campers to walk around the interior freely, without hunching over.
As a freestanding model, you’ll find that setting it up and breaking it down couldn’t be easier.
This model weighs thirty-five pounds and is classified as a three-season tent, which means it can be used for the spring, summer, and fall months, but it’s not durable enough to handle long-term exposure to heavy downpours or snowfall.
This interior is much bigger than it looks from the outside. Inside, you’ll notice how airy it feels, thanks to the many mesh panels. It’s also very bright. The manufacturer claims that the tent can accommodate nine people, but if you’re bringing along a lot of gear, I’s say it can easily fit up to six adults.
The floor is fourteen feet by nine feet, giving you plenty of sleeping space while allowing you to store and organize all of your gear and supplies. According to the manufacturer, this model can sleep up to nine people.
While you don’t have to stake the tent into the ground since it’s a freestanding model, it does come with a total of seven stakes. If you’re camping out in windy weather or rain is in the forecast, I do recommend using the stakes for added security and improved protection. Of course, doing so will significantly add to the setup and breakdown process, but if you’re dealing with an upcoming storm, then using the stakes is a must.
The design features several mesh windows, which promote air circulation while protecting you from wildlife and insects. The windows also come with rain panels that can be unrolled to cover the mesh panels in the event of rain or if you need some extra privacy. There is a single, large window next to the front entrance. This window doesn’t zip up at the top and instead, remains open. None of the included windows will open up entirely and they do not come with tie-ups, which would allow you to open the panels fully and secure the loose panel material for improved airflow.
Aside from several large mesh window panels, the ceiling features mesh panels for added airflow. This model also comes equipped with adjustable air vents, which further promotes air circulation. The two vents are located at the back of the tent and are placed low to the ground. The flaps for the vents should be staked into the ground.
The built-in electrical port can come in handy if you want to plug in a hairdryer, coffeemaker, charge your phone, or use another type of small appliance.
The rainfly only covers the very top of the roof, while some rainflys that are sold separately tend to cover both the roof and the sides of a tent. This rainfly is fully sealed with water-resistant taped seams for added protection and can be removed in sunny weather.
The tent is equipped with Core H20 Block technology, which is designed to handle light rainfall and heavy downpours. This design works by combining active bead technology and a water repellent fabric to prevent rain from entering the interior of the cabin and instead promotes faster water runoff. The seams of the tent, windows, and door, are sealed for added protection.
Inside you’ll find several built-in mesh pockets in the main room. These large pockets will allow you to store your gear and food off the ground.
This model only comes with one entrance that features a double door design. It’s equipped with three zippers that meet in the center and it’s covered by two flaps that can be secured via Velcro.
Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a vestibule or awning, which can be a deal-breaker for some.
This three-season model can easily handle camping out in the summer heat or when the weather just starts to turn chilly. The variety of air panels and vents allows you to adjust the airflow for improved comfort, and it does a decent job of keeping the heat out. When the weather begins to turn colder, you can simply close the vents and zip up the window panels. It does a better than average job of retaining heat. However, once you’ve reached the winter months, this tent can’t do much to keep you warm and isn’t designed for extreme temperatures. For the winter, you’ll need a four-season tent, one that features thicker material and a bigger, more durable rainfly.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Two-room design
- Rain panels for windows
- Fast setup and breakdown process
- Built-in storage
- One entrance
- No awning
Core Versus Coleman
The competing model offers many of the same features that this tent does, including a spacious interior and a one minute setup time. However, in terms of durability, the Coleman tent offers a welded floor, complete with inverted seams. It’s slightly smaller, measuring ten feet by nine feet, yet it does feature a six-foot ceiling, which will allow you to freely move around the interior, without hunching down. It’s also designed to block out ninety-percent of sunlight so you can sleep longer. This technology also helps to keep the interior nice and cool in warmer weather.
The tough polyester material, complete with taped seams helps to retain warmth while preventing water from entering the interior. It’s integrated vented rainfly is a permanent part of the structure that both works to improve airflow and protects the ceiling during a heavy downpour. It’s also available at a much lower price, but it doesn’t come with the center room divider for privacy, or quite as many mesh panel windows, not to mention the lack of airflow vents. Basically, it’s a great buy for families on a budget, but in terms of design, it’s rather plain compared to the Core.
Conclusion and Rating
The Core 9 doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles as other models in this price bracket, but what it does offer is solid protection from the elements and better than average airflow. The freestanding design, combined with the telescopic poles will allow you to set up this tent in a matter of seconds, which is pretty impressive. This beginner-friendly design combined with the spacious interior, room divider, and built-in storage makes this model popular with families that love to camp during the warmer seasons.