Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Tent is a 6-person extended dome tent with a screen room, a very easy setup, and a truly affordable price.
Key features & benefits
- Fast pitch construction.
- Screen room.
- Extended dome structure.
- Lots of useful space.
- 2-room tent.
- 4 windows.
What kind of tent is this
The full name of this tent is the Coleman Steel Creek 6 person fast pitch dome with screenroom, and as you realize it is very descriptive. So this is an extended dome type tent. This means that you have the dome part under the two X-shaped poles, plus the screen room visible below, supported by yet another front pole.
What is fast pitch here
This is the concept Coleman is using in several of their tents. You can find it also in their Coleman Tenaya Lake 6 cabin tent, which is a completely different structure yet with the same fast pitch system. The first part of the system is shock-corded poles which are also pre-attached to the top hub element. Now, this implies also the following:
- You do not have the poles’ sleeves on the inner tent. There are only clips to attach the inner tent to the poles. This saves time.
- Instead of sleeves, the hub element keeps the poles freestanding as soon as you attach them to the tent’s corners.
The second part of the fast pitch system is the fast fit feet system. You have an element that looks like a piece of a short tube in each of the tents corners; they use this here instead of grommets or instead of pins which you have in many other tents. So attaching a pole’s end is quick and easy, but I must note that there is nothing quicker in this segment of the system than in the mentioned widely used grommets or pins. It is just a different design.
But the pre-attached hub (shown above) does make the procedure faster, although I have seen some people complaining about it and I cannot understand why; I guess this is just the part of human nature. It is best to see how this system in the video by Coleman:
Freestanding or not
Only the dome part is freestanding, the poles are connected to the hub element and their ends are fixed by the mentioned fast fit feet system. But there is the extra pole above the screen room, so to have this part fully functional, you have to stake the screen room to the ground. This section alone has 3 loops to stake it to the ground.
Only when properly staked, the roof becomes fully tensioned and the ceiling in the screen room takes it proper shape and height. So in general, the tent is not freestanding.
Who is it for
Space-wise, the tent is with the declared capacity of 6 people. In the specifications below, you will see the breakdown of the numbers, but the total floor area is 140 ft² (13 m²) and the total room per person is 23.3 ft² (2.17 m²).
So this looks very good, but bear in mind that the screen room area is not fully protected from the rain. However, you can keep lots of stuff there and you can use it for cooking. This is a very useful area, and the tent provides a good space for the declared number of people. But again, the inner room is 10 x 9 ft (3.05 x 2.74 m) and you will be cramped a bit if you put 6 sleeping pads on the floor. So it is better to downgrade the capacity for a maximum of 4 and in this case you will have a great camping tent.
They write about space for 2 queen airbeds, so take a look at the Coleman Queen Size bed and you will realize that it would be very difficult to put such two items in this tent. I point out a real bed instead of just an air mattress on the floor because with such a bed you have lots of space underneath it to store your camping stuff; you will need this for sure.
Seasons-wise, the tent is with a lot of mesh and you cannot close it. Such a structure doesn’t keep the warmth, so the tent is for summer camping only and for mild weather conditions. I have seen some people complaining it was cold in the tent, but what else to expect? Use it for what it is designed for. If you need something for a cooler environment and lots of rain, better check this list.
The tent is heavy, you have 19.01 lb (8.62 kg), so you realize this is a camping tent for places with a car access.
Organization and structure
The tent has 2 rooms, the dome sleeping area plus the screen room. You will see the area in each of them in the specifications below. Here I want to stress that the screen room is covered by the fly but the walls are angled and you have no panels, so the screen is exposed to the rain and the area is not fully protected. The main entrance door on the screen room is inverted T-shape and it is also only mesh.
But you have a full floor in the screen room and it is with mesh openings along the wall on the floor, which will allow the rain to drain out (but also to get in). So this area is not really for sleeping, though they claim you can use it as an extra sleeping space when the weather is fine and this is true. The screen room is fully and permanently attached to the tent so this is a bug-free zone.
The inner area is fully protected of course, this is a dome section with the door that goes to the screen room. Now you realize more why I wrote above that the tent is not fully freestanding – to get to the dome part, the screen room must be properly set up and this means staked to the ground.
The inner door is with mesh and panel for protection and privacy. You have 2 windows on the sides and they can be zipped up as you do have panels here, see the picture below.
I have seen people complaining about the necessity to use the fly in order to have privacy from the back side of the tent. But this is the same with any dome tent on the market which is the double-layer type, so if this is not what you want please check some single layer tent like this Coleman Instant 6. However, such a fully closed tent is with less ventilation.
There are small pockets inside, pity they did not add more, there is never enough of such elements in a tent. You have an e-port for electric power, and there is also a hook in the middle for a lantern.
The tent is with a partial fly, so this covers the roof and it also creates awnings above windows. They do not provide any information about the waterproof rating of the materials. Coleman uses their WeatherTec system here as well as in many other tents, so you have a bathtub floor with welded corners and also inverted seams in other parts of the tent.
But I would not use this tent in areas with lots of rain. If this is your case, check some of the tents with the full coverage fly, see my long list here, these tents will keep you dry in any weather conditions.
The official setup time is 7 minutes and it is realistic if two people do the job in tandem. The carry bag is expandable, you have a rip strip for this purpose.
There are no floor vents in the dome section, so this is not so great. But there is mesh on the back which is always open of course, and you have mesh on the inner door and on the two side windows. The fly is not full coverage type so you have a decent airflow.
Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch vs Coleman Evanston 6 Tent
I have seen the question asked about these two tents and about differences. The size is the same and the organization is the same so you have 2-room structure in both tents.
But the Coleman Evanston 6 is a dark rest tent, while the Steel Creek 6 is not. The dark rest technology is now becoming very popular and there are already many tents of this type on the market. I have composed a long list here so please have a look.
On the other hand, the Steel Creek 6 is a fast pitch tent and this you do not have in the Evanston tent where you have the usual sleeves for the poles.
- Type: extended dome tent.
- Capacity: 6 people.
- Weight: 19.01 lb (8.62 kg).
- Total floor dimensions: 14 x 10 ft (4.27 x 3.05 m).
– The dome dimensions: 10 x 9 ft (3.05 x 2.74 m).
– The screen room dimensions: 10 x 5 ft (3.05 x 1.52 m).
- Total floor area: 140 ft² (13 m²; 8.36 + 4.64 m²).
- Total area per person: 23.3 ft² (2.17 m²).
- The inner area per person: 15 ft² (1.4 m²).
- Peak height: 68 in (173 cm).
- Packed size (L x D): 24 x 12 in (61 x 30 cm).
- 1-year limited warranty.
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
So in the summary of this Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Tent review, I would say that this is an interesting tent with all the advantages and disadvantages of the dome-shape design. It is rather low and with less headroom than a cabin type tent, but it packs nicely and the weight is not bad, while the price is more than fair.
The screen room which you have here is obviously a great space if you use the tent for summer camping, but it is far less useful if you happen to camp in an area with lots of rain. Please see below how I rate this tent:
If you still need something different please just look around, all this site is about family camping tents and tents for groups, so you will find something suitable. Check this Coleman Carlsbad 6 which is with the dark rest and the fast pitch design. Please use the comment box below in the case of questions or comments. Have a nice day.