Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Coleman Beach Shade Review Follow-up (Video)

Previously, I did a review of setting up the Coleman Beach Shade that we got for our trips to the beach to replace the umbrellas. Well we took it to Hilton Head Island, SC for a beach trip last weekend. Here's a follow up video below of how it held up even through a big thunderstorm. More details below the video.

3 Highlights from using it at the beach:

  1. This tent will stand up to at least ~15-25 mph winds.
  2. You need to buy a few more stakes to really help secure it on a windy day.
  3. It will take 2 people to put up or take down during wind.
So first, I didn't have many problems putting it up. Again the mesh where the poles go through proved to require more effort to not catch on the mesh. They really should make them like normal sleeves. The mesh pole sleeves are my biggest complaint about this tent. The tent comes with 6 stakes but I'd feel more comfortable with 8. I will be adding at least 2 more to my kit. The front mat/door has stake points under it when down as a mat that would likely have limited some of the wind going under it. So do grab a few extra stakes.
Guy lines. These are really important to get them right as they are one of the keys to keeping the tent down and helping it maintain it's shape during windy conditions. DO NOT USE stakes on the guy lines! Unless you are going to use heavy dute dog tie outs (which is an option) they'll flex and pull right out of the ground. One of the great things about the Coleman is that they also give you sand bags (in addition to the stakes). Here is the one key to using sand bags that will keep your tent there while everyone else's is blowing down the beach. Fill them and BURY THEM! That's right, a sand bag on top of the sand will just slide and slow down a tent that's moving. it will not keep a tent from moving. Fill the bags and dig a 1-2 foot hole to bury them in. Pack the sand down on top of them and your tent won't go anywhere. Seriously, our tent was the only thing left on the beach after the major thunderstorm hit. Due to the lightning, we had to leave the beach with the kids and seek shelter. I would've been happy to ride it out inside the tent. I strongly believe we'd have been fine.
I checked the weather charts and the winds were a good 15-25 mph. During the afternoon while we were there. While the tent stayed put the entire day without any issues, packing it took some effort. It was really windy when we left so it took two of us to pack it down. I pulled the sand bags and the poles out and my brother-in-law sat on the tent to hold it down. then I pulled out the stakes one at a time and folded the tent (with my brother-in-law moving to stay on top of it the whole time till I got to the point to roll it up).
All around I'm glad we had it and it worked well even with me wishing it didn't have netted pole sleeves and wanting to add more stakes. I wouldn't put it up for a short beach trip; too much effort to me. But for a full day on the beach it definitely works. It's more sturdy than an umbrella and a heck of a lot lighter than carrying a tailgate tent.
Coleman Sunshade