Hands up who’s daunted by the early sunrises that come with camping? As every parent of a toddler knows that, once they’ve been woken by the sun, those little darlings will not go back to sleep. Even if it’s 5.30 am. So, with our own camping trip on the horizon, we were pleased that Coleman asked us to try out their Cabral 5 family tent. Its key feature? Cutting-edge blackout technology.
The Cabral was described as being easy to set up. When we arrived at our East Sussex campsite, D and a friend erected the tent, which took them around 20-30 minutes. D’s not the most gifted individual when it comes to following assembly instructions (sorry, D!), so this was good going. The fibreglass poles were colour-coded, so it was easier to tell where they should go. The groundsheet and bedroom dividers were pre-attached, so there was no need for fiddling round inside.
The Cabral is a roomy tent. It’s designed for a family of five, with two bedrooms and a living area. One bedroom is larger than the other, and could accommodate three adults. D and I slept in the smaller bedroom. For a couple it was perfect, but if two friends slept in there together, it would be large enough to avoid any embarrassingly intimate squish-ups. Height-wise, there was a decent amount of room – almost enough for D to stand upright inside the tent.
The tent included storage pockets, and a hook for hanging lights.
The Cabral’s door was pretty cool. Rather than being a regular zip front door, this one opened on hinges. Poles were threaded through the door’s edge, to make it stiff. It had double zips, so it was a bit more fiddly than a regular tent door to open initially. Once it had been unzipped, though, the door was held shut by Velcro pads – so you only had to unzip it once. You could choose to have a ‘barn door’ effect, as the top half of the door unzipped to reveal a see-through air vent.
The Cabral’s bedrooms made us the envy of our friends. The tent’s blackout technology shut out a lot of the morning light and although it wasn’t completely pitch black, it was dark enough for our son to manage to go back to sleep after waking at 5.30 am. This would have been unheard of in a regular tent. Our poor friends didn’t fare so well when their own son woke at the same time, and was kept awake by the daylight.
The Cabral’s blackout bedrooms earned it an award in Camping Magazine’s Best Camping Innovation category. I’d say the award was justified, as the blackout bedrooms did the trick for us. We were lucky enough not to have rain on our camping trip, but apparently the Cabral’s made with high-tech weatherproofing technology, and can withstand a 4m column of water being placed onto its fabric, before it starts leaking.
Value for money
The Cabral was a good family tent all-round. Depending on the retailer, it costs in the region of £300, which isn’t cheap. The price is comparable with similar-sized tents, though, and the blackout technology places this tent ahead of others. In fact, several other people on our campsite seemed to have come to a similar conclusion. Out of around 20 tents, there were three more of these Cabral 5s in the field. So a fifth of the campsite chose the Cabral. It clearly must be ticking the boxes of a lot of family campers.
You can buy a Coleman Cabral 5 here.
If you want to read some tips on how to sleep well while camping, check out our post.
Coleman sent us a Cabral 5 for the purpose of this post. All views are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, where I might earn a small amount of commission if you click on a link and then go on to make a purchase.