ON OUR recent outback trip we had with us a Coleman Mountain View Shelter, which came into its own when the flies were driving us mad and it was bloody hot in the sun.
We have used a few of these portable gazebos, and while some erect faster they are bulkier, heavier and not as flexible or as good at keeping pesky bugs and the sun away.
The Coleman shelter comes in its own carry bag and weighs slightly more than 12kg. The fabric used is 150D polyester taffeta, polyurethane-coated, and it is UV stabilised and rated at 1000mm water resistant. The four long white poles and two shorter black poles are all fibreglass – aluminium poles are more durable, but that would have had a significant impact on price. The size when erected is 3.6 x 3.6m² at ground level and 2.3m at its highest point.
When erected the tent has four mesh side panels, all of which can be zipped off to make the shelter an open-walled canopy ideal for those days when you’re looking for shade. Two shade panels are included that clip onto the inside of the tent, blocking the harsher rays of the sun (or wind or light rain) from whatever side you feel you need it, while also providing a touch of privacy.
The shelter is a bit fiddly to erect, but with two people and a bit of practice you can put it up in less than 10 minutes. It comes down quicker and fits back into the carry bag without too much effort. Being lightweight, we’d suggest you peg it down each and every time to stop it blowing away even in a light breeze. It proved to be an excellent shelter.
It provided sufficient shade, and when all the flywire was zipped up it was very insect-proof. It makes a great shelter for relaxing, cooking in, or even for throwing down the swag when the weather is looking a bit dicey. We’ll be taking it with us on most trips from now on.
Available from: www.colemanaustralia.com.au
We say: Versatile and effective, but quite fiddly to erect.