Best Blackout Tents for Camping (2021): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

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The blackout tents also go by the name of dark rest tents, or darkroom tents.

These camping tents provide an adequate amount of light blocking when the sun starts rising in the morning. This type of technology can prove to be convenient when you have teenagers that prefer sleeping in, or you have an infant that needs a midday nap, or even when you get a headache or migraine and you need to get out of the sun.

Blackout tents can also retain more warmth inside the tent in colder weather thanks to dark materials.

Best Blackout Tents for Camping

  • Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds (Editor’s Choice & Best Seller)
  • Coleman Dome Tent for Camping (Runner-Up)
  • Coleman Kobuk Valley 3 Plus (Best for Backpacking)
  • Ozark Trail Dark Rest Instant Cabin 12 (Best for Large Family)
  • Coleman Camping Tent | Dark Room Skydome Tent (Budget Option)
  • Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent (Best Value)
  • Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent (Professional’s Choice)

1. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds | Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

Coleman 2000032730 Camping Tent | 10 Person Dark Room Cabin Tent with Instant Setup, Green/Black/Teal#ad
  • Dark room technology: Blocks 90% of sunlight (vs. a...
  • Reduces heat: For a more comfortable rest anytime of day
  • Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water...
  • Visibility at night: Reflective guy lines are easier to spot...
  • Room divider: For added privacy

When comfort is essential on a family camping trip, you cannot go wrong when choosing the Dark Room Instant Cabin 10 by Coleman.

These tents include an instant proprietary set-up design, that comes with pre-attached poles, cutting down the assembly time to only a couple of minutes. It also features Coleman’s WeatherTec system, helping you to stay dry in all types of wet and rainy weather conditions.

The Dark Room material blocks up to 90% of sunlight from getting inside the tent, allowing you to take midday naps or sleep in later during your camping adventures.

The Dark Room Instant Cabin also comes with a detachable room divider, allowing you to customize the space to match up to your needs. This feature allows you to set up 2 bedrooms, or separate sleeping space, and a separate living area, for convenience and comfort for any camping adventure.

Of course, taller cabin tents such as this model are not the best option for windy conditions. This shelter is also quite bulky and heavy, so it is more suitable for car camping where convenience and comfort are important to you, and the weight of your camping gear is not that important.

Specification:

  • Material: Blend
  • Special Feature: Rainfly
  • Item Weight: 42 Pounds
  • Closure Type: Zipper
Pros
  • Removable room divider adds more privacy
  • Dark Room Technology can block out up to 90% of sunlight
  • Instant set-up design
  • WeatherTec system improves waterproofing
Cons
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Not suitable for high-wind climates

2. Coleman Dome Tent for Camping | Runner-Up

Sale
Coleman Camping Tent with Screen Room | 4 Person Carlsbad Dark Room Dome Tent with Screened Porch , Green/Black/Teal#ad
  • DARK ROOM TECHNOLOGY: Blocks 90% of sunlight (vs. a...
  • REDUCES HEAT: For a more comfortable rest anytime of day
  • WEATHERPROOF: Included rainfly offers extra weather...
  • STAY CONNECTED: E-Port makes it easy to bring electrical...
  • CONVENTIONAL PITCH: Sets up in 15 minutes

This model comes in a 4-person or 6-person option, the ideal size if you plan to camp with the kids.

You can also choose an additional screen room with the tent. These tents use conventional pitches, but the setup shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes.

These tents are black when it is dark, and not as dark when compared to some of the other models when the sun comes up. So this option will depend on whether you only want dimmed light or total blackout.

The Dark Room technology can block up to 90% of sunlight, which makes it easier to sleep in as soon as the sun starts to rise. This technology is also capable of reducing heat so that the tent remains cool during the day.

The inverted seams and welded corners, stop water from getting inside the tent from all angles. This tent also comes with a large rainfly for added weather protection, especially when you need it most. The frame is robust and strong and can withstand winds over 35 miles per hour, according to laboratory testing.

On warm nights, you can use the screen room as an extra sleeping space once you have put the tarp down. The screen room isn’t waterproof, which means you can only use it when it is not raining.

Specification:

  • Material: Synthetic
  • Special Feature: Rainfly
  • Item Weight: 10.24 Pounds
  • Shape: Dome
  • Closure Type: Zipper
Pros
  • Easy setup
  • Built-in windows
  • Excellent weather protection
  • High-quality tent
Cons
  • The rainfly doesn’t cover the mesh vents

3. Coleman Kobuk Valley 3 Plus | Best for Backpacking

Coleman Kobuk Valley 3 Plus Tent - Green/Grey, One Size#ad
  • ONE BIG BLACK OUT BEDROOM: with 99% of daylight being...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, STURDY AND EASY TO PITCH CAMPING DOME TENT:...
  • LARGE STORAGE AREA: spacious enough for storing gear or...
  • 100% WATERPROOF & UV GUARD: 4500mm HH combined with taped...
  • PITCH INNER FIRST: set up size: 3.25 x 1.85 x 1.2 m (LxWxH);...

When you’re going out on a camping adventure, especially in the mountains, you want it to feel as homey and as comfortable as much as possible, and the Kobuk Valley tent can make this possible for you.

This has a dome-style design that makes it withstand high winds. Additionally, you can also keep your things safe and secured with its large vestibule.

One of the best things about this tent is that it makes use of Coleman’s Blackout Bedroom system, blocking off 99% of sunlight, in addition to the UPF 50 sun protection.

The weather in the mountains may sometimes get harsh, the tent’s waterproof rainfly makes it easier for you to stay warm and dry when it happens.

While you’re inside the tent, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get to enjoy the beautiful sceneries – thanks to the windows and vents of the tent, you get to admire the panoramic view outside. The vents can be closed and opened from the inside.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyester, PVC, Fabric
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, Lightweight
  • Item Weight: 4.9 Kilograms
  • Shape: Dome
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Has a dome-style structure making it great for windy days and nights
  • Offers SPF protection and blocks 99% sunlight with its BlackOut Bedroom technology
  • Additional gear storage
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Heavy

4. Ozark Trail Dark Rest Instant Cabin 12 | Best for Large Family

Ozark Trail 20' x 10' Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent, Sleeps 12#ad
  • Tent stakes included Measures: 20' x 10' Center height: 80"...
  • No assembly required: poles pre-attached to tent Innovative...
  • Attention California Residents: WARNING: This product...
  • Skylight with ceiling panels
  • Includes rainfly with factory sealed seams

If you plan to go camping with a big group of people, the Dark Rest Instant Cabin 12 by Ozark Trail is a very spacious outdoor structure that is ideal for large group adventures and family camping trips.

Even though this tent is pretty large, these models provide a super-fast setup. This is due to the convenient pre-attached pole system allowing for a 2-minute set-up once you have arrived at your campsite.

The removable dividers allow you to divide the tent into 3 separate rooms. This could mean putting your small children to bed earlier while allowing you to enjoy some adult time. You could even designate an area to change in or for your portable toilet.

This tent also comes with many gear pockets throughout the structure so that you can keep all your items organized throughout the trip. It also comes with Dark Rest technology to make sure the sleeping areas stay dark, cozy, and cool, especially when you want to sleep in.

However, this model only includes a single door, which might not be ideal when camping with lots of people. The fiberglass poles are also a concern when it comes to durability.

If you plan to camp in warm and gentle weather, and one entryway is not a concern to you, the Ozark Trail Dark Rest Instant Cabin 12, may be just the right option for you and your family.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyester, Fiberglass, Steel
  • Special Feature: Tent Stakes, Rainfly
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass, Steel
  • Maximum Height: 80 Inches
Pros
  • Instant set-up design
  • Spacious interior
  • Integrated gear-storage pockets
  • Dark Rest technology to block out the sun
Cons
  • Only a single door for exit and entry
  • Fiberglass poles are not that durable

5. Coleman Camping Tent | Dark Room Skydome Tent | Budget Option

Coleman Camping Tent | Dark Room Skydome Tent, Blue, 8 Person#ad
  • QUICK PITCH: Sets up in under 5 minutes thanks to...
  • DARK ROOM TECHNOLOGY: Blocks 90% of sunlight so you can...
  • MORE HEADROOM: 20% more headroom than traditional Coleman...
  • WEATHER PROTECTION: WeatherTec system's tub-like floor,...
  • WIDER DOOR: Makes it easier to move air beds, sleeping bags,...

This Coleman model is among the top-rated darkroom tents currently available.

The pre-attached poles, make the installation process easy and fast, meaning you can erect your tent in minutes. The just about straight walls, also provide 20% more headroom, which is unlike the other Coleman models.

This blackout tent also features enhanced darkroom technology that blocks up to 90% of sunlight from getting inside your tent. Even on a hot summer’s day, this tent manages to maintain a cool interior temperature.

The build quality also appears promising with a robust frame that can handle 35 mph winds. The welded corners and advanced Weather Tech system ensure that the inside environment remains clean and dry when it rains. These tents are also well equipped when it comes to handling sudden weather changes.

Specification:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Shape: Dome
  • Closure Type: Zipper
Pros
  • Innovative design
  • Long-lasting and strong material
  • Easy to assemble
  • Innovative design
Cons
  • No thermal protection
  • No extra accessories

6. Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent | Best Value

There are not many tents on the market that provide enough space for 10 people at once. Yet this is a cabin-style tent that can handle these numbers. In addition to more space for your group, this tent can also house 2 queen-sized air mattresses and is a durable option to handle other issues.

The most important of these is to block out sunlight. Similar to the other Coleman tents, this model also uses Dark Rest technology, which blocks out most of the sunlight, and keeps the interior cool. The multiple skylight ceiling also allows you to customize your tent. This allows you to open it up for star gazing at night or close it when the sun is blazing outside.

Even though this tent is large, the setup doesn’t take long at all. The pre-attached poles will help you to pitch the tent within minutes. The headroom on offer is also quite impressive, offering enough headroom for even the tallest of adults. With a robust steel frame and durable canvas, the Ozark Trail Cabin Tent is the ideal blackout tent for families.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyester, Steel
  • Special Feature: Tent Stakes, Rainfly
  • Item Weight: 20 Pounds
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Steel
  • Maximum Height: 78 Inches
Pros
  • Tall tent
  • Spacious
  • Easy to set-up
  • Durable canvas
  • Mesh windows
Cons
  • A bit bulky and heavy

7. Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent | Professional’s Choice

Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Family Tent, 5 Man Tent, Blocks up to 99 Percent of Daylight, 2 Bedroom Family Tent, 100...#ad
  • TWO XXL BLACK OUT BEDROOMS: with 99% of daylight being...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, STURDY AND EASY TO PITCH FAMILY SIZE TUNNEL...
  • LARGE LIVING AREA: spacious enough to take a family table...
  • 100% WATERPROOF & UV GUARD: 4500mm HH combined with taped...
  • PITCH-IN-ONE TENT: set up size: 4.55 x 3.1 x 1.85m (LxWxH);...

This is one of the interesting Coleman darkroom tents. Made for 5 people, the tent is still big enough to separate into a living space and 2 bedrooms. These tunnel-type tents provide an ample area of 120.5 square feet, which is very spacious. The living area is situated close to the tent door, which is relatively well enclosed, which sets this model apart from the tents that come with screened porches.

Made from premium-quality materials, these tents block the rays from the sun effectively, with a rating of SPF 50. The waterproofing is incredibly impressive with a 4500mm rating of water.

Coleman also claims that the sleeping areas of these tents feature a design that eliminates 99% of sunlight from getting inside the bedrooms. Both rooms have a lavish blackout coating that keeps these rooms as dark as possible when the sun starts to rise.

The double-floor layer also provides comfort and convenience. The living room areas are also open and large. This tent includes 2 large PVC windows that allow light in and adequate airflow.

Specification:

  • Material: Polyurethane
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, Lightweight
  • Item Weight: 15.9 Kilograms
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Spacious
  • Outstanding waterproofing
  • Comfortable and convenient blackout tent
Cons
  • The airflow can struggle
  • The sleeping spaces feel a bit cramped and small

What Is a Blackout Tent?

Are you familiar with Blackout curtains? Do you perhaps have these in your house? Well, blackout tents work much in the same way. They use a special fabric to block out the light of the exterior so that the interior remains dark.

While many of these blackout tents will use conventional tent fabrics, many will use a specially designed fabric that absorbs and diffuses light. You will find that these blackout tents can block out as much as 99% of the light coming in from the outside

Another nice advantage of the blackout tent is the capacity to remain cooler inside than outside. Some of the better designs include specialized ventilation and climate-controlled fabrics that decrease the temperatures in the interior of the tent.

While the specifics will different on the tent, the weather conditions, and the fabrics chosen, a quality blackout tent will be able to reduce interior temperatures by as much as 10 degrees compared to the exterior temperatures.

Why Do You Need a Dark Rest Tent?

Many people will choose this special tent design for a wide number of reasons. But the most common reason the blackout tent is so popular is that not everyone can sleep in the presence of light.

Light Sleepers

If you are a lighter sleeper you will appreciate the improved comfort and climate control found in the blackout tents. Many sensitive sleepers choose the blackout tent for this reason alone. Because the tent can block out light and keep the inner temperatures lower, the blackout tent is a great place to cool off and relax.

Camping with Kids

If you will be camping with small children, a blackout tent is a good option to consider. The darkness will allow you to provide a soothing and relaxing location for your child to sleep at any time of the day. Because camping trips can be especially exhausting for small children, this is a good idea. Furthermore, the sun can rise early, if you would like your kiddos to sleep a little longer, the blackout tent is a good option.

Astronomers

A blackout tent is the best thing for those who will be sleeping during the day. Astronomers and stargazers of all levels will spend their nights observing the night sky and then use the days to catch up on the sleep they have missed. So, having a blackout tent will make this as easy as possible.

Camping While Hot

There will be the occasions where your camping trip takes you to some especially warm locations. If you will be camping in a desert or in the hotter months of the year, a blackout tent will allow you to get plenty of rest and sleep for your day filled with adventures. It can keep your tent cool.

Northern Hemisphere Camping

If you will be camping in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere you should know that the days are especially long and the nights are very short. So, a blackout tent will allow you to get a full night’s sleep regardless of the daylight outside.

Festival-Goers

Of course, festival-goers are another demographic with a keen interest in the blackout tent. This is because these tents will allow you to block out the lights outside and allow you to get to sleep no matter what is happening outside. Furthermore, you never know what time the neighbors are going to shut down their lights and get to sleep, but with a blackout tent, this is not even a problem.

Buying Guide

Blackout tents come in all special shapes and sizes and even feature specific designs that make them more fit for their purpose. But here are some of the most important standard options that you will want to make sure you look for in your blackout tent.

Size

Just like with any other type of tent, size matters. Sharing space with a group of people is easy, so long as there is enough room to avoid sharp elbows.

This is especially true when you are in a tent designed to block out light. While there are vents and windows, you will need to make sure there is enough room within the tent for all to be comfortable and the air not too stuffy.

For this reason, we recommend you select a blackout tent that is designed for twice the people you will be accommodating. So, if you will be traveling with a group of 4 people, choose an 8-person tent.

Of course, if some of the people you will be bringing along will be pint-sized kiddos, this ratio can change to a certain degree. You just want to make sure there is more than enough room to move around.

Ventilation

Just like in any other tent, and even more so because of their design, ventilation will be important in your blackout tent. You will want to look for a tent with many adjustable openings that allow the air to circulate as needed.

You will find that the mesh ventilation windows are typically hidden behind a dark rainfly that shuts out the light. Of course, these can all be opened up if you do want the light to enter.

Waterproofing

All of the openings in the windows, vents, doors, and awnings should feature materials and designs that prevent the water from making its way into your tent. You should look for welded corners and inverted seams that play an important role in keeping water outside.

Set Up

Are you looking for a tent that can be pitched rapidly? Then you will need an instant or “pop up” design. If you will be looking for an option that is going to be especially strong and durable especially in all types of conditions, you may want to choose a conventional design.

You may find that we have selected the options on our list for their durability and stability in all types of weather conditions.

Choose fiberglass or steel tent poles to ensure even greater stability.

Design

If you will be using your tent for the sole purpose of sleeping, you will find that a dome-style blackout tent is a good option that allows for very comfortable sleeping arrangements.

The walls are higher in the cabin-style blackout tent if you will be using your tent for more than just sleeping. Cabin-style tents also allow for more standing room.

Finally, there are the tunnel tents that are sort of a cross between the two and decent halfway options.

Porch

This is not an essential feature, but is nice. You can use the canopy and sheltered outside area to store extra gear, and even relax in front of your temporary shelter while you are safe from the sun and rain.

Storage Pockets

Campers should stay organized as it makes it easier to move about, find what you need, and ensure nothing is lost or missing. This is where a tent that has a good amount of storage pockets can make all the difference.

Electric Ports

To make your entire camping more fun and convenient, look for tents that come with an electric port. You can easily spot one as it has a special opening that lets you insert the cord and keep your tent shut and secure whenever needed.

FAQs

Will the Blackout Technology Fade Eventually?

Over time, it may.

But high-quality dark tents also incorporate special fabric types that also help block light. These types of fabrics won’t dissipate over time.

However, some cheaper alternatives and tents only utilize a blackout spray. For these types of tents, the blackout technology may wear off once it has been consistently exposed to the sun.

Generally speaking, you want to purchase tents that also come with a blackout fabric instead of those ones that use a spray.

Do Blackout Tents Create Complete Darkness?

For the majority of high-end blackout tents, they can block up to 99% of sunlight, which gives you a near-dark tent interior.

Some tents block 90% of incoming light, which means that you will still be able to see inside.

Either way, these tents will remain dark to promote better sleeping.

Can You Manually DIY a Blackout Tent?

If you’re unsure whether you’d want to get a blackout tent and want to give it a try first, you may consider getting blackout curtains so you’d have a feel on what a blackout tent would be.

You can also use thick blankets to help block the sunlight. Bear in mind, however, that these temporary methods won’t be as effective as compared to a blackout tent.

Richard

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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