best 18650 flashlight

18650 Flashlight. What Is The Best for 2016

 

UPDATED March 2017:

best 18650 flashlight

On our hunt for the best 18650 flashlight for our EDC, camping trips and survival packs we will always look for

quality.

Why do you need a quality flashlight and in this instance, what should you even buy?

We want something we can rely on for many different scenarios.


  • For EDC flashlights we want reliability.
  • For survival situations we want it to be rugged, strong and reliable.
  • For camping we want it to be lightweight and not eat through batteries like they are going out of fashion.

There are many things to consider when looking for your ideal flashlight. What do you need it for being the primary one, how bright is it, what type of batteries does it need and can I use disposable batteries in my light?

The fact that a single 18650 battery gives out the same power as 3 normal disposable batteries, you can recharge it whenever you want and you can see where we are going with this.

Size wise your flashlight will be a bit bigger than your normal pocket flashlight but this is a sacrifice worth taking because of the additional power.

When you are investing in one of these tactical flashlights you need to look at how they are put together. Price is always an important factor but as we mentioned earlier we always look at quality first.

Top Rated Flashlights On A Budget

18650 Flashlight comparison review chart

A quick look at the top five 18650 flashlights

Olight S2 Baton 18650 Flashlight

Olight S2 18650 flashlight

The Olight S2 is made of 6061-T6 aluminium. Weighs in at 1.78oz/50.5g(excluding batteries) and can take a single 18650 battery. Quality 18650 flashlight that won’t let you down.

OLIGHT S2 Baton Features

  • Side switch LED flashlight
  • Powered by a single 18650 battery or two CR123A lithium batteries.
  • High performance Cree XM-L2 LED / 950 lumens Max output
  • Cool White balanced Beam
  • Low-profile side switch, removable pocket clip, magnetic tail cap, and timer.

4.8 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now

One of the cool features on this flashlight is the side switch. It’s very handy to get to and lets you easily operate the varying light modes.

How bright is it?

It has a full strength 950 lumens brightness – albeit limited to a few mins on this level.

A 400 lumens setting which will run for about 4 hours continuous use.

Set it to either 80 or 40 lumens and it last for ages.

A very nifty function of this torch is the .5 lumen mode. Just enough light to see what you are doing in the dark without alerting everybody to your presence.

Build quality

A solid flashlight that can take a good knocking. Fits into the palm of your hand so not the biggest light out there but that’s the nice thing about this particular light. It packs a great punch for the size.

Made from Milspec Type III grade aluminium, it fit’s nicely into a front jeans pocket so you can take it everywhere with you. An ideal EDC flashlight that won’t break the bank.


 

Here is a great review video by Joe Robinet on the S2 flashlight that highlights some of the awesome features of this compact but super bright light.


Zebralight SC62 18650 Flashlight

best edc flashlight

The Zebralight 18650 flashlight is one of the smallest 1000 Lumen flashlights available on the market. It features a state of art PID thermal regulated output which comes in handy for different weather conditions. Uses a single 18650 li-ion rechargeable battery that has a runtime of over 5 months in Low mode.

Best EDC Flashlight

  • LED: Cree XM-L2 Cool White (Nominal CCT 6300K)
  • User Selectable Levels: 3 main levels (High, Medium and Low)
  • One 18650 size (up to 69mm long) 3.6/3.7V li-ion rechargeable.
  • Beam Type: 80 degree spill, 12 degree hot spot
  • Head Diameter: 0.96 inch (24.4 mm), Length: 3.8 inch (96.5 mm)

4.8 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


ThruNite TN12 EDC LED Flashlight

Thrunite EDC 18650 flashlight

The ThruNite TN12 EDC LED light is made from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum so is rock solid and can take a beating. Waterproof to IPX-8 and come with a handy stainless steel belt clip.

Best Slim Flashlight

  • Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries(Not Included).
  • Max output:1050 lumens with XM-L2 U2
  • Working voltage: 2.7V-9V
  • 143mm (Length)*25.4mm (Diameter)
  • 82g weight (without batteries)

    4.6 Stars
    Read Reviews | Buy Now

There are many great features to list for this flashlight but one of the features we especially liked about this torch is the memory mode system. Get your light settings just how you like them and the next time you turn the flashlight on it will operate on this setting. No more fiddling around with default settings.

The dual on/off buttons provide immediate light so no waiting around for it to fire up.

This is one of the best flashlights on the market today and definitely worth the money. Perfect for EDC use and can fit easily in your pocket, pack or mounted on your weapon of choice. Go for it – you won’t be disappointed.


Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen Flashlight

fenix PD35 tactical flashlight

Similar to the TN12 the Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen Flashlight is made from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with waterproof rating of IPX-8. It also has duel switches – one for tactical mode and one for normal operation.

Best Tactical Flashlight

  • 1000 Lumen max utilizing Cree XP-L (V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
  • Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
  • 137mm (5.4 in.) Length x 25.4mm (1.0 in.) Diameter ·89-gram weight (3.1 oz.) excluding battery

4.7 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 18650 Flashlight

solaray pro zx-1 18650 flashlight

The Solaray pro zx-1 flashlight is an ultra bright LED flashlight. It comes with every function mode you’ll ever need. High, medium, and low beam selection. Bright tactical intruder strobe and SOS emergency signal mode.

Ultra Bright 18650 Flashlight

  • SOLARAY 18650 3.7v 2400mAh Premium Energy Efficient High-Output, Long Run-Time, Lithium-ion Battery
  • Special Powerful Genuine Ultra Bright XM-L T6 Cree Super-Silicon Carbide Single Die LED Chip
  • Tactical Security Design with Disrupter Strobe and Strong Front Mounted Self-Defense Striking Bezel
  • Deluxe (2 battery) Cordless Lithium-Ion Rapid Battery Charger, Adjustable Focus Zoom Lens
  • (BONUS) 1 Extra Lithium-Ion Battery and (FREE) Our Popular 3 LED Solar Key Chain/Mini-Flashlight

4.7 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


Final Thoughts on 18650 Flashlights:

So there you have it folks. We took a look at our top five  – from compact to tactical and EDC flashlights.

Do you have a favourite light that you won’t leave home without?

We would love to hear your thoughts on this and open up a discussion on why you choose the flashlight you do and what features you look for when choosing a new light.

Make sure you check out our review of the Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2016

Finally, thanks for stopping by our website and have an awesome day.

What is the Best 18650 Battery for your Flashlight

We mentioned above some key points for the 18650 batteries for your flashlight so let’s now expand a bit on this. The Li-Ion batteries are rechargeable and with the right setup, you can easily recharge them on the go.

Now without knowing your circumstances we can’t comment on whether this is a requirement but better safe than sorry is the best approach for most things in this world.

You may be just out on a planned camping trip and have everything you need to hand – or – you may be hiding out due to some sort of disaster where you have nothing with you only your survival pack.

Being able to recharge you flashlight now is potentially a life saver. Because your flashlight is equipped with 18650 batteries you are giving yourself the best chance.

3 times more on time than conventional AA batteries.




More power to feed the hungry LED bulb, and a brighter torch to keep you safe. A single 18650 battery will give you the same amount of juice as three AA’s so why not go for this setup.

Some common flashlight questions

What is the flashlight made of?

Plastic, aluminium or even titanium. Chances are its going to get knocked about a bit in your pack so spend the extra few dollars to get a quality product.

How bright is your flashlight?

Is it an LED flashlight or do it just use conventional bulbs. This will have a significant impact on the battery life of your torch so make sure to factor it in as part of your buying decision.

Where are you going to use it?

Is it a camping flashlight or will it be for more tactical, bug-out scenarios. This will also dictate the style you go for – think about the weight and room in your pack before you buy.

Wenzel Alpine Tent – 3 Person

Lets take a look at the awesome Wenzel Alpine Tent. Weatherproof and easy to setup, this tent hits the mark every time. Plenty of room inside for three people and additional areas for you gear. Definitely a tent you should consider for your net trip into the great outdoors.

Wenzel Alpine TentWenzel Alpine Tent Review

The lightweight and versatile Wenzel Alpine 3-pole Pentadome Tent is veryeasy to set up and take down. It is a great choice for any camping adventure.

Featuring a single room that measures 8 foot by 8.5 foot with the third pole creating a vestibule, this tent sleeps up to 3 people and gives you an extra area to keep the weather off you and also to store your gear.

The shockcorded fibreglass frame and handy pole pockets make setting this tent up a breeze and the polyethylene coated Weather Armor polyester protects you and your gear from the elements.

Feature Images

Wenzel Alpine Tent Features

  • 3-person, 3-pole pentadome tent with removable fly
  • Shock-corded fiberglass frame for quick and easy setup
  • Integrated mud mat with drainage strip to keep tent clean
  • 2 mesh windows and D-style front door for ventilation
  • Measures 8.5 x 4 x 8 feet (W x H x D); weighs 8 pounds

Our Thoughts

Overall this is a great tent for very small money. It will keep you and your gear dry if the rain sets in. Plenty of room and very easy to set up.

Read More Reviews | Buy Now

Common Questions

Question: What size air bed can fit in this tent
Answer: You can easily fit a queen sized air bed into this tent.

Question: Is it water proof?
Answer: One user recently camped for 46 nights in Alaska and Canada with this tent. He stayed dry for the best part of this trip without only the odd occasion. He did recommend this tent but said you should use a tent pad underneath to avoid condensation.

Question: I will be camping in a dusty environment so wondering do all the windows completely close up?
Answer: The windows and door completely close.

Best Backpacking Tent

Best Backpacking Tent

There are a lot of places throughout the world that are ideal places to camp. However, some of those places are not easy to drive to. For instance, you may want to camp deep in the woods, at the base of a mountain, or on the top of a hill. To do so, packs and supplies that are light are an option that makes the most sense. It isn’t ideal to be carrying around heavy gear in your backpack because you may overexert yourself.

A good piece of equipment to have for these purposes is a backpacking tent. This type of tent is light enough to put in your backpack or bug out bag, so you can have it any time you want or need to camp out in the spur of a moment. It is also the type of thing that you can keep on hand even if you don’t plan on using it so that you will have it in a pinch or emergency.

When searching for this type of tent, it is important to look for something that is ideal for 1 to 2 people, is sturdy, easy to put up and take down, and folds up nicely. Here are a few great options to choose from.

stansport scout backpack tent1. StanSport Scout Backpack Tent

This tent is dark green in color and is reminiscent of a classic A-frame model. It is a two-person tent that is great for three seasons and is made of nylon. The design includes mesh doors, which keep out a variety of bugs. It is also flame retardant and features lightweight aluminum poles. It is very inexpensive.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Protects from rain and wind
  • Simple, classic shape
  • Keeps bugs out

Cons:

  • Closer to a one person size
  • Can’t secure canvas flaps
  • Pole at entrance

This tent may not be ideal for two people, but with its low price, you would easily be able to afford more than one if you wanted. It is a great deal because it seals up tight and is relatively waterproof. Furthermore, the pole at the entrance may seem like a headache, but it offers great support to the tent and keeps animals or people from being able to just walk in uninvited.

Reviews

snugpak ionosphere one person tent2. Snugpak Ionosphere

This bivy-style tent is a drab olive in color and looks like it means business. It is used by many active and former servicemen and is well-built. The item is low to the ground and fits one person and a pack. Other features are venting at the feet area and a repair kit that is included, in case you run into any issues with tearing.

Pros:

  • Comes with repair kit
  • Good for stealth camping
  • Well constructed
  • Keeps bugs out
  • Works for many heights of people

Cons:

  • Cannot sit up in it
  • May have to back in to enter

This one-person solution has a hefty price tag, but it is also built to endure. It is waterproof and keeps bugs away from you. It is also good to use on nearly any terrain and can be covered up and hidden with ease. Although it may be hard to get into, it is great for even tall men or women.

Reviews

Best Backpacking Tent3. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx

This product is a one-person tent that has a lot of extras. There is a removable rain fly, which adds extra vestibule space set on a freestanding design. The tent is constructed of polyester taffeta, a material that resists damage due to UV rays.

Pros:

  • Protects from rain
  • Can use in snow
  • Has storage areas for gear
  • Resists UV damage

Cons:

  • May have to leave bag outside
  • Can gather condensation

This tent is a great deal. It has a price that doesn’t break the bank and has features that will extend the life of the item. For instance, the vestibule is a great place to keep your pack, where it won’t take up your living space but can still be secure from the wind and elements. It is rated for three seasons but can also be used in light snow or mildly cold temperatures in a pinch.

Reviews

Conclusion

When you are looking for backpacking tents, it is nice to have more than just basic solutions. It’s the little things in life that make it more awesome, so it is a good idea to do a little research and not buy the simplest or cheapest thing you can find. Each of these tents offers a little something extra for the serious backpacker.

For the camper on a budget, the StanSport Scout Backpack Tent cannot be beaten. At less than 30 dollars, not only can you buy as many as you want, but you can also replace it easily if you have to. It is a classic looking tent that is super easy to assemble and is great at keeping bugs out. Additionally, it offers great protection from the wind and rain.

For the camper that is looking for the most authentic experience, check out the Snugpak Ionosphere. It is used by military men and women, so you know that it isn’t a cheaply-made product. It looks like a green cocoon on the ground and offers little room for more than sleeping. However, since it is so low profile, it keeps the person inside protected from the weather and things that creep around at night.

If a freestanding tent is your thing, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is a great product to use. Not only does it keep snow and wind out, but it also protects itself from radiation. There is also plenty of storage in it, and you can remove the top in order to see the stars or ventilate the tent on hot summer nights. The price is reasonable for this modest sized item, and it can be used on many endeavors outdoors.

Best Family Tent

Best Family Tent

One of the best things about spending time with family is when you are able to take vacations and make memories that can last a lifetime. The reality is that vacations can get expensive, so considering all your options is a good idea. For instance, opting for a camping trip can be budget-friendly and carry other perks as well.

You won’t have to worry about making hotel reservations, but you will need to focus on finding a good family tent that has all the features you require.

Some things to look out for when searching for this type of tent are the capacity, because it will need to have enough room for each member of your family, and how weatherproof it is. No one is going to have any fun if they are not protected from the elements. There are plenty of good options out there that could be a great resource for your next vacation. Here are a few to consider.

Best Family Tent1. Coleman 8-Person Red Canyon Tent

The Coleman Red Canyon Tent is a tent that can sleep up to eight people. It is great for a small group or a family, and is 72 inches tall in the center. This allows room to walk around inside, and it comes with removable dividers, which can make up to three rooms in the tent. The product has water protection and separate carrying bags for each element of the tent to use when storing. It comes in red, blue, and black and is reasonably priced for its size.

The Coleman is probably the best family tent under $200 that money can buy. State of the art functionality with the trusted brand that is Coleman you really can’t go wrong for this eight person tent.

Pros:

  • Can separate into 3 rooms
  • Easy to set up
  • Protects from rain
  • Can ventilate

Cons:

  • Zippers are weak
  • May leak a bit

Most of the ventilation for this item is at the top of the tent, so it doesn’t allow for much air flow on rainy nights. However, it can be purchased at a reasonable price and offers a lot of room for a variety of different purposes or occasions. It is also big enough for a small or larger family and plenty of their stuff.

Reviews

wenzel kodiak 9 person tent

2. Wenzel Kodiak Tent

The Wenzel Kodiak Tent is a large tent that is designed for up to nine people to sleep in. It has two large rooms and lots of other extras to make you feel at home. Some of the extras include a strong steel frame, two out of the way storage areas, many windows, including two bay windows, and a large D-shaped door.

Pros:

  • Steel frame
  • Comes with mud mat
  • Has a removable rain fly
  • Has lots of storage
  • Very roomy
  • Large windows

Cons:

  • May need to buy stronger spikes
  • Can be unreliable in extreme rain or wind

This tent has many bells and whistles and still offers up a reasonable price. The windows look like real windows made of mesh, and there is a rather large door that will make you forget you aren’t at your house. It is a great solution for camping in nice weather with your family, although it may need stronger spikes due to the sheer size of it.

Reviews

browning cam horm family hunting tent

3. Browning Camping Big Horn Family Tent

The Browning Big Horn Tent is a tent that can sleep up to 12 people. The area of the tent is around 150 square feet of inside space. It also has included storage pockets to keep your supplies organized and off the floor. The tent has its own UV protection and keeps bugs out. This tent is a bit more expensive but it’s also a bit larger than the others.

Pros:

  • Freestanding design
  • Can stand up inside
  • Durable construction
  • Sleeps 12 people
  • Good ventilation

Cons:

  • May not be good on windy days
  • Can get water on the floor

This product has a higher price, but it also has a ton of space. It can separate into two rooms and tall people can even stand up inside of it. Its freestanding design, along with the clear set up instructions and numerous ventilation areas, make this a good choice if you have a larger family. However, it may not feel too secure on windy days.

Reviews

Conclusion

All family tents are not the same quality, so you have to be diligent when purchasing one to take on a trip. Your family’s comfort is a top priority and should be considered when shopping for all camping supplies.

Each of these tents is large and they are all great for ideal weather conditions. Of course, there is one that is more interesting than the others. This is the Wenzel Kodiak Tent, mostly due to the fact that it has many extras that will remind you of luxury, even though you are outside. The Dutch style door and windows, out of the way storage options, and the included mud mat can feel like your home away from home when you are on vacation. It also has a price tag that is under 200 bucks and can house a large or small family as well as everything you want to take with you.

Another interesting choice is the Coleman Red Canyon Tent because it can be separated into three different rooms. This makes two spaces to sleep and a large room in the middle for family time, eating, or whatever else needs to be done. It can also protect you whenever it is raining outside because of the rain fly that is included, which can be removed when there is nice, sunny weather. The fact that it also comes in three colors allows for a bit of personalization.

Lastly, the Browning Big Horn Tent is an especially good choice if you have a large family, or you need a lot of room for all your equipment. There is enough room in this product that you won’t be on top of each other while you are trying to relax and is ideal to use if you plan on going hunting. It is two-tone brown in color and would not really be noticed in woody areas.

Best Ultra Light Tent

Best Ultra Light Tent

Going camping is a no brainer if you are someone that likes nature and being outdoors. There are many different places that you can camp, like designated campgrounds, national parks, and more. However, some of these places are not easy to get to and may require a little effort on your part. This is why you need to be vigilant about the weight of each of your supplies.

This means you will need equipment that doesn’t weigh a lot, including a tent. There are many different types of tents that won’t weigh you down, and here are a few in the ultra light category, meaning they weigh just a few pounds. They each offer up a number of different features and can be stored rather easily.

Best Ultra Light Tent1. Eureka! Solitaire

The Eureka! Solitaire tent is a festive looking tent that is designed to be used by one person. The tent weighs in at less than 3 pounds and is black and yellow in color. It is tunnel shaped and designed to be safe from casual rainfall.

Pros:

  • Ventilated roof
  • Interior is completely covered
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Has pockets
  • Can work even for tall men
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Needs to be staked down
  • Poles may break
  • No room to sit up

This product is only 38 inches high in the center, so while you won’t be able to sit up in it, you will be protected from the rain. It is not advisable to use it in a storm, but it does have some versatility due to its small size and low weight. It is not a freestanding tent, but putting the stakes down makes it that much more secure.

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Kelty Salida 2 man tent2. Kelty Salida 2

The Kelty Salida 2 is a three-season tent that has over 30 square feet of floor space inside. It is easy to set up, is designed for two people to use comfortably, and there is additional space in the form of a vestibule, which provides extra storage. It also comes with a rain fly that protects it from rain as well as wind gusts.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Made of quality materials
  • Needs no tools to set up
  • Sustains wind

Cons:

  • Not good for heavy rain or snow
  • Pole tips are plastic
  • No windows

This item is a good value for what it offers. Since the layout is freestanding, there is plenty of room for two people to be comfortable. It is also waterproof and can sustain light snowfall and gusts, so it doesn’t have to be perfect weather in order for you to use it. Additionally, it is constructed of high quality materials, which may last a long time.

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Best Ultra Light Tents

3. High Peak Outdoors Maxxlite Tent

This is a great inexpensive solution for two people. The tent has two vestibule areas for storage purposes and has an open design, which allows air to pass through freely. It also offers reliable protection from the rain and can be utilized in mild winters.

Pros:

  • Has storage areas
  • Good ventilation
  • Can withstand snow and rain
  • Great for newbie campers

Cons:

  • Not great for winter
  • Taller adults may not fit

This is a great solution for a two-person tent if you have never purchased a tent before. It is described as a 3.5 season tent, meaning although it can handle snow, it would not be good for very cold temperatures. It also has a simple design and is easy to use and care for. 

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Conclusion

Each of these tents weighs around 6 pounds or less in order for them to be lightweight enough for you to take wherever you need to go. They also are not too hard to put up or take down.

The three tents discussed in this article are all great ultra light solutions, but offer a variety of redeeming qualities and differ based on how many people are using them.

If there are two people in your party, or you need extra room for one, the High Peak Outdoors Maxxlite Tent is a great value for the money. It not only protects you from wind and rain, it also has plenty of room to store bags and other items in the front and back of the tent. On top of that, the design provides superior air flow, but can still be sealed tight if you need to stay warm. Although it might not be ideal if you are a taller person, the other benefits outweigh this fact. This is also the best solution if you are new to camping or are looking for your first tent.

If you are camping solo, the Eureka! Solitaire is the best bet and is less than 100 bucks. It not only looks really cool, but the bivy shape offers a little bit of cozy no matter where you are. This product also has plenty of storage and even a space to hang a flashlight. Another big plus is that the roof can be mesh on hot nights, or can be covered whenever the nights have a chill and you need less air flow. Furthermore, the design allows for people of many different heights to be able to take advantage of sleeping in this tent comfortably, as it is more tunnel-shaped than domed.

If you have a larger budget or plan on using the same tent for many years, the Kelty Salida 2 is one to keep your eye on. It is easy to squeeze two people into comfortably, or it can be used for one person and a dog or child. This tent has won awards for its design and the fact that it has so many different features. It is also a high quality product that can be used on many different types of terrain. This is also the only one on the list that is proven to be able to sustain any snowfall.

coleman-sundome

Coleman Instant Tent Review

Coleman Instant Tent Review

If you are a fan of camping, you have probably heard the name Coleman. They are one of the biggest names in camping equipment and accessories and have been offering quality items for over 50 years. These items include products such as lanterns, coolers, grills, sleeping bags, and pretty much everything in between. They also make tents, which are a necessity when you are camping.

Coleman tents are available in many sizes, colors, and shapes. They also vary in the amount of features they have and in price, and many can be assembled instantly. There are so many different items available, there is no doubt you will be able to find one that will make you a satisfied customer. Here are a few to consider.

Coleman Instant Tent Review1. Coleman Sundome Tent

The Coleman Sundome Tent is a dome-shaped tent that is designed to sleep up to 4 people and is 59 inches tall in the center. It is green in color, with light and dark gray accents. The setup for this tent is quick, due to the specialized poles and pole sleeves. It comes with a bag to carry it in and is relatively waterproof. There is also a lot of interior space so it isn’t cramped.

Pros:

  • Port for electric hookup
  • Has vent and windows
  • Easy set-up
  • Protection from rain and water
  • Has room to move around
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Reinforced seams

Cons:

  • Poles may break
  • Tent may lose integrity with heavy winds

This tent is not only a great price, but it has reinforced seams to help keep it waterproof. Add to that the fact that it is easy to set up and offers protection from the elements, and you have a great product. However, the product may not be able to withstand heavy winds or extreme weather, so it should be used only in weather that is mild.

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2. Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent

coleman 8 person tentThe Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent is a spacious two-room tent. The base of the product is 14 feet by 10 feet, and it has many windows to ensure proper ventilation. The poles of the tent are already attached, meaning set up is painless and can happen very quickly. That also means you can’t really misplace any of the poles. It comes with a removable room divider and is able to comfortably allow for at least two queen-sized air mattresses.

Pros:

  • Room for 8 people
  • Has 2 rooms
  • Can remove room divider
  • Has good ventilation
  • Setup is quick and easy

Cons:

  • May need stronger pegs
  • Tent is too heavy to backpack with
  • Unable to stand up to heavy winds

Although this tent is easy to set up, it is over 40 pounds, making it improbable as an easily portable tent. On the flip side, it does come with its own carrying case, is roomy, and can protect you from rain and the elements. Coleman also offers a separate rain cover for this model, which may not be necessary.

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coleman 6 person tent3. Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Screened Tent

The Coleman WeatherMaster is a 6-person tent that has many cool features. It is nearly 7 feet high in the center and has a specially designed hinged door, as well as a screened-in room in the front, which can be used to eat breakfast or look outside. It also has extra protection in the floors and a sturdy frame.

Pros:

  • Can hold 6 people
  • All-weather ventilation
  • Has a hinged door
  • Easy to set up
  • Has floorless screened in room
  • Extra strong frame

Cons:

  • Stronger pegs needed
  • Tent may leak
  • Front door doesn’t zip at bottom

If you want a tent that will remind you of your home, this is a good one. The fact that it has a door and a type of porch makes this one interesting enough to look at. The fact that you may need stronger pegs and to modify it a bit to keep certain areas from leaking does not take away from its overall appeal. Furthermore, this model has great ventilation, even when it is raining.

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Conclusion

The best part about buying a tent from a large company is the fact that there are often manufacturer warranties. Each of these tents comes with a 1 year limited warranty, but that is really where the similarities end.

For the best deal, the Coleman Sundome Tent is the clear winner. It is a classic tent that weighs in at less than 10 pounds, so it isn’t hard to lug around. It also has a great price and is easy to put up and take down. The product also offers great protection from rain and is big enough for a small family to use, i.e., two adults and a kid or pet. It also has a port to allow for electricity and a special hook inside so you can use a lantern and not have to sit in the dark.

If you have a larger family, the Coleman WeatherMaster is a good choice. It has exciting features that will offer you a bit of luxury while you are camping. With all tents, it is recommended that you put a tarp down before setting up the tent. This will go a long way in making it waterproof, especially on the floor areas. If you do this, there are very few negatives about this product, and the price is pretty reasonable.

Finally, if you want a large tent where there is room to spread out, the Coleman 8 Person Tent will offer you that type of solution. Since it is heavy, you will want to be able to park near your campsite so you won’t have to lug it around. Other than that, it offers space for everyone, and the fact that it can be broken down into two rooms makes it perfect for a family with children.

what to pack camping checklist

Packing For The Family Camping Trip

Camping with the family is a time-honoured tradition. Getting away from the city recharges batteries, bonds the family together and creates memories that simply can’t be recreated elsewhere.

The key to any successful camping trip is preparation. Knowing what lies ahead is central to having the right equipment. Proper equipment makes camping fun and easy. There are three overriding principles to make a camping trip a success: Dry, Fed, and Warm. Each of these principles needs to apply to each aspect of the trip. Every camping trip has a basic structure: Site, Shelter, Food, Water, Heat, and Fun. Once these get sorted, the packing becomes self-evident.

what to pack camping checklist

Click to download a copy of our handy camping checklist

Getting to know your campsite

Know as much as you can about the site before you go. In a campground, find out where the washrooms are as well as the amenities. Many campgrounds have a family-oriented section intended to keep the partiers and the kids who want to sleep separate. Knowing how far away the water source is will determine how many jugs you’ll take. the farther it is, the more you want to bring back with you to avoid trips. Firewood is another important amenity. Most campgrounds won’t allow removal of trees. Again the distance from the woodpile to the fire pit is important. When packing the car, Put the firewood in last. It comes out first and gets out of the way. Next the tents and tarps. Dealing with those critical elements first will ensure that no matter what happens, everyone will have a warm, dry place to sleep and there will be a fire to sit around and roast hot dogs.

Shelter from the elements

Shelter is the most important part of a camp. A good tent (what makes a good tent? Find out here) with the right tarp rig (there are tarp rigs? Sure, here they are) will withstand whatever weather comes at you and keep the inside dry. When the kids think they’re ready to sleep alone, their tent should be close so if they change their minds, parents aren’t too far away.
Sleeping bags and pads are the next item. Season-appropriate is a must. Pack a liner just in case the nights get cooler than expected. Lots of ropes and pegs (don’t forget the mallet) will give you lots of choices for rigging your tarp(s) properly. Tarps also make for great shade. A tarp angled over the dining table will help keep the table clean as well as provide respite from the sun.
When weather allows, hang sleeping bags on a line, inside out and unzipped for the day. This will refresh the bag and get rid of any oils/sweat/condensation from the night before.

washing hands campingFood and Water

Keep it simple. Lots of snacks tend to be best, but a big breakfast and dinner are a must. When planning meals, be specific. Find the recipes you want (our favourite camp recipes are here) and bring that amount. By grouping meals together in bags (ditch the cans and boxes, but keep instructions if needed) and labeling them, mealtime becomes quick and easy. Even pre-cracking eggs will make for a faster meal time.

Cooking can be done on the fire, on a camp stove, or both. If planning to cook solely on the fire, make sure the fire pit is deep enough for a good bed of coals. Bring a grill to keep pots and pans out of the fire. Camp stoves are another great heat source for cooking (more about camp stoves here), provided they don’t run out of fuel.

All fuels have a shelf-life. Check them before heading out. Bring a basin for washing dishes. Wooden utensils do the least amount of damage to cookware, and if damaged can simply be disposed of in the fire. An old scout-trick was to carve spatulas at camp. That can be a fun activity if the mood strikes.

Another note on fires: Leave the axe at home. Family time usually involves kids, and axes are inherently dangerous. A folding saw will make quick work of most dry wood. A fixed-blade knife and good baton technique (tools and techniques here) will split wood down to usable sizes. With kids around, keep it safe.

Water is important for everything. Drinking enough water avoids dehydration, which means more play time. Water douses the fire as needed, it washes dishes and hands, it rinses feet before turning in. If the local water source is clean to drink, enjoy. If not, plan on boiling water for 10 minutes before drinking. Covered vessels boil faster than uncovered. Keep clean containers and untreated containers separate to avoid contamination. Follow the local rules for gray-water dumping.

Heat

Staying warm in the cooler weather (early spring and late fall camps are fun, but require different preparations) isn’t hard. Prepare with extra layers (thermal undergarments are great for keeping the body warm. See here for more). More firewood is a must, as is a heavier sleeping bag. Proper layers are essential (rain gear on top, insulating layers next, moisture-wicking base layers against the skin and at the bottom of the pack) as well as lots of activities to stay warm.

Pro-tip: Just below boiling water in a couple of water bottles, tossed into a sleeping bag 20-30 minutes before bedtime will warm the bag nicely. Remove them before crawling in or they’ll suck heat through the night.

Fun

Sitting around the campsite isn’t much fun. Any campground will have lots of things to do. Hiking, fishing, activities etc. Find out what’s there before packing and plan for it. Fishing gear, hiking boots (always break in your footwear before heading out) and other games/activities will help make a trip more fun. If the terrain is right, a volleyball and net are great. as are badminton, soccer, baseball and football. Never camp without a frisbee (bring one for each family member to use a paper plate holder around the fire). Books and travel-size games are good for down-time activities or tent time if it rains. Decks of cards will always pass an hour or two, whether it’s playing a favourite game, learning a new one or trying to build a house.

What to pack for the camping adventure

what to pack camping checklist

Click to download a copy of our handy camping checklist

The list below is not inclusive. Each family, after a few trips, will realize exactly how little they need to be comfortable and have fun. Be sure to make your own list, and have two check boxes- one for when it’s packed at home, and the other for when it’s packed away at camp. Nothing left behind.

  • Tarps: two per tent, one per dining shelter, one spare
  • Tents: one for adults, one for kids, or one for boys one for girls
  • ropes and pegs for each tarp
  • clothesline
  • mallet for pegs (get a plastic one that’s small and light)
  • sleeping bag and ground pad for each camper
  • sleeping bag liner
  • Cooler and ice
  • meal packs/food stores (An extra few days’ worth just in case)
  • camp stove and fuel
  • grill and roasting sticks for the fire
  • large pot
  • large pan
  • two wooden spatulas
  • wash basin
  • dish soap
  • dish cloths
  • cutting board
  • kitchen knife with sheath
  • cutlery
  • water jugs
  • weather appropriate clothing (one extra change for every camper)
  • rain gear
  • extra hats and warm items (scarves gloves etc)
  • two extra pairs of socks for each camper
  • games and books for campsite time
  • activities for daytime
  • hiking packs (see hiking pack essentials here)
  • fire starting materials

 


Try this packing order for the car when getting ready for the off:

  • Clothes, games and toys in first.
  • Food second
  • Kitchen third
  • Tents and sleeping gear last

This makes the removal order: Tents and sleeping gear, kitchen, food, things for the next day. Spend the first day travelling, arriving and getting set up and unpacked. Then deal with the rest. When breaking camp, packing order is less important.

how to camp with your kids

Top Ten Tips For Camping With Kids

Camping with kids can be a challenge. More tents, more space, more sleeping bags, more food, all your favourite recipes now need to be doubled and more time will be spent looking after them than normal. It can also be the most rewarding experience of your life. Seeing the outdoors through their eyes gives you a whole new perspective on the world around you. Watching them navigate through a woods and picking up sticks and other bits and pieces to examine brings out ancient hunter/gatherer traits in all of us.

30 years of camping has taught me many things. What I learned the first time I took my kids for a hike in the woods surpasses all of that.

how to camp with your kids

Being outdoors with them has come down to this: preparation makes it easy. A little bit of though prior to any camping trip or hike will pays dividends when you get to your destination. Its a bit like most things in life – a good plan makes things go a lot smoother and helps avoid disappointment and even injury.

So without further adieu, here are The Top Ten Tips for Camping with Children.

10 – Water: Lots of water

Kids get thirsty. More than they think they do. Make sure each child has enough water (relative to the heat and activity level). Best measurement of fluid intake is output. Monitor how much and how often they pee. If it’s only once a day, it’s not enough liquid. You should get everybody a good quality drinking bottle – light weight but sturdy enough to cope with a few knocks and bangs. Different colours for each person so there is no mix up. We found this one on Amazon which fits our requirements perfectly. It clips onto your belt when out hiking or rambling but can be rolled up and put into a pocket when its empty. You can also use it for other activities outside of camping.

9 – Weather: be prepared for everything

Adults can handle bad weather much more readily than kids. Be prepared for heat, sun, rain, cold weather, whatever mother nature may throw at you. It’s better to over pack than under pack and risk hypothermia. A good kit-list for a day hike with kids can be found here.

We also recommend having a few roll up waterproof poncho’s to hand. They don’t take up any space and you will all be glad of them if the rain starts to come down before you reach the camp.

8 – Stars

City kids don’t see the stars. The first time they get away from the urban glow and see the night sky lit up with more twinkling lights than ever seen before, they’re going to demand to know what each and every one of them is called. A star map will help you point out constellations and planets. They’ll never want to see the sun come up again. I have spent many warm nights staring up at the sky with the kids. We found this guide to the night sky online and it should do the trick nicely.

how to spot poison ivy7 – Plants

Two items regarding plants: One is that there are lots in your area that are dangerous. Poison Ivy, poison oak and thistle are just a few of the potentially dangerous plants you may encounter.

Get a good field guide for your area and learn to identify them. If in any doubt then avoid touching them and make sure the kids do the same.

With a bit of training and experience it will become second nature to all of you but don’t take any risks until you are fully up to speed.

Secondly, there are many plants that are edible. These include fungi, berries, root vegetables. Teaching kids to identify these, pick them (with permission) and cook them helps to foster a love for the outdoors and respect for nature’s ability to care for us. It will give the kids a greater appreciation of the fact that we all came from the land and survived for a long time without processed or pre-packaged food.

6 – Games

There are a ton of camp games to play, whether there are four kids or 40. Scavenger hunts, time capsules, orienteering and rope games are just some ideas that build skill, confidence and love for outdoor adventure. Be sure to pack travel-games for tent-time or if you are going to a big camp ground then ring ahead and see if they have some already on site. It will save you some space in the car. If it’s too rainy and you’re stuck under cover, cards, books and mini-board games will help pass the time.

You could also promote the reading of some quality Survival Kit Books so they can skill up on their outdoor survival skills. Put them to the test when the rain stops. You will be amazed at how quickly they can learn when they put their minds to it. This one comes complete with a compass so they can practice navigation, plus knot tying and loads of other child friendly survival tactics.

cooking fish on a campfire5 – Fire

Fire is central to camping. It cooks food, provides light and a gathering place where songs are sung, stories are told and memories are made.

Of course fire can be dangerous to little ones who haven’t yet learned that a hotdog stick gets hot below the part that was in the fire. The best advice is to keep the fire small, and don’t make it off limits. Children are like moths to the flame. If they’re prohibited they’ll sneak around until they can touch it. If introduced slowly and calmly, it’s no big deal. Teach kids about fire before they learn the hard way like so many of us did.

Exotac-nano STRIKER-Ferrocerium-Fire-Starter--250x2If you want to be the real deal when it comes to lighting a camp fire then you should get yourself a fire starter for camping. The kids will think you are some sort of a magician once the fire gets going…

You could also try catching some wild food like trout or similar if you have a river near by. Cooking these on an open fire will make you a real hero in front of the kids.

Plus if they catch them and cook them they will be talking about it all year

4 – Snacks

The great outdoors is a never ending wonder. It’s easy to forget to eat, and to not recognize hunger while excited. Make sure every day is filled with snacks that will give them the energy they need to explore. Raisins and Peanuts is a long time staple and is as simple as it sounds. Beware of course of allergies within your group. Jerky is another good source of protein and fats to keep kids on the move. Fresh fruit doesn’t transport well in a pack. Avoid refined sugars as they lead to a crash shortly after consuming. Some great recipes can be found here.

camping notebook3 – A picture tells a thousand words

Give kids a sense of ownership over their camping experiences. Buy each child a notebook (4×6” or 5×7”), some pencils and a cheap waterproof Waterproof Digital Camera. They’ll start by taking pictures of every tree, rock and mushroom they find.

Eventually their attention will turn to wildlife and unique flora. Before the sun goes down each day, take a few minutes and record the day’s events. After the camp, print two or three of their favourite pictures and put them in the book. This will become a scrapbook of their time outdoors and will make for amazing memories in the future.

Each camp, start by reading about the last one. Refreshing memories regularly will improve the time spent outdoors.

2 – Safety

There is no bad time to instill the sense of awareness and safety in kids. First hike, find them a walking stick and teach them how to use it safely (for tips, see how and why to use a walking stick). Negotiating difficult terrain becomes easier with a walking stick. As they get older, they can carve their own images into them and make it personal.

These become part of their outdoor identities. Scouts have been doing this for more than a century now. Teach kids to identify when a fire has become dangerous, and how to put it out quickly and safely. Every child should have a survival pack with their own weather gear, food and water, and an emergency whistle.

Teach them to stay still and blast in threes if they get lost. Nine or ten years of age is generally appropriate to teach kids how to lay and light a fire if they get lost and have to spend the night alone. Safety near water and on ice are also important skills.

1 – Time/fun

The most important part of any camping trip is to have fun. Spending time with the kids, away from the TV, technology, homework, hustle and bustle of life is why we camp. Take the time to see the world through their eyes. Don’t forget how much fun it is to go rolling down a hill, or to watch your marshmallow catch fire and flame out into the coals. To unwrap a foil meal or a pie-iron and dig in while it’s still too hot.

Getting away from home is the absolute best place to connect with your kids and make lifelong memories. No video game can replace that. Stop and smell the flowers. Listen to the birds. Watch the fish jump. Count the stars. Have fun.