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We test Coleman's steel poled Mackenzie 6 with BlackOut bedrooms and find it to be the perfect compact family tent.

coleman mackenzie
Overall Score
Great head height and those BlackOut bedrooms
No 'indoor outdoor' space

The Mackenzie 6 marries classic steel pole design with a small pack size and plenty of living space for a family of four.

Don't be put off by the lack of air poles as pitching is still a relative doddle, easily achievable in around 20 minutes and there's a small financial saving over air poled equivalents.

Inside you get two pre-hung bedrooms, one that sleeps four with a removable divider (making two 2p bedrooms), and another that sleeps two in the corner of the living area. We opted to remove the extra bedroom sited in the living area to gain extra floor space, but once the kids get older this could be a great option for vis a vis sleeping or as a handy storage area.

With the extra bedroom removed the living area is surprisingly spacious and at 6ft 2" tall I had no problems with head height whatsoever. In drizzly weather we were easily able to accommodate our family of four inside on a small table and chairs with room left over to breathe.

All bedrooms inside the Mackenzie 6 are BlackOut which is a truly wonderful thing in the summer months when the sun peaks over the horizon at 5am. The bedroom inners are impressively dark, and the coating even adds a touch of insulation without noticeably affecting how breathable the fabric feels.

Two large doors at either side of the tent create a light, airy feel as well as easy access in and out, the clear windows help with the feeling of space and can be fully opened or zipped with no see um mesh to keep the bugs out. Beside the ‘spare bedroom’ you’ll find a hanging rail which is a nice added feature for keeping your clothes crinkle free on holiday. Additional storage options include a classic stack of mesh pouches in between the main bedrooms and further mesh pouches inside the bedrooms – nothing new here.

Being a smaller family tent there’s no ‘inside outside’ area in which to cook or store muddy boots but the side door is equipped with a peak to keep the rain off briefly when entering the tent.


If you prefer the reliability of steel poled tents and want a more compact footprint for your family holidays, then the Mackenzie 6 is a superb option. We rate the build quality and features highly enough for the £500 price tag to stand up against the competition, and the versatility from the extra bedroom is a welcome addition.

*Coleman are currently offering FREE Camping and Caravanning Club membership worth £45 when you buy any Mackenzie BlackOut Bedroom or Valdes Air tent from selected partners.

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