Saturday was probably the hottest day of the year so far, it was also my son’s school fayre, which I helped organise. I spent a good few hours of my life (I will never get that time back) making wet weather plans. Last year’s fayre was a complete wash out.
This year the weather was generous, very generous and we began to worry less about rain and more about shade. I’ve been working with Coleman, makers of great tents (but more of that in the next few weeks) and I contacted them with a request and they were generous enough to offer a Coleman Sundome 205121 for review.
We planned to have a craft area of the fayre, aimed at under 5’s. The school field in the middle of the day offers no shade. Little ones need shade, as much shade as possible.
The Coleman Sundome arrived, in its bag it is compact and light and I slung it across my back, as I headed for the field on Saturday morning, both arms weighed down with various items for the fayre.
I set up the Sundome, alone, in a few minutes. It has 3 poles and it’s very obvious which fit where. The longer single pole forms the main arc and the two shorter poles the front frame. The instructions are stitched into the bag to prevent loss. It comes with 8 pegs, I used 4 to keep it in place. For the beach it has sand pockets on the outside to weight it down, as pegs disappear in soft sand.
Its roomy interior provided perfect shelter for lots of babies and parents, over the course of the fayre. Providing cooling shade and sun protection, important over the mid-day sun period, it became to best place to hang out on the field. The VIP area of the school fayre, if you will.
Sun cream is critical in this weather but for babies it’s about keeping them out of the sun as much as possible. The Sundome works particularly well as it has a UV guard preventing UV rays penetrating the fabric and that also stops the fabric degrading giving it a longer life. For older children and adults the Sundome simply provides a welcome break from the sun rays. The dome shape kept the sun out, against a gazebo which offered partial shade depending on the angle of the sun.
For the beach, I can guarantee this is an item we will use again and again. I have very sensitive skin and need not only high factor sun cream but also time out of the sun through the day. We spent a lovely long day on the beach at Woolacombe recently. Sensibly, many of the families camped out for a day at the beach had a shelter. The Coleman Sundome will be perfect offering more protection from wind and strong breezes than a wind break as well as shade.
The ground sheet has aluminised PE, I’ve no idea what that means but what I do know the ground sheet resists heat and so it comfortable to walk on when hot sand isn’t. I’ve friends whose toddlers went through phases of hating sand, the sizeable ground sheet means fussy toddlers would have space to play without getting irritated by sand.
I’m 5’10 and I can lie across ways comfortably, there is room for another beside me. The Sundome has been a feature in our garden since the weekend. Given that the weather looks set to remain hot, we are planning to take it with us for a day in my Dad’s garden. It packs down as easily as it goes up and fits neatly back into the bag (always a bonus).
The Sundome retails at around £30.00, it is well designed with thoughtful and practical features. The shape is sturdy and has been tested by my son pulling at it, zipping and unzipping repeatedly. He managed to pull it into the house for use in the living room and then proceeded to throw himself into it, apparently it was a ‘crash barrier’ in an imaginary motor cycle race. The Coleman Sundome has survived the rigorous testing of a 5-year-old boy. What better recommendation of quality? This is a brilliant item and great value. I’m very grateful to Coleman for their generosity. I would recommend for home, beach and even days out in the park over what looks to be a very hot summer.
Disclosure: I was sent a Coleman Sundome 205121 to review. All words and opinions are my own.