This is our review of the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent.
Are you wondering if the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent is any good? You want an excellent family tent, but are wondering if it will be worth it?
The answer to both of those questions is an astounding “yes”.
The CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent is a highly affordable, weatherproof, and great overall tent. Not only that, it is our go-to tent for a family camping trip.
With the ability to fit two queen-sized mattresses (and more), there is plenty of room for the whole family and plenty of gear inside this tent.
We’ve used this tent in rainstorms, windy weather, and even a little bit of snow. It has held up to everything.
Read on for an in-depth review of the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent!
CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent – Key Features and Benefits
Type: Dome | Seasons: 3-Season | Weight: 18.21 lbs | Inside Height: 72 in | Floor: 16 x 9 ft (144 sq ft) | Setup Time: 20 mins
CORE is known for their excellent and high quality budget tents.
While many of CORE’s tents are cabin tents with pre-telescoping poles built to make setup a breeze, this tent is an extended dome tent.
Ultimately, we chose to go with a dome tent over a cabin tent, because while it takes slightly longer to set up (20 minutes), dome tents hold up better in wind and rain.
And that has proven to be true for us. It’s held up great to heavy winds, rain, and even a little bit of snow.
Made with durable 68D polyester fabric and a bathtub floor made of 115 gsm P.E., this tent is made to withstand the elements at an affordable price.
With 144 square feet of space – as a family of four, we have more room than we need for air mattresses, gear storage, plus some.
There are two storage pouches on either side of the tent, and another ceiling pouch to hang lanterns, fans or store additional personal items.
On top of having a ton of space, the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome has great ventilation, with a back window, an open mesh top, and an air intake vent that draws in cool air from the ground.
And last, but not least, this tent has a ceiling height of 72 inches or 6 feet. So while it’s probably not the best for super tall people, there’s enough room in the middle to stand up and change without needing to kneel over.
Frankly, we believe the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome is the perfect tent for families with small children who want to ensure they stay dry, yet have enough space to enjoy themselves comfortably.
CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent – Technical Specifications
CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent – Pros & Cons
With any product there are certainly pros and cons.
While we really love this tent and its superior weather performance for its size, there are a couple cons worth thinking about…
- It’s extended dome design, and H2O Block Technology holds up great to all of the elements
- 144 square feet of living space is plenty for two queen air mattresses plus some gear
- Ample storage pockets make it easy to store personal items
- Mesh fabric ceiling allows for great views, and the air intake system provides superior ventilation
- Lightweight for a tent of its size (18.21 lbs)
- Set up is relatively simple and can take two people less than 15 to 20 minutes
- 1 Year Limited Warranty
- Only one door, compared to some of the competitors that offer two
- Not great for taller folks
- Stakes are flimsy – you will want to buy heavy duty stakes instead
CORE 9 Person Extended Dome – Accessories
CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Footprint
Every tent needs a quality footprint.
Make sure to pick up this footprint if you plan on purchasing the tent!
CORE Tent Kit
One of the cons with this tent is certainly the stock stakes. We recommend picking up a heavier duty stakes.
This tent kit includes not only that, but a mallet, dust pan and broom, tent repair patches, and extra guy lines.
How We Tested, Reviewed and Rated the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome
We tested and rated the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome across seven key categories:
- Space & Comfort
- Quality & Durability
- Weather Resistance
- Ease of Use
- User Reviews
After thoroughly testing the product on numerous camping trips, we were able to factor all of the above metrics into our algorithm to create an Overall score.
The CORE 9 Person Extended dome, had great ratings across all of the categories, except for intangibles, scoring a 7.9 out of 10.
Space & Comfort
With 144 square feet of living space, there is plenty of room in this tent for two queen air mattresses, and a ton of gear.
While it’s 72” (6’) ceiling height isn’t the tallest for 8 to 9 person tents, there is still plenty of room to stand up and move around.
Our typical setup is a queen air mattress in the middle, with a kid on a single air mattress on each side.
There is a good 3 feet of space between our mattress and the kids giving each person plenty of room for their own gear storage.
Everyone has plenty of room, and compared to other 8 to 9 person tents the floor area is still on average better than the competition.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome an 8 out of 10 on Space & Comfort.
Quality & Durability
For a budget tent, you’d think that the quality and durability of the tent might be lacking.
But we found this to be not true.
The quality of the fabric is comparable to a mid-range tent. And while this tent may use standard fiberglass poles, they hold up well and even with kids throwing them around, haven’t had any problems.
So yes CORE makes a budget family tent, but it makes a quality budget family tent, which is even more important.
This tent is not going to fall apart on you. And if it does within the first year there is a 1 Year Limited Warranty.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome an 8 out of 10 on Quality & Durability.
This is where the CORE shines. At the time of writing this review, the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome is only $179.99.
Compared to other budget tents, and the more premium tents, this is a downright steal. My brother’s favorite tent is the Eureka Copper Canyon LX – well that tent is $469.95.
I mean that it is night and day – when ultimately both tents are ranked with a similar Overall score, how does it make sense to purchase the Eureka Copper Canyon when it’s over 2.5 times the price!
The CORE 9 Person Extended Dome is such a great value!
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome an 8.8 out of 10 on Value.
Let’s be honest – what we really all care about no matter what the tent is its weather resistance.
There are not many circumstances when you aren’t going to be at least somewhat worried about the weather.
In the mountains a storm can blow in at any time.
Not only that, but let’s say you’ve pre-planned your camping trip for months. You don’t want a threat of a potential storm to ruin all of your planning.
The CORE 9 Person Extended Dome performs great in the rain, wind and even snow. We’ve done it all.
Its dome-style design is the perfect design to stand against strong winds, and CORE’s H2O Block Technology does its job to protect you from the elements.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome an 8.5 out of 10 on Weather Resistance.
Ease of Use
Compared to an instant tent, this tent isn’t the easiest to use, but it is what you’d expect out of a larger dome tent.
With 4 main poles, I typically lay out the tent and have my kids put together the poles.
Then you thread the two longer poles over and across the tent, and can pull the main dome upright.
From there you can insert the two shorter poles that hold up the extended portions of the dome.
Finally, you can throw the rainfly over, attach it with the velcro and begin to stake the tent down.
All of this is a very long winded way of saying that takes about 15-20 minutes with 2 people and about 20-30 minutes with one person and kids running around being crazy.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome a 7 out of 10 on Ease of Use.
These are the unique features or selling points of each individual tent that give it a leg up on the competition.
Does the tent have two doors? Perhaps the tent has a large vestibule for storing equipment? Is the tent is a two-room tent with a special space for the kiddos or a dog? Maybe the footprint is included in the price?
In the case of the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome, there aren’t too many extras. You are already getting a great tent for a great price.
There is only one door, and there are standard side pockets and and overhead personal items loft.
There is also the air intake to help with ventilation. But with no vestibule and other limited extras this was certainly the tent’s least performant category.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome a 5 out of 10 on Intangibles.
Last, but not least are user reviews!
We can get a lot of great feedback from user reviews, but they aren’t perfect. The average tent owner won’t ever leave a review, so reviews are typically left by users who either have a really favorable or unfavorable experience.
Of course even that is still good information, because if 90% of tent owners leave a positive 5-star review, then that is really saying something. So we blend reviews together from various sources and come up with an average user rating score.
Well, the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome gets pretty great user reviews. The only tent to rank higher in its size category is the White Duck Prota Deluxe Canvas Tent.
We gave the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome a 9.3 out of 10 on User Reviews.
Should you buy the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome tent?
Yes! The CORE 9 Person Extended Dome is great for family camping and also added the additional bonus of holding up to the elements better than cabin tent alternatives.
It is overall a great value tent and scores well with a score of 7.9 out of 10.
How Well Does the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Hold Up in Rain?
It holds up great! The extended dome design is made to stand up to the elements and prevent water from pooling. CORE’s H2O Block Technology provides superior protection.
We’ve had our tent out in wind, rain and even snow without any issues.
How Do You Make the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Set Up Easy?
With any tent, I recommend practicing at home, before you get to the campsite for the first time. Here is what I recommend for this tent:
- Unroll and layout the tent (keep the rainfly to the side)
- Put together all of the fiberglass poles
- Insert the two larger poles into the main dome area first
- Lift the tent up (typically takes two people)
- Insert the two smaller poles into the extended dome area
- Unroll and throw the rainfly over the tent and velcro in place
- Thoroughly stake down the tent with heavy duty stakes
What is the difference between a CORE cabin and dome tent?
Cabin tents feature almost vertical walls making them look like a cabin. They offer more standing room, and are great for taller folks.
Dome tents on the other hand, are going to withstand the elements better. So if you expect rain, wind, or snow, then a dome tent may be a better choice.
Does the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome come in any other sizes?
Yes. The Extended Dome also comes in an 11 person size as well.
The tent is 18’ x 9’ compared to the 16’ x 9’ giving it a foot of extra room on each side. It also has an extra pole for each side to give it additional support.
We love this tent, and we use this tent a ton!
Even with plenty of other tents at our disposal, we find that the CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent checks all the boxes for us.
It’s extremely weatherproof, roomy, and yet comes at a great overall value.