You may have come across terms like “pop-up tents” or “instant tents” when shopping for your camping gear. Such tents are lightweight and ideally designed to be very quick to set up – we are talking of less-than-a-minute setups and teardowns.
Why would you want a quick-to-set-up tent? As most outdoor enthusiasts will agree, enjoying your camping trip means taking less time to fumble with camping gear and equipment; and taking more time to getting immersed in the splendor of the great outdoors.
Plus, such a tent is a worthy contender against unpredictable weather conditions.
Some of the easiest tents to set up have a freestanding design and won’t require the use of tent stakes or guylines. However, you can expect them to be very conservative in total interior space and will most probably be designed for solo campers and backpackers or at least for two people.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the easiest tents to set up below; we’ll also equip you with relevant information on which factors make them so easy to build up and take down.
We start our quest with this subtly-colored unit, the Zomake Pop-up Tent, which is super easy and quick to set up. All you have to do is get it out of the carrying bag, throw it in the air onto your selected pitching area, and you're all set!
And that's not all there is to it; there are a ton of other features integrated into the unit for an enjoyable camping experience.
While Zomake tent may not be ideal for roughing it out in the backcountry, it excels when used for light recreational activities. It will be perfect as a playhouse, a general campground shelter, or sun shelter on the beach.
When popped up, the tent has a floor dimension of approximately 95-inches long by 71-inches wide with a peak height of about 39 inches. This is plenty of room for four adults in a dire situation but a family of three (two adults and a child) will fit more snuggly.
As if by magic, this roomy tent compresses down into an easy-to-carry package that measures about 31 inches in diameter, all in a matter of a few seconds. Not the smallest of packages but still manageable. To allow for even quicker teardowns, some easy-to-follow instructions have been included on the packaging.
Accessibility and ventilation are highly prioritized in the Zomake brand as you can spot two doors and two windows, each on opposite sides, as well as a skylight roof with a protective storm flap. These openings have mesh screens to keep out mosquitoes and other bugs.
With that many openings, you get an immersive view of the morning sunshine and nature scenes.
Despite its weight of fewer than five pounds, the Zomake Pop-up tent doesn’t compromise on build quality. It features a rugged polyester fabric – 190T polyurethane-coated with a silver anti-UV coating on the inside.
While the manufacturer does claim that it may provide an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of at least 50, experience may vary depending on the location of use and other factors.
The flooring is made of durable 210-denier rated Oxford fabric, which is strong enough to withstand abrasions and well waterproofed to keep out moisture from underneath. That said, this tent by Zomake may not be suitable for use in extreme weather.
It will do just fine at the beach, campground, and/or your backyard.
The round fiberglass poles are embedded into the system for easy folding, setups and teardowns. In addition, the tent allows for the usage of hook stakes for a more stable and grounded shelter when it is windy.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-set-up camping tent with enough room for two, Zomake is a good place to start. The tent is ready for use in a matter of seconds and packs all the features suitable for soft terrain and fair weather.
Other than the flap for the skylight roof needing some Velcro for maximum effectiveness in future models, the Zomake Pop-up Tent is an easy recommendation.
Following closely with a similar free-standing design is the Quechua Fresh & Black pop-up tent. The tent is a passion-product from Decathlon, which has been a leading company in the sporting and camping industry for close to 40 years.
Although the tent comes with a premium price tag, it has enough features and ingenuity to match. Further, it is available in two main sizes, a 2- and a 3-person sizing, and comes in the distinctive white and black color style.
The Quechua pop-up tent will take less than ten seconds to fully set up thanks in part to its impeccable design and easy handling. The setting up process is pretty straightforward; take out the tent from its carry bag, unclip four buckles, and watch it “build” itself. That’s all!
Except for driving in the tent stakes for that extra stability, you don’t need to set up any further. The built-in fiberglass frames do most of the work for you.
What’s more, is that you also get an easy-to-follow guide to make your assemblies and teardowns that quicker. However, as with most pop-up tents, teardowns and folding it into the casing will take some patience and lots of practice to get the hang of.
For most campers, being rudely awakened by the bright morning sunshine gets old very quickly. Well, not to worry as Quechua’s Fresh & Black technology addresses such issues in a rather simple but effective method.
The tent has a four-layer construction (white polyester, titanium dioxide, lampblack absorption, and innermost layer) that works very effectively in deterring unneeded heat and light from getting into the tent. The first two layers reflect heat (sun rays) while the bottom layer ensures it’s “dark” inside the tent at all times.
That said, the tent is godsent for summertime camping and will guarantee that you have a goodnight’s sleep at all times.
Aside from the multi-layered tent walls, this product has an all-round premium feel to it; starting from the beautiful design, durable materials, and components, to the integrated accessories.
The tent can withstand winds of up to 30 mph and will adequately shield you from the rain owing to the included rainfly, side panels, and water-resistant materials. While its weight may not be suitable for backpackers and ultralight campers, the Quechua pop-up tent makes up for it in room capacity.
Two adults will sleep in the tent just fine but for even more room, you’d have to invest in the 3-person size.
In terms of access and ventilation, the tent has a large door and a window on each side. Tie-backs are included to easily roll back the door to keep it out of the way. Also, the windows each have bug screens to keep out bugs and mosquitoes.
To keep out water and condensation, the tent employs a couple of effective tried-and-tested approaches.
First, all seams have been sealed using heat-bonded strips and the polyester fly sheet has been PU-coated. Plus, the breathable materials in the sleeping area just under the fly sheet allows for zero contact with condensation water droplets.
There’s also a waterproof polyethylene groundsheet to keep out moisture from underneath.
This double-walled black-out tent packs all the features you’d expect in a good quality instant camping tent. It’s durable and will be ready to use in a matter of seconds. However, packing it away is still a challenge despite the printed instructions, color-coded straps, and clips.
It will be perfect for your motorcycle camping, car camping, van-dwelling, weekend camping, and so much more.
A clear execution of the manufacturer’s goal of “simplifying and optimizing the ins and outs of life…”, the Cabana Beach Pop-up tent from ABCOSport has an easy setup process and is loaded with many incredible features.
Most noticeably, it has two big doors, each located at the center of the left and right sides, as well as two tiny windows at the back and front. All of which results in faster load-ins, properly ventilated interiors, and protection from bug bites thanks to the integrated mesh screens.
The tent is one of the most lightweight pop-up tents weighing at barely four pounds. So, you can feel free to take it for any of your light outdoor recreational activities. The tent has enough room for two people and could easily fit in two sleeping bags.
Its center height of about 37 inches is more than enough headroom to comfortably sit up inside and even dress up.
The two doors also ensure that you don’t wake up your tent mate when getting out of the tent in the morning. The mesh on the openings helps provide ventilation to the tent, protects you from the rain, and also works as privacy blinds.
Further, portability is not compromised as the tent folds down into a compact disc of about 32 inches in diameter. The resulting bundle is lightweight and easy to store, plus you may attach it to your heavy-duty backpack’s MOLLE panel using carabiners with relative ease.
The tent comes in a neat carry bag with most of its accessories packed in yet another easy-to-carry storage bag. This ensures that everything remains organized and that the stakes won’t tear the tent fabric.
The ABCOSport pop-up tent is made of fairly high-quality ripstop nylon materials and features strongly-stitched seams and rugged zipper systems. Its fiberglass frame is not only rustproof but can also withstand lots of strain.
In addition, the tent has good UV protection qualities and is designed to set up in mere seconds.
That said, while this freestanding tent is designed for beach use and other light outdoor recreational scenarios, you may want to get some longer stakes for better stability in windy conditions. You’ll also want to have a tarp or fly sheet at hand just in case of the sudden downpour.
One of the key benefits for the ABCOSport Cabana Beach Pop-up tent is mostly its pricing; it is one of the most affordable tents you’ll find in the market today. It still allows for quick setups but with the same frustrations when it comes to packing it away as other units.
The double-walled openings are a good plus but the quality of the material is wanting and the tent stakes could be longer. However, for your kids’ sleepovers, beach camping, backyard camping, or family and friends outing, look no further than ABCOSport tents.
If you startle easily then the Coleman Pop-Up 2P tent will have your heart racing as it pops-up in the blink of an eye. Once you have out of the bag and elastic band, your best move should be to throw it in the air.
The Coleman brand is not new to the outdoor recreation industry, it has been producing premium camping gear for over a century. So, it’s no surprise that they have some of the easiest tents to set up.
The waterproofing on the tent is well taken care of by the inverted seams, adjustable rainfly, taped floor seams, and high-quality water-resistant polyester material. So, you can camp freely without too much worry as the tent is almost completely impervious.
The inverted seams, the needle holes are hidden inside the tent, are not only a good touch but will add some extra weather resistance. The tent material is also fire resistant in case of any mishaps and the fiberglass frame and guy-out triangles are well-designed to withstand high winds.
Setups take less than ten seconds and that’s only because you may need to stake the tent and position it as you wish.
The tent pops-up from a compact disc of about 28 inches in diameter into a roomy two-person sleeping area – 90 inches long by 53 inches wide and with a maximum center height of about 35 inches. That’s enough room for two adults to sleep comfortably and to even dress up without congestion.
You get lots of value for your money when you purchase the Coleman 2 Person Pop-up tent thanks to the included useful above-and-beyond features. First off, in those less drafty and warm nights, the multi-position rainfly allows for star viewing, proper ventilation, and bug-proofing.
There’s a screen just underneath the rainfly that effectively keeps mosquitoes and other insects off.
While the tent does have only one door, it’s fairly large enough to get in and out of including quick load-ins. However, the door zipper is a two-hand operation particularly when the tent is set up.
Lastly, the 185T 68 denier-rated polyester material has been further coated with polyurethane resulting in an all-round water-resistant and durable tent.
Coleman products are usually industry standards – tried, tested, and easily recommended by most outdoor enthusiasts. This two-person pop-up tent is no different.
While we do hope that takedowns will be more refined in other succeeding versions and that the rainfly could be a little large, the Coleman Pop-up 2P tent is a worthy buy.
A gem overshadowed by brand names and other older products; the Peaktop Outdoor Camping tent had our attention as soon as we discovered it.
Even though it would be best used as a 2-3-person tent, the manufacturer’s 3-4-person salesy claim does not take away the fact that it’s loaded with high-quality components and functional features. We are talking of a high hydrostatic head rating, instant setups, and so much more.
The Oxford groundsheet and polyester roofing of the tent have all been coated with polyurethane resulting in a 3000MM to 4000MM HH. This is further enhanced by the taped seams double-walled openings.
You’ll be duly protected from bad weather when sheltering in the Peaktop Outdoor tent.
Air circulation is also well taken care of in the unit owing to the two mesh windows and two screened doors. The outer covers for the opening can be conveniently rolled down from the inside to allow for enough airflow while still protecting you from bugs and mosquitoes.
The double-sided zipper design further allows you to close the windows from the inside with a lot of ease.
Seemingly, no expense has been spared in bringing to life this Peaktop pop-up tent. You can spot a double-sided zipper system on the openings for maximum convenience and longevity. There are also elastic curtains on the floors to prevent any seepage of rainwater into the tent.
That’s not all as the tent poles are made of fiberglass tubing and the tent fabric has a higher denier rating. At a modest weight of about eight pounds, the tent is not only lightweight but also very durable.
The Dutch D-style doors are perfect for quick load-ins and allow for optimum accessibility. Plus, the four tent stakes will have your tent standing strong against mild to medium winds.
That said, setting up the pop-up tent still takes mere seconds; from a small disc carry bundle into a full-size 80.7 inches long by 78.7 inches wide tent room with an incredible height of about 47 inches.
Aside from its tough teardowns and condensation problems, the Peaktop Outdoor Pop-up Camping Tent excels at being roomy, rainproof, lightweight, durable, and so much more. So, if you can turn a blind eye on its inadequacies, you won’t be too disappointed by its performance in the great outdoors.
Upon opening the packaging, you’ll get the camping tent in either a yellow or green color with eight stakes, a carry bag, four wind rope, and a user-friendly guide. The Sunnychic tent weighs slightly less than seven pounds and employs the usual throw and stake setup system.
At a glance, the tent looks beautiful and features a durable structuring with water-resistant properties to match. It will be the perfect shelter for your festival-going, mountain climbing, car camping, fishing, and hunting trip.
When it comes to the numbers, the tent’s main material has a 2000MM HH and its groundsheet is rated at 3000MM. This means that it can withstand the sudden downpour and it will keep all moisture out of the tent.
Further, a PU coating has been applied to the tent and its seams have been sealed off for extra protection from bad weather. The seal stickers have also been thoroughly treated with caulking for extra peace of mind and restful sleep.
Its double-paneled door and windows have roll-able outer fabric that allows for optimal air circulation and bugs/mosquitoes control.
However, despite its capabilities, it would not be advisable to use the Sunnychic Pop-up tent in heavy rain or extreme weather.
At around seven pounds of weight, you can easily sling the disc-shaped storage bag over your shoulder and carry it over short distances without any hassles. Its collapsible design also allows for greater portability and usage over many outdoor activities.
That said, the tent still spots well-designed and durable components that have been made to withstand considerable abuse in the great outdoors.
The tent features pre-assembled poles that allow for quick and easy assemblies of under five seconds. Speaking of which, the tent fabric itself is made of long-lasting 68-denier 185T polyester material and its flooring is made of 150-denier Oxford fabric.
The strong fiberglass frame will withstand multiple bending and collapsing during assemblies and teardowns. Also, the included wind rope and metal stakes allow for a great deal of wind resistance.
Enjoy sunny days with this chic pop-up tent that has got more than enough room and functionality for a fun camping experience. It has most if not all the features you’d look for in a top-of-the-line pop-up tent meant for casual camping, festivals, and beach gatherings, etc.
However, you’ll want to read and re-read the teardown instructions or even watch a couple of videos for the best experience.
Packed neatly in a disc-shaped carry bag that’s about 25.6-inches in diameter, we have the Wolf Walker pop-up tent.
It comes with the 2-3-person tent with complete accessories such as: four guylines, eight ground stakes, printed instructions, and a carry bag. The Wolf Walker employs a similar setup process as most pop-up tents but with a little extra up its sleeves.
Its two doors and two windows design allow for more air circulation, accessibility, and protection from mosquitoes. Further, the inside of the tent fabric is coated with silvery material that provides a semi-blackout effect and shading in hot and sunny weather.
The doors roll to the sides whereas the windows open a quarter-way upwards, all creating room for spectacular views and ventilation. High-density mesh paneling is located just underneath the openings, so you don’t have to fuss about mosquitoes or insects.
With a headroom of about 42-inches and a sleeping area of 106 inches long by 67 inches wide, the Wolf Walker will be roomy enough for two to three persons. Plus, sitting up or even dressing up won’t feel too strained either.
Additionally, the setups take less than ten seconds but you’ll have to secure the guylines and stake them for a more stable and usable tent. It can also be hooked up to a vestibule system for extra storage space.
While a waterproofing rating has not been availed, the Wolf Walker contains just enough features to keep the rainwater out. The tent fabric has been treated with a waterproof coating and the sealed edge design further protects you from the rain and prolongs the tent’s life.
The double zipper system also allows for optimal longevity and easy access.
The 210 polyester tent fabric and the oxford cloth making up the tent flooring expectedly, holds up well in soft to mild terrains. The Wolf Walker tent is not meant for roughing it out or bushcraft instead it’ll do for your backyard camping, beach camping, picnicking, and so on.
There’s not much to say about Wolf Walker Pop-up tent except maybe that it packs all the bare minimums for a good-quality instant tent. You’ll get some good degree of ventilation, bug-proofing, rain-proofing and so much more.
With room for two well-spaced sleeping pads, the Wolf Walker tent is your ideal two-person tent.
Yet another instant classic from Coleman, the item no. 2000018016 aka the 4-Person Instant Cabin tent is here for the rescue. The tent is available in two other sizes namely; the 10-Person Dark Room and the 6-Person tents.
The Coleman 4P Instant Cabin tent holds just fine on its own in rainy weather but you may want to grab its complementary fly sheet to be safe.
While it may not be set up as instant as the other pop-up tents, this Coleman tent features telescopic tent poles that have been pre-attached to the tent fabric for quick and easy setups.
To set it up, all you need to do is extend the poles until you hear a satisfying click sound then peg out the corners as required. The process is very quick and won’t have you adding extra stakes or guylines.
Plus, taking it down is just as easy and fast; with some practice, you can have your setups and teardowns down to a matter of seconds. The carry bag is also big enough so you don’t have to wrestle with the tent to get it in.
All set up, you get a roomy interior space of about 96 inches long by 84 inches wide with a head clearance of 59 inches high. That’s enough room for four persons and a queen-size airbed with room to comfortably sit upright or get dressed.
With regards to durability, Coleman throws around terms such as “WeatherTec™ system” and “Polyguard 2X™”.
The first one refers to their proprietary polyethylene welded floors and inverted/taped seams that work hand-in-hand to keep out water. On the other hand, their Polyguard 2X™ represents the tent’s rugged, double-thick 150-denier polyester fabric.
Additionally, you also get an integrated vented rainfly to take care of the ventilation but without the extra need for installation.
With such features, the tent will stand up to the extremes of the great outdoors and ensure you have a pleasant camping experience.
The tent comes with a convenient storage bag – 39.5 inches long with a width and height of 8.3 inches – that you can carry or store the tent with. Granted, at an overall weight of slightly over 20 pounds, you’ll only be carrying it between short distances like from your vehicle to your campsite.
The cherry on top is the two storage pockets on the sides of the tent for extra storage space for your small items.
Without a doubt, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the quick set-ups and overall good-quality construction of the Coleman 4P Instant Cabin tent. However, you’ll want to be extra careful with the zips and perhaps get the rainfly for the best experience with the tent.
Concerning useful features and conveniences, the OT Qomotop Instant Cabin tent is the most loaded. It is available in four main sizes; 4-person, 6-person, 8-person, and 10-person tent sizes. All of which have quick set-up processes and a bunch of other cool features.
In particular, the 4-person tent has a spacious interior with a headroom of up to 59 inches and a sleeping area of 96 inches by 96 inches. The unit comes in a big easy to carry bag that is 43 inches long with a width and height of about 8 inches.
Setting up the Qomotop isn’t as hard as pronouncing or spelling its name thanks to the pre-attached tent poles. All you need to get you started is to:
The process takes under a minute and can most likely be done by one person. Also, the webbing and loops are color-coded for quick positioning and installation of the rainfly.
The guylines also have slider adjustments for precise alterations of the line without needing to re-stake the tent.
Teardowns are just as simple to execute as you’ll only have to work your way back to a rolled-up bundle that will easily slide into the big storage bag.
Qomotop does not spare any expense in making the unit as user-friendly as possible. That’s why there are so many useful features and accessories included in the pack.
Whether it’s the color-coded connections to allow for quick and easy operations or the gimmicky electrical cord port, you’re bound to get your money’s worth and more with this 4-person tent. The electric cord access port can be closed when not in use.
Other accessories that come with the tent includes a room divider, tent stakes, a gear loft, guylines with slider adjustments, a carry bag, a mud mat and gear pockets.
While the 600MM HH rating may not sound that impressive, the manufacturer has integrated a couple of features to keep out water. The tent and rainfly have PU-coated sealed seams to keep out the rainwater.
Plus, the polyethylene bathtub floor with its welded corners is the perfect design to keep out water.
The 16.75-pounds tent has one large entryway, three windows, and a ground vent to allow for optimal air circulation. There’s also mesh paneling in all the openings to protect you from bugs while letting in some fresh air.
With so many features geared towards airflow, there’s no room within the tent for water droplets to condense.
This freestanding instant cabin tent has been well-engineered to save you time and get value for your money. The Qomotop is easy and quick to set up and loaded with useful features and accessories.
Further, it is long-lasting, well-ventilated, and will make do for beginners, car campers, summer campers, and so many more.
Much like its parent company, Ardisam Inc., Gazelle Tents has won the hearts of many through its innovative camping tents and outdoor gear. One of its recent offerings, the T4 Hub tent continues to impress many campers with its one-of-a-kind assembly design and sheer functionality.
The tent weighs about 30 pounds and is available in Pumpkin and Nature Green colors. The Gazelle T4 hub tent doesn’t shy away in trying out new designs as is evidenced by its two odd-shaped doors, six expansive windows, and removable floor.
The manufacturer stays away from the conventions in a bid to make the tent as user friendly and as functional as possible. The six windows can be zipped down for optimal airflow, almost-panoramic views, and sunlight. The large D-shaped doors allow for easy access and quick load-ins.
All the openings have a two-layer structure comprising a tightly-weaved fabric and a mesh screen. This keeps bugs and mosquitoes out and provides extra ventilation.
Storage space is also heavily prioritized in the Gazelle T4 Camping hub tent.
Firstly, you get a spacious interior of 94 inches by 94 inches with a headroom space of about 78 inches. This is enough room to comfortably house two to three people including some of their gear such as an airbed, and sleeping bags.
Extra storage options in the tent include: a large gear loft, two side storage nests, and four wall-mounted pouch pockets.
The tent works much like a Hoberman sphere in that it pops out and collapses inwards for setups and teardowns of under two minutes. The unit comes as a pre-assembled hub where you only need to unfold the tent then pop-out the wall and roof hubs.
Tent stakes and guylines are also present for a firmer outdoor shelter against the winds. If the weather changes suddenly, the provided rainfly is very easy to install.
Teardowns are also just as fast and easy to accomplish meaning you’re left with more time to scout for new destinations and enjoy nature.
With a 2000MM HH-rated shell material and 5000MM HH-rated floor material, Gazelle Hub tent is bold to shield you from moisture, whichever direction it comes from. The floor itself is removable for quick cleanups and more importantly, it has a bathtub design to keep out water.
The rainfly will also protect you from the sudden downpour and the meshed double-layer openings will ensure there’s always good airflow in the tent.
The high-quality YKK zippers, 210-denier Oxford shell material, 300D Oxford floor material and the fiberglass poles are also a good nod towards the tent’s longevity.
While the setting up and tearing down processes are effortless, the Gazelle T4 compromises on a couple of factors. An awning accessory or a longer rain flap over the doorway and more durable tent stakes could easily bump this unit into premium-level quality.
That said, if you’re looking for an “instant” camping tent that can withstand roughing it out in nature then this is the best deal yet.
|Tent Brand||Fabric/Flooring Materials||Pole Materials||Occupants||Weight||Size||Packed Size|
|Zomake Pop Up Tent||190T PU Polyester w/210D Oxford Polyethylene||Fiberglass||2 to 3||5 lbs.||95.0" × 71.0" × 39.0"||⌀ 31"|
|Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh & Black Camping Tent||Polyester w/120g/sqm Polyethylene||Fiberglass||2||7.3 lbs.||83.0" × 49.0" × 39.0"||⌀ 25.6" × 3.5""|
|ABCOSport Cabana Beach Tent||Nylon||Fiberglass||2||3.8 lbs.||88.6" × 47.2" × 37.0"||⌀ 32"|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent||68D 185T Polyester||Fiberglass||2||6.4 lbs.||90.0" × 53.0" × 35.0"||⌀ 30"|
|Peaktop Outdoor Camping Tent||PU 190T Polyester w/PU 210D Oxford||Fiberglass||2 to 3||8.5 lbs.||80.7" × 78.7" × 47"||⌀ 35" × 2.5"|
|Sunnychic Pop Up Tent||68D 185T PU Polyester w/150D Oxford Polyethylene||Fiberglass||2 to 3||6.83 lbs.||102.0" × 62.0" × 43.0"||⌀ 34" × 2.5"|
|Wolf Walker Pop Up Tent||210T Polyester w/Oxford||Fiberglass||2 to 3||7.05 lbs.||106.3" × 67" × 41.3"||⌀ 25.6" × 2.4"|
|Coleman Instant Cabin Tent||150D Polyester w/150D Polyester||Aluminum||4||18.0 lbs.||96" × 84" × 59"||39.5" × 8.3" × 8.3"|
|OT Qomotop Camping Tent||68D Polyester w/125g/sqm Polyethylene||Steel||4||16.75 lbs.||96" × 96" × 59"||43.0" × 8.0" × 8.0"|
|Gazelle T4 Camping Hub Tent||210D Oxford Polyester w/300D Oxford Polyester||Fiberglass||4||30 lbs.||94" × 94" × 78"||67.5"× 8.0" × 8.0"|
⌀ Means the diameter for a circular, folded tent.
As most avid campers will agree, getting the hang of setting up or taking down a tent takes a lot of time and patience. Whether it’s inserting the tent poles into the fabric or bending them into place, the process can be mind-numbing especially to first-time campers.
Luckily, pop-up and instant tents have been well-refined for effortless operation and handling. To get the best out of these types of tents, you’ll want to know what to look out for in either and to further understand how to disentangle them from the many types of tents.
Instant or pop-up tents are beginner-friendly in how they’re set up and taken down. The tents have a freestanding design with the floor attached and tent poles pre-attached to the tent shell.
In most models, you’ll only need to remove the tent from the encasing and it pops-out into a ready-to-use outdoor shelter. You’ll need to undo the straps or release from straps in some units. Instant tents will even come with an over-the-top “release and throw” type of setup process.
Once popped up, you’ll want to guy out and stake the tent for extra stability against the elements. However, pop-up tents are not designed to withstand heavy rainfall or strong winds.
While the tent poles are usually extendable or telescopic in the cabin-style instant tents, they will still come pre-attached to the fabric and will allow for a springy instant setup.
That said, most if not all pop-up tents have one great disadvantage; packing them away is always challenging and may result in lengthy teardowns. They also don’t do too well in extreme weather conditions.
They are also very lightweight and portable making them the perfect gear for ultralight campers, backpackers, and hikers among others.
To allow for the less-than-a-minute buildups, these tents will most expectedly have light, flexible but durable tent poles and overall frames. Further, the tents are kept at feathery weights and consequently, their headroom or maximum center heights are maintained at a minimum.
Pay close attention to the floor area dimensions and max height. Only go for the one that is enough to fit you and your family/friend including their gear.
The pop-up design fares well for a solo to a four-person size unit, beyond which you’re better off with the other classic but rigid types of tents.
Waterproofing in tents is best represented by the HH (Hydrostatic Head) rating, which is arrived at after the tent has undergone several tests. The HH rating removes the ambiguity that once was when manufacturers used to use “waterproof” terms in their specifications.
The test is performed by applying water pressure on the surface of the tent’s fabric. Then measurements are recorded to indicate how much it can withstand before water letting water pass through.
If a fabric starts to lick with 5000MM of water pressure then its HH is said to be 5000MM.
That said, 1000MM is the bare minimum for a tent to be called waterproof. Whereas, 1500MM and 2000MM tents will perform well as summer and three-person tents, respectively. 3000MM+ tents are considered bombproof or four-season and will withstand high winds and heavy downpour.
When it comes to waterproofing, proper ventilation plays a huge role as it can also prevent water droplets from pooling within the tent due to condensation.
Double-layered vents, windows, and doors with a tough waterproof outer layer and a mesh screen underneath will not only guarantee optimal airflow but also keep the bugs out. Roll-up flaps, zippers with storm flaps, and a rainfly will also go a long in protecting you from the sudden downpour.
Thread count (T), Denier(D), PU-coating, and a plethora of other marketing terms are easily thrown around when it comes to camping tents but what do they mean?
In a nutshell, a denier rating is a unit for measuring the thickness and weight of fibers in the tent’s fabric. The lower the denier rating, the thinner, the finer, and the less durable the fabric will be.
Thread count refers to the number of threads used vertically and horizontally per square inch of the tent’s fabric. A higher thread count signifies that the fabric is tightly woven and has a greater density. You’ll likely find lower denier-rated tents with a higher thread count.
When it comes to fabric coatings, tents will usually be coated with an anti-UV coating or waterproofing coating or both.
Polyurethane is the most common waterproofing coating on nylon and polyester tents thanks to its affordability, breathability, and stickiness to the fabric. Silicone may also be present in nylon fabrics but comes with a higher price for its top-notch performance.
Ripstop and Oxford terms refer to the type of stitching employed on the tent fabric. The ripstop style leans towards reinforcing the fabric against ripping and tearing. The oxford style is mostly used in heavy-duty fabrics and provides more longevity and robustness than standard weaves.
To get the most value for your money, you’ll want to ensure that your instant tent of choice comes with as many accessories as possible. Gear lofts, side-wall storage nests, and wall-mounted pockets will be perfect add-ons to maximize your storage space within the tent.
An included room divider may also make the shared space more private and bearable in some cases.
While tent stakes, guylines, and poles are expected, always buy a tent with extra ones if possible. Some of the tent poles and tent stakes for most models bend or break easily thus having backups would be amazing.
Tent poles in most pop-up tents are made of fiberglass, a commonly-used material due to its lightweight and inexpensive nature. However, it breaks easily and thus you may want to go for other durable but costlier options.
Poles made of carbon fiber and aluminum tend to be more reliable and lightweight but are very expensive. Steel would be a good option but replacing it plus its hefty weight makes it not favorable for instant tents.
Pitching a tent may take up to an hour to accomplish given the many hurdles and hoops you’ll have to go through with most types of tents. Instant and pop-up tents relieve you of the many headaches of setting up a tent, leaving you with lots of time to birdwatch, kayak, take nature walks, and so much more.
We hope that we’ve provided you with an information-rich executive brief on everything good and bad about these types of tents and more so, a good selection of the very best in the market.