Pitching up a camping tent is one of the nightmares you’ll face with the normal tents when camping. Most campers dread the thought of spending hours setting up their tents and end up postponing their planned camping events. However, this is now a problem solved. With the invention of pop up tents for camping, you can have your tent up in seconds. Yes, you got that right. You can have your shelter within even 2 seconds.
So, what are pop up tents? These are types of tents that you don’t need any expertise to set up. Unlike the traditional tents, whose setting is a hassle, pop up tents are not. All you need to do is pull them out of their carriers and throw them up, and pap…you have your shelter. Besides being easy to set up, these tents are super lightweight. That means you can walk with them in your backpack for miles without getting tired. With this new technology in the market, I don’t know who wouldn’t want to have a taste. We have created a guide to help you understand everything about pop up tents for camping and even get one.
Difference Between Conventional And Pop Up Tent
Having described pop up tent above, it’s good first to understand what a conventional tent is. Also known as regular tents, unlike pop up tents, these are tents that need experts to set up. I mean, they require effort and more than one action to stand up. This makes it so different from a pop-up tent, which is always ready and easy to set up.
Conventional tents are also usually cheaper to acquire compared to pop up tents.
Talk of portability; conventional tents are easily foldable into small bags, thus easy to port around. Pop up tents are also foldable but not into smaller bags like conventional tents.
Benefits of Pop Up Tents For Camping
Easy to Pitch and Take Down
Setting up pop-up tents in camping takes between seconds to few minutes. This is by far the top compelling reason why most campers go for them. Even though some need untying and unbuckling, that’s the only hardest stage. Once done, the tent unfolds itself continuously, and within seconds the process is complete. In contrast, setting up the normal tents of similar size would take you several minutes to complete.
When the camping period is over, Un-mounting the tent is another tough task. With pop up tents though, it is simplified to set up in camping. Initially, you may have challenges with the folding and unfolding processes. However, with a bit of practice the process becomes very easy. With continued use and mastery, you are able to take down your tent within a few minutes.
Basically, these tents are designed to offer convenience. Nobody wants to spend hours setting up their tents. Anything near instant is preferable. This is what pop-up tents offer. In case of a weather change, you can set up your shelter immediately and remove the same way.
Good for Beginners
Entry-level pop-up tents for camping are not very expensive. With a budget of less than $100, you can get a good one. Their pitching doesn’t also require intensive training. So, you won’t be struggling with complex instructions even if you have a short preparation schedule.
With some, all you need is to pull the center up like you do with an umbrella and you have your tent. Others you just need to untie or unbuckle and then they’ll unfold themselves. Either way, these pop up tents are a good choice for beginners who also have a low budget for their camping experience.
Pop up tents take away the necessity of large stakes and other additional gears. Therefore, you’ll only need the folded packed tent, and you are good to go. This eases the packing process and means you can easily transport your tent. People who hate the clumsiness associated with bulk stuff find these tents their best fit.
With the normal tents, you must have mounting poles. These poles are, in most cases, in separate bags that you must carry along. Even though some people keep them in the same bag as the tent, they are basically bulky.
Top 10 Best Instant Setup Pop up Tents For Camping
There are no many intricate features to look for in pop up tents, and this makes choosing trickier. That’s why we have scoured hard to get you well tested and researched pop up tents that can you achieve the best camping experience. If you already have a camp date in your diary and looking for the best pop up tent, look no further. Grab any tent from our list of 10 best products below, and you’ll like it.
1. ABCO Pop up Beach Tent
As the name suggests, this tent is ideal for beach camping or any other fair-weather destination. Even though it is said to fit two people, it is practically fit for a single person or kids. It is one of the well-ventilated tents with two doors and two windows. The doors allow you to step out from whichever side of the tent. Also, you can close the doors and windows if you want absolute privacy.
ABCO pop-up tent is made of polyester, which doesn’t guarantee long durability. Also, it sometimes experiences leakages, and it is advisable you use your sealing products to boost waterproof. Basically, this tent is not for extreme conditions. Therefore, under tough weather conditions, it may not serve you well.
Being lightweight and less bulk, you can easily travel with this tent in your car trunk. On top of that, it comes with a carrier bag where you can fold and store it. It is highly recommended for backpacking especially for single people.
- It is affordable hence ideal for people on budget
- The two doors and windows make it well aerated
- You can customize its breathability
- It comes with a carrier bag
- It is not suitable for extreme weather conditions
- It has short lifespan
2. Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Camping Tent
One of the common phenomena with pop up tents is that they are very easy to pitch but hard to fold. It is probably the limitation that Quechua tent tried solving. It has a comprehensive guide with color codes that help in the folding process. Pitching takes less than a minute and folding is the same. These are some of the factors that make this tent stand out.
Even though it is one of the most expensive tents, its features are worth the cost. One, it is made of light-reducing materials and insulators. You can therefore regulate the amount of light entering your tent to determine the climate.
The waterproof factor is also another very important feature. The tent has been tested under 200 mm water/hour/m² and worked. Frankly, this is one of the strongest tents out there capable of surviving even the strongest winds traveling at 50km/hr.
- It takes only 2 seconds to pitch
- It weighs about 7 pounds which makes it ideal for backpacking
- Capable of surviving extreme weather conditions
- The light reducing materials provide ample sleeping environment
- It is waterproof
- It is expensive
- It is small in size and capable to comfortably accommodate only one person
3. OT QOMOTOP Pop up Tent
This is one of the inexpensive spacious pop-up tents. Measuring 124 X 10 feet, it can hold up to 10 people. If you are going for an extended family or a group camp, this can be a good choice. It can comfortably fit two queen-sized mattresses without becoming congested. Despite being bulk, you can set it up within one minute whether alone or two.
The OT QOMOTOP tent has strong steel poles that make it sturdy to withstand strong winds. Also, it is equipped with a PE tube floor, and this helps to keep the inside dry.
Its venting system is also excellent. The mesh roof and ground vent ensure the free flow of air. This is especially crucial as it eliminates any water of condensation from inside the tent at night.
- It is very spacious
- It is easy to pitch and fold
- Also, the aeration is good
- It is strong with steel poles
- The design isn’t too good
- It has questionable durability
4. G4Free Pop up Beach Tent
It’s a spacious pop-up tent good for two or three people with their sleeping bags or a single mattress. If you use an inflatable queen-sized mattress, it may fit but very tightly. It also has two storage pockets that you can store your stuff in to avoid congesting the floor.
Its design is best for beach and car camping—the UV protection features and fabric material help to keep off excessive sunlight. So, you can sleep comfortably inside.
The additional mesh adds extra protection against night creatures. You can therefore open the ventilations and the windows at night to enjoy the surrounding view without fear.
If you are camping in a windy environment, the 4 pegs and 8 ropes can help you to fasten your tent to the ground.
- It is very easy to set up
- It has a good design for light camping
- Very affordable for people with low budgets
- Can withstand moderate winds when held to the ground
- It is also lightweight
- The two doors facilitate convenient entry and exit plus aeration
- Not good for backpacking as it doesn’t have a compact shape
- It has weak zippers
- The user manual is a bit complicated
5. Toogh 3-4 Person Pop up Camping Tent
The Toogh tent is large enough to accommodate up to four people. It weighs a manageable weight of only 10lbs. Not only that, this tent has a height of 60 inches which offers a high space enough to stand inside.
The two poles that support the doorway allow you to form a porch where you can sit to watch the outside view. Also, the waterproof material used guarantees good aeration and shelter.
If you are looking for a family-size tent, this is a good choice. It can comfortably accommodate two grown-ups and two kids. If it’s with adults, three are the most comfortable number lest you want to make it cramped.
- Backpacking is very easy as it comes with a carrier bag
- It is durable
- It is strong enough to withstand moderate weather conditions
- Its fully waterproof
- Has a whole year warranty
- Doesn’t come with a user manual hence can be a bit challenging in the beginning
- Even though it can withstand tough weather conditions, it’s very cold inside
6. Ezone Waterproof Instant Pop Up Tent
Ezone is one of the well-aerated and waterproof tents in the market. According to many users, 3 users are the preferred number. The double doors offer the best traffic as you don’t have to go over your partner when going in and out. The available space though isn’t too small as it can accommodate two adults and two kids.
This tent is waterproof to a great extend which helps to keep it dry during winter days. Also, the rooftop is detachable, and in case you need extra ventilation, you can remove it.
- Setting up is very easy
- It is made of durable materials
- It has a large inside space to accommodate up to four people
- Ultra light weight making it good for backpacking
- May not hold in tough weather conditions
- Its roof is susceptible to leakages
- It has a low-quality zipper
7. MOON LENCE Camping Tent
The MOON LENCE is spacious enough to accommodate 4 people without being jammed. Also, it has outstanding features to ensure comfort for its occupants. That is starting with double doors and zippers that offer extra ventilation.
To increase its stability, MOON LENCE has 10 alloy pegs and 4 ropes. Once you tie it to the ground, it becomes completely windproof.
Finally, it is waterproof and UV resistant making it a top-notch tent. In case of harsh weather, you can close the zips tightly and remain secure inside.
- Comes with a carrier bag making it a good choice for backpackers
- It is waterproof
- It can hold even in extreme weather conditions
- Very easy to assemble
- The double doors provide good traffic flow
- It is a bit heavy
8. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
This is an umbrella-shaped tent that you can set up within a minute. It comes with two storage pockets where you can put your essentials. If you want a portable tent for your family camping, this is a good choice. It can hold a queen-sized mattress and a small-sized one.
For ease of portability, Coleman comes with a carrier bag. The double fabric stands make it very durable. It is capable of going season after season camping. If you are going to areas with rough weather conditions, this tent can be of great help as it can withstand different storms.
- It is easy to set up
- Comes with a rain fly that helps to reinforce waterproof ability
- Can withstand different weather conditions
- It is durable
- It is not fully waterproof
- Its design isn’t very good
9. Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping
This polyester-made tent is very roomy, capable of holding up to 8 persons. It consists of welded corners plus seams that help to increase its waterproof efficiency. The rain fly also helps to add protection against rain.
To increase portability, the tent comes with a carrying bag. So, once folded, you can pack it back and carry it easily. There are also additional storage pockets that can help you arrange your floor by keeping your essentials.
- Comes with a carriage bag
- Has a storage bag
- Very spacious
- Not fully waterproof
10. Coleman Sundome Tent
You can lead a whole group of five people to this tent and still have extra floor space for your luggage. Coleman is a well-established brand and they include a Weather Tec system to ensure your tent is both dry and secure.
To enhance airflow, it has wide windows and a ground vent. If you want to add a power connection, the e-port inside allows you to do so with ease.
Finally, this tent can accommodate a single queen-sized air bed. With a full-year warranty, you can be sure of your money.
- Very well aerated
- It is very easy to pitch
- It is fully waterproof
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Its accompanying stakes are weak
- Doesn’t come with footprint
Key Considerations Before Buying Pop up Tents for Camping
Below are the features that you should base your choices on. They are the same features we have used to rank our products above. These are not only applicable to pop-up tents but also the conventional ones.
Size is a crucial factor that you should consider before buying your tent. The size of your tent determines the number of people it can accommodate plus the comfort of the occupants. It is advisable to purchase a tent whose size is directly proportional to your needs. There’s no need of buying an expensive large tent that you will end up underutilizing. Therefore, consider the number of people who will be using the tent and their luggage even in summer if required a portable ac. For the sake of comfort, if a tent is prescribed for four people, you can allocate three people.
In terms of overall size, the tent’s height is also very important. In as much as you won’t be standing in the tent, you need that extra space for flexibility. It gives you more freedom when operating inside the tent.
When shopping for your pop-up tent, you should keep the material aspect in mind. The type of material used for your tent will determine the durability of your tent to a great extent. For example, tents made of canvas tend to last longer than nylon and polyester ones. The materials will also determine the weight of your tent. Therefore, it is prudent to buy your tent depending on the amount of weight you are willing to accommodate. The Nylon and polyester tents are lightweight, but they are not very durable.
In addition, materials play a key role in temperature regulation in your tent. Canvas tops for example have higher heat retention capacity compared to all other materials. So, depending on where you’ll be using your tent, you can then make an informed decision.
The shape of your pop-up tent dictates its capabilities and how best it can serve you. Whenever looking for these tents, there are different shapes you can settle for depending on where you want to use your tent. Below is a roundup of those shapes and their respective applications;
- Dome : The dome-shaped pop-up tents are small in size with very limited packing space. It is an ideal choice for two people and those looking for a lightweight option. This shape also is very wind resistant. So, if you are planning your camp in a wind prone location, you better go for it.
- A-frame: These pop up tents are recommended for family and group camping. They are very large in size and of course heavy. So, if you need a tent that can accommodate many people and their luggage, this is a good shape. It doesn’t have height limitations like the dome tents. So, you can comfortably operate and store your things.
- Geodesic: These are more like dome tents but have an option to customize. For example, you can add the rain fly. They are a bit heavier also, so you may require means of transportation like a car.
- Umbrella: If you are an avid camper, you may have come across these tents. They are large in size both height and diameter. If you have many things to store or family, you may want to have a look at umbrella tents.
Ease to use
You don’t want to purchase a complicated tent that you’ll spend hours understanding how it works. If you do so, there isn’t the difference between your pop-up tent and the normal tents. What everyone wants with these tents is simplicity. Therefore, you need a tent that is easy to understand and operate.
The folding and unfolding process should be well illustrated in the user manual. In case there are additional parts coming with the tent, they should have an elaborate guide on how to attach them.
Waterproof or not
Depending on where you want to use your tent, you may need to consider this factor. Due to their design, pop up tents have acute limitations when it comes to offering protection against adverse weather conditions. So, in case waterproof is a necessity you need to ask. However, you shouldn’t panic because your tent is not entirely waterproof. There are several techniques you can employ to make it work.
One is through the use of a tent footprint or a tarn. All you need to do is purchase these additional accessories and place them at the bottom of the tent. Then use a rain fly on top of the tent. These will completely seal off your tent making it waterproof. Even though it may take you more time to set up, but you’ll be assured of safety against rain and cold.
Ventilation is not a reserve for a specific category, but every tent should have ventilations. How good they are is what makes all the difference. Since most of the camping activities are during the summer seasons, ventilation plays a critical role in cooling your body. Also, ventilations help in providing fresh oxygen to the occupants. You should therefore ensure that your tent is well fitted with big windows and ventilation flaps. These should be in relation to the size of your tent. The more the number of people or the larger the tent more aerated it should be.
This should be on the top list of your priorities. You should consider tents with additional protection features that will help you withstand more weather and situational extremities. The PU coating and waterproof base are some of the essential additions. Some are also known to include fire protection capabilities.
Mesh is one of the crucial features, especially for summer campers. You can keep the ventilations open without intrusion by creatures. Therefore, you will be free to enjoy the breeze without any fear. The rain fly also is important for increased protection against rain. Getting an ideal rain fly can be hard on your own. So, if you find a model offering one that’s a plus.
A brand is very important when looking for a good product. The well-established reputable brands have a name and customer base to protect. Therefore, you’ll be assured of getting quality products. In most cases, these are the brands that will give you better warrants and quality customer care.
You can also check the new brands depending on how they package their products. Ensure that before you invest your money on a tent, you fully understand the brand and its reliability.
Thinking of a pop-up tent, lightweight is actually one of the top reasons why many people consider them. Before settling on a certain model, consider the weight and the dimensions of the tent when packed. These will help to know which tent is more portable especially if you need one for backpacking.
The heaviest recommended 4 people tent shouldn’t go past 8-pounds. For a 2-people tent, 5-pounds should be the maximum weight. Any tent weighting beyond these extremes are considered bulky and you should avoid them. Additionally, there has to be a balance between weight and the quality of the tent. You shouldn’t forego quality for lightweight products.
Pricing and Warranties
The price of a pop-up tent is determined by the materials and the size. This why, it is advisable to buy a tent the size of your needs. Else you may waste a lot of money on unnecessarily large tents that you don’t need. The tents made of more durable materials also tend to be more expensive. It is therefore upon you to decide how big your tent should be and the durability you want. Then from those factors, you can pay the price corresponding to those factors.
Warranties are important as they give you the freedom to return or ask for repair in case your tent doesn’t meet your expectations. Even though the warranties are limited to a few years, they are important because at least they give you time to test the product. Never go for tents without warranties if you have other options. A warrantless tent means you’ll be on your own even when the tent experiences manufacturing defects.
How to Setup and Takedown A Pop-Up Tents In Camping
All pop-up tents are easy to both pitch and takedown. Some take up to seconds and others a couple of minutes. But in general, they are the easiest to mount and takedown. On average, they take approximately 5 minutes unlike their counterparts whose setting up can take up to an hour. Below is a step by step guide on how to set up your pop-up tent;
How to set up
- The first step is to remove the tent from its carrier bag. It’ll unfold itself and stretch up. Basically, that is it. You don’t struggle with pop up tent to set them like it is the case with the normal tents.
- The second step is securing the tent on the ground. This is where a bit of work is. Although, this is not a must do thing; it is necessary especially if the weather is rough. Like with strong winds, the free-standing feature may not withstand and may end up really bad. You can use the pegs to tie your tent on the ground so that it becomes firmer.
- Once you have fixed everything, you can now add any additional segments such as a tarp.
- Now your tent is ready for use. Arrange your luggage and enjoy the bliss of the outdoor environment.
How to take down your pop-up tent
The first thing before folding your tent, ensure that it is dry. In case it is not and you need to go, remember to dry it once you get home. To take down your pop-up tent, follow these steps;
- Detach any connections tying your tent to the ground that is the stakes and pegs.
- Slowly, remove the rain fly from the inner tent and if not there proceed to fold your tent.
- On the top side, you’ll see two poles forming an arch on both sides. Hold them up with one hand.
- On the bottom side of the tent, you’ll see two other poles running on each side. Grab and hold them in the same hand you are holding the top ones to form a semi-circle shape.
- Still holding the poles hold the tent in such a way that the base is vertical and the door face the ground. It is advisable to unzip the tent to allow air escape if there is any trapped inside the net.
- Push the curved pole on the top inward to the ground side. This should cause formation of two circles on both sides.
- Put one circle under the other then tie your tent with a band or pack it in its circular bag. And that’s all; your tent is ready for carrying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between camping and backpacking tents?
Yes, there is a difference. Even though both backpacking and camping tents can be used for camping, not all camping tents can be backpacked. Some are too bulk and heavy and therefore need other means of transportations. Backpacking nets are known to be lightweight and less bulk thus easy to carry around.
Are pop up tents good for camping?
Yes. These pop up tents are the best for camping folks as they are very convenient than the standard ones. Besides their portability, they offer efficiency during camping. So, choosing them is the best choice you can make.
Are pop-up tents hard to pack up?
Occasionally, beginners have difficulties when it comes to packing their pop-up tents. However, as they continue using and practicing more, they become pros and master the art which simplifies the process. Therefore, it isn’t a yes or no answer as different people will face different degrees of challenges when packing.
Are they all waterproof?
Not all pop-up tents are waterproof. Ideally, it is the goal of any manufacturer to give a waterproof tent but it doesn’t happen all the time. It is a common experience with most campers to encounter leakages in their tents. So, you may find a tent rated as waterproof but end up battling leakages. However, instead of returning it, there are several sealing products that you can use to repair your tent. You can also decide to invest in a tarp or rain fly.
Whether you are a beginner in outdoor activities or an expert, pop up tents bring a whole new experience. They are worth every penny they cost. If you have been delaying your camping because you lack a better tent, here they are; simple and cheap pop up tents that bring you convenience.
Don’t allow weather conditions to ruin your happy camping experience. Above are some of the best pop-up tents for camping in the market you can take advantage of and enjoy yourself to the maximum.