LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2019
Best Pop-Up Tent: Set Up Your Tent with Ease
Make camping easier and more fun with one of these pop-up tents
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019
Camping can be a ton of fun, but no one wants to spend hours struggling with setting up a tent. That’s why pop-up tents are the perfect solution. These tents go up in seconds and can provide you shelter from the sun, wind, and rain. This leaves you more time for fun in the woods or at the beach. Check out these three high-quality pop-up tents for your next outdoor adventure.
This tent opens automatically in three seconds. It measures 102 x 62 x 43 inches, which is enough space for 2-3 people to sleep. The material is both waterproof and moisture-proof.
This tent goes up lightning fast. You could throw it in the air, and the tent will pop up by the time it hits the ground. You’ll also notice its superior three-way ventilation.
The height of the tent is low, which can make it awkward to move around while inside. You may find it challenging to fold the tent back up after use.
This two-person tent measures 88.6 by 47.2 by 37.4 inches. The tent automatically sets up in seconds and folds into a compact form for storage. It comes with a carrying bag and an extra small bag for camping accessories.
This uniquely-shaped tent makes assembly quick and easy. Its poles make it easy for you to set up camp. You simply unfold it, extend it, and secure it. It takes approximately one minute to assemble.
You can use this tent season after season as it easily withstands the rigors of the outdoors. It is made from tough double-thick fabric that is very durable.
The seams of the tent let water in when it rains. The tent needs at least two people to set it up. Its door only opens halfway.
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Benefits of Pop-Up Tents
- Quick setup. You typically don’t need a manual or any experience to set up a pop-up tent. As the name of these tents suggests, you only need to stand back after opening the package and let the tent come to its full form at the campsite. It takes only a few minutes or less, depending on the size and the effectiveness of the spring-loaded poles.
- Plenty of room. Most pop-up tents can accommodate at least two people and leave enough room for your sleeping bag and other camping accessories. You can even go bigger and get one that offers more space for a group of five or more.
- Portability. Pop-up tents can be folded into a compact size for easy transportation. That makes it one of the best types of tents for backpacking, hiking, and car camping, especially if you choose a small size.
- Versatility. There are many places or functions where you can use a pop-up tent. A fully enclosed one can be used for camping, hiking, fishing, or backpacking. A canopy pop-up tent can be used as a garage or to shelter your family during picnics and other outdoor events.
- Protection. There are quite a number of pop-up tents that are made of waterproof and UV-protected fabrics. They can keep you safe from the elements when you want to enjoy outdoor activities.
Types of Pop-Up Tents
Spring-loaded tents are the most common types of pop-up tents available. They come with spring-loaded poles that are attached to the material. When you remove the safety strap, the poles extend and you automatically get a tent without doing anything else. If you are in an open campsite with a lightweight backpacking tent, you can throw it in the air and watch it fall to the ground as a full tent.
Umbrella tents feature a mechanism of joints that pop and lock in place once you open them. They are just as easy to open and close as an umbrella even without instructions. Also, the tent poles are stitched together with the fabric, so no assembly is required. You can have a pop-up canopy tent or a fully enclosed one.
Coleman specializes in outdoor equipment. The company was founded by A.C Coleman in 1900 and is currently headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. Some of its products are camping stoves, industrial-grade coolers, and pop-up tents and shelters. Check out the Coleman Instant Cabin Tent, which is one of Coleman’s best instant pop-up tents that sets up in just 60 seconds.
Core is a Kansas-based company that makes a variety of outdoor equipment suitable for the modern outdoorsman. Core makes some of the best sleeping bags, backpacking chairs, flashlights, and tents. One of its high-quality pop-up camping tents that can fit two queen-size mattresses is the Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent.
From its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, Abco designs some of the best sports, indoor, and outdoor accessories. The company has a large and diverse product line that aims to make everyday life easier. Try out the Abco Tech Pop-Up Tent and Abco Sport Instant Privacy Tent, which are some top-notch camping accessories.
Pop-Up Tents Pricing
- Under $50: You may have to compromise on the size of the tent if you get a product within this price range. However, you can still find some solid tents that can sleep at least two people. Cheaper tents are mostly privacy tents suitable for showering or changing your clothes.
- $50 to $100: You will typically get a larger-sized tent the higher you are in this price range. For $100, you can expect to find a sturdy family tent that can house at least four people.
- Over $100: If you are spending this much on a tent, then you should get a product that comes with sufficient floor space and headroom and that can hold up to harsh weather. Also, most of the tents here will sport extra features, such as a rainfly, extra storage pockets, thick floor beds, and weights to keep the tent sturdy.
Instant pop-up tents come in a variety of sizes that can accommodate from two to 10 people. Unless you intend to use the tent for backpacking, always select a size up when buying a tent. For instance, a two-person pop-up tent may not have enough space for your camping accessories if you have a partner. Instead, opt for a roomy three-person pop-up tent with a large door. Also, don’t forget to consider the headroom and legroom if you are a tall person.
Choose a tent that’s made of heavy-duty fabric but isn’t too bulky or heavy to carry around. The internal metal or fiberglass pole supporting the structure should be rust-resistant and remain flexible even in extreme temperatures. As for the door or window flaps, always prioritize zippers over straps since the former is more secure.
Choose a tent made of weatherproof material so that it holds up well during inclement weather. The best tents have wind resistance as well as waterproof, and if possible, snowproof qualities. Waterproof ratings are typically given in millimeters. For instance, if a tent is 3,000 mm water-resistant or waterproof, then it can withstand 3,000 mm (118 inches) of water before it starts to leak.
- Ventilation: A pop-up tent can get really stuffy when it’s not ventilated properly. Choose a tent with large mesh windows on either side of the structure for adequate airflow. You will also appreciate a well-ventilated structure during windy weather. The wind will flow through the tent and not blow it over if there’s no one inside it.
- Ease of Use: Check to see how easy it is to set up and break down. The pop-up part is usually easy, but folding the tent into a compact size that can fit in a bag is often the hard part. For that reason, prioritize simple designs that require only a little self-education to fold down.
- Auxiliary Features: It’s great if the instant pop-up tent comes with inside pockets for storing your accessories. Also, a vestibule or external flap at the door comes in handy for extra protection from the rain.
Best Pop-Up Tents Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Zenph Pop-Up Tent is a great option for a family of three looking for sufficient coverage from moisture and rain. It’s large, wide, sturdy, and has a comfortable bed design that pops up in just three seconds. The entire tent is reinforced with PU material and a waterproof coating to help keep you dry even in rainy weather. The exterior is made of stretchable polyester material that is 2,000 mm water-resistant. The bottom is reinforced with Oxford fabric, which is 3,000 mm water-resistant.
Zenph includes a three-dimensional ventilation system with B3 gauze windows at the front and back panels for maximum air convection and breathability. The tent has only one entrance, which is a double door with an external gate and a screen door. The latter helps to keep out mosquitoes.
The main downside of this tent is that it doesn’t offer sufficient headroom. It can be awkward for tall people to move around inside the tent. Also, it may be a bit challenging to fold the tent and force it into its carry bag.
The Abco Tech Pop-Up tent is an affordable camping tent that opens instantly and folds back without any trouble. It can accommodate two people and has doors on both sides, so that one person can walk out without waking the other occupant. The entire structure is water-resistant. The unit is also a great beach tent since it’s UV-protected.
The doors and windows are designed with mesh and nylon flaps. The mesh layer promotes high breathability within the structure. The nylon flap acts as a waterproof layer and also allows for complete privacy since not much light can pass through the fabric. What’s more, the tent comes with a carrying bag and an additional small bag for your accessories.
The main drawback of this tent is that only the doors have an inner zippered system for both the mesh and nylon. Also, the zippers derail easily. The windows have a zippered mesh, but the nylon flaps are held up with velcro straps that don’t hold up well to moderate winds. Moreover, it doesn’t offer sufficient headroom for people over six feet tall.
If you want a simple and lightweight tent that is easy to set up, get this one by Coleman. It is perfect for the beach, a campsite, or a festival and is easy to pitch. It features inverted seams and welded floors and is made using a double-thick fabric that stands up to harsh outdoor weather. Its built-in storage pockets help keep your small items organized.
Unlike many traditional tents that take up to 30 minutes to set up, this one only takes one minute. Its inverted seams and welded corners prevent water from getting inside. The vented rainfly improves airflow. Coleman provides an expandable carry bag for storing the tent.
Camping will be a lot easier when you have this pop up tent to relax and sleep in. It has a spacious interior and can accommodate four people.
However, there are some things we don't like about this tent. First, assembly calls for two people. Secondly, its seams let water in when it rains. Additionally, the standing room is not enough for most adults.
- Look for a pop-up tent that has high usability. It should have attached poles and clear instructions for setup and takedown. It should also have a carrying case with sturdy handles for easy transport.
- Plan to use a footprint tarp with your tent. Some tents will come with this footprint tarp, while others require you to buy it separately. These protective tarps will prevent your tent from ripping on sharp objects.
- Think about where you plan to use your tent. If you want to use it at the beach, then you’ll want to make sure the fabric is UV-resistant. That way, it can provide a safe space to get out of the sun’s harmful rays.
Q: Can I find an extra-large pop-up tent?
A: Yes, pop up tents come in a variety of sizes. You can find tents small enough to accommodate one person and large enough to comfortably fit four or more people. You can follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or look at the dimensions of the tent to determine the size.
Q: Are pop-up tents categorized into seasons?
A: Yes. All tents come with a manufacturer's rating to indicate what kind of climate the tent is best suited for. You will see labels like “four-season” or “three-season” on the packaging. Three-season tents work best from spring through fall, while four-season tents can withstand harsher winter climates.
Q: Do I need extra pegs to set up a pop-up tent?
A: You shouldn’t need any extra pegs or any other equipment to set up your tent. Once you take your pop-up tent out of its carrying bag, it should automatically begin to unfold and form into the finished tent shape.
Consider the Zenph Pop-Up Tent for a high-quality tent that goes up automatically in seconds.
The Abco Tech Pop-Up Tent is a smart choice for someone on a budget who still wants a well-built tent.