One of the least fun parts of camping is setting up the tent.
Figuring out how to set up a new tent can be a confusing hassle. Even tents you’ve set up tons of times can cause frustration, though, if the people setting the tent up have different ways of doing it, as they so often do.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just set your tent up in minutes or even seconds and move on to having a relaxing, stress-free camping experience? With pop up tents, you can!
In this guide, we’ll talk about what, exactly, a pop up tent is, how to choose one, and our five favorite pop up tents currently on the market. By the time we’re done, you’ll be a pop up tent expert and have no problem choosing the right one for you.
Now let’s dive right in!
Best Pop Up Tents for Camping
- Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent
- Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Camping Tent
- Abco Pop Up Portable Cabana Beach Tent
- Gazelle T4 Hub Tent
- Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
What Are Pop Up Tents?
By definition, pop up tents are a form of “instant tent”. However, not all instant tents are pop up design. Pop-ups tents are self-supporting, pack down into a carry bag, then “pop up” when opened. Pop up tents allow for nearly instant setup and are ready to go in seconds. Campers use pop up tents when portability and ease of use are most important.
What Do You Look For In The Best Pop Up Tent?
Before deciding on the best rated pop-up tent, you should consider the following factors:
Price – It goes without saying, but you want to get the best pop-up tent for the money. We all have different budgets when it comes to camping equipment. However, none of us want to waste money on overpriced items. At the same time, you don’t save money by choosing something cheap and low quality that you’ll end up having to replace after a few uses.
Weight – If you need to travel light, then you’ll want a pop-up backpacking tent. On the other hand, if you’re car camping and have plenty of room for gear, then you can focus on other factors like price and comfort.
Size – The size of the tent is one of the most important factors when choosing your pop up tent. You don’t want to order a 3-person pop up tent when you have a family of 6! You should also bear in mind the situation in which you’ll be using your tent and the accessories that you’ll need space for.
Waterproof – You may or may not know this, but not all pop-up tents are waterproof. Now, if you’re using your pop up tent as a beach sunshade, then this isn’t such an issue. However, if you’re camping where there’s a chance of rain, it’s important to ensure your tent has sealed seams and is made from waterproof materials.
Best Pop Up Tents Reviewed
Now for the actual recommendations!
Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent
The main features include a fastpitch time, weather-resistant design, and a single door entrance.
Typical of Coleman, this is a high-quality pop-up tent that does exactly what you want it to. The main features include a fastpitch time, rain-resistant design, and a single door entrance. Weighing only 6.41lbs, this tent is very light and compact, making it our best backpacking pop up tent.
Unlike typical pop-up tents, this tent is sturdy enough to withstand moderate levels of wind. This is all thanks to the well-engineered tent poles and “guy out” triangles. You won’t have to worry about the rain either – Inverted seams increase weather resistance by hiding needle holes inside the tent.
This tent is also available in a smaller model, the Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent.
Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Camping Tent
The Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Camping Tent is a lightweight tent that’s great for backpackers.
Quechua advertises that this tent can be set up in just two seconds. It definitely allows for quick setup, although 2 seconds is definitely a stretch.
The standout feature of this pop-up tent is the blackout coating that lines the inside of the tent. It blocks out the sun to keep the inside of the tent cool and dark. That makes this tent great for summer camping as well as for campers who like to be able to sleep late or nap during the day without the sun waking them up.
Other features include a waterproof fabric and a windproof structure (tested in winds up to 50km). It’s available in 2 person and 3 person sizes.
Abco Pop Up Portable Cabana Beach Tent
The Abco Pop Up Portable Cabana Beach Tent has a 50+ UV protection shield makes it a great sun shelter. Portable and lightweight, it’s another great option for backpackers and is also one of the most affordable pop-up tents on the market.
As with all tents in this review, this Abco tent pops into shape in a matter of seconds. The tent also features double doors on both sides, allowing for easy access in and out. Unlike many beach tents, this one is waterproof, not just water resistant.
We love that this tent comes with a carrying bag and an additional bag for accessories such as the included tent stakes. Other than that, it’s a simple tent without a lot of extra features.
It fits up to two people, but it’s probably better for just one, especially if you plan on sleeping in it overnight instead of just using it as a sunshade during the day.
Gazelle T4 Hub Tent
Looking for something a bit more roomy?
The Gazelle T4 Hub Tent fits up to four sleeping bags, but it’s probably best for a pair that wants a bit more room for themselves and their camping gear.
It doesn’t quite pop into place, like the last few tents, but all you have to do is pull the walls out. While more standard pop up tents can be tricky to put away, this tent is just as easy to take down as it is to set up.
This tent 4 person tent features a 50+ UV protection rating and the Oxford Weave shell and floor are both waterproof. The removable ground sheet allows you to easily shake away debris and the integrated fiberglass poles make set up a breeze.
It has six mesh windows for breathability and two D-shaped zippered doors. 78 inch (6.5 foot) center height makes this tent comfortable for all but the tallest campers to stand in. Weighing 30 pounds, it’s definitely not lightweight, but its durability will stand up to strong winds and heavy rain.
Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
Last up is the Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent.
Like the last tent, it’s not a traditional pop up tent, but it is one of the best instant tents on the market and takes just 30 seconds to set up. The frame is integrated into the tent body, so all you have to do is unfold the legs and extend the poles.
The durable, heavy duty steel pole system and H2O Block water-resistant ripstop fabric stand up to windy weather conditions, while guy lines provide extra wind resistance. Adjustable ground vents and the mesh roof provide great air circulation to keep you cool. Use the tent with the rain fly for wind, rain, and sun protection, or without it for better airflow.
This tent will fit a queen air mattress inside, so you’ve got a good amount of space. Like the last tent, however, we think it’s best for just one or two people. The large doors make moving in and out of the tent easy. Storage pockets and a gear loft with a lantern hook keep important items accessible.
This dome style tent is also available in a 3-person size, but Core makes instant cabin tents with similarly easy setup in 6-person, 9-person, 10-person, and 12-person sizes. Those larger sizes are all great instant family tents.
Final Thoughts on Pop Up Tents
Whether you want to use a tent on a camping trip or just want a tent to provide shade on those beach days, this guide includes a great pop up tent for all activities. Each of the tents in this review has been chosen because of its high quality. To make the right choice for you, consider your needs and weigh the pros and cons of each tent.
However, all of these instant pop up tents are on the small side. If you’re looking for family camping tent, a pop up tent may not be the way to go.