Camping is an enjoyable activity for families, friends, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy some time alone as well. Whether you’re planning for a long weekend with a family of 10, or a short trip for 2, there are numerous instant tents you can choose from. Stability, ease of setup, water, and weatherproofing, and comfort, are a few of the many characteristics to look for in the pop up tents you buy for your upcoming camping trip.
Let’s take a look at the five best instant tents.
The 5 Best Instant Tents
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Instant Tent
Best choice for camping alone.
Priced at under $100, this no assembly, no frustration, Lynx tent is perfect for the single camper. The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent has a freestanding, aluminum, two-pole design, for quick and hassle-free setup on virtually any campsite. The polyester tent fly material is resistant to UV damage, as well as resistant to water and outdoor weather extremes, to help keep you dry during your trip.
All-in-all, the construction’s solid, the tent’s affordable, and if you’re going on a camping trip on your own, it might be a good option for a reasonable price point. There are some drawbacks, but on a dry night, you should be fine for your sleeping needs.
- It requires virtually no work to set up, it pops open as quickly as you lay it on the ground.
- It’s equipped with zippers, storage pockets, stakes, and gear lofts.
- Weatherproof exterior keeps you dry and prevents UV/sun damage (color fading).
- A taffeta floor keeps you dry.
- Fully sealed seams prevent water from seeping in from the sides on a rainy night.
- It’s suitable for one person, if you’re camping with family, each person will need their tent.
- The interior cabin is quite compact, so you’ll be crouching inside.
- Rainfly leaks are an issue with this tent, as some reviewers have complained about it not sealing out heavy rainfall.
Gazelle 33300 T3 Portable Instant Tent
Best choice for groups of 2-3 people.
Quick setup in under 2 minutes? The Gazelle 33300 T3 Portable Tent pops open in about 90 seconds. Weighing about 27.5 pounds (ca. 12 kg), the tent is versatile, easy to transport, and won’t weigh you down in the carry sack/bag that it folds into for storage. It conveniently fits into the 55-inch storage bag, allowing you to carry it securely to any camping site you’re visiting for the long weekend.
- It sets up easily in under 2 minutes.
- It features durable YKK zippers and a rugged, removable, polyester floor lining.
- It features a rain fly with integrated poles and pops up quickly with the innovative design.
- Integrated poles fit perfectly into each corner, to prevent the tent from coming up off the ground.
- There’s 40 square feet (3.72 m²) of usable space and the tent’s 68 inches (1.73 m) tall when erect, making it extremely roomy for campers.
- It is a bit bulky to carry around campsites.
- Small entry/exit doors make the tent a bit cramped.
- The floor isn’t 100% waterproof; you have to clean it properly and allow it to dry completely before storing it to prevent mold from forming.
Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
Best choice for groups of 4 people.
The four-person Coleman Instant Cabin Tent is manufactured by one of the leading names in outdoor and camping supplies. So, you know you can rely on the quality, stability, and durability in its design. Rugged materials, a sturdy design, and quick setup are some characteristics you will appreciate in these pop up tents by Coleman.
- 150D polyester seams are 100% waterproof and keep you dry in outdoor conditions which are less than ideal for campers.
- It features a spacious interior, large enough to house a queen-sized mattress.
- It sets up in about 1-minute and pops open for a spacious interior.
- The integrated, vented rainfly helps keep you dry, while the mesh vents allow for air to flow freely into the tent keeping you cool on warmer camping sites.
- A 2X poly guard, durable fabric will resist weather and tough outdoor conditions. The tent features pre-attached poles meaning no work to set it up.
- Some campers/reviewers claim the tent isn’t waterproof and allows rainfall to seep in through the sides.
- The interior cabin is small; there’s limited room for movement, and taller campers will have a tough time getting comfortable standing up inside.
- It’s bulky, heavy, and difficult to carry around to your camping site.
QOMOTOP 6-Person Instant Tent
Best choice for groups of 6 People.
We are huge fans of this large QOMOTOP Instant Camping Tent. Whether you are camping with a family of 4, 6 campers, or up to 10 family members and friends, there’s enough room in this tent to accommodate even the pickiest of family members. Easy setup, a rainfly to help keep you dry in wet or muggy conditions, and side vents to let air flow freely into and out of the tent, will keep you cool, regardless of how warm it might be outside.
- Quick setup; the camping tent pops up and opens in about 1-minute; there’s virtually no work required once it’s on the ground.
- There’s a gate mat and electric cord access port, so the kids can bring their electronics and connect them to the car for easy charging.
- 69-inch center height is tall enough for most campers to stand up comfortably and walk around the roomy interior of the tent freely.
- You receive the tent stakes, carry case, mud mat, gear pockets, and gear lofts.
- The mesh, upgraded ventilation system keeps the interior nice and cool, regardless of how many campers are crammed inside the camping tent.
- Campers claim it doesn’t have enough room for two queen size mattresses as the manufacturer claims (smaller interior).
- It takes a little longer to set up than the manufacturer claims (not much, just a couple of minutes, but it does take longer than 1-minute).
- The tarp-like bottom isn’t as durable as other tents (quality seems to be lacking in design).
Coleman 10 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Best choice for groups of 10 people.
Another great tent from the guys at Coleman is the 10-Person Instant Setup Cabin Tent. This large, family-sized tent features darkroom technology, which helps block out up to 90% of the sunlight. So, for light sleepers who don’t want to wake up extremely early during the camping trip, you can rest easy knowing that 7 AM sunrise isn’t going to wake you up.
- The darkroom finish helps prevent sunlight from penetrating and also helps block out the heat on warm camping trips/days.
- The Coleman Cabin Tent features weatherproof welded corners and inverted seams to help prevent water from coming into the tent from the floor/bottom layer.
- It includes a rainfly which sits atop the tent, for extra protection from chilly weather or rainy weather during your camping trip.
- A reflective guy lines the tent, so it’s easy to see in the dark.
- A roomy interior is 14 feet (4.27 m) by 10 feet (ca. 3 m) with a 79-inch center height; the tent can hold up to four queen-sized mattresses comfortably./
- Some reviewers claim the welded corners aren’t well-designed and water leaks were noticed from the base of the tent.
- It takes longer than 1-minute to set up the tent and requires at least a couple of campers to assist in the process.
- Some campers also indicate the fabric isn’t waterproof and can become molded after use if the tent is stored away without being 100% dried before placing it in the carry bag.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Instant Tent
Before investing in instant tents for your next camping trip, what should you look for? These are a few important characteristics to look for in your new pop up tents.
Weather Resistance & Waterproof Fabric
You do not want to get soaked when it is raining, do you? Therefore, the pop up tents you choose to invest in should feature weather or waterproof exterior. Tapered flooring, sealed edges, and a rainfly are also bonuses to look for in your new tent, to ensure you remain 100% dry, regardless of how rainy the forecast is.
Large Interior Space
The interior of your instant tent should be roomy, especially if you camping with the family. You do not want the kids fighting all weekend, so make sure there is also enough room for them to move freely. Look for a camping tent that has enough room for at least a couple of sleeping bags or air mattresses.
Quick, Easy Setup & Take Down
It’s a pop up tent, right? That means you want it to pop open and pop closed at the end of your camping trip. You don’t want to spend hours folding it away for storage. So, choose something with a simple design, that’s easy to set up, and easy to take down, when you’re ready for your drive home.
Ease of Use & Features
Similar to the last point, you want a tent that’s easy to use and easy to set up. A large/tall center, one with nice access points and features like electrical cord and access ports, and something with a rainfly to keep you dry, are all nice characteristics to look for.
The material and fabric of the tent should keep you dry. But, you should also look for something cool, durable, and won’t tear easily in the wind or with adverse/inclement weather conditions. A rugged material finish and exterior are must-have features in your next pop up tents.
Instant Camping Tent FAQ
What should you know before choosing your new pop up tents ? Consider a few of these common questions/answers, before you invest in the new tent.
What is a rainfly?
The rainfly is the outer, waterproof covering you place on top of the tent. It usually features mesh ventilation windows and a breathable inner roof, so you are comfortable, even if it’s warm out and muggy, while you remain dry when it’s raining during your camping trip.
Do I need stakes to set up an instant pop up tent?
Most tents require a stake to set it up, otherwise, the tent will blow away. Depending on the type of pop up tents you buy, and what’s included with the tent, you should have everything you need with the tents on this list for safe, quick setup and use.
What are tents with a season rating?
Season rated tents are rated for the four seasons of the year. 3-Season tents feature fiberglass poles and are not rated for snow/winter use. 3-Season aluminum poles are good for cold weather conditions, but probably not snowy conditions. 4-Season expedition tents are rated for heavy snowfall and can be used in all camping conditions.
Ready to go camping with the family? Want to choose the best tent? The QOMOTOP Instant Tent is the best all-around option when choosing instant tents from this list. It houses anywhere from 4 to 10 campers comfortably. It features tapered edges and corners so you remain dry when camping. The interior is roomy, although some campers claim it isn’t as roomy as the manufacturer claims, it’s still larger than others on the list. It’s reasonably priced, features ventilation, a removable flooring liner, and sets up in no time. It also features the electric cord access ports, so the kids won’t be fighting to charge their electronic devices during a weekend camping trip.
No matter how many people are in your family, there are several options to choose from when buying pop up tents for your upcoming camping trip. These are five great options to consider, regardless of your budget, or the number of campers who are coming along for the ride. If you desire quick and easy setup and tear down, durability, high-quality material finishes, and a rugged design, these five tents will deliver on all of these fronts.
Is there another instant tent that you love to bring on your camping trips? We’d love to try it! Let us know in the comments section below.