The Quechua instant pop up tent being set up by a happy camper

Best Instant Tent of 2023 – Top Instant Camping Tents For YOU

Best Instant Cabin
1st
The CORE 6 Person Cabin Instant Tent is the best instant tent for camping. This tent has the best easy, instant set up.
The Core 6 person instant cabin tent has a spacious interior, easy and quick setup and good ventilation.
Best for Big Families
2nd
The Core 9 Person Cabin Instant Tent is second in the best instant tents. This tent is best for families looking for instant camping.
The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin is so easy to set up, it’s a great option for group camping
Best instant tent classic
3rd
Coleman Cabin Instant Tent is a great branded instant tent with one of the best setups and space.
A family camping classic from the well-known Coleman Brand.

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Last Updated: March 18, 2023

You want a tent that you can set up instantly when you arrive at camp. An instant tent is the solution to your problem, and that’s why you’re reading our best instant tent review!

We’ve looked at hundreds of instant tents with all sorts of different quick pitch technology to give you the comprehensive list of the BEST instant tents on the market.

Setting up your campsite upon arrival can sometimes be a real pain. The sooner everything is up, the sooner you can relax and hang out with your fellow campers.

So strap yourself in as we get ready to through what makes these tents an instant success or an automatic fail.

If you’re in a hurry, the best instant tents are:

  1. CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin TentBest Overall
  2. CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin TentBest for big families
  3. Coleman 4/6/10 Person Instant Cabin TentBest instant tent classic
  4. CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
  5. Bushnell Shield Series 6/9/12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
  6. Ayamaya Pop Up 4-6 Person TentBest for small families
  7. Ozark Trail 3 Room Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent
  8. Coleman Pop-Up 2 Person TentBest for festivals
  9. Ubon 2-3 Person Pop up TentBest value

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Best for Big Families

The Core 9 Person Cabin Instant Tent is second in the best instant tents. This tent is best for families looking for instant camping.

Best instant tent classic

Coleman Cabin Instant Tent is a great branded instant tent with one of the best setups and space.

Best For Tall People

CORE Cabin 12 Person Instant Tent is the best camping instant tent for a huge family.

Bushnell Shield Series Instant Cabin Tent is the best tent with an AC port and instant tent setup.

Ayamaya Instant Pop Up Tent is the best pop up tent with instant pop-up setup.

Ozark Trail Cabin 12 Person Instant Tent comes with the best space using 3 rooms and instant tent setup.

Best For Festivals

Coleman Pop-Up Instant Tent is a pop up tent with faster setup than an instant tent, but less comfort.

Best Value

Ubon Dome Pop Up Instant Tent is a pop up tent that is even cheaper than an instant tent but not the best overall.

CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Coleman 4/6/10 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Core Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent

Bushnell Shield Series 6/9/12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Ayamaya Pop Up 4-6 Person Tent

Ozark Trail 3 Room Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent

Coleman Pop-Up 2 Person Tent

Ubon 2-3 Person Pop up Tent

Ranking2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
Rating /5

4.7

4.5

4.4

4.1

3.9

3.9

3.9

3.4

Comfort & space5.04.55.04.53.5
Ease of setup4.54.54.04.55.0
Weatherproofing4.03.54.04.53.5
Durability3.04.03.04.02.5
Value for money4.54.55.03.05.0
Review

The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin is so easy to set up, it’s a great option for group camping

A family camping classic from the well-known Coleman Brand.

With the spacious interior and the canopy, this pop-up tent is big enough for small family camping trips.

Another instant cabin tent, this tent from Ozark Trail is perfect for large group camping trips with friends or family.

These pop up tents are a low-cost option that’s great for festivals.

The Ubon 2-Person Pop-Up is a fantastic low-cost option that will be up in seconds.

Best Instant Tents of the Bunch

If you’re in a hurry and just want to know why tent impressed us the most, check out the super simple CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent. Larger families may prefer the Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent instead.

Which instant tent gives you the best bang for your buck?

The Coleman 2/4 Person Pop Up Tent might lack the durability and features of the some of the other tents but it is available at a bargain price which makes it a lot easier to forgive some of the tent’s shortcomings.

The best instant tents compared

Best Instant Tent Overall

1. CORE 6 Person Cabin Instant Tent

The Core 6 person instant cabin tent has a spacious interior, easy and quick setup and good ventilation.

Pros

  • Instant Setup
  • Spacious cabin design
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Single door design
  • Lack of vestibule for gear storage
  • Poor performance in bad weather

The CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent is a great choice for those who prioritize ease of setup and spaciousness. This tent comes in a single size, with a total floor area of 99ft2, providing an average of 17 ft2 per person.

Setting up the tent is a breeze thanks to its telescopic tent poles, making it one of the best instant tents on the market. It took me less than 5 minutes to set up the tent without any assistance. The tent poles are sturdy and make the tent durable enough for fair weather camping.

The cabin design is spacious and provides enough headroom for most people to sit up. However, the peak height of 72 inches is not tall enough for people to stand up and walk around inside comfortably. The walls are made of 68 denier polyester, which is durable and sturdy, but the steel tent poles add to the weight of the tent.

One downside to this tent is the single door design, which can be inconvenient for groups of campers. The lack of a vestibule means that all gear must be stored inside the tent or in the car, making it feel crowded inside. The small awning does not provide much shelter from the sun or rain.

The tent is rated as a 3-season tent but it is more suited to fair weather camping. The rainfly only covers a small part of the tent, and the tent walls have a hydrostatic head rating of only 600mm, making it less waterproof in heavy rain. Cabin tents are also not ideal for strong winds.

Overall, the CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent is a great choice for those looking for a spacious, affordable tent that is easy to set up. However, the lack of a vestibule and single door design may be inconvenient for some campers. Its durability and weatherproofing are average at best.


Best for Big Families

2. Core 9 Person Cabin Instant Tent

The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin is so easy to set up, it’s a great option for group camping
  • Capacity: 9 Person
  • Set Up Time: 60 Seconds
  • Weight: 30.5lbs
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Dimensions: 14’ x 9’ (126 ft² / 11.7 m²)
  • Bag Dimensions: 28 inches x 11.5 inches x 11.5 inches
  • Doors: 2 doors
  • Type of Door: T Door
  • Power Cord Vent: Yes
  • Price: $$
  • Hydrostatic Rating: 600mm
  • Windows: 3 small windows, 1 large window
  • Roof: Mesh roof
  • Porch: No porch
  • Awning: No awning
  • Rain fly: Rain fly included
  • Wall fabric: Mixed mesh and polyester wall
  • Floor fabric: Durable 125gsm P.E. floor
  • Electronics port: 1 electronics port
  • Tent style: Cabin
  • Brands: CORE brand

Pros

  • Easy tent to set up – even alone
  • Plenty of floor space to spread out
  • Mesh roof for excellent ventilation and night time views
  • Room divider provides privacy

Cons

  • Can get chilly in cold weather
  • Stakes aren’t very good
  • Heavy at 37 lbs

This CORE tent is a great instant cabin tent that ticks all the boxes for us. With the telescopic poles attached to the fabric already, this tent can be set up easily in a matter of minutes. CORE even claims it can be done in 60-seconds.

The center height of this tent provides plenty of headroom which makes it an excellent choice for tall people.

An issue with instant tents that are sometimes reported is that they can be difficult to clean because of the pre-attached poles. But you shouldn’t machine wash tents and using a sponge to gently clean soiled areas is just as easy with the pre-attached poles.

There’s a spacious interior that can be separated into two by a detachable room divider or left as one open welcoming space. But the really exciting feature of this tent is the mesh ceiling. The stunning views of the night’s sky you can enjoy in your tent with the rain fly off are remarkable. It also provides superb ventilation to keep your tent cool.

With the ease of setup that comes with instant tents and the livable space afforded by cabin tents, the CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent combines both into the perfect tent for young family trips or camping with a group of friends. There’s a reason this tent wins our award for the Best Cabin Tent.


Best instant tent classic

3. Coleman Cabin Instant Tent (4/6/10 Person Tent)

Coleman’s instant tents are a top pick for an effortless setup in a matter of seconds. This 10-person straight wall cabin tent is large enough for four mattresses and has windows all around for ventilation.

Pros

  • Instant Setup using telescopic tent poles
  • Very affordable compared to other tents in this review
  • Spacious, with a total floor area of 90 ft2

Cons

  • Only one door, which may be inconvenient for multiple campers
  • Not suitable for backpacking
  • Subpar performance in heavy rain

The Coleman Instant Cabin Tent comes in 4, 6, and 10 person sizes, with the technical specs in this review focusing on the 6 person model. As someone who prioritizes ease of setup and comfort, I found this tent to be a great option.

The instant setup using telescopic tent poles was a huge plus for me. Setting up the tent was quick and easy, which meant I had more time to relax and enjoy my camping trip. Additionally, the affordable price point made this tent a great value for the amount of space it provides. With a total floor area of 90 ft2, there was plenty of room for my gear and multiple people.

On the downside, the Coleman Cabin Tent only has one door, which could be inconvenient for groups of campers. Additionally, the tent is not suitable for backpacking due to its size and weight. Finally, the subpar performance in heavy rain means that this tent is not the best option for wet weather conditions.

In terms of comfort and space, the Coleman Instant Cabin was great. The peak height of 72 inches was comfortable for sitting and lounging, and the length of 120 inches was long enough for tall people to lie down flat. However, the lack of multiple doors and a vestibule meant that storing gear and boots could be challenging.


Pros

  • Instant setup
  • Spacious with two doors for easy access
  • Affordable price
  • Comes with storage pockets and gear loft

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Poor performance in bad weather
  • Low waterproof rating

The CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is a great choice for those looking for an instant tent that is spacious and affordable. The telescopic tent poles make setup a breeze, and the 2 doors allow for easy access and ventilation. The storage pockets and gear loft are also useful features.

However, the tent is quite heavy, making it difficult to carry, and its performance in bad weather is not ideal. The low waterproof rating means that it may not be suitable for heavy rain, and the tent’s cabin-style walls may not hold up well in strong winds.

The tent is very spacious, with a total floor area of 180ft2, providing 15 ft2 of space per person. The center height of 80 inches is also plenty for people to be able to walk around inside.

Overall, the CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is a solid choice for those on a budget who need a spacious and easy to setup tent for fair weather camping trips.


5. Bushnell Shield Series Instant Cabin Tent (6/9/12 Person Tent)

An excellent all-round tent with 1-2 AC ports and great features for staying cool in the summer.

Pros

  • Instant setup using telescopic poles.
  • Large and spacious with a total floor area of 99ft2.
  • Comes with an awning that provides shade from the sun.
  • Affordable compared to other tents in this review.
  • Has storage pockets to keep equipment safe.

Cons

  • Only one door, which may be inconvenient if camping with others.
  • No vestibule to store gear or boots.
  • Peak height of 72 inches is not tall enough for most people to walk around inside while standing up.
  • Walls have a hydrostatic head rating of 600mm, which may not be particularly waterproof in heavy rain.
  • A cabin tent does not perform well in strong winds.

The Bushnell Shield Series Instant Cabin Tent comes in 6/9/12 person sizes. I tested the 6 person model and was impressed with its ease of setup using telescopic poles. The tent was up and ready to go in no time, which is perfect for those who want to start their camping trip right away.

While the tent only has one door, it makes up for it in its large and spacious interior. With a total floor area of 99ft2, there was plenty of space for my group of four to comfortably sleep and store our gear. The tent also comes with an awning that provides shade from the sun, which was a nice touch.

However, there were a few downsides to the tent. The center height of 72 inches was not tall enough for us to walk around inside while standing up. Additionally, there was no vestibule to store gear or boots, so we had to keep everything inside the tent or in the car.

In terms of weatherproofing, the tent is rated as a 3 season tent and should be able to hold up in most weather conditions. However, cabin tents like this one do not perform well in strong winds. The walls have a hydrostatic head rating of 600mm, which may not be particularly waterproof in heavy rain.

Overall, the Bushnell Shield Series Instant Cabin Tent is a great option for those who want an affordable and easy-to-set-up camping tent. It may not be the most weatherproof or durable option out there, but it makes up for it in its spacious interior and convenience.


Best For Small Families

6. Ayamaya Instant Pop Up Tent (4-6 Person Tent)

With the spacious interior and the canopy, this pop-up tent is big enough for small family camping trips

4-6 Person

  • Capacity: 4 – 6 people
  • Weight: 10 lbs 4 oz
  • Dimensions: 12.5 feet x 8.5 feet (106 ft² / 9.8 m²)
  • Center height: 53.5 inches
  • Vestibule: 1 vestibule
  • Hydrostatic head rating: 4000 mm floor, 3000 mm roof
  • Doors: 2 doors
  • Windows: 4 windows
  • E-port: 1 electricity port included
  • Brand: Ayamaya
  • Type: Dome tent
  • Season: Four season
  • Material: Polyester walls, PU-coated oxford floor
  • Lantern hook: 1 lantern hook
  • Storage pockets: Included
  • Price: $$
  • Set Up Time: 60 Seconds

Pros

  • Spacious interior for a pop-up
  • Canopy for sheltered longuing
  • Fantastic vestibule for storage

Cons

  • Gets warm at night
  • Breaking down the tent is difficult

This large pop-up tent can fit a small family. It comes with a vestibule and living area which can help make getting ready in the mornings a little bit easier. That additional storage space in the tent is rare in pop-up tents designed for easy set-up.

The canopy is another fantastic feature for making this tent feel even bigger. With the gear loft and storage pockets, there’s plenty of options for keeping your phone, wallet, or other valuables safe.

There were two issues we found in the tent. Firstly, whilst set up is very easy, breaking the tent down and fitting it into the bag again can be a challenge and is easier with two people.

Secondly, the ventilation in the tent is pretty poor so if you’re looking for a warm-weather tent, avoid this.

Overall, this would be an ideal tent for a small family with younger kids. The setup is quick and easy meaning you can spend less time fighting tent poles into sleeves and more time playing with the kids.


7. Ozark Trail Cabin 12 Person 3 Room Instant Tent

Another instant cabin tent, this tent from Ozark Trail is perfect for large group camping trips with friends or family
  • Weight: 61lbs
  • Set Up Time: <2 Minutes
  • Height: 7 ft 8 inches
  • Dimensions: 16 feet x 16 feet (256 ft² / 23.8 m²)
  • Bag Dimensions: 52.5 inches x 14 inches x 12.5 inches
  • Price: $
  • Hydrostatic Rating: 600mm
  • Capacity: 12 person
  • Doors: 2 doors
  • Type of Door: Standard door with zipper
  • Windows: 7 windows
  • Roof: Mesh roof
  • Porch: No porch / screen room
  • Awning: Front awning included
  • Rain fly: Rain fly included
  • Wall fabric: Mixed mesh and polyester wall
  • Floor fabric: n/a
  • Electronics port: 1 electronics port
  • Tent style: Cabin
  • Brands: Ozark trail brand
  • Air mattresses: Fits 3 queen sized air mattresses
  • Gear loft: 1 gear loft included
  • Room dividers: 3 room dividers included

Pros

  • Huge covered outdoor space
  • Three massive rooms

Cons

  • Might be too large for some campsites

Some might see this colossal camping tent as excessive, but it’s great for large group camping trips with friends. This tent means you can all stay together in the same tent rather than having to split up, making it well-suited to large families with young children as well.

The three separate rooms offer spacious private areas that can each be used as a bedroom thanks to the canopy attached to the front. With the canopy up, the covered area outside is the same size as each room. So you’ll have plenty of space to sit in the shade for a livable space!

Whilst this tent isn’t cheap, the amount of space you get for the cost of this tent is remarkable. Given how easy the tent is to set up as well, the Ozark Trail tent offers fantastic value for money.

Tents this size that are this easy to set up and available at this price are few and far between.

Some campsites have regulations about how big tents can be, so be aware that might be an issue with a tent this size. Always check before you book.

If you’re looking for a big instant tent with rooms to give everyone some privacy on your trip, the Ozark Trail tent certainly offers that.


Best For Festivals

8. Coleman Pop-Up Instant Tent (2/4 Person Tent)

This tent is a low-cost option that’s great for festivals

2 person model

  • Weight: 6 lb 6 oz / 2.9 kg
  • Interior Height: 2 foot 11 in
  • Dimensions: 4 feet 5 in (W) x 7 feet 6 in (L)
  • Area: 33.1 ft² / 3.1 m²
  • Carry Bag Dimensions: 2 foot 3 in (L) x 2 in (W)
  • Doors: 1 door
  • Electricity port: 1 electricity port
  • Hydrostatic Head Rating: 600 mm
  • Price: $
  • Setup: 10 seconds
  • Rainfly: Rain fly included
  • Camp pads: Room for 2 camp pads
  • Storage pockets: Two gear pockets included
  • Wall material: Polyester mesh wall
  • Flysheet material: Polyester taffeta rainfly
  • Floor material: Polyethylene floor
  • Type: Freestanding dome tent

4 person model

  • Weight: 7.1 lb
  • Interior Height: 3 foot 4 in
  • Dimensions: 9 ft 2 in x 6 ft 6 in (59.6 ft² / 5.5 m²)
  • Doors: 1 door
  • Electricity port: 1 electricity port
  • Hydrostatic Head Rating: 600 mm
  • Price: $
  • Setup: 10 seconds
  • Rainfly: Rain fly included
  • Storage pockets: Two gear pockets included
  • Wall material: Polyester mesh wall
  • Flysheet material: Polyester taffeta rainfly
  • Floor material: Polyethylene floor
  • Type: Freestanding dome tent

Pros

  • Super easy to set up.
  • Very lightweight and portable.
  • Affordable price point.

Cons

  • Poorer quality
  • Not suitable for heavy rain.

No one wants to spend their time at a festival pitching a tent. So the fact that this Coleman tent can pop-up in seconds is a great feature.

This tent is a cheaper option than the Quechua and that is reflected in the quality. There are reported issues with the zipper commonly getting stuck and poor ventilation so the tent can get quite warm at night. The rainfly also doesn’t provide total coverage.

These are all valid issues and if the festivals you’re planning to go to have unpredictable weather (like in the UK) this tent might not be the best choice.

This tent does come with a sturdy frame that is wind responsive meaning it is better able to withstand windy conditions. It also comes with two storage pockets which are great for keeping phones and other valuables safe.

The Coleman is a fantastic option for people looking for an instant tent at a reasonable price for festivals. The tent is also pretty lightweight which is great for carrying to festival campsites – just remember to carry it away as well!


Best Value

9. Ubon Pop Up Instant Dome Tent (2-3 Person Tent)

The Ubon 2-Person Pop-Up is a fantastic low-cost option that will be up in seconds

2 Person

  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Brand: Ubon
  • Design: Dome tent / pop up tent
  • Seasons: 4 season
  • Tent pole material: Steel tent poles
  • Gear pockets: 2 inner gear pockets
  • Doors: 2 doors
  • Tent stakes: 8 tent stakes included
  • Material: Polyester fabric walls / mesh doors
  • Dimensions: 82 in x 59 in x 41 in (33.60 ft² / 3.12 m²)
  • Hydrostatic head rating: 1000 mm
  • Weight: 3.45 lb
  • Set Up Time: 3 Seconds
  • Price: $

3 Person

  • Capacity: 3 people
  • Brand: Ubon
  • Design: Dome tent / pop up tent
  • Seasons: 4 season
  • Tent pole material: Steel tent poles
  • Gear pockets: 2 inner gear pockets
  • Doors: 2 doors
  • Tent stakes: 8 tent stakes included
  • Material: Polyester fabric walls / mesh doors
  • Dimensions: n/a
  • Hydrostatic head rating: 1000 mm
  • Weight: n/a
  • Set Up Time: 3 Seconds
  • Price: $

Pros

  • Incredible value

Cons

  • Small and limited tent

In terms of the price range, this tent is hard to beat.

The Ubon tent sleeps 2 and is available for a fraction of the price of the other tents on this list, so maybe expectations should be dropped. This tent won’t let you gaze at the stars from your bed or attach onto a bigger tent to form the first settlements of Tent City.

It does come with the basics you will need in a small tent. Two doors for easy access, inner pockets for storage, a roof hook for a light.

However, tents in this price range almost always come with issues. This tent is actually quite small and would be tight for a tall adult so make sure that you will be comfortable with the dimensions.

The size would make it ideal for using on family camping trips as a tent for tweens. Given how easy it is to set-up as well, you can leave everything to them. Giving your kids their own tent to set-up and sleep in helps develop their personal relationship with camping.

It is not very durable or waterproof so it should be used for good weather camping in summer when wind and rain are less of a concern.

This tent would be perfect for families with older kids who want their tent for some privacy. This would be a great addition to the CORE 9-Person tent to provide extra sleeping space for a lone camper.


Pros

  • A budget tent
  • High hydrostatic head rating

Cons

  • Not tall enough to stand up in
  • Would struggle to fit anywhere near 4 people due to its shape

If you’re looking for a compact and reliable instant tent, the Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent is a decent option to consider for your next adventure. Its hexagonal shape and sturdy fiberglass poles offer stability and weather resistance, allowing you to set up camp in a variety of terrains with ease. The tent’s waterproof 210D Oxford fabric ensures that you stay dry and comfortable in case of unexpected rain.

One of the tent’s most significant advantages is its easy setup, thanks to its hydraulic automatic system. With this feature, you’ll have your campsite ready in a matter of minutes, giving you more time to enjoy the great outdoors.

However, while the Toogh tent claims to accommodate 3-4 people, it might feel a bit cramped, especially when it comes to storing your gear. If you plan on camping with a group, we recommend using it for 2 people instead, to ensure everyone has enough space.

In summary, the Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent is a decent instant tent for those who value ease of setup and compactness. Just be prepared to compromise on space if you’re camping with a larger group.


Which instant tent is easiest to set up?

How quickly do these best instant tents setup? what about pop up tents?

Best: Quechua 2-Second Instant Pop Up Tent & CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

The first test for an instant tent is how quickly and easily it can be set up. This is the key function of an instant tent.

The Core 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent is very simple to set up and can be comfortably done within three minutes by two adults – potentially under 60 seconds according to CORE, although this might take some practice.

Quechua market their instant camping tent as a “2-second pop-up” and while it’ll take a little longer than that to get it fully set up, you can expect to have the instant camping tent up within a minute. Take it out of the bag, unhook some clasps, and let the tent pop into shape. Voila!

A person setting the Quechua up by allowing it to "pop" before staking it down.
Popping the Quechua pop up tent open doesn’t get much easier!

Camping doesn’t get much easier than that. This is great for inexperienced campers who want to pitch their instant tent with as little drama as possible.

Instant tents can also be a good option for families to consider, particularly single-parent families who are looking for an easier set-up.

Mumsnet review of pop up tents which describes how they are great for car camping
Advice from a user that instant tents, especially pop-up tents are brilliant for instant car camping

The pop-up tents from Ayamaya and Coleman are some of the easiest tents to put up. The Ayamaya instant camping tent however can be difficult to break down and might need two people to get it easily packed away.

The instant Ubon pop-up tent is also easy to set up but the value is in the ease of breaking the tent away and putting it back into the bag which can be down in under two minutes.

The concern we have is how vulnerable the materials of the tent are to the rough set up and break down of pop-up tents.

The instant Ozark Trail tent set up is easier than would be expected from a tent its size. However, it will still be more difficult than conventionally shaped instant cabin tents so be aware that it isn’t the easiest tent to work with. For other options, check out our list of best cabin style tents.

The airbeam tents are probably the most work to set up out of all these tents but they are still a good bit easier than a regular tent. The airbeam technology is fantastic for structural security and it only takes a couple of minutes to inflate the tent fully.

You can still pitch this instant camping tent by yourself as it is so easy to use.

Once the tent is inflated, there are a few additional steps like setting up the inner sleeping pod that will take longer. But the instant Vango tent balances speed and ease of set up with all the features you would expect from a large family tent with superb skill.

The instant Crua Core tent is also deceptively easy to set up but if you want to add connecting tents to the tent, it will take longer.

Overall you can’t beat the speed of the CORE instant tent when it comes to setting up a family tent. The smaller tents understandably are easier and quicker to set up and the instant Vango Airbeam Odyssey 500 tent is definitely the most difficult option but is still remarkably easy and quick for a tent of its size.

Can you set up instant tents alone?

Not all instant tents can be set up by one person but the vast majority can. Tents like the instant cabin tents with telescoping poles and the pop-up tents are easy to set up.

Unfortunately, one person is more likely to face issues with breaking down some instant tents available. Pop-ups in particular can be difficult for one person to fold into shape.

Just as with regular tents, there is a learning curve that comes with set up for instant tents. The more often a person sets up and breaks down their instant camping tent, the easier it will become. Thankfully, this process is a lot quicker with instant tents.

Best instant tents for easy carrying

These tents are better for car camping rather than campsites you need to hike to. Tents that pop up are great for setting up in a matter of seconds, but their carry bag is often a large, flat circle that makes carrying them while backpacking a challenge.

Best instant tents for you

Instant tents can be set up in seconds, meaning they can reduce the stress of setting up your campsite. This can make them a great option for casual camping trips with the family or a group of friends.

Best instant tents for family camping?

Best: Ozark Trail 3-Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

The best family instant tent is the instant Ozark Trail tent. It suits a large family that needs their own space. The three separate rooms give you ample space inside the instant camping tent and the covered awning is great for watching the kids play.

Best instant tents for festivals

Best: Coleman Instant Pop-Up Tent

The instant Coleman Pop Up tent is the best instant tent for festivals. The carry bag is a little awkward for carrying but the instant set up and low-cost of the tent outweighs the difficulty in hauling the tent to your campsite.

The 5 person Vango AIrbeam Odyssey 500 tent doesn't have tent poles. It just needs inflated and then the guylines pegged down to set up the tent.
The Vango Airbeam 5 person tent can be set up by just inflating it and pegging down the guylines

Top instant tent for being comfortable?

Best: Vango Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent

The CORE 9-Person cabin tent is not only an instant tent but a cabin tent as well. With its straight walls and high ceiling, the interior of the tent is roomy and spacious. The removable room divider can portion a section of the tent to give it more privacy.

However, we prefer the instant Vango tent when it comes to using space. The peak height in the Vango is 210cm, or about 6 10 inches which is actually higher than the CORE instant tent. With the tunnel shape and front canopy, you don’t lose much more space through this design than a cabin tent can offer.

The only area where the tent might feel enclosed is towards the end of the sleeping pods.

The sleeping pods themselves can be split into 2-person and 3-person rooms with the toggled inner divider.

Combined with the durability of this instant camping tent, the removable divider is a great feature for young families. Whilst the kids are young you can all share one pod with the divider down but as they get older, you can use the divider for more privacy.

The Crua Core instant tent uses space creatively with connectable tents available to buy and a large front porch area. However, this instant tent is only one room, and whilst it is large, it’s a shame that the tent doesn’t come with an option to section off a bedroom.

The Ozark Trail 16’ x 16’ instant tent is a behemoth of a tent. The tent’s design allows for a large covered outdoor space to be created with the canopy whilst still offering three large, comfortable rooms inside.

The issue with the Ozark Trail is that some campsites do not accept tents that big.

The Ubon tent is fairly small, perhaps too small to be used by a fully grown adult.

There is ample space inside the instant Quechua 2-Person Tent for two people, although it will be tight.

Features like the storage pockets help the tent feel bigger but without a vestibule, fitting two adults and their bags in this tent is going to be a real challenge.

That said, it would be a top instant camping tent for solo camping, being compact enough to not feel cavernous and spacious enough to store any equipment inside.

The instant Ayamaya tent offers plenty of space for a pop-up tent, which is rare. The instant Coleman tent however is a bit tight and if you are looking for a tent for more than one person, we would recommend the next size up which is a 4-person offering from Coleman.

The instant CORE 9-Person cabin tent is not only an instant tent but a cabin tent as well. With its vertical walls and high ceiling, the interior of the tent is roomy and spacious. The removable room divider can portion a section of the tent to give it more privacy.

However, we prefer the instant Vango tent when it comes to using space. The ceiling in the Vango peaks at 210cm, or about 6 foot 10 inches which gives even more head room than the instant CORE cabin tent . With the tunnel shape and front canopy, you don’t lose much more space through this design than a cabin tent can offer.

The only area where the instant camping tent might feel enclosed is towards the end of the sleeping pods.

The sleeping pods themselves can be split into 2-person and 3-person rooms with the toggled inner divider.

Quick summary: choosing a good instant tent for space

Our pick for the best instant tent when it comes to using space has to be the instant Vango Airbeam Odyssey tent. The sense of space you get standing in the living space (yes, standing in your tent!) is impressive. With comfortable sleeping pods as well, this tent is a real winner.

Best instant tents for camping storage

Winner: Ozark Trail 3-Room 12 Person Instant Cabin & Ayamaya 4-6 Person Instant Pop Up Tent

The Ayamaya Pop Up tent is the best of the bunch for gear storage space . It’s rare to find a pop up that comes with a vestibule – let alone one this size!

The vestibule in the instant Ayamaya tents makes them great for storing any camping gear or equipment you have, freeing up more space in the floor of the main body of the tent for sleeping. The gear loft is great for storing personal belongings as well.

Having room to sprawl out rather than feeling like you’re crammed like sardines is a real advantage in a pop up tent.

The instant camping tent with the best storage options was the Ozark Trail, however. With three rooms and a covered outdoor area, there are plenty of places to keep lots of gear safe and dry in this tent.

Top performing instant tents and pop up tents in bad weather?

The top of the list in terms of weatherproofing for us was the instant Vango Odyssey tent. It’s rare to find a 4-season instant tent, so these tents made by Vango are a good catch. Their Tension Band System gives added support to the tent’s frame in adverse conditions like strong changeable wind.

This is a top tent for areas where you can’t be as reliant on good weather, like the UK. Having a sturdy tent that can be set up quickly in bad weather and protect you from the elements is a much better experience than arguing over who has the right tent pole for the right sleeve in the wind and the rain.

The Crua Core Dome is an instant tent that is great for bad weather
The Crua Core is excellent at standing up to bad weather

Best instant camping tent for keeping dry in heavy rain

Winner: Vango Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent

The instant Quechua 2 Second Pop-Up was tested under a shower of 200mm/hr (the equivalent of tropical rain). It should provide plenty of protection in rainy conditions.

The instant Crua Core tent is also designed for holidays in less reliable weather in the British Isles.

All of the other instant camping tents will give a camper enough protection to go fair-weather camping, with the occasional light rain shower but they are not as well designed to cope with stormy weather as the instant Vango, Crua and Quechua tents.

We particularly liked the awning on the Odyssey. The pre-attached canopy is a tremendous help for when it’s raining, providing some shelter to take off dirty shoes before entering the instant camping tent. This helped tip the instant Vango Odyssey tent as the best instant tent for rain.

The Quechua instant pop up tent being set up by a happy camper
The Quechua Instant 2 Second Pop Up Tent comes with air vents to keep the tent well ventilated

Does a top instant tent get condensation inside the tent in cold or rain?

Winner: Quechua 2-Second Pop-Up Tent

If the weather starts to turn whilst you’re camping, you want a tent that will keep you protected from the elements on the outside without causing any problems on the inside. You need a tent with adequate ventilation to keep you dry.

Condensation can build quickly on rainy nights, especially in tents that are designed for camping with the rain fly off. The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin is one of the tents that struggles with condensation when using the rain fly. The mesh windows don’t offer the same superb ventilation.

The instant Quechua tent has great ground vents to circulate the air. These help keep the instant camping tent cool in the heat but also prevent condensation from forming when the weather outside gets chilly.

The windows and vents in the instant Quechua tent are well positioned to keep condensation from forming.

Best Camping instant tents for wind protection

Winner: Vango Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent

Coleman say as part of their quality assurance that they test every tent in simulated storms with heavy winds of up to 35mph. Quechua do a similar test up to 30mph.

Again, we were really impressed with the instant Crua and Vango tents as well. The instant Odyssey comes with Vango’s Tension Band System technology to improve the strength of the tent in wind and this landed it the award of best instant tent in the wind.

The cabin-style design of the instant CORE tent and the size of the Ozark Trail tent means that they are vulnerable to high winds. It’s probably not a great idea to try and pitch these tents when it’s blowing a gale.

The Crua Core tent with the vents on the main room and the side room uncovered to get a summer breeze and can be extended into a 2 room tent
The Crua Core tent can be stripped down or covered up as needed for summer and rainy weather conditions

Best instant tent for the Summer Heat

Winner: CORE 9P Instant Cabin Tent

One of the best features found on any of these instant camping tents has to be the wonderful mesh ceiling on the CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent. This easily marks the CORE 9 person instant cabin tent as the best instant tent for summer. Not only does it allow hot air to escape and cool the tent on warm summer’s nights, but with the rain fly off it provides a breathtaking vista of the night sky.

You and your family can lie back in your sleeping bags and look up at the stars above, without having to leave your tent.

The Quechua 2-Second Pop-Up comes with its blackout technology to ensure the tent blocks out 99% of the daylight so you don’t have to worry about being woken by the sunlight early in the morning. It also provides protection from the sun with an SPF50+ rating.

Who doesn’t like the sound of a tent that means you can have a lie-in when camping?

The Vango Odyessy is the least suitable tent for hot weather camping. It’s designed for the British summertime (so, the wind and rain…) rather than protecting campers from the baking sun.

Features like the Diamond Clear Windows might be great for maximizing the amount of light that comes into the tent, but mesh windows are better for offering maximum ventilation.

Best instant tents for the Winter Cold Camping

Winner: Vango Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend taking any of these instant camping tents out into extreme cold weather, the Vango tent comes out as the top cold weather tent with the best protective shelter from winter.

The tent’s bright interior with Diamond Clear Windows is good for sitting inside, sheltered from the wind and rain.

The Crua Core tent with a 2 room tent setup by attaching an extra tent to the main room
The Crua Core tent can be extended by attaching further rooms

Most durable and best long lasting instant tent (best tent Fabric, best tent Materials, best tent build design)

Winner: Vango Odyssey Air 500 Villa Tent

Instant tents are often not thought of as being a durable option. Because these tents prioritize speed of set up, they can sometimes compromise longevity in design.

For example, if a regular tent pole breaks you can often find a replacement part with relative ease. But if a pole that is attached to the fabric of the instant tent breaks, replacing it can be much harder and might even mean sending the whole tent away for repair.

I own that pop up Quechua tent on your list, the number 2. I’ve used it for a couple of times for camping and it’s proven to be great. Admittedly, it’s unpractical to carry around so I wouldn’t take it hiking, but it’s extremely easy to put up. The material is of good quality and we never had any problems. I’d definitely recommend it for easy camping.

Tent review

The Coleman and the Ayamaya 4- to 6-Person Pop-Up Tent are both less well designed for durability. Neither of the tents will provide the same protection from the wind and rain as the Quechua dome tents. With poorer ventilation, the tents can also get warm at night.

The CORE 9 Person Instant Tent, much like other cabin style tents, is not designed to stand up to the elements so offers less protection than the Vango tents can. But the quality of the tent should mean that it lasts a few years and gets plenty of use as a family tent. Just don’t expect to take the tent out in a storm!

The Ubon 2-Person Pop-Up dome tent is a cheap and cheerful tent that can provide an additional sleeping space, but it is not very durable. If you’re going on a camping trip in bad weather, it might be a good idea to avoid this instant camping tent.

There are concerns about the Ozark Trail tent’s durability as the company uses a variety of manufacturers for their products. This keeps the tent’s costs low but can mean that quality varies across their range.

The Vango Odyssey is a top instant camping tent that will go up in minutes and last through the years, keeping you warm and dry. There are good alternatives but be aware that as the price drops with instant tents, the more likely it is you will face issues with poor manufacturing, fabric and materials.

Instant Tents And Pop Up Tents FAQ

What is an instant tent?

Instant tents can be set up in a matter of minutes (or even seconds) compared to a regular one which can take twice as long. Instant tents with telescopic poles need to be folded out and then raised but there are other styles of quick set up tents as well – including pop up tents and air tents. 

What is an air tent?

Instant air tents use inflatable poles attached to the fabric of the tent rather than conventional tent poles. These instant camping tents are some of the fastest tents to setup but are the most effort out of the instant tent options as they have to be inflated by hand. 

What is a pop up tent?

Instant Pop-up tents usually come packed into a disc-shaped bag and when they are removed from the bag, they will unfold and “pop” into shape. Once the instant camping tent pops into shape, you just need to stake it down to keep its shape and make sure the pop up tents don’t fly off.

What are cabin Instant tents?

The vertical walls of an cabin tent give it a boxy, cabin-like design. This cabin shape gives instant tents far more headroom when walking around inside. They typically are fantastic summer and family tents as you can always head indoors if there is a light rain and have plenty of room to spare. However, their cabin shape is less wind resistant and water resistant and cabin tents are not often used when there is bad weather or during winter.

Can you fit a queen size airbed inside these instant camping tents?

You will be able to fit a queen airbed inside most instant tents, although it will be a squeeze in the Quechua tents, Coleman tents, and Ubon pop-up instant tents.

The Ozark Trail instant tents offer the most space for queen size beds, being able to put one in each of the rooms. You can comfortably fit three air mattresses in these instant tents with room to spare.

Conclusion – the best instant tent & pop up tent

Instant tents are alternatives to regular tents if you want to invest in something a quicker.

Our verdict on the best overall instant tent for families would be the Vango Airbeam Odyssey instant tents. Although other top instant tents on this list may be set up faster and easier, the Vango tents can still be pitched quickly. In terms of durability and use of space, these instant tents are a great option for a family tent that will not only go up without a hitch but will last for years to come.

We also liked the CORE 9 person instant cabin for an instant cabin option and the Quechua 2 person instant tents as a rugged pop-up tent for single campers. The Ubon pop-up tents also offer great value if you are looking for a cheap, easy solution for camping in good weather conditions.

Next up: There’s definite trade-offs between ease of use and tent quality. Find out … are instant tents worth it for camping?

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Best for Big Families

The Core 9 Person Cabin Instant Tent is second in the best instant tents. This tent is best for families looking for instant camping.

Best instant tent classic

Coleman Cabin Instant Tent is a great branded instant tent with one of the best setups and space.

Best For Tall People

CORE Cabin 12 Person Instant Tent is the best camping instant tent for a huge family.

Bushnell Shield Series Instant Cabin Tent is the best tent with an AC port and instant tent setup.

Ayamaya Instant Pop Up Tent is the best pop up tent with instant pop-up setup.

Ozark Trail Cabin 12 Person Instant Tent comes with the best space using 3 rooms and instant tent setup.

Best For Festivals

Coleman Pop-Up Instant Tent is a pop up tent with faster setup than an instant tent, but less comfort.

Best Value

Ubon Dome Pop Up Instant Tent is a pop up tent that is even cheaper than an instant tent but not the best overall.

CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Coleman 4/6/10 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Core Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent

Bushnell Shield Series 6/9/12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Ayamaya Pop Up 4-6 Person Tent

Ozark Trail 3 Room Instant Cabin 12 Person Tent

Coleman Pop-Up 2 Person Tent

Ubon 2-3 Person Pop up Tent

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Rating /5

4.7

4.5

4.4

4.1

3.9

3.9

3.9

3.4

Comfort & space5.04.55.04.53.5
Ease of setup4.54.54.04.55.0
Weatherproofing4.03.54.04.53.5
Durability3.04.03.04.02.5
Value for money4.54.55.03.05.0
Review

The CORE 9-Person Instant Cabin is so easy to set up, it’s a great option for group camping

A family camping classic from the well-known Coleman Brand.

With the spacious interior and the canopy, this pop-up tent is big enough for small family camping trips.

Another instant cabin tent, this tent from Ozark Trail is perfect for large group camping trips with friends or family.

These pop up tents are a low-cost option that’s great for festivals.

The Ubon 2-Person Pop-Up is a fantastic low-cost option that will be up in seconds.

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.