You totally want a tent that takes forever to assemble, don’t you? Come on; it’s part of the fun!
This is the rhetoric of experienced campers, and insane people. You want a tent that’s as easy to assemble as possible—an instant pop-up tent if you will. There are many instant tents on the market, so let’s examine their features to choose the best pop-up tent for you.
Consider the following in your search for the best pop-up tent:
Reviews of the Best Pop-Up Tents
Capacity: 2 | Weight: 6.83lbs | Dimensions: 4’7” (W) x 7’6” (L) x 3’ (H) | Bag Dimensions: 25” x 24” x 3.5” | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 2000mm | Price: $
- Advertised for two people but could fit three.
- Can take on rain well.
- Great ventilation.
- Difficult to pack.
- Some components are too low-quality for this tent’s price.
This Quechua 2 person tent is one of the best pop-ups on the market. It’s a stunning white tent, impossible to miss on your campsite, but the inside is a contrasting black. This is darkroom tech that keeps the light out so you can sleep soundly.
It’s a pop-up tent made to sleep two but three could fit in the tent at a squeeze. You’ll be close and intimate, but if you’re a family or perhaps drunk festival attendees, this won’t be much of an issue.
For festival attendees, the dark tent interior will be extra useful so you can sleep away your hangover before another day of fun.
Despite the dark, stuffy nature inside the tent, there are two tent panels you can open and secure with guy lines. These work to air out the tent, and because of their angle, they shouldn’t let rain in. They’ll let a chill into the tent, though, so try to stick to sunny season camping.
The rest of the pop-up tent can withstand rain well, but it’s especially impressive in winds. It can withstand 50 kilometers an hour, or Force 6 winds. The manufacturers tested this in wind tunnels and on turntables.
You’ll only find the tent’s downfall when you pack it up again in the carry bag. Not only can it be difficult to get it down, but it’s a little flimsy once you do.
The packing experience involves wrapping the pop-up tent up with a yellow rope. Some users found the clips used during this process broke easily. This left them dissatisfied, expecting a better quality tent for the price.
Capacity: 2 | Weight: 6.41lbs | Dimensions: 7’6” (W) x 4’6 (L) x 2’11” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 27.25” | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$
- Keeps you dry despite the low price.
- A nightmare to disassemble.
- May break when folding it down.
Are you a festival goer? Worried that rambunctious partying attendees will ruin your tent? This Coleman pop-up tent may be a suitable pick for you.
The 2-person pop-up tent is almost so affordable that you can easily fit it into your festival expenses. At the same time, the tent is so inexpensive that if someone ruins it, it’s not a disaster.
Despite the affordability, it’s still an excellent tent. For one, the rainfly is water and fire resistant—the latter is particularly useful during festivals. You never know what those pesky attendees will get up to.
If you find the rainfly is creating too stuffy an atmosphere, you can change its position to let some ventilation into the tent. Users found that it gets incredibly hot inside the tent, despite the windows. The rainfly obscures the windows, anyway.
That said, you don’t want to spend too much time in this Coleman pop-up tent. It has a painfully low ceiling height, so you’ll always be on your knees. Even then, your head may brush the ceiling.
It’s mostly a pop-up tent made to crawl into and fall asleep after a hard night of fun.
When morning comes, you’ll want to wait a while before folding it back up if you’re hungover. It’s a nightmare to disassemble even with a clear head. Plus, users find that it may break if you make a mistake when folding it down.
Once finally back to its flat, transportable shape in the carrying case, you may still find the Coleman pop-up awkward to carry. If you’re around the 5’2 mark or under, it takes up half your body size. Give this one to the taller attendees or friends to transport on your camping trip.
Capacity: 2–3 | Weight: 3.45lbs | Dimensions: 4’11” (W) x 6’7” (L) x 3’7” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 27.8” | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $
- Large for a pop-up.
- Storage pockets.
- Ideal as a beach tent.
- Weak zippers.
- The tent fabric isn’t great.
If you’re on an extreme budget, here’s a pop-up tent you may like. It has all the features of a far pricer tent.
First of all, it’s decently large for a pop-up tent and still lightweight. The tent doesn’t have the best ceiling height, but width-wise, it has enough space to sleep two parents and a child quite comfortably.
The manufacturer states the 2–3 person pop-up tent fits a “full” bed, but by measurement’s standards, the tent is an inch too narrow for a queen. However, if a solo camper wanted to bring a twin air mattress it would be a luxurious experience.
There’s a hook on the ceiling to hang a lantern by night, and by day you can throw the double doors open and enjoy natural lighting and fantastic views. You can tie the door curtains up to ensure the view remains unobscured.
As you relax in the tent, you can store your personal items in the two inner pockets for easy access whenever you need them.
If you’d rather keep the doors closed so you can relax in peace, that’s fine too—you’ll have plenty of ventilation. The doors are insect-proof mesh and the tent fabric is thin so it’s breathable, making it an ideal beach tent or for camping in the summer. However, if you take it away from the beach, you’ll need to purchase some tent stakes if you want it to stay up for a while.
That said, the manufacturers state the tent works for four seasons. Unfortunately, the pop-up tent fabric is a little too thin to seal heat in for winter camping.
The zippers aren’t great, though, so if you want the tent to last as long as your trip does, be gentle with them. The tent fabric can be flimsy too.
Capacity: 2 | Weight: 5.5lbs | Dimensions: 4’6” (W) x 7’6” (L) x 3’2” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 30.91” | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 3000mm | Price: $
- Fully waterproof fabric.
- Lantern hook.
- Great size.
- Thin, weak groundsheet.
- Difficult to fold down.
This is a fairly light tent, so it’s not one to take in cold or windy conditions. It’s ideal for camping in fair weather conditions and would make a perfect pop-up tent for kids to use alone, giving them some independence.
It’d also be a fantastic backyard camping tent, keeping them close to home and near warmth should it get too chilly outside.
Although, it’s still safe to use the 2 person tent if it rains. Despite the thin, breathable fabric there’s significant waterproofing in it. You may want to use some seam seal to improve the protection but in light rain, it’s great on its own.
There’s proper ventilation on the sides, so the children can still breathe during rain showers, and the fabric is thin enough to let light in. There’s also internal pockets and a space to hang a lantern at night for kids who fear the dark.
Despite the ventilation, some users had issues with condensation so make sure the kids have a towel to wipe down the walls. Don’t be too rough with it, as it’s not the strongest fabric in the world. The groundsheet is particularly flimsy, so go shoe-free in the pop-up tent and keep the pets out.
Once the trip ends, as one user put it, you’ll need “an expert at origami” to close the instant tent down again, so unfortunately, that element of the tent is far from kid-friendly.
Capacity: 4–6 | Weight: 10.25lbs | Dimensions: 12’ (W) x 8’6” (L) x 4’4” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 34.6” diameter | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 3000mm–4000mm | Price: $
- No condensation buildup.
- Hook for a lantern.
- Home-like window shape.
- It can be stuffy.
- You can only close and open the windows on the outside of the pop-up tent.
If you’d rather have a pop-up tent best for use as a family, then this instant tent is more suitable. It has a larger capacity than the tents so far as it’ll fit four people—two adults and two kids—nicely.
There’s also room for gear, or perhaps a dog in the 4 person instant pop-up tent once you have it sprung effortlessly into shape. The front vestibule design is great for storing anything you don’t want in your sleeping space, and is also a nice area to sit in and watch the sunrise on some folding chairs.
Back in the sleeping area, you can store more personal items close to you, as the pop-up camping tent contains some storage pockets. These are perfect for torches, bedtime-story books and tech devices.
Although, you won’t need the torches unless you plan to venture outside at night. There’s a hook to hang a lantern and ward off any fears of the dark. The 4 person pop-up camping tent is made from thick fabric and doesn’t let much light in at night, so the lantern is a great tool for playing shadow puppets with the kids.
Is that game too dull or childish? Then you can use the E-port to power their devices instead and let them make their own fun.
They’ll need that fun if it rains during the day, anyway, as you can’t have much active fun in the pop-up tent. It has a low peak height, so you’re stuck on the ground for the duration of your trip’s tent-time.
On the plus side, there’s no condensation buildup when it rains so at least you won’t be wet as you hang out in the 4 person pop-up tent.
You’ll need to open the ground vents to ensure the walls stay condensation-free. Anyway, it can get mightily stuff without them.
If it’s still too hot in there, you’re out of luck. You’ll have to get wet if you want to open the mesh windows—they only open and close from the outside. You can’t open the door either, as the little awning over it only stops water running down the front of the pop-up tent. It won’t deflect water angled towards the door.
Capacity: 1 | Weight: 3.1lbs | Dimensions: 4’ (W) x 7’ (L) x 3’33” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 26.7” | Doors: 2 | Power Cord Vent: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 2000mm | Price: $
- Highly durable in wind.
- Withstands tropical wind.
- Blackout fabric for sleeping in.
- A little too small for taller people.
- Window vents can only be opened on the outside.
Do you prefer to go solo? This tent will keep you safe and dry, despite the low cost.
This instant tent is highly suitable for backpackers who want to sleep in after a long day of hiking. The interior is dark, blocking out the sun so you can sleep the morning away and get back to backpacking in the early afternoon.
Rebeam tested the tent’s abilities in a wind tunnel and confirmed it can withstand Force 6 or 50 kilometers per hour winds, and it can handle heavy rain—it’s excellent to whip out in a storm you’d rather not hike through.
It’s a little bulky to carry, like many pop-up tents. This is something you’d want to suspend from your pack, or attach to the front of it so it doesn’t swing against your legs.
Speaking of legs, you’ll have to curl them up when you sleep, unfortunately. It’s not a long tent—though it’s 7 feet long, an average height adult found their feet touching the end of the instant tent when sleeping.
The only other downside that users mentioned is having to close and open the window vents from the outside—which can be a little annoying when it’s raining or dark.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Pop-up Tents Work?
Pop-up tents literally pop up, like one of those prank peanut cans where the snake springs out as soon as you remove the lid.
Unzip the bag, pull out the tent and with a light shake, it springs into shape. All that’s left to do is stake it and deal with the rainfly, if applicable. This makes pop up tents the easiest tents to set up.
Due to their sudden pop-up assembly, which often happens right in your hand, these tents are usually small. If you want a large, quick-setup tent, you may want to look into an instant cabin tent instead.
Are Pop-up Tents Reliable?
Some people find that pop-up tents leak easier, and aren’t great for breathability. You also can’t replace the poles if they break and you need to buy a whole new tent when one breaks.
That doesn’t mean their poles break more easily, though—they’re typically steel, aluminum or fiberglass, like a regular tent’s poles.
While they’re cheaper and may not be as high-quality as regular tents overall, pop-up tents are reliable, especially if you treat them right. If leaks are an issue, consider waterproofing spray and seam seal.
There’s not much you can do about a condensation problem other than pack a towel on your trip.
Lastly, if a pole breaks and you find you’ve been enjoying your tent, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a more standard tent anyway.
Is There Other Instant Set up Tents?
There are other instant set up tents, but they’re not as instant as you’d think. You have to do some minor assembly work.
Instant tents are more or less all the same assembly-wise. They have pre-assembled poles that you slide into position and lock. All that’s left to do after that is stake the tent.
Sometimes you’ll also have to arrange and stake the rain fly; other times it comes as an integrated part of the overall tent.
Arranging the rain fly is often the most difficult part of the tent, but only if the tent is tall. If it’s a lower tent then it’s a simple, one-person job, like assembling the rest of the pop-up tent.
Is It Easy to Pack Away Pop-up Tents?
Pop-up tents are easy to set up and not so easy to pack down. Many campers struggle to get pop-up tents back down into their condensed shape.
It can get easier with time, but sometimes it takes a lot of strength to get going so this isn’t a job for older or smaller people.
As pop-ups assemble so easily, consider putting the tent up and folding it down on repeat for a while so you get used to the potentially difficult pack-away process. The best pop-up tents won’t be as difficult.
Are Pop-up Tents Good for Family Camping?
Pop-up tents aren’t the best for long camping trips, but they can be wonderful for backyard family camping, or a weekend car camping trip.
They’re one of the best options for first-timers and can be a wonderful backup if you find you enjoy camping and want to buy something better.
If you have young kids, though, you may want to stick with the pop-up for a while. They’re not too expensive, so if an excited child kicks or runs into the side of the tent and damages it, it’s not disastrous.
Can You Use a Pop-up Tent for Backpacking?
Pop-up tents are great for backpacking in the sense that they’re lightweight and easy to set up. One shake, a few stakes, and you can dive in and relax after a long, tiring day.
Where you may find issues is with their bulk. They typically fold down into thin but large circular shapes. This is fine if you can attach it to the bottom or front of your pack, but keep in mind it can be awkward when squeezing between trees or navigating through thorny brush.
How We Decided
Pop-up tents can’t afford to be fancy, but there’s still some criteria we evaluated to pick our top six best pop-up tents.
How Many People Fit?
Winner: Ayamaya 4-6 Person Pop-Up Tent
The Ayamaya has to win in terms of how many people you can fit into the pop-up. Many pop-up tents you’ll see are made for one or two people, three if you’re lucky. You can’t reasonably expect a large tent to pop up as easily as something smaller.
However, the Ayamaya proves it’s doable and results in an excellent tent for a family of four people.
How Long Will the Pop-Up Tent Last?
Winner: Quechua 2 Second 2-Person Tent
We’ll admit that the Quechua comes with some flimsy clips, but besides that it’s a tough pop-up tent. Tested and proven to withstand insane, Force 6 winds, you can guarantee this is a tent that’ll last.
It may not last as long as a traditional tent, but you can expect to get three or four years of casual recreational use out of this at least. Just don’t put it through too much hardship!
Can It Handle Weather?
Winner: Quechua 2 Second 2-Person Tent
As mentioned above, the Quechua is second to none when it comes to weather—despite the irony in its name.
Sometimes there are freak storms even in summer, so you can’t help getting caught in it. You want to be reasonably sure your tent can handle that. There are no doubts that the water-resistant Quechua is up to the job.
What Is the Value for Money?
Winner: Regatta Malawi 2-Person Tent
The Regatta is inexpensive and thin, but it can handle rain well—even better than our budget pick. That’s why it’s the most value for money.
You can’t expect grandeur on a tight budget, but you should at least have the privilege of staying dry. Regatta is up to the job.
Can I Expect Any Extras?
You won’t find many additional features with a pop-up tent, but the Ubon does a decent job at providing additional value. The lantern hook and storage pockets make your trip easier, letting you bask in light while keeping your personal items close to you.
Does It Fold Down Easily?
Winner: Ubon Pop-Up 2-3 Person Tent
“Easily” is subjective, but at least there are fewer complaints about folding down the Ubon than the other tents.
It’s never going to be easy to wrangle a tent into a perfect circle for storage. At the end of the day, so long as it’s not nightmarish or requiring an “origami master,” you can say that the pop-up folds down “easily.”
The Best Pop-Up Tent
The best pop-up tent is the Quechua 2 Second 2-Person Tent. It’s a little pricer than any other of the pop-up tent on this list, sure, but it’s worth it.
Withstanding high winds and snugly sleeping two, you can’t expect much better from a pop-up tent. You’ll be dry, safe and satisfied in the Quechua, hence its status as the best pop-up tent of the group.