Are you sick of being eaten alive by bugs as you try to eat your dinner? Do you want to sit outside in the evening without being swarmed by creepy-crawlies?
Then you’re in the right place! Welcome to our best screen tent for camping review!
Growing up in Scotland we know how annoying midges (or no-see-ums) can be. They can ruin a camping trip if you’re not prepared for them.
So stick with us as we go over what makes these tents so great.
Best for Cooking
For a place to cook bug-free, the YDYL screen house is a safe, applicable option.
Best for One Person Set Up
If you need a screen house that springs into action instantly, the Alvantor works well.
Best Budget Option
If you already have a frame and just need the bug mesh walls, this budget option may be right for you.
Best for One Person
If you’re deathly afraid of bugs, consider this one person pop up to sleep in atop your cot.
For a tent with an included screen room, consider the Coleman WeatherMaster.
If you don’t have time to go through exactly how we decided on our favorite screen house tent, that’s fine. Here’s our quick recommendation.
If you need a screen house tent that will be safe for cooking and keep you sheltered from the bugs, the YDYL Screen House is a fantastic option.
It has an easy assembly, is large enough to fit over pre-installed picnic tables or grills and has a high ceiling which means you can relax a little when cooking.
Which tent offers the best value for money?
The YDYL Screen House is also cost-effective so we think it’s great value for money. The Quest Instant Canopy Tent is a great option for campers on a budget who already have a compatible frame.
Overview of the best screen tents for camping
Capacity: 6–8 | Weight: 14lbs | Dimensions: 13’ (W) x 9’ (L) x 6’9” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 32” x 12” | Doors: 1 | Price: $
- Large enough to place over a pre-installed grill or picnic table.
- Wide door for moving furniture in and out.
- Easy assembly.
- High ceiling makes it fantastic to cook in.
- Doesn’t withstand wind.
- The stakes are short.
Let’s say you and your family have the perfect tent, you’re in a prime location and the view is second to none. It’s dinner time and… there are flies on your burgers and wasps chasing down your honey-mustard dressing.
The YDYL screen house is an excellent solution for your camping weekend trips.
The canopy tent fits six to eight people, plus there’s ample interior space to place a fold-out table and a few chairs. Put a portable gas grill on the table, and you’re ready to cook.
The ample peak height ensures there’s no way a spark could set the place alight, and there’s plenty of room for smoke to rise and escape through the polyester ceiling. If you’re looking to cook in an instant screen house, those are the features you’re looking for!
Some quick tips to keep in mind for safety when cooking in screen houses:
- High ceilings, wide ground space.
- Avoid open flames as much as possible.
- Place a flame retardant mat under the grill or stove.
You also have the option of assembling it around a camping stove. They’re tailor-made for camping trips and should pose minimal safety threats, but still keep precautions—including around a cooking device’s smoke output.
The large door that opens to the width of the screen house will also help you get the smoke out if needed. However, it also closes up and keeps you safe from bugs and other pests.
It has no floor, so if you’re not using a portable grill, you could easily assemble this around a pre-installed grill on the campsite. It’s even large enough to assemble around a built-in picnic table, and its shape allows for it, too.
Found this screen house to be sturdy and durable during our 30 day camping road trip. It was big enough for every picnic tables we encountered. Highly recommended!Reviewer
Being rectangular and assembled from corner poles, there’s nothing to get in your way when placing it around or over an object. Just ensure there’s soft ground nearby to stake it, and you’ll be fine.
However, the stakes are a little short, so consider replacing them. Customers found they popped out of the ground easily, and they won’t withstand wind at all. Some found that even a light breeze can have the tent folding in, so consider staying in calm areas and camping in breeze-free weather.
Capacity: 6 | Weight: 15lbs | Dimensions: 10’ (W) x 10’ (L) x 7’ (H) | Bag Dimensions: 39.3” x 2.4” | Doors: 2 | Price: $
- Easy one-person assembly.
- Can be placed on top of pools or hot tubs.
- Plenty of room to stretch your legs.
- Light enough to lift and place on top of furniture.
- Difficult to take down.
For an instant screen house that’s highly versatile and easy to set up, the Alvanator works well. It’s a simple pop-up style screen tent that requires no stakes, yet it shouldn’t blow over in the wind. Its rounded shape helps it stay stable.
There are also guylines and stakes to use if you end up in heavily windy conditions, but they’re not integral to its instant setup.
You can use this screen tent in a range of situations. Place it over the picnic area on a campsite, set it over a bench or furniture you bring, you could even place it over a kiddie pool or hot tub should the campsite have these features. The pop-up portable 6 sided hub gazebo screen tent is large and round, and the bottom sits on top of things well.
The two large doors ensure you always have an easy passage in and out of the tent, no matter where you place it.
Its large four to six adult capacity makes it an excellent family tent. Two kids and two adults have some legroom to stretch out and relax, communicate well and have some fun. You can easily fit a table in it so you can set up card or board games, undisturbed by bugs, harsh sunlight and wind.
The fun doesn’t stop at camping. The Alvantor screen house room is a wonderful pop-up to place over your backyard furniture if you want some UV protection, rain protection or to keep bugs away—screen houses are ideal tools if you don’t have a porch.
Love the ease of set-up and the size of this screen tent. Getting it back in the bag is another story. I was afraid to push and twist too hard fearing it might break. It’s a bit complicated to fold back up and I’m thinking next time I’m going to leave it in a larger loop and not put it back in the bag. All in all though, well made and easy set-up.Review
The only downside is taking it down. It only takes a little force to get it up—a 75-year-old female customer states she had no problems with that part of it.
However, smaller people found it difficult to fold down again. It offers some resistance, with some customers needing their entire body weight to get it to shut down.
Utilize your partner if camping as a family—and if you’re the only adult, you may want to hunt down other campers and ask for their assistance.
Capacity: 6 | Weight: 3.94lbs | Dimensions: 10’ (W) x 10’ (L) | Bag Dimensions: 17.01” x 11.89” x 4.61” | Doors: 2 | Price: $
- Available at an affordable price
- Light and easy to transport.
- Fits any standard 10 by 10 foot slanted canopy.
- No way to stake it down, so it may blow over in the wind.
- Poles sold separately.
If you’re looking for a budget screen tent you can assemble quickly, the Quest is an excellent tool. It’s nothing fancy—perfect for people who don’t care about extravagance, but very much care if there are bugs in their face or food.
The Quest canopy tent comes with a wide door you can utilize for putting furniture through or having your kids run in and out with ease. You can use the screen tent with the curtains swept back or pulled right, so you have some or total protection.
However, there’s one downside to this budget buy. It doesn’t come with poles so you’ll need to purchase the frame separately. If you already own a 10 by 10 slanted leg canopy, it’ll fit that with no issues.
This is also the screen tent to choose if you want to move it around easily. Say, the sun shifts, or you’d like to take your relaxation over to the picnic area.
Camping aside, this would also be a great screen tent to take to a festival. Its inexpensive nature means it’s not such a tragedy if your fellow festival-goers tear it down in their drunken antics. Plus if the frame lives and the net dies, you can replace the latter without the former.
Nice set up, just don’t let water build up on it. It will not hold up very well.Tent review
It’s an all-around versatile screen tent you can use on many occasions, just don’t expect the world from a screen tent of this reasonable price—you won’t find fancy features like 2x double-thick fabric, or a waterproof roof.
You also can’t stake it down so it’ll fall over in windy conditions, and the mesh isn’t the strongest around.
Capacity: 1 | Weight: 2.5lbs | Dimensions: 3.25’ (W) x 6’ (L) x 2’9” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 26” diameter | Doors: 1 | Price: $
- Flat when folded, so it fits in a tent with ease.
- Great for kids.
- Fits on top of a cot.
- Affordable even on the tightest of budgets.
- Provides extra protection from bugs with the attached floor
- The zippers sometimes stick.
- Difficult to fold down.
- Short peak height makes it uncomfortable for tall campers
- Not much floor space for sleeping
Is the screen tent more for your kids, not for you? This one will suffice. It’s small and simple but efficient and would make a wonderful den for a pair of toddlers to play in without getting dirty. It’s also great for kids who want to hunker down and do some coloring or drawing during your camping experience.
This screen room is the first of our picks with a floor, making it an excellent tool to stop the little ones playing in the mud and dust. It would also suit a backpacker who’s taking a break for a few minutes and wants a camping shelter from nature.
You can throw it up on a whim with the easy setup. Once up, the floor zips to the netting to prevent crawling critters as well as flying ones.
You could also use this as additional protection inside your main tent for someone with a harsh fear of bugs and spiders.
Let’s say you’re a budget camper and you really can’t afford to upgrade your old, worn tent. Alas, your old tent is always leaking and letting in the terrifying flying machines.
Pop up the screen tent, slide your sleeping bag inside and you’re safe. It’s more cost-effective than a whole new tent. It even fits on top of camping cots.
It won’t even take up much room when you’re done using it. It won’t fit in your luggage, but it folds down flat and is extremely light for easy transportation.
That said, it’s an annoyance to get the folding right. The manufacturer repeatedly states you’ll need to watch the fold-down demo videos multiple times to get it right.
A bit tricky to fold up. But after looking at the supplied instructions carefully, I was able to fold it. I haven’t attempted the folding option to make it smaller. But for my son on his Scout trips, the larger size is not an issue since this will be trailered along with all the other gear a typical Troop takes! Some of the other boys were envious of the copious amount of room he had inside. It did overhang a standard cot a little on the sides, but it didn’t seem to bother him at all.Product review
The doors with zippers can also be a pain at times, so watch out.
Capacity: 6 | Weight: 32lbs | Dimensions: 11’ (W) x 9’ (L) x 6’8” (H) | Bag Dimensions: 41 x 10 x 10 inches | Doors: 1 | Power Cord Vent: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $
- Separate sleeping areas.
- Hinge-style door.
- It can get chilly.
Perhaps getting a family tent and a screen tent to use together doesn’t sound fun for you. What about a camping tent with a screen room instead? You fill two needs with one product that’s great for small families with two young children, and perhaps a dog.
Avail of the two sleeping areas inside by night, and when day comes, move into the screen room for some fresh air and stunning views.
One standout element, other than this being a canopy tent with a screen room, of course, is its fantastic door. If you decide you want to brave the wild outdoors, after all, it’s easy. The door is on hinges so kids can run in and out with ease. Plus, it’s great for carrying toddlers through.
Neither the screen room nor the sleeping area is great for cooking, though, if that’s what you’re looking for. The screen room has a relatively low ceiling so it’d be risky to whip out a grill in case it spits and sparks.
But if you have a small hot plate? That’d work. There’s a power cord vent in the tent that’ll let you power it so you can cook up or heat some small dishes that way, and get some hot food into you to contrast the chill in the tent.
See, that’s the downfall of the Coleman screened canopy tent. It’s wonderful on warmer summer nights but if you camp in spring or fall, you’ll feel quite a chill.
I’ll second the weather master, been using it for car camping through the last 3 seasons and it’s been awesome. One modification I made for the screen room is that before I put the fly on I’ll take 2 medium size tarps and bind them to each other with 2 long (5-6 ft) bungees and have them drape along the outside of the screen room. Then I stake the back corners of the tarps into the ground adjacent to the second set of poles back.Review
Who are these tents for?
Which is the best screen tent for camping with families?
Winner: Coleman WeatherMaster
If you want a screen house tent for camping, there’s one option that stands out above the rest. The Coleman WeatherMaster is a great tent that comes with a massive screen porch.
This screen room gives you all the benefits of a screen house tent. But it’s an extension of a normal tent. This is great for family camping as it means you can bring one tent which will provide privacy and shelter.
Which tent is best for a picnic?
Winner: YDYL Screen House Tent
This was a close call. The Alvantor Screen House is also an excellent choice for picnics. They are both large enough to be set up around pre-installed picnic benches.
We decided to go for the YDYL because it is about 1lb lighter than the Alvantor. The Alvantor does have a higher roof design which is great for making the tent feel spacious when you’re sat underneath its roof.
But the YDYL is tall enough for most campers and the slightly lighter weight makes it easier to carry to your picnic site. The peak height of the YDYL is 6′ 9″ whilst the center height of the Alvantor is 7′.
Both are great options for a usable space for family picnics.
Which tent is best for cooking?
Winner: YDYL Screen House Tent
You can cook in any large pop-up screen tent, but the YDYL is wonderfully tall and wide, with plenty of space to fit the family around a table. It’s also large enough to fit around any pre-installed grills at your campsite.
This makes it the best contender for cooking among the other best screen houses.
There’s even additional space for a picnic table in the tent as well. You can go from grill to table without having to risk running the gauntlet of insects waiting to pounce when you leave your screen tent.
Which tent is the best storage space?
Winner: Alvantor Screen House
If you need extra space for storing extra gear or equipment, this screen house from Alvantor is the one to go for. It’s large enough that you can easily fit all of your gear inside and still have room to stand freely inside.
The quick pitch setup is also perfect for when you don’t want to waste time setting up a second tent.
Which tent will protect you the most – from bugs and bad weather?
The screen shelters for camping above offer premium-quality protection and use bug mesh that keeps even the tiniest of critters out. We’ll be looking at how versatile that protection is and how capable it is at dealing with rough weather conditions.
Which tent offers the best protection from bugs?
Winner: SansBug 1-Person Pop Up
The SansBug 1-Person Pop Up offers the most protection from insects. As it’s the only one with a floor, you’re safe from crawling and burrowing critters. However, it’s a little on the small side for most peoples’ needs.
This portable shelter will keep the bugs at bay during your outdoor experience.
If you need sun protection, which tent is best?
Winner: Coleman WeatherMaster
Screen tents offer little protection from the sun due to their mesh walls. The ceiling provides some shelter, but it’s often not enough.
The tent that offers the most protection from the sun is the Coleman WeatherMaster. Because the tent is made of regular synthetic material and only the screen room is made from mesh, the inside of this tent offers the most protection from the sun.
Standing strong in windy weather: Which tent can you trust?
Winner: Alvantor Screen House
The clear winner was the Alvantor for us. Some other tents like the YDYL struggle in windy conditions but the Alvantor comes with additional features like guylines and stakes for you to secure it in strong winds.
The tent wall design of the Alvantor improves it’s performance in wind. Most other screen house tents come with vertical walls which are vulnerable to catching in the wind. However, the curved walls in this tent is a better shape for wind resistance.
None of these tents will hold up for very long against a storm, but the Alvantor comes with some handy extras to improve the stability of this tent in the wind.
Keeping dry: Which tent is has the best rain protection?
Winner: Alvantor Screen House
Screen tents aren’t ideal for rainy weather. The mesh walls means that they can often let water in and offer little in the way of water resistance.
However, for light rains, the Alvantor is a great choice. It offers some mild protection from rainy conditions which can be good for passing showers. The speed of setup is why we awarded this tent the best waterproofing rating.
The tent can spring into action and provide some light protection to shelter you in the rain. After you feel a few drops, you can get this tent up and over you before the shower really starts.
The Coleman WeatherMaster is also a great choice for wet weather camping thanks to it’s water-resistant roof. The hybrid type of tent comes with water repellent fabric as well as the mesh screen room to provide shelter from light rains.
Are these tents 3-season suitable?
Winner: Coleman WeatherMaster
The screen walls in these tents means they can get chilly quick in cold weather.
The only tent that we’d consider taking out in the harsher months of Spring and Fall, this is the only tent that we can claim to be suitable for three seasons.
Whilst it still might struggle in stronger winds or heavy rain, the Coleman is more protective than the screen houses on this list.
Which tent will last the longest?
Winner: YDYL Screen House
Screen tents aren’t often made from the most durable material so don’t expect them to last for decades like canvas.
But the YDYL offers the most durable option out of these screen tents. Customers have found that it’s a strong enough tent to withstand fairly regular use in Summer.
Which tent is easiest to setup?
Can it be done by just one person?
Winner: Alvantor Screen House
Tents are easier to setup when you have an extra pair of helping hands but that’s not always the case. So which tent should you go for if you’re going to be setting it up alone?
Given that a 75-year-old can set up the Alvantor on her own, we have to say this is one of the best screen tents as far as setup is concerned. We wish it were as easy to take down, though!
The SansBug is also super easy to pitch thanks to the instant pop-up design. Setup time is a matter of seconds with this tent.
Are these tents easy to carry?
Winner: Quest Mesh Screen Tent
Due to the fact this tent doesn’t come with poles, it’s the lightest option available on this list. That makes it super easy to carry, regardless of where you’re going.
The Alvantor comes in a handy carry bag that makes it easy for taking car camping as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Screen Tent/House?
A screen tent or house is a tent-style enclosure that’s entirely mesh. It’s basically a see-through tent that’ll be no good in heavy rain or snow, but is wonderful at keeping bugs out of your face as you hang out during the day. It also offers some shade and UV protection.
Depending on the size, these beauties are great for sitting in a circle and playing a game with family, having beers with friends, fully enclosed in mesh.
Can You Cook in a Screen Tent?
You can cook in a screen tent, but be wise about it. Choose a tent that’s tall and wide. You need room for the smoke to curl upwards and escape, and sides far away enough that any spitting or sparking doesn’t reach them.
That’s for cooking with a grill, though. You can cook using a hot plate in smaller screen tents if you wish.
Which Screen Tent Offers the Most Protection?
The Alvantor Screen House offers the most protection if we look at it that way. You can use it at home, out camping and even place it on top of round pools and hot tubs with no issues. The corners sit tightly against the sides of the tub without cutting off any of your pool space.
That said, the SansBug 1-Person Pop Up offers more protection as far as bugs are concerned. As it’s the only one with a tarp floor, you’re safe from crawling and burrowing critters. You can sleep in this pop up tent to keep the insects at bay.
However, it’s a little on the small side for most peoples’ needs.
Can You Get Sunburn Inside a Screen Tent?
Screen tents offer some shade and UV protection, but its rays can still reach you—especially on sweltering days.
You can most definitely get a sunburn through a screen tent—you can even get one through thin regular tents. Always wear sunscreen and sun hats if you wish to protect your face further. A screen tent may make you feel cooler, but it’s not your saving grace from sun-related ailments.
The Final Screening
The YDYL Screen House is the best instant screen house of this group. The screen tent is tall and wide, highly versatile, great for cooking and hanging out in alike. It’s relatively portable on a calm day, but on a windy one you’ll need to stake it in—don’t forget to replace those stakes with long, sturdy metal ones.
If you’d rather a rounded tent you can use while camping as well as at home, the next best screen tent is the Alvantor Screen House. It’s a wonderful, round shape, doesn’t blow over easily and it can sit on top of furniture and hot tubs with no issues. All around a high versatile instant screen house.