Best Pop Up Tent: Get Great Value for the Price Point
Pop up tents any camping trip easier than ever. They are quick to assemble and can go from “pile of material” to comfortable sleeping space in no time. Though a tent is often seen as utilitarian, many these days are quite comfortable as a sleeping area or a tent sun shelter. They are sturdy and protect from the elements, but also offer privacy, protection, and a place to relax when you’re camping.
How do you choose the best pop up ‘instant family tent’ when you don’t have a lot to spend?
First, consider how much room you need.
Pop up tents, also known as popup tents and dome tents, come in all sizes and you need to know what size is the best for your needs. An individual or couple who loves camping doesn’t necessarily need all the space and easy storage that a large family would need, but it all comes down to what is going to make you the most comfortable.
Some families prefer to use their tent only for sleeping and the space is cozier inside the tent, whereas some couples want to set up a “home away from home” and are looking for a larger tent with multiple rooms.
When it comes to size, it’s also important to consider storage space. If you’re the type of camper who brings along a lot of gear and wants to protect that gear from the elements, you’ll need some extra space inside your tent. Many tents come with compartments and mesh pockets to make gear storage easy and convenient, but some people opt for a large tent where they might be a whole room for storing gear.
It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be using your pop up tent for anything other than camping. Will you be setting up the tent when you tailgate or attend music festivals? Are you planning to take it to the beach? These considerations can affect the type of pop tent you choose.
Next, you’ll want to think about how many doors you want in your tent. Some people are surprised to realize that tents come with multiple doors. The larger your group the more doors you’ll want to have. This avoids a lot of crowding and inconvenience and, though it’s possible for four or five people to function in a tent with just a single door, it’s going to be frustrating having to move around one another every time you want to come into or out of the tent. This is especially true when someone is sleeping and you’re forced to wake them up to move or to climb over them to get out of the tent.
Another important consideration is protecting yourself against the elements with your pop up tent. You’ll want to make sure the tent claims to be waterproof and that it delivers on these claims according to people who have purchased the tent before you.
Though you might assume every tent would be waterproof this isn’t actually the case. Some tents are water-resistant or block rain from soaking you, but the construction of the tent isn’t actually waterproof. To be truly waterproof a tent needs to be designed and constructed to ensure no water leakage occurs. This means you don’t need to be worried that during a rain shower the seams of the tent will leak and you or your gear will get wet.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the set-up of your tent. It should be simple, but the simplicity should not put the sturdiness of the tent in jeopardy.
Pop up tents are erected using a frame with spring steel wires that are self-supporting.
Unfortunately, this is enough to prevent the tent from moving in windy conditions. To do that you need to use stakes and guy lines, which adds an extra step to the setup process.
Most tents come with ropes or guy lines for set up, at least for the upper part of the tent. Many also come with a set of stakes though, in some cases, you’ll want to replace the manufacturer’s stakes with sturdier, higher quality ones. It’s a good idea to mark the lines with something that stands out to avoid tripping over the cords when moving around your campsite.
Choosing the Best Pop Up Tent for Your Money
Now that you know what you want in a pop up tent, you can begin narrowing down your options. We’ve compiled a list of pop up tents we think are a great value for what you pay. Our list is below:
This tent can accommodate anywhere from two to four people comfortably. It comes with pre-assembled poles and can be set up in under a minute. The seams are taped and it has a multi-position rain fly.
Coleman is one of the best-known names in camping and outdoor gear, so you know you are getting a good product with this tent. It has two internal storage pockets, offers rain protection, and is mostly waterproof.
This tent accommodates two to three adults and has two doors. It doesn’t have spring metal frames like most pop up tents, but instead uses a hinged tent pole system that makes for quick setup. Some people consider it an “instant tent.”
The tent is waterproof and is sturdy enough to stay standing in a storm. It features two large doors with mesh windows and a vented roof to keep the interior cool.
This is another pop up tent from Coleman that has all the quality of the first one on our list but it’s made for up to eight people. It features a large, tubular frame and provides plenty of interior floor space, including 90 square feet of sleeping space. The tent stands six feet tall in the center, so people of average height or less won’t even need to duck when in the tent.
This tent is sturdy enough to stand up to harsh weather conditions and could easily be used for three-season camping. It’s considered waterproof and offers plenty of room for storing and protecting your camping gear.