After extensive research, we found the best instant tent is Gazelle GT400GR T4 Family Instant Pop Up Tent. If you want a better bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman Pop Up Tent or the OT QOMOTOP instant tent.
Whether you find pitching a tent a nuisance or you just prefer to get it done quickly, instant tents will meet your desire. Also, they are the best choice for new campers to start their adventures on a happier note.
After 15+ hours of sifting through the market, we have compiled a list of the best products available in the market. We’ve dug deep to unveil the most important information and cover a variety of types and models to suit everyone’s needs.
So, let’s cut to the chase.
Best quality and comfort: Gazelle GT400GR T4 Family Instant Pop Up Tent
Best lightweight tent for backpackers: TETON Sports Quick Tent
Best pop up tents that sets up in seconds:
- Quechua 2 Seconds XL Fresh & Black – blackout tent for longer sleep and staying fresh
- Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent – budget-friendly option; great value for money
- OT QOMOTOP 4 Person Pop up Tent – spacious and convenient 2-person pop up tent
- Gazelle GT400GR T4 Family Instant Pop Up – extra durable, tall tent with vertical walls
- Cinch Pop Up Tent – solar-powered tent, outstanding weather protection
Best instant cabin tents – vertical walls for maximum room – small groups:
- OT QOMOTOP 6/8/10 Person Instant Cabin Tent – affordable; great choice for beginners
- KAZOO Family Camping 3/4 Person Instant Cabin Tent With SunShade – Airy in hot days, great against the rain
- Ozark Trail 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent with Bonus Screen Room – Roomy tent with screen room
- Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent – Airy cabin tent; 60-seconds setup!
- Outdoor Products 8 Person Instant Hexagon Tent – stylish, with built-in LED light
- Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent – large blackout tent
Best instant dome tents – smaller space but better wind resistance:
- Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent – blocks 90 % of sunlight
- TETON Sports Quick Tent – lightest one at 5 pounds!
- MOON LENCE Instant Pop Up 4-5 Person Tent – affordable and lightweight
- Toogh 3-4 Person, Instant Camping Tent – great weather protection
Best instant teepee tent:
- KAZOO Family Camping Tent Large Waterproof Tipi Tent – 2in1, separable inner and outer tent
Wow, that’s a lot of tents! Check out our comprehensive buyer guide if you want to learn more about the pros and cons of instant tents, as well as how to choose the best one.
Best for: Campers who like to sleep in and stay cool; $$$
Bright weather is great for camping, but too much brightness in your tent is not always a good thing. Sleeping through the early morning or taking a nap in midday heat can be impossible when the sunlight gets inside your tent.
Not with this tent. As the name suggests, it will keep the inside of the tent dark and fresh. It is probably the darkest, true blackout tent.
Speaking of the name, 2 seconds setup is a bit of a stretch, but you can set it up in less than 10 seconds, no skills required. Pretty impressive!
Thanks to the free-standing design, it will stay steady and solid in wind-free conditions. However, pitching takes 2-3 minutes or less to ensure the wind won’t bother you. It can hold on in wind speeds up to 30 mph.
Quechua 2 Seconds XL Fresh & Black is also waterproof. Many users have reported staying dry in torrential rain and I couldn’t find a single report of any leaks. So, you don’t have to worry if the weather gets ugly.
I also loved the fact that the manufacturer provides quantified values for all segments of weather resistance. From wind resistance to moisture-wicking to waterproof rating.
Lab conditions can’t fully mimic outdoor conditions, but it’s the statement of confidence from the manufacturer that matters.
The bottom line – field tests and user experiences confirmed excellent levels of protection against the elements.
In all honesty, I couldn’t find any downsides to this tent but I’ll give it a try — it’s not the most spacious tent. Two people can sleep comfortably in it, but you won’t be able to fit much stuff.
- Super-fast set up and takedown
- It stays very dark even in bright sunshine
- Adequate venting
- Two-layered fabric to prevent condensation
- It’s waterproof. It can handle heavy rain
- Withstands moderate to strong winds (up to 30 mph)
- A bit smaller than the competition (83” x 83”)
Best for: couples on a budget who like quick, hassle-free setup and breakdown; $
You like camping and visiting music festivals, but assembling and dismantling your tent annoys you? The Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent solves your problem while being gentle on your wallet.
Saying that setting up this tent is a breeze is an understatement. It really pops up instantly. The takedown is also very simple and fast although it may take some practice to get it right.
Some users have had problems following the takedown instructions. If you’re not sure, it’s easy to find tutorial videos all over the internet.
This tent is very spacious for 2 people. Measuring 9’2” x 6’6” x 33”, it can fit one queen airbed and you’ll still have plenty of room. But it will be very tight for 4 people.
Mesh roof, door, and windows provide excellent airflow and bug protection. In case of rain, all openings have covers, and there’s a rainfly to keep you safe and dry. Truth be told, there’s almost no airflow when you seal the whole tent, so it can get quite hot in there.
Considering the price, this tent performs great in rainy and windy weather. It can withstand moderate rain for hours, and the shape makes it stable in windy conditions.
On the downside, zippers are flimsy. Make sure to be gentle or you may rip the fabric. Still, zipping or unzipping is uncomfortable.
Some users had great difficulties zipping the door and preventing rain from seeping in. Loosening the stakes can help, but it’s a major nuisance to do it. Especially when it starts raining.
The floor is also pretty thin. While it should be waterproof, I would suggest putting a tarp underneath it.
- Instant setup and easy takedown
- Solid protection against the elements
- Low-quality zippers
- Poor door design. It is attached to the top and when you unzip it, it falls back into the tent. It allows moisture or creepy-crawlers to drip in.
Best for: campers who like spacious tents, easy to set up; $$
Okay, all popup tents are super easy to set up. But the OT QOMOTOP 4 Person Pop-up Tent offers a bit more space and comfort than most of the competition. Like the rest of the 4-person tents, it’s actually for 2 people, or 2 persons and a child.
It fits one queen air mattress and then some. Dimensions are slightly larger (approximately 9’ by 7’) in comparison to similar models. But, it’s the semicircular design and higher ceiling (50 inches top height) that provide more space while sitting in a tent.
The tent is also water-resistant, but take it with a grain of salt. Seams are sealed and the material comes with the coating so it won’t leak in light rain. However, the waterproof rating of 800 mm is pretty low, so it won’t hold in heavy rain.
It’s a small tent with no room dividers, but I still love the fact it has two doors. It’s nicer to sit in there with both doors open and obviously you’ll get more than enough airflow.
For your additional convenience, there’s an E-port. So, you can plug in your phones, tablets, or electrical devices.
When it comes to doors and windows, you can zip or unzip them while staying inside the tent. Pretty convenient, especially if it starts raining, or when you just want to let some extra air in at night.
There are also two roof vents to provide more airflow and prevent condensation. Still, if you have to keep your doors and windows closed, you’ll probably get some condensation inside the tent.
- Generous space and volume
- Convenient opening design; you can open any window from inside
- Super-quick setup
- 2 large doors
- Electrical cord port
- Relatively water-resistant
- Can handle winds up to 35 mph
- Thin material lets too much sun inside
- Occasional condensation issues
Best for: Couples or small families who don’t mind spending a bit more on a heavy-duty tent; $$$
The Gazelle GT400GR T4 Family Instant Pop Up is not the most affordable pop up tent, but if you’re looking for high-quality workmanship it fits the bill.
It is made of strong and durable materials to last for years to come. I won’t bother you with technicalities, but the manufacturer has used special weaving techniques and thick polyester fabric to make sure it stands the test of time.
Even though it’s tough and heavy, this tent is very easy to set up. The hub design allows you to set it up in less than two minutes.
This tent is different from the moment you lay your eyes on it. An unorthodox shape makes it look good, but it was designed to be practical. Vertical walls provide more space and they come with six storage pockets.
Obviously, there’s plenty of room to organize your stuff. Also, the high ceiling allows you to stand upright. Two doors, mesh roof and six mesh windows will keep the insects away while providing excellent ventilation.
So, the tent is really versatile. It’s comfortable for sleeping and spacious to use as living quarters.
When it comes to weather protection, this model delivers again. It can handle heavy rain ( waterproof rating of 2000mm for fabric and 5000mm for the floor).
Overall, it’s a great, comfortable, and reliable tent. But, there’s always some kind of trade-off.
Heavy-duty fabric provides protection and durability but it’s heavy. Also, the doors are awkward as they narrow down toward the ground.
- Sturdy and durable
- Vertical walls provide more space
- 90-seconds setup
- Standing tall. Ceiling height 78”
- Excellent weather resistance
- Multiple wall pockets and removable gear loft
- Removable floor for easier cleaning
- UV protection (UV50+)
- Heavy (30 pounds) and much bulkier than tents of similar size
- Awkward entrance
Best for: 2 people who want a reliable tent with some innovative, high-tech features; $$$
Want to be different? The Cinch Pop Up Tent offers some unique features including modern design and the use of solar power. But, it also shines when it comes to basics and practicality. It provides a glamping experience while being able to perform through thick and thin.
But, let’s take one step at a time. It’s a pop up tent with color-coded instructions for super-easy setup and takedown. It takes under 60 seconds to set it up.
It’s spacious for two people and offers plenty of storage space. During the day, 4 double-layered doors provide an outstanding experience. You can choose the level of shade and airflow for maximum comfort.
Each door comes with a roll-away doormat which is a nice touch.
The thick and durable fabric also provides outstanding weather resistance. Torrential rain? No problem. The floor waterproof rating of 12000mm and 3000mm for the outer fabric means it can rain all day long, but the tent will withstand it.
Strong winds? No worries. An abundance of pegs and guidelines will provide stability in windy conditions. If the wind is getting stronger you can boost the structure of the tent by adding two extra poles designed to provide support.
The tent comes with two solar lanterns for cozy evenings or reading at night.
The Solar Power Pack is the trademark feature of the Cinch tent. There’s a dedicated and protected area on the roof to install the solar panel. It will provide enough power for your USB devices.
It is optional and sold separately, though.
Drawbacks? Not too many. Actually, I could only think of the weight. With 28 pounds it’s a heavy pop up tent.
- Easy setup
- Strong and durable materials
- Exceptional weather resistance
- 4 large doors for maximum ventilation
- Rugged bathtub floor
- Generous headroom (height 6’2”)
- Solar lanterns
- Solar panel (optional)
- Pretty heavy
Best for: Campers on a tight budget and beginners looking for an easy setup; $
You want to start camping but you don’t want to break the bank? OT QOMOTOP Instant Cabin Tent might be a perfect choice for you.
Pitching a tent used to be the most frustrating thing for new campers. Nowadays, tents are getting smarter and more convenient especially for beginners.
You can erect this model in a couple of minutes or in 60 seconds after a little bit of practice.
This tent comes in three different sizes – for 6, 8, and 10 people. As a general rule of thumb, you should choose at least two sizes up or more. That way, occupants will sleep comfortably and there will be some spare room for backpacks and gear.
This is a simple and practical tent. Several storage pockets and a hanging gear loft will come in handy to organize your stuff. There’s even a protected E-port to recharge your devices or use electrical appliances.
Mesh roof and windows will keep the insects at bay and provide a decent airflow. While windows are not very large, ground vent and mesh roof allow high-low airflow to improve the ventilation.
Many users have reported staying dry in rainy conditions. Both inner and outer seams are sealed and the rainfly comes with a water-repellent coating. Still, a 600mm waterproof rating is not enough to keep you dry in heavy rain.
So, light rain shouldn’t be a problem but beware of the limitations of waterproof properties.
- Quick 60-second setup
- Great choice for novice campers
- Holds well in windy conditions
- Power cord port
- Very good ventilation
- Low waterproof rating
Best for: Couples who want reliable and weather resistant tent for versatile camping and field trips; $$
Some tents perform great in warm or hot weather, but won’t protect you from heavy rain. Or the other way around. The KAZOO Family Camping 3/4 Person Instant Cabin Tent combines pretty much the best of both worlds.
On hot sunny days, it provides great airflow and an improvised porch area with a sunshade. If it rains, the rainfly and high-quality materials will keep the water out of the tent. And it can withstand heavy rain and downpours.
It is a sturdy tent capable of handling the elements. It offers a great combination of simplicity, comfort, and a couple of advanced features.
Within the price range, it provides impressive weather protection. A weatherproof rating of 3000mm is great to withstand some serious downpours. It usually comes with pricier tents.
The rainfly fully covers the tent, so you can rest assured that the inside of the tent will stay dry. A bathtub floor design provides additional protection if water builds up on the ground.
Speaking of the floor, I was a little bit disappointed to find out it is somewhat thin and has the same (3000mm) waterproof rating as the rest of the tent. Typically, the floor should be thicker. Still, it’s made of ripstop polyester so you should be fine unless you face a torrential flood.
The tent is roomy for two people. To give you an idea, it fits one queen air mattress with just enough extra space to store your stuff. I would rather use sleeping bags to get some extra room for daily activities.
While you can fully seal the tent in rainy conditions, in sunny weather it transforms into an open and airy space. Two large doors, two windows, and a mesh ceiling provide great airflow and make it a great place to sit and enjoy.
And there’s more – with two support poles you can turn the door flap into a generous sun shade. So, you get a porch to accommodate a few more people for afternoon gatherings.
- Easy instant setup
- Sturdy construction with aluminum poles
- Full-coverage rainfly
- Sun shade in front of the entrance
- Near vertical walls provide more comfort and storage space
- Poor ventilation when you close openings due to rain (and you have to close them)
Best for: Families and groups of 4 – 6 who want a spacious tent for camping in warmer weather;$$
After we have introduced several relatively small instant tents, it’s time to go large. If you like spacious and livable tents, the Ozark Trail 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent will live up to your expectations.
The main room is large – 14 ft x 9 ft and the ceiling is 7 ft high. You can walk, sit or sleep and you’ll never feel claustrophobic or cramped inside this tent. And that’s not all. The screen room provides extra 70 sq ft, so it’s practically a cabin with a bug-free porch!
One caveat, though. The screen room has no floor and it’s not fully covered by the rainfly. So, you shouldn’t leave your stuff in this area or they might get wet if rain comes.
If you need some privacy, the tent comes with a room divider to create two separate rooms. Furthermore, each room has a door that leads to the porch.
Obviously, if your party isn’t too big, there’s plenty of storage space. Six large wall storage pockets will offer additional space so your stuff doesn’t get in the way.
You may wonder why I recommend it for mild weather. Well, it’s just too big. I can’t see how it could hold warmth in a cold environment.
But, make no mistake, this tent can handle some moderate rain and winds. I couldn’t find any details on waterproof rating, but many users have reported no leaks even in heavy rain.
- Roomy tent with a screen room
- Tall ceiling
- Easy setup and takedown
- Electric cord port
- Water resistant
- Two ground vents for better ventilation
- Plenty of storage pockets
- It’s heavy
- No floor in the screen room
Best for: Taller people who prefer summer camping; $$
Whether you’re tall or dislike small, confined spaces, you’ll prefer spacious tents with ample headroom. The Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is all that and then some.
Actually, it is pretty similar to the aforementioned Ozark Trail 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent minus screen room. If you love this model but like to have a porch as well, check out The Core 10 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Screen Room.
It measures 14 ft x 9 ft with a central height of 78 inches. They say “sleeps 9”, but it’s more like “packs 9”. I would say 4, 5 adults can sleep comfortably. Anyway, it fits two queen air mattresses with enough room left to store your stuff.
One person can set it up in 2,3 minutes. It’s super easy and even easier to break it down.
Large windows, mesh ceiling, and huge doors provide great airflow. At the same time, there are mesh covers on all openings so you can enjoy a bug-free time in your tent.
There’s a trade-off, though. Sheer volume combined with ventilation will make camping in colder weather challenging. Two ground vents can’t be zipped or fully closed which makes it even harder to preserve warmth inside the tent.
Rainy days come in warmer seasons as well. The tent has a rainfly but it covers only the roof of the tent. Well, it extends over the walls a little bit. But, not enough to protect your windows and walls.
The rain cover, sealed seams, and water resistant fabric will keep you dry in light rain. But, the waterproof rating of 600mm is low. So it probably won’t protect you for long in moderate or heavy rain.
- Very spacious
- High ceiling
- Room divider for privacy
- Excellent airflow to keep you cool in warm weather
- Mesh ceiling for stargazing
- Quick 60-seconds setup
- Huge T-door
- Thin floor
- Not the best for colder weather
Best for: Groups of 3 – 5 who like hassle-free setup and staying up late; $$$
Want a large tent, but don’t want to struggle to set it up? Enjoying playing games at the end of the camping day? The Outdoor Products 8 Person Instant Hexagon Tent might be a perfect choice for you.
It takes two minutes to set this tent up and it’s super easy and simple. It comes with integrated LED lights to enjoy your evenings in the tent.
When I read reviews and user ratings, one thing kept popping up. Everyone says how beautiful this tent is. Hexagon shape and nice color will make sure you won’t go unnoticed. It doesn’t really help your camping experience but we all like beautiful things, don’t we?
Apart from good looks, it’s a spacious tent with a high ceiling (80 inches central height). The floor area measures 146 sq ft, allowing about 4 people to sleep comfortably. You’ll also have enough room to store your gear.
LED lights run on 4 D batteries and there’s a dedicated battery pocket. There are three levels of intensity of the light. This tent is designed to provide some glamping perks. If you want to use electrical devices there’s an E-port that can be fully sealed when not in use.
Ventilation is usually not an issue in bigger tents and so is the case here. Two doors, four windows, a mesh roof, and two ground vents provide more than sufficient airflow. It could be an issue in colder weather, though.
On the downside, the floor is pretty thin, it doesn’t appear to be very durable. Also, the waterproof rating of 800mm is pretty low, even though it will handle some light or moderate rain. Considering the price, I’d expect much better weather protection.
- Quick and easy setup
- It looks pretty
- Roomy and cozy due to large space and warm colors
- Excellent ventilation
- Built-in LED lights
- Bathtub floor design to ensure water doesn’t get into the tent from the ground
- A bit pricey
- Thin floor
- It’s heavy
Best for: Summer campers or festival goers who like to sleep in on their trips;$$
Morning sunlight can be beautiful, but it can be too bright if you want to sleep in. Not in the Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent. Dark room technology provides a new level of comfort on your camping trips.
Keeping the inside of your tent dark will not only let you sleep longer. Your tent will be cooler as well. Also, it provides more privacy. Lanterns and lights inside the tent won’t be visible from the outside.
So, let’s see what this tent offers besides a good and long sleep.
First of all, it’s big. With a room divider, you’ll get two separate rooms. Each room can easily fit a queen airbed with enough space left. Overall, it measures 14 ft x 9 ft and the ceiling is 78 inches tall.
Nearly vertical walls provide more room and come with a couple of storage pockets.
The tent has numerous openings (2 doors and 6 windows) and panels to set the perfect amount of light or airflow. Even the rainfly has two windows and there are two ground vents to secure airflow when you close roof and window panels.
I really love the versatility. The tent can get bright and airy or very dark to suit your needs in different situations.
As for the weather protection, the manufacturer doesn’t provide any information. Yeah, it’s a summer tent, but it would be nice to know how much rain it can handle.
Truth be told, several users have reported no leaks in light rain.
- Dark interior for longer sleep or naps
- Quick 60-seconds setup
- Very roomy
- Two rooms plus darkness for privacy
- You can choose the level of light and air entering the tent
- No information on weather protection
Best for: 1-3 campers looking for a budget-friendly tent featuring blackout fabric for those lazy camping mornings sleeping in; $
As one user humorously put it, the Coleman Camping Tent | Dark Room Skydome Tent is your solution to “sleeping off that epic camping hangover.”
Featuring blackout fabric, you’ll be able to sleep in without being rudely awoken at the crack of dawn. Plus, the nature of the blackout fabric means that it stays cool inside the tent when it’s hot outside.
Keep in mind this may not be flawless darkroom fabric – then again, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something pitch black. Nevertheless, most users agreed that it definitely helped with the piercing sun and was sufficient enough to enable them to sleep in.
Setup is a breeze too. Do you ever struggle with sliding the tent poles through those awful pole pockets? For me, they always get stuck. Not with this tent!
There are clips on the tent that you attach the poles to. This effectively eliminates the need for pockets. Okay, except for one pocket on the small vestibule, but I always treated that as optional on my tent.
When you assemble the tent, you put the partial-coverage rainfly on separately. This is nice because you get several large mesh windows on the main tent, aiding with breathability and taking in your surroundings.
It also held up to several nasty storms. One camper went on a 3 day trip where the tent was exposed to severe thunderstorms every day. Yet, it didn’t collapse or leak.
- Blackout fabric great for sleeping in and relaxing; also helps keep you cool on really hot days
- Easy pitching with clips you attach to the poles; no more pole sleeves!
- Separate rainfly means more mesh, views, and ventilation
- All that mesh means it can get a bit chilly; maybe not the best for colder camping trips
- Blackout fabric isn’t 100% and you’ll still see some sun; decide for yourself how much is acceptable
Best for: a backpacker or bikepacker looking for a packable, affordable, and lightweight tent for mild weather camping; $
First off, the TETON Sports Quick Tent; Pop-Up Tent is lightweight at 4.6lbs. Backpackers and bikepackers rejoice!
Not only that, but the tent packs down to a roll about 2’ long. Although that’s still lengthy, it can be stood upright in a pack or tied to bike handlebars. This is a big deal for an instant tent; most pack into an unwieldy disc shape, or are stored in huge carrying cases.
Set up is a cinch too. Simply unroll it, lock the two poles in place, and pull up on the drawstring that controls the hub-lock mechanism. Ta-da! Tent assembled.
Here’s something neat: the TETON Sports Quick Tent is designed to fit perfectly atop a cot sold by the same manufacturer.
I find this to be an interesting design choice, but it’s amazing for all things related to the tent floor. If you go with the raised option, you’ll never have to worry about ground terrain, sogginess, rain, or anything else.
All that said, let’s look at a potential critique.
Although visually the rainfly appears to provide full coverage, many users said it was just a few inches too short. There’s unfortunately a reason for this: the company sells the extended (read: longer) rainfly separately.
- Packable and lightweight at 4.6lbs, perfect for backpacking or bikepacking
- Three-step easy assembly
- Mesh top for a phenomenal stargazing or panoramic scenery experience
- Breathable even with the rainfly on; this is from both the mesh and the rainfly being separated rather than a single wall
- Included gear loft
- If you want better rain protection, you have to buy an extended rainfly
- Not the warmest but then again most of it is mesh, so amazing insulation isn’t expected
Best for: Couples who want budget-friendly and easy-to-set-up tent; $
You like short, hassle-free camping trips with your better half, or a friend? The MOON LENCE Instant Tent might be your perfect choice. You won’t have to break the bank to buy it and you can set it up in a minute.
It is listed as a 4-5 person tent, but if you have any stuff or gear, anything more than two people would be a crowd.
The maximum length and width of 121” and 114”, respectively, look like a lot of space, but the pentagon shape limits it. Put simply, once you put a queen airbed inside the tent, there will be hardly any room left, apart from corners.
For two people, this tent offers excellent comfort. A large entrance and four mesh windows provide excellent airflow.
Considering the price, this tent provides outstanding protection. It holds well in windy conditions thanks to its shape and construction.
The waterproof rating of 2000mm indicates that the tent should handle some heavy rain. Some users said it leaked in rainy conditions, while a much larger number of users have praised it for not letting a drop of water in.
It’s also impressive how easily this tent can fit back into the storage bag. The bag is really convenient with buckling straps and handles. It’s a bit long, though (32.7 x 7.1 x 7.1in).
On the downside, when you close the doors and windows, there’s no ventilation at all. If it gets colder at night, you’ll either feel chills or end up with some condensation inside the tent.
- Super easy setup
- Very affordable
- Excellent weather protection
- Lightweight (10.25lb)
- Roomy for two persons
- Great value for money
- Prone to condensation when sealed
Best for: groups of 3-5 who want the convenience of an instant tent but the toughness of a tent that can stand up to bad weather; $$
If you’re looking for an instant tent but have been somewhat disappointed by their weather performance, look no further than the Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent 60 Seconds Set Up Tent.
Right off the bat, you can see it has some insane weatherproofing specs. The walls are made with 210D Oxford cloth, which is essentially an especially durable and thick type of polyester. The floor has a waterproof rating of a whopping 10,000mm and is made of the same material.
But do these flashy specs perform?
Across the board, satisfied campers have resoundingly said that this tent can handle rough weather. One user in particular even got caught in a severe storm with 30mph winds all night. Yet, the tent stood firm, and wasn’t even wet despite the constant downpour.
The cool thing is that you get all this weatherproofed toughness in an instant tent.
The setup takes as little as 10 seconds. You pull the poles upward like an umbrella, then push down on the locking mechanism to pop the tent frame into place. It’s as easy as that
Plus, it’s freestanding for the ultimate ease! You don’t need to bother with staking or guying it out. Well, unless bad weather rolls in.
Lastly, when considering the sleeping capacity, never fear – the Toogh 3-4 Person actually does sleep 3-4 people in comfort. Some users even claim it could fit 5-6 if needed. This is a refreshing surprise, given that most tents incorrectly advertise up a size.
- Amazing weatherproof specs that actually hold up through storms
- Silicone coating helps keep you dry while offering the added bonus of extra fabric strength
- Great ventilation even with the doors zipped shut
- Good insulation too; maintains its interior temperature
- Comfortably house the advertised 3-4 people with room to spare
- No windows for views; only has the 2 doors
Best for: Families or groups of 4 – 5 campers who like large but relatively lightweight tents; $$
If you have kids or like to share a tent with a couple of friends, you’ll need a larger tent to accommodate your party. Wouldn’t it be cool if your big tent is also lightweight and easy to set up?
That’s exactly what the KAZOO Family Camping Tent Large Waterproof Tipi Tents offers, for starters. Two beginners can set it up in 2,3 minutes, which is great for a larger tent.
Personally, I love tipis because of their history as they have been used by Native American cultures in the Great Plains. Camping in a tipi was my childhood dream for as long as I can remember.
But, sentiments aside, the KAZOO tipi tent has a lot to offer to campers. With a dimension of 160 x 80 inches, it fits two queen air mattresses and plenty of room for your stuff. The maximum height of 120 inches provides ample headroom.
I also love the design. There are two separate layers. The inner layer is all-mesh and it can be standalone in dry weather. The view and ventilation can’t get better than that.
The outer layer is actually a waterproof rainfly fully sealed apart from four little vents close to the top. All seams are sealed, and the waterproof rating of 3000 suggests the tent can withstand serious downpours.
However, tipi design comes with some disadvantages as well. There are no windows or openings for light to get in. Also, there will be almost no ventilation in rainy conditions.
- Very spacious
- Easy setup
- 2-in1; you can have two separate tents, one is all-mesh, and the other is a waterproof rainfly
- Lightweight (23lb) considering the size
- With two poles you can transform the door into a sunshade
- Poor ventilation when you close the doors
What Exactly Is an Instant Tent?
Instant tents come in many shapes and they have different erecting mechanisms. But, they have one thing in common that makes them instant – easy and quick setup. How quick? It depends on the system, but it takes from only a couple of seconds up to a couple of minutes.
Benefits of Instant Tents
Quick and easy setup. This one is obvious but it’s a major feature of instant tents – hassle free setup.
Beginner friendly. It’s great for novice campers. People are hesitant to try new things when they lack skills or confidence. Knowing that you don’t need an experienced companion or guide allows more people to embrace camping.
They are safer. Instant tents come with pre-attached poles. Aside from speeding up the setup, it reduces the risk of injuries. Preassembled poles can break and cause injuries, but only if you push them too strongly. Nevertheless, chances of poking or hitting someone are reduced.
That’s why some people call these tents kids-friendly.
How to Choose the Best Instant Tent
Choosing a tent is a challenging mission. There are so many different models on the market and the price range is huge. So, picking the best model is not easy. And even the high-quality, super-expensive tents might disappoint you if they aren’t tailored to meet your needs.
So, let’s see what features to look for when buying an instant tent.
Styles & Shapes
When looking for an instant tent, you’ll see a variety of different shapes and styles. But, don’t let it confuse you. Remember, the common thing for all of them is a quick, instant setup.
Different styles provide different benefits to suit various camping styles. So, here’s a quick overview.
Pop-Up Instant Tents
This is the quickest type of instant tent. You can set them up in a matter of seconds, literally!
So, pop up tents are as instant as it gets. You should pay attention to a breakdown procedure, though. Some of these tents are not so easy to pack away. They fold down to a pre-designed shape, usually a circle, which is a bit bulky.
Dome Instant Tents
Dome tents usually have a square, pentagon, or hexagon base. The walls arch as they go up and meet at the top of the tent creating a dome-like shape, hence the name. The poles are pre-attached to the fabric.
Setup time commonly varies between 1 and 2 minutes.
Typically they are not tall enough to stand upright in them. Dome shape is aerodynamic, which helps in windy conditions. Most of these tents are also lightweight and rarely come with an awning or vestibule.
Compared to pop up tents, they fold down to a more compact size.
Instant Cabin Tents
Cabin-style tents are very popular for family and car camping trips. The same goes for the instant cabin tent with the addition of a quick and easy setup.
They are usually larger, so the setup is slightly longer compared to dome or popup instant tents. Commonly, it takes between 2 to 10 minutes to get it done.
As the name suggests, these tents have vertical or slightly angled walls and a rectangular or square base. Also, most of them have high ceilings, so you can walk around the tent without having to bend down.
Steep or vertical walls provide more storage space and make it more spacious overall.
Larger models almost always come with room dividers, and often with screen rooms or awnings.
Instant Teepee Tent
Instant teepee or tipi tent is not very common, but it has its charms.
Historically, teepees were home for some Native Americans as well as many other cultures worldwide. Their portability and quick setup made them perfect for the nomadic lifestyle of these old cultures. It doesn’t sound old-fashioned or archaic, does it?
Nowadays, the same qualities make them useful for camping. Of course, now they are made of modern materials just as other camping tents.
Tipis are large and spacious. A central pole supported by guylines and side poles provides stability for these high structures.
Yes, these tents are designed to be easy-to-set-up, but I have come across dozens of angry users who couldn’t get it done quickly.
Usually, there should be super-easy instructions to follow. But some tents come with unclear setup instructions which can lead to frustration. In the worst-case scenario, you may break a pole or joint and destroy your tent before you even get the chance to use it.
User reviews and YouTube videos can be useful to avoid these problems.
Considering the weight is another regular step when choosing a new tent. Depending on your camping preferences, it becomes more or less important. Backpackers need ultra-light tents while car camping lovers can afford heavier tents as they don’t have to carry them very far.
Instant tents are slightly heavier than their equivalent, non-instant counterparts of the same size. Instant tents need more metal to create construction for an easy setup. It’s just a couple of pounds difference, though.
Size and Capacity
Instant tents come in different sizes, just as their non-instant counterparts. Pop up tents are typically smaller, but you can find some pretty large cabin-style instant tents. Not to mention teepees.
While size and capacity aren’t specific for instant tents, their shape can affect functionality. For example, a rectangle-shaped tent is easier to organize than a hexagon-shaped tent of the same floor area size.
Cabin tents are more spacious due to vertical or nearly vertical walls and ample headroom. Vertical walls provide extra space to store your stuff as well.
Dome and pop up tents are usually not meant for standing, but only sitting inside them.
At the end of the day, it pretty much depends on the number of occupants and camping habits and preferences.
When choosing an instant tent you should never underestimate weather protection. Look for water-resistant tents as leaky tents can ruin your day or even the whole trip.
There are three vital features to check out:
- Waterproof rating
- Floor thickness and design
Waterproof rating indicates how much rain your tent can withstand without leaking. The higher the rating, the better it handles the rain. Generally, you should look for a 1500mm+ waterproof rating if you want your tent to endure anything harsher than light rain.
However, waterproof rating only applies to tent fabric. Seams and floors are usual suspects to allow water to seep in.
Look for tents with sealed seams. Seams may be taped, inverted, and welded. Whatever the case, it means the seams are sealed and won’t leak.
Also, the tent floor is more exposed to abrasions and needs additional strength. To make it simple, the floor should be thicker and have a higher waterproof rating.
The floor design affects the protection as well. A tub design extends up the tent walls 5,6 inches, providing additional waterproof protection.
If you want to learn more, we have a comprehensive article on how to tell if a tent is waterproof.
You should also consider the climate where you live or commonly go camping. If you live in a very dry area, you don’t have to overplay the importance of rain protection.
Generally, dome tents handle the wind a bit better, while cabin tents might struggle in the wind due to their not-so-aerodynamic shape.
Be careful if you look for budget models. Some popup tents focus on super-easy setup and neglect weather protection to lower production costs and consequently the price.
Ventilation is another thing you need to consider when buying a tent. It depends on the number and the position of openings on your tent.
Popup and dome tents are usually smaller, so check out the doors, windows, or other venting openings.
Cabin tents and teepees are larger, have more air, so they are not prone to stale air. Look for tents with numerous and larger openings, especially for summer camping trips. Ground level vents combined with mesh roofs provide better cross ventilation.
When it comes to materials, instant tents are the same as regular tents. So, the style doesn’t affect the quality.
A majority of instant tents are made of polyester. This fact alone, doesn’t tell you much about the ruggedness and durability of the tent.
Look for a higher Denier (D) rating. The Denier designates fiber density. The more dense it gets, the more wear and tear it will withstand.
Also, look for the word “ripstop” in fabric description. It is a reinforcing technique that makes the fabric more resistant to ripping or tearing.
I have already mentioned the thickness of the floor regarding water-resistance. A direct contact with the ground makes the floor more susceptible to damage.
Therefore, it’s best to choose tents with a thicker floor and higher Denier count.
You can also put a ground tarp underneath your tent for additional protection.
It’s worth paying attention to the tent pole quality, because if your pole breaks, it’s difficult or even impossible to fix it. Typically, larger instant tents have main poles made of steel and roof poles made of fiberglass or aluminum.
Instant Tents Disadvantages to Consider
While instant tents provide some unique benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks related to instant design.
I have already mentioned they are slightly heavier than conventional tents of the same size.
Specific design that allows super-quick setup also comes with a trade-off. There’s only one way of folding and unfolding it. As a result, they are typically bulkier than regular tents when packed. Truth be told, this affects backpackers more than other campers.
If you don’t have to put it in a backpack it won’t make much of a difference.
Last but not least, when a part of an instant tent breaks, it’s harder to fix it. Sometimes it’s even impossible. Therefore, set it up and take it down carefully.
I hope we helped you make your choice, or at least narrow it down.
Our winner, Gazelle GT400GR T4 Family Instant Pop Up offers a lot in all departments. But it’s not necessarily the best choice for everyone.
All products on our list offer a good value for money, but we think that Gazelle GT400GR excels in way too many areas to be overlooked.
It’s stylish, it’s convenient, and it’s robust. Extra durable materials and weather protection guarantee you’ll enjoy your camping trips for years to come.
Though it’s on the more expensive side, you’ll get a premium quality.