Short on time? Our pick for the best pop up tent is the Kazoo Family Camping Tent.
Our picks for the best pop up tents for no-hassle instant camping.
When you’re exhausted after a long day on the trail, at the beach or chasing after kids, the last thing you want to do is spend half an hour putting your tent together.
Pop up tents eliminate this hassle – they come together in seconds so you can focus on the fun parts of camping.
If you’ve ever struggled to set up a complicated tent or rushed to pitch your shelter in the rain, you know how valuable a fast pitch tent is.
Many pop up tents come together in less than a minute.
They’re great for families, festivals, or just about any casual camping trip.
However, many of them are cheaply made and unreliable, so it’s worthwhile to do your research ahead of time to find a quality pop up camping tent.
We wrote this post to save you time and to help you find the best pop up tents available on the market right now.
We’ve broken our reviews down into the best tent across 13 different categories, depending on what you’re needing it for
Let’s dig in.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations
Best Pop Up Tent
- Best 2 Person Pop Up Tent – Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent
- Best 4 Person Pop Up Tent – OT QOMOTOP Pop Up Tent
- Best 6 Person Pop Up Tent – Mobihome 6 Person Tent
- Best Large Pop Up Tent – Gazelle T8
- Best Instant Tent for the Beach – Abco Portable Cabana
- Best Instant Pop Up Tent for Camping – Coleman Instant Cabin
- Best Instant Pop Up Tent for Backpacking – Teton Sports Quick Tent
- Best Waterproof Pop Up Tent – Kazoo Family Camping Tent
- Best Instant Tent You Can Stand Up In – Gazelle T4 Camping Hub Tent
- Best Pop Up Canopy Tent – Core Instant Canopy Tent
- Best Budget Pop Up Tent – Ubon Pop Up Tent
- Best Instant Tent for Backyard Camping – Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent
- Best Pop Up Privacy Tent – GigaTent Pop Up Privacy Tent
13 Best Pop Up Tents
Best 2 Person Tent
Capacity: 2 people
Setup Time: 10 seconds
Weight: 6.41 lbs
Features: Solid waterproofing, affordable
The Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent is an ideal option for an all-around easy tent.
It’s simple, classic, and reliable.
Although there’s only one door, the tent offers a decent amount of space and an adjustable fly for added ventilation that makes it comfortable for 2 people.
This tent sets up in just about 10 seconds, which means you can get out of the rain in an instant.
It’s also more waterproof than average for a pop up tent.
Most notably, the taped seams and welded construction do a good job of keeping you dry inside the tent.
This allows you to use it in a variety of weather unlike some of the other tents on this list.
Another reason we recommend this Coleman tent as the best 2 person pop up tent is because of the value it offers, even with its low price point.
For an affordable brand, Coleman builds quality tents that don’t skimp on the most important features, namely ventilation and waterproofing.
For this particular tent, the rain cover extends fully over the windows and sits a few inches off the main tent, which gives water space to run off and keeps condensation outside the main tent.
While the ventilation isn’t great with the rain cover on, this pop up tent has large mesh windows that provide views and airflow in dry conditions.
Plus, the windows are positioned right at the top of the tent dome, which means they’re perfect for stargazing from bed on clear nights.
In terms of weight, this tent comes in at six and a half pounds, so it’s easy to move from car to campsite, or even hike with.
However, it folds down to an awkward wide circular shape so it might not be the most ideal for long hikes since it’s difficult to strap to a backpack.
For this reason, you should consider where you plan to use it if portability is an issue.
Lastly, the interior is only about three feet high inside the tent, so it’s not particularly comfortable for lounging or waiting out a rainy day.
And speaking of rain, you might also want to add a ground cloth for an extra waterproof layer that will help keep moisture out.
Overall, this Coleman pop up tent is a good pick if you need a solid, simple tent for two people that just happens to set up fast.
- Solid waterproofing features – welded floor, inverted seams, covers on zippers
- Excellent price
- 10 second set up
- Multi-position rain cover can be repositioned to allow for more ventilation
- ventilation with rain guard fully on
- Not tall enough to stand inside
Best 4 Person Tent
The OT QOMOTOP Pop Up Tent is a large, spacious cabin-style tent that sleeps four people with relative ease, pitches in one minute, and has a few special extra features that make it one of the best 4 person instant tents.
Most notably, this pop up tent has a lot of interior space and a roomy square floor plan, which means it’s easier for 4 people to move around.
This is even more the case with its tall interior and mostly vertical walls that are almost standing height inside the tent.
This tent also has an electrical cord port, which is uncommon for a 4 person pop up tent.
Electrical cord ports might not seem like a very important feature, but they’re handy.
Once you’ve tripped over a cord at night or accidentally cut power to your tent mates, it’s easy to see how useful they are.
While you can sleep four people, it’s best used with two kids and two adults for maximum comfort.
Lastly, since this size tent usually requires two people to set up and take down, one of the biggest draws to this tent is its instant pop up nature.
For a large, comfortable tent, it’s surprising how easy it is to set up – one person can do it in under a minute!
Between the one minute set up and take down and the interior space, the QOMOTOP would make a perfect instant family tent, or a perfect tent for any group that wants a comfortable amount of space.
If you’re looking for more recommendations, we’ve got you covered with these top 4-person tents.
- Both setup and takedown are quick – under one minute
- Spacious interior and almost standing height
- Room for a queen mattress
- Can be set up by one person
- 60-second setup doesn’t include the time to pitch the fly
- Rain coverage is minimal
- Recommended for two adults/two children, not four people, for maximum comfort
Best 6 Person Tent
Capacity: 6 people
Setup Time: 60 seconds
Weight: 16.3 lbs
Features: Awning vestibule over door, large windows, one-year warranty
If you want even more space or have more people in your group, the Mobihome 6 Person Tent is an excellent choice.
This easy-to-pitch instant family tent has three windows, a lot of floor space, three inside storage pockets, and a one-year warranty.
The size and design of this tent are ideal for sleeping four people or more.
The interior is wide and has a lot of floor space and separate areas in the tent.
As a bonus, if it’s not raining, you can leave the waterproof cover off and enjoy the mesh ceiling panels, which offer wider views and ventilation.
One unique feature of the Mobihome is a small awning over the door for added waterproofing and storage space.
This feature is unusual for a pop up tent and certainly something useful.
A door overhang will keep you dry when you’re getting in or out of the tent.
It also allows you to leave the window open for ventilation even in the rain.
And with six people in a tent, ventilation is very important.
For these reasons, the Mobihome is among the best tents for family camping, especially since it’s large enough to easily move around inside with the family in tow.
And even if you don’t have to accommodate six people, this tent is light enough to take pretty much anywhere and comes with a sturdy carrying bag.
It’s portable enough to use even if you just have four people on your camping trip who want more space.
If you’re looking for a traditional tent, check out our picks for the best 6-person tents.
- Spacious enough for six people
- A lot of mesh windows and a well-designed fly for ventilation
- One-year warranty
- Only one door
- Not full standing height – about 4.5 ft high
- Minimal interior pockets
#4 Gazelle T8
Best Large Tent
Capacity: 8 people
Setup Time: 90 seconds
Weight: 56 lbs
Features: Storage pockets, removable bathtub bottom
If you want to go for an even bigger pop up tent, the Gazelle T8 is a good bet.
Most pop up tents are on the smaller side, but there are a few instant tents that can sleep more than 6 people.
The Gazelle T8 is one of those (or if you want something larger than an 8-person tent, try one of these larger tents).
Unlike a lot of cheaper instant tents, the Gazelle T8 is a high quality, ultra-tough 8-person pop up tent with plenty of quality features you normally wouldn’t find on a tent of this kind.
The quality construction is especially unique – pop up tents are notoriously flimsy and breakable.
This tent is made with materials usually saved for expedition-ready hiking tents.
It has heavy-duty fabric, zippers, and mesh.
Really, the features and design are more what you’d expect in a quality traditional tent.
A few of its best features include two doors, almost a dozen storage pockets, a removable bathtub bottom, and a roll-up fly that can be used as an awning.
With plenty of storage and doors on either side, it’s convenient for trips where you’re camping with a lot of people in one tent.
The tent can also be divided in the middle for more privacy and flexibility.
If you’re looking for a tall pop up tent, the Gazelle is one of the best choices for its quality construction, quick set up, and roomy interior (it’s nearly 7 feet tall inside and has 110 ft² of floor space).
Just keep in mind the weight – it’s over 50 lbs so it’s not as portable and wouldn’t be practical to carry for more than a little ways from your car.
This Gazelle tent might be more of an investment than other tents on this list, but it’s worth it if you want a solid, easy to set up basecamp for extended car camping trips.
If you’re camping with family or friends and looking for a tent with rooms, check out our post on the best 3 room tents.
- Plenty of storage and organization options inside the tent
- Double doors – easy entry and exit
- Removable bathtub bottom makes it easy to clean
- Central room divider makes it flexible for groups
- Very heavy – potentially too heavy for some people to carry alone
- Not the best for a portable pop up tent
Best Tent for the Beach
Capacity: 1-2 people
Setup Time: Under 30 seconds
Waterproof: No, but it’s water-resistant
Weight: 3.7 lbs
Features: UV protection, included rope for guy lines
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the larger pop up tents, there are the ultraportable tents for the becah.
The Abco Portable Cabana is a super light, simple tent perfect for casual camping or lounging.
It’s our pick for the best pop up tent for the beach due to its built-in UV protection and added guy points that hold it down on windy days.
One thing to note – while it’s great for the beach, be careful taking this tent on a camping trip.
With pop up tents like the Abco, it’s important to keep in mind their limitations and intended use.
This beach tent is more of an instant shelter than camping gear.
It’s not totally waterproof, but it’s fine for fair weather conditions.
It will function best as a shelter for day use, keeping sun and sand off you and your belongings.
It’s also a bit small to sleep two people.
For this reason, be sure you and your partner are comfortable if want to use it for overnight camping.
Lastly, while the Abco is affordable and simple, it also offers some convenient extra features like double doors with roll up rain covers and a lot of connection points so you can secure it against beach wind.
Just be aware that you might want to buy special sand stakes separately – the standard stakes included with the tent won’t do much in a high wind situation on the beach.
At less than four pounds, this tent is light enough to carry anywhere and small enough to throw in a beach bag.
And as an automatic pop up tent, it’s ready to use pretty much as soon as it’s out of the bag.
- Doors on either side – a must when using with another person
- Comes with a carry bag, making it extra portable
- Ultra-light for a pop up tent – comparable to backpacking tents
- Water-resistant and UV treated fabric
- Included stakes aren’t designed for sand
- Minimal ventilation, especially when rain covers are down
- On the small side for two people
Best for Camping
Capacity: 6 people
Setup Time: 60 seconds
Waterproof: No, but it’s water-resistant
Weight: 24.5 lbs
Features: Reflective guy lines, integrated rain cover, light-blocking fabric
If you are going on a camping trip, you’ll likely want something a little more spacious and reliable in inclement weather, such as the Coleman Instant Cabin.
The Coleman Instant Cabin is a classic tent with unique light blocking fabric that makes it perfect for campgrounds.
You’ll be able to sleep through sunshine, bright lights and other campers’ late night shenanigans.
It’s also large and spacious with 6 ft of standing height and room for two queen mattresses – making it comfortable for six and palatial for four people.
The most unique feature of this tent is its “dark room technology” – light blocking fabric that keeps the tent cool on hot days and dark in the sun.
Keeping the tent cool and dark means it’s extra comfortable when staying at crowded campsites, festivals, or anywhere where you’re likely to have neighbors and disturbance.
If you’ve ever tried to sleep in while camping, or had a nearby car headlight pointed at your tent during the night, you’ll know that the average tent isn’t very light proof.
One important thing to note about this tent, however, is that it features an integrated rain cover as opposed to a fly.
This makes it quick to set up but less waterproof.
For this reason, if you want to use it in variable weather, it might be a good idea to invest in a separate fly and a tent footprint.
In general, zip-closed window covers are at the lower end of waterproofing, as opposed to solid, full coverage rainflies.
With single wall, zip-close systems, there are a lot of exposed seams that are likely to leak.
However, if you don’t mind shelling out a little extra for the full rain cover, or you plan to be camping in a dry climate, the Coleman Instant Cabin is a quality pick.
And between the dark room fabric and spacious interior, this tent offers a good amount of value for the money, which is why it’s easily one of the best pop up camping tents out there.
If you want something larger than a 6-person tent, try one of these 8 person tents.
- Dark room technology makes for comfortable sleeping
- Spacious inside – standing height and square floor plan
- Can be set up by one person
- Accommodates two queen mattresses
- No rain fly – integrated rain cover helps but isn’t waterproof
- Too heavy for anything other than car camping
- Could use a tent footprint
Best for Backpacking
Capacity: 1 person
Setup Time: 60 seconds
Weight: 4.6 lbs
Features: Gear loft, accommodates modular add-ons like a cot
The Teton Sports Quick Tent is another unique instant offering unlike other tents on the market.
It’s a versatile one-person backpacking tent but designed with special pop up features to be quick and easy to set up.
One of the best features of this tent is the all-over mesh paneling for better ventilation and stargazing.
It also has a standard gear loft and full-coverage rainfly, which is the gold standard for waterproofing.
What really makes this tent stand out though is that it’s part of a flexible modular system.
This means it can be used with a camping cot and special fly to keep you dry and off the ground or pitched as a stand-alone tent.
However, be aware that the included fly is designed to work for a standard ground setup, not with a cot.
It won’t cover the cot completely unless you buy the special fly Teton sells for that purpose.
So if you plan to be camping on a cot anywhere outside the desert, make sure to buy the additional fly to stay dry.
While this tent isn’t competitive with normal ultralight tents in terms of weight, at around four pounds, it’s light enough for short backpacking trips.
The instant set up also makes it convenient if you’re using it as part of a cot system, as it significantly reduces setup time over a traditional system.
It might work especially well for someone who needs to break camp quickly.
For example, bird watchers or naturalists who need to move at a moment’s notice will appreciate the quick take down.
Overall, if you’re willing to carry the extra weight and want a tent that will make setting up camp the easiest part of your day, the Teton Sports Quick Tent is a solid choice.
- All-around mesh windows for stargazing
- Lighter and more portable than most pop up tents (but not when compared to a traditional tent)
- Modular – can be used with or without a cot
- Gear loft for easy storage and access to valuables
- Full-size rain fly sold separately
- Floor isn’t very waterproof – not designed to sit directly on the ground
- No tent footprint
Best Waterproof Tent
Capacity: 4 people
Setup Time: 30 seconds
Weight: 14.1 lbs
Features: Convertible door awning, mesh windows and pockets
If you know you’ll be camping in wet conditions, not just any tent will do.
You’ll need a reliably waterproof shelter.
And the Kazoo Family Tent makes a perfect pop up camping tent for challenging weather conditions.
If you’re looking for a true 3-season pop up tent, there aren’t too many options, but the Kazoo is one of the rare ones.
This tent comes with all the features you’d expect in a pop up tent and more.
It’s durable, well built, and designed for a lot of different use cases.
In terms of features, there’s plenty of mesh for ventilation, special windows in the fly, a convertible awning over the door, and a lot of pockets.
Most notably, the fly and ventilation on this tent are second to none.
The inner tent has large windows which still circulate air even with the full coverage fly is on, due to special vents.
And the fly windows are placed so you can still see outside the tent in bad weather.
But what makes the Kazoo stand out most are the quality materials used – coated ripstop polyester, aluminum polls, and plenty of mesh for ventilation and visibility.
Most pop up tents aren’t seriously waterproof, but the Kazoo features waterproof fabric rated to twice the minimum standard and a full-coverage rainfly to keep you and all your gear dry inside the tent.
And the awning function on the fly is a lifesaver in wet weather.
It will give you space to take off and store your muddy clothes and shoes before entering the tent, keeping the inside much cleaner and drier.
If you need a waterproof pop up tent, or just a great all-around durable camping shelter, the Kazoo is a great choice.
Looking for more options? Check out our guide to the best waterproof tents.
- High-quality construction – waterproof fabric, aluminum poles
- Great ventilation – full mesh walls and ceiling with mesh windows in the fly
- Two-year warranty
- Double doors for easy entry and exit
- Door awning for extra space and storage
- Not full standing height
- Takedown is more difficult than set up
- A bit too heavy for backpacking
#9 Gazelle T4
Best Tent You Can Stand Up In
Capacity: 4 people
Setup Time: 90 seconds
Weight: 30 lbs
Features: 50+ UV protection, a lot of interior pockets, removable floor
If you want maximum camping comfort that feels almost like being indoors, you need a tent with the highest possible ceilings.
And the Gazelle 4 is another reliable 4-person instant tent for camping that happens to be almost seven feet tall.
Like the Kazoo, it’s distinguished by its high-quality materials and construction.
Gazelle tents are made to handle long camping trips or backpacking expeditions.
This tent features excellent build quality above most 4-person pop up shelters.
It has heavy-duty zippers, waterproof and UV blocking fabric, extra tight-woven mesh, and all the doors and pockets you need.
While pop up tents often run small, this is a 4-person tent that actually sleeps four people comfortably.
With steep walls and very high ceilings, it’s spacious enough for extended trips and extra gear.
However, that level of quality comes at a price.
This tent is more expensive and heavier than a basic pop up tent.
It also weighs over 30 pounds, so it would be tough to set up alone or move around.
Basically, if you plan to use the Gazelle T4, you won’t want to carry it too far.
With that said, the extra weight means that it’s extra sturdy and durable.
Most pop up tents don’t fare well in high winds, but the Gazelle has a lot of reinforcing tie-down points.
Overall, whether you’re looking for a weatherproof tent to live out of or just a shelter you can stand up in, the Gazelle T4 is a cut above the rest.
- Comfortable for four people (adults) and their gear
- 6.5 feet of standing height – tall enough for nearly everyone
- Excellent build quality – PU coated polyester, strong zippers
- Removable floor for easy cleaning
- Two doors
- Heavy, difficult to move
- Pitching and removing the rainfly makes it a slower setup
Best Canopy Tent
Setup Time: 2 minutes
Waterproof: Yes, for light rain
Weight: 43 lbs
Features: Wheeled carry bag, top vents, UV protection
If you’re looking for something a little different, The CORE Instant Canopy Tent is one of the best pop up canopies on the market right now.
A canopy tent is a versatile addition to your summer equipment.
It can be used at tailgates, barbecues, or any occasion where you might want shade or shelter.
They’re great if you’re hosting an outdoor event and you want to make sure guests stay comfortable (and food dry) no matter the weather.
A canopy tent is also super useful at the beach or the pool.
Once you get used to 100 ft² of shade, you won’t want to go back to a simple pool umbrella.
And with UV protection, it’s made with summer activities in mind.
The Core Instant Canopy Tent also comes in a wheeled carry bag, so the 40 lb weight isn’t as big of an issue.
It’s easy enough to get it down the boardwalk, across a field, or up to the pool.
While it’s not a standard camping tent, the CORE Canopy can be used to cover a small pop up tent or two.
This would create a relatively dry “basecamp” area for a group camping trip.
In terms of materials, the fabric is waterproof, but it only keeps light rain off.
And with no sides, any wind would blow rain right into the area under the tent.
That said, the CORE has all the basic things you need from a canopy tent.
It features waterproof fabric, extra vents for air circulation, and a large enough floor size to keep everything covered.
We recommend it as the best canopy tent because it’s large but still strong and convenient to move with included stakes/guy lines and a wheeled carry bag.
Read our full guide to the best camping canopies.
- Comes with stakes, lines, and carry bag
- Wheels make the heavy tent more portable
- 100 ft² of shade
- Easy to set up
- Needs two people to pitch
- Too heavy for some camping trips
- Not waterproof enough for heavy rain
#11 Ubon Pop Up Tent
Best Budget Tent
Capacity: 2-3 people
Setup Time: 5 seconds
Weight: 4.15 lbs
Features: Storage pockets, two doors, wind and UV protection
The Ubon Pop Up Tent is cheaper than just about any normal tent and comes with a few neat extra features, making it our pick for the best budget pop up tent.
For less than $50, you can have a reliable shelter that sets up in seconds.
Just note that it’s not fully waterproof, so be aware that it shouldn’t be used as a normal tent for camping.
It’s much better as a beach shelter or shade lounge.
One feature that stands out about the Ubon is that it’s super light (around four pounds), so it’s practical to take out for a picnic in the park, to the beach, or on a short hike.
And the UV-proof fabric makes the Ubon ideal for summer weather.
It can provide heat relief and sun protection at the shore or when you’re waiting in a long line outside.
This tent is also windproof, so it’s comfortable in breezy conditions and should be able to stand up to moderate winds at the beach.
The doors on either side make it easy for 2-3 people to share the space comfortably.
Where this tent falls short, however, is the waterproofing.
This is not a waterproof tent, so don’t expect to stay warm and dry if you’re using it on a rainy fall day.
And if you’re trying to keep yourself dry in a surprise storm, ventilation will suffer with all the mesh windows closed.
Since there are no overhangs, all of the mesh has to be directly covered to keep the rain out.
That all being said, this is the perfect tent for casual day use.
For a low price, you can take it anywhere and not worry too much about destroying your “investment.”
It’s a solid festival tent, tent for the beach, or tent for kids.
If you’re looking for a cheap instant pop up tent that’s still light and practical enough to take camping, this is the perfect choice.
Just make sure weather conditions look good.
- Affordable – excellent value for the price
- Easy to take down
- Windproof and UV-resistant
- Hook for hanging camping lantern
- Not waterproof
- Minimal ventilation
Best for Backyard Camping
Capacity: 4-5 people
Setup Time: 60 seconds
Waterproof: Yes, for light rain
Weight: 10.25 lbs
Features: UV-resistant fabric, included guy lines
The Moon Lence 4 Person Instant Tent is the best choice for anyone who wants a classic dome tent that can be pitched in under a minute.
This 4-person camping tent is quick and convenient enough that you can pull it out anytime the kids need a little outdoor entertainment.
And it’s not a nuisance to set up, so you’re more likely to use it spontaneously and for shorter periods of time.
This tent would make a perfect imaginary Everest base camp or dragon’s lair.
It’s freestanding, meaning it doesn’t need to be staked down, so you can set it up inside or anywhere else you want.
And given the sub $100 price and tough construction, it makes an ideal pop up tent for heavy kid use.
If you want to take this tent outside the backyard, the Moon Lence would also be a solid choice for family camping.
For an affordable tent, the build quality is surprisingly good and features waterproof coated polyester walls and premium aluminum poles.
Besides its versatility, another unique feature of this tent is that it has a lot of mesh windows and a wide door that covers almost one entire side of the tent.
This makes it easy for people to move in and out and keeps air flowing.
And since this tent is UV and wind-resistant, it’s perfect for day use as a shelter at the beach (especially because of the extra-large door).
In terms of space, the Moon Lence can accommodate four people comfortably (it’s rated for 4-5 people), so there’s plenty of room for gear, clothes, and toys inside.
One thing to note is that although there’s plenty of room for a few people, this tent is not high enough for adults to stand inside.
It’s perfect for kids though.
One downside to this pop up tent is the waterproofing.
Like most instant tents, it doesn’t have a true rain fly.
There’s a small rain cover over the top vent and zip-close mesh windows.
This would be fine for light rain but won’t keep you dry in a downpour.
With that said, for such an affordable tent, the Moon Lence offers a good mix of features and size perfect for a not-too-demanding camping trip.
It would be best for family camping (or backyard adventures) in fair weather.
- Quality materials – PU coated polyester, aluminum polls
- UV and wind-resistant
- Comes with pegs and guy ropes to make it more stable
- Plenty of closeable windows
- Space inside the tent is limited – dome construction leaves less interior space
- Not standing height – although it’s fine for kids
- Dome tent shape limits interior space
- Poor ventilation with windows closed
Best Privacy Tent
Capacity: 1 person
Setup Time: 10 seconds
Weight: 3 lbs
Features: Stake loops, double zippers, sand back pockets
Privacy pop up tents are a useful addition to any big camping trip, especially if there are a lot of people in your group.
It makes it much easier to have a designated private space, rather than one person taking over the main tent when they need privacy (and it can help avoid awkward situations).
And if you select one as lightweight and easy to use as the GigaTent, you’ll likely take it on a lot of your outdoor adventures.
The GigaTent Pop Up Privacy Tent is a simple privacy shelter that’s easy to set up.
It’s perfect for a camping trip where you know you’ll want seclusion for changing or showers.
If you don’t want to buy a larger tent with special privacy dividers, this is also a worthwhile option.
In terms of portability, at 3 lbs, it’s the lightest tent on this list.
It folds down to 24x24x3, so it’s easy to throw in a beach bag or backpack.
And the GigaTent is more than just a basic shelter.
It has thoughtful features that really make it stand out.
Specifically, it has loops so it can be staked down securely at camp and special pockets you can fill with sand to keep it from blowing away at the beach.
There are also double zippers, a roll-up door that can be opened all the way to the top, and an enclosed roof for maximum privacy.
This pop up tent is best for someone who wants privacy that’s simple, light, and portable.
However, being that it’s only three feet wide, it isn’t comfortable for much more than briefly standing up inside.
It’s also only about 5’9” in height, so if you’re planning to use it as a shower or changing room, be sure the taller people in your group will have enough room.
- Can be staked down so it won’t blow away
- Double zippers to make entry and exit easy
- Sandbag pockets for secure set up at the beach
- Light enough to take anywhere
- Not full standing height for taller people
- No floor – won’t keep you dry
What is a Pop Up Tent?
Pop up tents are simply tents that pack and store mostly assembled, so they don’t take as much time to pitch.
Typically, they look like any other tent, but they have poles already attached to the tent body.
The tent poles are often joined with a spring or joint that allows them to fold without being disassembled.
This also forces the polls to spring into place when pressure is removed (when the tent is removed from its carrying bag, for example).
Instant tents that pop up are usually quick to set up and take down.
They’re often heavier but a bit less complicated than traditional tents.
Because of this, they’re a popular choice for casual car camping or beach days.
Are Pop Up Tents Any Good?
If you’re trying to set up fast in a rainstorm, you’ll likely think an instant tent for camping is better than good.
If you’re trying to sleep through a rainstorm in a pop up tent, your answer might be different.
Pop up tents have come a long way and many perform very well, but there are still some pros and cons with them.
Overall, they’re a great choice for casual use.
Many people prefer a quick pop up tent for family camping, beach trips, and other low key outdoor occasions.
This is the selling point with instant tents – they’re quick.
An easy pop up tent is ready to use in a few minutes, if not seconds.
If you’re looking for a casual tent or a simple tailgating shelter, a pop up tent won’t distract you or take too much time out of your day.
Good for Newbies/Easy to Use
If the talk of stakes and guy lines makes you nervous, or you’re a beginner camper and just don’t want to worry about any of that stuff, pop up tents are a good choice.
You don’t really need any know-how or skills to set them up.
Great for Kids
Pop up tents can be so simple a kid can pitch one with minimal help.
They’re also less dangerous because the poles are typically integrated into the tent body.
Pop up tents are generally not built to take the same kind of abuse as traditional tents.
Because their poles have to be flexible, they’re usually not that strong.
The poles are also tough to replace if they break.
Because they’re made for casual use and not wild camping, the materials tend to be of lesser quality.
Pop up tents often have moving parts, which rely on one or two main pieces for structure.
If one of those pieces breaks, it could be impossible to pitch the tent.
Many pop up tents are single wall.
This means they have just one layer of fabric, instead of an inner tent covered by a solid outer fly.
Unprotected seams along the tent, as well as the lightweight fabric itself, is more likely to leak.
Another disadvantage of single wall tents is their ventilation.
Air doesn’t circulate as well and condensation tends to gather more easily on the walls.
Pack to Awkward Shapes
Some instant tents (especially the smaller, more simple ones) pack to wide, flat circle shapes.
This is usually fine for tossing in a car but they would be tough to throw in a backpack.
Who Are Pop Up Tents For?
While they have their pros and cons, pop up tents are perfect for a lot of users and occasions.
If you’re one of the many people newly interested in the outdoors, but not ready to commit to a full camping setup, a pop up backpacking tent is a good choice.
Many pop up tents are only rated for one or two seasons.
If you’re only looking for a beach tent or simple shelter for fair weather, this is fine.
Pop up tents also usually come with special summer features like UV blocking, which makes them ideal for the warmer seasons.
Car & Backyard Campers
If you don’t need something particularly durable or fancy, why waste time and money on a traditional tent?
A pop up tent is easy enough to store and carry when it comes to car travel or backyard camping.
Those who prioritize easy set up above all else
If you want an easy tent to set up, a pop up tent is a good choice.
Easy up tents are a lifesaver on a camping trip in the rain, after a long drive, or if you’re just feeling lazy.
Pop up tents are usually built cheap and sold cheap.
You can often find a simple, easy to use shelter (with no need to worry about extra stakes or ropes) for under $100.
What’s the Difference Between Pop Up and Regular Tents?
Instant pop up tents are mostly preassembled.
They typically pop into place with just a little pushing and prodding (or none at all).
Here are some of the main differences:
Pop up tents are typically smaller than traditional tents.
Although large pop up tents can be prohibitively bulky and heavy.
A pop up tent is made to be easy to set up.
All other features will likely come after that.
Good pop up tents are competitive in terms of features and performance, but they tend to be heavier.
Pop up tents are usually single-walled to make them easy to pitch, which means they don’t ventilate as well.
Some come with extra rain covers, but that means they take more time to pitch.
Pop up tents often use cheaper but more breathable (and less waterproof) fabric to get around the ventilation problem.
A lot of pop up tents are not really meant to be used for serious camping.
They’re made to be used for fun and simplicity (car camping, beach trips, etc) and not usually for reliable shelter in bad weather.
How Do You Set Up and Take Down a Pop Up Tent?
All tents are different!
Pop up instant tents usually just need to be removed from the carry bag and they’ll spring open.
A new, more durable pop up tent for camping might require threading some poles, staking down corners, and securing a rainfly.
What to Look for When Buying a Pop Up Tent
Instant tents are typically made out of cheap, lightweight nylon, taffeta, or polyester.
Look for PU coated polyester if you need a waterproof tent.
Pop up tents can be small – size up if you want a more comfortable sleeping space (for example, a 4-person tent for three people).
Looking for waterproof pop up camping tents is no longer a lost cause.
Buy a tent with fabric rated to at least 1500 in a hydrostatic head test.
A separate rain fly is also a good choice.
Instant tents are meant to be cheap and fun.
Unless you’re buying a large pop up tent, look for something under $200.
Be sure the tent has mesh windows and vents that can open even when the rain cover is on.
Number of Doors & Windows
More is generally better, especially if you want to sleep more people in the tent.
At least two doors help with entry and exit.
Weight & Portability
Make sure you’re comfortable moving and packing the tent, especially if it’s larger.
Many of these tents pack to unusual shapes.
For a hiking pop up tent, look for no more than 2.5 lbs per person.
Conclusion – What’s the Best Pop Up Tent For You?
If you’re looking for for all-around performance, the Kazoo Family Tent ticks all the boxes.
It pops up in under a minute, it’s easy for one person to set up and take down, and it’s big enough for several people to sleep and live comfortably.
What makes it the best pop up tent overall is its durability and performance.
This Kazoo doesn’t have any of the common shortcomings of a pop up tent – it ventilates well and it’s totally waterproof.
If you want a pop up tent that will pitch instantly, but still performs like a traditional tent, we recommend the Kazoo as the best pick.
But, as a reminder, the best pop up tent is different for everyone.
It’s important to choose the best pop up tent for your needs and activities.
Many people don’t really need heavy-duty waterproofing or ultralight design.
If you’re looking for an affordable do-it-all instant pop up tent for the beach or the park that will still keep you dry on a camping trip, the Coleman 2 Person Pop Up is an ideal pick.
It’s not as large or durable as the Kazoo, but it’s hard to beat for the price.
You’ll get respectable quality and instant set up for about $50.
The Gazelle tents are unmatched in terms of build quality and durability – you won’t find another pop up tent that can withstand high winds and extended use.
Whichever pop up tent you choose, you’ll be able to set up quickly and get back to the fun parts of camping.
If you want more tent recommendations – make sure to check out our posts on the best 12-person tents, 10-person tents, tunnel tents, inflatable tents, canvas tents, insulated tents, winter tents, tents with a stove jack, and cabin tents.
About the Author
Kristi Allen is a freelance journalist and travel writer from the US specializing in all things outdoors. She grew up hiking and backcountry skiing in the North East and has driven 15,000 miles across the US and Canada in an ongoing quest to visit every national park. Kristi covered politics before moving abroad and lived in Peru, Italy, and China. She is currently exploring the US by van with plans to return to Asia in 2021.
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