One of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors is in your very own camp tent. Sleeping in nature brings with it a unique experience you are simply not able to replicate back home.
Investing in a quality tent allows you to do just that. These are affordable options you can travel with, and instant tents make it that much easier to set up, as most can be erected and in place in under a minute (after you’re accustomed with how to put the tent up, of course).
However, not all tents offer you the same benefits, so before you go out and purchase a new instant tent, make sure you comb through all the offered benefits. This way you’ll invest in a quality tent best designed for you and your family.
Best Instant Tents For Camping
Why You Need An Instant Pop-Up Tent
An instant tent cuts some of the work out of setting up a tent because it’s basically just a quick setup tent. With a traditional tent you are forced to unfold the tent, then you must assemble the posts and feed the posts through loops within the canvas. With this traditional style of tent for camping, you’re looking at several minutes to set up.
An instant tent cuts this issue out by giving you a fast pitch tent.
What is an instant tent? It’s a tent that’s easy to set up. In fact, we think it’s the easiest type of tent to put up when you’re camping.
The poles are already assembled and fed through the necessary loops in the canvas. The poles will then fold in on itself when taking the tent apart. That’s why we love using a pop up tent for camping trips.
When assembling the tent the full set up will vary some, but the poles will typically lock into place, so all you need to do is raise it out of its carrying case and secure the tent into the ground with the provided stakes (and then add the secondary canvas piece over the exposed poles (when one is provided).
So if the worst part about camping for you is setting up the tent, an instant tent takes all of those issues away and makes it a breeze. Most instant tents can go up in a minute or less, which should improve your overall camping experience.
Picks: Top Instant Tents for Family Camping
We’ve gone through all the best pop-up tents for camping that we can find to determine which models are the best for campers everywhere. No matter what size your family may be, we think we’ve found an instant tent that will work for your camping needs. So, check out our reviews below.
1. Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer
When shopping around for a family tent the Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer may check off all the boxes. First, it is can be up and ready to go up 60 seconds. This is great if you arrive late at a camp site and have little light to work with to get those tent poles positioned, or if it’s raining outside and you want to get inside sooner rather than later.
The Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer has enough room to sleep six (or room for two queen air mattresses). That capacity means that you can bring the whole family It also has a wall organizer, so if you’d like to partition the tent off into separate rooms you can do that. The center height of the tent is 72 inches six feet, so considering those dimensions an averaged height man or woman should be able to stand inside of the tent.
There are a handful of other solid benefits to consider with the Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer, including a ceiling lantern hook as well as a wall organizer to help keep gear off the floor. This gives you more of the floors surface space to work with.
There is a rain fly designed to go over the top of the tent, which is a much if you camp where it rains. This will help direct rain away from windows, kind of like an awning, which keeps your tent dry (and prevents water from pooling in the center of the tent and weighing it down). Is this the best family tent? No, but it’s close to it!
2. Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent – 9 x 7
The main benefit of a dome tent, such as the Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent, is it has a low profile and is easy to put up. In fact, the Core 4 tent can go up in 30 seconds. It also has room to sleep four (room for a single queen air mattress), although there are no partitions. The base of the tent is nine feet by seven feet, so while it can sleep four, it might be a little tight with that many people inside the tent (unless some are small children).
We think this pop up tent is the best instant tent for a couple or small family who enjoy a dome style tent when on a camping trip. But it’s definitely not suitable for a family of four with teens or even four adults. So, just keep that in mind as you read this review (and the other instant tents that we review here).
The Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent has a built in lantern hook at the top of the tent, which has a center height of 54 inches (4 feet, 6 inches). There is enough room to sit up comfortably in the tent, but you will not be able to stand up.
This Core tent does include a rain fly, which directs water away from the tent opening and windows (there is a front door/window and a second window in the rear of the tent for excellent ventilation). As room inside the tent is somewhat limited, it does feature storage pockets along the sides of the tent for organization and to help free up some floor space.
The rain fly is built with water blocking technology so the water will not stick to the tent and weigh it down. So, if you’re looking for a tent that is water resistant or waterproof, this is the sort of features that you want to pay attention to as you consider which pop up tent to buy.
3. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup
When camping with a larger group the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup is a solid option to go with. It has space for up to two queen airbeds and can be partitioned into two individual rooms. Looking for the best tent for family camping? Cause this might be it. The tent itself can go up in one minute and has measurements of 10 feet by 9 feet (and has a center ceiling height of six feet).
Did we mention that this pop up tent is easy to set up? Like all of the instant tent options on this page, you won’t need minutes to set it up cause it really is a quick setup.
The Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup doesn’t have a top protective layer for the tent, but it does use a vented rainfly that is integrated directly into the main material. This will help direct the water away from the base of the tent while also reducing the amount of material overhead. And we all love to hear about a water resistant tent, right?
Some tents with extra canvas on top will pull heat into the tent and make it hotter when in direct sunlight. Instead, the double-thick fabric is long-lasting and made of a polyester mesh and Taffeta 150D material. Ventilated windows are found on each side, which allows for an excellent cross-wind, which is great to help take advantage of any breeze you might have (or to ensure everyone has a view of the camp sight).
A really cool feature of this Coleman tent is its Dark Room Technology. By blocking 90% of sunlight coming into the tent, this technology lets you get some z’s while the sun’s still up and reduces temperature buildup up to 10%. One of the reasons that makes this one of our picks for the best instant tent for the money is that it gives you UV protection while you’re inside the instant tent. Coleman really has made a great tent for sunny weather.
The Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup also uses a WeatherTec patented system that moves moisture away from under the flooring, which will help keep you dry, no matter how much it’s raining outside. A dual-door opening makes it easy to enter and exit the tent, especially when there are multiple people using the tent.
There are also storage pockets for storing loose items near the windows of the tent, although it doesn’t have wider storage units for items like backpacks. With all this space and storage options, you should definitely consider it as a good option for family tents. Best to get something large like this so everyone has plenty of room in the tent.
Right now we think that this pop up tent is really the best instant tent for two air mattresses, if that is the way you do your camping trips. So, what you are waiting for? Keep your family comfortable at the campsite.
4. Coleman 8-Person Instant Family Tent
The Coleman 8-Person Instant Family Tent is designed to sleep the entire family. It has room to sleep eight and allows you to fit two queen size air beds inside comfortably. It also has measurements of 14 feet by 10 feet with a 6 foot 5 inch center. This way, just about everyone will be able to stand up inside the tent. There is a center wall partition you can set up to split the tent in half, should you want a secondary room inside the tent for privacy.
Due to its big size, this is one of the best tents for families right now – especially of you’re shopping for an instant tent. Large screened windows and doors allows in ample light on every side of the tent, which goes up in under a minute and takes just three easy steps. Once you have the provided stakes in place the tent will be secure and ready to go.
The tent itself uses Coleman’s patented WeatherTec system, which uses an inverted seam system along the floor to prevent moisture from being pulled up into the floor (which is sometimes an issue with other brands). No need to worry about taped seams coming lose with this tent – you’ve got great water protection here. This way, even if it is raining outside or if the ground is damp you can sleep dry and comfortably.
There are small hanging compartments by windows that allow for easy storage off of the ground (such as for wallets and sunglasses). All of the windows and doors come with secondary canvas material, allowing you to block out sunlight and wind, while when opened the doors and windows use a screened mesh to keep insects out.
And those seven huge mesh windows makes this durable tent a great choice for your summer camping trips, since you’ll be able to let in the evening breeze.
A top canopy does not come with the Coleman 8-Person Instant Family Tent, so if you like to have a secondary protective cover to help direct rainfall you will need to invest in this (Coleman offers canvases that fit on top of all the tents offered by the company). Outside of possibly wanting this secondary protective layer, everything you might need comes in the Coleman 8-Person Instant Family Tent setup.
If you were wondering what is the biggest instant tent, then this right here is your answer. It’s the largest multiple person instant tent that we’ve come across in our testing and reviewing – that we actually recommend to campers who are shopping for a multiple person camping tent.
That being said, there is a Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent that’s not a terrible option but we definitely think this Coleman instant tent is the better option for families who want a good quality 2-room tent with some of the best tent features out there – like an integrated rain fly for those heavy rain storms when weather conditions take a turn for the worse, two doors, enough room to accommodate several adults, and is just overall a big, spacious tent for the ultimate camping trip.
5. Core 3 Person Instant Dome Tent 7 x 7
The Core 3 Person Instant Dome Tent is sold as a three person tent, although in reality it is better off for two people (unless a third is a child). It’s amazing how quickly seven feet across split up by three people and camping gear can be taken up.
So, consider this instant tent if you’re shopping for the best pop up tent for a couple or a couple with one small child.
So whether you’re investing in a tent for yourself, for you and a significant other, the Core 3 Person Instant Dome Tent is a solid option that is easy to go up and gives you the kind of features you’d like in a dome tent. There is enough room for a single queen air mattress and there is a center height of 48 inches (four feet), so you should have plenty of room to sit up in this pop up tent.
There is a lantern hook on the ceiling. You can invest in a camping lantern or even a camping fan. There are also pockets along the interior sides of the tent to help keep items off the ground and dry. These pockets also help free up valuable floor space.
While the Core 3 Person Instant Dome Tent does come with a secondary canopy that goes over top the tent it is not required for setup. The top of the tent is vented with open air pockets for ventilation. The sides are also open mesh vents for even more ventilation options.
This design offers you excellent views of everything around you plus the sky. It is best to use this feature on a clear night when you don’t have neighboring campers (as it is possible to see into the tent from every angle without the top canopy). However, when privacy and rain are not issues this is a great way to really take in the surrounding beauty of nature. It’s actually the best instant tent to carry with you if you want something suitable for seeing the night sky.
The Core 3 Person Instant Dome Tent goes up in 30 seconds. It also has a secondary protective canopy on top, which helps direct water away from openings, which in turn will help keep you dry should it rain. It features two windows, both in the front door and in the rear, so you can take advantage of cross-winds to help cool the interior of the tent ith that sweet ventilation cooling you off.
6. FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent (1 – 3 persons)
The FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent is designed to sleep between one and three people. This has a rather unique design when compared to most other camping tents as it is almost a half-sphere and doesn’t have any hard angles (it looks almost like an igloo made from canvas).
The tent opens up and can be installed in seconds, so you don’t have to fumble around with feeding poles through loops and hooks. All you need to do is pull it out of the carrying case, then secure the edges to the ground with the provided stakes.
There is a wide door opening on the front of the FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent, as well as side windows that can be rolled up or down, which give you views not only of the surrounding natural environment but of the sky as well. On the interior of the tent there are storage pockets under the windows, which allows you to safely place loose items and keep these objects off the ground (all while freeing up floor space).
These tents come in three different sizes with a varying center height. There is one designed for a single sleeper. This is an excellent choice of you go camping on your own or if you’re backpacking to a secluded destination and want something smaller to slide into your backpack.
The larger two and three person instant tents is wider and offers more space. While it can’t be put into a backpack easily it can be carried over your shoulder or handheld for easy transport.
If you’re shopping for the best instant tent that is lightweight and suitable to carry in your camping carry bag, then this is it. Though it probably won’t withstand any strong winds, it won’t weigh you down with pounds of unwanted weight.
What To Consider When Shopping For Instant Tents
Though we’ve given you our recommendations on what we believe to be some of the best instant tents on the market, we also want to give you some tips on how to shop for one on your own. So, let’s dive into the features and other things you will want to consider when shopping for a new fast pitch pop up tent.
What Is The Tent Capacity?
I know this one seems pretty obvious, but it can be easy to forget. Especially since you need to consider not only how many people will fit inside the tent, but can the adults easily stand up in it or is it not really suitable for that.
It’s not just about the dimensions or inches of floor space – it’s the capacity in terms of how many people can it hold inside those walls.
A good rule of thumb here is to never buy a tent with a capacity that matches the number of people who will be sleeping in it. Instead, go for something with a higher number. For example, for two adults go with a three or four person tent.
You need this extra room so that there is ample space for your gear that you want to keep inside of the tent walls with you while you’re sleeping.
Is It Suitable For All Weather Conditions?
Now, you’re probably not going to be out camping in all weather conditions, but you need to make sure that your tent is durable and strong enough to survive through the weather that you do plan to be out in.
Are you going to be out during the rainy season? Then you need a good pop up tent where you can stay dry during the rain storms. Maybe that means something that is water resistant or that has a good rain fly – only you know what type of wet weather you might be camping in out there.
Is the weather going to be warm and sticky? If so, you need an instant tent that has features like lots of windows and screened doors so that you can get some good ventilation flowing through the walls.
You’ll also want to consider if you’re going to be out in some strong winds or cold temperatures.
Do You Need Multiple Rooms?
Some of the large instant tents actually have dividers so that you get multiple rooms for people to sleep in separately.
This might be of interest to you if you’re trying to put the kids away from the adults. Or, if you’re camping with friends this is a good way to not actually be sleeping next to those friends – instead give yourself a little privacy with your partner.
For the most part, instant tents as a whole are relatively portable and easy to take anywhere. But if you’re doing some backpacking then you might be concerned with just how portable your options are.
Maybe you prefer something that is ultra lightweight. Maybe you prefer something that takes up as little space with your gear as possible. Or maybe you prefer something that fits in a carry bag that can easily be stowed away.
Whatever your portability needs might be, know that there is an instant tent out there for you.
Now that you know our thoughts on the best instant tents on the market, and how to shop for your own, we hope that you’re ready to get out there with your new gear and have an awesome camping experience.
As a reminder, here’s a quick look at our favorite instant tents right now:
top image: Abdullah AlBargan/Flickr. CC 2.0