The 9 Best Changing Tents
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Whether you're at the beach or enjoying a camping trip with your family, you won't have to sacrifice privacy when getting dressed or taking a shower in the elements if you are equipped with one of these changing tents. They offer a temporary, but civilized, way to do a quick wardrobe change without exposing yourself to the harsh sun, cold air, or the eyes of strangers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 07, 2021:
Too many owners of the Partysaving Privacy Room complained about its poor long-term durability, so we no longer think it's one of the best options. There are plenty of great alternatives, though, and the Lightspeed Outdoors Xtra Wide is still the top, thanks to its sturdy frame and large, comfortable interior. The Ozark Trail Instant 2-Roomis even more versatile, with two separate rooms. Those are both pretty expensive, and if you want to spend less, the Green Elephant Pop Up Utilitent is almost as comfortable, albeit noticeably smaller. Aside from removing that one unreliable model, though, all our other selections remain the same.
March 24, 2020:
There are several scenarios that may require you to make an outfit change when there is no brick-and-mortar room around to do it in. We thought about each of those when making our selection of privacy tents, from luxury events to outdoor adventures.
If you just need something simple that can rapidly give you a changing room where there previously was none, the MyDeal Products PopUp, the Leapair Instant, and the Green Elephant Pop Up Utilitent are good choices, as one person alone can easily set each of these up. For photographers looking to give models a place to change, we included the Partysaving Privacy Room, which is available in a simple all-black design that's perfect for a photo shoot set.
Sojourners heading out for longer trips away from the comforts of home might like the Ozark Trail Instant 2-Room. It has two sections - one for showering and one for changing - and most of the amenities you may find in a regular bathroom, like a towel rack, toiletries holder, and floor drain. The Lightspeed Outdoors Xtra Wide is another good pick for extended trips, because it offers plenty of floor space, so you won't quickly grow frustrated, feeling constricted by your daily changing room.
We wanted to offer something stylish, too, since we know users may need changing quarters for an outdoor wedding or other upscale event where the overall aesthetic matters. So we included the attractively-striped Impact Canopy Portable.
Ovation Gear Pop-Up Changing Tent Available in three bright colors, this tent will be easy to spot amongst the trees on your next camping trip. It comes with ground stakes to help secure it in place, and has a large entry that makes it easy to step in and out of. At 76 inches tall, it should offer plenty of space for most individuals. When not in use, it packs down into a compact size that fits inside the convenient carrying bag. ovationgear.com
Kelty Blockhouse Privacy Shelter Standing on four steel leg poles, this shelter should remain quite stable under most weather conditions and hold its shape for years to come. It has a hook for hanging a shower bag and an external tube entry point, so you can have running water in it for a nice rinse. A clothes line and accessory pockets give you places to keep your items dry while you bathe, and a mesh ceiling allows in fresh air. kelty.com
Don't Even Mention The Unmentionables
Much like the human form itself, we prefer to act like it doesn't exist.
You may be reading this from anywhere in the world (provided you don't live in a nation that restricts your internet access, but I'm writing this from America, and here in the U-S-of-A, we don't like people seeing us naked. We don't even like seeing other people naked unless, of course, you account for the incredibly powerful, all-pervasive adult entertainment industry we have. Fortunately for us, we don't account for it. Much like the human form itself, we prefer to act like it doesn't exist.
As the nation evolved with this particular mindset, its laws evolved right along with it, and their brutality in the face of even the most innocent and accidental nudity is staggering to anyone outside our borders. Just a few years ago, a young man in Springfield, VA faced charges of indecent exposure for being naked in his own kitchen at 5:30 in the morning after a woman and her son illegally trespassed across his front yard and caught a glimpse of him through the window.
With local statutes like these and even more dangerous federal statutes on some campgrounds, beaches, and at national parks, it just isn't worth the risk of being caught in the buff on US soil. I'm somebody who's plenty comfortable in his natural state, but I'm also not interested in ending up on any state's registry of offenders for changing into or out of a bathing suit in public.
The changing tents on our list provide you with a safe, easy-to-use way to keep yourself from being found indecent, or finding yourself in the headlines. Most of them share similarities in construction with simple pop-up hampers, allowing you to set them up and break them down in just seconds.
Others are built more like traditional camping tents with an assembly of poles for you to master before you can get inside and get into a new set of rags. In either case, the materials in use are usually a nylon polymer synthetic that will resist water and dust, so you can set up a changing tent on the desert plains as easily as you would in heavy rains.
From Head To Toe
In most cases, you'll set up one of these changing tents near a body of water. Getting into or out of a swimsuit presents its variety of potential complications. I recall being a kid and having one of my parents hold up a towel behind which I was meant to change. I never felt quite secure behind the thing.
If they have even a modicum of above-average height among them, an open top might be your best bet, just to ensure they have enough vertical room to maneuver comfortably.
Many changing tents provide you with a full three hundred sixty degrees of coverage, while some have protection from above. I don't think we have to worry too much about somebody flying a camera drone over your changing tent and seeing your business from above, but having the roof closed is a great thing when you suddenly find yourself pulled from the water by a rainstorm and you don't want your clothes getting wet.
When deciding between changing tents with an open or closed top, you would do well to consider the height of the changers for whom the room is intended. If they have even a modicum of above-average height among them, an open top might be your best bet, just to ensure they have enough vertical room to maneuver comfortably.
A couple of the more expensive changing tents on our list have enough natural height to them to allow for complete vertical comfort, and they have top coverings, to boot. The one downside to these models is that they're universally a little more complicated to set up. If you want to get in and get out in an instant, you ought to look into the less expensive pop-up styles. If comfort is key, however, and neither price nor difficulty is an object, then aim high and change in luxury.
Vestiges of shelter constructed out of animal hide or plant material reach back to at least forty thousand years to the ruins of an ancient tent that archaeologists discovered in Russia. Of course, it's reasonable to believe that the design has even older roots, considering that the tent is such a simple concept that even a few large leaves strung up around a few twigs would fit the bill.
In the early parts of the twentieth century, large changing tents populated the edges of recreational lakes and oceanfronts.
We know from many credible sources that Roman soldiers used tents in their military encampments. These weren't just pup tents for individual sleeping, either. The Romans had much larger tents intended for strategy meetings as well as for fraternization among soldiers.
Then, the Puritans came along and made America into the land of the physically prudent, a perspective on the human body that endures with incredible strength in the face of globalization. In the early parts of the twentieth century, large changing tents populated the edges of recreational lakes and oceanfronts.
These tents have since been replaced by public changing facilities that are anything but sanitary. Heaven help you if you drop a single item of clothing on the floor of one of those places, and if you happen to set a bare foot down there, might as well amputate. Better to bring your own changing space with you.