The 10 Best Pop Up Tents

Updated May 09, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Pop Up Tents
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Aaah, the great outdoors. Fresh air. Great views. And frustrating hours trying to get that shelter put together. Enjoy the trip from the moment you arrive by taking one of these pop-up tents instead. They go up in mere seconds and can provide reliable coverage wherever you may roam, whether it be the backyard or the beach or the Black Mountains. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best pop up tent on Amazon.

10. WolfWise Privacy Upgrade

The WolfWise Privacy Upgrade is for those times when all you need is a little protection from prying eyes. It's perfect for changing clothes or taking a shower and, though it's not really meant for it, can even be deployed as a hunting shelter thanks to its camo exterior.
  • made with waterproof taffeta nylon
  • fabric has anti-uv coating
  • can be difficult to fold back up
Brand WolfWise
Model pending
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Lucky Bums Quick and Portable

Weighing in at just over 3 pounds, the Lucky Bums Quick and Portable sleeps two children and folds down to a flat disc when it’s not in use. Although it’s not meant for a torrential downpour, it is weatherproof enough to handle light showers or winds.
  • choose between four colors
  • unfolds quickly
  • not for rugged expeditions
Brand Lucky Bums
Model 185GR
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Sunba Youth 3-Person

The Sunba Youth 3-Person may not be from any brand you’d recognize, but if you’re looking for shelter from the sun and sand on a budget, it could be a contender. Mesh windows keep the air flowing and mosquitoes out, while eight metal ground stakes hold it firmly in place.
  • available in green and blue
  • works well for sleepovers too
  • unclear and difficult instructions
Brand Sunba Youth
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Core 9-Person Instant Cabin

All the members of your group should have ample room in the Core 9-Person Instant Cabin, which boasts 14-foot by 9-foot of interior space and a center height of 78 inches. There’s also an electrical cord access port, so you’ll be able to keep all of your devices topped up.
  • mesh ceiling lets heat escape
  • zippered privacy panels
  • fairly heavy when packed away
Brand Core
Model 40008
Weight 36.5 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Zomake Automatic

For those hot summer hikes when all you need is a little shelter over your head in case of the surprise drizzle, check out the Zomake Automatic. it features a window on both sides, a skylight, plus two large doors, giving you all the ventilation you could ask for.
  • carrying bag included
  • works well for festivals
  • not ideal for backpacks when folded
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. FreeLand Canopy

Keep your tailgate barbecue or concession stand protected from the rain and heat at your next sporting event with the FreeLand Canopy. It's a few notches above covers of a similar nature in terms of quality, thanks to an elegant domed ceiling and a slant leg design.
  • steel frame has powder-coated finish
  • provides 65 sq ft of shade
  • not for extreme weather
Brand Freeland
Model pending
Weight 24.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Coleman Pop-Up

Offering 2- and 4-person models, the Coleman Pop-Up is a functional and affordable model from a respected name in outdoor gear. It's better equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you than many other options, with robust waterproofing on the seams and floor.
  • wind-responsive frame
  • multifunctional rain fly
  • additional sealer available
Brand Coleman
Model 2000014781
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Pacific Breeze Easy-Up

Beachgoers, and even campers, will enjoy the Pacific Breeze Easy-Up for a range of reasons: it’s spacious; light, at 4.5 pounds; hardwearing thanks to a sturdy fiberglass frame; and well-ventilated by way of large windows. Sand pockets help keep it stable in the wind, too.
  • made from breathable polyester
  • high-quality manufacturing
  • internal storage compartments
Brand Pacific Breeze Products
Model pending
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Coleman Instant 4-Person

Whether you're road tripping or family camping, the Coleman Instant 4-Person should be your go-to shelter. A hassle-free pitch process allows for deployment in about one minute, while a WeatherTec welded floor helps keep everything inside dry in wet conditions.
  • accommodates queen-size air mattress
  • also comes in larger sizes
  • rain fly available separately
Brand Coleman
Model 2000018016
Weight 19.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Hui Lingyang Outdoor Dome

Don't let the difficult-to-pronounce name deter you: this Hui Lingyang Outdoor Dome is one of the most functionally complete options out there when it comes to instant shelters. For under $100, you get mesh windows, water-resistant PU polyester, and a gear compartment.
  • hanging loop for a lantern
  • surprisingly spacious interior
  • backed by 1-year warranty
Model pending
Weight 9.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Gimme Shelter

The pop up tent is a style of tent used primarily for recreational camping. They come in many shapes and sizes, however, most consumers expect a lightweight, easy-to-use, compact tent. They eliminate the process of setting up or pitching your tent; a pop up tent is spring-loaded, so you can assemble it in a matter of seconds. The days of nailing stakes into the ground and assembling poles are a thing of the past. This feature alone makes it an attractive option for the no frills camper.

Before you buy a pop up tent, or any tent for that matter, please take this important factor into account: the manufacturer accurately represents the number of people that can fit in a tent. If the manufacturer lists that a tent fits four people; they are assuming each person is of average height with no gear or sleeping cots. Most campers will simply buy a four-person tent for two campers, and a two-person tent for one camper, exclusively for this reason. Also keep in mind the material used for the tent. Most tents consist of nylon, canvas, or polyester. Campers will want to ensure that regardless of the material they will stay dry in a rainproof tent.

If you are interested in a pop up tent, please make sure to clarify with the retailer that it is indeed a pop up tent and not a pop up canopy. A canopy is something seen more often at farmers markets that resembles a gazebo with open sides. While these have their uses, they are not appropriate for camping.

Pop Up Tent Pros And Cons

The advantages of the pop up tent are numerous. The most obvious being that it simply "pops up," and the setup time for the tent has been shaved down to mere seconds. How is that possible? It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, most of the models are tightly compacted down, (think of a vinyl snake in the peanut brittle can prank). When you release that tension, spring-loaded poles allow the frame to naturally expand to its impressive shape. The lid of the peanut brittle can, as per my analogy, is replaced by a band or strap which holds the compact shape of the pop up tent.

Another advantage is that the pop up tent is lightweight. Most pop ups weigh only a few pounds and fit snugly into backpacks, making them perfect for the traveler who cannot lug a dome tent on his or her back. Most are specifically designed to fit into backpacks while many others simply come with their own compact bag that slings conveniently over the shoulder.

Also, the price point is attractive; most are quite affordable and a smaller investment than a tent that is harder to assemble.

There are a few trouble areas that I must address. The disassembly of the tent can be deceptive. While it may take only seconds to spring to life, putting it back into its compact shape may force you to wrestle the tent like an crocodile hunter. There is a learning curve to it, and most campers with patience will be able to disassemble much more quickly after several attempts.

Most campers, rightly so, fear the stability of the pop up tent. High winds are the biggest enemy. The guy lines, if provided, do not offer the same stability as a dome tent and they are more likely to blow over.

Lastly, the pop up tent is rarely spacious. Models that list two people usually mean one person with supplies or a cot. If you chose to fit the suggested number of campers in a tent, you will lack private space.

A Brief History of the Tent

The tent is a staple of life. The Bible alludes to food, water, and shelter as far back as Genesis. The uses of the tent are various: shelter, military operations, camping, and protest movements. They range from the accommodation of one person to several thousands, i.e. the circus tent. They are also used in emergency situations such as natural disasters.

The materials used in tents have progressed over time. Animal hides were once (and in some cases still) a viable option for tents, however, most squeamish campers today will opt for lightweight fabric blends of nylon and polyester. The supportive poles for tents were made of wood until the 1960's when steel poles emerged and changed the make up of tents.

As early as the 1970's, the first models of backpack-portable tents, the ancestors of the modern day pop up tent, appeared on the market.

Recreational camping with the tent dates back to the mid 19th century. The emergence and protection of national parks in America helped encourage campers to travel, alongside promises of gold rushes out west that enticed settlers to set up temporary, portable homes.

Keep in mind that a tent is shelter, which is essential to life. When you chose your tent consider the durability, cost, and efficiency.

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Last updated on May 09, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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