Tent

Best Pop Up Tent

Written by: Dave NartinNovember 20, 2019Updated: September 19, 2020

Guide Overview

Spending time outdoors is truly a joy. Having some basic gear helps you enjoy it.

A nice addition to your outdoor excursions is a pop up tent. These set up easily, literally popping up into shape. Popup tents are simple to take down and usually take little storage space. Their pop up design means they’re also an easy to fold up tent.

An instant pop up tent can be used as a sun shelter at the beach, and many are also suited for overnight camping.

Let’s look at the best pop up tents for your needs.

What You Must Know When Choosing a Pop Up Tent

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What’s a Pop Up Tent?

A pop up tent gets its name from the fact that it sets up in seconds. They usually have an attached frame and they pop into shape in seconds, then fold up into a small carrying case.

There’s no need for complex instructions and assembly, which can be the case with more traditional tents. Once you figure out how to fold your popup tent up, your time spent taking it down will also be minimal.
Pop tents should be self supporting and basically construct themselves, with a semi-rigid frame that sets up in seconds.

Why Do You Want A Pop Up Tent?

One of the main reasons people choose a pop up tent is because they’re easy to set up.

It could be that you go to the beach often, and you want to use a pop up portable tent as a shelter that’s easy to set up and take down, maximizing your time at the beach. It also allows you to get out of the sun, or give your kids some shade while they play.

Or perhaps you want to stay overnight but you aren’t a die-hard camper who’s willing to spend the time to set up a complex tent. Maybe those same kids are running around while you’re assembling your tent, so you want an outdoor pop up tent that’s fast and easy to set up and take down.

Even if you’re camping on your own, the quick and simple assembly of a pop out tent means you can get to enjoying the great outdoors!
Pop up tents can also offer the benefit of being relatively easy to carry and store, perfect for a hiker.

While pop up tents may not be ideal for extreme camping conditions, they are perfect for general camping in clear weather. They also make a great gift for kids as a play house and sun shelter. They can be set up in the backyard or even on your deck.

Two Key Factors To Consider In Making Your Selection

There are a couple of important things to consider when making your choice of the best pop up tent:

How You Will Be Using It

Do you want a sun shelter? Do you want a playroom for the kids to use in the backyard? Or are you looking for easy pop up tents that will be suitable for a weekend camping?
How you use your tent will make a difference when it comes time to choose.

If you’re looking for a sun shelter for the beach, and that’s the only time you’ll use your pop up tent, then an easy step up tent that is ready to go in moments is ideal. Your choice could be very different than if you’re looking to sleep in it for three nights.

Capacity

Similarly, you need to think about how many people will use the tent. Perhaps you have 2 children who will spend time in it, either at the beach or in the yard. If there are 4 of you who intend to sleep in it, that changes your decision. A 4 person pop up tent is usually the largest option for this type of construction. If you want a little more room to stretch out in comfort, and to store your belongings, you probably want to think of this size.

If you’re a single backpacker, that also affects your choice. A self pop up tent is perfect for setting up camp in no time. If you’re travelling solo, a one person pop up tent is light to carry and easy to set up on your own.
Another factor is the conditions in which you will use the tent. If you hike and camp in extreme conditions, you need to be careful with your selection to ensure it can handle the elements.

Size

The construction of a pop up tent does limit the size. This is because the attached frame is generally not able to support a very large structure. A large pop up tent is one which can sleep up to 4 people. A structure larger than this would not be able to stand up. For the same reason, a tall pop up tent is harder to find.

Tip: Checkout our best 4 person tent guide here.

Small pop up tents are popular for kids to use in- or outdoors. These are designed for play rather than as accommodation, so they aren’t big enough to lie down and sleep in.

Pricing range

As with other types of tents, there’s a range of prices for these as well. Generally speaking, the higher the spec, the more expensive the tent will be. But, if you’re looking for cheap pop up tents to use as a sun shelter or a play tent for your kids, you’ll find plenty of options available. 

Keeping those factors in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of options, to help you determine the best pop up tent for your needs. While these all offer the ease of “popping” into shape, they do have some variations.

Best Pop Up Tents

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Abco Tech Pop-up 2- Person TentAbco Tech Pop-up 2- Person TentAbco Tech Pop-up 2- Person TentAbco Tech Pop-up 2- Person Tent

The Abco Tech Pop Up tent is among the most affordable and easy to use tents in the market. It requires no complex setup process and just pops into shape in a few seconds without you having to exert much effort. 

Its fiberglass frame is corrosion and rust proof. Heavy-duty ripstop nylon fibers are strongly stitched to prevent tears. The fabric offers UV protection and water resistance.

Air ventilation isn’t a problem with two doors and two windows strategically placed around the tent. Both doors have two layers, an inner zippered screen for breathability and an outer zippered nylon layer for some privacy. The doors are placed on opposite sides, providing easy access. The mesh windows and doors are also great for keeping insects out in buggy campsites.

While the tent pops up in a blink, folding it for storage requires some skill. There are instructions given on how to fold it with ease, but it could be a struggle the first few times you do it. It becomes easy once you get the hang of it though. Once folded flat, it fits into a carry bag for easy storage and portability. 

The Abco Tech can comfortably fit two adults or three children. It’s not big enough to hold a queen-size air mattress though, so just opt for sleeping bags.

In terms of protection against rain, the nylon cover is thick and repels water, but I wouldn’t use it in high-humidity conditions. Furthermore, due to its pop-up design, the wind can easily get under the tent, so make sure you use the provided stakes to pin it to the ground!

Overall, the Abco Tech is a nice tent to have around for an outing with the friends or family, or for kids’ sleepovers, but it’s not something I would recommend on a longer hiking trip.

Pros:

  • Easy setup.
  • Better air circulation with double doors and windows.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Lightweight and portable.

Cons:

  • Flimsy fabric.
  • Not reliable during heavy rain.
  • Short iron pegs not ideal for beach camping
  • Easy setup.
  • Better air circulation with double doors and windows.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Flimsy fabric.
  • Not reliable during heavy rain.
  • Short iron pegs not ideal for beach camping
Zomake 4-Person Pop Up TentZomake 4- Person Pop Up TentZomake 4- Person Pop Up TentZomake 4-Person Pop Up Tent

If you’re looking for a tent to take to the beach, the Zomake Tent is a good choice. It’s made with materials that can withstand saline air and has Hogan Hook Stakes that firmly hold the tent even on sand. The bottom part of the tent is made with durable Oxford fabric. It also offers excellent sun protection with 50+ UPF. 

When packed, it fits into a 31-inch diameter carry bag and weighs only five pounds. Its light weight and compact size make it convenient to take along anywhere. It requires no complicated setups. Just remove it from the bag, and it pops up into shape in a blink of an eye.

Air ventilation isn’t an issue as the tent comes with two mesh doors, two mesh windows, and an extra mesh roof sky window. High density mesh is used to ensure durability. It keeps air in while keeping pesky bugs out.

Three adults can fit comfortably inside. A fourth one could be squeezed in but would leave very little elbow room. While the tent can feel a bit cramped for adults, it can be spacious for kids and make a great play tent.

Pros:

  • Works great at the beach.
  • Pops up in a second.
  • Easy access with double doors.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Sun protection.

Cons:

  • Not for use in heavy rain.
  • Not that roomy.
  • Works great at the beach.
  • Pops up in a second.
  • Easy access with double doors.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Sun protection.
  • Not for use in heavy rain.
  • Not that roomy.
WolfWise UPF 50+ 3-4 Person Pop-up TentWolfWise UPF 50+ 3-4 Person Pop-up TentWolfWise UPF 50+ 3-4 Person Pop-up TentWolfWise UPF 50+ 3-4 Person Pop-up Tent

This tent is a true beach shelter, as it doesn’t close up completely. It has a wide front opening with a floor that extends out, allowing you to sit in the sun while your companions are inside the tent. It also has a back door that can be closed up or tied open.

To set it up, you can toss it in the air! Then it folds down to about 4.5 pounds and fits in a carrying bag that’s included. When set up, its size is almost 7×5 feet with a maximum height of almost 4 feet, so it can seat 3-4 people.

There are windows on each side for airflow. A nice feature of this tent is a circle of mesh all around the bottom of the tent, allowing for extra air flow. If you want shade at the beach without the traditional heat that comes with sitting in a tent in the sun, this is the choice for you.

It has a UPF rating of 50+ and is water repellent. But remember, there’s mesh around the bottom and the front door doesn’t close, so you likely won’t be spending much time in the rain anyway.

The tent stakes into place with the stakes and ropes that are included. It also has 4 corner “sand pockets” that can be filled with sand to provide extra stability. There are also two storage pockets below the windows to organize small items.

Pros:

  • The front opening, back door, two windows and the mesh ring around the floor provide excellent ventilation in the hot sun.
  • Great for a family at the beach, allowing the kids (and parents!) to rest out of the sun.

Cons:

  • The tent slopes from front to back, so it’s not quite as comfortable for 3-4 adults.
  • Tall people will have to sit at the front.
  • It’s not a true tent as it doesn’t close up. It’s a sun shade.
  • The front opening, back door, two windows and the mesh ring around the floor provide excellent ventilation in the hot sun.
  • Great for a family at the beach, allowing the kids (and parents!) to rest out of the sun.
  • The tent slopes from front to back, so it’s not quite as comfortable for 3-4 adults.
  • Tall people will have to sit at the front.
  • It’s not a true tent as it doesn’t close up. It’s a sun shade.
Wnnideo Instant Family Pop-up TentWnnideo Instant Family Pop-up TentWnnideo Instant Family Pop-up TentWnnideo Instant Family Pop-up Tent

Up to 4 adults or 6 children can comfortably fit inside the Wnnideo Instant Family Pop Up tent. The tent features an easy open and fold mechanism that makes it perfect for quick family outdoor trips. The tent opens and folds like an umbrella and can be set up within a minute. Packing it away is equally fast and easy.

The Wnnideo Instant Family Pop Up is made of elasticized fabric. The inner tent material is made of durable 210T polyester and breathable mesh. The outer layer is coated with polyurethane for better protection and water resistance. The fabric offers UV protection, and taped seams keep rainwater out. For added protection, a removable cap with hooks shields the tent from sun and rain.

Redesigned poles anchor the tent firmly onto the ground. The continuous poles are made of strong materials and are designed for better wind resistance.

Large double doors enable easy access in and out of the tent. Mesh windows and ceiling protect the family from pesky bugs and provide good ventilation. A small inner pocket keeps your necessities safe and tidy.

Pros:

  • Good ventilation and lighting.
  • Great all-around view.
  • Spacious enough for a queen-size air mattress.
  • Easy setup and takedown.
  • Easy access in and out the tent.

Cons:

  • Can’t withstand heavy rain.
  • Too bulky to bring on hikes.
  • Good ventilation and lighting.
  • Great all-around view.
  • Spacious enough for a queen-size air mattress.
  • Easy setup and takedown.
  • Easy access in and out the tent.
  • Can’t withstand heavy rain.
  • Too bulky to bring on hikes.
TETON Sports One Person XXL Pop-up TentTETON Sports One Person XXL Pop-up TentTETON Sports One Person XXL Pop-up TentTETON Sports One Person XXL Pop-up Tent

While this is only a one-person tent, it has some great features. It sets up easily, like a pop-up tent should. It has a large U-shaped door, mesh sides for ventilation, and a mesh roof for stargazing.

It includes a waterproof clip-on rain fly that covers the entire tent, and when it’s tied down, it creates a vestibule. You can then enter the tent and leave wet shoes outside, for instance. It includes 5 stakes and 5 guy-lines for securing the rain fly.

It also has the bonus feature of fitting on top of a XXL cot, sold separately. It clamps right on to the top of the cot, so your tent is off the ground. However, if you get a cot, you likely also want the larger rain fly that extends fully to the ground. That’s also sold separately.

However, it can also be set up directly on the ground, and you can then use the included rain fly.

Packed up, it weighs 4.3 pounds, making it perfect for an individual to take hiking and enjoy easy set-up and take-down.

Pros:

  • The option of getting a cot and securing the tent on top of a cot.
  • If you’re using it as a sun shelter, two people could sit inside.

Cons:

  • It’s a one-person tent, giving you little to no flexibility in how much gear to bring.
  • The option of getting a cot and securing the tent on top of a cot.
  • If you’re using it as a sun shelter, two people could sit inside.
  • It’s a one-person tent, giving you little to no flexibility in how much gear to bring.
Coleman Cabin 4 -10 Person TentColeman Cabin 4- Person TentColeman Cabin 4- Person TentColeman Cabin 4 -10 Person Tent

The Coleman Cabin Tent is quite a big tent. It can fit up to 10 people and four queen-size air beds. It’s so spacious that it even comes with a room divider. This is a great feature to have for those who want to share tents but still have some privacy.

Even with its size, this tent is still quite easy to set up and take down with telescopic poles that make installation and storage manageable. One person can set the tent up in a matter of minutes.

The frame is strong enough to withstand winds up to 35 mph. Thick heavy-duty Polyguard fabric provides reliable protection from the elements. Like other Coleman tents, this also features the Weathertec system. A vented rainfly and protected seams keep rain away. Patented corner welds and tub-like floor ensure that you stay dry. 

Late risers can sleep past sunrise in comfort with the Coleman’s Dark Room Technology. Up to 90% of sunlight can be blocked, significantly reducing the temperature inside the tent even during daytime. A vent on the roof provides additional ventilation. 

Another nifty feature of this tent is the patented hinge door for easy access in and out of the tent. It would have been better to have two such doors though.

Pros:

  • Easy setup and takedown.
  • high ceiling and spacious.
  • Free standing.

Cons:

  • One-side access only.
  • Too heavy for backpacking use.
  • Not reliable for extended rain periods.
  • Easy setup and takedown.
  • high ceiling and spacious.
  • Free standing.
  • One-side access only.
  • Too heavy for backpacking use.
  • Not reliable for extended rain periods.

Top Pick

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All 5 of these tents are considered “pop-up” tents, but there are some variations among your choices. For instance, if you want it solely as a sun shelter at the beach, your selection may be different than if you want to sleep in it.

Our top choice is the Wnnideo Instant Family Pop-up Tent.

Here’s why we liked it better than the others:

  • It’s big enough to sleep 2 or 3 people. It says it accommodates 6 people, but that would be crowded. However, the extra size means you have some flexibility if you are traveling as a couple, or you want to bring more gear.
  • If you’re using it solely as a sun shelter at the beach, it can accommodate more people. You can even zip it up and eat inside without worrying about flies or other insects.
  • It has great doors and windows, and mesh panels on the roof. While it can be closed up, it can also be opened for viewing and ventilation.
  • Even with its larger size, it’s still easy to pack up and transport.
  • Therefore, this tent includes the benefits of a pop-up tent with a little extra size, allowing you the flexibility to to use it for multiple purposes. It has a decent size, it’s easy to set up, and it has some nice bonuses with the window and door design.

If you’re looking for a pop-up tent, the Wnnideo Instant Family tent is a great choice.

Dave Nartin
Founder at Mountain Leon
Hi. Im Dave. Mountain Lion is the name of this travel blog. It came from my love for both the English and Spanish language, my favourite animal (Lion), and my favourite activity (mountain climbing). Enjoy!