How To Choose The

Best Pop Up Tent

Table of Contents
  1. 01. What You Must Know
  2. 02. The Tents
  3. 03. Top Pick
Table of Contents
  1. 01. What You Must Know
  2. 02. The Tents
  3. 03. Top Pick
1

What You Must Know

1

What You Must Know

Spending time in the 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. They also pack up easily and usually take little storage space.

They 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’s a Pop Up Tent?

A pop up tent gets it 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 tent up, your time spent taking it down will also be minimal.  

A pop up tent should be self supporting and basically construct itself, 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 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, and you want something that fast and easy to set up and take down.

Even if you’re camping on your own, you may want a quick and simple assembly so 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 two important things to consider when making your choice of the best pop up tent:

  1. 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 do you want to spend a weekend camping with your tent?

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 your choice could be very different than if you’re looking to sleep in it for three nights.

  1. How many people need to use it

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. If you’re a single backpacker, that also narrows your choice.

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.

Keeping those factors in mind, let’s take a look at five different 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.

2

The Tents

2

The Tents

Abco Tech Pop-up 2 Person Tent

This tent pops open easily and folds up easily when it’s time to put it away. It accommodates two people, with a size of 6.5×4 feet and a height of just over 3 feet.

There are two doors, one on each side, that can be closed with the mesh door only, or the solid nylon door. There is a window on each end, with flaps that close up. You can be closed up or have a lot of airflow and a nice view out the large doors.

Instructions are provided to fold the tent up. In 9 simple steps, it folds into a flat circle and then goes into a carrying bag. Once you figure it out, it’s like folding a taco and then over into a circle. There’s also a small accessory bag that holds the included stakes.

PROS
  • Two doors mean you can get out without disturbing your partner.
  • The flat carrying bag makes it easy to transport and store.
CONS
  • It isn’t ideal for tall people and it’s even a bit cramped for 2 people.
  • It’s water “resistant,” so not suitable for heavy rains. However, it does provide UV protection.
Zomake 4-Person Pop Up Tent

This tent is advertised as suitable for 3-4 people, but it’s probably best for 2-3 people depending on your size and how much gear you have. It measures almost 8×6 feet and has a centre height of 3.3 feet. So it should fit a queen-sized mattress.

It also easily pops up and then folds down into a circular shape, fitting into a 2 ½-foot circular storage case that has straps for carrying. It weighs about 5 pounds when folded up. It comes with instructions and Zomake has also produced a YouTube video to explain how to fold it up.

It has 2 D-shaped mesh doors, 2 mesh windows and an extra big mesh roof sky window. They all zip completely closed for weather protection. It’s water resistant and UV resistant, but it isn’t great for heavy rain. It’s best for good weather, as a sun shelter or even a kids’ playroom.

PROS
  • It’s a bit bigger to allow for more space for 2 people, or maybe even up to 3 people, or a couple with a child or a pet.
  • It has nice big doors and windows allowing for 360-degree views.
CONS
  • Although it’s UV resistant, it’s only water resistant, so it isn’t great in heavy rain.
WolfWise 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.
Wnnideo Instant Family Pop-up Tent

This is a dome-style tent that says it accommodates 6 people, but at 10×8 feet, that could be crowded. However, it’s still a good size and easy to set up, with a pre-attached hub.

It has two large doors and four good-sized windows, and mesh panels on the roof that allow for more ventilation. It has a removable dome to cover the mesh panels, protecting the tent from hot sun or rain.

The tent fabric is waterproof and UV resistant. It folds down and fits in a carry bag for storing and transporting, and also includes 6 tent pegs.It even has a lantern hook in the middle.

PROS
  • The bigger size gives you more flexibility to bring extra gear or an extra person or two.
  • It has nicely designed and sized windows and doors.
CONS
  • The flap that covers the mesh roof panels will likely not withstand heavy rains.
TETON 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. If there’s more than one of you, you’ll need more than one tent.
3

Top Pick

3

Top Pick

OUR CHOICE
Wnnideo Instant Family Pop-up Tent

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.