If you’re in need of a tent that’s quick and easy to set up, the best pop up tents are designed to be pitched in just a minute or two with minimal effort. Small pop up tents can provide one or two people with shelter, while roomier cabin-style tents can be more comfortable for groups as big as 10. Weight doesn't matter much for car camping, but if you're looking for a backpacking tent, you'll want to go with one that weighs less than 5 pounds.
The terms “pop up tents” and “instant tents” are often used interchangeably, but a pop up tent is actually a specific type of instant tent that uncoils and pops open on its own, while instant tents also include models with pre-assembled frames you lift and lock into place. All instant tents (pop up and otherwise) feature easy-to-use, foldable designs with attached frames and are typically quick to set up.
When you’re shopping around, look at how many people the tent is designed to fit (and keep in mind that sometimes having fewer people than recommended is more comfortable). Consider your camping environment, too; a tent with weatherproof fabric, sealed seams, or a rainfly can help keep you dry when it’s rainy, while mesh windows can keep bugs out and add much-needed ventilation on warm days.
Since instant tents are designed for their ease of use, they’re not always the most portable or durable. If you’re looking for more heavy-duty options, consider checking out these great cold-weather tents. But if you’d rather ditch the more complicated pole systems of regular tents, give one of these four instant tents a try.
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