Setting up your tent is by far the most frustrating part of camping unless you have the best instant tent. Instant, you say? Yes, these tents pop up in minutes (or less).
We have an instant tent, and it was pretty cool to have our kids (10 and 12 years old at the time) set up the tent on their own.
Having the best instant tent makes camp set up so much more enjoyable, less time stressing about which pole goes where, and more time around the campfire.
In this post, we will review some of the best instant tents. We hope to help our fellow campers decide what instant tent will be best for their needs.
Here’s a quick peek at our top 3 best instant tents:
Best Instant Tent
Instant tents come in all shapes and sizes. We have searched through a variety of models to help you choose the tent that will work best for your needs. These tents have unique features and benefits.
With that, let’s get to it!
Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- INSTANT SETUP: The tent body with pre-attached poles that lock into place creates a...
- WEATHER PROTECTION: H20 Block Technology combines water-repellent fabrics with a...
- ADJUSTABLE VENTILATION: Lower air intake vents draw in cool air from the ground while...
- MULTIPLE ROOM CAPABILITY: An included room divider can be used to create 2 rooms.
- INTERIOR ORGANIZATION: Keep small items off the floor with the conveniently located...
Camping is fun with your family around. I especially love to venture on camping trips with friends and family, which is a fulfilling experience on its own.
So in my search for the best instant tent, the Core 9 person instant cabin tent caught my eye. This is a family-sized tent that can be used for camping in groups with its wide 14X9 inches dimension.
The tent is designed for 9 people. This instant tent comes with unique features that include rainfly and tent stakes. In addition, the tent is made from high-quality polyester, so this instant tent can endure harsh temperatures and outdoor conditions when you camp in the riverside, jungles, or even in your backyard.
The zipper closure design helps ensure that water doesn’t drip in when it’s raining outside. In addition, the cabin tent can be easily hand washed after use. The setup process with this instant tent is pretty straightforward and is done within 60 seconds or less.
The tent can also fit in two queen-size mattresses. The center height of the tent is about 78 inches, which is excellent if you want to stand every now and then.
H2O block tech features intricately designed seams that are sealed using heat technology to keep the water away.
The large “T” shaped door gives you smooth access to the tent with surplus airflow via the mesh window design.
Comes with a room divider option that can be used for privacy purposes
Water-resistant material that prevents dripping
Pre-attached telescoping poles that pop up the tent in seconds
Comes with 20 durable steel-based tent stakes of 7 inches each
Features an access port for electrical cords
Doesn’t feature a vestibule
Not many features are available for organizing the insides of the tent
Ozark Trail 10-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent
The feature that enticed me the most about the Ozark instant cabin tent was that it comes with a darkroom tech that helps with a drastic reduction of glare.
This freestanding camping tent has a 2-room design with 8 large windows for maximum ventilation. Ozark cabin tent can easily fit in 2 queen-size airbeds for 10 individuals.
Its instant 2-minute setup process ensures that you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting up the camp instead of having fun with your folks. The instant tent also features 4 skylight openings (mesh) to ensure you can let some light into the tent when needed.
In addition, the zippered panels have a dark fabric covering that ensures you can sleep peacefully even when the sun is at its brightest. Further, it also helps bring down the temperature inside the tent on hot summer days.
The tent poles are constructed with high-quality steel along with a top-notch polyester fabric and polyethylene flooring. The ceiling consists of 3-layers that include the mesh, panels below the mesh, and the fly at the topmost layer.
The peak height of the tent is 78 inches to ensure you can sit and stand comfortably. In addition, the tent comes with a carry bag to help with portability as you move to the designated camping location.
This tent is also available in a 6-person and 12-person variant.
Affordable pricing for the features provided
Dark-rest tech to ensure you enjoy your morning sleep
Proper ventilation even with the dark technology in place
Features an electric port to help charge your phones
Doesn’t have an awning or vestibule for extra space necessities
Might not be comfortably spaced for 10 adults (OK with kids)
Coleman Cabin tent with Instant Setup
- Weatherproof: Welded corners and inverted seams keep water from getting in;...
- Built to last: Double-thick fabric stands up to the elements season after season
- Instant setup: In as fast as 1 minute
- Roomy interior: 8 x 7 feet with 4 feet 11 inch center height; Fits 1 queen-size air...
- 1-year limited warranty
The Coleman Cabin Tent had me all in with its cozy design. Although it comes in a 10 and 6 person design, let me talk about its 4 person design which is perfect for a small family.
This instant tent is made from polyester and polyethylene fabric and is designed to withstand the rugged environment outside.
The tent also features a weatherproof design with welded corners and inverted seams that keep the water seeping in. In addition, its integrated rain-fly design ensures extra protection from the weather conditions outdoors with top-notch airflow for ventilation.
The instant tent is designed for durability. The cabin features a double-thick fabric that doesn’t tear up easily.
The instant setup is under 60 seconds and gives you access to a roomy interior with a 4’11” feet center height. This isn’t as high as other tents on our list, but this is what gives it a cozy feel without being too massive or overwhelming.
The tent can fit one queen-size mattress with plenty of space left for storing the camping necessities.
The tent is also backed by a one-year limited manufacturer warranty. In addition, the material used for the instant cabin tent can block about 90 percent of the sunlight while reducing the heat inside the tent.
For storage convenience, the cabin tent comes in an expandable carry bag.
WeatherTec system to help you stay dry with patented welds in the corners
Easy and quick setup to help you save time and enjoy camping
Darkroom tech helps block 90 percent of the sunlight and reduces the ambient temperature
Features a rain-fly for added ventilation in case it rains
Comes with a dependable carry bag for portability
Seams in certain areas might be delicate
Door opens only halfway, which could be troublesome for taller individuals
Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent
- Roomy 4-5 Person Tent: With the unfolding size of 290*308*133cm (114.2*121.3*52.4in),...
- Breathable & Stable: 4 Large mesh windows and 1D-shaped doors with dual zippers...
- All-round protection: 190T PU material and 210D Oxford Ground Sheet provide 2000mm...
- Easy to Setup：Instant Pop up Mechanism makes you set up inner tent within 1 minute....
My love for bright colors got me looking into the features of the Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent. Available in blue, green, and orange, this 4-person pop-up tent has a range of features, including portability, water resistance, and a windproof design. In addition, this instant tent is made from polyurethane and is roomy enough to ensure 4 adults can rest easily.
The lightweight design makes it easy to carry around to the campsite in its super-durable carry bag. The tent features a stable and breathable material with 4 large windows (mesh).
The D-shaped door design comes with a dual zipper feature to add to the ventilation feature. The alloy pegs are very light in weight yet durable enough for your camping escapades.
The guy ropes available with the tent ensure that it is highly resistant to wind while leaving you secure inside. The 190T polyurethane material and Oxford Ground veneer (210D) provide water resistance up to 2000mm along with top-notch UV resistance.
The doors and windows are equipped with durable SBS zippers that shut closely to provide safety from harsh weather conditions outside.
The instant pop-up design gets your tent up and usable in just 60 seconds. Ideal for 3 seasons, this instant tent can keep you safe from rain, snow, and sun as you enjoy camping with the family.
The iron-made pegs keep the tent in its place in windy conditions.
Features a waterproof rainfly tested under stringent standards
Optimum ventilation with 5 windows and 1 airy door
Ideal for outdoor traveling or car camping
High-resistance Guy Ropes to tackle windy surroundings
Disassembly is complicated as compared to assembly
Material is a bit thin
Timber Ridge Camping Tent 6 Person Instant Tent
- Capacity: This 6 person instant tent base measures 10x10 feet, center height 78...
- No Assembly Required: Quick open system instant tent, easy and quick set up in less...
- Ventilation: This 6 person instant tent designed with 3 zippered large mesh roll up...
- Convenient: This 6 man tent designed with 1 O-shaped door for easy entry and exit....
- Versatile: As a very practical family tent, it can brings you a perfect experience in...
If you are going out camping in dusty or humid weather, the Timber Ridge Camping tent would be your best bet.
This instant tent is crafted with polyester material that helps keep off the harsh weather elements as you spend some quality time with your family. Perfect for hiking and camping, this instant tent will keep you warm and cozy even as the temperature goes down.
The camping tent is 23.15 pounds in weight and can be carried around with ease as you brave through rugged terrains to reach your camping spot. This family tent is large enough to allow 6 adults to rest comfortably and enjoy the outdoor activities.
The instant tent is quick and requires 10 minutes or less for assembly. While this might not be a winning streak for this camping tent, it sure is quick enough compared to standard camping tents.
In addition, the tent is designed to ensure proper ventilation with its zippered windows that can be rolled up when you feel the need for fresh air.
The O-shaped main door ensures easy entry and exit with a zippered closure design. The tent also comes with a durable mesh-based storage bag that can be used to keep your phones, chargers, keys, and other camping essentials.
Spacious and comfortable design for 6 adults to sleep comfortably
Zippered mesh-based windows for optimum ventilation
Freestanding structure that can easily be moved around to your desired location
Steel stakes that are durable enough for long-term usage
Has a peak height of 78 inches, with a lantern hook available on the ceiling for night use
Tough to get back in the carry bag after disassembling
Entrance zipper could be a little more sturdy
Coleman 8-Person Tent Instant Family Tent
- Spacious 8-person tent has enough room for 2 queen-size airbeds
- Sets up in 1 minute in 3 easy steps
- WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
- Rugged Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric for reliable, long-lasting use
- Measures 14 x 10 feet with 6-foot 7-inch center height
Being a tall individual, I was looking into instant tents with a good center height, and Coleman’s 8-person tent is just the right choice. It comes with a 6’7″ center height that is perfect for tall campers.
In addition, the instant 60-second setup is perfect for camping enthusiasts that want to enjoy being one with nature as opposed to spending their time in the setup process.
The integrated rainfly added to the tent doesn’t need any additional assembly. Apart from this, the WeatherTec system features patented and welded floors along with inverted seams that help keep the water out while you rest inside.
The Coleman instant tent also comes with 2 additional storage pockets that help keep the gears organized while roasting your marshmallows in the bonfire. The rugged and double-thick fabric with Polyguard material withstands the ups and downs of the weather outside.
This instant tent also comes in a carry bag with a rip strip design that makes post camping pack-up easier and faster. The interior of the tent is spacious and has room to place 4 queen-size airbeds.
Additionally, the tent comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty in case the tent malfunctions. But, best of all, the tent is available at a pocket-friendly price if you are on a budget.
Heavy-duty materials that don’t come off during the setup process
Built-in rainfly to keep the water away
Features 7 large windows that ensure ventilation
Has 2 doors and 2 rooms for privacy
Comes with a durable carry bag for portability
A bit on the heavier end as compared to other models in the list
Single-layered structure that doesn’t filter out a lot of sunlight
Googo Camping Pop-Up Tent
- Roomy 3-4 Person Tent: The camping tent design is square in shape with a roomy...
- Water-Resistant & Durable: The pop up tent is made of 190T PU-coated Polyester...
- Easy to Set up & Take down: Our instant pop up tent comes with an Automatic design....
- Extremely Breathable & Stable: This backpacking tent comes with 2 Large Doors with...
- Backpacking Friendly: The family tent weighs only 7.7lbs, making it an ideal choice...
Available in two beautiful colors of blue and green, the Googo Camping Pop-Up tent is best for a family of 3 to 4 individuals. Given its easy setup design, the tent features a high-quality rainfly with UV protection material embedded into the make.
Apart from this, the instant tent is light in weight with a water and windproof design.
This roomy tent is rectangular in shape with a center height of 4.26 feet. With its spacious design, you can easily sit up or move around without feeling congested.
The tent can accommodate one queen-size mattress. However, it might be a bit on the smaller end for 4 adults. The ideal move is to use it for 2 adults and 2 kids or a small family.
The instant tent is crafted with 190T PU-coated material with highly durable polyester. In addition, the ground is covered with 210D Oxford Sheet (PU-Coated).
Overall, the tent provides resistance to UV damages while keeping you snug and dry as you make the best of your camping experience.
The tent isn’t just easy to set up but can also be dismantled with just as ease. The poles in the instant tent are pre-assembled and make the setup faster than ever.
One thing that makes the tent an undisputed member of this list is its windows with double-layered mesh that helps prevent mosquitoes from entering.
The stable and highly breathable material features 2 massive doors with easy-to-use two-way zippers on both sides.
Rectangular design delivers stability during windy or rainy weather
Features lightweight pegs made of alloy to avoid unnecessary weight
Comes with 4 durable guy ropes to tackle windy conditions
Perfect for festival camping or backpacking
Comes with an e-port in the corner for your electrical needs
Seams might not be durable enough for the long haul
Windows cannot be opened from inside
Kazoo Family Camping Tent
- ✔Spacious Room and Easy to Install: KAZOO large cabin instant tent uses the...
- ✔ Waterproof and Sturdy： KAZOO 6 person camping tent has double layers. The liner...
- ✔ Large Tent Porch and Optimized Ventilation: KAZOO large camping tent has full...
- ✔KAZOO PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAILS：KAZOO focuses on every detail to make the...
- ✔2-YEAR WARRANTY：KAZOO tents are 100% inspected before delivery. We have 2 major...
Only a few instant camping tents feature a sunshade, which makes the Kazoo family tent stand out from the rest. This automatic setup design is ideal for 4 to 6 people and features a sturdy yet lightweight aluminum pole that doesn’t add much weight to your carry bag.
Available in multiple colors, this camping tent is crafted with 210T rip-stop material that is completely waterproof and light in weight. The tent provides enough room for 6 adults while ensuring enough ventilation regardless of the weather outside.
Even with a sunroof, the camping tent is up and usable within 30 seconds. This family tent is sturdy enough given the use of double-layered fabric while keeping away the harsh weather conditions. The tent’s liner is crafted with B3 mesh and 190 highly breathable T polyester.
The tent material has been tested under stringent conditions to ensure it stands true to its waterproof claim of 3000mm. The mesh-based walls and ceilings provide top-notch ventilation while keeping things cozy inside.
Additionally, the camping tent features 2 dual zippers and large doors that allow smooth closure and easy entry. The instant tent is perfect for hiking, camping, outdoor BBQ, family parties, or field trips.
The reliable and smooth SBS-based dual zippers can withstand rough usage and prevent water from seeping through the seams. In addition, the brand features two instant tent variants that include a backpacking tent and a camping tent.
While the former focuses on performance with a lightweight design, the latter helps maximize the strength, hub volume, and living space.
Features highly durable and tear-free rip-stop material
Features a full-coverage and highly durable rainfly to keep the water away
Can fit in two queen-size mattresses
Available in 3, 4, and 6/8 person size variants
Rainfly is a bit too heavy and might come down due to weight
Carry bag isn’t sturdy enough
Outbound Instant Pop-Up Tent
- FIBERGLASS “INSTANT UP” TECHNOLOGY: Our Outbound tent features a strong durable...
- ROOMY 8-PERSON 2-ROOM TENT: This backpacking tent is spacious featuring two D-Shaped...
- WEATHER RESISTANT: Heavy duty 600 mm coated rain fly with front canopy provides water...
- DURABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT: Made from durable fiber glass that is ultra lightweight....
- DIMENSIONS: 12 feet x 9 feet x 6’2” feet and includes attached rainfly, tent...
The Outbound Instant Pop-Up tent caught my attention due to its durable and robust fiberglass frame design. Crafted with Poly Taffeta coating, the tent is water-resistant and is roomy enough for 8 people to rest well.
The tent has 2 rooms and features two large D-shaped easy to easy-to-open/close doors. The zip windows are perfect for optimum ventilation, yet don’t let those pesky mosquitoes make their way into your tent.
The tent features a detachable divider that helps create two separate sections for privacy. The weather-resistant design features a 600mm heavy-duty coated rainfly backed up by a canopy in the front.
This unique canopy design provides resistance to water and any other weather issues.
The seams are appropriately welded to ensure the insides remain leak-proof when it’s pouring heavily outdoors. Its polyester-based floor is designed in a bathtub to prevent the water from entering the tent. The entire setup can be stored inside its zippered duffle, which ensures portability.
The tent is ideal for use in the fall, spring, and summer months. The pop-up tent also features a built-in pocket to help you store your camping accessories and electronics safely away from the weather outside.
If you are a tall individual, this tent is perfect for you with its peak height of 6’4″ to ensure you can stand without any inconvenience.
Further, the instant tent comes in multiple variants ideal for 5, 6, 8, and 10 individuals.
Mesh roof design that ensures excellent ventilation and temperature control
Weather-resistant material with rainfly to prevent water seepage
Features a detachable divider to create 2 private rooms
Mesh-based storage pockets inside the tent
Comes with water-resistant outer coating along with sealed seams
Some users say the structural poles aren’t fitted properly
A bit on the heavier end; it might be challenging to carry around
Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
- INSTANT SETUP: Setups in 2 minutes or less! The poles are pre-attached to the tent-...
- COMFORTABLE: The water repellent rainfly is removable in warmer weather to expose the...
- TWO ENTRYWAY AND THREE ROOM OPTIONS: Enter from the side D-Door or from the side...
- WHAT'S IN THE BAG: Tent, rain fly, awning poles, two room dividers, tent stakes, and...
- 1 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: We strive for total satisfaction with all of our products.
If you aren’t ready for an adventure, the Core 12 person instant cabin tent might be just the right kind of motivation to get you up and going. This giant cabin tent is perfect for large families, smaller groups, or scout groups with ample space to move around.
While the tent doesn’t feature extra patios or tunnels like others in the market, it more than makes up for a large area of 18 feet by 10 feet. In addition, the cabin tent is designed for tall individuals with its 6’7″ center height that allows you to move and walk around the tent with ease.
The tent comes with 2 dividers that can help create 3 ample-sized rooms while ensuring privacy for the campers. Further, the tent comes with two durable doors that allow easier entry and exit, which is especially important for an instant tent that holds many people.
The pre-assembled tent frame makes setup a breeze. Simply remove the tent from the bag, unfold it, and lift up the poles and bars while clipping its shell material in the right place. The rectangular design ensures that it is stable enough while being well-ventilated with 6 large windows.
Moreover, the instant tent also comes with adjustable vents for air-intake that draws in fresh, cool air while keeping the space airy from all sides. Finally, in terms of rain protection, this tent has got you covered top to bottom.
Rainfly creates a canopy-like covering on the door side
Features multiple overhead clips for lamps along with storage pockets
Wind and waterproof design with rainfly included
Ideal for tall individuals with 80 inches center height
Comes with 2 separators to create 3 different rooms
Door zippers might let in some water during heavy rains
Window mesh is cheaply made and might rip easily
Hui Linguang 6-Person Easy Pop-Up Tent
- Quick & Easy Setup:Instant pop-up tent with pre-assembled poles sets up in...
- Spacious Interior:12.5 x 8.5 feet floor; Sleeps 4-6 adults in sleeping bags or...
- Venting : Large mesh window on the left and right sides allows hot air to...
- Stay Dry All Season:Water resistant fabrics;Heat Sealed seams and integrated...
- Ideal for: Casual camping, hiking, backyard resting,festivals,outdoor...
Bored of the traditional tent designs, I was looking for something unique in terms of design. The Hui Linguang pop-up tent is a unique instant tent that looks just as cool as its features. This 6-person pop-up tent is perfect for hiking or camping and is available in blue and green colors.
This waterproof pop-up tent comes with a durable rainfly that doesn’t let water seep in while you spend quality time with your friends, family, or camping buds. In addition, this round-shaped tent comes with pre-assembled, durable poles that can be set up within seconds.
The tent has a 4’5″ center height which is ideal for appropriate headspace. However, it might not be ideal for tall individuals that wish to stand or move around inside the tent.
The spacious interior is backed by large mesh-based windows present on the right and left sides. This ensures that the hot air can escape with ease while keeping the bugs away at the same time.
This instant tent keeps you dry regardless of the season. The Hui Linguang tent also features ground vents that allow additional ventilation and keep you cool during the hot summer months.
In addition, the seams of the tent are heat-sealed and don’t allow any form of leakage. This waterproof design is further backed by an integrated rainfly that keeps the campers dry and snug.
Features rear-hooded vents to ensure optimum ventilation
Features 190T polyester fabric for durability
Can be set up in 20 seconds or less
Vestibule provided on the outdoors to keep your gears in place
Double-layered material that can withstand weather elements in a better way
No directions to disassemble it
Fiberglass supports on the inside might not be as durable
Mobihome 6-Person Tent
- INSTANT EASY SETUP TENT - Special hub system design for single operation - Up in...
- DURABLE & WATER-RESISTANT - High-class 190T polyester fabrics; Sturdy, watertight PE...
- SPACIOUS & COMFORTABLE - Camping dome tent with spacious design offers enough room...
- LIGHTWEIGHT & VENTILATIVE - famliy tent with the portable carrying bag; big...
- MOBIHOME BRAND PROMISE - Welcome to contact our amazing customer service team if you...
The Mobihome instant tent features an extended dome design that is backed by a fly with partial coverage. This 6-person tent isn’t exactly instant in the truest sense. Instead, it is semi-instant with the central dome supported by a pre-attached tent frame.
The tent has a single-room design which might not be quite as tall at its peak height. The tent features 3 large windows and one door that features its very own window. The windows come with a double-layered mesh design that allows maximum ventilation to ensure a bug-free resting experience.
The windows also feature zippered panels to ensure protection and privacy. The best feature is that it is pretty light in weight and doesn’t weigh you down as you hike through some tricky terrains.
In addition, the tent is ideally designed to keep the heat away in the hot summer months.
The aerodynamic design makes it reasonably resistant to windy outdoors while keeping you cozy inside. The poles make use of fiberglass and add to the lightweight feel.
Mobihome is constructed with 68D polyester (190T) along with PU coating (1500mm). The tent’s seams are taped to ensure water doesn’t come pouring down when you are inside.
Although the tent doesn’t feature any vent on the floor, it makes up for it with its large windows that ensure ventilation in and out.
Fiberglass poles to ensure the tent is light in weight
Mesh roof for ventilation and sky gazing
Unique dome structure for better stability
Can fit 2 queen-size airbeds with ease
Comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty
Sides have a steep angle and eat through some indoor space
Sides have a steep angle and eat through some indoor space
Liamoy 6-Person Tent/Instant for Camping
- 【60 seconds Easy Set-Up】No special tricks are required, and 1 person could easily...
- 【Roomy for family of 6 Person】Liamoy instant cabin tent is one of the perfect...
- 【All-round Protection】Made of 190T polyester. The tent uses a high-tech 1200mm...
- 【Breathable and Visible】The camping tent has 2 large mesh door, 2 pcs gate mat, 4...
- 【Internal Storage Diversity】You could easily connect the power cord and the port...
The Liamoy instant tent is designed to hold 6 people with a 60-second quick setup that doesn’t require more than one person for the setup process. The tent is roomy enough for 6 people and fits in 2 queen-sized airbeds with ease.
In addition, this tent is made from 190T polyester, providing you with all-around protection from the weather outside.
The instant tent also uses a high-tech polyurethane hydrostational coating that ensures water stays away from the insides and the poncho seams, adding to the waterproof factor. The seams are held together with PU glue and welded with PE to keep the tent completely dry in light rainy conditions.
The tent is perfect for round-the-clock hiking, camping, or fishing activities. It also features two large doors that allow great breezes to flow in and out to vent the hot air from inside.
The instant tent also comes with mesh-based storage bags that can help you organize your camping necessities.
Liamoy is also ideal for tall campers, given its 78 inches center height. Moreover, the camping tent is also reasonably light in weight while fitting in 2 full-size air mattresses. The duffle bag provided with the package is durable enough to let you carry it around with ease.
Chimney effect ventilation feature with mesh roof
Comes with a rainfly for added waterproofing
Features an e-port for your gadget charging necessities
Hooks for hanging light/fan at the center of the tent
2-way zippers to quickly close or open from inside/outside
Rainfly doesn’t stretch tight; it tends to form puddles
Guy lines aren’t of the best quality; they tend to absorb water and rot
What is an instant tent?
You may have heard of pop-up tents and wonder if this is the same as an instant tent? Yes and no.
A pop-up tent is a lightweight tent usually made of nylon material. These tents pack down very small, are appropriate for backpackers, and take seconds to set up. Take them out of the travel bag, and some literally pop open when tossed in the air. Some require a gentle pull to open them.
Pop-up tents open up similar to your car sunshade that pops open quickly and easily. They just open in the form of a tent. Then all you need to do is tie them down and anchor them.
Not only are pop-up tents super lightweight, but they also are less expensive. Keep in mind these tents are very lightweight and breathable but not very durable.
You also want to get one with a rainfly for extra protection. A really cool pop-up tent that literally pops open instantly is the Hui Linguang 6-Person Easy Pop-Up Tent.
All pop-up tents are instant tents. That is, they are a type of instant tent. That being said, not all instant tents are pop-up tents, which take us to cabin tents.
A cabin tent can also be an instant tent and is usually heavier and more durable than other instant tents. Therefore, instant cabin tents are best for campers who don’t need to carry them far.
Some cabin tents come with the poles attached and open in minutes (or less) by pushing/pulling on a specific area to open the tent. If the poles aren’t already attached to the tent, they will be pre-assembled and quickly set up.
You can expect cabin tents to be made of a more durable material like polyester, and they tend to be much heavier than a pop-up tent. One of our favorite instant tents is the Coleman 8-Person Tent Instant Family Tent
Instant cabin tents are usually square or rectangular in shape, sleep more people, and are tall enough that you can stand up in them. These are a popular choice for families.
In reality, any tent that claims to be instant should only take minutes (or less) to assemble. Keep in mind there is a learning curve, and the more you put your tent together, the quicker you will be at it.
I always recommend setting up your tent at least once in your yard or wherever you have space before you set out into the woods. If your tent has a defect or a missing part, you want to discover that before heading out.
Also, setting up before your camping trip is great if you have to set your instant tent up in the dark. You will be more familiar with the process when it’s crunch time.
If you have kids, get them involved, it will be fun for them to be big helpers. To be able to set up the tent is a huge accomplishment for kids. Ours were so proud when they put up our instant tent.
Factors to consider
There are many things to consider when choosing the best instant tent, including ease of setup, tent capacity, etc. We’ll jump into that next.
Ease of set up
If your new tent is called an instant tent, it should live up to its name. Just remember, it will most likely take you much longer to set up the first time. Also, the manufacturer will say it takes seconds….well, since they are the ones that designed it, of course, it takes them seconds.
Do a practice run of setting up your instant tent before you actually go camping. Don’t take it out of the bag for the first time in the middle of nowhere.
You want to make sure it really is pretty easy to set up, and obviously, you will get faster every time. Make sure it has all the parts and is perfectly intact. You don’t want to get out in the woods with a torn wall or missing an essential piece of your tent.
Practice a few times, so if you have to set it up in the dark, you won’t be “in the dark.” Ha! Been there, done that! Even knowing how to set up our tent, setting it up in the dark was still a challenge.
No matter how easy it is to set up, every tent will take more time to collapse down. And then you have the fun of getting back in the tiny bag. Why the tiny bag, I have never understood. It’s like putting on skinny jeans after a summer of margaritas.
How many people are sleeping in the tent? Make sure there will actually be room for these real people. I say that because many tents claim to sleep 4, 6, etc., and then you look at the dimensions and do some quick math. Are the people expected to be 4 feet tall and sleeping in shrink wrap?
Measure out your sleeping bags, and then compare this to the floor dimensions of the tent you are interested in. Also, keep in mind extra space for your gear, or maybe a dog.
Extra space with a family is excellent for many reasons, especially if anyone has to go potty in the middle of the night. You might get a foot in your back from being stepped on.
If you are a backpacker, you will want the lightest pop-up instant tent possible. If you are not a backpacker, this opens up your options. You still have to transport your tent, though, so make sure you will actually be able to lift it up and out of your vehicle and get it to the campsite.
Our instant tent is heavier than I like, but we love it so much we don’t mind. There is always a trade-off, and you just need to decide what works for you. A very nice lightweight instant tent is the Moon Lence Instant Pop Up Tent, which only weighs about 10 pounds.
Research the weather you might encounter camping, especially if it may rain. You want a tent that will be more durable if you will be camping in windy, rainy weather.
A lightweight tent will be better for hot weather. You may need to bring some type of tarp under your tent if the ground is rocky or has many twigs. These all could be things that might puncture your tent.
We have camped in all kinds of environments, from cold and rainy, to the dry, high deserts. Ideally, you want your tent to be appropriate for the weather you will encounter. The Coleman Cabin tent with Instant Setup is versatile and would be a good tent for all the seasons.
It is made with durable fabric that will keep you warm in cold weather, but it also has large mesh windows to allow for airflow during warmer days.
Good airflow through your tent is essential. Nobody likes a stuffy tent. When the weather is warm, opening up the windows helps cool it down, plus the fresh air is so nice to sleep in.
You want plenty of mesh windows because you want airflow without bugs. You also need proper ventilation for safety if you plan on using a heater such as propane.
A really nice instant tent that has incredible ventilation, with several large mesh windows and a large opening to allow airflow, is the Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent.
Rainfly’s are practically a must. They are an added layer of moisture protection. Even if it’s not going to rain, a rainfly helps with condensation.
It also helps keep your tent clean from pollen and other things dropping out of the sky…ew.
Many rainfly’s will extend over the sides of the tent, creating a type of awning. This is handy if it’s raining. Depending on the design, you might be able to keep the windows unzipped and not get rain inside.
This is always a significant factor when you purchase an instant tent. Of course, you want a fantastic tent, but you need to be comfortable with the amount of money you are spending.
Are you hiking across the Alps for weeks and planning on backpacking adventures frequently? Then, you may want to invest in a quality tent that may cost a bit more.
Or are you a weekend warrior camping out with your family and friends? If you only plan on camping a few times a year and the conditions aren’t terrible, you may be able to get by with a less expensive tent.
Just make sure you are getting a tent that will add to the fun of your adventure. You don’t want to regret your purchase and end up wet, cold, hot, or just cranky because you didn’t get the right tent.
We sure hope this post helped you with your decision on how to choose the best instant tent. There are tons of great options, so really think about what will work best for the kinds of adventures you will be taking.
Most of all, we just hope you get out there, spend some time with mother nature, and enjoy the best instant tent. Happy camping!