6 Best Screen Houses for Camping (Buying Guide)
We have all been on a camping trip that we’ve been underprepared for. The forecast predicted a sunny stay, and all we packed were the bare essentials, and then the rain came. No-one enjoys the surprises of waking up to soggy kit, or having to try and find enough cover from the trees to not get soaked around the campfire. And this is where screen houses come in.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
And here’s an overview of the best screen houses for camping on the market today:
There are many ways you can have a fun camping trip in the rain: check out our top recommendations here. One of the main things you need when you’re camping in the rain is a shelter. This can be provided with a tarp, tied up between a couple of trees, to give you a dry place to prepare food and keep your kit or firewood overnight. Using a tarp and fly cord is the cheapest and most portable way to create a shelter from the rain in your wooded campsite.
However, this type of cover doesn’t work if you’re not camping surrounded by trees. If you’re camping in an open campsite, such as next to a beach or in a field, then a screen house could be just the right solution for you. A screen house can be your living room in the great outdoors. Here you can prepare and cook your food, and sit around with your family or group, enjoying each other’s company while being sheltered from the rain.
Another big benefit of some screen houses is that they come with a mosquito net around the outside, to protect you from getting bitten as you relax in the evening. This is one of the benefits of screen houses over a simple tarp covering which can boost the overall comfort level of your camping experience. With many screen houses, you can also place a tarp under the screen house, and attach it to the bottom edge, to protect your eating area and kit even more from the rains.
So, whether you want a screen house to protect you from the rain, from mosquitos, or as a nice canopy to escape the sun’s rays in a hot location, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled our top 7 best screen houses for camping, each of which could suit your unique set of needs.
Best Screen Houses for Coming – Overview
RORAIMA Bugs Proof Roomy Screen House
This screen house is a cheap, easy solution for your sheltering needs. This screen house will not only protect you from the sun, wind and light rain but also from bugs like mosquitos, meaning that this a great option for camping in the summer. If you’re looking for shelter for a big group, by the beach for example, then this could be the perfect option for you. With a floor area of 117 square feet, the Roraima screen house comfortably fits up to 8 people, for an ideal sheltered picnic. There’s more than enough room to keep your picnic table, and a few camping chairs, either for while you’re eating or to shelter your kit from light rains during the day.
At $89 this screen house is a relatively cheap solution. It’s also easy to set up, and never takes us more than 8 minutes. At 20 pounds, this screen house is also one of the lighter options available on the market, meaning it’s very portable and could be a good solution for you if you need to walk or hike some way before you set up camp. However, this is not the best option for you if you’re looking for a shelter to protect you from heavy rain. The rain cover on the top is only suitable for light showers. With its sturdy construction and fiberglass frame design, you do get bang for your buck, especially with the added large mesh walls to keep insects out and unique zipper design to make it easier for you to enter and leave the screen house.
- Lightweight at 20 pounds
- Fits up to 8 people
- Not as suitable for heavy rains
- Materials aren’t as durable as some other options
Coleman Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup
This 10×10 screen house by Coleman is a great option for you if you want the reassurance of purchasing from a trusted brand like Coleman, but you don’t want the price tag of the previous model. Going from $101, this model gives you many of the same benefits as the previous Coleman model, without the price tag. Common features between the two models include: protection from sun, wind, and bugs; easy set up in around 60 seconds (we’d say it’s more like up to 3 minutes); it’s made of durable Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric; has UV Guard UPF 50+ sun protection; has 2 large T-doors for easy access in front and at back; ground stakes and pre-attached guy lines; and it comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation.
One of the differences between the two models is the design. Instead of the hexagonal elegance of the larger model, this 10×10 model has a square base. It also has sloping sides, which means it won’t be as easy to walk around the interior of this tent, except for in the middle. However, it also has high quality, durable mesh walls, which allow you a clear view of nature outside, while protecting you from bugs and mosquitos as you eat. So, unless you’re throwing a party or camping get together where you want to impress, the smaller Coleman canopy tent can provide you with all the same benefits and protection as the larger model – and you can save about 0!
This screen house also only weighs 2.87 pounds, so it’s a great option if you’re not camping near your car, you’re backpacking, or have to hike to your camping location.
- Cheaper, and just as durable as the larger Coleman model
- Easy carry bag
- Sloped walls
- Not much protection from heavy rains
Wenzel Smartshade Screen House
At $159, the Wenzel Smartshade Screen House is another option which is mid-price range on the market. This is another high quality, durable option for screen houses. It’s made of heavy-duty, water repellent 210 polyesters, meaning that this model should be able to protect you from heavier rains than the Coleman models. Furthermore, it’s more wind resistant: batwings and guyouts provide added stability, also dual stabilizer arms in each corner provide added eave support. It also comes with screen walls which deflect insects, meaning that this screen house can serve you in all seasons. One of the features which make this screen house worth looking at is the removable screen walls: meaning that you can open up completely on a sunny day, letting the breeze flow through your tent house, and put the large doors back up when it gets darker to protect you and your group from mosquitos.
At 10×10 feet, this screen house will provide you with ample room for setting up your camping table, making a bonfire, or socializing. One of the benefits of this model, compared to the Coleman 10×10 model, is that it has straight sides. This means you can get the walkability inside of the larger, more expensive Coleman model, without the price tag. Although the floor plan is a square, so is less elegant than Coleman’s hexagonal model, the straight sides and sleek, white design of this screen house make it look a bit like a stylish gazebo. Therefore, this could be a great option for you if you want to impress, provide an elegant space for your family to share dinner or mark your next celebration; all while remaining protected from the elements and bugs.
One of the other benefits of this option is the frame, built of steel, which includes quick-release buttons so you can easily adjust the height of your screen house for your peak height, even when it’s already up, giving you ample headroom. The easy-release buttons also make putting up and taking down this screen house a dream. Weighing 37 pounds, this is not the lightest option on the market, so only consider this model if you’re planning on taking your car camping with you. It does, however, come with a wheeled duffle bag, so you can easily transport and store it along with tent stakes and extra kit. This model also includes a removable corner mesh storage loft, so you can easily tidy your tent and store away some belongings or kitchen kit during the day.
- Wind and heavy rain resistant
- Removable walls
- Adjustable height
Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House
Another mid-range price option, at $150.40, is the Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House. Similarly to the other models, this design is sturdy and durable, with a steel and fiberglass frame design that will stand strong against the wind. At 11×9 feet, this is a different size to the other models, a rectangle rather than a square or hexagon. This might be beneficial for you when setting up your picnic table, for example, if it is a little longer.
One of the main benefits of this screen house is the magnetic doors: a unique feature. The magnetic walls allow you protection from the mosquitos, and are easy to open or close, even if you have your hands full of things to put on the picnic table! The magnetic walls offer automatic closing, meaning you have one less thing to think about as you’re prepping for mealtime, and you’re given even more protection from bugs. One of the other main benefits of this model is that it’s lightweight, weighing in at only 17.53 pounds. This means that the Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House could be a great option for you if you’re planning a camping holiday where you need to be more mobile, or want to keep your spontaneity: the screen house is light and portable, perfect for carrying with you on a day trip, and setting up your front room in the middle of nature.
- Magnetic walls
- Large, rectangular design
- Materials aren’t as durable
- Not as good for wet weather conditions
CORE Instant Screen House Canopy Tent
One of the main benefits of this screen house is in the name: it’s instant. This screen house has a quick-set up time at roughly 60 seconds! The poles are pre-attached to the screen when you purchase this screen house. All you need to do is unpack it, unfold, lift the legs into position and extend the legs until they click into place. It doesn’t get easier than that! So if you’re looking for convenient on the move, or you think you might be setting up your campsite in the dark, this could be the perfect option for you.
Another benefit of this model is its spaciousness. It has a 12 ft x 10 ft floor size with a center height of 84”, meaning that most adults can easily stand in it. It also has a heavy-duty 150D polyester canopy top and durable steel frame with 50+ UV protection canopy top, meaning you are protected year-round, in either rain or shine. CORE has provided such a durable model, that they even provide you with a 1-year warranty. Weighing in at only 27.5 pounds, and with an easy travel case, this is a great option for a combination for both space and convenience. Of all the models we’ve looked at, it gives you one of the biggest floor spaces, compared to its weight, meaning your camping adventures can open up to whatever comes your way.
- 60 second set up
- Large floor size
- Not the lightest model
- Not ready to withstand very heavy rain
Quest® 12 Ft. X 12 Ft. Recreational Mesh Screen House Canopy Tent
Quest screen house is our top pick for bang for your buck. It’s the cheapest option we’ve reviewed, at $72, and provides the biggest interior surface area: 12×12 feet, providing you with a shaded area of 100 square feet! This product is also one of the lightest we have reviewed at 12lbs, meaning it’s very easy to carry and transport, especially in its polyester carrying bag. We would recommend this as a great option for campers who want a cheap, portable screen house, to fit large groups or parties.
However, this is not the best option if you want your camping screen house to last you for years. With the lower price point of this model, you’re sacrificing some of the quality in the materials. For example, the material of the cover is polyester, and the frame is made of fiberglass. The poles of the fiberglass frame, although they are made of cheaper material, can withstand most strong winds, and even if they bend slightly, they will snap back into shape. However, it does come with 4 guy lines or tie-down ropes attached, to help secure the screen tent from winds and falling down. It also has a super easy setup time, roughly about 2 minutes, folds down quickly, and is eminently portable when folded due to its compact size. However, this is not the right screen tent for you if you’re looking to be camping in rainy conditions, as the material isn’t the most water-resistant, or if you want a screen room that will last you years.
- Cheapest option
- Lightest option
- Not as durable
- Materials aren’t the same quality as other models
- May blow over or not work well in wet weather conditions.
So, there you have it, our recommendations for the 7 best camping screen houses on the market. If you’re looking to waterproof your screen house for extra protection, check out our guide here. Camping trips can be transformed by the addition of a screen house, offering you shelter from the elements, and a way to avoid getting eaten alive by bugs in the summer months. We hope from this list of the 7 Best Screen Houses for Camping, you’re able to find the perfect one to suit your camping needs.
At the end of the day, it’s the Core Instant Screen House Canopy Tent that delivers on all fronts. With such an easy setup, you can rest assured that you’ll have your outdoor event up and running and no time and the best part is you won’t even have to worry about fighting off the mosquitos. You’ll also have plenty of room to host your event and UV screens to keep at the summer heat.
Bonus tip: For a look at the best screen houses from last year in 2018, you can watch the video below: