Best Instant Tents (Buying Guide) (2022)

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    Instant tents are the perfect option for festival goers

     

    You no longer have to have experience to go camping. Previously the past time of dedicated outdoors enthusiasts, now any of us can go camping with no prior knowledge. If the traditional model of setting up your own shelter, with tarps or complicated pole systems doesn’t attract you, then the camping market has evolved to accommodate your needs and skill level. One option, that we would recommend, for backpackers and primitive campers, especially those camping alone, is the camping hammock. However, if you aren’t going camping in a forest, or you’re going to a festival for example, then the best instant tents might be just what you need. 

     

    With instant tents, you can set up camp in less than a minute. Some of these options even pop up in just 10 seconds! All you need to do is unfold the tent, and secure it with stakes. No experience or effort required. Instant tents are a great option for first time campers, occasional campers, tents you want to set up in your garden to accommodate extra guests or play, or campers who just want the whole process to be as easy as possible. 

     

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    Free up time for the things that really matter, with an instant tent 

     

    CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

     

    When we hear the phrase instant tent, we usually associate it with flimsy one person tents used at festivals, or for backcountry campers. However, this option from Core breaks all the rules. With just a two minute or less set up time, this hardy and durable tent sleeps up to 12 people. And what makes the set up so easy is that the poles are pre-attached to the tent: all you need to do is unpack, unfold, lift legs into position and extend legs until they click into place. If you’re going camping with a group, but you want to be in more extreme conditions, this camping tent could be the right option for you. Core is a trusted brand for camping, as they make durable, weather-resistant, all season tents. 

     

    In the winter, this tent offers you a water repellent rainfly, which diverts water off the top of your tent, so you can be safe and protected from a sudden downpour. But in the summer months, you can easily remove it, to reveal the see-through mesh ceiling, offering panoramic views for star gazing clear nights. This tent comfortably fits 4 queen-sized air mattresses, you can embrace the wonder of starry, warm summer nights from the comfort of your mattress, without getting eaten alive by bugs. And it will keep you cool too. The advanced venting system uses the adjustable ground vent, drawing in cool air, while the mesh ceiling allows hot air to escape, creating a throw through breeze which keeps you cool in the heat. 

     

    With this tent, you won’t feel cramped or claustrophobic, as the ceiling is high at 86 inches. You can also configure the interior of this camping tent  in multiple different ways. It also has different room dividing options, so you can configure it in different ways, to give you and your group the privacy you need. This is also a fantastic option for families: you could configure a separate room for kids and adults, for extra privacy, with the dividing wall as a projector screen to occupy the young ones in heavy rain. And the instant set up of this tent means you can spend your time on the stuff that really matters: spending time with each other and embracing the great outdoors. 

     

    Pros: 

    • Ceiling 86 inches high
    • Can fit 4 queen air mattresses, great family tent 
    • Dividing walls and 2 entrances/ exits
    • Durable, weather-resistant tent
    • Mesh ceiling which offers panoramic views
    • Ventilation system for summer months
    • 1-year warranty

     

    Cons: 

    • Not L or X shape for privacy
    • Quite expensive 

     

    CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent – 14′ x 9’

     

    If you liked the specs of the last option, the durable material, and trust in the reliable Core brand, but want a smaller option, that sets up even more instantly, consider this option. This tent by Core sleeps 9, and sets up in just 60 seconds! This is because of the telescoping poles which are pre-attached to the structure so your tent pops up in just a few short steps, meaning you don’t have to fumble around for ages trying to color match your kit. And it still fits two queen-sized air mattresses, so you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your sleep. 

     

    Pros: 

    • Ceiling 86 inches high
    • Can fit 2 queen air mattresses 
    • Dividing walls and 2 entrances/ exits, great for family camping 
    • Durable, weather-resistant tent
    • Mesh ceiling which offers panoramic views
    • Ventilation system for summer months
    • 1-year warranty

     

    Cons: 

    • Not L or X shape for privacy
    • Quite expensive

     

    QOMOTOP 4 or 6 People Fast 60 Seconds Easy Set Up Instant Cabin Tent

     

    This tent takes instant set up to the extreme. With telescoping poles and a pre-attached inner tent, your cam pop it up in just a few easy steps and within 60 seconds! Obviously, no tent can truly be set up instantly, but this is about as close as you can get. If you hate reading complex instructions or trying to work out which pole goes with which hole, this is a great option for you. Because of the trouble-free setup, it’s also a fantastic option if you’re arriving at your campsite in the evening, or in lower light. Or, as a present option for first-time campers. It can even be set up with just one person, which certainly isn’t the case with some of the larger tent options, so you could use it as a spacious tent for one. But it’s uses are versatile, as this tent sleeps up to four. 

     

    Another of the great tent features of this model is the electrical cord port. This allows you to charge your devices on the move and means you don’t have to carry around your own heavy power bank. If you want a more eco-friendly option for charging your devices, check out our favorite solar-powered chargers here. There are also some internal pockets for you to organize your possessions and devices while they charge. And with enough space for one queen air mattress, a couple can use this tent and sleep soundly. 

     

    This tent is also suitable for all weather conditions. When it’s hot, you can open the large windows on all sides of the tent, and let the air breeze through. The material is also extremely breathable, so if you forget to open the mesh windows, you’re not going to wake up in a hot sweat in the morning under the sun. You can even take off the rain roof at night and lie in the tent to enjoy a starry night on a warm summer’s evening. It’s also prepared for inclement weather conditions too: the PU taping for both rainfly seam and inner tent seam, and PE Tube floor with welded corners, will keep you protected from a shower. 

     

    Pros: 

    • Quick set up in only 60 seconds
    • Telescoping poles, and a pre-attached inner tent,
    • Sleeps up to four, and can fit a queen air mattress
    • Electrical cord access port, easy access 
    • Suitable for all weather conditions

     

    Cons: 

    • It’s not that high, have to lean down to enter
    • Probably more suitable for 2 to sleep comfortably 
    • The material of the tent floor could be more durable 

     

    CORE Equipment 4 Person Instant Dome Tent – 9′ x 7′, Green

     

    This 4 person tent by Core is about as instant as they come! With this tent, you can set it up in an impressive 30 seconds, due to the clever design of the poles, which are already assembled. Core do the hard work, so you don’t have to. With a pre-assembled steel pole system and easy-to-follow directions, you can arrive at your campsite and almost instantly set up camp for the night. Seeing as this tent comfortably sleeps 4, that’s an impressive amount of comfort provided in almost no time at all. However, this tent fits one queen-sized mattress, so for optimum comfort we would recommend this tent for couples, or two people. 

     

    This tent is also really easy to get in and out of, and the entrance is durable. A front “D” style door makes for easy entry and exit while a tough polyethylene floor can handle the high traffic of people going in and out of the tent. Another great feature of this tent is that you can keep items off the tent floor with storage pockets and a gear loft. You could even consider hanging a small battery lantern, or maybe some fairy lights, from the gear loft hook for nighttime lighting. This will not only help you to find your tent when dusk falls, and locate your items and kit inside the tent, it will also provide some lovely mood lighting for you to hang out under or read a book after a long hike. 

     

    This tent is protected for all the elements. With water repellent fabrics, sealed seams and fully taped rainfly, and rain-resistant double doors and window seals, you’ll be able to survive even a heavy downpour and stay nice and dry. And in the summer months, there are adjustable air intake vents which draw in cool air from the ground, and a mesh ceiling which allows hot air to escape, giving you a refreshing through breeze. However the center height of this tent is only 54 inches, so we wouldn’t recommend this tent for taller campers. 

     

    Pros: 

    • Durable, weather-resistant tent
    • Mesh ceiling which offers panoramic views
    • Ventilation system for summer months
    • Rainfly and sealed seams 
    • Fast pitch 30 second set up and take down time

     

    Cons: 

    • Only 54 inches high, so not great for tall campers
    • More comfortably sleeps 2, with space for 1 queen air mattress

     

    Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent

     

    If ease of set up is your number one motivation, then look no further than Coleman’s pop-up tent. This tent sets up in crazy-short time: 10 seconds! All you need to do is unfold, extend and secure using tent stakes. This is the easiest tent to set up and take down on the market. It also easily folds down flat, so you can store it away in a matter of seconds. This is a perfect option for hikers who want to save some weight: it’s a really lightweight option and comes with a carry bag for easy transportation along with windows and doors with zippers that are big and surprisingly sturdy.

     

    Although Coleman says this is a 4 person tent, we would say that it only real comfortably sleeps two. It’s a fantastic option for you if you’re on the move, or perhaps going to a music festival, and you want a super easy and light tent just to pop up, and leave. It’s perhaps not the best option if you’re wanting more of a luxury sleep, or you get claustrophobic easily. With a 3 ft. 4 in. center height, this isn’t a good option for tall campers or people who want to spend much time hanging out in their tent. If you’re just using your tent for convenience and sleeping, then this could be the perfect option for you. 

     

    With Coleman, you know you’re going to be getting really quality outdoors kit. This trusted brand has been used by outdoors enthusiasts throughout the generations, and has been trusted for years to be reliable, durable, and suitable for all weather conditions. Even though this is a cheap, easy, convenient tent, Coleman hasn’t sacrificed on the durability of their materials. With this model, the multi-position rainfly offers you both protection from rain, and ventilation in the summer months. It also has taped floor seams that help keep you dry, even if you’re sleeping in a muddy festival field. 

     

    Pros: 

    • Sets up in 10 seconds
    • Cheap
    • Super lightweight, good portability 
    • Ventilation in the summer, protection from rain and sudden downpours
    • Durable materials and trusted brand
    • Perfect for backpacking 

     

    Cons: 

    • 3 ft. 4 in. center height
    • No rain tarp

     

    Coleman New Outdoor Camping Waterproof 6 Person Instant Tent

     

    If you were sold by the durable material and trusted brand of Coleman for the last model, but want to be able to sleep a bigger group, then consider this option. Although it doesn’t have the integrated tent poles of the previous model, which allow for lightning-quick setup, it can be set up and taken down in under 1 minute. The tent poles are pre-attached, so you don’t have to scramble around your kit trying to place the right color-coded poles in the right place. 

     

    And similarly to the last model, this tent by Coleman is super durable and will survive you any outdoor adventure. The floors are durable, made of thick nylon like a tarp, the WeatherTec system guarantees to keep you dry. An added benefit of the floor is that the seams are raised off the ground so even during steady rain, or a heavy downpour, the pooling water does not get inside. This is a great option if you’re going backcountry or primitive camping, in inclement weather conditions, as it will hold up even under heavy winds or rain. The 150D fabric is twice as thick as regular tent fabric, and there’s no need for a separate rainfly because the tent is fully taped. 

     

    Another benefit of this model is that it fits two queen air beds: the footprint of the tent is 10 feet by 9 feet, which is big enough to sleep 6 people. However, despite the space’s interior, there are no dividing walls, so depending on your needs, you may find that his tent doesn’t offer you enough privacy.

     

    Pros: 

    • Sleeps 6
    • High-quality durable, water resistant materials 
    • Fits two queen airbeds

     

    Cons: 

    • Set up in 1 minute
    • No room divider or screen room 

     

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    Some instant tents have mesh ceilings, so you can stargaze at night

     

    Our winner: 

    Our winner for the best instant tent is the Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent. This Coleman instant tent wins when it comes to lightning quick set up. It’s also quite large tent, perfect for sleeping 2 people, and has all the appropriate waterproofing measures. Although it won’t protect you from strong winds as well as it’s larger brother, and doesn’t boast quite as excellent ventilation, it’s the king of pop-up portability. We would recommend this as the best instant backpacking tent. 

     

    For your next trip, why not consider an instant tent? Some of these options are super lightweight and portable, meaning you can carry your shelter with you easily, wherever you go. And with lightning quick set up times, your camping trip just got that bit easier. The best tent for you is really the one that suits your unique needs. In the great outdoors, there are many things we want to be doing that aren’t setting up camp. Whether it be hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, or hanging out with your family or group,  instant tents can help you to free up time for the things that really matter. 

     

    Bonus tip: 

    To see how quickly and easily our winner sets up, watch this useful clip: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9nSYkEq0aA

     

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.