Best Pop Up Tent For Camping: 5 Instant Tent Reviews

If you’re relatively new to camping and have no idea how to properly erect a traditional tent, then a pop up camping tent could be for you.

They’re great if you’re only an occasional camper, have a festival to go to or perhaps you’re just camping out in the garden over night. Bearing that in mind, we’ve put together a review of five tents to try and figure out which one is the best pop up tent for camping on the market today.

Check out our 5 instant tent reviews below, for those in a hurry see our comparison table for the pop up tents we really rate.

What Should You Consider Before Buying A Pop Up Tent?

Easy set up tents

The clue’s in the name, ‘Pop-up’. Many people purchase this kind of tent purely for the ease of setup. Indeed many buyers of this product won’t be regular campers and the tent might be used for a one off occasion. Perhaps a festival or a single night out camping under the stars.

To be considered a pop up tent we think it should be possible to unpack and get the tent fully up and staked out in less than 1-2 minutes. Some in this review can be fully setup in less than a minute.

Taking the tent down

While some pop up tents score well on the setup time they really suck at being simple to pack away. Particularly difficult are the twisting variety that fit into a more circular type sleeve when packed away. They can be so frustrating until you have the knack.

Part of the reason festival grounds are littered with abandoned tents the morning after is because they’re inherently difficult to pack away!

Size

Will you be camping alone, with friends or a significant other? Most pop up tents on the market are to accommodate 1-4 persons. Yes there are larger models but most are for this group size.

So before buying think carefully about the number of occupants and how much gear you might have to fit in.

Center Height

Closely related to size is the center height of the tent. A small pop up dome tent with a height tall enough to stand in is a rare thing indeed. More than likely you might be OK to sit up in or at best stoop in. So if you are tall then check the center height specification.

Weight

Pop up tents aren’t strictly backpacking tents but there’s still an expectation for them to be light and compact. You should be looking at tents weighing in the region of 5-9lbs. Do bear in mind that lightness can be at the expense of quality material specification.

Materials

Pop up tents will most likely be made of nylon or polyester. Both are strong and light but have different air flow and waterproof capabilities. You’ll want to check that it’s been given a UV coating to protect against the suns rays. Furthermore that the material has been coated with polyurethane (PU) in the factory. This will provide a reasonable amount of protection in wet weather.

Many of the models below have built in structures generally achieved from fiberglass. This is flexible yet strong and keeps weight down.

ProductProduct ImageUnique FeatureRatingPrice
Coleman 2 Person Pop-Up TentQuick setup time with enough room for 14 Star RatingCHECK PRICE
Pop Up Tent by TSWASpacious enough for 33 Star RatingCHECK PRICE
FiveJoy Instant 4-Person Pop Up Dome TentRoomy, easy to erect and take down5 Star RatingCHECK PRICE
Xiaomi Youpin Automatic Instant Pop Up Waterproof TentMost waterproof pop up tent on review4 Star RatingCHECK PRICE
Gazelle Outdoors Large Pop Up TentLarge and well vented for Summer use3 Star RatingCHECK PRICE

 

1. Coleman 2 Person Pop-Up Tent – Superb setup time but barely fits two people

Total Setup Time30 seconds
Sleeps1-2 People
Shelter Material185T Polyester
PolesFiberglass
Weight6.4lbs
Base Size7 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 5 in.

The Coleman Pop-Up Tent has a classic dome shape and features an incredibly short set up time of less than one minute. The tent can sleep up to two people and is very lightweight. There’s also plenty of mesh which keeps the tent highly ventilated at all times. The product dimensions are 27.5 x 1.5 x 27.2 inches.

Sets up quickly and learn the ‘taco method’ to put it away

Arguably the best thing about this tent is the assembly time – it pretty much assembles itself once you unpack it. However, it can be slightly harder to put away, particularly on your first try. There’s a good review on Amazon.com on exactly how to do it using the ‘taco method’.

The tent can easily stand up to light and medium rainfall, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet if there’s a shower. One slight issue is that rainwater can sneak inside the tent when you open the door if the tarp is still speckled with water. One way around this is to shake and rattle the tent sides and roof before undoing zippers.

Only really big enough for one

Price-wise, it costs a reasonable amount for a pop-up tent. It would make an excellent and reasonably priced one-person tent, but if you’re paying for two people you kind of want that extra space, and this tent can’t provide it.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Fairly waterproof
  • Made of fire retardant material
  • Extremely quick to set up
  • Fly can be removed for star gazing

Cons:

  • Struggle to fit two people but perhaps an adult and a child, just
  • Not great value for money – for a two person tent
  • Round pack shape so no good for a backpacking adventure but fine for the trunk

Product Verdict

If you’re looking for a solo pop-up tent to use for a few days in fairly decent weather, then this could be ideal for you. Furthermore the Coleman Pop Up Tent is reasonably good in light showers so ideal for Spring and Summer use. However, if you need something that will accommodate two adults then this isn’t going to cut it. It’s worth mentioning though that this tent is available in 4 person guise but obviously costs more.

Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent
List Price: $64.99
Price: $44.55
You Save: $20.44

 

2. Toogh Pop Up Tent by TSWA – A roomy pop up tent good enough for 3

Total Setup Time60 seconds
Sleeps2-3 People
Shelter Material210D Polyester
PolesFiberglass
Weight7.6lbs
Base Size81 in. x 71 in.

This Toogh polyester pop-up tent can be set up instantly and will sleep up to four people at any time. It features double doors and insect proof screen windows, which also help keep the tent ventilated. There’s also the added benefit of interior storage in the form of a pocket that’s great for storing small items such as cell phones or a wallet.

The definition of a pop up tent

First thing’s first, this is the definition of a ‘pop-up’ tent. Once you undo the carry bag straps, you just throw the tent into an open space, and it pops up with ease. But, it’s not so easy to pack away as it can be very strenuous and quite complicated.

The biggest negative with this tent is that it isn’t as waterproof as it claims. It’s made from polyester which makes it very light and easy to carry, but the material isn’t good when it rains. All you need to do is touch the inside of your tent and water droplets form on your hand. Prior to any trip away from home, certainly on the first one you should waterproof the main tent material as well as next to zippers and joins with seam sealer.

Sleeps 3 in relative comfort

Size wise, there’s a decent amount of space in this tent – at 81 x 71 inches, there’s more than enough for two people and possibly a child in comfort still.

Regarding the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a tent big enough for three people for such a low price. It’s good value for money if you treat it as a 2 season tent when there’s less chance of rain about.

Pros:

  • Very cheap for a three person tent
  • Instant setup
  • Bonus internal storage
  • Spacious
  • Easy to carry and store

Cons:

  • Not very waterproof – definitely needs treating before use
  • Some have arrived without instructions though the setup is relatively simple
  • Difficult to pack away but a demonstration video is available

Product Verdict

To sum up, this is a nice little tent for a spring or summer camp trip for a night or 2 at the most. If you plan to go on regular trips then something with better waterproofing properties should be on your shopping list otherwise it’s fine. Do watch the available video though to master putting the TSWA tent away!

 

3. FiveJoy Instant 2-3-Person Pop Up Dome Tent – The easiest to put away, great quality the best instant tent here and thus our test winner

Total Setup Time20 seconds
Sleeps2-3 People
Shelter MaterialPolyester
PolesFiberglass
Weight8.1lbs
Base Size80.7 in. x 78.7 in.

This tent comes with a portable carrying bag, and it pops up automatically when released. There are mesh windows, double doors, and multiple storage pockets on the inside. There’s a floor area of 80.7 x 78.7 inches, and a peak height of 47 inches.

Easy to put away as well as setup

Once again this tent is so easy to set up and will be ready for use in under a minute. Likewise, packing it away is so easy, unlike the TSWA and can be done in a couple of minutes once you get the knack.

It can easily fit three adults in – if you’re traveling light. If you want to use air mattresses, then you’re probably looking at this being a two person tent max instead.

If it rains, then this tent can easily stand up to the moderate wetness and casual showers. However, the manufacturer does stress it’s not to be used in heavy rainfall. Like any tent treating it prior to your first camp is good practice.

No corners cut with additional detailing

What’s really great about this tent is the additional features such as internal storage spaces and hooks to hang clothes on. Plus, there’s even a small porch area that you can keep your shoes in too. Details like this all add to the manufacturing cost so it’s a good indicator when corners that could have easily been cut have not.

The major downside is the price. At over $100, you’re looking at a pricey piece of kit for a pop up tent but this is reflected in the quality. The seams and zippers are in a different league to those of both the TSWA and the Coleman.

Pros:

  • Instant setup time
  • Quick and easy pack up time
  • Spacious interior
  • Windows
  • Internal storage
  • Nice little porch area
  • Fairly waterproof

Cons

  • Relatively expensive but you get what you pay for
  • Not resistant to heavy rainfall

Product Verdict

All in all the FiveJoy Instant is a fantastic tent that will provide you with everything you need for a short camping trip or festival. The big question is, is it good value for money? If you’re semi-serious about camping and will use this tent at least 5 or more times then purchase without hesitation. A few customers on Amazon have also made video’s to show how easy it is to put it away after use.

 

4. Xiaomi Youpin Automatic Instant Pop Up Tent – The most waterproof pop up tent on test and great value

Xiaomi instant pop up tent in avacado green

Total Setup Time15-20 seconds
Sleeps3-4 People
Shelter Material185T Polyester
PolesFiberglass
Weight6.2lbs
Base Size101.5" x 61.8"

Of the 5 tents tested and reviewed this really was the surprise package.

It comes from a brand we’d never heard of, Xiaomi, sold exclusively via Gearbest.com. How could a brand we’d never heard of produce a decent product?

The brand had been mentioned by a couple of camping buddies as something we should explore in our review site. This was us finally getting round to sourcing and acquiring a Xiaomi product.

Setup is a matter of seconds, this is the easiest tent to setup by yourself

We thought the TSWA and Coleman popped up fast but this thing is like lightening once out of the disc shaped carry bag. The inner and outer rainfly are already attached to each other, so the only thing left to do is to stake the 4 corners down.

The interior space is roomy enough for 3 adults and we also liked the steep sides. It’s very similar to the Fivejoy tent in design.

Dotted around the interior are lots of handy storage pockets. Great for wallets, cell phones and coins. There are also further details like mesh paneling that allows the pop up tent to breathe but still keeps mosquito’s and other pests out. There’s also a secondary mesh door should you want air flow but still require privacy.

On the subject of materials we appreciated the slightly thicker bathtub style floor – this has a 3000mm hydrostatic head. We tested this tent in the yard and the beach and were pleasantly surprised how it rode the small rocks and shells with getting pierced from the bottom.

Xiaomi Youpin tent setup on the grass

Of the tents here, we’d stick our neck out and say that this is the most waterproof of the lot. There’s a 2000mm hydrostatic head to the main tent material and the seams are also well glued and stitched. The fact that the tent inner and rainfly are properly separated means moisture must work harder to get through.

With all this praise there surely has to be a downside, right?

Poles held up but just seem a little flimsy

There’s just a couple of things for the sake of longevity that we feel could be better. For example, the fiberglass poles just seem a little on the flimsy side. The metal ferules, that connect one pole to another are a little short. In our experience this can expose a weak spot and poles can snap at the point they leave the ferule. Still this is subjective, it didn’t happen during the review.

Easily packs away

Saying that we must acknowledge, that because the poles are thin, they’re also flexible and this allows the tent to be packed away again with relative ease. With only a couple of attempts we had the knack.

The only other thing we thought could be better is the carry case material. The 2 handle options are great but the bag uses the thinnest polyester ever and long term we can see this getting ripped or tearing. Still you should be fine if you look after it and store the tent well when not in use.

Pro’s

  • Sets up in seconds
  • Fits 3 adults
  • Thicker floor material
  • Internal storage for small items dotted around
  • Waterproof and moisture proof
  • Pictorial setup and take instructions down gets over any language barrier
  • You get the knack of packing away after only a couple of attempts

Con’s

  • Fiberglass poles seem a bit flimsy – but worked!
  • Thin polyester material on carry case

Product Verdict

The roomy Xiaomi Youpin certainly has a lot going for it in this company. It sets up quickly and is supremely easy to put away. We also think it’s the most waterproof option on test and the thick bath tub floor is a real plus point.

The drawback is really a case of what might happen. Will the fiberglass poles break and will the carry case rip? This could be said of many of the other options here.

So if you’re on a tight budget and want the most waterproof option on test then go with the Xiaomi, it’s highly recommended. It’s a significantly cheaper option than the Fivejoy.

Check out the latest price on Gearbest.com

 

5. Gazelle Outdoors Large Pop Up Tent – Attractive and spacious instant camping tent

Total Setup Time20 seconds
Sleeps2-3 People
Shelter Material190T Polyester
PolesFiberglass
WeightNA
Base Size95 in. x 57 in.

This is an easy set up tent with a circular carry bag that makes it very portable. The Gazelle is complete with two doors for great ventilation and made with waterproof polyester. At 95 x 57 x 39 inches, this tent is good for three people in comfort.

Just throw the tent into open space to setup

The set up is as easy as throwing your tent into an open space and watching the magic happen. However, as with most pop-up tents, packing it away is a lot harder, and the instructions are poor.

It’s spacious enough for three medium sized people or two full-grown adults. The two doors are great for opening up when it’s warm and hanging your legs outside the tent for some extra coolness on your body.

This tent isn’t particularly waterproof

The biggest issue is that it isn’t very waterproof. You’ll get a couple of leaks if it rains quite hard, which means it’s more of a summer tent than anything else. Don’t wonder too far off the grid in this tent.

Price-wise it’s reasonably affordable but we’re not sure it represents the best value on test.

Pros:

  • Pop up time is instant
  • You can stand in this tent
  • Very spacious
  • So easy to carry around and transport
  • Two doors

Cons:

  • Hard to pack away as instructions are poor but a video is available
  • Not very waterproof but a treatment would remedy this to an extent
  • Window zippers on the outside

Product Verdict

Given that this tent is twice the price of some on test we were expecting a bit more for the money certainly in terms of waterproofing out of the box. The instructions are also poor. Saying that if you can get past that and give the tent a waterproof treatment then the Gazelle could prove a nicely made and attractive tent that’s great for Summer use for 2 adults, possibly 3.

 

and the Best Pop Up Tent For Camping is…

To conclude, we have to pick a winner and declare the best pop up tent for camping. It’s a tough choice as the Xiaomi Youpin from Gearbest.com ran the ultimate winner very close. We are of course talking about the FiveJoy Dome Tent.

Even though it’s the most expensive, it’s still better than the other tents in most departments and will last long enough to make it’s price tag seem reasonable. It just edges the Xiaomi with the addition of the side windows and vents and just being that little bit more spacious.

If the FiveJoy is too expensive then by all means go with the Xiaomi. If you want a better known brand then the Coleman pop up tent is reasonable quality and size if you’re solo camping or are an adult with a child.

In terms of waterproofing all of these tents would benefit from a treatment of Nikwax or similar. Though the Xiaomi is the most waterproof of the 5 out of the packaging.

4 Comments

  1. Seriously – none of these tents are waterproof? WTH.

    • Hey there – the reviews are based on the tents performance straight from the box. Since these are all made of polyester or nylon they would all benefit from a waterproof treatment prior to use. Nikwax or similar at a few dollars and 15 mins of your time will make the tent supremely waterproof.

  2. Melanie Dragan says:

    Can you elaborate on this? “Like any tent treating it prior to your first camp is good practice.” How do you treat it prior to using it? I am a casual camper and not familiar with good tent care.

    • Dean Anderson says:

      Hi Melanie,
      That was rather presumptuous wasn’t it? Sorry about that. What I mean is that prior to leaving home it’s always worth setting up a new tent in your backyard. That way you can get familiar with the setup process and also season the tent. This post about waterproofing will help explain the process.
      Thanks
      Dean

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