If you’re new to camping in general, one of the first purchases you’ll make for your outdoor adventures is a quality, durable tent to serve you in the season or seasons you intend to camp in, offer the space you require, and shelter you from a range of weather elements. The right instant tent is a great choice for newbie and expert campers alike because it features the quick and user-friendly setup time you’ll want after a long day on the trail.
The trouble is, with an endless array of tent options available from a plethora of manufacturers, how do you know which ones really exceed expectations for durability and longevity of use?
We’re so glad you asked.
Today, we will walk you through the key elements every camper needs to consider when picking out the best instant tent. Next, we’ll offer our honest review of the top 5 instant tents on the market. Finally, we’ll issue our verdict revealing our number one pick from the list.
Sounds like something you need to know, right? Let’s get started!
Our Review of the Top 5 Best Instant Tents
Here’s our review of the top 5 instant tent products.
Toogh 2-3 Person Camping Tent Backpacking Tent
- Holds 2 to 3 person capacity
- Takes just about 60 seconds to set up or breakdown
- Includes carry bag
- 210-denier Oxford fabric with 3,000 mm rating
- Waterproof tent floor with 5,000 mm rating
- Most people won’t be able to stand up inside
- Not as durable against high winds
Our first choice holds a 2 to 3 person capacity with its very portable design that takes a mere 60 seconds or so to set up or breakdown. We love how lightweight the Toogh Camping Tent is, which features a carry bag so you can transport the structure with the rest of your gear without any fuss.
The tent has dual doors integrated into the design, which is fantastic when multiple campers are going to be entering and exiting the structure. We were also happy to see that the tent comes with a rainfly to prevent water or dampness from seeping into the interior.
The 210-denier Oxford fabric of the tent is extremely water resistant, sporting a hydrostatic waterproof rating of 3,000 millimeters. The tent’s floor is also impressively waterproof, with a 5,000-millimeter hydrostatic rating. The tent features spacious dimensions of 80 x 70 inches with a 45-inch interior height. While you won’t really be able to stand up inside the tent, you and your fellow campers shouldn’t any issues sitting up and moving around as needed.
CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
- Takes just 30 seconds to set up
- 100% polyester design with H20 Block technology
- Adjustable ground vent
- Comes with a rain fly, carry bag, and stakes
- Includes loft area for storage
- The poles aren’t as durable as some
- Zipper can jam
Our next choice is the Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent, sporting an incredible 30-second setup time. We love how easy this tent is to use and put up, making it an excellent choice for beginner campers. The tent material is designed from highly durable 100% polyester, featuring integrated H20 Block technology with a ground vent that you can adjust for proper airflow as needed.
Not all 4 person tents are created equal, but the Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent really does offer sufficient space for several campers without making anyone feel too cooped up with a center height of 54 inches. If you’re worried about finding space to store your gear, this instant tent features a loft with a lantern hook and pockets so you can secure and organize your belongings.
The tent also comes with the tent stakes, a rain fly for additional coverage in the event of a storm, and a carry bag for easy portability.
ECOdept Instant Dome Tent
- Features UV protectant technology
- Setup time takes just a few seconds
- You can fit a full sized air mattress in the 91 x 83 x 51 space
- Dual layer waterproof design
- It might take a few tries to understand how the setup works
- Not as durable as some other products
The Instant Dome Tent by ECOdept made it to our list for its design that offers protection from moisture and harmful UV rays. You can easily fit 3 people into this structure, and set up time is mere seconds. The tent features 4 supports to pop into place and 4 ropes for a few simple ties. After that, the tent is set up and ready for sleep!
We love that this tent is large enough to house a full-sized air mattress, with 91 x 83 x 51 dimensions. The tent comes with a carry bag so you can easily transport it from one place to the next. The feature that really stood out to us with the ECOdept Instant Dome Tent was its two-layer waterproof design, that helps ensure you will stay protected from any inclement weather elements outside your tent.
Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
- Holds up to 4 people
- 10-second easy setup
- Pre-assembled poles
- Adjustable rainfly
- Dual storage pockets
- Interior may not be large enough for some preferences
- You can’t stand up inside the structure
The Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent is an excellent choice if you want a really simple but dependable option you can rely on for your outdoor adventures. The tent holds up to 2 people and is a fantastic choice for camping in moderate, more benign weather conditions and outdoor environments. The tent sports pre-assembled poles, so you can literally put up the Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent in 10 seconds flat.
We were impressed by the taped floor seams this tent features, along with a rainfly that you can adjust to multiple positions. If a storm starts to pick up, you can pull the rainfly down, but you can also alter it to increase the proper airflow during the warmer months. The tent packs down to a compact flat size, making it another highly portable option.
The Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up tent sports dual storage pockets to secure your belongings. The size of this tent is not as large as some, with 9-foot and 2-inch by 6-foot and 6-inch dimensions. The interior height extends to just 3 feet and 4 inches total, so you’ll be able to sit up inside the tent, but that’s about it.
FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent
- 150-denier polyester
- Water resistant
- WeatherTec technology
- Nylon flap promotes air circulation
- Sturdy seams and zippers
- Not ideal for rough weather or wilderness camping
- You might need to purchase a tarp separately for the tent’s floor
Our final pick is the premium FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent, designed from sturdy 150-denier polyester that offers excellent water-resistant capabilities. Setup time takes just under a minute, while the product comes with pre-attached support mechanisms to make expanding the tent a total breeze.
We love the integrated WeatherTec technology the FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent has to offer, that will keep you protected in the event of unexpected bad weather while keeping any hints of moisture out. The tent sports openings on both the right and left sides of the structure, secured by a nylon flap to ensure circulation and privacy. The FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent also comes with stakes and guylines for bonus sturdiness.
The FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent’s polyester design features PU coating for exceptional water resistance, along with sturdy seams and zippers. With that said, this tent is not designed for rough weather backpacking or to be used during a heavy downpour outside.
The Ultimate Instant Tent Buying Guide
If you’re stressed out trying to find the right instant tent for your next camping trip, your search just became a whole lot easier.
Check out the key components to look for to ensure you pick an instant tent to meet your camping needs.
As with any other investment in your camping gear, one of the foremost components you’ll consider when hunting for an instant tent is the price of the product. You’ll also want to factor in the additional costs you might incur by owning the tent, such as any accessories or special gear you’ll use inside the structure.
Instant tents have a lighter, somewhat flimsier design than heavy-duty tents. A good instant tent should be affordable, easy to set up, and retain all the key features of a premium tent, such as durability.
The next thing you’ll want to consider before purchasing an instant tent is the capacity or space you’ll require to accommodate the group you’re traveling with. Consider how many campers you usually travel with and the space you’ll require to fit not only them but all their gear as well.
The tent needs to be comfortable and spacious to account for your needs as well as the needs of the other individuals in your group. If you like minimalist camping and only bring the bare bones essentials with you on the trail, you might be able to get away with a smaller structure than if you bring tons of gear with you.
Tents range in person capacity from a single individual to large, family-size structures, so assess your usual camping habits and plan accordingly.
A good instant tent needs to be highly portable and easy to transport. When looking for an instant tent, its portability is a crucial factor to consider. Most instant tents are pretty lightweight and easy to carry. They are also typically easy to set up, much more so than the regular tent varieties.
If you like to go car camping and will simply be storing your packed tent in your vehicle, portability might not be so great a concern. If you’re going to be backpacking from one destination to the next though, you’ll want a tent that is very light and very portable to fit in easily with the rest of your gear.
Set Up Ease
Set up ease is a critical component to take into account when choosing any type of tent, especially instant tents. Most adventurers with little or moderate camping experience prefer instant tents because of their quick and easy setup.
As a rule of thumb, a great instant tent shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes or so to set up in total. Larger tents will always take longer to set up than smaller tents. Most instant tents will take just about 10 minutes or less to put up.
The Different Types of Instant Tents
You have plenty of options to pick from when hunting for an instant tent, so it’s key to understand the different types available so you can pick the one that is best for your needs. Summer instant tents are designed primarily for warm weather use, featuring much thinner fabrics and lots of mesh to promote proper air circulation. Most summer tents sport a rainfly secured some inches off the ground so that air flow remains constant throughout the structure.
Three season tents are some of the most multipurpose options available because you can use them during spring, summer, and fall as you desire. Tents designed for 3 season use are typically very sturdy and durable, designed with materials like mesh and nylon.
These tents also feature a rainfly that provides full coverage to the tent body to shield campers from damp weather elements. You may want to consider a 3 season instant tent if you like to go camping year-round.
Convertible or all-season tents are made for year-round use. You’ll enjoy many of the same features you would with summer or 3 season models, such as ventilation openings and a rainfly. However, with a convertible tent, you can simply adjust and move around the tent components as needed to be compatible with the season you’re camping in.
Finally, if you'd rather camp in challenging winter weather, you need an instant tent built for cold weather. Winter instant tents sport durable designs with dependable fabrics and frames made to hold up against downpours and heavy winds. Winter tents are definitely the most sturdy instant tent option which is why they are also one of the more expensive choices.
Our Top Pick
Although it wasn't easy, we narrowed down our choice and selected the best instant tent in the market right now—the Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent. We loved the simple yet durable design of this tent, with pre-assembled poles and a setup time of just 10 seconds.
The taped floor seams were a huge factor for us in the decision-making process, as these further ensure that dampness won’t seep through the bottom of the tent and spoil your camping experience. The rainfly is of excellent quality and adjustable so you can use it as needed depending on the time of year you’re camping.
We also liked that the tent packs down to a flat, compact size, so it’s easy to carry from place to place whether you’re car camping or backpacking. The dual storage pockets are excellent as well. If you want an instant tent that is waterproof, functional, and durable, with fantastic storage space, efficient setup, and easy portability, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent.