Instant tents take a lot of the hassle out of camping by letting you quickly and easily get your tent set up.
If it starts raining or snowing, you can get your tent set up before you get soaked. Instant tents, as you will see, are useful both amateurs and experienced campers alike.
In this article, you are going to see what the best instant tents are. Likewise, in the follow-up buying guide, we are going to tell you about how you can go about picking out a really good instant tent.
If you want a recommendation right now, we recommend the ALPHA CAMP Instant Tent for Camping.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Instant Tents 2019
Best Instant Tents Review:
Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
To kick off our review of the best instant tents, we are going to be reviewing the Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent. This is an absolutely great option if you are looking for a good, instant tent to take on your next camping trip.
Let’s start by talking about how quickly this tent can be set up. All instant tents can be set up quickly, but the actual setup times can vary quite significantly. In the case of the Core Equipment, it will take you roughly 30-45 seconds to get it set up when you first start using the tent.
However, with some experience, and assuming the ground is flat and dry, then you should be able to get this tent up easily in around 10 seconds. So, to say that this is a quick tent to get set up would be something of an understatement.
Both the exterior and the interior of the tent are exceptionally well-made. The material used to make the tent is 100% soft, comfortable polyester. The exterior is made using Core Equipment’s unique H2O Block technology, which should ensure that you remain completely dry, even during heavy rains.
If you want extra protection from rain and moisture, you can always use the rainfly that comes with the tent. Before moving on, if you feel that the tent is getting too hot, you can make use of the very helpful ground vent, which can be opened or closed to let more air flow throughout the tent.
While they aren’t crucial, it is always nice when a tent includes some small quality-of-life features. A lot of the best instant tents go out of their way to make your camping experience easier, and the Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent is no exception.
For starters, it has a small port that lets you feed electric cables through the tent; very helpful for charging electronics. The tent comes with a gear storage area located at the top of the tent, which helps to keep sensitive electronics out of the way; it also has several pockets located around the side of the tent as well.
Like we said, these are small features. You wouldn’t buy a tent just based off how much you can store inside of it. However, it is still nice to have these things and they are a part of the reason why we included this Core tent on our best instant tents list.
- Very quick setup.
- Comes with nice convenience features.
- Great at keeping water out.
- Comes with storage bag.
- Ground vent gives you some control over temperature in the tent.
- Tent poles can be stiff and difficult to use.
Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent
Coleman is one of the leading brands out there when it comes to camping, tents, and above all else, instant tents. If you go searching for the best instant tents, you are bound to see the name Coleman pop up quite a bit. So, naturally, they are also going to appear on our list as well. For this particular review, we are looking at an affordable, 2-person tent from them.
Tents like this one, which are smaller, can be easily assembled in seconds. This is true even you do end up putting the poles into place. This particular Coleman tent can be set up in under 10 seconds.
The extremely short setup time makes this a good option for those camping in areas with volatile weather, as you are at a greater risk of getting trapped out in the open without a tent. So, being able to quickly get this tent up and get inside is a really positive aspect.
The exterior of the tent is made of high-quality polyester (like a lot of other tents on our best instant tents list). The polyester also happens to be both water-resistant and fire-resistant. So, not only does the tent keep you dry, but it should also keep you safe from potential fire hazards (these may be rare but being safe never hurt).
We should also point out that the bottom of tent is also water-resistant, so you can set this tent up anywhere and won’t have to worry about water seeping in from the ground.
It also remains well-ventilated. The rainfly on the tent manages to strike a really good balance between providing protection against rain and block air from circulating. Even during the hotter months, you should manage to remain cool while in this tent.
However, just because the Coleman is from a famous brand and on our best instant tents list, doesn’t mean that it is perfect. The biggest issue that most people will probably end up having with this tent is size.
Despite being called a 2-person tent, it is really small and unless you don’t mind being extremely squished together, it is unlikely that 2 people will be able to comfortably share this tent. It could also use some storage space or pockets.
- 10-second (at most) setup.
- Remains cool during hot weather.
- Water-resistant and fire-resistant polyester exterior.
- Sturdy tent poles.
- Could afford to be a bit bigger.
- Needs more storage space.
ALPHA CAMP Instant Tent for Camping
This is the first cabin tent that is being reviewed on our best instant tents article. The different terminology will be explained later on in the accompanying buying guide. However, the short version is that cabin tents tend to be bigger and have more storage space while taking a bit longer to set up.
Because this is a larger tent, the setup time is quite a bit longer than all of the other entries that you have seen so far on our best instant tents list.
The first couple of times that you use this tent, it will probably take around 2 minutes or so to get it erected. With some practice, it will end up taking likely around a minute or so. This is longer than some other instant tents, but it is still very good given the size of the tent.
The actual tent itself was extremely well-made. The exterior is made from very high-grade polyester. This, when combined with the really well-made rainfly, makes for a tent that has extremely high wind resistance and water resistance.
When it comes to ventilation, the ALPHA CAMP boasts a very large door, as well as several side windows. Not only do these let you have a great view, but they also encourage a large amount of airflow.
In terms of space, the tent can support up to 6 people at once. As you would expect from a tent that can fit so many people, it also has a lot of storage space (several pockets are dotted around the inside of the tent). This helps to keep everyone from stepping on everyone else’s valuables. Finally, it also comes with one of those helpful electric ports, which lets you slip a wire through the tent.
One thing that you should know before buying this tent is that it is quite big and heavy. So, if you are planning on going hiking with this tent, then you might want to reconsider due to its weight. However, if you enjoy camping in pre-planned spots or campgrounds, then this is an amazing option and worthy of being on our best instant tents list.
- Very spacious.
- Lots of storage space.
- Plenty of windows and a large door to aid ventilation.
- Relatively quick setup, given the size.
- Very bulky and heavy.
FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent
Moving on, we have another popup tent, but this time from FiveJoy. The FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent is similar in a lot of ways to the Coleman Popup Tent that we reviewed earlier. However, there are enough differences that it deserves its own review on our best instant tents list.
Because this is a popup tent, it can be put up extremely quickly. Much like the Coleman Popup Tent, the FiveJoy can be set up in just a few seconds once you get the hang of it. Also, because this is a free-standing tent, once it is actually up, you don’t have to take it down again to move it. If suddenly a better spot opens up a tiny bit away, you can just pick the tent up and carry it, no need to collapse it.
It comes with two openings and two windows, each of which is covered by a nylon flap that not only covers the window but also works to keep out bugs and debris. It also helps to ventilate the tent a bit. Sadly, it doesn’t come with a dedicated rainfly, instead, you have to turn the windows into the rainfly. This is an issue that does take away from an otherwise good tent.
The exterior of the tent is made of good, rain-resistant polyester. So, the actual construction of the tent itself is really good. The tent is meant to hold anywhere from 1 to 3 people.
As with all tents, including the ones on the best instant tents list, the capacity recommendations don’t always tell the full story. You can fit 3 people into the tent, but it will be very claustrophobic. However, 2 regular-sized people can fit quite comfortably.
Aside from the rainfly complaint made earlier, we must also mention the price of the tent. Given its size, the price is a bit on the higher end. The tent overall is well-made, but whether it is worth the price is worth it or not is up to you.
- Well-made polyester exterior.
- Extremely fast setup.
- Free-standing design allows you to move tent easily.
- Very well-ventilated.
- No rainfly.
Night Cat Camping Tent
For the last of the 5 tents that we are reviewing on our best instant tents list, we are looking at the Night Cat Camping Tent.
The tent is extremely well-designed. The exterior is made of mesh, which helps with ventilation. If it starts to rain, not only does the water-resistant polyester help to keep you dry, but there is also a very well-made rainfly that comes with the tent. When it isn’t raining, the rainfly can actually be used as its own pavilion, which is very impressive.
The tent is also very durable, so it is going to last you for quite a long time. The material is strong and won’t tear. The tent poles are made from very strong fiberglass. In general, every part of this tent is exceptionally well-made.
The major downside to this tent is the amount of time that it takes to get set up. Popup tents typically only take a few seconds to get up. However, the Night Cat uses some sort of automatic mechanism that takes a few minutes.
- Uses reliable, high-quality polyester material.
- Multi-use rainfly.
- Durable tent poles.
- Good ventilation.
- Takes a bit longer to get erected.
Instant Tent Buying Guide
In the introduction to our best instant tents article, we said that we would also be including a buying guide to go along with the reviews.
In this section, we are going to explain some of the terminologies that is related to instant tents, as well as what to consider when looking for one at a store.
Terminology That You Should Know
While reading through our best instant tents, there may have been some terms that you weren’t familiar with. To make sure that we are all on the same page, let’s go over some of the important terms to know.
You saw several popup tents on our review list. Now, for those who are curious about what a popup tent is, the name is fairly self-explanatory. They are tents that are capable of popping up after you take them out of storage. They take only a few seconds to get set up and don’t require poles or anything like that.
Dome tents are instant tents that have a circular shape on top. They are generally on the smaller side and have less room for you to maneuver around in. However, dome tents also typically take a lot less time to get set up.
Cabin tents are the polar opposite of the dome tent. Cabin tents have a flatter top and are far more spacious. They can typically fit more people and they give you a lot more room to walk around in. However, this comes at the cost of taking much longer to get up.
Whereas a dome tent can be set up in 20 to 30 seconds, cabin tents often take up to a minute, if not longer. Likewise, the larger size does translate to a larger cost.
When picking out a good tent, picking the right size can be tricky. While every tent does give a capacity recommendation, they often aren’t the most accurate. There were a couple of instances on our best instant tents review list where a tent was a bit smaller than its capacity recommendation would lead you to believe.
A good rule of thumb to follow when looking for tents is to consider how many people will be camping with you on your average camping trip. Then, buy one size bigger than that. So, if you often go alone, then buy a 2-person tent. If you have a family of 3, then make sure that you are buying a 4-person tent (unless each person brings their own).
You want a tent that is made of strong polyester. Not only is polyester good at keeping out wind and rain, but if it is well-made, then it can also last for years without tearing. It is just a very durable, good material.
A good rainfly is almost as important as any other part of the tent. Keep an eye out for a rainfly that can be quickly put on the tent and that provides good and comprehensive protection against the rain.
Staying in a tent during the hotter months can be unbearable if there isn’t good ventilation. When it comes to ventilation, you want mesh coverings on your windows and door, as this lets you keep them open without letting bugs or debris get in the tent.
If you have any questions about our best instant tents review list or our buying guide, then we would encourage you to leave a comment letting us know.