The best pop-up tents are the stuff of magic. For many years, campers wished that they could get their shelter set up in mere moments. Well, like Aladdin’s Genie, pop-up tents make wishes come true. With many models, all you have to do is unzip your tent bag and your shelter eagerly leaps out, ready for action, not unlike the Genie from his oil lamp, really.
But, wait you have two more wishes? You also want the best pop-up tent to be as sturdy and weatherproof as the best tents full stop. Well, pop-up tents have come a long way since they first started appearing at music festivals, showing off their rapid assembly times and generally looking smart but undoubtedly unsuitable for more strenuous applications and having as much living space as the Genie’s lamp. However, advances in tent technology mean that today many of the best pop-up tents are right at home in the wild.
Final wish? You want it to pack away just as easily as it assembles. You’ve come to the right place. Models like the Moon Lence Instant Popup Camping Tent boasts a speedy take down, not bad for a tent that can take up to five adults. We also like the Night Cat Backpacking Tent for lightweight adventures and the …
So, whether you’re taking the kids camping, going to a festival with your buddies or heading off into the wild, here’s our lowdown of the best pop-up tents to make all of your convenient camping wishes come true.
The best pop-up tents for backpacking
Night Cat Backpacking Tent
A single-skin lightweight adventure tent, ready to take on the prowl
RRP: $50 (US) / £50 (UK) | Capacity: 1 or 2 people | Weight: 2kg/4.4lb | Pack size: 42 x12 x 12cm / 16.5 x 4.7 x 4.7in | Dimensions: 220cm x 120cm / 86.5 x 47cm | Max headroom: 122cm/48in | Doors & vestibules: 1 door, 0 vestibules | Compatibility: 3 season
Set-up in a minute or less, the Night Cat is a sturdy, stable, single-layer shelter that is light and easy enough to take out on the trails, and big enough (just) to take two people. It is primarily designed for solo backpackers, however, and the floor plan is roomy enough for a single air mattress. Fiberglass poles deliver strength, durability and stand-up to windy breezes, but remain light to carry. Waterproof fabrics and waterproof tape on all seams keeps the water out and comfort in. Small storage bags keep poles, stakes and guy lines untangled and organized.
If you’re not backpacking, the Nightcat can still come in very handy at festivals and garden sleepovers. An inexpensive model, the Night Cat could be the perfect den away from home for recalcitrant teenagers who no longer want to share a shelter with their parents of their siblings.
Teton Sports Vista Quick
Quick and comfortable solo shelter, light enough to take backpacking
RRP: $90 (US) | Capacity: 1 person | Weight: 4.6lb / 1900g | Pack size: 27 x 7 x 7in / 69 x 18 x 18cm | Dimensions: 80 x 34in / 203 x 86cm | Max headroom: 37in/94cm | Doors & vestibules: 1 | Compatibility: 3 season | Colors: Brown / Green / Yellow
After a long day on the trails, when you’re hungry, thirsty and tired, the last thing you want to deal with is complicated, time-consuming tent set-up operation. Welcome to the Vista Quick, a rarebreed pop-up tent that’s lightweight enough to take backpacking. Using a locking hub and pole system, the Vista Quick lives up to its name.
Ready in seconds, the pop-up tent has two-way zippers to offer fine adjustments for ventilation and entry. Slide in a Teton Sports Camp Cot, get comfortable and ponder the blue skies through mesh ceiling panels. A gear loft keeps your headlamp, smartphone and keys in a safe place. If the weather turns, a rainfly keeps you dry. An optional rainfly offers more coverage if you want more protection.
Coleman 2-Person Skydome
Tall, robust shelter, set-up in seconds
RRP: $52 (US) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight: 6.4lb / 2835g | Dimensions: 7 x 5ft / 213 x 152.5cm | Max headroom: 4ft/122cm | Doors & vestibules: 1 wide door | Compatibility: 3 season | Colors: Green
When you hike a trail before dawn to experience an epic sunrise, an afternoon nap is a worthy reward. Coleman’s Pop-Up tent uses a pre-assembled pole system that takes just 10 seconds to set-up. The footprint is big enough for two camping pads, it features a wide door so you can get things (including large inflatable mattresses) in easily.
It’s an easy tent to keep well organised, with two storage pockets to store small gear off the ground. A multi-position rainfly lets you customize access, protection and ventilation to match the weather. If it rains, taped floor seams will keep you dry. When it’s time to return home, the tent packs flat for storage.
EuroHike Pop 400 DS
The weatherproof Pop 400 is a roomy home for three, and versatile enough to work for all kinds of camps
RRP: £75 (UK) | Capacity: 4 people | Weight: 5kg/11lbs 0.4oz | Packed size: : 83 x 83 x 5cm/32.67 x 32.67 x 2in | Waterproofing: 3,000mm | Compatibility: Perfect for variable weather conditions, with an inner tent for summer use and a flysheet for rainy conditions
The Pop 400 should rightly be called a half-pop-up – it’s made up of two sections, an instantly-erected main tent, which can be used alone on dry nights but which isn’t waterproof, and a separate flysheet waterproofed to 3,000mm which is pegged over the top, and which would also work alone as a tarp for bivvying or hammock camping.
For a few minutes of extra pitching, you essentially get a weatherproof twin-skin tent, making this a versatile choice if you camp in varying locations and conditions over the year. Inside there’s loads of room for two or three plus your gear (but four people would find it too snug), and two doors make it even easier to share with others. Plus, when you peg the flysheet out it also creates a useful porch for storing extra kit, which most pop-ups lack. There are other nice touches including reflective guy ropes and a lantern hook. It’s a cinch to pop open and fold close the main tent, using the classic figure-of-eight fold to store in a circular carry bag.
Decathlon 2 Seconds Easy Freshblack
This clever tent uses a drawstring to pop open into a comfy two-man complete with blackout bedroom
RRP: $US 199 / £100 (UK) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight: 4.7kg/10lbs 5.8oz | Packed size: 58.4 x 20.3 x 20.3cm / 23 x 8 x 8in | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: A nice size for a couple, and the rectangular pack makes it easier to take off the beaten track
Despite testing it out on a weekend in the wild, we still don’t really understand how this clever tent erects – it’s a bit of a magic trick. Pull the 2 Seconds Easy Freshblack (it has a bit of a mouthful of a name) out of its bag, pull two cords tight and it springs into shape, then you just peg it down and you’re ready to camp. To dismantle, you click a release button and then gather the tent into its bag, which is also the work of minutes.
Inside, there’s a bedroom suitable for two plus backpacks and lined with effective blackout material, plus handy pockets and a lantern hook. Although this tent can’t be classed as lightweight, it’s still just small and portable enough to be useable for wild camping and backpacking at a pinch, as it folds down into a compact rectangle rather than a bulkier circle, and fits in a backpack.
Best pop-up tents for festivals
FiveJoy Instant Popup Camping Tent (2 person)
Classic pop-up shelter
RRP: $70 (US) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight: 3.4kg/6.7lb | Pack size: 76 x 76 x 6.5cm / 30 x 30 x 2.5in | Dimensions: 275cm x 195cm / 108 x 77in | Max headroom: 122cm/48in | Doors & vestibules: 2 doors, 0 vestibules | Compatibility: 2 season
A lifetime of camping adventures often start with a backyard overnight. The FiveJoy tent is a basic but well-designed pop-up shelter to introduce your family to sleeping outside in fair weather conditions. Or, alternatively, an ideal festival tent for situations when you just want to claim your spot, get pitched quickly and then go and enjoy some fun.
Simple set-up creates a stable shelter. Two huge doors and two side windows roll up to keep the interior cool and fresh. Storage pockets and a lantern loop offer convenience and comfort for beginning campers. With poles provided, turn the nylon door flaps into canopies and sunshades. Water resistant fabrics, taped seams and rugged zippers create a durable shelter.
Easy Camp Daybreak
A simple, affordable pop-up built for summer, and a cinch to erect and dismantle
RRP: $80 (US) / £40 (UK) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight : 1.9kg/4lbs 3oz | Packed size: 74 x 4cm / 29.1 x 1.6in | Waterproofing: 1,500mm | Compatibility: This classic pop-up tent for one or two is ideal for more casual camping in dry weather
If your buying requirements read ‘cheap and cheerful’, look no further than Easy Camp’s little pop-up number. There’s nothing fancy here – this simple tent is lightweight at 1.9kg, comes in a slim circular carry bag and pops up instantly. Unzip the bag and point it in the general direction of your camping spot and the tent will pop open, ready to use. Peg it down with the four guy ropes… and you’re done.
It’s also one of the easiest tents we tested to pack down, folding quickly into a figure of eight that slides into a circle. That light weight coupled with flexible poles does make this tent on the flimsy side, and it won’t withstand heavy wind. It’s single skin, too, so despite 1,500mm of waterproofing it won’t take multiple days of stormy weather. We also reckon the zip won’t last more than a few years of alfresco adventures. But for a casual camping weekend in the summer, a festival or a tent for the kids, all for under £40, it’s an easy choice.
Quechua 2 Seconds Blackout
Roomy blackout tent that guarantees a good night’s sleep – perfect for two people
RRP: $149 / £80 (UK) | Capacity: 3 people | Weight: 4.2kg/9lbs 4oz | Packed size: 74 x 9cm / 29.13 x 3.54in | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: Ideal for two people in low winds, and withstands rain well
Decathlon are always a good one-stop shop for affordable outdoor gear, and we reckon they stock the widest range of pop-up tents on the market, starting from pocket-friendly prices. Our pick of the pack is the roomy 2 Seconds Blackout. This well-made pop-up has plenty of space for two people and would fit in three adults if you don’t mind getting cosy. It also offers good height, and we’ve used it with two low camping beds in it without any problem. The blackout material that lines the bedroom works brilliantly – this is a great options for festivals or family weekends where you need your beauty sleep.
The 2 Seconds is a doddle to erect – you just have to unclip three colour-coded clips and it springs to life. Once erect, it feels solid and can be further secured with good guy ropes. Now for the downside – we’ve used this tent on over a dozen occasions and always found it frustrating to pack down. That said, this is still a very good quality tent that’s built to last.
Regatta Malawi 2
A simple, easy to erect model is one of the best pop-up tents for solo campers at festivals
RRP: £50 (UK) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight: 2.5kg/5lbs 8oz | Packed size: : 80 x 80 x 5cm / 31.5 x 31.5 x 2in | Waterproofing: 3,000mm | Compatibility: Suitable for one person – can withstand rain and lighter wind
Firmly aimed at beginner campers and the festival crowd, this is the archetypal pop-up – it’s a nice light weight, a compact and easy-to-store size, and it pops up instantly and folds down quickly into a circular carry bag. It may be described as a 2-person, but we’d only use it for one person unless you were just bunking in for the night, as it’s pretty dinky inside.
Pegging in the corners and the four reflective guy ropes offers some protection from wind, and the outer material holds up against light rain. Good vents that can be propped open and a mesh inner door make this a great little tent to hang out in, especially in hot weather. We’d have liked big inner pockets rather than the frustratingly small ones inside, however, and for £50 you might be able to get something a bit more ambitious and better quality for your money.
Best pop-up tents for family camping trips
Moon Lence Instant Popup Camping Tent
No need to orbit this party pod for too long, it can be set up in a matter of minutes
RRP: $100 (US) | Capacity: 4–5 people | Weight: 4.65kg / 10.25lb | Pack size: 83x 18 x 18cm / 32.7 x 7.1 x 7.1in | Dimensions: 290 x 308cm / 114.2 x 121.3in | Max headroom: 133cm / 52.4in | Doors & vestibules: 1 door | Compatibility: 2 season
A tent big enough for a pop-up party, the freestanding Moon Lence tent uses a fiberglass pole system, 10 steel stakes and 5 guy lines to create a spacious and stable shelter that can be put up in seconds and has room to accommodate four or even five adults. The large entry door can be unzipped, rolled down and toggled out of the way. Dual door zippers and four large mesh windows allow you to tailor ventilation to match weather conditions. Wall pockets keep gear off the floor and a lantern hook can create a cozy atmosphere for a late night card game.
If the weather turns sour, waterproof materials and a small ‘top of the tent’ rainfly will keep you dry and comfortable. And the best thing – everyone who uses it sings about how easy it is to take down and pack away (not something you hear about all pop-up tents).
A pop-up tent with classic looks and generous space
RRP: $106 (US) / £59 (UK) | Capacity: 2 people | Weight: 4.5kg/9lbs 14.7oz | Packed size: 18 x 18 x 75cm (7.1 x 7.1 x 29.5in) | Waterproofing: 3,000mm | Compatibility: Roomy for two people sharing, and weatherproof enough to deal with mercurial summers
This good-looking tent looks too classic to be a pop-up – but pop-up it does, almost instantly, and the Pop is also quick and headache-free to dismantle. Inside there’s a generous bedroom with lots of space for two people and two doors for easy access, and we like the domed roof with good space for sitting up.
Outside, there’s a mini porch that keeps rain off when you’re getting in and out of the tent. This is a great tent if you want an easy summer-ready pop-up that can still deal with bad weather if a storm is looming. It’s a twin skin product with an outer fly that is waterproofed to 3,000mm (meaning it can withstand heavy rain), and the crossed poles and guy ropes make it reasonably sturdy in windy weather. There’s also a good, thick groundsheet to keep your sleeping bag dry. Top marks for this weatherproof but affordable instant tent.
Gazelle T4 Camping Hub
This unusual-looking number offers great space and head height for four but is strictly for good weather
RRP: $380 (US) / £148 (UK) | Capacity: 4 people | Weight: 13.6kg/30lb | Packed size: 20.3 x 20.3 x 171.4cm / 8 x 8 x 67.5in | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: Great fun for families of four, but won’t withstand a storm
Here for a good time, not a long time? This rather strange-looking beast is the Gazelle T4 Camping Hub, a fun 4-person pop-up that erects into a square behemoth of a bedroom with plenty of room for four people and, unusually for a pop-up tent, standing height, topping out at 198cm (6ft 6in).
This is not a tent to use in anything but mild, clear weather (although the separate rain fly attaches to offer some protection from rain), but when you do use it, you get a very generous living space, a whopping six windows, a removable groundsheet and the chance to be the talk of any campsite you choose to pitch in. It’s easy to erect the T4 Camping Hub – you simple pull it upwards and then pop open each side, which is the work of seconds. It would also double up as the perfect moveable garden playhouse or beach shelter.
Lumaland Easy Pop Up
This generously-sized pop-up is suitable for camping with your mates or for a family with small children
RRP: £74 (UK) | Capacity: 4 people | Weight: 4.7kg/10lbs 5.8oz | Packed size: : 80 x 19 x 19cm / 31.5 x 7.48in x 70.48in | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: Weekends outdoors for groups of three or four in low winds
The Easy Pop Up does exactly what it says on the tin. Lumaland reckon it takes a paltry 10 seconds to erect – it might take you a bit longer on your first go, but it’s definitely very simple to unroll this tent, then pull the structure upwards and secure it. This is one of the roomiest pop-ups we tested, and with a height of 140cm (4ft 7in), there’s plenty of room to sit up and move about and four people can get away with sharing it (although two adults and two children will find it comfier).
We also really like the big plastic windows, which have removable covers, and generous door, which make it feel light and airy inside. 2,000mm of waterproofing proved able to withstand light rain on test, and there’s a mini porch for extra protection, although the tent’s light poles and tall walls make it unsuitable for use in windy weather, and we wouldn’t recommend this tent in heavy rain. If you’re off on your first family camping trip on a summer’s weekend, want a festival hangout you can use and abuse or just want to stick up a tent in the garden, this is a nice choice.
A simple, popular pop-up design in two sizes, one ideal for couples and one aimed at families
RRP: $ (US) / £70 (2-person) (UK) or £90 (UK) (4-person) | Capacity: 2 or 4 people | Weight: 2.5kg/5lb 8.2oz (2-person) or 3.3kg/7lb 4.4oz (4-person) | Packed size: 77cm / 30.3in diameter (2-person) or 90cm/35.4in diameter (4-person) | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: Works well for summer camping holidays for couples or families with smaller children, with enough protection from the occasional rain shower.
Coleman’s popular Galiano tent is available as both a 2-person and a 4-person tent, and we’d recommend both as two of the best pop-up tents on the market if you just want a simple tent without bells and whistles. Like most pop-ups on our list, they erect as soon as they’re freed from their circular bag, you just need to peg in the reflective guy lines.
Inside, a thick nylon groundsheet keeps you dry and wide vents in the roof help with airflow. Taped seams and a flysheet waterproofed to 2,000mm offer enough protection from the kind of weather you can expect from a British summer, although this is a single skin design, so won’t be tough enough for other seasons, and there are only two guy ropes, which isn’t enough to fight off strong winds. In terms of size, we’d recommend the 2-person tent for one or two people, and the 4-person for three adults or a family with two smaller children.
Qeedo Quick Pine
Our pick of the pack if you want to sleep three in comfort, with handy porch
RRP: £90 (UK) | Capacity: 3 people | Weight: 4.7kg/10lbs 5.8oz | Packed size: 78 x 17 x 17cm / 30.7 x 6.7 x 6.7in | Waterproofing: 2,000mm | Compatibility: The perfect pick for three in warm dry weather, or if you’re bringing an air mattress for two
The German-designed Qeedo Quick Pine is our top pick if you want an instant tent for three people – there’s more than enough room to triple up inside, with space besides for kit and hiking boots. This is another entry in our list of the best pop-up tents that isn’t quite a pop-up, although Qeedo claim it’s just as easy to erect – you unfold it, pull it upwards and secure it, which takes less than a minute, although it’s definitely quicker if you’ve had a gander at the instructions first.
The benefit of this design is that you also get a roomy porch for gear. The bedroom has a wide window that we rated on test for added ventilation and light, and the main room is big enough to fit a double air mattress if you like to kip in comfort. This tent is a single-skin – if you want a model that can withstand heavy rain, pick the double-skinned Qeedo Oak instead.
Choosing the best pop-up tent for you
Pop-up tents are a popular choice for summer campers, festival-goers and parents of kids who like garden sleep-outs, and there is a wide array of models available. The best pop-up tent for you will depend on what adventures you and your crew have planned.
You may be thinking: should I buy a pop-up tent for the family? Most of our featured pop-up tents are a little on the small side for big family trips and won't fit all the items on your camping checklist. The best large tents or a family tent will suit your needs and serve you much better during the shoulder seasons, as pop-up tents generally do not perform as well in the weather that early spring and late autumn see.
If you're heading high into the mountains on a wild camping trip, pop-up tents do not combine the lightweight and weather resistant qualities you are going to need. If this sounds like you, we advise you to take a look at our guides to the best one-person tents and the best 2-person tents.
Remember that, wherever you camp, to protect the environment for future generations it is vitally important to leave no trace.
So, before investing in your pop-up shelter, consider the following factors.
Weight and size
Tents are usually categorised by how many adults they’ll sleep, so you’ll see models listed as ‘2-person’, ‘4-person’ and so on. Sometimes this is accurate, but often, this means how many people the tent will sleep at an absolute push, and if you’re going to be camping for any length of time, you’d be best off picking a tent with a bigger capacity than you really need – a 4-person tent, for example, gives two people lots of space to sleep with room to spare for camping gear.
If you’re camping with kids, consider two separate 2-person pop-up tents, one for you and one for the kids – children love pop-up tents as they can easily erect them themselves, and they also double up nicely as quick tents to play in when you're in the back garden.
Check the weight and pack size of your tent before you buy. If you have to carry your tent any distance, for example at a festival, aim for one that weighs under five kilos. If you’re going to be camping right next to the car, weight is less important.
The best pop-up tents are designed to fold down neatly, making them some of the easiest tents to store at home or stick in the car boot. Tents that fold into a circular carry case can easily slotted under the bed, while tents that fold down into rectangles are easier to carry in a backpack.
Waterproofing and wind resistance
Pop-up tents may be at the more affordable, casual end of the tent market, but they still need to be able to resist bad weather. Ideally your tent should be ‘twin skin’ – a tent with both an inner layer and a separate, waterproof outer flysheet layer – to reduce the chance of rain seeping in. Look for the waterproof rating of your tent.
If you’re planning on using it in bad weather, you don't want to sleep in a puddle and see all of your best camping tech ruined. So, it’s best to avoid a tent that is just labelled as ‘water-resistant’ – look instead for the tent’s Hydrostatic Head rating and pick a tent with 1,500mm or more to ensure it can withstand a storm. Good tents have tough waterproof nylon groundsheets too, to stop any wet seeping in from the ground below you.
Even the best pop-up tents aren’t usually as wind resistant as dome and tunnel-style tents, as they’re not designed for adventures off the beaten track, but a pop-up tent with lots of guy ropes you can peg out and pull tight will help offer some resistance from the wind.
Most pop-up tents have one bedroom, and may also feature a small porch area where you can store backpacks, boots and other belongings. They don’t usually have more than one room or a living room – if you need space to hang out in at a festival or to store more kit, consider bringing a second tent or a gazebo. A few of the best pop-up tents have gear lofts or side pockets for storing things like phones, portable chargers, headlamps, flashlights, insect repllent and binoculars.
Some of the best pop-up tents have bedrooms lined with ‘blackout’ material, which stops light getting in and keeps them cooler and darker – these are perfect if you’re a light sleeper, or for making sure that children sleep through the night in the summer. Check your tent has ventilation flaps, too. Tent doors with a breathable mesh inner door are also useful for keeping bugs out while ensuring good airflow.
Easy pitching and packing up
The whole point of the best pop-up tents is that they take the stress out of tent pitching – just take the tent out of its carry bag and the whole structure will spring open into a tent shape in seconds. Some pop-up tents require a few straps undoing and other pitching steps in order to fully erect them, but they all usually take less than under a minute if they’re labelled ‘pop-up’.
Things vary more when it comes to packing down the tents – some are quick and simple, others can be fiddly to squeeze back down into the right shape. We recommend having a look at instructions or a YouTube tutorial before you pack your tent down again – it’s a good idea to have a go in the back garden before you take it on a camping weekend or to a festival.
Pop-up tents are ‘standalone’ tents, which means that once they’re erected you can use them instantly, but it’s best to peg in their corners and guy ropes if there’s any chance of the wind picking up.
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