Buying the best instant tent in this summer
The beauty of camping and backpacking is breathing in fresh air and getting in touch with nature when the weather is on your side. Unfortunately, the weather is almost never on your side, and it can wreak havoc in an instant. While being ready with all the right camping gear is superb, you can make it all better and stay protected from the elements if you choose to get the best instant tent.
As the name suggests, an instant tent gets set up instantaneously. This means that you can enjoy the view and the warmth of the setting sun comfortably and for a few more minutes knowing that you are safe from the elements.
If you are among the group of individuals asking why you’d need an instant tent, then we’ll just assume that you have never felt the wrath of Mother Nature after a long but relaxing hike. Everything changes when the clouds and the winds are brewing a storm, and you cannot locate some parts of the tent or even figure out what goes where.
With an instant tent, your odds against Mother Nature are high since you can get that comfy roof over your head in a few minutes.
Some of the best instant tents are perfectly waterproofed, and they will keep you and your friends dry.
An instant tent will also give you more time to enjoy the view.
5 Best Instant Tent Reviews 2017
Spacious, sufficient ventilation
1. Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent - best choice - spacious, sufficient ventilation
If you are an avid camper, then you’ve come across Coleman tents and even had the chance to use one or more varieties. If you are finally on the market for a piece that won’t take you the whole afternoon to set up, then this is your new camping partner.
True to its name, this Coleman 6-person cabin takes a little time to set up. With sixty seconds, you will be able to unfold, extend and secure the tent.
Set up of this instant tent relies on pre-attached poles which allow for quicker and a simpler set up of the cabin. It also has vertical walls with taller center heights which allow for an even simpler setup.
Due to the reliability of this tent and its setup process, it is ideal for big camping groups going for long or even short adventurous trips. You can set it up on a campground, and you can use it for backpacking too. Its dimensions are 10 x 9 ft. 6 ft. The 6ft center height makes this cabin ideal for every height.
The material that makes up the tent is 150D/150D polyester, a strong, durable material that makes the tent last long. This polyester has taped seams as well as a weatherTec system. This weatherTec system comprises of patented welded floors as well as inverted seams to help in keeping the water out.
Often, six people spending time in a cabin means getting into the nerves of each other. This is often bad when airflow is poor. To guarantee a comfortable stay in the cabin, this Coleman tent features an integrated rainfly specifically for extra airflow. The best part is that you don’t need any assembly for this to work.
The cabin fits cots or airbeds (two queens) comfortably. For organized spaces, you have two storage pockets keeping most of your stuff organized. This tent packs easily into an expandable carry bag with a rip strip keeping it secure until your next stop or expedition.
- Easy to set up and pull down.
- Spacious and has extra storage pockets inside.
- Enough space for two queen size airbeds.
- Sufficient ventilation.
- Doesn’t hold well in bad weather or a storm.
- Isn’t the strongest instant tent.
- Isn't entirely waterproof.
2. Ohuhu Instant Dome Tent - UV protection
This 3-person dome tent is easy to set up. It comes with waterproofing and UV protection – two of the most important requirements for outdoor spaces and camping. Besides camping in the wild, you can use this tent at the beach or a festival.
This Ohuhu Instant Dome Tent will weather the worst Mother Nature brings your way with its UV-resistant polyester rainfly to keep you safe from sunburns and the harsh, harmful rays. This tent will also protect you from extreme wind and rain. It is waterproof. The bottom of the dome tent is watertight thanks to the use of 210D nylon Oxford PU 4000mm.
The interior design of this tent is delightful and perfect whether you are looking for a slow breeze or if you are looking for a view. It has a 2-door design which offers excellent ventilation and makes it easy for you to take the party outdoors.
The tent also has a ceiling hook for hanging flashlights and lamps or any other source of light to ward off any ghosts (…yes, really) or creepy crawlies.
It also has anti-theft interior pockets to help de-clutter your sleeping space and to keep the extra gadgets out of the way. The other exciting feature offered by this tent is that you can get an instant beach body by removing the dome rainfly instantly. Note that you shouldn’t use the inner tent alone.
The Ohuhu Instant Dome Tent is easy to install thanks to the eight steel pegs plus the four ropes which make for sturdy fixing. Just pick out the camping spot then unfold the tent, lift it and pop up the four supporting struts in place. You’ll be set up in less than a minute. The rainfly integrated into the main body design reduces the hassle of attaching the tent to the main frame.
This tent is lightweight – weighs a mere 8.5lbs and you can put it in your backpack easily. It is, therefore ideal for backpacking.
- It is easy to set up & durable.
- It accommodates three adults easily.
- It offers UV protection.
- It is lightweight hence highly portable.
- It has extra storage space for your gadgets as well as a hanging hook for the light source.
- It isn’t 100% waterproof.
- The rainfly isn’t sturdy.
- The zipper isn’t very strong.
3. CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent - durable, waterproof
If you are looking for a 4-person instant dome tent, then you may want to give this 9x7 inch CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent a try. It comes with a pre-assembled integrated frame system that makes setting up so much easy. You just need to unpack it, unfold the legs then extend the poles to ‘click’ into position. This won’t take you more than a minute.
This dome tent is spacious and will accommodate four people comfortably. It fits a single queen air mattress, and the center height of 54 inches offers adequate room.
Its design comprises the use of CORE H20 Block Technology and an adjustable ground vent which prevents water seepage. The CORE H20 Technology seals seams and tapes the rainfly fully. This feature also makes for the rain-resistant window and door seals.
This CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent also features a gear loft with a lantern hook and pockets to keep items well-organized and off the tent floor.
You will also like the electrical cord access port that which is fully closable when you aren’t using it.
This tent includes a rainfly, a carry bag, and tent stakes. You can use this tent in all seasons thanks to its advanced venting that allows for adjustable air intake vent draws for taking in cool air from the ground. The mesh ceiling lets hot air escape.
- Set up is easy and fast.
- It is lightweight & versatile.
- Ideal size for four people.
- It is durable and waterproof thanks to the CORE H2O technology.
- The weight isn’t ideal for backpacking.
4. FiveJoy Instant 4-Person Pop Up Dome Tent - multifunctional
This tent accommodates four people comfortably, and it is perfect for casual family camping, hiking, and any outdoor festivals.
Pitching this tent is easy as a result of the easy pitch and fold process into the portable carrying case that includes stakes. It has a floor area of 80.7”x78.7”, two doors, 5.9”x78.7” vestibule are, a peak height of 47” and the tent peg is that of galvanized iron.
The floor fabric of this FireJoy tent is PU-coated with a waterproof rating of 4000mm. It is a 210D Oxford fabric. The tent’s fabric is PU-Coated 190T polyester with a waterproof rating of 3000mmm. The pole material is a 7.9mm fiberglass.
To set it up, simply remove the instant free-standing tent from the packaging bag and watch it pop. You don’t have to fumble with the tent poles or bother with the complicated instructions on use. Once ready to leave the site, just fold it up, pack it in and head out.
For ventilation, this tent has mesh windows on its left and its right side. These windows have solid nylon flaps which provide cross ventilation as well as privacy. The mesh makes sure that you enjoy the breeze while being safe from any creepy crawlies. The double doors allow the side to be completely open or closed with the screen material. You can also seal off the door with the nylon door for complete privacy.
For storage, you have storage pockets and a hang loop keeping everything in order, just the way you like. The hanging loop is perfect for your powered loop, and you can also use it to store your car keys or phone.
For extra comfort, take advantage of the windows which you can turn into a rainfly through attachment with guy lines to the loops below the window flap. You can then secure the loops to the stakes at some distance from the tent. This tent comes with the guylines and the stakes.
- The seams are durable and the zipper sturdy.
- It is water resistant thanks to the use of a PU coated polyester.
- It is multifunctional & easy to set up.
- It is a high-quality tent that gets the work done.
- It isn’t suitable for use in heavy rain.
- It isn’t ideal for extreme backpacking.
- It may feel too congested for four people.
- It isn’t waterproof, and it gets damp at night.
5. Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent - strong walls
This 8-person (seven plus 1) tent takes between a few seconds to a few minutes to set up. Set up involves unfolding, extending, and securing the tent in place. It is a spacious tent, and it has a room divider making it a 2-room tent. This enhances privacy and ensures that you don’t get into each other’s way.
The reason why this is one of the best instant tents on the market is that it comes with poles pre-attached to the tent. This makes it possible for you to get it all up in a few seconds.
The exclusive Weather-Tec system has thick waterproof walls as well as a welded floor which makes sure that you stay dry at all times. The two doors and the seven ventilation windows plus the removable room dividers make the tent well-ventilated and perfect for the whole group.
The base of the tent measures 14x10ft, and the center height is 6ft x 5 inches. The tent weighs 41.45 pounds.
- It is easy to put up and to pull down.
- It is big, waterproof and has strong walls.
- It has sufficient ventilation.
- The poles are flimsy.
- It is heavy and not ideal for backpacking.
- The tent pegs aren’t too strong and cannot hold up too well in windy conditions.
How to choose the best instant tent
Are you looking for an instant tent to use at the beach, at a campsite, at a festival or out backpacking? The use determines the size, the weights, and the season.
Is the tent suitable for more than one season? Preferable tents are three-seasoned and will fare well in spring, summer, and fall. The best three-season tents have ample mesh panels that boost airflow while also keeping out the creepy insects.
Make sure that the tent comes with proper pitching in the form of a taut rainfly. The best 3-season tents can withstand downpours though they aren’t the best choice for exposure to harsh storms, snow, or violent winds.
Pro tip: the best three-season tent should keep you dry when raining or in a light snow, it should provide privacy, and it should protect you from bugs.
When choosing an instant tent, first, choose a model according to the size of your group and the capacity the tent accommodates comfortably. The tent should also have extra space for your gear and pets if you hiked with them.
You may want to consider that some of your companions are big-bodied, they toss and turn at night, they sleep better with extra elbow room, they travel with their kids or pets and finally, they could be claustrophobic.
Pro tip: When choosing a tent for a group, consider upsizing. You never know the new habit your friend picked up since the last camping trip.
Will the weight of the tent make it possible for you to carry it on your back when backpacking? Don’t restrict your mind to carrying the tent in your car.
Look at the material used in construction to help determine if the tent is durable or not. Carbon fiber and aluminum are much more durable. While aluminum is light, it is the strongest material for the tent poles.
Ease of use
How long will installation take you? Will set up and pack the tent take up much of your time? Do you have to extend and lock poles or will popping and throwing the tents in the air be all needed to set the tent up?
Features of an instant tent
The peak height
This is an important feature if you like standing up when changing clothes. At the same time, if you enjoy the airiness that comes with a high ceiling, you may want to get a tent with a tall peak height.
Pro Tip – always look at the listed height for the tent you intend to buy.
The peak height also differs depending on the tent’s style.
- Cabin-style tents
These have near-vertical walls to maximize the overall peak height and the livable space. Some come with room dividers, vestibule doors or an awning.
- Dome-style tents
These offer a high level of strength as well as wind-shielding capabilities. They are therefore the right tents when going out into a stormy night. Though they feature a tall center, they slope on the sides, and this reduces livable space.
Always buy a tent made of a material with a higher denier fabric canopy and rainfly. Though rugged compared to low-denier fabrics, they are strong. The high denier fabrics coupled with the seam tape on the tent, lowers the risk of leakages.
Pro Tip - pick a high denier fabric regardless of the cost.
For the tall or you, if you desire extra space, go for the tents with bigger floor space. Instead of the normal 84-88 inches, pick a tent with a 90-inch floor length.
The poles determine pitching. Fortunately, most family tents come are freestanding and do not require the use of stakes. This means that you will be able to pick the tent and change its position or shake it to get rid of dirt.
Pro Tip - for faster set up, go for fewer poles since it will be easy to attach the poles to the clips rather than having to thread them through longer pole sleeves. To balance strength, ventilation, and to shorten set-up time, the best tents use short pole sleeves and clips. Go for color coded corners and pole clips for fast set up. For strength and durability, go with aluminum rather than fiberglass poles.
How many doors do you need? What is the orientation of the doors? If you are going out camping as a group, go for multiple doors. The cabin-style tents offer the best in this area.
Pro tip - keep in mind the ease of using the door as well as the noise levels made by the tent’s zip when you open or close it. We recommend tents with YKK zippers because they do not resist snagging.
Many people shopping for tents for the first time often wonder – what is a rainfly. A rainfly is a separate waterproof cover on the tent designed to fit over the roof of the tent. It is appropriate for use whenever dew or rain is in the forecast. The role of the rainfly is to help in retaining extra warmth in the tent.
There are two main types of rainflies – the roof-only rainfly which allows more light and a better view as well as adequate rainfall protection. On the other hand, you have the full-coverage rainflies that offer total/ maximum protection from rain and the wind.
Expert tip - get a tent with a rainfly. The rainfly should be strong and able to offer the necessary protection.
Awnings and shelters attach to the tent and serve the purpose of sheltering or storing your muddy boots. The vestibule also keeps your packs and bags out of the rain. Though sold separately – a vestibule is an important part of a tent.
Whether you are camping alone or sharing the tent, it is important to make sure that the tent has enough space for your gear and gadgets. The presence of interior loops and pockets is important. Interior pockets will keep everything organized too.
Pro tip – make sure that the tent has a lantern loop at the top-center of the tent’s ceiling. These loops will hold the mesh shelf and keep small items out of the way.
The best tents have high-quality loops outside the tent to help attach the guy lines. The guy lines allow you to bat down the hatches making sure that there is no flapping fabric in high winds.
This is an important feature in a tent especially if you are claustrophobic or your friend is. Besides the fear of suffocation, ventilation helps in managing condensation.
Pro Tip - make sure that the ventilation mesh is not too big to let in the crawling insects and bugs.
An instant tent makes your trip so much fun because you don’t have to worry about spending hours setting the tent when you could take a few minutes to watch the sunset, light up the campfire, or take a walk down the beautiful stream.
A sturdy instant tent with pre-assembled stakes or poles means that anyone can prop up the tent and get along with everything else. While these five tents meet our standards in the run for the best instant tents, we have a winner.
The Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin has 150D/150D polyester fabrics as well as taped seams which help in keeping you warm and dry through the night or the rainy afternoon.
The tent’s weatherTec system has patented welded floors and inverted seams to help keep all the water out. The integrated vented rainfly allows for extra airflow but without any further assembly process.
These are some of the features to look out for in instant tents. Make sure the tent isn’t just easy to set up, it should also be durable, waterproof, spacious, well-ventilated and with enough storage space.