Best Instant Tents

Best Instant Tents

Last Update: August, 2019

Whether you are rushing to set up camp, or struggling to put your tent together, you won’t be happy wasting too much time trying to set up your tent. By doing so, you are losing time to do other things and enjoy your trip. Instant tents can not only save you time because they are easy to set up. They also prevent you from getting caught in the elements if the weather conditions suddenly changes.

Instant Tents

Summary

Coleman Cabin Tent

Coleman Cabin Tent

This tent allows you to block out 90% of light with dark room technology as well as keeping you dry with WeatherTec. Available in four, six or ten person capacity to get the right size for your needs.

CORE 9P

CORE 9P

If you want to save money by buying one tent with two separate rooms, this is the tent for you. Room dividers and storage pockets help provide privacy and organization to your camping experience.

Coleman 8-Person Tent

Coleman 8-Person Tent

This eight person tent comes with over six feet of clearance for you to easily walk around in. You can also set the entire tent up in under a minute and in three easy steps.

CORE 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

CORE 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Designed to fit two queen air mattresses, this tent comes with wall organization. There is also an adjustable ground vent and a one year limited warranty.

Coleman Carlsbad

Coleman Carlsbad

In either a four person or six person version, this tent comes with a separate screened in room in addition to the actual tent interior. This can be used as a porch or as additional sleeping space.

Pros:

  • Dark room technology
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • Just one minute to set up and take down
  • Choose between 4, 6 and 10 person capacity

Cons:

  • Not for year round camping

More About The Coleman Cabin Tent

With only 60 seconds needed to completely put it together, the Coleman Instant Setup tent come in a four person, six person and ten person option. With the ten person tent, you also get dark room technology that will block out 90 percent of the sunlight coming in so you can set up anywhere without being disturbed. This tent also comes in a convenient carry bag to make it portable and easy to store.

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Coleman Dome Tent

Coleman Dome Tent

Pros:

  • Fits two queen mattresses
  • 60 second set up
  • Features room dividers and storage pockets

Cons:

  • Customer service can be improved

More About The CORE 9P Instant Cabin Tent

Core’s nine person instant cabin tent is large enough to fit two queen sized mattresses and can be assembled in 60 seconds. The tent is available in green or wine and features a room divider and wall storage to save space and stay organized. Electrical cord access ports allow you to keep your electronics plugged in without having to keep your tent open an adjustable ground vents for optimum air flow.

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Coleman Dome Tent

Coleman Dome Tent

Pros:

  • Three step set up in one minute
  • Over six feet center height
  • Large screened windows and doors

Cons:

  • Not for extreme weather

More About The Coleman 8-Person Tent | Instant Family Tent

This eight person family tent fits two queen sized mattresses and takes only three steps to put up in less than a minute. There are large screened over the windows and doors to allow air to flow and provide the best ventilation, while still keeping any insects or animals or debris out. Welded floors and inverted seems team up with WeatherTec to keep you dry.

There are also over six feet of clearance so you can stand up and walk around inside your tent without having to hunch over.

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Coleman Dome Tent

Coleman Dome Tent

Pros:

  • Fits two queen air mattresses
  • 60 second set up
  • One year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Ideal for summer camping

More About The CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer

Featuring a wall organizer and available in green and wine, the Core six person instant cabin tent can accommodate two queen sized air mattresses. There is a gear loft to hook your lantern up for easy access to light. You also get a limited one year warranty to make sure you get the best product for your money.  

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Coleman Dome Tent

Coleman Dome Tent

Pros:

  • Fits two queen size air mattresses
  • Screen room
  • Dark room technology

Cons:

  • Seven minute set up time

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Coleman Dome Tent

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More About The Coleman Carlsbad Tent with Screen Room

In both four person and six person versions, the Carlsbad tent takes around seven minutes to completely set up. You get the sleeping area as well as a screened in room for extra space. It is made from durable Polyguard material and has a WeatherTec system. There is also a dark room feature to keep the sun out.

What to Consider

Type Of Tent

There are four different types of tents for camping that you need to choose from. The types of tents are designed to be used in different seasons throughout the year. For example, there are summer tents and winter tents that obviously cannot be used interchangeably because they are designed for specific climates and temperatures.

There is also a three season tent that works for spring, summer and fall that is not appropriate in the winter.

The last type of tent is a convertible tent that works for all four seasons.

Space

When you are trying to figure out how much space you need for a tent, it is important to not only consider the tent’s capacity, but its height as well.

Do you want enough space to stand up fully and walk around or do you want a more compact interior?
Dome tents are often a lower center height, but perform better in windy conditions. So you need to consider which is more important to you.  

You also need to consider how many people can sleep comfortably inside the tent. A tent that has a capacity of four is not designed to sleep four adults comfortably. Instead, it is created for families of four including two children, but can fit four adults in a pinch.

It is important to not only consider what can fit in your tent, but how comfortable it will be.

Durability

Your tent needs to be able to withstand wind, rain and wildlife. This requires you to choose materials that will not only be durable enough to keep the elements out, but will be able to last for years.

Check the stitching of the seams as well and consider how your tent will be attached to the ground and kept in place.

Design

Tents come in a wide variety of designs. You can choose between a standard tent and a tent with multiple rooms, as well as a porch to give you a more luxurious experience.

Mesh windows provide excellent ventilation and can be blocked when desired to seal up the tent. You can also choose between a frame or dome shaped tents and additional coverings can be included to block out rain.

Portability

If you are using your tent for camping, it is important to remember that you will need to transport the tent to your camping spot. This can be a short trek or a long one, but it is important to make sure you can carry your tent without too much difficulty.

Look for lightweight tents that come in compact forms like a carry bag to make this as simple as possible.

Types of Instant Tents

All Season

All season tents are intended for exactly what they sound like: keeping you protected in all seasons and all weather. These instant tents are super durable, and made of tough materials that keep you well protected from rain, snow, and summer heat.

This type of instant tent is also often called a ‘convertible’ tent. It’s one of the best instant tents for people that want zero limits on when and where they can comfortably camp.

The reason these tents are called convertible is that they have features like windows, openings, and rain flies that you can put up or down depending on the weather and the kind of protection (or comfort) you need.

Summer

A camping tent for summer is going to allow for plenty of ventilation to keep you cool when you need it most. Not only are these tents made with thin materials designed to let air through, they also have plenty of mesh areas that keep bugs out but allow for better air circulation.

Some summer instant tents actually have airflow ‘built in’ through strategically placed mesh areas and rain flies that direct air through the tent.

Some models have extra protection from summer storms, so check if your camping weather tends to be on the soggy side.

Winter

Like summer tents, winter tents are intended for use mainly during one season only. This can be an advantage if you primarily camp in one season, since you’re getting the best fit for the climate.

As you would likely expect, winter tents are very thick, and highly reinforced to take rough winter weather.

Both the fabric materials and the frame are made to be very durable and withstand strong winds or snow, ice, and rain from winter storms. These tents are designed for the most extreme climates, and tend to be more costly than other types of tents as a result.

Three Seasons

These dynamic types of tents can get you through camping throughout most of the year, or at least three seasons (unless you live somewhere with particularly mild winters).

These tents are made strong enough to last through some trying weather, and often have a combination of materials in their construction to allow you to get through spring, summer, and fall.

Three seasons tents tend to be more popular than other styles because they allow more camping time and more versatility than you’d expect.

How an Instant Tent Works

Instant tents may look much like a traditional tent when they’re already set up. But once you open the packaging, you’ll see a difference in them already.
Instant tents are pretty much already put together when you receive them, so your job is much easier from the start.

The tent body (the fabric and base of the tent) and the frame (the rigid bars that hold the tent stable) should be attached and secured together. You won’t need to detach either of these to get it set up.

Depending on your specific tent, it may work slightly differently, but all instant tents work with the same basic premise. The tent is simply pulled and unfolded in a certain direction and the tent comes up.

Instant Dome Tent Set Up

Dome style instant tents are the easiest type to set up, and the mechanics should already be familiar to you. The tent is basically unfolded going outwards and expands into a dome shaped tent when finished. These work much like how umbrellas unfold and expand into position.

Instant Cabin Tent Set Up

Cabin style instant tents are a little more work than the dome style simply because they have telescopic poles. Meaning that, much like a telescope lengthens, so do the poles that hold the tent up. To raise a cabin style tent, you’ll continue extending the poles until the switch or click mechanism goes off, which will then keep the pole locked into place.

Do Instant Tents Need to be Staked to the Ground?

Unlike regular tents, instant tents pretty much go up on their own, and as a result they’re freestanding whether or not you secure them.

This can be a big advantage for campers that end up changing location, moving camp a lot, or simply looking a for a spot with more shade during the day.

That said, while you don’t have to stake your instant tent, you really should.

Keep in mind that even with all the rain flies open and lots of air going through, your tent is still basically made of fabric walls that the wind and elements are going to push at.

Are Instant Tents More Difficult to Take Down?

Instant tents are easy to raise. But how about taking them down when you’re ready to leave your campsite?

It’s good to remember that throughout the entire lifespan of the tent, the two main components remain attached (the tent body and the frame). This makes taking down and instant tent just as easy as setting it up.

To take down your tent, you will essentially follow your procedure for set up in reverse order. In the case of a dome style instant tent, you’re basically going to be folding the tent in on itself and collapsing it (be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions to avoid damage, don’t just guess).

In the case of a cabin style instant tent, again, you’ll be following a reverse order of the raising. You’ll begin by detracting the telescopic poles until they’re in their original position, and they should snap or fit securely once they’re fully detracted.

Then you’ll simply fold up your tent per instructions.

While it sounds more complicated, most instant tents can be taken down as quickly, if not more so, than when they were being put up.

Instant vs Regular Tents: Ease of Set-up

When it comes down to choosing a tent, a lot of people look for the easiest option that fits their size and climate needs.

Now, setting up a conventional tent can be back breaking work, and frustrating when the instructions aren’t clear.

With multiple people however, the work can be broken up. But what about when tent set up duty goes to one person?

A regular tent might make the task near impossible, or at least turn it into a very long, drawn out process. When set up duty goes to one person, instant tents can be a real life, and time saver. Even the most uncomplicated regular tents have a tough time standing up to the ease of set up that instant tents offer.

Instant tents can be set up and ready to inhabit within mere minutes only, and sometimes even less.  

You’d be searching long and hard to find a conventional tent that can boast the same, and that’s a big reason instant tents have found such a rise in popularity. Instant tents are quicker and easier to set up, whether you have a large tent or a single occupancy tent, and they can be put together whether you’ve got a group of people helping or not.

Conclusion

Instant tents are a major convenience to campers, especially for those that like to get setting up done and over with as soon as possible. Whether you just want to get right to enjoying the great outdoors, or don’t want to have the kids hounding you over when the tent will be done, instant tents are a highly attractive and effortless option.

Just like regular tents, instant tents come in a variety of forms, sizes. They are intended for a variety of season. This means that no matter where you’re going, there’s certainly an instant tent to make your trip more enjoyable.

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