So you are looking to research into best instant tents. Well you are at the right place as this guide will not only show you great instant tents but also educate you on what are the important factors that you should not compromise when selecting a tent.
Camping is not only fun but also provides greats benefits specially in the form of safety. Sleeping in wilderness can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, apart from safety gadgets in your gear, you should keep an easy to set up, durable instant tent in your gear.
If you ever carried a barometer along with your hiking adventure. You must have observed how sharply the pressure changes and in no time a storm can form over head. In such a condition, you need to set up a shelter as soon as possible. After setting up you can not only arrange all your belonging in safe place but also get enough time to enjoy the weather.
Instant tents are trending very fast and have made a very strong share in the market since they were first introduced by Coleman. The name itself tells why they are so popular. You can set them up in matter of minutes than the conventional tents. They are designed in a way that ensures that loose parts are fewer in numbers and there is pre attachment of the pole system.
Here are your best picks of the best instant Tents.
|Coleman Instant Cabin||24.9 pounds||6 persons||1||Click here|
|Ohuhu Instant Dome Tent||7.5 pounds||3 persons||2||Click Here|
|Ozark Trail Dome Tent||10.25 pounds||4 persons||1||Click Here|
|Coleman Instant Cabin + Mini-Fly||16.43 pounds||4 persons||1||Click Here|
- 1 TOP RATED INSTANT TENTS
- 2 SELECTION CRITERIA FOR BEST INSTANT TENTS
- 3 FEATURES A BEST INSTANT TENT MUST HAVE
- 4 VERDICT
TOP RATED INSTANT TENTS
Below are one of the best instant tents for the money. Choose what you can accomodate in your gear and suits your style the most.
Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin
This is cabin style instant tent. It is slightly different than conventional cabin tents. The sides instead of being normal to the ground are slanted to increase the space available. So, as you move away from the centre instead of constant space like in conventional tents, the space increases. An additional bonus is the increased length of the floor with slanted angle.
You can set this up with in few minutes and it is a 6-person cabin tent. If all people in a group do the installation process together then it will be much quicker than that. The build is very strong and due to its slanting slides water will not hold up. Coleman has further reinforced the water proofing by introducing WeatherTec technology which makes the tent light and free from pests. So you can sleep with peace of mind even with the a very strong thunderstorm outside.
The pole system is strong enough to hold strong wind waves. But do keep in mind that the cabin structure is vulnerable to strong winds. The large structure with a dip towards the center act as cushion to absorb strong winds. Hence the design is intelligently done.
Another great fact is that you do not need to set up the rain fly as well. In addition to the pre-setup pole system, the rain fly is also integrated on top of the tent. Therefore, ventilation of the tent is also optimised. Over all dimension of the tent is 10 x 9 feet. Which is adequate for normal sized people. For tall blokes, the center stands at 6 feet height. Although it’s a matter of personal preference but we do recommend buying the cleaning kit, which is designed specially to clean the tent.
Like setting up is an easier ordeal same is the packing. Just keep folding the tent until all the air is squeezed out of the tent. Although, this is a 6 person tent but it only comes up with two small pockets to hold personal belongings. That means you have to share space for personal belongings. Another flaw is the tiny gap between the zippers. This create a small hole for insects to get in. You might need to put in some piece of cloth in the small space to minimize this problem. Thirdly for big six blokes, you will not be able to fit in it comfortably.
Ohuhu 3 Person Instant Dome Tent
This is a dome tent with capacity to hold upto three persons in cosy accomodation. As this is a instant tent therefore, it is quite easy to set up. Apart from the basic necessity of waterproofing, Ohuhu goes a step ahead an also incorporates the top flysheet which ensure that you also get the Ultra violet rays protection. This means you can also stay in the camp during day time. UV is one of the leading causes of skin cancer around the world. The rainfly will keep you safe from sun’s strong heat.
It is a 2 door tent designed in dome shape so the space decreases vertically as you move away from the center but increase horizontally so tall lads can sleep easily. Apart from the waterproof polyester fabric of the instant tent, bottom is also waterproof by employing Nylon sheet.
The interior has a special hook to hold light sources. The rainfly is removeable and you can remove it on the beach to get tanned body. The model employs eight steel pegs along with four ropes which makes setting up the tent easier. Rainfly integration with the flysheet makes it easier to attach or detach it according to your environment. Overall the tent weighs only 8.5lbs or pounds. If you are in a group of 2-3 by rotating shifts you can easily handle the load of the tent.
Folding the tent back into its original unpacked shape can be a bit problem. As the string used to pack up the tent is not user friendly. Another shortcoming is the quality of the plastic the tent is made up of, is questionable. The finishing is not quite up to the mark. It is probably because Ohuhu is manufacting this unit under mass production. Therefore, you should take extra care when handling the frame structure. Too much stress can break the pole system. Also use guylines as much as possible otherwise tent will end up collapsing.
Another drawback for tactical blokes is the bright orange trim. You will not be able to maintain a low profile with this unit. As it will shine from quite some distance and even animals might get attracted by the bright orange glare. Over all it comes into entry level camping category. Most people are happy with it results. If you are one a budget then it’s a great choice to go for camping.
Ozark Trail 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
This is one of the best 4 person instant tent. It is a dome sized tent and you can set it up with in a minute. The first time will obviously take longer than expected but for your next turns you will get a lot better in quickly setting it up.
The top is made waterproof with Ozark H2O block technology. You can also adjust the ground level of tent. The sides slant outwards that helps in flowing the water. The inside of the camp has a hook where you can place a lantern or flash light in the middle. It comes with integrated rainfly which will make it further safe from rain and sunlight.
Over all the build is very strong and it will be able to withstand strong winds. However, do use the guylines. This is understood for experienced campers but those who just bought the camp will suffer a number of collapses with in the same night if the guylines are not used.
Unit is quite heavy at almost 23 pounds or just around 11kg weight. That is quite a lot if you are alone or in group carrying the camp to a hill station. The ceiling is meshed which allow the hot air to escape and allows new cold air to run in from the vents located near the ground.
Another problem is the flaps which get stuck in the zipper. You need to move the flaps every time you close the doors. In addition, some users have experienced rain water coming in when you open the doors. Design improvements could be done in the future to minimize these faults. Apart from the zipper problem most of the customers are pretty happy with the experience of using this instant tent. With above 70% extremely happy feedback, it is one of the prime reason we have included it in the list of best instant tents.
Coleman Instant Cabin With Mini-Fly
This is the second Coleman Instant Tent that makes into the list of best instant tents. It is a compact design and is spacious enough to hold 2 queen sized air bends insides. It comes with capacity from 4 people to 8 people.
Poles are pre attached that helps in setting up the tent quickly. Like the other model reviewed in this list, it also contains Coleman’s WeatherTec System that makes this tent 100 percent waterproof and free from bugs. Floor is welded with the sides to make it free from leakage. Poles have very durable coating over them that increase durability and saves it from further rusting.
It is incorporated with reflective guylines that will make it shine from distance. Although this is a good design feature but for tactical campers its not exactly a feature you would desire. As it will increase your visibility. The inside is quite spacious and there are also two storage pockets where you can store personal belongings. For 4 people 2 storage pockets can be lesser than required, so you have to share them with your fellow campers.
You must have observed from the picture by now that it does not have the rainfly integrated. Coleman reinforces that it is waterproof but due to lack of rainfly extending from the ground it is infact not waterproof. If you disturb the wall then water will seep in through. Another problem is ventilation, there is little room for heat to escape, for winter it can be an ideal choice but during summer it can become a problem. There are two vents at top that can open or close via zipper but that might not help much during summer.
SELECTION CRITERIA FOR BEST INSTANT TENTS
There are a number of important features that you need to consider carefully before finally deciding to buy an instant tent. You must understand your needs and consider your style of camping. Jot down your group size, your gear size and its weight. When you think that the picture is clear then measure an instant tent on these factors.
SIZE AND CAPACITY
Count the number of people you plan outdoor adventure with. If you plan with a group of fixed buddies then it will not be a problem for you to decide the instant tent size you are after. If your group sizes rotates in different numbers then it is recommended that you take average of the last 5 group sizes and then choose the instant tent capacity.
Although your group number count is based on individual but you should also consider the weight of people you are planning next trip with. Although, it is a common sense fact that people with bulkier build require more space but sometimes smart people have bigger personal zone. Therefore, keep in mind the habits of people you are planning with.
Do not forget your pets, they are your best friend. They want space as well putting them in trouble could mean that you will be in trouble as they will mark their territory and it can become an extra problem to retrieve that.
Your gear size is also important. You need to make sure that when you buy a tent you can visualise how you will arrange your gear. Where you will allocate a section only to systematically arrange your gear.
INSTANT TENT WEIGHT
Do not underestimate the tent weight. As you need to carry it to the remote area you are planning to. Bigger the capacity, more will be the weight of the tent. Look for tents that are made up of durable material and are not heavier to lift.
As your gear size increases, you will require bigger and heavier tent. Some tents are durable and lighter in weight but the downside is the weather or strong winds. Either way mentally prepare yourself to pick up some extra load.
Different people have different tastes. Some camp at deserts, some want to camp at the canyons, some want to enjoy a night by the river side, some want to camp high up on the mountains, while some simply want to camp on the beach at sea level.
What is the terrain where you intent do deploy your instant tent. The question is crucial as the terrain environment will determine what kind of build you should aim for in your tent.
ALL WEATHER FRIEND
You do not want to buy a tent which will serve you perfectly summer but will be blown away by the winter breeze. Your tent should be able to withstand environmental conditions of all 4 seasons whether summer, winter, spring or autumn.
Also every season has its drawback. For example during winter your tent should be air tight. Not only it should stand firm but also does not allow cold air to flow in. Similarly, during summer the tent must have netted air vents that will allow the ventilation. But those vents should not give any passage to flying insects specially mosquitoes. In addition, notice the way tent sets itself up, there should be no way for forest bugs to creep inside. Such pests can prove to be fatal as they can be poisonous. Therefore, you must carry safety aid if you plan to purchase an entry level instant tent.
Carefully examine material the instant tent is made up of. Make sure the tent you are buying will not allow the water to seep through. It should be 100% waterproof. Remember any water that seeps through will not only disturb you but can also damage your gear which can have expensive electronic gadgets.
Tents have two layers, one is outer called flysheet while the inner is for sleeping. The inner sheet is usually fixed for most of the instant tents. But you have can decide what kind of flysheet suits your style of camping the most.
The flysheet is either made up of polyester or nylon. Most tent these days are made up of polyester and they do not shrink nor stretch. They are also not vulnerable to strong sunlight. Nylon has similar properties to polyester. However it is lighter in weight but the problem is that a small hole can spread on nylon in no time. Therefore, do take under consideration what is the flysheet made up of.
When buying a tent whether small or larger in capacity, do your research on how much time it will take to set up the tent. Look for something that is easier to install rather than a complicated tent. After all this post is about instant tents and some brands are selling complicated assembly in the name of instant tents.
We have carefully chosen those which can be set up easily and quickly. But do consider how much space you need to prepare first on ground where you will install the tent as well. The terrain has to support the installation process as well. You should also consider how guylines are placed and how you will make tent from free from sagging water seeping loops.
FEATURES A BEST INSTANT TENT MUST HAVE
There are a wide variety of instant tents available. This is a check list of feature that an instant tent should feature.
Your choice of best instant tent should have the basic necessity of ventilation. This is a crucial aspect and can make your tent use able for all kinds of weather. If there is no ventilation system incorporated onto the tent structure, you will end up opening the entrance of the tent. While you will be sleeping there is a quite a possibility of some mishap in the wilderness. As all sorts of creatures may be lurking nearby you. Therefore, do not compromise on the ventilation as it can make your vulnerable.
You can be travelling with some electronic gadgets, food items, GPS, hunting accessories, electric heater etc. There must be some gear you are carrying along. If you are alone then that will be relatively less but if you are planning a group adventure then you need a tent which is manageable. A tent which provides space allocation for gadgets without disturbing the inhabitants.
STYLE OF TENT
A tent can be of different style when it is completely set up. It can change the amount of space available. But with more space come with liabilities of wind and rain.
When the tent is all set it. Generally a tent may form one of these shapes
a) V SHAPED
The most common inverted V shaped tent. They are easier to set up with usually a single pole and easier to do guylines. They are free from water sagging. As all the water simply slides with the steep downward slope. However, They can be vulnerable to strong winds. As the lack of curves imparts maximum wind impact on the structure.
In addition, such instant tents have maximum space in the center and a lowest towards the side. Therefore, space is not constant rather it decrease sharply from the center.
b) CABIN SHAPED
These are square shaped with sides standing upright typically normal to the ground. They offer constant space as there is no space reduction as you move away from the centre. If weather is remains predictable in your part of the world then this is an ideal shape for you. But do keep in mind that such tent will receive head on collision with wind and lack of curves make it prone to sagging water at top.
So at the expense of wind and waterproofing compromise you get the perks of more space in such tent. Also its worth noting that major design improvements have been donw on cabin shaped tents. The sides now slant down at angle increasing the horizontal space of the tent.
c) DOME SHAPED
These are circular shaped tents. They are the mid of V shaped and Cabin Shaped tents. As you move away from the centre the space decrease but due to the curvature the reduction of space is not very high.
In addition, the curves make the tent more aerodynamics friendly. This means there would be no head on collision with the wind and it flow from above and sides of the winds. When it comes to water proofing, again because of curvature you will not experience water building up above the tent.
This is an ideal shape of tent. It compromises the space a little but also caters in minimizing negative factors.
Apart from material the tent is made of what makes it safe from water and winds are the guylines.
In strong winds your tent will be able to absorb strong pressure. In addition, if you set up the guylines perfectly then there will be no inverted looping that would allow water to sag on your tent. Therefore, you need to understand how to carefully use the guylines and it comes with experience in tent installation.
All experienced campers know the importance of guylines. If you are beginner and planning to buy your first tent. You must use guylines for your instant tent as well. This will give additional strength to your tent and will help hold it up in very tough windy conditions.
This is an add on and offers extra space to hold up you gear. Vestibules are small tents upto 2 feet in height they serve the purpose of sharing your gear load. All tents do not come up with vestibules. You have to buy a vestibule for your tent as an add on.
Vestibule can be on side or front of your tent. It is a matter of personal preference. If you are a small group then you may not require a vestibule but if you already bought a small tent for a mid size group. Then consider a vestibule as it will make your camping experience more pleasant.
There can be more than one tent door. Doors can be at front, back or at sides. For a larger group go for a tent that has more than one door. If you do not own a vestibule then you can manage one door tent. In such a case you can stack up your load on back side of the tent and close the zippers of the front door.
See what kind of material your tent zipper is made up of. Take extra care with tent zipper. Repairing them can cost you more money then the zipper is worth itself. Make sure that you keep your tent clean so there is no mud that gets stuck with the zipper. If cloth of fabric is stuck in the zipper, gently remove that first. You can also try to lube the zipper that can also save it form breaking.
As the name indicates it has to do something with the rain. Rainfly is an extra fabric clothing above the tent. It will make your tent extra water proof. In addition, it also makes you safe from bright sunlight in the summer. It is an add on, you can buy this separately and is a matter of personal preference.
Rainfly extends from the bottom and go towards the top. It is a crucial add on that helps in making the tent super water proof.
Your tent needs pole to get set up. A tent with low number of poles will be easier to set up than pole with more poles. Therefore, for quicker assembly specially for best instant tents count the poles.
But also do note the downside, lower the pole number can also mean that there will be lesser structure that supports the tent. A ideal tent has balanced strength with lower number of poles all over the flysheet and they use short pole sleeves.
Also most instant tents are have pre attached poles. This makes tent assembly extremely easy. Just open up the tent using the frame of the tent. To pack up the tent follow the same process by doing reverse engineering. Keep folding the tent until all the air has left and tent is inflated.
LENGTH OF FLOOR
You need to put into consideration your height. If you are taller then look for a tent with longer floor length. You can manage by crouching then you can make use of small length floor. If you are not alone and in a group, then not only bigger capacity but also bigger length floor length is required.
Some tents come up with inner pockets. These pockets utilize the extra space on the inner walls of the tent. This further increases the inner space of the tent and you can store your belongings. So, if you are planning to buy a smaller tent and it has pockets inside, it will balance out the short space.
There is no tent with in built LED lightings to light up during the night time. Also it can be a problem to hold up the flashlight or adjust it to some corner. You will end up getting in the way of light. This is covered up with a bonus hook that hangs in the middle of the tent.
Simply attach the flash light in the centre with the hook and your whole tent will be lighted up.
After reading the complete article you must have got picture of what is your style of camping and which tent will suit you to the best. In this list of best instant tents, we have covered a wide variety of camps from entry to mid level budget.
Tents are your outer shell it has to be strong. Take this as one time investment and buy a higher end unit that will stay with you for years to come. A cheap unit although can stay for few rotations but you will soon observe that it has already begun to worn out.
Our recommendation is to never compromise on equipment that will decrease your safety to major extent. In this list Coleman 6 Person instant cabin is the best choice. Although the claim that it will hold up 6 person with total comfortable space is debateable but it is durable and strong to last for years to come.