Best Instant Tent of 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best instant tent, I’d recommend the CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent.

You’ve been frustrated setting up the tent for hours, or you are a solo traveller going camping.. Whatever be the case, instant tents boost up your camping experience for sure. Here’s our guide for finding the best instant tent for a great camping trip.

Our Top 5 Instant Tents of 2020

Product

Setup Time

Features

Price

#1 CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent


30 Seconds


- Spacious floors

- Comes with an Electrical cord access port

-  Properly ventilated

#2  Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

60 Seconds

- Best suited for summer camping

- Fairly priced

-  Has welded floors and blocks 90% sunlight

#3  ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4-Person Tent

120-180 seconds

- Has a double door system

- Two pole pin-and-ring design for easy setup

-  Sturdy

#4  Gazelle 22272 T4 Pop-Up Portable Camping Hub Tent

90 seconds

- Heavy duty tent

- Good head room and spacious floor space

- Meshed roof for stargazing

#5  TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent

90-120 seconds

- Lightweight 

- Best suited for backpacking

- Comes with an detachable footprint

Advantages of an Instant tent

Ease of Set up

An instant tent makes your camping a lot easier. The tent is ready just after a few quick moves.

After all, tents are just for sleeping so why bother spending hours on straightening it side-to-side?

Light weight

Instant tents are also lightweight in addition to being easy-to-setup. They are made with lightweight materials to make the whole set up of the tent simple & easy.

Pack Up Time

Pack up of most instant tents is as easy as the set up time. The poles are connected as one in the tent design, so there’s very little work involved in the packup.

How to choose the best instant tent?

Of course, the most important thing you’ll want to look for is quick & easy set up. But beyond that, what should you look for?

Size

This is important regardless of the type of tent. You can figure it out from the floorspace specifications.

Most tents that specify a capacity of 6, don’t fit in 6 people comfortably. It’s a good idea to upsize your tent size by one or two particularly if you are travelling with bigger or claustrophobic people.

You’ll also need to consider the gear and supplies you carry with you, along with the size of your group.

Where are you camping?

Do you camp all year round or will a three-season tent suffice for you? Are you going to be camping in the summers or in the winters?

If you are going to be camping by the beaches, you should be looking for a well ventilated tent whereas for winters, you should be looking at less ventilated tents with a full coverage rainfly.

Finding a perfect tent will require comparing the features of each tent based on the weather you would be camping at.

Weight & Tent Materials

Compare weights of the models you are looking at, based on the nature of your trip – backpacking or car camping.

High quality denier fabrics are used for harsh weather tents, and they tend to be heavier. The poles that are used in the tents are of two major types – aluminium or fiberglass. Aluminium is more durable, strong and expensive as compared to fiberglass that is more corrosion resistant. Choosing one type of material over the other should be an long term consideration.

You may find that some tents that are very easy to set up might be heavy, but then they outweigh the weight factor with the setup time.

Pack up size

Though most instant tents are designed to make the set up & packup easy, the packed sizes of most of the instant tents are not small.

This is not much of a concern when you go car camping but if you prefer to go backpacking, look for an instant tent that has a good packed up size.

Tent features

Rainfly

Think of it as an additional layer over your tent to keep off wind, snow or rain. It comes in two types

  1. Full Coverage Rainfly – It covers the tent entirely from all the sides, and doesn’t provide for much ventilation. Tents that are heavy duty or that are designed for harsh weathers mostly have full coverage rainflies.
  2. Half Coverage Rainfly – This covers only the major areas of the tent, eg, the sleeping floor. This provides protection against moderate rains or mild snows.

Note: A rainfly can always be purchased separately.

Tent poles

The number of poles in a tent and the quality of the pole material determine its sturdiness. Most instant tents are freestanding and are made of fiberglass poles. Though they do just fine in terms of set up and performance, they are not as sturdy as tents that are set up with stakes.

If it’s going to be a windy terrain that you’ll be camping in, look for tents with aluminium poles & stakes.

Tent doors

Having two doors in a tent is very convenient when nature calls in the middle of the night. You can get in and out without disturbing the other people in the tent.

Additional features

Since instant tents are usually constructed as one piece, with connected walls and poles, it might be difficult to clean them. So look out for removable floors or inner liners for easy cleaning.

Tents may or may not come with a sturdy base layer. It might be essential when it rains, so consider purchasing a footprint separately if needed.

Also lookout for the common features like mesh pockets, lantern hangers and electrical cord access.

Top 5 Instant tents

1. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

Short Review

This tent is one of the favourite choices for many. It’s easy on the pockets & feature rich.

One of the most exciting features of this tent is the setup time. It can be setup in under a minute, thanks to its pre-assembled poles. Get the tent out of the bag, unfold it, and it’s done!

It is made from Polyguard double-thick fabric that withstands the rigors of the outdoors, that makes it reliable for seasons together. It has an integrated vented rainfly that improves airflow without any extra assembly needed. It comes with 1 door, 4 screened windows and 2 roof vents.

Quite some ventilation!

It features the Dark room technology which blocks 90% of the sunlight from entering into your tent. Sleeping for a while longer when the sun is still out sounds pleasing, doesn’t it ? 🙂

On rainy nights, it keeps you dry – thanks to tub-like floors with patented corner welds and covered seams to help keep water out.

And when you are done camping, the take down is as easy as the setup. It includes an expandable carrying bag in which you can pack it up.

Pros

  • Quick Setup
  • Priced reasonably
  • Blocks 90% of the sunlight
  • Has welded floors
  • Has integrated vented rainfly
  • Best for summer camping

Cons

  • Not the best choice during heavy rains or thunderstorms.

Bottomline

It’s the best pick for money given the feature sets it provides.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

2. CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent

Short Review

This tent comes with a pre assembled pole system for easy set up. Just unpack the tent, unfold the legs and extend it till it reaches the dome position.

It has a floor space of 63 ft and a center height of 54. Taller people may find it difficult to stand in the tent, but can sit around quite comfortably. It has a front style D door and comes with a half coverage rainfly.

It comes with a H2O water resistant technology that might be useful in rainy weathers. It has a gear loft and a lantern hook with pockets to keep your things organized.

Pros

  • Adjustable ground vent
  • Spacious floor space
  • Electrical cord access port
  • Has CORE H2O technology implanted for water resistance
  • Mesh windows for excellent ventilation
  • “D” style door

Cons

  • Stiff poles
  • Zipper gets stuck on the rain flap

Bottomline

It’s light, it’s easy and it’s fully functional at a reasonable price. Good value for money.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

3. ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4-Person Tent

Short Review

This tent is durable and ALPS claim that it can easily accommodate 4 people in it.

One thing that really stood out for many users is the well thought out design of the tent. It has a two pole design, and the poles are attached to the clip on the tent, that make it a breeze to set up. It also stands sturdy.

It has dual doors that’s very convenient to get in & out of the tent on either sides. People liked that the tent allows for plenty of ventilation. It comes with two large mesh windows on either sides, two small mesh openings in the front, and two zippered windows.

It is equipped with a Polyester fly that’s water resistant and protects UV damage.

A few customers have preferred the mesh windows to have zippers. Though it provides very good ventilation in the summers, some users have commented that for camping in the cold nights, the tent tends to get cold inside.

Pros

  • Excellent ventilation
  • Double door system
  • Very spacious
  • Two pole design for setup
  • Durable
  • Good weather protection

Cons

  • Not sturdy in windy days

Bottomline

A solid tent for well ventilated camping.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

4. Gazelle 22272 T4 Pop-Up Portable Camping Hub Tent

Short Review

The Gazelle camping tent has a floor space of 61 square feet and a center height of 78 inches which is accommodative for people upto 6’5.

All you need to do for the set up is take it out of the bag, and pull the hubs on the 4 sides of tent. You have an optional half coverage rainfly that can be attached to the sides easily, if needed. The tent poles are made of fiberglass.

It comes with 2 doors, and made of durable thick fabrics for good weather protection. It also has an innovative design of a removable floor, which is useful for shaking the dirt and also for replacing it with a heavy duty footprint or tarp.

Pros

  • Sets up within 90 seconds
  • Good head room and spacious floor space
  • Meshed roof for stargazing
  • Well designed & made of high quality materials
  • Removable floor

Cons

  • Long collapsed size
  • Stakes tend to bend with time

Bottomline

Overall, a solid investment if a good tent for car camping for a family of 4.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

5. TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent

Short Review

This tent might be the best option for backpacking, since it’s lightweight at just 6.2 pounds. It comes a freestanding pole design with aluminium tent poles.

The inner tent material is made of micro meshes to prevent condensation from soaking up, and a full coverage rainfly. It also comes with a footprint included. The footprint doesn’t attach to the tent so it’s convenient for shaking off the dirt when you pack up.

It has a meshed ceiling that might be a great feature for people who love stargazing. The room space & the head room inside has been liked by many.

It has two doors for easy entry & exit but one thing that might be a drawback is that there aren’t any windows in the tent. This might be great for weather protection but not for the summers where you prefer some good ventilation inside the tent.

Pros

  • Lightweight at just 6.2 pounds
  • Detachable footprint
  • Two way zippers

Cons

  • No windows
  • Footprint of the tent doesn’t extend to the vestibule

Bottomline

Solid tent for backpacking and room space.

>> Check Prize on Amazon <<

Conclusion

When it comes to the best instant tent in the market, it’s touch to choose one. However, the one that stands out from all of the above is the CORE 4 Person Instant Dome Tent.

Not only that it takes seconds to set up, it has a sought after rich feature set that includes a tent kit that has rainfly, tent stakes and a carry bag. It has waterproof technologies implanted in them that comes handy in the rains.

It provides all the features that a traditional tents provide, but only with the easy of set up.

Also check – Best Pop Up Tent of 2020 | Expert Advice.

Mark Bennett
 

I have a serious thing for travel, outdoors and wilderness. I grew up in Oregon and camping outdoors with my father was one of the fondest memories of childhood. I enjoy camping and hiking and love to share what I've learnt over these years.