Introduction to Instant tents: What is an Instant Tent?
As the name suggests, instant tents are tents that can be setup instantly. Well, not literally, but really fast. The best instant tents today can be pitched in under 60 seconds. Conventional tents take way more time. It takes 30 minutes to an hour or more to pitch a typical tent in most cases. This, of course, varies depending on factors like; the size of the tent, pitching mechanism and the number of people pitching the tent.
If you love backpacking, camping, and hiking among many other outdoor activities but hate pitching tents, take some time and read our instant tent reviews below among other important information. There are many instant tents on sale today most of which aren’t great. We’ve gone through the trouble of researching widely and acquiring firsthand information to be able to pick the best instant tents today.
We’ve also been in the tent and outdoor activity space for a while now, so we know what works. You don’t need to waste your money buying and trying out different instant tents. You also don’t need to waste time going through countless reviews online to help you make an informed buying decision. Take our word for it. Our instant tent reviews are accurate and unbiased (we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of every tent we have reviewed). Let’s start by answering some important questions about instant tents.
How do you choose an instant tent?
- Consider the pitching time
Most people go for instant tents because they want to spend the least time setting up their tent. The best instant tents are the once that take less than a minute to pitch. You can find tent pitching information by checking the tent features or description details from the manufacturer. You can also look at the tent features. For instance, does the instant tent have poles that can be extended and locked instantly? You can also go through online instant tent reviews to get first-hand information on the time it takes to pitch certain tents. In a nutshell, you should be impressed or comfortable with the pitching time before you make a final decision.
- Consider the purpose
Instant tents can be used for many applications, so it’s also important to determine your intended purpose in advance. There are instant tents made for camping, backpacking and multipurpose applications among many other applications and all these purposes dictate the shape, size, weight, and material of the tent. In summary, the instant tent you choose should be able to serve your purpose perfectly. Ideally, your reason/s for buying a tent should dictate the type of tent you buy.
- Consider seasonality
The best instant tents are suitable for multiple seasons. The reason for this is simple. A three-season instant tent can be used during most times of the year (in spring, summer, and fall). A four-season tent can only be used in winter or during extreme cold and windy weather. The instant tent you choose should be able to handle your preferred camping or backpacking season. The best 3-season tents can handle some heavy downpour, scorching sun, strong winds and light snow. You should be on the lookout for tent features like mesh panels, tub flooring, rain fly, waterproof material and ventilation when considering the seasonality of your preferred instant tent.
Capacity is an important consideration when choosing any tent, let alone instant tents. The instant tent you choose should be able to accommodate the number of people you have in mind and their luggage or gear. Tent manufacturers offer capacity information so it shouldn’t be a problem finding an ideal-sized tent. It is, however, important to note that large instant tents tend to take longer to pitch according to most instant tent reviews. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t compromise capacity because of the pitching time since you will need enough space for sleeping and storing gear, clothes and other items.
- Consider the durability and portability
The instant tent you choose should also be made using long-lasting materials. Most instant tent manufacturers are guilty of concentrating on pitching time at the expense of quality. The instant tent you buy must take a short time to pitch and also stand the test of time. Durable tents are made using rip-resistant materials such as Ripstop nylon and carbon fiber or aluminum poles which are lighter but stronger than typical metal. Lastly, you need to consider portability. This consideration is important if you are buying a tent for applications such as backpacking where weight is an issue. You must ask yourself questions like: can I carry the tent on my back comfortably alongside other camping gear?
What makes a good instant tent? Features to look out for in an instant tent?
There is more to instant tents than a quick setup. Here are the main tent features to look out for in the best instant tents
A good instant tent should have ample peak height. This feature is important given most people enjoy the airiness provided by high ceilings. Also, many people prefer changing clothes while standing up. The tent you choose should be at least 6 feet tall, but this obviously depends on your height and how much room you want. Peak height also varies depending on the tent style. For instance, cabin-style tents offer better peak height compared to dome-style tents.
The best instant tents for camping applications should have multiple doors for easier access. Multiple doors also create an illusion of space. The orientation of the door is also important for the same reason.
You should settle for high denier fabrics coupled with other features such as seam tape or inverted seams for better protection against leakage. It’s also important to consider rip resistance. The tent material you choose should be strong, durable, lightweight and weather resistant.
Protection against sunlight is a cause for concern in many instant tent reviews. A good instant tent should have a UV Guard to protect occupants against ultraviolet rays when camping in summer. Protection fabrics go a long way in protecting against harsh ultraviolet rays and sunburns. A good instant tent should also be fire retardant. Although tents are supposed to be pitched far away from open flames, you need a tent that is made out fabric that doesn’t flare dangerously and will most likely self-extinguish giving you enough time to escape in an emergency situation. The instant tent you buy should also be properly ventilated to eliminate suffocation risks. A well-ventilated tent will also manage condensation perfectly.
A rainfly is a very important feature for keeping rainfall and dew away. A rainfly is a waterproof cover designed to fit over a tent’s roof. Besides keeping rainwater and dew away, a rainfly can also help to retain warmth making it an ideal feature when camping in almost all conditions. You have two main options when selecting a rainfly, i.e., the roof-only or the full-coverage rainfly. A roof-only rainfly covers the roof only allowing better views and more light. The rainfly also offers adequate rainfall protection. A full-coverage rainfly offers the best rainfall protection since it covers the entire tent. The rainfly has added benefits such as; added protection from wind and better insulation.
Vestibules are crucial storage and sheltering features to look out for. They are simply awnings and shelters attached to tents to provide storage for muddy boots, gear, etc. that shouldn’t necessarily be stored inside the tent for the sake of saving space. Although vestibules may be sold separately, they are an important part of a tent if you want additional storage space for your gear.
Vestibules may not be necessary if you choose an instant tent that has enough inbuilt storage space. Interior pockets and loops are great substitutes for vestibules.
The best instant tents don’t flap easily during normal conditions. Guyout loops come in handy during strong winds. The loops allow you to attach guy lines and keep the tent fabric firm during strong winds.
This is a commonly overlooked but important feature according to many instant tent reviews. A lantern loop at the center of your tent’s ceiling is important for keeping your lantern strategically placed.
Insect protection features (screened tent)
You need a screened tent to protect you against mosquitoes, bugs and other annoying/harmful insects common in camping sites.
Instant tents vs. other tents: Pros and cons of instant tents
- They can be pitched in seconds
Instant tents stand out for many reasons the most obvious being the short time it takes to pitch them when compared to conventional tents. In most applications such as camping and backpacking that involve the use of tents, you will rarely have the energy to pitch a tent. This is precisely why instant tents are so popular today. Furthermore, you need protection against unpredictable weather. You can pitch an instant tent in seconds before it starts snowing or raining heavily. When you choose an instant tent, you just need to unfold your tent, extend the poles and lock them into place. Although the pole mechanism of instant tents may vary from one manufacturer to another, instant tents go up in a snap.
- They are more advanced
When compared to conventional tents, instant tents are more advanced in many ways ranging from the design to safety. Instant tents are among the latest types of tents in the market today. The tents have been made with conventional tent problems in mind. For instance, instant tents have solved pitching problems common with traditional tents. They also have better weather protection, comfort and safety features such as; UV guards, vestibules, guyout and lantern loops, etc.
- Fast/easy setup can be at the expense of weight
According to some instant tent reviews, instant tents tend to be heavier than their traditional counterparts. Although this isn’t always the case, the instant setup exposes weaknesses. Many instant tent manufacturers have challenges making lightweight articulated frame tents. However, there are some that have perfected the use of strong but lightweight materials such as fiberglass frames. All in all, the instant setup and advanced features usually comes at the expense of a few pounds if you are buying a regular instant tent.
- Most instant tents are designed for regular weather
Most instant tents on sale today are not ideal for extreme weather. Although it is possible to get instant tents that can withstand the harshest weather, you will have to spend a bit more. Affordable instant tents are designed for typical camping applications.
Instant tent reviews: Top 3 instant tents on sale today
1. Wnnideo Instant Family tent
The Wnnideo Instant Family tent stands out as one of the best instant family tents on sale today in regards to affordability. This 6-person tent costs less than $100 but comes with features present in high-end instant tents. For instance, the tent has insect protection features, weatherproof features, ample ventilation and enough space for 6. The tent is also lightweight (weighs 4.2 kilograms only) but is strong and comes with a storage bag for easy transportation. Here are some of the specifications/features that stand out to help you understand why the Wnnideo Instant Family tent comes highly recommended.
- Frame: Super high strength and lightweight glass fiber.
- Style: Dome
- Fabric: Made using rain-resistant polyester.
- Capacity: 4 to 6 people
- Setup time: 60 seconds
- Weight: 2 kilograms (9.2lbs)
- Dimensions: Measures 10 by 7.88 by 4.25 feet.
- Insect protection/ventilation features: 6-Mesh panels that keep insects away while providing ample ventilation.
- Weather protection: Removable cap (shields the tent from harsh sun rays and rainfall.
- Quick setup: Many instant tent reviews online about the Wnnideo Instant Family tent praise the tent for its fast setup. According to most people who have bought this tent, anyone can set it up in less than 60 seconds.
- Affordable: The Wnnideo Instant Family tent has also been highly recommended for its affordability. Many Wnnideo Instant Family tent owners can’t believe how cheap the tent is yet you enjoy the features present in pricier tents.
- Great weather protection: The tent has also been praised for its incredible protection against rainfall and UV rays. The Wnnideo Instant Family tent has a waterproof and UV resistant rainfly.
- Good ventilation: The Wnnideo Instant Family tent also stands out for its large arched double doors as well as 6-mesh panels that keep harmful and annoying insects away and offer good ventilation.
- Spacious: Wnnideo Instant tent reviews also attest to the fact that the tent has enough space to accommodate six people.
- Portability: Many people also love the fact that the tent comes with a carrying bag that allows you to store and transport the tent easily.
Although most people who have bought the Wnnideo Instant Family tent love it, there are a few people who claim the tent is a bit small for six adults. There are also concerns on the tent’s weatherproof features and sturdiness. Some people claim the tent isn’t completely waterproof and firm in harsh weather.
For less than $100, the Wnnideo Instant comes highly recommended. According to many instant tent reviews, the Wnnideo is one of the few tents that offer more value for money. There are however obvious concerns such as space. Although this tent can fit six adults, it is perfect for four adults only when space is of utmost importance. The tent’s capabilities in harsh weather can be addressed by pitching the tent properly. In a nutshell, the Wnnideo is a great instant family tent if you want to spend the least amount of money without compromising on quality.
2. Core 9- Person Instant Cabin Tent
If you are looking for a high-end instant tent with more space and high-tech features, look no further. The Core 9-Person Instant cabin tent is reasonably priced given it features the latest in tent technology. Despite being large, this tent can be set up in a minute. It features pre-attached poles which unfold and extend instantly. Assembly aside, this tent utilizes Core H20 block technology which combines active bead technology and water repellent fabrics to offer superior water resistance/protection. The tent also comes with a fully-taped rain fly for added weather protection. The tent also stands out in regards to ventilation, privacy, and convenient access.
- Form factor: Cabin
- Capacity: Sleeps 9 people (can fit two queen air mattresses)
- Setup time: 60 seconds
- Dimensions: Measures 10.5 by 11 by 48 inches
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Weatherproof features: Has a rain fly, Core H20 block technology
- Ventilation features: Adjustable ground vent
- Privacy and storage: Has a room divider and storage pockets.
- High-tech features: Electrical access port
There are several reasons for buying the Core 9-Person Instant cabin tent;
- Impressive setup time: Considering this tent is a 9-person tent, many people feel the setup time of 60 seconds is impressive. Many similar-sized instant tents on sale today take at least 5 minutes to pitch. The tent features an integrated frame system that requires minimal work. You can set up as well as take down the tent in a minute.
- Advanced waterproof technology: There are also many instant tent reviews praising the Core 9-Person Instant tent for having superior H20 technology. This tent has water repellent fabrics featuring bead technology that promote faster water runoff preventing water from sipping into the tent. The tent also has sealed seams and water-resistant window/door seals as well as a fully-tapped rainfly. The core 9-person instant tent is arguably the best water resistant instant tent according to many reviews.
- Spacious: The tent also has a spacious interior capable of accommodating nine adults. The 14 by 9 floor plan can hold two queen air mattresses which offer enough space for nine people. The tent also has ample headroom (6 feet, 6 inches ceiling height) and a large double door for convenient/easy access. The Core 9-person instant tent also has ample storage space for gear and electronics.
- Unmatched privacy: The Core 9-person instant tent is also among the few instant tents with a room divider that allows you to create separate living and sleeping space. The tent also has privacy panels on windows and doors.
- Electrical access port: Many people who have bought the Core 9-person instant tent also love the electrical port that comes with the tent. This feature allows you to power lights and electronics in the tent safely.
Many instant tent reviews about the Core 9-person instant tent are positive. However, there are some people who feel the tent is a bit small for nine adults. Some tent owners also claim it takes longer than a minute to pitch the tent. Some concerns have also been expressed on the tent’s price and weight. Some people feel the tent is too heavy for applications like hiking.
From the above information, the Core 9 person instant tent is clearly on a higher level compared to most instant tents in the market today capable of accommodating nine people. Although the tent has some shortfalls, many owners have nothing but good things to say. A one-minute setup time is impressive for a 9-person tent. Besides, the setup time can be decreased further if the tent is pitched by more than one person. In regards to the weight, most 9-person instant tents aren’t lightweight for obvious reasons. Lastly, the price is fair when you consider the capacity and high-tech features present in this tent.
3. Coleman 2000018295 8 Person Instant Tent
The Coleman 2000018295 is another great instant tent you should consider buying. This tent stands out for many reasons. One, it is made by Coleman, one of the best outdoor equipment manufacturers in the world. Coleman Company Inc, (the company that makes Coleman tents) has been around since 1900. Coleman tents have an unmatched advantage in every aspect from experience to technology. The Coleman 2000018295 is among the best-selling Coleman tents today. This alone speaks volume about the kind of tent you will be buying. Besides being made by one of the best tent manufactures in the world, the Coleman 2000018295 stands out for other reasons such as unmatched space, superior weather resistance, and unmatched ventilation. Here’s a summary of the key features/specifications.
- Material: 150D material
- Capacity: Sleeps 8 people. Can fit two queen airbeds.
- Weatherproof features: WeatherTec system featuring thick waterproof walls, rainfly, and a welded floor.
- Ventilation: 7 windows and 2 doors. Removable room divider.
- Dimensions: 14 X 10 Feet base, 6 feet, 5 inches (center height).
- Weight: 36.3 pounds
- Warranty: 1-year.
- Spacious: Many instant tent reviews attest to the fact that the Coleman 2000018295 can fit eight people comfortably, two queen airbeds. The tent’s massive base and ample headroom offer enough space for eight people to move around and sleep comfortably.
- Superior weather protection: The Coleman 2000018295 also stands out for its WeatherTec system featuring thick waterproof walls, a welded floor and a built-in rainfly that make it impossible for water to get into the tent during heavy downpour.
- Good ventilation: The tent has seven screened windows and two doors which offer ample ventilation while keeping harmful/annoying insects out.
- Privacy: This tent also has a room divider which makes it a great family tent. You can create separate sleeping areas for yourself and your children.
Some people find this tent to be a heavy. A 36.3-pound tent is not ideal for backpacking applications. Some reviews have also expressed concerns on space. Although the tent can sleep eight people, some people feel it should sleep utmost six people for added comfort. Also, some important features such as the rain fly have to be bought separately despite the tent being a bit costly.
The Coleman 2000018295 is undoubtedly the best 8-Person Coleman instant tent out there today according to most instant tent reviews. The tent is spacious, fast/easy to setup, private, properly ventilated and features superior weather protection just to mention a few benefits. The tent may be a bit heavy according to some reviews, but such cons can be overlooked given the size of the tent. The Coleman 2000018295 is perfect for applications such as car camping that don’t involve carrying the tent around on your back or by hand. Although some people feel the price may be a bit high, the Coleman 2000018295 offers unmatched value for money. There are no concerns about the tent’s quality and durability. Furthermore, the tent comes with a one-year warranty. If you don’t like the tent after buying it, you can use your warranty to get a replacement or a refund depending on your reasons for dissatisfaction.
Hope you enjoyed the best instant ten review article. Check out our other tent articles, including the top Coleman tents on the market: