If you are going camping and are looking for a shelter that needs to be assembled quickly and effortlessly, then choosing an instant tent is your best bet! That’s why they are also known as easy set up shelters. In addition, you can use them at any time of the year, regardless of the weather. Find out what characteristics these dwellings have and which models are ideal for your campsite in our article!
What Are Instant Tents Good For
This type of dwelling comes with pre-attached poles. It means that you just need to extend these poles or lock them into place in order to set up the structure of your instant shelter. Therefore, these poles are often compared to a telescope, which is also easily pulled out. It’s an ideal option for beginner campers or people who just don’t want to have to faff around with looping poles through hoops. This setup often takes even less than a minute and is as simple as taking the tent out of its bag and throwing it on the ground! The springs then force the shelter to pop into shape and you simply need to stake it. None of the traditional features of a tent are left out, you just get an easier setup! Thus, you can start your getaway as soon as you get to your campsite.
A lot of people tend to believe that if Instant tents are typically targeted at the casual camping market and therefore prioritize low cost poles, they can't then handle bad weather. In a sense, the biggest durability issue is not the poles being prone to breaking, but the inability to repair the shelter. However, there are also 4 season models on the market that are suitable even for winter camping! Some models are also additionally equipped with a rain cover that will not allow water to get inside. We recommend that you check all its accessories before buying a shelter and bear in mind what weather conditions it can withstand. This will give you a better understanding of value for money.
What Is a 4 Season Shelter
It is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions from backcountry ski tours to mountaineering. It usually comes with substantial canopies and rainflies, as well as tough pole structures to hold up against the weight of snow and force of wind. Moreover, you can expect good water resistance thanks to taped seams. 4 season shelters are often tested in a wide variety of climates, ranging from hot forests to snowy highlands. However, they can be heavier and less ventilated, making them hotter in summer. In addition, these shelters can be more expensive than their three-season counterparts. So, due to its advantages and drawbacks, it's worth considering whether this type of dwellings work for you and your camping plans.
Best 4 Season Models: Review
With one of the best instant shelters in your kit, you can spend more time enjoying the trip with your friends or family. We have collected high-quality instant models below that will withstand not only warm sunny weather, but also rain or strong winds.
1) Woods Pinnacle 4-Person 4-Season Tent
This shelter allows for adventure all year round. It has four strong PowerLite aluminum poles that are easily assembled for setup. In addition, it is really spacious and will accommodate a family or a group of 4. This model, which has been tested for extreme durability in Canadian outdoors, features a large door for easy exit and entry with a vestibule for additional storage and a reflective piping for good visibility at night. It also comes with a large amount of stakes to ensure the rainfly stays planted and stable during extreme conditions and winter camping. Mesh panels also provide excellent insect protection.
Woods has been producing camping equipment for more than 100 years and has won the trust of outdoor enthusiasts. Therefore, this model fully justifies its price and is an excellent choice for camping in any environment.
2) Coleman 4-Person Instant Tent
Coleman is also a successful and established brand on the market. For outdoor enthusiasts looking for a mid-size, mid-priced solution, this 4-person shelter is ideal. This is exactly the kind of shelter that can be installed in less than 60 seconds with a little practice beforehand. While this model is rather considered as a three-season shelter, it also has many of the qualities of a 4 season shelter, such as strong protection against rain and extreme heat. The brand even has its own patented Coleman WeatherTec with various protective features. Moreover, this is a great option for those who are looking for interior space. With a floor space of 8 x 7 ft (2.4 x 2.13 m), you can easily fit a queen-size mattress and still have some space to move around. Two storage pockets and an expandable carry bag for easier packing are also included. Therefore, this is a great example of a shelter that does not require complicated installation and that will last you a very long time.
3) CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent
This is the most spacious model on our list! Although it is also more of a three-season model, it has the great features of a 4 season shelter. Water repellent Core H2O Block Technology will protect you from heavy rains and will not allow water to penetrate inside. The size is really impressive: two separate rooms are perfect for parents and children, and installation still won't take you more than a minute! The pre-attached frame is fully foldable for easy storage. Plus, you'll enjoy nature throughout your hike as this model offers panoramic views thanks to large windows on three sides and a window in the door. It also has a mesh roof which is great for stargazing on clear nights.
Although the rainfly does not extend far enough to allow windows to remain open when raining, we still include this model on our list of 4 season shelters due to the combination of all the right qualities for comfortable camping. If you want to learn whether this model is right for your camping needs, check out the CORE website for more information.
4) Toogh Waterproof Tent
Despite its small size, this model from Toogh definitely has something to surprise you with! It is very similar to a pop-up shelter, as the hinged pole system allows for very quick installation. This model is equipped with two doors that can be propped up to form a porch. The roof is covered by the rainfly, allowing for good ventilation while keeping the rain out. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to go hiking even in the most extreme surroundings! Six angle design also enhances stability no matter where you set up your shelter. So this model will be an excellent choice for both beginner campers and professionals who do not need extra space, but mobility.
4 season instant tents strive to bridge the gap between convenience and weather resistance, offering campers a versatile option for their outdoor adventures. These shelters have evolved to provide quicker setup times, making them more accessible to a wider audience while retaining some degree of weatherproofing for milder conditions.
However, it's important to note that despite their advancements, they still face limitations compared to their dedicated 4 season counterparts. While they can withstand mild rain, light snow, and moderate winds, they may not offer the same level of durability and protection during severe winter conditions. If you need help and advice on choosing a quality instant shelter, you can always contact our professionals from RBM Outdoors! We work for quality to meet all your camping needs.
🏕 What are the key features and design elements of instant tents?
Easy pitching is a key feature in the design process of instant tents. They can be set up in a matter of seconds and are ready to go. To make it possible, these dwellings include pre-attached poles. All that’s left to do is unroll the shelter, stretch the poles, and tie it down.
📦 Can an instant tent be 4 season?
While instant tents are designed for quick and easy setup, they are generally not ideal for extreme conditions, which is why most of them are not considered true 4 season shelters. Instant dwellings are typically constructed with lightweight materials and have simplified structures, making them suitable for fair weather camping during the spring, summer, and early fall. Instead, 4 season shelters are specifically designed to handle the challenges of winter camping and are built to withstand heavy snow loads and strong winds.
💡 Which brands make instant tents?
We advise you to pay attention to models from CORE, Coleman, Woods and Toogh, which have long established themselves on the camping market and offer a wide selection of different products.