In the days when finances are getting tighter, hotels and resorts look less affordable to travelers, so many of them choose a hiking trip as a cheap yet exciting alternative. In turn, manufacturers seem to be catering to the needs and desires of those who still seek some comfort. They offer quick-setup shelters featuring a mechanism that frees you from having to do the tough work of hammering poles, pegs, and stakes into the ground. Having to set up a large shelter is the most off-putting part of an outdoor adventure.
There are lots of manufacturers, and many of them offer high-quality quick-setup shelters. The choice is getting bigger every day, and it takes a bit of knowledge to choose the best product. There are general things you need to know, particularly the strong and weak spots of these items.
Ease of set-up. These camps are designed to ease the lives of those who appreciate effortless and comfortable rest away from the city. A pop-up camp almost completely frees you from having to check and read set-up instructions and guidelines because it does the work for you. All you need to do is open the bag and let it go! The whole thing takes but a few seconds, so it can be of great help if the weather changes suddenly. Finally, this makes these shelters great for first-time campers.
Ease of taking down. Although taking down a deluxe pop-up tent is a little trickier than setting it up, it still much less time-taking than taking down a traditional shelter. There are guidelines and descriptions on how their mechanisms work.
Ease of storage. Once packed, your camp becomes a compact item, which you can store in a certain place. You will know where it is, and you will be able to find your camp whenever you need it.
Less gear to take. Because these camps feature advanced set-up mechanisms, they require less gear: you do not need to bring a lot of stapes, pegs, ropes, and guylines along (if you are sure it is going to be a quiet day).
Tents for sports events. If you are going out for a few hours and are planning to get back home before the sun goes down, a pop-up tent is the right option. Putting up and taking down a regular camp would take a good share of your time. Besides, a quick-setup camp will be handy if you are going to an open-air rock festival or sports event, where you may need to change locations.
Lower weather resistance. Because these shelters come with less or no pegs and poles, they are more likely to be upset by a strong wind. It means that you will need some extra tools to make your shelter more stable. Some pop-up tent packages include stakes and guylines. It is recommended to choose double-wall canopies (there are hardly four-season quick-setup shelters) because they are more breathable and produce less condensation. Such shelters demonstrate more effective ventilation, and they have a longer life.
More heavyweight. Pop-up tents have a more complex frame and therefore carry more metal parts than traditional ones. This adds quite a bit of weight, and large camps can hardly be transported without using a vehicle. Even a not so big two-person quick-setup tent would not be good for backpacking.
The suspension system is likely to fail. Yes, it is. Because it is rather complex, as it consists of a large number of parts. There are numerous joints that are supposed to extend/collapse, and even one broken joint will upset the entire system. If you arrive at your camp site and discover a failure, you will be very frustrated, but it is something you have to be prepared for.
How do I choose a quick-setup shelter?
Now that you know these little houses’ strong and weak points, you can start browsing and choosing the best product for you. Here we go:
- Be sure that you are buying a product from a reputable manufacturer. Check and browse information about the manufacturer/dealer and user feedback. Conscientious organizations take great care of their reputation and do their best to back it by selling high-quality items and providing guidance on how to handle and care for their products.
- Consider your habits and the size of your family or team. These quick-setup shelters are not very large, and most of them can accommodate 2 to 4 persons. Think twice how much gear you are going to take with you. It is advisable to have a space margin: for example, a 4-person shelter will be just right for 2 campers.
- Check information about the suspension system. It is recommended to buy tents with simple systems made of high-quality materials. Also, be sure you won’t have difficulty taking it down and folding it after use: this may be a little more challenging than setting it up.
- Look for a canopy with weatherproofing. There are double-wall models, which demonstrate better ventilation, less condensation, and feel less stuffy on a hot summer day.
- Pay attention to the canvas. Be sure that the roof, rainfly, walls, and sides are made of a tear- and water-resistant fabric that can protect you from the elements and UV rays.
- No matter whether or not you are new to using such a shelter, a little bit of practice won’t hurt. If you are in the process of purchasing a product, ask the agent to demonstrate the work of the pop-up mechanism and make sure it is fully operational. After buying the shelter, do some backyard testing and self-couching.
Best products from reputable manufacturers
This quick-setup little outhouse is made of deluxe quality materials. It has two-layer walls, which provide effective insulation and keep campers warm on a cold winter night and cool on a hot summer day. It works well because it is made of a water-resistant and sturdy polyurethane material. The inner canvas is slightly thinner than the outer one, and the gap between them is filled with air. The UP-2-Mini is considered to be an all-weather four-season hunting pop-up tent. It features a stove jack, through which you can run a stovepipe.
It takes a couple of minutes to set it up because it has an umbrella-type frame. It is composed of metal parts that are made of a top-quality aviation alloy, which is very sturdy and rust-proof. The package includes ropes, pegs, and guylines, so you can make it stable on a windy day. With due care and proper handling, it will last years or even decades.
The UP-2-Mini is not very big, but it is roomy enough to accommodate 1 to 3 campers, depending on whether or not they use sleeping bags and a stove. Because it comes with some gear, it is not very lightweight and therefore not good for backpacking.
The Night Cat
The Night Cat is a 2-person quick-setup shelter made of reliable and sturdy materials. It features a single-wall canopy, which is seamed well and is made of a water-resistant fabric. However, the package does not include a rainfly, so you need to buy it separately. There is no vestibule either.
It takes less than a couple of minutes to it. The fiberglass poles will last a lifetime, and there are stakes and guylines that will help you make your shelter stable in the wind. Although the pack itself is compact, there is enough room to house two campers.
Thanks to the light weight and compact size, the Night Cat is great for backpacking. Besides, its compactness and user-friendliness make it ideal for open-air festivals, presentations, etc.
E-Z UP CC10SLRB Cube 6.4 Pop Up Outdoor Camping Tent
Many campers have shared positive remarks concerning the product’s user-friendliness. They say it features a suspension system that makes it less challenging to set up and fold down than most pop-up tents. It has a two-layer canvas and vents, which together guarantee effective ventilation. The canvas is water-resistant, and it is thick enough to block sunlight and keep the inside cool even in the middle of a hot day. You can take a rest at any time of the day without having to cover your eyes.
Most users share positive feedback and say it is ideal. Those who have used it in a mountain area say it is a little unstable when it gets windy. For some campers, the biggest con is lack of space because there is no vestibule. Some complain that the gear is a little too heavyweight and therefore not good for backpacking. The Quechua Two Seconds accommodates up to two campers.
This pop-up outhouse is very compact and handy, and it is lighter than many other quick-setup shelters. It sports an attractive color palette and provides comfort: there are wall pockets and lantern hangers inside. The package includes a 3000-mm rainfly and a groundsheet.
Most users say that the Regatta Malavi is an ideal option for families with children. It is spacious enough to accommodate two parents and a child. Some say it is great for garden and backyard camping, and children have a lot of fun putting it up, folding it down and arranging their own little games.
There are a large number of manufacturers offering products that suit various needs, expectations, and preferences. Pop-up shelters make up a special category of camps that cater to a special category of campers. Now that you know their strong and weak spots, you are free to do a little research and find the best product you can afford and handle.
🏕 Why should I buy a pop-up tent?
There are lots of reasons why people want to purchase such tents. Ease of set up and user-friendliness are the most common ones. Most users say they appreciate the quick setup process, so you can do lots of things during your trip other than setting it up and folding it down!
📦 Can I use a pop-up tent for outdoor events?
Yes, you can. Pop-up all-weather tents are great for sports events, outdoor festivals, presentations, fairs, etc. Because they are easy to put up and pack, you can change location at any time and hide away from rain and wind.
💡 Why should I use a cube pop-up shelter?
Of all quick setup camps, these appear to be the most spacious and stable. They can accommodate a larger group of people. Most of them feature high-quality rainflies, large windows and doors, and therefore are better ventilated.