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The Best Camping Pop-Up Tents


If, like me, you are put off tent camping because you don’t like the idea of trying to erect a tent with kids getting under your feet, while the kettle boils over and you hover dangerously on the edge of a major argument with your spouse about which pole fits which hole, then a camping pop-up tent could be the ideal solution for you. But what are the best family camping pop-up tents on the market?

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What are camping pop-up tents?

A family pop-up camping tents do just that – you unpack it and it pops open and up. They were first developed for the festival market, which made them cheap, cheerful and possible to leave behind in the festival field dustbin if they got wrecked during the party.

Camping pop-up tents are designed for quick and easy setup. Unlike traditional tents that require manual assembly of poles and stakes, pop-up tents utilize a spring-loaded mechanism that allows them to instantly “pop up” into shape when removed from their carrying bag.

This pop-up action makes them incredibly convenient for campers who value ease and speed in setting up their temporary shelter. Camping pop-up tents typically feature a collapsible design, allowing them to fold down compactly for storage and transport.

They come in various sizes and designs to accommodate different camping needs, from solo backpacking trips to family outings. While they may sacrifice some durability and weather resistance compared to traditional tents, especially in windy conditions, camping pop-up tents are a popular choice for casual campers seeking convenience and ease of use in their camping gear.

However, recently we have seen an increasing number of pop-up tents being made to a higher standard even though they remain quite cheap in relation to their more rigid competition in the camping tent market. They still have the benefits of being pitched at the campsite in seconds – literally – but they are much better quality, have better designs, are more robust, have larger living and cooking spaces, are often double-layered and are made of better materials. All of this makes them a very attractive option for the camping summer ahead.

solar powered camping pop up tent

The pros and cons of using a camping pop-up tent

There was a time when complex designs with several ‘compartment’ rooms did not exist within a pop-up tent configuration. At first, they simply provided shelter and privacy in a very basic form. They were lightweight, small and waterproof, but that was about it. However recently this has shifted significantly, and there are more changes expected very soon as Kickstarter projects successfully achieve crowdfunding to develop more in the range.

The benefits of a pop-up tent are simple… you could have your tent pitched and be relaxing in a chair and enjoying your vacation within a matter of minutes after arriving at the campsite. Now that’s the kind of camping we like!camping pop-up tents

Pop-up solar-powered tents

Solar-powered pop-up tents have been designed in the past and seem to be a remarkable invention. Once placed in the sun during the day they can power lights, phones, laptops and other camping gadgets. Innovations such as heating, SMS location technology and on-location Wi-Fi signals are also being developed.

The best family camping pop-up tents

If you’re like me and want to be comfortable during your stay at the campsite, make sure you accessorise your pop-up tent appropriately. I like to use interlocking foam flooring to give an extra bit of insulation from the cold that penetrates the tent from the ground at night. We also use a thick cotton roll mattress or airbeds to keep us even more comfortable. All this can fit easily in the extra roomy family camping pop-up tents.

Tips for buying the best pop-up tents

  1. Buy a family camping pop-up tent with extra storage space. This is essential if you have lots of gear.
  2. Think about how many adults and children will sleep in it and where you want them to sleep.
  3. Always go for the larger models to allow you and your family extra space. They are so easy to pitch it’s worth going for the biggest you can find.
  4. The cheapest model isn’t necessarily the best for family camping pop-up tents. Single-skin are the cheapest and most basic whilst the premium range have more than one layer, giving more insulation against the elements and durability over time.
  5. There are various shapes to choose from. If you camp in areas which have high wind speeds then consider going for streamlined versions with extra guy ropes and anchoring systems. You can even add your own bracing system if you want extra peace of mind in bad weather.

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The best camping pop-up tent brands

Before buying your new tent make sure you take a look at our camping tent essentials and what you need to understand how to shop for the right tent. However, if you want to investigate a few options you can visit these brands.

Quechua: Offering several designs and configurations in pop-up tents, we particularly like their 4-person tent with a central living area and plenty of standing room. The best value tents in this range are available to buy.

10T Outdoor: Offering a smaller 3-man tent design for simple camping, this cheap pop-up tent is available to buy

Mountain Warehouse: Offers double-skin camping pop-up tents

Frost Fire: Offers a large 2-man tent

Yellowstone: Fast Pitch Tent is available to buy

For storage: If all you need is some extra storage space or one more bed, then the traditional 2 man camping pop-up tent is the perfect solution. Also available to buy.

Pop-up tents are great, easy to put up and relatively inexpensive.  Research carefully before you buy and make sure that you get the best pop-up tent for you.  Then once you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is unpack and pop up!

Do you already use a family-sized camping pop-up tent? If so, tell us about it and which one you recommend.

Happy Inspired Camping!

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