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 pop-up tent could be the ideal solution for you. But what are the best family tents and best pop-up tent on the market in 2017?
A family pop-up tent does 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. 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 tent market. They still have the benefits of being pitched at the campsite in seconds – literally – but they are much better quality, better designs, are more robust, have larger living and cooking spaces, are often double layered and are made of better materials.
The pros and cons of using a 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 crowd funding 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 I like!
Pop-up solar powered tents
Currently being developed is the solar powered pop-up tent. A remarkable invention, that once placed in the sun during the day 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.
best family pop-up tent camping
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 tent
- Buy a family camping pop-up tent with extra storage space. This is essential if you have lots of gear.
- Think about how many adults and children will sleep in it and where you want them to sleep.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The best family camping pop-up tents 2017
Quechua: Offering a number of 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 on eBay.
10T Outdoor: Offering a smaller 3 man tent design for simple camping, this cheap pop-up tent is available on Amazon.
Mountain Warehouse: Offers a double skin pop up tent on Amazon
Frost Fire: Offers a large 2 man tent on Amazon
Yellowstone: Fast Pitch Tent on Amazon
So 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 un-pack and pop-up!
Do you already use a family sized pop-up tent? If so, tell us about it and which one you recommend.