Best Instant Tents: 6 Easy-Setup Tents Reviewed

Once upon a time, setting up a tent was challenging and required several people to accomplish. But with new inventions and time, tents have been simplified and easier to pitch.

Easy setup instant tents allow you to spend far less time reading poor instructions and bumbling around with poles… and more time enjoying nature!

Whether you’re a family camper or a professional adventurer, this guide to the best instant tents will help you find the perfect, easy setup tent for your camping needs!

Comparison Chart

DescriptionTypePrice
Editor’s Choice Core 6 Person Instant Tent Core 6 Person Instant TentCabinSEE PRICE »
Toogh 3-4 Person Dome Tent Toogh 3-4 Person Pop-Up TentDomeSEE PRICE »
Coleman 6-Person Tent with Instant Setup Coleman 6-Person Tent with Instant SetupCabinSEE PRICE »
Ozark Trail Dark Rest - 6 Person Ozark Trail Dark Rest – 6 PersonCabinSEE PRICE »
Tenaya Lake by Coleman Tenaya Lake 6 Person by ColemanCabinSEE PRICE »
Expedition Tent by Oztent Expedition 5-6 Person Tent by OztentProprietary DesignSEE PRICE »

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Instant Tents Reviewed

For this guide on instant tents, we reviewed six of the best instant tents on the market today. While there are certainly more instant tents available, through our review process we were able to narrow it down to our choices below.

Core 6 Person Instant Tent

Trust us, you’ll be happy with how easy it is to pitch this cabin instant tent! It has pre-attached poles that are telescopic, meaning they snap and extend into place. While it does require some strength to strap the poles, it shows that they’re not flimsy.

This particular instant tent has a three-season rating with a mesh ceiling and ground ventilation, so the cabin tent is very breathable; this means that it works wonders at making you feel cool during the warmer months.

There is a rain fly included, but it’s minimal. However, it’s still decent enough to save you from a downpour, particularly when it’s paired with water-resistant fabric, sealed seams, and zipper covers.

The dimensions of this tent are 11′ by 9′, so it’s quite roomy. However, you probably should only use it for a maximum of four people (and their gear).

The bottom line is that this tent is high-quality and durable, so it’s good for most camping situations. But you may need to put in some extra effort to take down the tent after use.

Core Equipment 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Awning
Pros
  • Great ground ventilation
  • Visually pleasing and stylish
  • Features a lantern hook at the top
  • Core tents are some of the best on the market today
Cons
  • The flooring is constructed from a material that’s similar to blue tarps, which makes it easy to rip
  • It’s difficult to get this tent folded back up to go inside the provided bag
Core 6 Person Instant Tent

Core 6 Person Instant Tent

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Toogh 3-4 Person Dome Tent

This dome tent looks and feels rugged. It’s made from 210D oxford fabric and has flooring with a waterproof rating of 10,000mm – there’s no question about how durable this tent is.

When it’s time to set up this tent, it’s simple to do and can be done by one person. You’ll find that setting up this camping tent is similar to unfolding a large, deflated balloon and then using an automatic lift located on the top of the tent to do the rest of the work.

Some other great features this tent offers include two doors, the door doubles as a canopy, and there are thick mesh vents to keep bugs out of your tent. The size isn’t great – at the widest points, it’s around 8.6′ x 6.8′, and the floor space is taken up because of the corners. Additionally, it’s only 5.5 feet tall.

The bottom line is that this is a long-lasting, durable tent with excellent features, but it’s not great for wind or heavy rain.

Pros
  • It comes in a variety of colors
  • The tent comes with a bar that helps you roll the door up to get it out of the way
  • It’s easy to set up and takedown
Cons
  • The rain fly is small
  • The shape of the tent prevents the use of all the floor space, which makes it so that it’s uncomfortable to have more than three people inside the tent
Toogh Dome Tent

Toogh Dome Tent

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Instant Cabin Tent by Coleman

Coleman is a brand that has been making tents for years, with most of their tents being made in the United States. However, this isn’t one of them. But even with it not being made in the U.S., it’s still one of the best instant tents you can find.

If you’re camping in windy conditions, this Coleman instant tent is a great option because it’s considered to be one of the sturdiest instant tents available.

Which brings me to one question we often get here at Tent Hacker – is the Coleman instant waterproof? The Coleman instant tent is waterproof thanks to its patented WeatherTec System! The WeatherTec system features patented welded floors and inverted seams that help to keep you dry if it starts raining.

This isn’t the quickest tent to set up, but it doesn’t take a very long time. It does have pre-attached telescopic poles that you can easily click into place by extending the poles. Removing this tent from the packaging is going to take the longest in the setup process.

The tent comes in a 4-, 6-, or 8-person tent size, each of which allows you to use all of the floor space provided. The 4-person tent isn’t quite five feet tall, but the 6- and 8-person tents are around six feet tall.

The bottom line is that the Coleman brand is a name you can trust; you’ll feel assured that you’re getting the best instant tent when you buy the Coleman Cabin Tent.

Coleman® FastPitch™ Instant Cabin 4 with Flysheet - EN
Pros
  • You can have the rain fly secured using guy lines, but you might not need the guy lines on the tent because it’s so sturdy
  • This tent can withstand heavy wind up to 35 mph
Cons
  • You’ll find that the floor is thin and wrinkly
  • There isn’t much storage
Cabin Tent by Coleman

Cabin Tent by Coleman

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Ozark Trail Dark Rest

The Ozark Trail Dark Rest instant tent is like the Coleman Cabin Tent regarding its functionality and size. The biggest difference between these two tents is that the Ozark is a dark rest tent and that it has more room because the floor size is 10′ x 9′.

It doesn’t block out all the light, but it does a great job reducing the amount of light inside the tent. Remember that these types of tents tend to hold heat in, but they also come with big windows for ventilation if you need it.

The Ozark isn’t as sturdy as the Coleman is, but it might be a better value because when you buy the Ozark instant tent, you get an amazing, three-season, quick to set up tent that has a lot of great storage options.

The bottom line is that this tent is great for daytime sleepers because it’s a dark rest instant tent. It also has a lot of features that other tents don’t have. However, it takes longer to set up than other tents on this list.

Pros
  • It has steel bars to add to its durability
  • Great storage options including a wall organizer and gear loft
  • Built-in skylights so you can stargaze at night
Cons
  • The seams can have holes, so you might want to waterproof the tent
  • The steel frame adds weight to this tent
  • Took us the longest to set up of all the tents on this list
Ozark Trail Dark Rest

Ozark Trail Dark Rest

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Tenaya Lake by Coleman

This tent is like staying in a five-star hotel that’s actually a cabin tent. It can hold eight people comfortably with enough space for everyone to be inside at the same time. The tent also has two built-in closets that have mesh shelves and storage pockets.

You’ll love the privacy screen that goes through the middle of this tent. Even with the privacy screen zipped shut, you’ll still have enough space to walk around. This tent’s center height is 6’8″ and is considered the tallest instant tent available. The floor space is 13′ x 9′, giving you enough room for gear and people.  

There’s one major downside to this tent: the setup time. While this tent is considered to be fast to put together, it’s only quick if you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of confusing instructions, color-coded bands, and poles.

If you don’t mind how long it takes to set this tent up, the bottom line is that it’s one of the best instant tents for large groups of people who need space.

How to Set Up Your Tenaya Lake™ Fast Pitch™ 8-Person Cabin with Closet
Pros
  • There are illuminated guy lines, so you won’t trip over them when it’s dark out
  • The storage case for this tent has wheels
  • There’s plenty of space for eight people and has a great amount of storage
Cons
  • The rain fly has a flaw: how it has been designed makes it so that water will flow off it and drip into the doorway
  • It’s very heavy
Tenaya Lake by Coleman

Tenaya Lake by Coleman

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Expedition Tent by Oztent

If you want an expedition tent that can withstand bad weather conditions, but you’re looking for something easy to set up, this tent is what you need. Simply grab the bar, lift it, and then the tent pops into place.

This is a square tent with a ceiling height of 6’6″, so you can easily move around inside the tent. It’s also incredibly durable and has PVC flooring that’s been heat-sealed, meaning that you won’t have to be afraid that you’ll make holes in the floor. You can fit up to three people inside this tent because it has 507 square feet of floor space.

The bottom line is that this instant camping tent can be a bit of an overkill in most typical camping situations, but if you need an expedition tent that can withstand almost all weather conditions, save yourself some hassle and get this easy to set up tent.

Pros
  • Easiest of all instant tents to set up and takedown
  • Features a dual-zippered entryway
  • It’s made with thick floor and wall material, which makes it ideal for harsh weather conditions
Cons
  • Because of the square design, snow accumulates on the roof, causing it to sink in the center
  • It’s a heavy tent, weighing around 40 pounds
Expedition Tent by Oztent

Expedition Tent by Oztent

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Choosing the Best Instant Tent

Instant tents have different features, some you probably didn’t even know you needed (or even existed).

For seasoned campers, the following guide might be a good review. But if you’re new to camping, or instant tents themselves, the following information will help you make a more informed buying decision.

Related: See What is an Instant Tent for a beginner’s guide to everything you need to know about this innovative type of tent.

Instant Tents Types

Today, there are so many different tent types and brands on the market – probably more than we could ever include in this guide. However, to help give you the most important information, we’ll cover the most popular instant tent types.

Cabin Tents

When you think about your tent requirements, if having enough space is the first thing on the list, then a cabin tent will be the tent category you should gravitate towards.

This instant tent comes with four walls that are almost vertical and gives you the most floor space. You’ll find that standing and walking around in a cabin tent is easy to do. However, the downside to this kind of tent is that they’re heavy; as such, they aren’t good to use if you’re doing backpacking camping.

Cabin Tent by Coleman

Cabin Tent by Coleman

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Dome Tents

These tents get their name because the tent’s top is typically shaped like a dome, which means that this tent is hexagonal, round, or similar. This shape can minimize the amount of floor space you have, but it can still feel roomy.

Dome tents are also great to have in the winter because snow doesn’t accumulate as easily on the tent’s roof.

Toogh Dome Tent

Toogh Dome Tent

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Pop Up Tents

Pop up tents are lightweight types of instant tents; these tents will pop up from the ground. They can also sometimes have a pole or automatic lift that you pull to help with setup.

Cabin tents typically aren’t pop up tents; however, several dome tents also operate as pop-up tents.  

Instant Tents Buying Guide

When it comes down to choosing between instant tents, there are some things that you should keep in mind to help you make the best decision.

Tent’s Purpose

The first thing you should do when you decide on buying an instant tent is to think about its purpose.

Do you have plans to camp regularly? Will you take your tent backpacking with you?

And so on. The answers are important when deciding the type of instant tent you should go with.

If you only plan on giving camping with the kids in your backyard, then you don’t need to go for the most expensive or most durable tent on the market. However, if you regularly plan on camping, you should think about spending extra money on the best instant tent available to you.

The Brand

You should consider going with a well-known and trusted brand of instant tents. This way, you’ll know that you’re getting the best instant tent available to you. Here are a few of the most famous instant tents brands:

  • Coleman
  • Core
  • Makino
  • KingCamp
  • Oztent

Usability

A perfect instant tent is an instant one. You want to find an instant tent that doesn’t require a lot of time to pitch and only needs a couple of people (or less) for setup.

Having easy to read and follow instructions are also great to have, along with pre-attached poles, both of which make setting up instant tents a breeze.

Tip: Don’t forget about the ease of taking down the tent. It’s nice to have an instant tent that will quickly fold back up.

Size

The size of instant tents is crucial to know. You need to ensure that the tent will be large enough for everyone in your camping group – and their gear!

Typically, the number of people that the manufacturer says can fit inside the tent means that you can fit one to two fewer people after accounting for all the gear.

Tip: If you have a lot of gear, find a model with a tent vestibule attached. A vestibule provides a space just outside the main tent room to store and protect gear.

Another good thing to think about is if you need to have enough room inside the tent to completely stand up or not.

Ventilation

If your instant tent doesn’t have proper ventilation, the inside can get swelteringly hot in the summer or spring months.

The vast majority of instant tents have some form of ventilation, but it’s the location, size, and number of ventilation ports that vary.

So, again think about how you will be using your tent. If you plan on camping in the warmest months out of the year, opt for an instant tent with lots of ventilation.

Windows and Doors

Some instant tents have a single entryway, while some have multiple. How many doors your instant tent has will depend on your personal preferences, although when you have multiple people inside a tent, an extra doorway is nice to have. Mesh-covered windows also mean better ventilation inside the tent.

Rain Fly

You should have a rain fly for your instant tent if you plan on camping in wet or damp conditions. Some tents have them, others don’t.

But, a rain fly is crucial to have as it keeps your tent (and you) dry, while still allowing for proper ventilation.

Price

Price shouldn’t be your main driver when it comes to purchasing instant tents. But, we get it, price is important.

If you are on a budget, luckily most of the best instant tents featured above are fairly priced, and come in under $200, with a few less than $100! For example, the Toogh 3-4 Person Dome Tent comes in at less than $100.

Toogh Dome Tent

Toogh Dome Tent

Price:
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Tent Seasons

Tent seasons aren’t referring to summer, fall, etc. Tents can be rated from one to five seasons; this rating helps you know what kind of conditions and weather the tent can withstand.

Most practical instant tents will generally be two to three season tents, which means that they can withstand moderate rain and wind. Four-season tents and up are better suited for cold, snowy, or stormy conditions.

Portability and Weight

If the instant tent you decide to go with is lightweight, it can be rotated and positioned relatively easily. If it weighs less than 15 pounds, you can also comfortably carry the tent inside its carrying bag.

However, heavier tents help ensure durability and longevity. It just means that you might need to be car-dependent on your camping trip. Or you can split the tent pieces up between a few people to lighten the individual load.

So, if you’re planning on backpacking with your instant tent, weight should be one of your top priorities because you need to be able to haul it potentially long distances and over rough terrain. Remember, the best backpacking tents weigh less than 15 lbs (with some as light as 3 pounds).

If you’re not backpacking, the weight of the tent might not matter quite as much.

The Takeaway

When it comes to instant tents, there are several things that you should consider before buying one. These include the tent’s size, the tent season, portability and weight, and even the usability of the tent itself.

What you want in an instant tent will depend on the type of camping you plan on doing. If you plan on regularly going camping and aren’t going to be backpacking, you can go with something a little more extravagant and heavier. But if you are going backpacking, you need to think in terms of weight and size.

There are so many instant tent options on the market today, but we listed six of the best instant tents. These include well-known names such as Coleman and Core, which have been around for years.

Choosing the best instant tent shouldn’t be difficult, especially if you know what you need and are looking for in an instant tent before you start shopping. We recommend you sit down and think carefully about what you want from your instant tent. Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and start narrowing down on the best instant tents available to you.

The six instant tents we listed above are some of the best options available right now, but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to just these instant tents.

So, if you’re looking for the best instant tents on the market today, hopefully, this article has helped point you in the right direction to finding the best tent for your camping needs.

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