How to choose the best popup family tent and quick setup family tent for camping, the beach, and outdoor shade + best buys. Updated Dec 2020
Popup tents are really handy when you want to set up shelter fast and when you are camping with kids, easy of set up is half the battle!
Family popup tents are a great solution for family camping and some models are also useful for other uses such as creating shade in the garden and protect you and your kids from the sun on the beach.
This is our guide to picking the best family popup tent and the best popup tents for families you can get online.
By the end of the article, I am pretty sure you will agree with us they are a must have item to add to your family camping packing list!
Gift idea! Some of these tents make a lovely gift for camping lovers! Find all our favorite camping gifts here.
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Best popup family tent chart
|Name/Brand of popup tent||Type||N. of people|
|Coleman Camping Cabin||Instant Cabin||Up to 4|
|Hewolf Popup Family tent||Popup one room tent||Up to 4|
|Mobihome 6 Person Tent Family||Instant tent||Up to 6|
|Moon Lence Popup Family tent||Large Popup Ten||Up to 4|
|Coleman Steel Creek||Popup dome tent||Up to 6|
|Quechua 2 second popup tent||Popup tent||2 people|
|Gazelle T4 Plus||Instant Camping Hub||Up to 8|
|Regatta Malawi Popup tent||Popup tent for garden||2 people|
|Outdoor master popup tent||Beach popup tent||3-4 people|
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Advantages of a family popup tent
Pop up tents are the easiest to set up. If you have ever found yourself struggling with cords, pegs, missing bits, instructions and a leaning tent, a family popup tent will be a breath of fresh air!
They come up easy and not much can go wrong, meaning you will get your camping quarters ready in no time.
Popup tents are lightweight. Standard family tents can be very heavy, so heavy in fact that they can be a problem to move around, impossible to bring on a plane and just unpleasant to carry. Popup tents tent to weigh a fraction of standard ones and they are the best type of tent for travel.
Family popup tents fold much smaller than most other camping tents, making them easy to store in the trunk of the car.
When traveling with kids, the tank of the car is likely to be so full, the least amount of space the tent can take, the better!
What to look for when choosing a family popup tent
When choosing a popup tent, I looked at the following characteristics:
The first thing to look for when choosing a good family pop up tent is the use you intend for it.
If you are choosing a popup tent for family camping, you need a resistant one that can take heavy use of being your main shelter and can take some weather battering.
Good to know: popup tents are not great for extreme winds or weather conditions so if you are a very adventurous family especially, make sure you check carefully all the specs when picking the best one for camping adventures.
When picking a family popup camping tent, also check extra specs like insect barriers, blackout materials etc.
If you are buying a popup tent for the beach, you need it one that can provide sun protection and privacy. Make sure the material is suitable for heavy sun and check if you can close them with a zip, if you want them to be a portable changing cabin for you and your kids.
If you are looking for a popup tent for the garden, you can be a little less strict with what you look for however, you still want your tent to match all tent safety standards. Always check exact specs, especially if you are getting the popup tent with the idea of having the kids in the garden unsupervised.
All tents are marked with the number of people they are suitable for but this is only a general indication, usually based on the number of people who can sleep in a tent, in pretty closed quarters.
When buying a camping popup tent for a family, also look for:
Can you stand in it? If you want your tent to be the main camping home for you family for more than one night, this can be important
Do you have extra space, aside from the sleeping area? If you are camping with kids, chances are you want some space to store your stuff, a sheltered area for evening games with kids and possibly even a changing area if you have a baby or toddlers.
Will your camping bed fit in it? If you are sleeping on popup mattresses or camping mats, then the space they take is minimal but if you have kids camping beds, then you need additional floor space: consider your own circumstances when picking the best popup tent for your family, no matter what size specs the tent officially meets.
Has it got outdoor space? A little bit of sheltered outdoor space is a great thing to have if you are camping with kids: you can used it for sitting, meals and it just makes the whole tent feel more spacious.
This is also a lovely area to set up cool lighting and make the space look and feel cozy. You can find some cool camping lighting ideas for tents here.
Most popup tents are made of a lightweight material such as polyester.
This makes them super handy to carry around and adds to the convenience of the popup tent concept however, it sometimes comes with a disadvantage.
Not all lightweight tents are waterproof or windproof!
After a disastrous stormy night in County Clare in Ireland with the wind howling and rain battering on our tent (yes, waterproof, so at least we didn’t get wet!), I can testify good material suitable for the type of weather is paramount!
Another thing I like to have in a good popup tent is ventilation.
My favorite way to guarantee a good flow of air in our tent is to make sure that is has windows on more than one side, so you can have the kit flowing even when the front door is zipped up, for instance at night.
When you look at tent windows, make sure they have netting to protect you from insects and crawlers and check if they have an option of blackout material when closed.
Ease of set up/ take down
Popup tents are easy to set up but not all equally easy to fold back in their carry case.
When choosing the best popup tent for our camping gear, I read all the reviews and watch as many info videos as possible to make sure the tent was actually easy to unfold and fold, as packing the tent back up is always a bit of a nightmare!
Whatever popup tent you end up going for, make sure it is dry and as clean as possible when you fold it to prevent mould and damage.
Best family popup tents for camping and instant camping tents
This is our shortlist of the best popup tents for camping and best instant cabins for family camping camping trips
Coleman camping tent with instant setup – small cabin tent for up to 4 people
This Coleman Cabin instant tent is a great instant tent for smaller families.
The instant tent is super easy to set up and particularly suitable for families who want an easy and no frill option for shorter camping trips or camping in the garden.
The tent is rain and wind resistant and has several windows for ventilation.
The tent is smaller than others both in terms of width and head heigh and we found it particularly good for families with one child.
This is a good entry level popup tent for families if you are planning on the occasional weekend camping trip and want to experience the simplicity of a family popup cabin.
Some specs (find full specs from the seller here)
- 4 people tent (albeit on the smaller size)
- Instant set up (about 1 minute, it’s great for simplicity of setup!)
- Size: 8 x 7 ft., 4 ft. 11 in center height. Fits 1 queen-size air bed
Hewolf Family Tent: 3-4 Person Instant Camping Tent-Pop-Up
Another good solution for families with one child or small children who are happy with a basic yet comfy set up is this Hewolf popup up family tent.
Easy to set up, the tent is great for basic family camping and it is also a great garden tent for the kids: it opens up super easy, it is rain proof and it has good ventilation thanks to 2 mesh doors, 2 mesh windows, good for keeping out insects too.
The tent literally pops open so it takes no time to setup and it has a flap to create a little bit of shaded are at the front.
In terms of folding, it folds flat and fits in a round carry bag, easy to store and carry.
This is the best family popup tent for ease of set up.
Some of its main specs (find more here):
- Instant popup tent for 3-4 people
- 1 second popup setup
- Size: 102.3in x 41.3 in x 59in
- 190T Polyester fabric shell. Poles: Fiberglass, 8.5mm diameter
Mobihome 6 Person Tent Family
If you are buying a tent for a larger family then you should consider this Mobihome instant tent for families that can take up to 6 people.
The tent open like an umbrella and it is ready in a matter of seconds, the poles putting it and keeping it in place easily. Unlike full popup tents, this does requite a little bit of assemble, which comes with its size, and offers a nice sleeping space inside, thanks to a longer shape.
The tent has one room inside, has excellent ventilation, which you want when sleeping multiple people and kids adore it as it feels very much like a den!
The tent is not particularly high in the center so it is mostly a sleeping solution for camping weekends.
Moon Lence Popup Family Camping tent for 4 people
This Moon Lence family popup tent caught my attention for its shape, which makes it taller than others on this list and more like a little house than a tunnel tent.
the tent opens up in seconds with an umbrella style system and has excellent ventilation thanks to large openings: this is one of the things I love the most about its tent and a great one for kids, since running in and out of it is a breeze!
The tent folds easily and very small so you can easily fit its carry bag in the trunk of the car and it posed no issues with carrying it.
Some of its main specs are (find more specs and price here):
- Instant popup family tent
- Material: polyestere
- Size: 240*210*125cm (94.5*82.6*49.2in)
- 2 Large doors with dual zippers plus 2 ground vents
- Rain and UV resistant
Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room, 6-Person family tent – best popup family tent if you want two separate areas
Another good easy to set up family tent that sleep larger families is the Coleman Steel Creek which I love because it is one of the few that comes with a separate lounge room, a huge plus when camping with kids!
This is not a popup tent as such as does require assembly hovever, it is a fast pitch one that comes up in minutes. Like others on this list, it is windproof and rain proof, it has good ventilation and nice netting to keep insects away.
This tent has enough space to fit 2 queen-size airbeds and it is roomier than others on this list.
I find that the convenience of the space inside the tent and the separate area makes up for the couple extra minutes it takes to set this tent up and this is why I have included it in this list.
Some of its main specs (find more specs and price here):
- Size: 26 x 10 x 10 inches; 19.01 Pounds
- Fits: up to 6 people
- Rain proof zippers and seams
- Wind resistant
- Waterproof floor
Quechua 2 second popup camping tent – bests secondary popup tent for kids
2 people popup tents are amazing when camping with kids either as secondary tent for playing or for extra sleeping space if you have teenagers that make like to have their own space during the day / evening or want to sleep in their own tent.
If your family can do with a camping set up with more than one tent, one of the best popup tent we found is this one by Quechua.
The Quechua 2 second pop up camping tent caught my attention for the ‘2 seconds’ in the name, the fact that it comes for a well known outdoor brand we use and like.
I also notices that it is waterproof, which makes it stand out from many other in the same category, it has very good ventilation, and it has good blackout fabric (handy if you are in a place with long daylight hours like Iceland in summer or Ireland) and when we saw it in action it really is super easy to set up!
- Super easy, 2 seconds assembly
- Blackout materials
- Good ventilation
- Rain proof and windproof
- Weight: 6.83 Pounds
Gazelle T4 Plus instant family popup camping tent – best popup family tent for tall campers and families who want large spaces
If you are looking for family size popup tents that can offer a significant amount of head room as well as sleeping are, the you should consider the Gazelle T4 Plus.
Unlike almost any other family tents in this list, this instant tent has the shape of an actual house, meaning you don’t have to crawl in or bend down as much as with a tunnel or even a small dome tent.
This is a quick set up family tent that takes up to 8 people and can be easily divided in to more than one area, which is fantastic if you want to separate sleeping sections of create a separate lounge area.
It has convenient flaps to create extra space outside has great windows to guarantee ventilation.
This is one of the best instant tents for families and the 90 second setup is hard to believe when looking at the space you get once the tent is up!
- Size:: 94″W x 168″L x 78″H; Collapsed: 11”W x 11”H x 63”L;
- Floor Space: 110 sq. ft.
- Weigth: 47lbs
- Material: polyestere; all-metal hubs and solid fiberglass poles, resistant zippers for heavy family use
Best popup tent for kids and backyard camping
Regatta Malawi popup tent – perfect tent for backyard camping
The Regatta Malawi outdoor popup tent is a 2 people tent that sets up in seconds. You get it out of its carry case and simply pops up done for you.
It is a nice, small tent that comes in several colors and we love it for the kids, who can set it up in the garden and play in and out of it in no time.
Best family popup tents for the beach
Outdoor master popup beach tent 3-4 people
If you are shopping for a popup beach tent rather than a camping or sleeping tent, then you may like the Outdoor Master Popup Tent.
This popup shelter is made for the beach and comes with UV sun protection and a floor that you can easily zip up to get full privacy while getting changed etc.
This beach tent is super easy to set up and can be placed on sand but also on grass since it comes with it own stakes.
The windows have removable;e shades so you can decide how much sunlight you want coming in.
Best popup beach tent for baby
If you don’t need a tent for the whole family but rather a beach tent to protect your baby from sun and wind (or sand, if you have a baby like mine who simply could not stand it!), then you should consider the Glymnis baby beach tent.
It pops up in seconds, offers sun protection and it has a floor that can take water (it is presented as a mini pool for baby) so if you don’t need to worry should water get spilled and you can use it to get them cool too.
This is a lovely baby tent for the beach and a great one to use in the backyard too!
Family popup tents and instant tents FAQ
Pop up tent and instant tent are terms often used interchangeably however, there is a difference. Pop up tents literally popup as you take them out of their carry case and require next to zero set up time. Instant tents, on the other hand, require minimal set up but usually do require some moneuvering with poles and strings. Both types of tents can be set up in minutes or less.
Popup tents can be a good choice when easy set up is paramount and camping with kids is one of those instances! When setting up camps with children around, not having to mess with hammers, potentially dangerous set up gear as well as having a shelter fast can make the different between a stress free start of your camping holiday and a messy one.
Popup tents are great for camping trips, camping in the garden and festivals. The specs of each tent are different and not all are suitable for harsh weather conditions: like with all tent, looking at specs for each vs the conditions you will use them is paramount.
I hope you found these top picks for family popup tent useful. Happy shopping!