Instant Tent – Cabin Tent, Pop up, Canopy – Finding the Best


Comfortable and practical, Instant Up Tents are great for touring, a weekend away camping or an even longer stay. Suitable from four people to family size.

When demonstrating this tent at camping shows, we have seen a customer manage to assemble the inner in 5 seconds in a speedy trial. Of course to do this a few corners were cut, and the tent was treated rougher than you should treat your tent normally.  Then after the inner has been pitched, you must still peg the tent down, and throw over the fly.  So the total time is much higher, but by comparison to a typical dome or cabin tent you’re way ahead!

Instant Up 4 – The Instant Up 4 tent sleeps up to 4 people, but is best suited to a couple.  Due to the great frame design, you’re able to stand up in this tent.  This is sometimes not the case in normal 4 person tents.

Instant Up 4 – Gold Series – The Gold Series Coleman tents come with a heavier duty fly, and have an additional side awning.  This tent is a great choice if you’re looking for a more rugged, longer lasting tent.

Instant Up 6 – This tent is suitable for up to 6 people, or is well suited to 2 adults and 2 younger children.  Alternatively, if you’re wanting to sleep on stretchers or raised beds the extra space in the Instant Up 6 can be appreciated.

Instant Up 6 – Gold Series – This tent offers the same space as the regular Instant Up 6 but has a more durable fly and additional side awning.

Instant Up 8 – This tent is suitable for up to 8 people, but is best suited to a family of 2 children and 2 adults.  This tent will allow the parents and children to sleep on stretchers or other raised beds in addition to some room for bags.

Instant Up 10 Gold – This tent suits up to 10 people, but is best suited to 2-4 children who need more privacy and 2 adults.  This tent has a build in divider in the middle and is quite large.  It also offers a large awning out the front which can really help with providing cool ventilation during the day, making this tent great for naps.

Instant Up 10 Northstar – Is suitable for 2-4 children and 2 adults. The Northstar Instant Up 10 has a different floor layout, giving it a larger wider front awning and three smaller rooms rather than two larger ones found in the Gold Instant Up 10.


What to consider when buying an instant tent for camping


Knowing your purpose for buying an instant tent can make the process much easier. Since there are so many instant tents in the market, you can narrow down your choices using your purpose as your guide. Do you want an instant tent for camping, the beach, a festival, backpacking, etc.? Instant tents in the market also vary a lot, so when you identify what you’ll use it for, you can find one to suit it.

Knowing what you’ll use the tent for is important because it affects a lot of your other decisions. For instance, if you’re using it for backpacking and camping, you’ll probably want a tent that’s lightweight.


Size/Sleeping Capacity

The size of the tent is another important consideration to take. How many people will sleep in the tent? Do you have things you will place inside as well? Size matters a lot because it affects portability and comfort.



Carrying a tent in your car is no problem. However, if you’re backpacking and carrying it on your back, then you’ll want to reconsider the size and weight of your tent.



When considering the durability of your tent, you’re really looking at the pole material and also the fabric. Poles are usually made of aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. For fair weather camping, fiberglass poles will do fine. They are affordable, but a lot heavier and less durable than aluminum and carbon fiber.

Aluminum poles are light and strong. They are also the most durable among the three. Also, it’s easy to find a replacement should they break or get lost. However, for a lighter and stronger option, you can opt for carbon fiber.



Tents are usually good for three seasons or all four. Three season tents can withstand strong winds, but not snow. The walls usually have mesh material, which provides good ventilation and enough protection. Four season tents can withstand tougher conditions, including snow. They’re usually low and boulder-like in shape to help with strong winds and shed snow.

Instant Family Tents FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we get about instant tents that should help you in the purchasing process.

  1. What is the biggest difference between instant tents and traditional tents?

The biggest difference between instant tents and traditional tents is how they are setup. Instant tents will normally have everything already in place and attached to the tent. For example, your tent poles will come pre-attached and basically everything just needs to be snapped into place and the corners need to be staked down. Traditional tents require almost everything to be put together, which makes the setup process much longer.


  1. What is setup like with an instant tent?

Each tent is a little different in how it is setup, but they are all simple. You basically take it out of the bag, hold on to the center pole area, and unroll the tent. After unrolling the tent, you snap or lock into place all of the pre-attached poles. Most of the poles will expand to the appropriate size, and the corners need to be staked down. Rain flys can take a little additional time to setup. Due to the size of these tents, it is easiest if two people help setup, but it is possible with one person. At the bottom of this article we will link a YouTube video showing just how easy the process it!


  1. What are the biggest drawbacks to instant tents?

There are two major drawbacks to instant tents. One is cost. Generally speaking they can cost $100 or more than traditional tents that are similar in size. You are paying for that ease of setup. The other drawback is durability. With everything being pre-attached, it is not uncommon for a pole to snap or for a piece to break off. You need to be gentler with instant tents during setup and take down than you need to be with a traditional tent. In addition to this, getting a replacement tent pole is much easier for a conventional tent since it is in no way stitched in with the fabric or design itself.


  1. Are family instant tents different from smaller models?

Yes and no. The truth is they are related but the larger ones are a more recent addition. Most early instant tents were hoop tents or set up for one or two people who wanted a way to set up quickly and get the campsite up for the night. The larger models here mean that these tend to be a bit more sturdy and well built than the smaller ones, but they are all based around the same concept.


  1. Aren’t there any really cheap big instant tents?

One of the most important things to understand about these is that you are getting really high quality design that saves you time, frustration, and effort. Since the poles can’t be easily changed in and out since they’re attached to the design for these family tents, it is important for the companies to make sure they are high quality and don’t break easily. This is why these tents are naturally going to cost more and to be frank: if you’re looking for a large family tent you shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest option available. That’s just asking for trouble.

There's A Newsletter For Everyone!
Enter your name & email address, and start getting the best of in your inbox!