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Pop Up Tents – How To Set Up, Fold And Choose One?

I love camping! There are very few things I find as satisfying as taking a trip into the lap of nature and enjoying the scenery around. I also find taking a breath of that fresh mountain/outdoor air invigorating. I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say everyone’s least favorite part of camping is setting up a tent. Imagine having to read instructions and figuring out which pole goes where after an interesting and oftentimes, tiring day hiking.

If you are the dutiful type and have practiced how to set up your tent before you go camping, you are still going to spend up to 30 minutes getting your tent up and running. Then imagine having to pitch a tent in the dark or bad weather. Grrr, doesn’t sound fun. But does the hassle of setting up a tent mean you don’t go out to enjoy the outdoors you love so much? The answer is a big fat NO and this is due to the emergence of pop-up tents.

Pop-up tents are extremely popular among outdoor enthusiasts because of the convenience they offer. As their name implies, they “pop up”. You just have to release the band so that the tent can unfurl and pop up on the ground. This reduces the time to set up a tent to a matter of seconds. No kidding. This is, in addition to pop-up tents being compact and lightweight, travel-friendly, and easy to set up by one person.

The convenience that pop-up tents offer is a hugely needed relief from the strenuous task of setting up camp tents. There are a number of factors you must put into consideration in order to choose a pop-up tent that meets your unique situation and needs. This article is about all the information you need to make an informed decision when buying a pop-up tent. Enjoy.

How to Set Up and Pitch a Pop Up Tent?

Setting up a pop-up tent is super easy. After all, that’s the most important feature that sets them apart from regular tents. To set up a pop-up tent, you just have to take the tent out of the carry bag and they “pop up”. That’s the method of setting up most tents.

Pop-up tent manufacturers also provide short videos to show customers how to set up their tents. After setting up the tent, you then have to secure it to the ground. Your tent will come with stakes and sandbags for this purpose.

How to Take Down and Fold a Pop Up Tent?

People usually get carried away about the ease of pop-up tents that they don’t consider the ease of taking down or folding them. My list of the best pop-up tents includes tents that are both easy to set up and take down.

Always make sure that your tent is dry before you pack it. The reason for this is to prevent bad odor the next time you use the tent. And if your tent is wet and you are unable to dry it, pack it anyway but open and air it when you get home.

That being said, to take down a pop-up tent, detach the guy lines and remove the stakes from the ground. The next step is to carefully remove the rainfly or tarp off the inner tent and then start to fold the tent. Grab the two poles on top that form arches on either side and secure them in one hand.

After that, grab the other two poles that run on each side of the bottom of the tent. With the poles in your hands, position the tent in such a way that the base is held vertically with the door facing the ground. Unzip the door to let all the air in the tent out.

You then grab the curved pole at the top and push it (inwards) towards the back. By now, you’ll have two circles on either side and you can easily slip one circle under the other and put the tent in its carry bag.

How to Choose Your Pop Up Tent

Size / Max Occupancy

Pop-up tents come in different sizes and the size of a pop tent will determine the number of people the tent can accommodate. While most tents are designed t accommodate 1 to 4 people, there are bigger tents that can accommodate over five people.

Note that the more people that can fit in a tent, the bigger and bulkier the tent will be. The size of the tent you go for will depend on whether you usually go camping alone, with a partner, or as a group.

As a rule of thumb, always go for a pop-up tent with one more person capacity than what you need. If you are going camping alone, go for a two-person pop-up tent. If you and your partner are going camping, go for a three-person capacity. This will provide more room in the tent for the occupants and their gear.

Weight & Portability

This is related to the size and person capacity of the tent. The smaller the tent, the more compact and portable it’ll be. Even larger pop-up tents fold neatly into a compact size that’s easy to store and carry especially if you own a car. Also, the carry bags of the tents are designed in such a way that they won’t take up a lot of space in the trunk of your car giving you more space to store your gear. Of course, if you are taking your tent on a trek, then portability is a priority!


The conditions outdoors can at times be unpredictable and it makes sense to go camping with a tent that offers protection against the elements. There’s always been something of a question mark over how weatherproof pop-up tents are because of their smaller and lighter design.

But there are great pop-up tents that have good water-resistance ratings. There are some that have been shown to withstand heavy rain. You can also place a rain fly/tarp above your tent and a tarp below your tent for extra rain protection.

It can also get windy outdoors and that’s why pop-up tents come with stakes and sandbags to help secure the tent to the ground. If you don’t secure your tent, it can be blown away by the wind.

Some tents are coated with UV protective materials to protect the occupants from the sun. UV protection is a nice feature to have in a pop tent especially if you’ll be spending time at the beach. Overall, UV protection is a good feature to watch out for when choosing a tent.


Proper ventilation is an important feature of all tents and pop-up tents are no exception. Go for tents that have large windows or ventilation flaps to allow proper airflow in and out of the tent. A poorly ventilated tent will be uncomfortable to the occupants and can even turn out to be suffocating.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for this guide about the best pop-up tents of 2023! As an outdoor enthusiast, I’m always excited about innovative gear that improves my experience when I’m in nature. And pop up tents are just one in a long list of innovative gear that will redefine your experience outdoors. Use the buying guide to choose a pop-up tent that meets your needs and enjoy camping like never before.

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