Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself in 2020 – 6 of the Best Tents for Solo Assembly

Gear Tents

Sometimes you need to set up your tent solo – which is where our guide to the easiest tents to set up by yourself can help.

Whether you’re camping on your own or with a family, a quick and easy tent to set up is great, especially if you’re camping in the rain. There are plenty of tents out there that can be assembled with just one person – and we’ve found 6 of the best for you to look at.

Straight away, we’ll tell you that we really like the Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent. Read on to find out more about this durable, hard-wearing tent.

We also like:

Keep reading to find out:

  • How to find the easiest tent to set up by yourself
  • 6 of the best tents out there, including their pros and cons and what we like about them
  • Some frequently asked questions
  • Which tent we think is the best, and why

Let’s get going!

Table of Contents

  1. Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – Compared
  2. Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – What to Look For
    1. Ease of Setup
    2. Weatherproofing
    3. Materials
    4. Seasons
    5. Portability
    6. Size and Layout
  3. Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – 6 of the Best
    1. Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
    2. Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
    3. Moon Lence Pop-Up Family Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
    4. OT QOMOTOP Instant Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
    5. Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
    6. Coleman Instant 8-Person Tent
      1. Key Features
      2. Pros
      3. Cons
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Is it easy to set up a tent myself?
    2. Should I put a tarp under my tent?
    3. How do I properly pack down a tent?
    4. Are pop-up tents or frame tents better?
  5. To Sum Up – Which is the Easiest Tent to Set Up By Yourself?

Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – Compared

Feature
Best for Durability
Best for Couples or Small Families
Good Family Tent
Best on a Smaller Budget
Most Versatile
Best for Larger Groups
Model
Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent
Core 4-Person Instant Tent
Moon Lence Pop-Up Family Tent
OT QOMOTOP
Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent
Coleman Instant 8-Person Tents
Gazelle 22272 T4 Pop-Up Portable Camping Hub Overlanding Tent, Easy Instant Set Up in 90 Seconds, 4 Person
Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent - 9' x 7', Green
MOON LENCE Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4 Person Tent Portable Instant Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering
QOMOTOP Tent for Camping, 6 Person Instant Tent Equipped with Rainfly and Carry Bag, Water-Proof Pop up Tent with Electric Cord Acess, Light Weight Cabin Style Tent, Blue
Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent Backpacking Tents Hexagon Waterproof Dome Automatic Pop-Up Outdoor Sports Tent Camping Sun Shelters Provide Top Rainfly, Advanced Venting Design
Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent
$279.99
$218.50
$99.99
$88.50
$99.99
$309.99
-
-
Feature
Best for Durability
Model
Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent
Gazelle 22272 T4 Pop-Up Portable Camping Hub Overlanding Tent, Easy Instant Set Up in 90 Seconds, 4 Person
$279.99
-
Feature
Best for Couples or Small Families
Model
Core 4-Person Instant Tent
Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent - 9' x 7', Green
$218.50
-
Feature
Good Family Tent
Model
Moon Lence Pop-Up Family Tent
MOON LENCE Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4 Person Tent Portable Instant Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering
$99.99
Feature
Best on a Smaller Budget
Model
OT QOMOTOP
QOMOTOP Tent for Camping, 6 Person Instant Tent Equipped with Rainfly and Carry Bag, Water-Proof Pop up Tent with Electric Cord Acess, Light Weight Cabin Style Tent, Blue
$88.50
Feature
Most Versatile
Model
Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent
Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent Backpacking Tents Hexagon Waterproof Dome Automatic Pop-Up Outdoor Sports Tent Camping Sun Shelters Provide Top Rainfly, Advanced Venting Design
$99.99
Feature
Best for Larger Groups
Model
Coleman Instant 8-Person Tents
Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent
$309.99

Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – What to Look For

Here are a few things to look out for when you’re finding a new tent:

Ease of Setup

This is obviously going to be your first consideration. Broadly speaking there are two types of tents in terms of set-up: pop-up tents or frame tents. Pop-up tents (or instant tents) have an umbrella-style frame. The poles are pre-threaded and connected together, so usually, you just have to lay out the tent and pull it up in the center. 

Tent poles used for the tent structure

Frame tents take a bit longer, as they involve putting a series of poles together and threading them through the tent material. They can still be fast to set-up.

In terms of setting up on your own, larger tents may become trickier, as there is a wider surface area to work with. 

Weatherproofing

There are a few things to look out for in terms of how well your tent will protect you in bad weather.

You might see a measurement in millimetres – the hydrostatic head measurement. The number represents the depth of the pool of water that will collect on top of the tent before it starts to drip through. The higher the number, the more water your tent can withstand before it starts to leak. 2,000mm and above is a good number to look for, although not all tent manufacturers will advertise this.

There are other things to look for too. Sealed seams and covered zippers help to stop the rain from blowing in, which can be a problem in windy and rainy conditions. Most tents come with a rainfly. This is a cover that protects the inner tent. Sometimes this can be removed, revealing mesh walls underneath – great for hot days or just looking out at night.

Boy and woman talking, view from inside a tent

There are tent footprints too (a layer of material between your tent and the ground). Some tents come with a footprint that is specifically designed for it. If your tent doesn’t have one, a tarp can solve this problem, like the Redcamp Waterproof Camping Tarp.

Materials

Tent poles can be made of aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminium is cheaper and lightweight but may not be as durable. Fiberglass is very durable, but heavier to carry.

Tents tend to be made from one of the following:

  • Polyester – this is a lightweight, durable material. They will usually be coated in a substance like acrylic or polyurethane, to add extra waterproofing.
  • PVC – this is cheap, but not as durable as polyester. It tends to be coated.
  • Nylon – this is another cheap option, but prone to UV damage. It can also be coated for extra waterproofing.
  • Polycotton Canvas – this is a polyester/cotton mixture, which is also coated.
  • Cotton – Cotton tents are unusual to find. Instead of being coated, you can sit them out in rainy weather. It will leak the first couple of times, but the fibres will swell up and draw together, making it more waterproof. 

Seasons

Tents are good for different types of weather:

  • 1 Season – these are lightweight tents that are great for hot weather camping. They will leak in wet weather and may not be able to withstand windy conditions.
  • 2 Seasons – these offer a little bit of waterproofing but won’t be able to stand up to a downpour.
  • 3 Seasons – these are good for most types of weather. They have decent ventilation and waterproofing, as well as strong frames for windy weather.
  • 4 and 5 Seasons – these are harder to find and are designed for extreme weather.
Temporary tent accommodation for tourists who like nature located on high mountain

If you want to know more about this, check out our 3-Season vs 4-Season Tent comparison. Generally speaking, a 3-season tent is a safe bet. If you do get stuck in a sudden and unexpected storm, you should be able to stay safe and dry in a 3-season tent

Portability

Portability is something to consider if you’re tight on space, or if you’re backpacking. Check out the size packed to see if it will work for you, as well as the weight – some tents can be packed down quite small, but are still very heavy, so that’s something to look out for.

Size and Layout

There are two basic shapes of tents – cabin tents and dome tents. 

Cabin tents have straight walls and are good for taller campers as they offer a lot of headroom. They can be bigger and don’t stand up as well in windy conditions, because there is a greater surface area for the wind to blow against. Check out our guide to the best cabin tents for recommendations.

Dome tents are great for windy weather due to their shape. They tend to be quite lightweight and easy to put together, but don’t offer the same headroom as cabin tents. We’ve covered some great dome tents if you want more information on those.

Some tents come with detachable inner walls. This allows you to separate the space, which is good for larger groups.

You may also want to consider where you’ll put your camping gear. Although tents are advertised as being for a certain number of people, it can be a very tight fit at max capacity – it’s worth looking at the floor space so you can figure out where everyone will sleep, and if you will have room leftover for your backpacks, rain jackets, and other gear. 

Some tents have overhead storage, which is great for keeping bulky items out of the way. They may also have small pockets sewn into the walls for your valuables.

Easiest Tents to Set Up By Yourself – 6 of the Best

Now, let’s look at our top 6 tents that are easy to set up by yourself.

Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent – Best for Durability

Gazelle 22272 T4 Pop-Up Portable Camping Hub Overlanding Tent, Easy Instant Set Up in 90 Seconds, 4 Person

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Size:
    7ft 9in x 7ft 9in x 6ft 5in (ft)
    94 x 94 x 78 (in)
    239 x 239 x 198 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    8 x 8 x 67.5 (in)
    20 x 20 x 171 (cm)
  • Weight: 13.60kg/30lbs
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent is very simple to put together by yourself. All you have to do is lay the tent out flat, and then extend the poles to their full length, and that’s it. It normally takes less than 5 minutes to do on the first attempt, and you can figure it out even without reading the instructions. It’s easy to fold down too.

Size-wise, it’s a 4-person tent, and it has a good amount of floor space. It has overhead storage and large storage pockets sewn into the side. 

It’s a durable tent for bad weather. It has tough zippers that are designed to withstand a lot of use, and fiberglass poles which last a long time. The tent has a rain fly with taped seams, which can be removed if you want to look at the stars at night, and it keeps the rain at bay. It also has a removable floor which uses robust hook-and-eye loops to keep it in place. If you need to shake out the flooring (if you bring in sand or dirt), it’s easy to do. Ventilation is good too, thanks to the large windows and door.

The downside is the size packed – it’s on the larger size once dismantled, which is a bit annoying if you’re tight on space. That being said, it’s still one of the easy tents to set up by yourself.

Pros

  • Easy to install by yourself
  • Good amount of storage and floor space
  • Durable
  • Can withstand bad weather

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of room when packed down
  • Not as easily portable
Buy on Amazon

Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent – Best for Couples or Small Families

Core Equipment Core 4 Person Instant Dome Tent - 9' x 7', Green

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Size:
    14 x 9 x 6ft 5in (ft)
    168 x 108 x 78 (in)
    427 x 275 x 198 (cm) 
  • Size packed
    7.5 x 7.5 x 37.8 (in)
    19 x 19 x 96 (cm)
  • Weight: 6.73kg/14.85lbs
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Core 4-Person Instant Tent is really easy to put together. It’s almost instant, as the name suggests. All you have to do is unfold the tent and extend the poles until they click into place. It is really easy, even for beginners, and takes just minutes to do. It’s also easy to pack down again.

The tent is advertised as a 4-person tent, but it would be a tight fit for four adults. It’s better suited to couples or families with younger kids. It has storage pockets, an overhead storage area, and gear hooks. There’s nowhere to ‘hang out’, however, so if you’re a small family, you might prefer something that has a porch area.

It has good weatherproofing. Sealed seams and rain-resistant window/door seals keep leaks out, and it has a fully-taped rain fly too. It has great ventilation for hot weather.

It’s not a bad size and weight to carry around either, although there are smaller tents out there if you need a backpacking tent

Pros

  • Easy and quick to set up
  • Lots of storage space
  • Good weatherproofing 
  • Easily portable

Cons

  • Simple layout, with no porch area
Buy on Amazon

Moon Lence Pop Up Family Tent – Good Family Tents

MOON LENCE Pop Up Tent Family Camping Tent 4 Person Tent Portable Instant Tent Automatic Tent Waterproof Windproof for Camping Hiking Mountaineering

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Size:
    7ft 5in x 6ft 5in x 4 (ft)
    94.5 x 82.6 x 49.2 (in)
    240 x 210 x 125 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    32.7 x 7.1 x 7.1 (in)
    83 x 18 x 18 (cm)
  • Weight: 4.9kg/10.8lb
  • Materials – Polyurethane-coated polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Core 4-Person Instant Tent is good if you’re a taller camper and you’re worried a regular tent may not be long enough for you (check out our guide to the Best Tall 4-Person Tents for more of these). To assemble it, just pull it by the middle section and straighten out the poles. It’s easy to do even for one person, and it’s easy to pack down again.

It’s got a good amount of space. Although it doesn’t allow most people to walk around without ducking, it is long, at 7.5ft (94.5in / 240cm) – so most people should have enough legroom when they’re lying down. It does lack places to put your gear, however, with no overhead storage area. It has small pockets for valuables, but that’s about it.

It’s a decent waterproof tent. The outer walls have a hydrostatic head measurement of 2,000mm, which is great for water resistance. It has windows on all sides with the option of rolling up the rainfly to allow you to see out, and it has great ventilation. 

It packs up pretty small for a 4-person tent, which is good if you’re travelling around. It’s certainly one of the easy tents to set up by yourself.

Pros

  • Really easy to put together
  • Lots of legroom for taller campers
  • Good waterproofing/ventilation
  • Packs down small
  • Easily portable

Cons

  • Not much storage space
Buy on Amazon

OT QOMOTOP Instant Tent – Best on a Smaller Budget

QOMOTOP Tent for Camping, 6 Person Instant Tent Equipped with Rainfly and Carry Bag, Water-Proof Pop up Tent with Electric Cord Acess, Light Weight Cabin Style Tent, Blue

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Size:
    10 x 9 x 5ft 9in (ft)
    96 x 108 x 71 (in)
    244 x 274 x 180 (cm)
  • Size Packed:
    42 x 9 x 9 (in)
    107 x 23 x 23(cm)
  • Weight: 19lbs / 8.61kgs
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The OT QOMOTOP is great value for money, especially given the size. It’s easy to put together – just take it out of the bag, extend the poles, and pull it straight up in the center. It takes moments and is easy to do yourself. 

It’s a roomy tent. Although 6 people might find it a bit tight, 5 people should fit comfortably. It has a large room, with storage pockets, an overhead gear loft, and an e-port (a hole to feed an electrical cord through).

It’s not the strongest on this list in terms of waterproofing. Although it has coated polyester outer walls and sealed seams, some users said it leaked in very heavy rain. If you’re camping in an area that is prone to downpours, this could be a concern. It does have good ventilation, with a mesh roof and a ground vent. So, it may be better suited for warm-weather camping.

It packs up pretty small and isn’t too heavy, so ideal for space-saving.

Pros

  • Really easy to put together
  • Low price given the size
  • Good storage
  • Great ventilation

Cons

  • May leak in heavy rain
  • Not easily portable
Buy on Amazon

Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent – Most Versatile

Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent Backpacking Tents Hexagon Waterproof Dome Automatic Pop-Up Outdoor Sports Tent Camping Sun Shelters Provide Top Rainfly, Advanced Venting Design

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 8
  • Size:
    11 x 10 x 6 (ft)
    132 x 120 x 72 (in)
    335 x 305 x 183 (cm)
  • Size Packed:
    40.1 x 7 x 6.7 (in)
    102 x 18 x 17 (cm)
  • Weight: 11.8lb/5.35kg
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3

The Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent is good if you want a tent that can double up as a pop-up shelter. It’s really easy to put together: the poles are pre-attached, and all you have to do is lay it out flat and pull it up in the middle. Easy to do, even for beginners, and it takes less than 5 minutes.

It sleeps two adults comfortably. It has some small pockets, but no other storage, so it’s not great from that perspective. However, it’s versatile in that it can be used as a regular tent, or as a pop-up shelter. You can roll up the sides and leave out the flooring in order to use it on the beach or for a festival.

The weatherproofing is pretty good. The polyester is good at keeping leaks at bay, and it can withstand up to 15mph / 24kmh winds. It has great ventilation, thanks to the fact that you can roll the doors all the way up. It’s durable, too.

It packs up pretty small, so it’s good for those who don’t have a lot of space.

Pros

  • Easy to set up in less than five minutes
  • Can be used as a pop-up shelter as well as a regular tent
  • Good weatherproofing
  • Easily portable

Cons

  • Not much built-in storage
Buy on Amazon

Coleman Instant 8-Person Tent – Best for Larger Groups

Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent

Key Features

  • Sleeps: 8
  • Size:
    14 x 10 x 6ft 7in (ft)
    168 x 120 x 80.5 (in)
    427 x 305 x 205 (cm)
  • Size packed:
    48 x 15 (in)
    121 x 38 (cm)
  • Weight: 35.2lb/16kg
  • Materials: Coated double-thick nylon
  • Seasons: 3

The Coleman Instant 8-Person Tent is a good option if you want to travel in a larger group. It’s easy to put together despite the size – the poles are pre-attached, and with practice, you can get the tent together in 1 minute. It’s simple to pack down, too.

As you can imagine, it’s a spacious tent. The interior space can be changed depending on the situation – you can attach another inner wall to make two separate bedrooms (or a bedroom and a living area), or you can have it as one big space. It has enough room for 2 queen-sized airbeds. It has storage pockets sewn into the walls, but no overhead storage.

It’s a great tent from a weatherproofing perspective, with double-layered nylon keeping the rain at bay. It has welded floors and inverted seams to prevent leaks, and users say it holds up well in windy weather too.

As it’s a large tent, it’s heavy to carry, but it packs up into a small carry bag.

Pros

  • Easy to put together yourself despite size
  • Spacious
  • Versatile interior
  • Good weatherproofing

Cons

  • Not a lot of storage
  • Heavy to carry
  • Not easily portable
Buy on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Camping from orange and green tents on banks of river

Here are some commonly asked questions:

Is it easy to set up tents by yourself?

Yes, if you choose a tent that is designed to be easy. It’s always a good idea to practice before you go if you’re a beginner.

Should I put a tarp under my tent?

If your tent doesn’t have a footprint, it’s a good idea to buy a tarp to lay underneath. We like the Redcamp Waterproof Camping Tarp. This will give you a moisture-proof barrier to keep the bottom of your tent nice and dry.

How do I properly pack down a tent?

Practicing packing down your tent can be helpful, as sometimes it’s tricky to fold it up small enough to fit in the bag. When you pack down your tent, try to shake it off if it’s wet, and make sure to unfold it when you get home to allow it to properly dry before you put it away.

Are pop-up tents or frame tents better?

A pop-up tent (like those in our guide to the best quick set-up tents) is ideal for those who want to set up a tent quickly, but it does have the disadvantage of being a bit more fragile in bad weather conditions – the umbrella-style frame is thinner and more prone to breakage. A traditional frame tent (like those in our guide to the best 5-person tent) may take longer but is a bit more durable. So, it really depends on what you’re looking for.

To Sum Up – Which is the Easiest Tent to Set Up By Yourself?

Sun strikes ridge above Top Waitaha Hut with tents

As we mentioned, we like the Gazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent. It’s good value for money, as it’s made to last. It’s really quick and simple to set up and pack down, and it has good storage.

We’d also recommend that you check out the Toogh 3-4 Person Camping Tent if you’re after something quite lightweight and versatile. Or, if there’s a lot of you camping together, the Coleman Instant 8-Person Tent is a solid choice.

We hope this has helped you to find the easiest tent to set up by yourself!