If you love camping, but you hate having to spend a lot of precious time setting up your tent every time you settle down somewhere new, our guide to the best quick set-up tents is just the thing you need to read.
Quick set-up tents are pretty self-explanatory: tents that take a really short time to set up (less than 15 minutes, ideally). We’ve rounded up 7 of the best quick set-up tents out there, to save you even more time searching yourself.
To cut a long story short, we really like the Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent. It’s a roomy tent for a decent price. We also like:
- Coleman 3-Person and 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle for large groups, and
- Kelty Late Start for solo backpackers
You’ll have to keep reading to find out why we like them so much!
We’ll be looking at:
- An overview of the best quick set-up tents
- What you should look for when you’re shopping for a quick set-up tent
- An in-depth look at 7 of our favourites, including their specs, pros, and cons
- Some commonly asked questions about quick set-up tents
- Why we like our favorite tents so much
Table of Contents
- Best Quick Set-Up Tents Compared
- What to Look for in a Quick Set-Up Tent
- Best Quick Set-Up Tent
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Best Quick Set Up Tents Compared
Let’s begin by looking at an overview of all the quick set-up tents.
What to Look for in a Quick Set-Up Tent
So, what should you look for in a quick set-up tent? Well there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the set-up speed of putting up your tent, size and layout, seasons and weatherproofing and finally materials.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
An obvious point, but this is the main thing to consider. The tents we’re looking at today are not the best instant camping tents (instant tents use an umbrella-style frame which allows them to pop up quickly). Instead, they are traditional tents with poles which connect together to create a frame.
They are, however, all designed to be set up in around 15 minutes or less.
Tent manufacturers can do a few things to make set-up quicker – sometimes they use color-coded poles to make it faster to identify which pole goes where, or even pre-connected or pre-bent poles which can save you time connecting them together.
Size and Layout
You may think that fast set-up tents have to be small – that’s not necessarily true. While a smaller tent will have less material to feed the poles through, you can still get large tents that take less than 15 minutes to put together. (We have a couple of options on this list coming up, so keep reading if you’re in a larger group.)
Tents list their capacity measurements by person, i.e. 1-person, 2-person, and so on. However, it’s always worth checking the floor space to see if it will fit your chosen sleeping pads or air beds, and how much floor space that will leave you with.
Gear storage is a consideration, too. Some tents have overhead loft spaces for gear such as water bottles, which is ideal for getting your best travel jacket or backpack out of the way. Others have vestibules which are ideal for storing backpacks, shoes, and other equipment such as sleeping pads.
Finally, you may want to consider if you want a separate room for hanging out. Some tents have a zippered porch area which is ideal for sitting around in at night, especially if they have mesh walls – you can stargaze and keep the insects away at the same time.
Seasons and Weatherproofing
The other obvious thing to consider is how your chosen family tent for bad weather will hold up.
Tents are made for different seasons. Here’s a list of the most common types:
- 1-season tents are made for dry weather – any rain will cause leaks pretty quickly.
- 2-season tents are a little more waterproof and can withstand the odd shower. However, heavy rain or wind might cause some problems.
- 3-season tents are more versatile, offering ventilation for hot weather as well as some measures to protect you from rain and wind, like waterproof coating and covered seams to prevent leaks.
You can also get 4-season and even 5-season tents, but these are more expensive and unusual to find, and are aimed at people camping in more extreme weather conditions.
Most tents come with a rain fly, which can sometimes be removed completely. This is an outer layer which helps to keep your tent dry. Some tents come with a tent footprint, too, which will help to prevent moisture from seeping in from the ground.
You might come across the term ‘hydrostatic head measurement’ to show how waterproof your tent will be. It measures the depth of the water that pools on the roof of the tent in millimetres (for example, 1,000mm). This means it can hold that much water before it starts to seep through the roof of the tent. You might not always find this measurement listed, but it’s useful for giving you a rough idea of waterproofing.
Finally, you can consider the materials used. Here’s a list of the most common materials used to make tents:
- PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) – commonly seen in budget-friendly tents, these are made from coated cotton. It’s cheap, but not that breathable, which means you’ll have to have good ventilation to offset this.
- Polyester – durable and lightweight, this is a popular material for tents. They tend to be coated in polyurethane or acrylic to improve waterproofing.
- Nylon – also coated in acrylic or polyurethane, this is a cheap material but tends to suffer from UV damage if left out in the sun over and over again, so it’s not as durable as polyester.
- Cotton – cotton tents are harder to find. You will have to ‘weather’ them, which involves leaving them out in the rain a couple of times. This causes the fibres to swell and draw together, preventing future leaks.
- Polycotton canvas – a mixture of cotton and polyester, these are usually coated in the same way as nylon or polyester for extra protection from the rain.
The tent poles (or rods) are typically made from fiberglass or aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight and fairly cheap but may corrode or bend more easily. Fiberglass is more expensive and heavier, but it’s also durable and strong.
Best Quick Set-Up Tents
We’ve looked at 7 of the best quick set-up tents out there for you to consider.
Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent – Great Roomy Option
- Sleeps: 6
- Size –
Main Tent Area:
10 x 9 x 5ft 8in
120 x 108 x 70in
305 x 274 x 178cm
10 x 5ft
120 x 60in
305 x 152cm
- Size Packed:
24 x 12in
61 x 30cm
- Weight: 20.9lbs / 9.48kg
- Materials: Coated polyester
- Seasons: 3
- 6-person dome tent features a separate screen room for insect-free lounging and extra sleeping space
- Fast Pitch tent design sets up in about 7 minutes
- WeatherTec system and rainfly keep tent interior dry and comfortable
- Durable Polyguard fabric and strong frame designed to last season after season
- Measures 10 x 9 feet with 10- x 5-foot screen room; accommodates 2 queen-sized airbeds
The Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent is a spacious option, good for small families. It’s a 6-person tent, but even when at full capacity, it’s roomy. There’s room for 2 queen-sized air beds in the main room, and then there’s the screen room, which is great for lounging in. It has mesh walls, which is great for keeping insects away. Storage-wise, it has storage pockets (but no overhead storage loft), and it has an e-port (which allows you to pass an electrical cord through without causing any leaks when it rains).
It has mesh walls and window awnings, which is great for ventilation. You can choose to use the rainfly, which will keep you nice and dry. It’s not the best tent for extremely windy conditions – some unlucky users who were caught in a storm noticed that the poles were bent and damaged afterwards. You can use the pegs provided if you want to anchor your tent to the ground, or you can use it freestanding.
As you can tell from the name, it’s an easy set-up tent – the poles are color-coded and just snap into place. While it’s always a good idea to practice before you go, it’s really straightforward and fast, especially with practice.
- Nice and roomy
- Tent sets up quickly (in about 7 minutes)
- Lots of ventilation
- Separate screen room for more space
- Color coded poles make assembly very straightforward
- No overhead storage
- Poles aren’t the strongest, and may break or bend in windy weather
Kelty Salida 2 Tent – Good for Backpackers
- Sleeps: 1
8ft 3in x 6ft 8in x 4ft 8in
100 x 82 x 58in
254 x 208 x 147cm
- Size packed:
11 x 14in
29 x 36cm
- Weight: 3lb 14oz / 0.8kg
– Walls: Polyester
– Floor: Nylon
- Seasons: 3
- Backpack-friendly compact folding poles, Gearloft loops, Color coded clip and fly attachment.Wall material: 68D Polyester, 40D No-See-Um Mesh,Floor material: 68D Nylon, 1800 mm
- Roll top cube carry bag, Easy set up, Free standing, Fabric/mesh tent walls
- Kelty hug clip, Easy entry D door, Internal storage pockets, Fully seam taped construction
- Seasons: 3, Number of doors: 1, Number of vestibules: 1, Number of poles: 2, Capacity: 4
- Floor area: 55 ft² / 5.11 m², Vestibule area: 11 ft² / 1.02 m². Wall material: 68D Polyester, 40D No-See-Um Mesh,Floor material: 68D Nylon, 1800 mm
The Kelty Salida 2 is a dome tent, so it’s not the best for taller campers, as it doesn’t have a huge amount of headspace. It’s roomy though with a lot of floor space. It has a large door which can be opened all the way, as well as internal storage pockets. It lacks an overhead loft for gear storage, and it doesn’t have an e-port, either.
It’s a good tent for rain – the seams are coated to keep leaks at bay, and the nylon is pretty good at keeping the rain out. The downside is that it doesn’t come with waterproof flooring, so you’ll have to buy a separate footprint or camping tarp to lay underneath. The nylon could wear out quicker than other types of materials, as nylon is prone to UV damage, so it’s not going to be as durable as some of the others on this list. You can camp on any surface with this tent, as it is freestanding.
We think this is great for backpackers, as it folds up small – into a tiny cube, perfect for slinging into your backpack (such as the Teton Sports Scout 3400). It contains just 2 folding tent poles, and takes under ten minutes to set up – even if you’re not particularly experienced with tent assembly.
- Decent rainproofing
- Good amount of floor space
- Very lightweight
- Fast to assemble with just 2 poles
- Footprint/tarp will need to be bought separately
- Not as durable as other tents on this list
HIKERGARDEN 6-Person Tent – Best for Tall Campers
- Sleeps: 6
10 x 8 x 6ft 3in
120 x 96 x 76in
305 x 244 x 193cm
- Size Packed:
24 x 8.7in
61 x 23cm
- Weight: 23lbs / 10.43kg
- Materials: Polyester
- Seasons: 3
- 【Spacious- 6 Person Tent】- HIKERGARDEN 6 person tent is large enough inside for family outdoor adventure. With the dimension of 120 x 96 x 76 inches, the HIKERGARDEN tent is larger than the normal tent, which you can stroll in the large center section without stopping. 2 queen air mattresses or 6 sleeping bags are well fit inside. Camping tent for 6 person, an ideal family tent for outdoor camping site or car camping in all weather.
- 【Professional Waterproof & Windproof】- By professional testing, the HIKERGARDEN upgraded camping tent guarantees waterproof. Never makes you feel wet and uncomfortable on a rainy day. Our 6 person camping tent for waterproof, top rainfly is strong fixed with hooks and can never be blown away.
- 【Durable- Reinforced Steel Poles】- Engineered to be a stronger, more wind-responsive frame, all reinforced steel poles make HIKERGARDEN camping tent more stable on a windy and rainy day. Each camping tent is designed with a double layer. The high quality of the pole set makes sure it is much stronger than pop-up tents.
- 【Large Room Ventilation & Breathable】-Designed with Upgraded Ventilation System, this 6 person camping tent has 1 large mesh door and 4 mesh windows and it enables fresh air and a warm breeze to come in and out easily. Meanwhile, you could also enjoy movie time at night when projecting with your family members.
- 【Easy Setup & Portable】- Easy Install in 5mins and no particular skills needed. Thick and durable material and long nails at corners to make it stands well. Each package included a carry bag, making it much more convenient for you, and your camping trip is more delightful and comfortable!
The HIKERGARDEN 6-Person Tent is a 6-person tent, and it’s on the larger side (it’s able to fit 2 queen-sized air mattresses). It has a great amount of headroom – if you want to be able to walk around inside your tent without ducking, this could be a good choice. It has no overhead loft for storage, which is a shame, but it does have small pockets and an e-port.
It’s a good tent for most weathers, with good ventilation provided by the large mesh windows. You can also remove the rainfly if you want more ventilation, as it has a large window in the ceiling (which is nice for looking out at the stars on warm evenings). It has decent rain proofing. The tent has 1,000mm of water resistance – enough for a good amount of rain, although you may start to experience leaks in extremely heavy downpours. It has a strong frame, so it’s ideal for windy conditions.
It’s a straightforward process to set it up, with most people finding it takes between 5-10 minutes. It packs down small considering how roomy it is.
- Lots of headroom, so useful for taller campers
- Good ventilation and large window for stargazing
- Set-up is straightforward and it packs down small
- May experience leaks in very heavy downpours
- No overhead loft for storage
Kelty Late Start – Best for Solo Backpackers
- Sleeps: 1
7ft 8in x 3ft 3in x 2ft 5in (ft)
85 x 40 x 30 (in)
216 x 102 x 76 (cm)
- Size packed:
15 x 7 (in)
38 x 18 (cm)
- Weight: 3.7lbs / 1.7kg
Rainfly: 1,800mm Polyester
Floor: 1,800mm Polyester
- Seasons: 3
- Updated Version of Kelty Salida Tent
- The tent measures 85” x 40” x 30”, giving you an interior area of 20. 6 square feet. The peak height is 36. 5 inches. There is a single vestibule protecting 6. 4 square feet of storage space.
- The two aluminum poles are pre-bent to create extra room inside the tent. Pockets at the corners of the tent keep one end of the pole secure as you move around to deal with the other end.
- The tent has a single door. The walls are No-see-um mesh and the floor is tough 68 denier fabric, water resistant to 1800 mm. Internal storage includes a ceiling pocket.
- The tent body is protected by a waterproof 68 denier rainfly. All seams are sealed to keep the water out. The freestanding design means you can pitch the tent and then move it around to find the best site.
The Kelty Late Start is ideal if you’re a solo backpacker and you want a small, lightweight tent. It’s a dome tent, with just the right amount of room for 1 person, with a vestibule for gear storage and small pockets.
It’s pretty good in terms of waterproofing – the rainfly extends all the way to the ground, and it has sealed seams meaning you should be protected against leaks. It doesn’t have a footprint, which is a shame – this means you’ll have to buy one separately (or use a tarp instead). The ventilation is good, as the walls are completely mesh without the rainfly.
The setup is described as ‘lightning fast’, and the poles are pre-bent to make it even easier. Again, this makes it perfect for backpackers, as you should be able to set it up even in the dark. It’s lightweight and folds up very small.
- Decent amount of space for 1 person
- Great weatherproofing
- Lightweight to carry
- Very fast and simple set-up
- Footprint isn’t included
Coleman Sundome – Great All-Rounder
- Sleeps: 2
7 x 5 x 4 (ft)
84 x 60 x 48 (in)
213 x 153 x 122 (cm)
- Size packed
24 x 6 (in)
61 x 15 (cm)
- Weight: 8.8lbs/3.99kg
- Materials: Coated double-thick nylon
- Seasons: 3
- Dome tent with a sturdy frame that withstands 35+ mph winds
- Easy setup in only 10 minutes. Good for backpacking
- Weathertec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
- Large windows and a ground vent for superior ventilation
- Measures 7 x 5 feet with 4-foot center height
The Coleman Sundome is a dome-shaped tent. It has no overhead storage locker, but it does have storage pockets sewn into the walls. The tent has an e-port, which is great. It will be a tight squeeze for 2 people, which is something to consider. This tent would work really well as a spacious 1-person tent.
The ventilation in this tent is great, thanks to the large windows and ground vents (this encourages warm air to move up and out, keeping you cooler). It’s treated with Coleman’s WeatherTec system, which is a waterproof coating. That, combined with the double-thick nylon, should keep the rain at bay. The seams are sealed to prevent leaks that way, too.
It’s a very fast tent to set up – under 10 minutes – and it’s also very easy to pack down, too. We should also mention that it’s a very popular tent, currently Amazon’s #1 best seller in its category.
- Lots of ventilation
- Good for rainy weather
- Very fast to set up and pack down again
- Small for a 2-person tent
- Doesn’t have overhead storage
Coleman 3-Person and 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle – Good for Large Groups
- Sleeps: 3
- Size of 6-Person Tent:
12 x 10 x 6ft 3 in (ft)
144 x 120 x 76 (in)
366 x 305 x 193 (cm)
Size of 3-Person Tent:
8 x 6 x 4ft 8 in (ft)
96 x 72 x 57.6 (in)
244 x 183 x 146 (cm)
- Size packed:
8 x 13 x 36 (in)
20 x 33 x 91 (cm)
- Weight: 47.9lbs/21.72kg
- Materials: Coated polyester
- Seasons: 3
- PART OF CONNECTING TENT SYSTEM: Zip compatible tents together to keep growing families, groups of friends, and excess gear connected; starter bundle of 2 connectable tents
- FULLY ENCLOSED CONNECTION POINTS: Offer ample height for ease of movement and privacy doors between connected tents; 3-person tent has 1 connection point; 6-person tent has 3 connection points
- QUICK AND EASY SETUP: Fast Pitch system shortens setup time with pre-attached poles and hub, fast-fit feet, and snag-free Instar-Clips to secure tent to poles in a snap
- CAMPERS AND GEAR STAY DRY: Weather Tec system's welded floors and inverted seams help keep water out; strong frames are factory tested to withstand winds of 35+ mph
- EASY ACCESS TO ELECTRICAL POWER: Bring extension cord inside tents through convenient E-Ports
The Coleman 3-Person and 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle is an interesting, flexible option. Each tent can be connected via zippers, and as long as you pick tents from the same line, you can connect more together in different configurations. This is ideal for larger parties, or 2 or more families wanting to camp together – you could have 2 small tents for the kids and 2 larger tents for the parents, for example, and have them connected together. The doors can be zippered up all the way for privacy between each tent.
They have small storage pockets and zippered e-ports, which is good, but no overhead storage.
It has good ventilation – ground vents and large mesh windows help you to stay cool, and also allow for impressive views – the large tent has a window on each side, meaning you can see outside clearly. It has good waterproofing with the coated polyester, but some users reported leaks in heavy downpours – so it’s better suited for warm-weather camping.
You may not expect this tent to be particularly easy to put together, but it is – both tents use Coleman’s fast-pitch system, with color-coded poles and simple instructions. If you’re a larger group and you want a group of tents you can set up quickly, this could be the perfect option for you. It’s a heavy tent, but it does come with a wheeled carry bag to make things slightly easier.
- Flexible with different configurations available
- Good ventilation and lovely views
- Uses Coleman’s fast-pitch systems
- Not the best rain-proof option
- No overhead storage
Clostnature Lightweight 3-Person Backpacking Tent – Great for Small Families
- Sleeps: 1-3
7ft 3 x 6ft 3 x 3 (ft)
87.6 x 75.6 x 37 (in)
223 x 192 x 94 (cm)
- Size packed:
16.5 x 6.3 (in)
42 x 16 (cm)
- Weight: 6lbs/2.72kg
- Materials: PU coated polyester
- Seasons: 3
- WATERPROOF&DURABLE: We offer limited LIFETIME WARRANTY. 210T Polyester rain fly&groundsheet with PU 5000 coating are firmer than Oxford fabric. Weatherproof material with factory-sealed seams keep you dry and comfortable in all season&all weather condition! Definitely a decent lightweight 3 person tent for camping or backpacking!
- SUFFICIENT SIZE&LIGHTWEIGHT: Ultralight 3 person tent! Interior Size 7'3'' x 6'3''x 3'11''. Weight: 6 lbs. Packed Size: 16.5''x6.3''x6.3'', easy to put in one’s backpack, easy to fit 3 people
- QUICK SETUP&COMPACT: Free-standing and two Aluminum poles design for lightweight hiking tent’s fast pitching. Easily setup by one person with no experience. This ultralight backpacking tent is compact and portable, also great for Hiking, Bikepacking, Kayaking, Mountaineering, Fishing or Car Camping
- EXTRAORDINARY DESIGN: Interior entire mesh walls designed to offer great ventilation, this ultralight hiking tent has 2 D-shaped doors and 2 vestibules on the side design provide convenient enter&out and extra storage for your backpack or shoes
- WHAT YOU GET: 1 x carry bag,1 x inner tent,1 x flysheet,2 x Aluminum poles,4 x ropes,12 x Aluminum stakes,1 x pole emergency repair kit. Every product you purchased has a lifetime warranty in material and workmanship defects. We also offer 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee, if you aren’t satisfied with it we’ll be happy to refund
The Clostnature Lightweight 3-Person Backpacking Tent is ideal for small families. It’s got just the right amount of floor space for 2 adults and 1 child. It has vestibules on the side to store gear, and pockets sewn into the walls.
It’s great in terms of rain proofing – the rainfly and groundsheet are coated for extra waterproofing, and it has factory sealed seams. The inner walls are mesh, which is great for ventilation. The 1 downside is that the tent poles are prone to rusting. After a while, they may need replacing, and it’s worth checking them over after each trip.
The poles snap together easily, and the instructions are really straightforward. With 2 people, it should take around ten minutes to set up. It’s also fairly lightweight, which is great for backpacking.
- Storage vestibules are handy
- Good ventilation
- Good rainproofing
- Fast to set up with 2 people
- Poles can get rusty, so may need to be replaced
Frequently Asked Questions About Quick Set-Up Tents
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding quick set-up tents that you might want to read up on.
If you have a question you would like us to answer, please write in the comment section below.
What is the advantage of a quick-set up tent over an instant tent?
The tents on this list are a bit different than instant camping tents – instant tents are made with an umbrella-like frame, which you can pop up in seconds. The tents on this list are more like traditional tents. The advantage of the tents on this list is that they’re durable – they’re made from strong, sturdy poles. Instant tents can break in very windy conditions, and it’s more difficult to repair them.
Can 1 person put up a tent?
Absolutely! 1 person can put up a tent, especially smaller tents (like 1 or 2-person tents). Larger tents are easier to put together with 2 people, as there’s so much material to work with.
What should I do before I use my new tent for the first time?
Ideally, you should set up your tent in your home or garden before you go, to give you an idea of how it works (and to troubleshoot any issues you might have). The more you practice, the quicker it will be to set up your tent for real – which is perfect if you arrive in the middle of a thunderstorm!
How do I care for my tent after my trip?
When you get home, you should lay out your tent and allow it to dry completely. Any hidden damp spots could get mouldy if you leave it, so it’s important to make sure it’s dry. You can also check the poles for any bending, breakages, or rust, and check the material for any tears, to save you hassle when you next come to use it.
Our Final Thoughts
As we mentioned in the intro, we really like the Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent. It’s roomy, but still quick to set-up. If you want a bit of room to stretch out and relax, it’s a great choice.
For larger groups, we’d definitely recommend the Coleman 3-Person and 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle. Just be careful about the weather. We also like the Kelty Late Start for solo backpackers – it’s lightweight, it folds down small, and it takes minutes to set up.
If you’ve used any of these quick set-up tents, we’d like to hear your thoughts – leave us a comment with your experiences!