Tents are probably older than houses as a mobile shelter and a home wherever you choose to pitch it. New materials and technologies revolutionized camping and led to the birth of the camper’s dream – an instant tent or a pop up tent that erects itself in under a minute. Finally, campers are free from the challenging task of erecting shelter with a construction kit of poles and fabric and mysterious connectors. A pop-up tent, well, pops into existence as a ready-made shelter with minimal effort from you.
1. Who Uses a Pop-up Tent?
Anyone can find a use for a pop-up tent. Pop-up tents are versatile and fun, and you can use them for:
· Backpacking – light, easy to carry, and sets up quickly.
· Day trips – beach, park, anywhere you need some shade and shelter.
· Kids sleepovers in the garden.
· Camping holidays.
· Play tent for inside or outside the house.
· Mobile hide for hunting or photographing wildlife.
When you have a pop-up tent, you will find it useful for everything from providing a private changing space on the beach to holiday accommodation off the beaten track.
2. Top Five Reasons for Getting a Pop up Tent
The five main reasons why people buy pop-up tents include:
· Fuss-free set-up – there is no messing with a pop-up tent; it erects in seconds.
· Affordable – pop-up tents are budget-friendly, making them the affordable option for attending events and going on holiday.
· Portable – a pop-up tent folds into a small package and is light to carry, making it perfect for a beach trip, a day in the park, or a week backpacking in the mountains.
· Ideal for new campers – a pop-up tent is uncomplicated.
· Safer with kids – no poles to remove and collapse the tent, and pop up tents create great indoor and outdoor play spaces.
3. Buying a Pop up Tent
A pop-up tent enhances your life, but it is essential to get the pop-up tent that suits your needs.
3.1 Fit for Purpose
If you want a tent for one festival or day trips to the beach, you need fewer features than for weekend backpacking in remote areas. You can get pop up tents for children’s indoor play or family-sized pop-up tents for a week’s holiday. How you need your tent to perform will determine your “must-have” features.
Most pop-up tents comfortably fit one or two people. You can buy larger pop-up tents, but you should consider a hybrid pop-up and traditional tent for stability or investing in multiple pop-up tents once you start getting beyond four people.
The people who can sleep in a pop-up tent (according to the manufacturers) does not leave room to move around and store their gear. For comfort, you want to remove one person from the list – for example, a pop-up tent for four will be comfortable for three and roomy for two.
A pop-up tent accompanying you on your backpacking adventures needs to be light and compact when folded. A pop-up tent that stays in the car until required does not need to be super-lightweight. Most pop-up tents weigh less than 10lbs because they use lightweight materials for the fabric and the supporting structure.
Nylon and polyester are lightweight and fold small. These are popular materials for pop-up tents. Not every pop-up tent is waterproof – you need to check the specification. The pop-up tent may have a water-resistant coating or be 100% waterproof. The higher-quality camping pop-up tents offer a waterproof exterior because this is essential for the regular camper.
Depending on your needs, you may find a water-resistant pop-up tent is adequate. A pop-up tent that provides temporary shade or shelter for a trip to the park in summer may not need extreme waterproofing.
3.5 UV Protection
Protection from the sun can be a higher priority in some cases. A UV reflective coating adds little weight to a pop-up tent but reassures you that it will provide safe shade for vulnerable skin – essential if you take your children to the beach.
Most pop-up tents have two large doors – often with a double layer – one mesh and one rainproof. The double doors make it easy to get in and out of the pop-up tent and give you ventilation options. Some pop-up tents add in windows (mesh with a rain fly) or ventilation near the roof.
Proper ventilation is essential to remove humidity and stuffiness from the inside of the tent so you can rest comfortably overnight or during the day.
A pop-up tent is light – a significant advantage when you carry it, but it can blow away in a breeze. As part of your buying decision, consider how you secure your pop-up tent to the ground. Some pop-up tents come with tethering loops and stakes; others expect you to use your gear to pin them into place.
3.8 Extra Features
Features vary between pop-up tents, but potential extra features include:
· Built-in pockets for storage.
· Awning providing a rain shield and shade for the entrance.
· Taped seams to improve waterproofing.
· Additional cap to provide overhead rain protection.
· Gear hooks for a lantern or fan.
The specific features you need from a pop-up tent will vary, but if you have a shopping list of desirable features, you can quickly match your needs to an affordable pop-up tent.
4. Looking After Your Pop Up Tent
Pop up tents are a single self-contained package but looking after your pop-up tent keeps it looking good and functional for longer.
Don’t use harsh cleaning chemicals on your pop up tent fabric because this may destroy any special coatings like UV-protection or waterproofing. Most dirt and debris should brush off with a soft brush. If necessary, you can spot clean with a damp sponge but avoid scrubbing the fabric.
The essential part of looking after your pop-up tent is to make sure it is dry and free from dirt when you put it into storage. After a night’s camping, you may need to pack your wet pop up tent into the carrying case to bring it home. When you get home, remove the pop up tent and let it dry and air inside and out before packing it away. Plus, make sure that the inside of the carrying case is dry and free from dirt.
Packing a wet pop up tent and leaving it in storage encourages the growth of unsightly mold, and you end up with a damp, musty smell that lingers. Spending time making sure your pop up tent and carrying case are completely dry before storing your pop up tent means you get many years of fun and use from your pop up tent.