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Women setting up a camping tent by herself

If you're going to set up your tent by yourself, you need to purchase the right one. Many tents are a complete nightmare to set up without help, and you don’t want to start your camping trip feeling stressed out and exhausted.

The good news is that plenty of tents are a breeze to set up alone. In this article, I offer 25 suggestions for you!

Here are 25 tents that you can easily set up by yourself.

Easiest Tents to Set Up by Yourself - My Top 5 Picks 

The following 5 options are my favorite overall tents for one person to set up alone. Afterward, you will find sections dedicated to large family tents and then smaller tents.

I'm are sure you will find the perfect tent for you amongst these recommendations, but if you still have doubts, you can use the buyer’s guide at the end of the article to help you shop further afield.

Teton Mesa Tent

Best Overall
TETON Sports Mesa Canvas Tent
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02/17/2024 09:33 am GMT

Due to its outstanding quality, the Teton Mesa Tent is our top pick. 

This easy set up tent can be set up in 10 minutes without any help. The strong cross bar provides stability while the breathable canvas will keep you warm and dry in the rainy months and cool in the warmer ones. 

Every component of this tent has been manufactured with high-quality materials, from the double-stitched seams to the heavy-duty zippers and inner storage pockets.

This exceptional quality does come at a price, and the tent might not be affordable for everyone. 


  • Easy to set up alone
  • Cabin-style—standing room
  • Good for a range of climates
  • Breathable
  • Looks fantastic 
  • Heavy-duty and reliable


  • Heavy—can you lift 74 pounds alone?
  • Expensive

Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent

Best Value
Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent
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11/16/2023 02:52 am GMT

The Coleman 2 Person Pop Up Tent couldn’t be less similar to our top pick! 

It is a small 2 person tent that is lightweight and pops up in only 10 seconds. The protected seams, reinforced zippers, wind-strong frame, and waterproof floors will help keep you warm and dry in bad weather. 

Make sure you pop this tent in a large-enough space because once you release the strap it practically explodes out of the bag! 

A bit of elbow grease is needed to get the tent folded back down, so don’t be afraid to get in there with your feet or knees. Overall, the 2 person Coleman pop-up tent is a super-easy, decent-quality tent with an unbeatable price. 


  • Excellent value
  • Weatherproof design features
  • Sets up in seconds
  • Lightweight 


  • Quite a thin tent floor—use with a tent footprint
  • Not very spacious


OT QOMOTOP 4 Person Pop up Tent

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The OT QOMOTOP 4 Person Pop Up Tent is another super-easy pop-up tent that can be assembled in seconds. This one is larger than the Coleman tent I mentioned above, and it can fit one queen mattress or up to 4 people using sleeping pads. 

I love that this tent has plenty of vents and windows to optimize airflow, which will help keep you cool in the summer months and prevent condensation from building up on the inner wall. 

Make sure you watch the instructional video below before trying to take it down because a lot of users struggled before seeing this. Once you know what you are doing, it is quite simple to put away. 


  • Easy to set up in seconds
  • Great ventilation 
  • Windows open and close from the inside—don’t have to go out into the rain!
  • Can be packed down in one minute


  • Light-duty materials—can easily tear

Ubon Instant Cabin Tent 

Ubon Instant Cabin Tent - Easy Setup Tent
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11/16/2023 04:17 am GMT

The Ubon Instant Cabin Tent is a spacious 6 person tent that can be put up in less than a minute. To set up, simply extend the main pillar and then pull on the strings to open the tent like an umbrella. 

Taking it down is also simple, but fitting the tent back into the small carrying case can be a pain. I recommend that you get a larger holdall to go with this tent, as this will save you time and hassle when you’re packing down by yourself. 

This is a brilliant tent for summer camping, with UV protection and large mesh windows for ventilation. The door can be pegged out as a canopy for extra shade. 


  • UV protection 
  • Canopy area
  • Spacious
  • Easy to put up and take down
  • Great ventilation


  • Difficult to put back in the carry sack

Drop and Dan Durston Trekking Pole Tent 

Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Ultralight Tent
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If you’re planning on thru-hiking with your tent, you’ll need something a lot lighter and smaller than a pop-up tent. 

The Drop and Dan Durston Tent is perfect for a backpacking adventure. You set it up with your trekking poles rather than conventional tent poles, making it extremely light and compact. 

Simply turn your trekking poles upside down, place the handle on the ground, and extend into the fittings until the tent is taut.

This tent was created by an outdoor enthusiast who recently completed a 1500-mile thru-hike with his wife, so you can rest assured that the tent is expertly designed. 


  • Extremely lightweight (less than 37 ounces)
  • Easy to set up 
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Spacious for a trekking pole shelter
  • Made for thru-hikers


  • Relies on walking poles (not included)

9 Family Tents That Are Easy to Set Up Alone

I will now suggest 9 large family tents that are easy to set up by yourself. If you’re looking for something a bit smaller, you can skip to the following section

Mobihome Instant Dome Tent 

Mobihome Instant Dome Tent - Quick Setup
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11/16/2023 07:42 am GMT

The Mobihome Instant Dome Tent is a single-operation tent that can be set up in minutes. Forget wrestling with poles and scratching your head over complicated instructions.

All you need to do is roll it out, lock the poles, and pull the drawstring. 

The interior has enough space for 2 adults and 2-3 children to sleep comfortably, and the reinforced seams, taped rainfly, and water-repellant materials will help keep you cozy and dry. 

The only thing to bear in mind is that this tent could be difficult for a shorter person to set up. If you are below average height, you might need some help setting up the top pole. 


  • Easy set-up (if you are tall enough)
  • Spacious
  • The door extends as a canopy
  • Ventilated
  • Mesh roof for stargazing


  • Difficult for a shorter person to set up the top pole

QOMOTOP 10 Person Camping Tent 

QOMOTOP Camping Tent - Instant Set Up Within 1 Minute

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The  QOMOTOP 10 Person Camping Tent is designed with telescopic poles, making it easy to set up in just a minute. 

A ground vent and mesh roof provide for refreshing airflow, while its 3 mesh windows will let you enjoy a panoramic view of the scenery. This tent can be put up by one person without any problems, and the color-coding on the rainfly will help you save time and prevent confusion. 

This spacious tent will keep you dry in a passing rain shower, but the rain fly doesn’t come down to the floor, so it wouldn’t be the best choice for very wet weather


  • Great ventilation
  • Bug-sproof mesh windows
  • Internal storage pockets
  • Taped seams and protected zippers


  • Not the best for heavy rainstorms

Teton Sports Sierra

TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
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02/17/2024 10:15 am GMT

The Teton Sports Sierra comes from the same company that created our Best Choice tent, but this is a teepee design rather than a cabin tent.

Teepees (or bell tents) look complicated to set up, but they are actually really simple. All you have to do is open up the center pole and then peg out the tent walls.

The breathable canvas is perfect for all weather conditions, and the quality materials will last you for many years. 

Just as with the best choice Mesa tent, the Teton Sierra is heavy. So, while one person can easily set it up, you will need a reasonable amount of upper body strength to carry it and set up the center pole. 


  • Top-quality materials
  • Breathable canvas
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy to set up 
  • Looks great
  • Integrated bug screen


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Geertop Teepee

GEERTOP Teepee Tent - One Pole Easy Set Up Tent
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The Geertop Teepee is a lighter-weight and more affordable bell tent than the Teton Sports Sierra mentioned above. It is made from a polyester-cotton mix, so it is not as breathable as the teepees that are made from canvas. 

However, it is still easy to set up, looks great, and has lots of standing room. The door can be pegged out to provide a little shade, and the rainfly is both waterproof and UV-protective.

The fine mesh inner tent will shield you from unwanted insects, and the reinforced center pole is designed to resist rust. 

Overall, this teepee is an excellent option for people who want to head out on an old-school camping trip but can’t afford the top-of-the-range Teton alternative at this time. 


  • Easy to set up 
  • Looks fantastic
  • Waterproof
  • UV protection
  • Tear-resistant ground sheet
  • Great for tall people


  • Hard to get back into the stuff sack—I recommend that you store it in a holdall

Coleman Instant Cabin Tent 

Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup | Sets Up in 60 Seconds
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02/17/2024 04:45 pm GMT

The Coleman Instant Cabin Tent can be set up in just a minute. It has plenty of room for a blow-up queen mattress, but not much else.

The thick fabric is designed to last for years and the large windows provide great ventilation and sweeping views of your campground. 

The drawback of this tent is that the rainfly keeps the interior dry only when all the windows are fully closed, meaning that it gets hot and stuffy during wet weather. 

The Coleman Instant Cabin is a very popular tent, and it comes with a 1 year limited warranty, so you can purchase it with confidence. 


  • Quick and easy to put up 
  • 1 year limited warranty 
  • Lots of standing room


  • Ventilation isn’t the best on a rainy day

Hodlex Instant Cabin Tent 

HODLEX Instant Family Cabin Tent

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The Hodlex Instant Cabin Tent is a roomy 4 person tent made with ripstop polyester and lightweight aluminium doors. Two large doors can be pegged out as shaded canopy areas, and the outer wall is both waterproof and UV-resistant. 

Thanks to the pop-up system, this tent can easily be put up by one person. Mesh windows provide plenty of ventilation, and the lightweight frame is strong and windproof.

The only drawback of this tent is its pack-down size. It will take up quite a lot of space in your trunk, so make sure you have enough room for everything else that you need. 


  • 2 large doors 
  • Shaded canopy areas
  • Waterproof
  • UV-resistant 
  • Pop-up system
  • Heavy-duty materials


  • Takes up a lot of space in your trunk

Quick Up 6 Person Tent 

QUICK-UP 6 Person Instant Pop Up Family Tent
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The Quick Up 6 Person Tent is spacious and comfortable. It can be put up by one person in just a few minutes, but we recommend that you watch the setup video provided by Quick Up before attempting it for the first time.

This Quick Up model is a brilliant value for the quality, with a watertight tent floor, rainproof tent fly, and taped seams to help keep you cozy and dry. 

This tent comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1 year warranty, which is always reassuring when you’re investing in a new piece of kit!


  • Watertight floor 
  • Taped seams
  • Strong frame
  • Money-back guarantee and warranty


  • Not as easy to put up as some of the other tents I have recommended—but you will be fine if you watch the short video first!

iKamper Skycamp 2.0

If you are looking for a roof tent, I highly recommend the iKamper Skycamp 2.0

It will take a little time and effort to fit the iKamper when you first buy it. However, once the tent has been attached to your vehicle, you can pop it up and down in just a minute. 

Roof tents are the perfect option for adventure-loving families, and the iKamper Skycamp is built to last. The king-size mattress is big enough for 2 adults and 2 children, and if you mount it on your 4x4, the whole world becomes your playground. 


  • Built-in sky panels for stargazing 
  • Durable honeycomb aluminum flooring
  • High-quality fabric
  • Perfect for offroad adventures


  • Have to climb a ladder to reach the tent—not suitable for people with limited mobility or for some pets
  • Very Expensive

Decathlon Air Seconds Inflatable Tent 

Pop-up tents use prefixed poles that spring into place, rather than the standard collapsible poles that you must put together yourself. 

The Decathlon Air Seconds Inflatable Tent, on the other hand, does not use poles at all. Instead, you use an air pump to inflate the tent, so you don’t have to worry about poles snapping in the wind. 

The waterproof flysheet and durable materials are great for bad weather. The tent is also heat-resistant and filters UV light, so it’s a brilliant choice for summer camping. 


  • No poles—lighter and more durable
  • Heat-resistant 
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • UV-filtering 
  • Easy to set up alone
  • Windproof


  • Vulnerable to punctures

11 Smaller Tents That Are Easy to Put Up Alone 

In general, smaller tents are easier to set up by yourself. This is because you don’t have to worry about being tall enough to fix the poles into place, and you have less fabric to wrestle with when you set up the flysheet.

The following tents are quick and straightforward to set up, and they are lighter and more compact than the family tents that I mentioned above. 

Moonlence Instant Pop Up Tent

MOON LENCE Instant Pop Up Tent
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02/17/2024 09:23 am GMT

The Moonlence Instant Pop Up Tent is an affordable and durable pop-up tent. 

It is suitable for a couple with a blow-up air mattress or 4 people with sleeping pads and sleeping bags. The salespeople claim that 5 people can sleep in this tent, but we highly doubt that you would find this comfortable. 

This tent comes with windows on every wall, so you’ll have plenty of ventilation and panoramic views of your camping spot. The rainfly is waterproof and the windows open and close from the inside, so you don’t have to worry about going out into the rain to handle them. 


  • Pops up in less than a minute
  • Waterproof
  • Loads of windows 
  • Durable
  • Strong frame 


  • Not suitable for backpacking—too bulky when packed down

Nature Hike Vik 1 

Naturehike VIK 1 - Ultralight Backpacking Tent
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02/17/2024 10:56 am GMT

If you are planning to take a backpacking trip rather than car camping, the Nature Hike Vik 1 is a brilliant little tent that you can put up by yourself. 

This lightweight tent is waterproof and robust and has skylight vents to prevent condensation. The Vik 1 was designed with excellent attention to detail.

For example, you can use your walking poles to turn the tent door into a little canopy, and small magnets are sewn into the fabric to make coming and going more efficient in the rain. 

The lightweight poles are pressure-resistant and stable, and a free tent footprint is included to ensure that the tent lasts for years to come. 

For more information, read our in-depth review on the Naturehike Vik 1 here.


  • Lightweight and compact—great for backpacking 
  • Good ventilation 
  • Light color reflects heat
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Strong aluminum frame
  • Free tent footprint included


  • One-person tent—can feel cramped if you aren’t used to a backpacking tent

Hewolf Instant Cabin Tent 

Hewolf Instant Cabin Tent - Easy Quick Setup
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02/17/2024 03:17 pm GMT

If you are looking for something a bit bigger, you can check out the Hewolf Instant Cabin Tent. 

This is too heavy for backpacking, but it’s nice and compact for a back-to-basics camping trip with your car. The tent walls are waterproof and silver-coated to protect you from UV light.

Thanks to the locking pole system, you can easily set up this cabin tent by yourself. It shouldn’t take much longer than a minute! 

This Hewolf model handles wind and rain pretty well, and it’s a good tent for taller people because it has plenty of floor space. It’s not the best tent for cold weather, though, as heat is easily lost through all the vents. 


  • Super easy to set up alone
  • Great for taller people
  • UV protection
  • Waterproof
  • Loads of ventilation


  • Not good for cold weather 

Mobihome 3 Person Tent 

Mobihome 3 Person Camping Tent
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02/17/2024 12:04 pm GMT

The Mobihome 3 Person Tent pops up in seconds using the locking frame and drawstring.

The salespeople claim that it’s a backpacking tent, but I don’t think any pop-up tents are genuinely appropriate for thru-hiking. If you are hitting the trails, you will want a suitable tent like the Vik 1 that I mentioned earlier.

That said, this Mobihome tent is still lightweight and compact compared to the family tents I recommended in the previous section. It’s affordable, water-resistant, durable, and well-ventilated.

Overall, this is an excellent tent for a back-to-basics camping trip. 


  • Breathable micromesh
  • Reinforced taped seams
  • Instant quick-set-up design 
  • 1 year warranty


  • Too bulky for backpacking—misleading description

Coleman Sundome Tent 

Coleman Tent Sundome Dome
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If you appreciate a good lie-in, the Coleman Sundome Tent might be your answer. The awesome darkroom technology will keep your tent cooler and darker for longer in the summer months. 

The Coleman Sundome is not a pop-up tent, so it will take you around 15 minutes to put it up. However, the set-up process is simple, and you should be able to handle it without any help. 

Welded corners and inverted seams will help keep rainwater at bay, and the electrical e-port is handy if you have an electrical hook-up.

You can get this tent in various sizes, from 2 to 6 person capacity. The smaller the tent you choose, the easier it will be to put up on your own. 


  • Darkroom technology 
  • Easy to set up 
  • Electrical port
  • Storage pockets
  • Enhanced ventilation
  • Weathertec system 


  • Not the best for rainy weather—the rainfly doesn’t come all the way down to the ground
  • Not pop-up—will take a little longer to set up

Snugpak Bivi Tent 

Snugpak 1 Person Waterproof Bivvi Tent
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02/17/2024 06:27 pm GMT

The Snugpak Bivi Tent is an extremely lightweight wild-camping shelter that you will have no trouble putting up by yourself.

Bivi tents are designed to be as light and discreet as possible, so you will have only enough space to lie down. The natural color will easily blend in with your surroundings, and the high-quality waterproof coating will keep you warm and dry in the wettest weather. 

Only serious outdoor lovers will enjoy sleeping in a bivi tent, and you may feel claustrophobic if you aren’t used to a shelter like this. 


  • Camouflaged and discreet
  • Lightweight 
  • Waterproof 
  • Built-in mosquito net
  • Vent for condensation


  • Not very breathable
  • Cramped (all bivi tents are)

Napier Backroadz Tent 

Napier Backroadz Truck Tent
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11/17/2023 01:38 am GMT

The Napier Backroadz Tent is a truck bed tent that you set up in the back of your vehicle. It has some of the benefits of a rooftop tent, but you don’t have to keep it permanently fixed to the roof. 

Two large windows provide plenty of ventilation and the color-coded poles make the set-up process easy and straightforward.

Being raised off the ground can feel much safer in stormy weather, as you don’t have to worry about water seeping in from the ground. Plus, you’re elevated above insects and snakes. 

The Backroadz is a spacious and high-quality tent, with fantastic reviews from users. Just make sure to feed through all the poles before attaching any straps, which will help prevent any damage to the poles. 


  • Raised off the ground 
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Color-coded poles
  • Spacious
  • Rave reviews
  • Don’t have to search for flat ground—the truck bed is always flat!


  • If you have a lot of stuff in your truck bed, you’ll have to unload it before setting up the tent

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr Tent 

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent
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02/17/2024 03:17 pm GMT

The Alps Mountaineering Zephyr Tent is a great-quality 2 person tent that we recommend for use on the trails. For any thru-hiking, you will want to share the weight between packs. 

One person can easily put up the tent whilst their adventure buddy gets the campfire going, and there are 2 vestibules to store your kit out of the rain.

Though the tent is small, there are 2 separate doors, so you don’t have to climb all over each other to get in and out. This will create a feeling of spaciousness. 

There is ample headroom and a high-quality waterproof coating, so you can have a comfortable night of camping regardless of the weather. 


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up 
  • Two vestibules
  • Two doors 
  • Waterproof
  • Fantastic reviews
  • Limited lifetime warranty 


  • Too heavy for thru-hiking on your own—but would be fine for cycle touring by yourself

Geertop Pop Up Tent 

GEERTOP Pop Up Dome Tent - Easy to Setup
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The Geertop Pop Up Tent is stylish and practical. I think it’s the perfect tent for a festival!

You can easily pop it up in 2 minutes, and the breathable tent wall will prevent condensation and provide a cooling breeze. The rainfly is printed with jungle leaves, so you will stand out in a crowd. 

This attractive Geertop tent will protect you in light rain, but it isn’t designed to hold up in serious wet weather.

Overall, it is the perfect size for a couple of friends at a music festival or camp-out party, and the eye-catching design is sure to stand out. 


  • Beautiful rainfly print
  • Breathable
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Spacious


  • Not good for very wet weather

Fastcamp Mega5

FASTCAMP Mega5 Pop Up Camping Tent
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The Fastcamp Mega5 is a nice-looking pop-up tent with large windows. 

It is easy to put up in seconds, and it has a separate space where you can keep shoes and kit. The mesh screens will protect you from mosquitos and there’s a helpful inner hook where you can hang your camping lantern. 

The Mega5 is a fair-weather tent, but it’s affordable and attractive, so it’s definitely worth considering for the warmer months. 


  • Instant-pop-up design 
  • Looks great
  • Mosquito screens
  • Kit storage area 


  • Only for fair weather 
  • A bit tricky to take back down

Quechua 2 Seconds Tent 

The Quechua 2 Seconds Tent is a pop-up tent designed by Decathlon. 

This tent is much smaller than the inflatable Decathlon tent that we mentioned in the previous section, but it is also more affordable.

It is made using darkroom technology, which means that it blocks out 99% of sunlight. This will keep you cool in the summer months and help you get a better night's sleep without sunlight streaming through the tent wall. 


  • Darkroom technology
  • Waterproof
  • Heat-resistant 
  • Durable
  • Vents for airflow
  • Pops up in seconds


  • Pack-down size is too big for hiking or backpacking
An easy to set up tent pitched in the mountains

What to Consider When Buying a Tent That’s Easy to Set Up by Yourself 

If you have no idea what to look for when buying your easy-up tent, you are not alone!

This guide will give you some useful tips and pointers to consider before purchase. If you have any more helpful suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the end of the article.

Types of Quick Pitch Tents 

There are a few different kinds of quick pitch tents, each which is suitable for a different situation. I will break these down for you below so that you can make the best choice for you. 

Pop-Up Tents

There are two types of pop-up tents.

The first is the instant-pop-up, which comes packed down in a disk-like carry bag. All the poles are already assembled, but the tent is folded down and secured with a strap to prevent it from springing back open. 

When you release the strap, the tent practically explodes into the air and lands ready to use. All you have to do is peg it out.

These tents are normally smaller, suitable for around 2-3 people. Don’t attempt to open them in a confined space as they really do rocket out of the bag!

The second kind of pop-up tent uses a locking frame system and a drawstring. 

After securing the folded poles into place, you pull on the string and the tent pops up, just like you’re opening an umbrella. These are usually larger than the first type of pop-up tent.

They are also easier to take back down, as you don’t have to push against a tent that is trying to spring back open.

Drawstring tents can be a little more difficult for shorter people to set up alone, as you need to reach the top bar where the locking system typically sits. 

Bell Tents/Teepees

They may look a little intimidating, but bell tents (or teepees) are very easy to set up. 

All you have to do is lay them out, pop in the pegs, and extend the large central pole. Canvas teepees are excellent tents. They look brilliant, are nice and breathable, and can last a lifetime.

However, they can be pretty pricey, and big canvas tents are also heavy, so make sure you are strong enough to carry the tent to your camping spot alone.

It is possible to get teepee-style tents made from synthetic materials. They are much lighter than the canvas alternative, and they are still easy to set up with a single pole.

Inflatable Tents

Inflatable tents are a modern development in the camping world, but they have a lot to offer. 

They don’t have any poles, so they are lightweight, plus you don’t have to worry about poles snapping in heavy wind. They go up quickly with an air pump, and they are generally spacious and weather-resistant.

As inflatable tents are relatively new to the market, they are usually more expensive than the pop-up tents we are more familiar with.

Rooftop Tents

Rooftop tents are easy to set up by one person, but only after the initial installation on your vehicle, which can be time-consuming.

It takes only a couple of minutes to unfold them after they’ve been installed, and you can keep your mattress and sleeping bags inside when the tent is packed down.

The nice thing about rooftop tents is that they can be installed on a 4x4, so you can camp in places that a 2 wheel drive would never reach. You are also raised high off the ground, which is useful in bear country. 

If you are rooftop camping with your family, you can get an additional awning room for more space. The extras soon add up, though, and a quality rooftop tent is quite a serious investment.

Don’t forget that you have to climb a ladder to get to your rooftop. This can be challenging for people with reduced mobility. It can also be a bit of a pain if you’re camping with a large dog, which you’ll have to carry over your shoulder.

A rooftop tent can be the perfect fit for people who want to get into the great outdoors regularly.

Backpacking Tents 

You don’t have to buy a specialist tent to get something easy to set up. Small backpacking tents designed for one person are suitable to put up alone.

As a rule of thumb, the larger the tent, the more difficult it will be to set up and take down alone. 

Trekking pole tents are easy to put up by yourself. They are super lightweight, as you use your walking poles to create the structure. These don’t handle heavy wind and rain as well as conventional backpacking tents, but they are as compact as you can get.

For thru-hiking in fair weather, you should definitely consider a trekking pole shelter.

The final easy-up tent that you can consider is called a bivi tent. These are lightweight, compact, and discreet. You don’t have any sitting room, as they are designed to be used lying flat, but they are a great choice for wild camping. 

Plus, it takes no time to pop the small poles into the headspace area.

Other Factors to Consider

Packing Down

Somewhat ironically, the easier a tent is to set up, the harder it can be to take back down.

The instant-pop-up tents spring open in seconds, but a certain technique is required to fold them back down. Also, you need some upper body strength to wrestle them back into the bag.

Practice setting up and taking down your tent at home so that you can iron out any confusion. We highly recommend that you watch the videos provided by the tent manufacturer, which will show you exactly how to set up and fold down.

Taking a few minutes to do this will save you a lot of time and guesswork later on.

If the manufacturer has not provided a set-up video, you can head over to YouTube and type in the tent model’s name. Tent users often upload helpful videos like this independently.

Size and Weight 

Make sure to note the pack-down size and weight of the tent before going ahead with a purchase. If you cannot carry it from the car to your camping spot, it doesn’t matter how easy it is to set up.

Drawstring cabin tents and canvas teepees are usually the heaviest. Therefore, you should check out the smaller instant pop-up tents, inflatable tents, and backpacking shelters for something lighter. 

In general, pop-up tents are larger and bulkier than conventional tents when packed down. Make sure you will have room in your vehicle or backpack to account for this. If you are thru-hiking, an instant-pop-up tent will be too heavy and cumbersome.

Tent Seasons

Tent seasons can be anything from 1 to 5. They don’t correlate exactly to how many seasons the tent can be used in, but are rather more of a rating out of 5 indicating how much weather the tent can handle. 

The 5 season rating is typically reserved for professional, expedition-style tents. “Four season” refers to tents that are suitable for winter camping and that typically come with a snow skirt. 

We don’t recommend that you purchase a tent that is less than 3 seasons if there is any chance of rain on your camping trip.

Tent seasons are self-awarded and there is no regulatory body. So, although they can give you a clue about how waterproof or windproof a tent is, they shouldn’t be trusted blindly.

Some supposedly 4 season tents buckle under light snow, so check the user reviews carefully before going ahead with a purchase. 

Generally speaking, pop-up tents are not the best for heavy weather. They are made for beginner or occasional campers and less attention is put into the materials used.

For wet and windy camping trips, we recommend more of a conventional tent with collapsible poles.

If you are looking for a tent that is great at handling wind and rain, check out this article.

Tent Layers 

Tents can be either single or double skin. 

Double skin (or layers) are generally better in terms of breathability. The moisture from your breath can escape through the inner mesh layer, so condensation builds up on the outer waterproof layer, outside your sleeping area. 

A single-layer tent is generally lighter, but you will get more condensation in your sleeping area. It also means that if you open your vents and windows to reduce moisture, bugs are more likely to get into the tent. 

Most of the tents we have recommended in this article are double-layer, even the ultralight trekking pole shelter. Double-layer tents are more comfortable and reliable than single-skin alternatives, but they are considerably heavier. 

A Note on Waterproofing 

It’s important to waterproof all tents before you go camping, but this is especially true for pop-up-style tents. They tend to be less weather-resistant, as experienced campers typically purchase conventional tents that take longer to set up but deal better with the wind and rain.

To waterproof your tent, simply spray it all over with a tent product designed for this use. Repeat this process after every heavy rainfall to help prevent any water from entering your sleeping compartment.

If you have to pack down your tent while it’s wet, remove it from the bag at home to dry out. This will prevent mold from growing in the bag. 

Tent Footprint

I highly recommend using a tent footprint with a pop-up tent because these types of tents aren’t usually as long-lasting as conventional tents. 

A tent footprint is simply a tarp that you put beneath your tent, which helps prevent the floor from wearing thin. It must be smaller than your tent; otherwise, water can gather between the layers and seep into the sleeping compartment. 

You don’t have to get a tent footprint, but it will increase the longevity of your tent. It won’t make your tent more waterproof, though.

Some tents come with a free footprint, but you don’t have to buy a specific one for each model. If in doubt, you can get an ordinary tarp and cut it down to size yourself. 

Pros and Cons of Getting a Pop-Up Tent 

When people are looking for a tent that’s easy to put up, their first choice tends to be a pop-up.

Though pop-up tents can be really convenient in certain circumstances, there are probably more cons than pros overall.

For example:


  • Can set up camp in minutes—more time for activities
  • Easy to make camp without any help
  • Great for single parents who need to keep a close eye on their kids


  • Materials tend to be lower quality—won’t last as long 
  • Not as waterproof and windproof as conventional tents 
  • Prevents you from learning new skills—don’t we do enough things the easy way nowadays?
  • A missed opportunity for team-building and problem-solving with kids
  • Typically heavier than conventional tents 
  • Bulkier when packed down—not good for thru-hiking
  • Can be confusing to fold back away 
  • Makes you seem like a beginner—pop-ups are not taken very seriously by avid campers

With this in mind, I encourage you to consider some of the other easy-to-set-up tents that I have mentioned in this article.

From canvas teepees to trekking pole shelters to simple cabin tents that take around 15 minutes to pitch, there are plenty of brilliant options besides instant pop-up tents. 

That’s not to say that instant-pop-up tents don’t have their place. They can be ideal for backyard campouts, festivals, or summer camping trips.

It’s just worth bearing in mind that they aren’t the most versatile or best-quality choice on the market. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best instant-pop-up tent? 

The best pop-up tent for you will depend on your intended use, the climate, and the size of your party.

What is the best waterproof camping tent?

So many brilliant waterproof camping tents are on the market right now, but they are not one-size-fits-all. To find out which waterproof tent is perfect for you, check out our review of the best waterproof tents.

Are pop-up tents waterproof?

It depends on the individual tent, but many pop-up tents are indeed waterproof. Just like with any tent, you should apply an additional waterproof coating yourself before heading out on a trip.

How long do pop-up tents last? 

It depends on how often you use them and under what conditions. If you take good care of them, use a tent footprint, and waterproof them regularly, they can last for many years.

Are instant tents worth it? 

For a beginner camper going on the occasional camping trip, pop-up tents are an excellent option. 

However, they don’t handle lousy weather as well as conventional tents, so you may want to invest in something more sturdy in the long run.

How do you keep a pop-up tent from blowing away? 

Peg down your tent as soon as you have set it up, including the supportive guide ropes. You can put your luggage in the tent while you aren’t inside it to help weigh it down. Also, try to hold off on putting it up if the wind is really strong.

How do you set up a pop-up tent?

There are two kinds of pop-up tents. The first kind springs into shape after being removed from the compression sack. The second kind relies on a locking frame system and drawstring. Both are easy to set up. 

What are the drawbacks of pop-up tents?

Pop-up tents are quick and easy to set up. However, they can be confusing to fold back down without a bit of practice. Also, they are generally not as weather-resistant as conventional tents.

In addition, they tend to be on the heavy side, which means they are not appropriate for backpacking. 

Final Thoughts

If you are going to be putting up your tent alone, there are some brilliant options on the market right now. Different types of tents will be suitable for different folks.

We think that the Teton Mesa Tent is the best-quality tent that you can get for setting up on your own. It’s easy to use and will last a lifetime, but it is also pretty heavy.

If you need something more budget-friendly, compact, and lightweight, the Coleman 2 Person Pop-up Tent is a neat little alternative.

Also, make sure you practice putting up and taking down your tent before you head off on your trip. Don’t forget to check out the manufacturer’s videos to help you with this. 

We hope that this article was helpful and that you are able to find a tent that you can easily set up by yourself. We wish you many happy camping adventures in your new tent!

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Rachel Horne

Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.