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2 August 2021

Best pop up tents

Looking for the best pop up tents to see you through your next festival or light camping trip? See which pop up tents survived the rain in our tough tests.
Joel Bates
Father and son pitching a pop up tent

The best pop up tents are easy to put up and pack away so you can spend more time enjoying yourself at festivals and on camping trips, and will also do the all-important job of keeping you dry should the weather turn.

We found big differences when we put pop up tents to the test. Although some went up quickly and repelled every drop of rain they faced, others were needlessly difficult to pack away and even had puddles in them by the end.

In May 2021, we compared 10 of the most popular pop up tents from leading brands and retailers such as Coleman, Mountain Warehouse, Trespass, Eurohike and Regatta to see which ones held up over several days of seriously rough weather.

See our full results below to find out which pop up tents proved their worth by surviving three heavy thunderstorms over three days.

Pricing and availability last checked: 2 August 2021.

The best pop up tents

Only logged-in Which? members can view the pop up tents test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the pop up tents we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendations below.

Coleman FastPitch Galiano 4

Cheapest price: £69.99, available at Costco, also available at Amazon, Robert Dyas (out of stock)

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 100 x 280 x 200cm (pitched), 5 x 90 x 90cm (packed)  (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 3.3kg

Stated water resistance: 2,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one large entrance, no windows, three large air vents, no porch, two storage pockets

Two large vents on the ceiling of the Coleman FastPitch Galiano 4 have removable rain covers, so if the weather's good you can unclip them and stargaze from the comfort of your tent. Our tests investigated how it copes when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Eurohike Quick Pitch 200 SD 2 Man Tent

Cheapest price: £25, available at Eurohike and Millets, also available at Amazon (out of stock), Blacks (out of stock), GO Outdoors

Sleeps: Two

Dimensions: 90 x W220 x 110cm (pitched), 3 x W70 x D70cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 1.65kg

Stated water resistance: 2,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, two air vents, no porch, no storage pockets

The Eurohike Quick Pitch 200 SD 2 Man Tent is the smallest of the pop up tents we tested, and with no storage pockets on the inside you'll have to travel light to give yourself enough space to sleep. Did its small size make it easier to pitch and pack away?

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Halfords 2 Person Pop Up Tent

Price: £25, available at Halfords

Sleeps: Two

Dimensions: 103 x W104 x 223cm (pitched), 4 x W61 x 61cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 2kg

Stated water resistance: 1,500mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, three air vents, no porch, two storage pockets, ceiling lamp hook

Halfords' pop up tent is the joint cheapest we tested, so it could prove a worthy budget option if it pitches easily and keeps the rain at bay.

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Mountain Warehouse Pop Up Double Skin 3 Man Tent

Cheapest price: £49.99, available at Mountain Warehouse, also available at Amazon (out of stock), Next

Sleeps: Three

Dimensions: 105 x 180 x 280cm (pitched), 3.5 x 91 x 91cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 3kg

Stated water resistance: 1,500mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, two air vents, no porch, two storage pockets

Although it supposedly sleeps three people, we thought it would be a squeeze to fit that many into Mountain Warehouse's pop up tent. Find out other essential information, such as how quickly we managed to put it up and pack it away, in our full test results.

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Olpro Pop Tent - Blue

Cheapest price: £59, available at Halfords, also available at Argos (out of stock) and Olpro

Sleeps: Two

Dimensions: 140 x 210 x 210cm (pitched), 18 x 18 x 75cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 4.5kg

Stated water resistance: 3,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, two windows, two large air vents, no porch, two storage pockets, ceiling lamp hook

Olpro's pop up tent is an unusual design, with an exposed frame and poles you'll need to unfold and stand up into shape. It also has two entrances to help make it easy to get inside, but did the rain find a way inside too?

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Ozark Trail Grey 3 Person Instant A Frame Tent

Ozark Trail Grey 3 Person Instant A Frame Tent

Price: £69, available at Asda (out of stock)

Sleeps: Three

Dimensions: 130 x 210 x 390cm (pitched), 25 x 25 x 80cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 7.4kg

Stated water resistance: 3,000mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, two entrances, four small windows, two air vents, small porches at each end, two storage pockets, separate flysheet, power cord flap

The Ozark Trail 3 Person Instant A Frame Tent has thick telescopic poles that extend to form a sturdy A shape, and it comes with a separate flysheet you'll need to pitch over the top. This adds extra time to how long it takes to put up, but it could be worth it if it's comfortable, reliable and weatherproof.

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ProAction 4 Man 1 Room Pop Up Camping Tent

Price: £50, available at Argos (out of stock)

Sleeps: Four

Dimensions: 110 x 240 x 210cm (pitched), 4 x 73 x 73cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 2.6kg

Stated water resistance: 1,200mm

Other key features: Groundsheet sewn in, one large entrance, no windows, three air vents, no porch, eight small storage pockets, ceiling lamp hook

ProAction's large pop up tent has a wide door that should be handy for letting in the fresh air and allowing people in and out. We checked key factors such as how easy it is to unzip the door to see if you'll have any frustrations when using this pop up tent.

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Quechua Camping Tent - 2 Seconds - Fresh & Black XL - 3 Person

Cheapest price: £109.99, available at Decathlon

Sleeps: Three

Dimensions: 121 x 230 x 285cm (pitched), 9 x 85 x 85cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 5.3kg

Stated water resistance: 2,000mm (flysheet), 5,000mm (groundsheet)

Although it says '2 Seconds' in its name, Decathlon own-brand Quechua says this tent can be pitched in a few minutes, which is still pretty fast. We recorded how long it took us to pitch it and pack it away in our tough tests.

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Regatta Malawi 2

Cheapest price: £49.99, available at Amazon and Very, also available at Argos (out of stock), Cotswold Outdoor, Sports Direct

Sleeps: Two

Dimensions: 100 x 140 x 285 (pitched), 9 x 85 x 85cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 3kg

Stated water resistance: 3,000mm

Other key features Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, four air vents, no porch, four storage pockets, ceiling lamp hook

Regatta's Malawi 2 pop up tent is available in a variety of colours and patterns, so you could become one of the more eye-catching festival-goers or campers if you choose one. But will its ease of use and rain resistance results make you think twice?

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Trespass 2 Man 1 Room Pop Up Camping Tent

Price: £30, available at Argos

Sleeps: Two

Dimensions: 95 x 120 x 220cm (pitched), 3 x 71 x 71cm (packed) (HxWxD)

Carry weight: 1.8kg

Stated water resistance: 1,200mm

Other key features Groundsheet sewn in, one entrance, no windows, three air vents, no porch, two storage pockets

This Trespass pop up tent, like several of the other pop up tents we tested, has a single layer of canvas between you and the outdoors. Find out if that single line of defence was enough to keep the tent dry throughout three days of heavy downpours.

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Watch: pop up tents on test

Take a look at our video to see the lengths we go to when testing tents. 

How we tested these pop up tents

We selected 10 of the UK's bestselling pop up tents, available from major retailers such as Amazon, Argos, Decathlon and Halfords. We also factored in how sought after these tents are online in our selections.

We bought every pop up tent we tested and don't accept freebies, so you can be sure our reviews are independent and neutral.

Pitching and collapsing

Pop up tents are all about convenience, so getting them up and down in good time and without frustration is a key part of what makes them good or bad.

After a couple of practice runs to familiarise ourselves with each tent, we timed how long it took us to pitch each one, including the time it took to peg out the tent and the guy ropes.

We then separately timed collapsing and packing away each tent into the carry bag it came with, noting how straightforward it was and any difficulties we faced.

Ease of use

Once your tent is up you'll also want a comfortable experience without fumbling with shoddy door zips or frowning at air vents that won't stay open.

We gave each tent an ease of use appraisal, looking for those little annoyances you find with tents all too often - zips that catch the canvas and get stuck, vents that won't stay open to keep the air circulation going and storage pockets that rip easily.

We also left each tent up for three days to see if any longer term ease of use issues arose, such as the need to re-peg the tent or any deterioration in the zips or seams.

Rain resistance

A tent can be easy to pitch and pack away and a dream to use, but that amounts to little if it won't keep you dry when the rain hits.

We had initially planned to simulate light, medium and heavy rainfall using sprinklers, but when we set up the tests the British weather gave us three heavy, thundery downpours right on cue. This put every pop up tent through a tough, real-life scenario.

On the morning of each day we inspected each tent to see if any rainwater had crept inside to the sleeping area, and checked how damp the inside ceiling had become due to condensation.

As you can see from the image above, some tents ended up with puddles inside.

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Five things to look for when buying a pop up tent

1) Be wary of how many people supposedly fit in the tent

During our tests we often found ourselves questioning if the tents could really sleep as many people as they said they could.

Manufacturers don't appear to take factors such as storing kit into account when labelling their tents, so if you plan on buying a three-person tent for three people you might find yourselves short on space.

A handy rule of thumb to follow is to subtract one person (or two people if you have a lot of stuff) from the number listed, so if there's two of you you'd probably be best-suited to a three-person tent.

2) Look for air vents and consider their size and quality

Air circulation might not be your first concern when tent shopping, but it can have a major impact on your comfort. Small or poor quality air vents will lead to a hot, stuffy tent that will let lots of condensation build up on the ceiling.

Check how many air vents the tent has, how large they are, and also if they can be propped open to help give fresh air a clear path inside.

3) Consider how the door will open, especially in wet weather

If it rains it can often take a while for rain drops to dry off the tent canvas, and that includes the door. We found tent doors that lean backwards often fall back into the tent as you open them, so any raindrops on the door will run straight into your sleeping area.

Unless your tent has an upright door, a porch or some overhead cover to keep the door dry, you'll need to take care to open the door outwards as you unzip it to stop water falling inside.

4) Check how much the tent weighs

When camping there might be a long walk to your pitch, especially if you're at a festival where there's huge areas to traipse through before you can stop and set up camp.

Even if your tent packs down to a small size it will prove frustrating to carry if it's heavy. Make sure to check the weight before buying and think about how comfortable you'd be carrying it over long distances.

5) Be careful relying on rain resistance claims

Hydrostatic head ratings, which describe how much rain manufacturers say the tent can withstand, shouldn't be relied upon entirely.

Although they determine how much water a single point of the canvas can repel before it gives in, it doesn't account for how well zips, seams and other vulnerable points keep the rain out.

All of the tents we tested were pitched in the same area and were subjected to the same heavy downpours during our tests, and our results did not match up with the hydrostatic head ratings of the tents.

Some with relatively low hydrostatic head ratings held up well, while others with higher ratings less so.

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Why do tents leak when touched?

Tents don't always leak when touched and a well-waterproofed tent should still keep water out regardless of whether you touch it. In fact, it's far more likely your tent is leaking through a seam or zip than through a spot you've touched.

However, if your tent is leaking through the canvas at a point you've touched, it's likely because the surface tension between water droplets on the outside and the canvas underneath has broken at your touch.

If your tent has a high hydrostatic head rating it might still prevent a leak from that spot, but by touching the ceiling you may have disabled one of your tent's important lines of defence, and water could potentially seep in from that point of contact.

Can you recycle pop up tents?

It's well-known that at festivals and other major events pop up tents are often abandoned, which is a major environmental issue.

If you're keen to avoid adding to the problem and recycle your pop up tent, it's possible but not easy.

This is mostly because the canvas is plastic-based and treated with silicone, acrylic polyurethane and fire-retardant chemicals, which makes the canvas difficult to recycle.

You should, however, be able to hand your tent over to your local recycling point provided you separate the canvas from the poles and pegs before handing it over.

As pop up tents are all-in-one structures made up of different materials, you can't recycle one as a whole and must take it apart.

At most major festivals there are initiatives set up to reduce the amount of tents going into landfill by donating them to charities and other good causes.

However, few tents reach them because only tents in good condition with all the pegs and other parts included are accepted.

The best thing you can do is take your pop up tent home with you and look after it so you get as many uses as possible before taking it to your local recycling point.

Get help with doing your bit for the planet with our guide on how to recycle in the UK.