The best tent for festival camping should be quick and easy to pitch so you don’t spend half your weekend setting up camp. There are a lot of different kinds of instant tents for weekend camping. You can find some cheap pop up tents that provide simple but sufficient sleeping space to make it through a weekend festival. There are also more expensive, more durable tents, that are spacious enough to wait out a bad weather spell without feeling all cramped in. So for a spontaneous weekend camping trip to your favorite campground to relax from a busy workweek, do some fishing or enjoy quality time with your children, you always need the right tent.
Very quick to set up and leaving quality time for other recreational activities Pop up tents and Instant tents are the best tents for weekend camping trips. They are also a very practical alternative to conventional tents as their self-supporting design allows most of them to be pitched without guy lines or tent pegs and they still stay in shape.
Instant tents are available in different sizes from small one-man tents to large family tents that provide space for 4 or more people. In terms of the price, they range from very affordable tents that compromise on durability and may only last for a few camping trips, to long-lasting quality tents. All depends on materials used and workmanship of the seams and zippers, the water resistance and finally the robustness as well as the handling of the tent.
Instant tents are good for
- Spontaneous weekend camping trips
- Hiking and canoeing trips
- Cycling tours
- Concerts, festivals or fairs
- Play Tents for Kids
- Beach Tents
- Secondary emergency tent
Advantages of Instant Tents
- Quick and easy to pitch
- lightweight tents
- no complicated manuals to read
- suitable for camping beginners to set up
- pack often bulky disc shape
- some are difficult to get back into the pack
- not wind and weather resistant as conventional tent designs
Buying a tent
What’s the best tent for weekend camping is difficult to say? It depends again on what you demand from the tent and where and what you going to use it for. What’s enough for a festival visit may not be good enough for a family camping trip. Look and compare the different features of the tents to make sure you don’t regret buying it when you are in the outdoors. If in doubt, it may not be wrong to spend the extra dollar for some feature that might eventually become handy.
Most common tent designs
Instant tents and pop up tents most commonly are either of dome design or cabin design as those design shapes are effectively incorporating the self-assembling folding mechanisms. The best instant tents for weekend camping should strong and stable in wind and weather. However, especially the cabin tents because of their shape will never reach the stability of geodesic tents. If you need a tent to withstand extreme weather than instant tents are not an option for you.
Most pop up tents for weekend camping are Dome tents. The self-supporting pole design makes this shape ideal for an instant tent while still providing good resistance against wind and rain. If need be, may it be on stony ground or a full festival campsite, those tents have enough self-support to stay firm in shape even without guy ropes. Dome tents are compact tents available in all sizes from single occupancy design to large domes suitable for families or groups.
Cabin tents provide a high standing room and are very spacious in general. If you are a group or a family and you want to spend time in your tent, playing games or hiding from bad weather, a cabin-style tent will be much more comfortable.
Typical tunnel tents are not that commonly found as pop-up tents as their design of parallel poles does not allow for the tent to pop up by itself. They also do need guy ropes and pegs to stand firm.
Features of weekend camping tents
- Design – tunnel, dome or geodesic tent. How quick and easy the tent can be set up. The fewer poles the easier and faster the tent is set up.
- Entrance – How many doors does the tent have? What is the shape of the doors and how easily do they open and close?
- Pack Size – What are the weight and the dimension of the tent when it is packed up. This specification is particularly important for campers or hikers.
- Headroom – Take care of a sufficient headroom.
- A loop in the ceiling – useful for hanging a lantern.
- Floor Space: When looking at floor space, check the dimensions, not just the square footage. Tall people need a longer layout.
- Water column – The higher the water column rating, the longer the tent inside stays dry even in heavy rain.
- Ventilation – Mosquito screens are often found as inner doors, windows, and ceilings. This improved ventilation reduces moisture buildup. They also keep annoying insects away.
- Front porch – provide enough space to sit in and keep luggage or dirty shoes dry in bad weather.
- Awning – an additional watertight tarpaulin which extends over the entrance area to increase the usable area.
- Interior and bags – Sewn-in pockets are useful to store small parts such as car keys and flashlight and stuff you want to find quick.
Material used for the best tent for weekend camping
Instant tents are made of modern high-tech fabrics so they perform well in wind and weather. The more you want to spend on the tent the better and more durable the material will be. But for weekend camping trips that normally don’t take you into extreme environments, you don’t need to buy a tent made for expeditions demand. Light Nylon fabrics with a Polyurethane (PU) coating are sufficient.
The tent poles are commonly made of fiberglass, aluminum, aluminum alloys and carbon. But the best tents for camping are equipped with lightweight aluminum poles. They guarantee sufficient stability at high loads also in extreme cold.
Materials for outer tents, inner tent and tent floor
Usually, different materials are used for the external, internal tent and tent floor. This is due to the fact that each part of the tent is exposed to different load. For example, the tent floor needs to be of a more heavy and durable material than the outer wall of the tent.
Cotton: Cotton as outer skin is very breathable and waterproof. Especially in hot and humid conditions this creates a more comfortable climate inside the tent over modern plastics. Impregnation is optional, but not necessary. When cotton becomes wet, the fabric expands and it becomes impermeable to water. Although the material is very durable and UV-resistant, it can still rot. The weight and the drying time are clearly a disadvantage.
Nylon (polyamide): Used for the tent floor because it has a very high tear and abrasion resistance as well as elasticity. Moreover, the material is very light compared to polyester. The UV resistance also leaves much to be desired.
RipStop nylon: a light-weight nylon fabric where tear strength is increased with interwoven threats. Even cracks are no longer unbraked through the entire fabric but only go only to the next stronger thread. The material is used uncoated as an internal and coated as an outer tent.
Polyester: High tear and abrasion resistance. Durable and a relatively high UV resistance. The material does not expand when it is damp. A drawback is the higher weight when compared to nylon.
Most tents made of “plastic” must be coated in order to become waterproof. Commonly used tent coatings are:
- PVC – inexpensive, heavy, rigid in cold weather, low resistance to UV and aging, not environmentally friendly.
- Acrylic – inexpensive, weakens the tent fabric, breaks in extreme cold.
- Polyurethan – most common tent coating. Good sealing, soft and supple even in cold weather, UV-resistant. Sufficient for most uses, but not as long lasting as silicone.
- Silicon – most expensive tent coating but the best. Durable, elastic, UV resistant, high and low temperature resistant, long lasting.
If you are looking for the best tent for weekend camping then Instant tents or Pop up tents are a good option. They take out the hassle of a time consuming and complicated process of setting up camp. They are not suitable for demanding environments and situations where survival could depend on a releiable tent. But for quick weekend camping trips or for festival camping they are a sufficient option.