With so many pop up camping tents available on the market today, how on Earth do you decide which one is right for you? Each type of tent does have some pros, along with its cons.

In my humble opinion, pop up tents are the best tents to own these days! There is any more ‘pros’ than ‘cons’. But there are so many kinds and options, and it can be quite a decision to make when deciding which ones to purchase.

It’s confusing because the sizes don’t always relate to the actual number of people on your trip! So we’ll now discuss this and all the pros and cons you need to know!

Light Weight Backpacking Tents

1 Person Hiking Tents

The one person tent is a common tent used for solo backpacking and bike touring. People also like to take them to music festivals where space is at a premium. It is a small tent with sleeping only room for one.

Some come with lightweight poles that easily attach to the outside of the tent for easy set up. Others don’t come with poles and instead require the use of your trekking poles for instant assembly.

The Quecha model pictured left however pops up in just 2 seconds. This is a real bonus when you need a shelter to get out of the sun or rain – or are just dog tired!

Here are some pros and cons of solo tents:

Pros:

  • Easy set up and tear down for backpacking use.
  • Extremely light weight and compact to fit in or attach to your backpack
  • Comes equipped with hooks and guy ropes for easy attachment to your backpack
  • Most come with a water proof cover for storage.
  • Zippered window for good ventilation.
  • There is usually a second source of ventilation such as floor vents just in case of bad weather and you cannot unzip the windows.
  • The best 1 man tents are waterproof and UV resistant.

Cons:

  • These one person backpacking tents are very small.
  • There is hardly any room for gear so you will probably have to leave your gear outside.
  • If you are claustrophobic, this tent is not for you!

2 / 3 Person Hiking Tents

2 / 3 person tents are popular with dual hikers or small families on a hiking trip. Many solo hikers also purchase a two person tent to take advantage of the extra space, especially if they have a lot of gear.

By and large, three person tents are mostly the same as one person tents. They are made to quickly pop up using light weight poles that are included, or by using trekking poles.

Pros:

  • Larger than the 1 person type with more space for the solo hiker or camper.
  • Easy set up and tear down
  • Light weight and compact for backpacking use.
  • Most come with water proof covers for storage.
  • Zippered windows for good ventilation. A type of floor ventilation is usually included.
  • Comes equipped with hooks and guy ropes for easy attachment to your backpack.

Cons:

  • May be too cramped for two or three people.
  • Since it is a bit larger, it will add some weight onto your pack.
  • Not only will it add weight, it will be a bit bulkier to carry.

Pop up Camping Tents

3 Person Pop up Tents


The basic 3 man pop up tent is a great tent which can be used for one to three people on a camping trip.

Keep in mind that a 3 person tent means “on ground” sleeping room, in sleeping bags only. If you want more space, you really might want to consider a larger sized tent.

These style of tents allow for much more room and many more options such as cots, inflatable beds, camping chairs, gear, etc.

If all you require is sleeping room, then these tents are perfect for you!

Pros:

  • Suitable for three people, sleeping room only.
  • Smaller and more compact for transportation.
  • Pre-attached poles for easy ‘Pop up’ assembly.
  • Easy to fold back down during tear down because of the smaller size.
  • Zippered windows for good ventilation.
  • There is usually another kind of ventilation included such as floor vents.

Cons:

  • It’s still a smaller sized tent, with less space and height.
  • Depending on the number of people, gear might not be able to fit inside of the tent.
  • No extras will be able to fit inside the tent; sleeping room only here!

4 – 6 Person Pop up Tent


This is an ideal, medium sized pop up tent! You will see this tent a lot while on a camping trip.

Many people pick this sized tent for four or less people.  The Coleman tent pictured is big enough to fit two queen-sized airbeds.

As it’s also 6 feet in height, most people can actually stand up in it. With the smaller tents this is impossible!

Again, remember that when a tent says four to six people, this means four to six people on the ground sleeping!

Pros:

  • Nice amount of space and can fit airbeds
  • It is still small enough for simple and easy set up with the poles again being pre-attached to the Pop up Tent.
  • Easy to transport.
  • Zippered windows for good ventilation and this size tent will offer a better view!
  • This size tent is still easy to fold down during tear down.

Cons:

  • Room is usually limited to sleeping room only.
  • Small cots and inflatable beds will fit for a couple of people only.
  • Gear and belongings will be limited to what will fit inside of this sized tent.

8 Person Pop Up Tent

This is a nice sized tent for a small family. It offers plenty of room for some interior design! This sized tent is often said to be a luxury camping tent!

I personally enjoy the size of my 8 person pop up camping tent! It’s great to have a space that is big enough to do more than just sleep.This really helps when you have children and pets running about!

It also means you can fit lots of air mattresses, camping chairs and cots inside to make things much more comfortable.

I used to hate camping in a smaller tent when it rained. Whenever you touched the sides you’d get wet! With an 8 person tent you can stay more in the middle and keep nice and dry.

Pros:

  • Large enough for a family of 4 or 5 to live comfortably during your camping experience!
  • Easily fit all your gear inside of this tent!
  • Larger inflatable beds and cots fit nicely inside this tent as well as several camp chairs if it is arranged accordingly!
  • The zippered windows surround the tent and when opened, offer spectacular views!
  • If you have pets, or kids, this sized tent is ideal!
  • The doorways are bigger and easier to handle. Entering and exiting is easier. There is more space for all their stuff!
  • This tent is usually over six feet in height, which offers awesome standing room!
  • Set up is easy and can be done in a couple of minutes with one or two or more people!
  • The tent does simply ‘Pop up’ with the already attached poles!
  • Cons:
  • Since this tent is bigger, it is bulkier and heavier to transport.
    Tear down is a bit harder. This sized will fold down easily, however it will be a bit harder to fit it back in its carrying bag. I found that with practice, this process does get easier each time!

Sometimes, it’s better to have two…!

As a solo backpacker and a family camper, I have several kinds of Pop up Tents for different kinds of outdoor experiences! I have my two-person ultra-light weight tent for backpacking. Then I have a four-person one for my solo camping trips. And, of course, I have an 8 person pop up tent for my family camping needs!

I find owning a variety of tents makes my outdoor camping experiences that much better. Take a look at all the options that each size of Pop up Tent offers and choose the right ones for you!

Happy Camping!