Best Pop Up Screen Tents & Camping Shelters 2021

Can I Set Up A Pop Up Screen Tent Alone?

There’s tons of cool camping gear out there and some really amazing screened canopies and escape shelters for camping and outdoor use.

You may be considering getting one to add a little more outdoor living space to your home patio, RV, van, or tent camping set up. Before getting just any old camping shelter or bulky shade tent a big question you should ask yourself is: how hard will it be to set up?

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There are some canopies and screen houses out there that even 4 people have a hard time setting up. When you’re out in the wilderness there’s not always a lot of people around. A pop up screen tent or instant camping shelter you can manage on your own is going to be the fastest and easiest way to get shade or protection from bugs.

The instant screen tents in this review are easy to set up and advertised to be one person friendly. Using new technology companies have taken camping shelters a long way. Any of these are going to be easy to set up for one person and a total breeze with two people.

Best Overall
CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Foot Portable Pop Up Outdoor Camping Gazebo Screen Tent 6 Sided Canopy Shelter with Ground Stakes & Carry Bag, Brown
Gazelle Tents 21500 G6 Pop-Up Portable 6-Sided Hub Gazebo/Screen Tent, Dessert Sand, Easy Instant Set Up in 60 Seconds
MASTERCANOPY Escape Shelter Screen House Outdoor Camping Tent for 6 Sides Canopy Shelter (120''x120''Camouflage)
Most Lightweight
Alvantor Screen House Room Camping Tent Outdoor Canopy Dining Gazebo Pop Up Sun Shade Shelter 10 Mesh Walls Not Waterproof Beige 15'x15' Patent
Most Heavy Duty
Coleman Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup | Outdoor Canopy and Sun Shade with 1 Minute Set Up
Coleman Screened Canopy Tent | 15 x 13 Screened Sun Shelter with Instant Setup
Total Weight
37 lbs
34 lbs
33 lbs
24.5 lbs
45 lbs
18.25 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
12’x12’x7.8′
10.3’x10.3’x7.2′
10’x10’x7.5′
15’x15’x8.5′
12’x10’x8.3′
15’x13’x7′
Square Footage
110
92
96
177
120
195
Folded Measurements
78″x10″x10″
73″x8″x8″
66″x8″x8″
44.8″ Circle 3.2″ Thick
48″x10″x14″
36″x8″x8″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
60 Seconds
60 Seconds
60 Seconds
60 Seconds
3 Minutes
3 Minutes
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available

Best Overall

CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Foot Portable Pop Up Outdoor Camping Gazebo Screen Tent 6 Sided Canopy Shelter with Ground Stakes & Carry Bag, Brown
Total Weight
37 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
12’x12’x7.8′
Square Footage
110
Folded Measurements
78″x10″x10″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
60 Seconds
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available
Gazelle Tents 21500 G6 Pop-Up Portable 6-Sided Hub Gazebo/Screen Tent, Dessert Sand, Easy Instant Set Up in 60 Seconds
Total Weight
34 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
10.3’x10.3’x7.2′
Square Footage
92
Folded Measurements
73″x8″x8″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
60 Seconds
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available
MASTERCANOPY Escape Shelter Screen House Outdoor Camping Tent for 6 Sides Canopy Shelter (120''x120''Camouflage)
Total Weight
33 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
10’x10’x7.5′
Square Footage
96
Folded Measurements
66″x8″x8″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
60 Seconds
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available

Most Lightweight

Alvantor Screen House Room Camping Tent Outdoor Canopy Dining Gazebo Pop Up Sun Shade Shelter 10 Mesh Walls Not Waterproof Beige 15'x15' Patent
Total Weight
24.5 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
15’x15’x8.5′
Square Footage
177
Folded Measurements
44.8″ Circle 3.2″ Thick
Set Up Time For 1 Person
60 Seconds
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available

Most Heavy Duty

Coleman Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup | Outdoor Canopy and Sun Shade with 1 Minute Set Up
Total Weight
45 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
12’x10’x8.3′
Square Footage
120
Folded Measurements
48″x10″x14″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
3 Minutes
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available
Coleman Screened Canopy Tent | 15 x 13 Screened Sun Shelter with Instant Setup
Total Weight
18.25 lbs
Tent Measurements (LxWxH)
15’x13’x7′
Square Footage
195
Folded Measurements
36″x8″x8″
Set Up Time For 1 Person
3 Minutes
Wind Panels Available
Other sizes Available

Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.

Best Pop Up Screeen Tents Reviews & Info


1. Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Screen Tent

CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Foot Portable Pop Up Outdoor Camping Gazebo Screen Tent 6 Sided Canopy Shelter with Ground Stakes & Carry Bag, Brown

Check Price at Amazon

The Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Screen Tents for camping are some of the best and most popular on the market today. They’re large, easy to set up instant camp shelters made with high-quality materials. There’s no initial assembly required, and one person can quickly set up, and take down one with ease.

While there are many sizes available ranging from the small 6’x6′ (36 sq. ft) Clam Quick-Set Traveler Shelter (click to view on Amazon), to the extra-large dual 11.6’x11.6′ (188 sq ft total) Clam Quick-Set Excursion (click to view on Amazon).

I think the best size for most campers, full-time RVers, and travelers is the 12’x12′ (110 sq. ft) and 7.8 foot tall Quick-Set Escape XL Shelter (linked to in the picture above). That’s the size I’m going to review. All the features will be the same, the only difference is the square footage.

The Clam Quick-Set XL Screen Tent can easily fit a picnic table inside, which is a standard amenity found at most campgrounds. It’s large enough for 6-8 people for when you have friends over, or you can easily set up a camp kitchen or office comfortably outdoors.

Using pop up camping shelters like these are great for adding extra outdoor living space when camping. If you get the optional wind panels (click to view on Amazon) you can turn the screened canopy into a protected room that is rain and wind-resistant.

CLAM Quick-Set Screen Hub Brown Fabric Wind & Sun Panels Accessory Only (3 Pack)

Side note, these camping shelters are advertised as rain resistant, which means a little light rain will be no problem, but in a downpour, you may get a few leaks. Always keep an eye on the weather and never leave them set up if you will be gone for longer than a day.

The walls are made with durable, weather and UV resistant 210 denier fabric and even stronger 600 denier fabric on the roof.

The mosquito netting is made with no-see-um mesh, you can see through it easily and enjoy the view. The mesh is not removable on the Clam Pop Up Screen Tents.

The poles are made with lightweight and very flexible 11mm fiberglass. No more heavy metal poles like traditional shade tents. The fabric where the poles meet is triple-layered for extra protection on the points that get the most pressure and wear. All of the seams are taped for extra protection against water.

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There are heavy-duty stake holes around the base to secure it against the wind. 7 deluxe tent stakes and 6 tie-down ropes are included.

The entire thing weighs only 37 lbs and comes with a storage bag with shoulder carry straps. When packed away in the storage bag it measures 6.5 feet long, 10 inches wide, and 10 inches tall.

If you use the wind panels there are fabric flaps on the roof of the brown model that folds over the removable wind panels to offer more protection from the rain and the wind. If you use the panels, stake down the camping shelter, and use the tie-downs, it should be able to withstand fairly high winds.

CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Foot Portable Pop Up Outdoor Camping Gazebo Screen Tent 6 Sided Canopy Shelter with Ground Stakes & Carry Bag, Brown

No instant camping shelter is going to be able to withstand super high, gusty winds, and that’s what makes the easy to set up and take down feature so awesome. If there’s going to be wind you can quickly take it down and set it up as soon as it calms down.

When Clam Outdoors says its screen tents take under 60 seconds for one person to set up they mean it. All you have to do is lay it out, then start popping up each panel. Once the side walls are popped up just walk inside and push on the roof panel to pop it into place. It’s as easy as that, and taking it down is a breeze.

Bugs, sun, wind, and rain are all things campers deal with regularly. The Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Screen Tent is a quick, easy way to avoid all that discomfort while still enjoying the outdoors and nature. If you live in your camper or van, pop up shelters like these act as an extra room and give you more space to live and even work in.

Clam offers lots of color and size options for every kind of camper. Start spending more time outdoors protected from bugs and the hot sun in a camping shelter like the Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Easy One Person Set Up
  • Packs Down To Very Small Size
  • Wind Panels Available
  • Multiple Color & Size Options
  • Rain Resistant
  • No-See-Em Bug Screen
  • Roof Flaps For Wind Panels

CONS

  • Not Good For Heavy Rains
  • Roof Material Could Be Thicker

2. Gazelle Gazebo Pop Up Screen Tent

Gazelle Tents 21500 G6 Pop-Up Portable 6-Sided Hub Gazebo/Screen Tent, Dessert Sand, Easy Instant Set Up in 60 Seconds

Check Price at Amazon

Gazelle pop up screen tents are the same style as the Clam Outdoors ones. They use fiberglass poles to make large camping shelters that are lightweight and easy for one person to set up or take down.

There are two main size options, the 6-8 person version is more than 7 feet tall, and a little more than 10 feet from wall to wall with 92 sq. feet of usable space (shown in the picture above). And the smaller 4-5 person size (click to view on Amazon) which is also over 7 feet tall and 8 feet 9 inches from wall to wall with 60 sq. feet of usable space.

I always say bigger is better when it comes to screen houses and you want one that is large enough to fit the average picnic table. That’s why I’m going to recommend and review the larger 6-8 person Gazelle.

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Gazelle camping shelters are made with 210 denier oxford weave polyester that is wind and water resistant. It’s also coated with UV resistant material for extra durability on those hot sunny days.

The zippers are very dependable and heavy-duty and made by YKK. Zippers are the number one complaint about a lot of other kinds of instant screen houses but Gazelle has stepped up its game by using the most dependable zippers on the market today.

The bug mesh is tightly woven to keep even the smallest critters out but it’s still light enough to let the breeze through. If you want wind resistance there are wind panels available (click to view on Amazon) for more protection from the elements.

Just remember these lightweight and ultra-portable screen houses are great in light rains and winds but will not do so well in heavy storms. They are pop up shelters and not heavy-duty wall tents. Make sure you keep an eye on the weather and take them down before the weather turns ugly.

Gazelle Tents 21500 G6 Pop-Up Portable 6-Sided Hub Gazebo/Screen Tent, Dessert Sand, Easy Instant Set Up in 60 Seconds

The poles are made with durable, flexible fiberglass that is lightweight and easy for one person to carry around. The pressure points in all the corners have double-layered fabric for extra strength.

When folded and packed away in the included storage back it’s only 34 lbs and 73 inches (6 feet 1 inch) long, 8 inches wide, and 8 inches tall. It should easily fit on a van roof, the front storage of an RV, or a standard truck bed.

Note the smaller version is only 5 feet 3 inches long when packed away.

The Gazelle portable screened canopy is very easy to set up even for one person. Just lay it out where you want it, pull to pop up each wall, then step inside and push up on the roof to set it into place. It’s as easy as that.

There are tabs with holes for tent stakes that are included (note: for more security against the wind you may want to purchase larger more heavy-duty tent stakes like these (click to view on Amazon))

The Gazelle Gazebo Pop Up Screen Tent is an awesome choice. It can be an extra room or office for full-time RVers or van dwellers as well as a way to escape the heat and bugs for regular campers.

It can also be used at home in the backyard for picnics and eating outdoors. No matter how you use them, pop up screen tents like these are easy to use and don’t take up much space when packed away.

The only downside to the Gazelle is the lack of fabric roof flaps to fold over the wind panels and the fabric on the roof is not as high quality as the other two pop up camping shelters of the same style on this list.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Heavy-Duty YKK Zippers
  • Easy One Person Set Up
  • Packs Down To Very Small Size
  • Wind Panels Available
  • Multiple Color & Size Options
  • Rain Resistant

CONS

  • No Fold Over Roof Flaps For Wind Panels
  • Thin Roof Fabric
  • Comes With Flimsy Tents Stakes

3. Master Canopy Pop Up Screened Canopy

MASTERCANOPY Escape Shelter Screen House Outdoor Camping Tent for 6 Sides Canopy Shelter (120''x120''Camouflage)

Check Price at Amazon

Master Canopy makes a 6-8 person instant pop up screen tent that comes in 4 different colors. The roof is 7 feet 6 inches tall at the highest point and there is 10 feet of space from wall to wall. That’s 96 sq. feet of usable space and it’s large enough for a picnic table.

Much like some of the other products in this review, the Master Canopy can be set up in less than 60 seconds by one person. It uses lightweight fiberglass poles that are flexible and can pop into the same shape over and over again.

The fabric used for the walls is 210 denier poly-oxford fabric with a 600 denier fabric roof for extra water resistance, just like the Clam Outdoors camping shelter.

There is an extra layer of fabric on the stress points where the fiberglass poles meet to help strengthen the tent and reduce wear and tear. The bug-proof no-see-um mesh is tightly woven to keep out even the smallest bugs but is still easy to see through.

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The included storage bag is 5 feet 6 inches long and around 8 inches wide and tall when the large Master Canopy is folded up inside. The entire thing weighs only 33 lbs.

Included with purchase are 11 tent stakes and tie down ropes. Much like the other escape shelters on this list the Master Canopy can take a good amount of wind and rain but needs to be fully secured to the ground. In the case of a downpour or high winds, it’s better to take it down.

MASTERCANOPY Escape Shelter Side Panels for 120''x120'' Screen Room, Tear Resistant Durable Side Panels, Fire-Retardant Screened Window, Camouflage (1 Pack)

There are wind panels available (click to view on Amazon) for extra privacy and protection from the elements. There are flaps around the roof that will fold over the wind panels making them more secure, waterproof, and resistant to the wind.

The Master Canopy Pop Up Screened Canopy sets up very quickly and is made of high-quality fabrics and parts. It’s another great option for outdoor enthusiasts who spend a lot of time camping and enjoying nature. It makes evenings and eating outside even more enjoyable because it keeps the pesky mosquitoes away.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Easy One Person Set Up
  • Packs Down To Very Small Size
  • Wind Panels Available
  • Rain Resistant
  • No-See-Em Bug Screen
  • Roof Flaps For Wind Panels

CONS

  • Thin Roof Fabric
  • Comes With Flimsy Tents Stakes
  • Thin Wall Fabric & Bug Net

4. Alvantor Pop Up Screen Room

Alvantor Screen House Room Camping Tent Outdoor Canopy Dining Gazebo Pop Up Sun Shade Shelter 10 Mesh Walls Not Waterproof Beige 15'x15' Patent

Check Price at Amazon

The Alvantor pop up screen room/camping shelter is like nothing you’ve ever seen. It has a clever dome design and follows the style of the pop up tents that are growing in popularity.

Instead of folding into a rectangle shape this screen room folds and twists into a circle that is around 45 inches across and 3.5 inches thick. The entire 15×15 screen room weighs only 26.5 lbs.

The way it works is there are 10 screened panels and a cloth roof. When you want to set it up you remove it from its storage bag, undo the strap and let it pop up into a rectangular shape. You then unfold the panels which become a large dome. It’s extremely simple and fast to set up and just as easy to take down once you get the hang of folding it into a circle.

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There are 3 size options the 15’x15′ which is my choice for camping, the 12’x12′ (click to view on Amazon), and the 10’x10′ (click to view on Amazon).

Because of the dome shape, the walls curve a little bit towards the roof panel, and the usable space is less than it sounds. That’s why bigger is better in this case.

On the 15’x15′ version, the roof is 8.5 feet high, which is the tallest in this review. Because of the style, it’s also the most likely to blow away in the wind, but Alvantor has you covered.

Included with the instant screen room there are 10 sandbags, 20 guylines (tie down rope), and 20 tent stakes to keep everything super secure. That doesn’t mean you should have it out in a wind storm but it should be able to take a strong breeze.

Alvantor Screen House Room Camping Tent Outdoor Canopy Dining Gazebo Pop Up Sun Shade Shelter 10 Mesh Walls Not Waterproof Beige 15'x15' Patent

The roof is 210D Oxford fabric which isn’t quite as good as the 600D but will be enough shade from the sun and also keep any light rain off of you.

Much like the other pop up camping shelters, there are for extra wind and water protection as well as privacy.

In the extra large 15’x15′ version, there are two screen doors that open and close via zippers that are double-sided and easy to open inside and outside of the screen house.

The mesh is tightly woven for protection against small bugs but easy to see through and let in the breeze.

The Alvantor Pop Up Screen Room is a very portable, lightweight, large, and easy to use. It’s perfect for areas where there are a lot of bugs and mosquitoes. It will also protect you from the sun and can be used as a nice little outdoor room that will even offer privacy with the optional wind panels.

The only downside is how easy it will fly away in the wind. You are going to have to keep it staked down at all times just in case. But while this is a downside it’s also a bit of a pro because portable screen rooms like these are rarely this light at such a large size.

If you prefer plastic panels instead of mesh ones Alvantor also makes a waterproof/winter portable camping shelter that is completely enclosed using plastic PVC panels.

Alvantor Bubble Tent Screen House Room Camping Tent Canopy Gazebos 12-15 Person for Patios, Large Oversize Weather Pod, Premium Greenhouse Instant Pop Up Tent, Cold Protection Beige 15'×15'

It’s great for areas where it rains a lot and can be used in cold weather. The enclosed inside will warm up from the sun and become a little warm outdoor oasis. You can check out that version on Amazon by clicking here.

PROS

  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Easy One Person Set Up
  • Packs Down To Very Small Size
  • Wind Panels Available
  • Sandbags, Rope & Tent Stakes Included
  • Multiple Size & Color Options

CONS

  • Blows Over Easily In Wind
  • Thin Roof Fabric
  • Not Good For Any Kind Of Rain

5. Coleman Screened Canopy With Instant Set Up

Coleman Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup | Outdoor Canopy and Sun Shade with 1 Minute Set Up

Check Price at Amazon

The Coleman screened canopy with instant set up is the style of camping shelter most people are used to seeing. It’s like a classic shade tent with mesh walls. One of the nice things about it is you can leave off the mesh walls and use it as an open shade tent. This is the only screen house in this review you can do this with.

While the mesh walls are removable, there are no wind panels available. The wind protection and privacy options are taken away. It’s also heavy, bulky, and harder for one person to set up. But it’s more sturdy and can handle wind and rain a little better than the pop up screen tents with fiberglass poles.

There is only one color and size option. The walls are 12’x10′ and the roof is 8 feet 4 inches tall at the highest point. There is 120 square feet of useable space. The walls are straight up and down which means a tall person can stand anywhere under the canopy without having to slouch down.

The fabric used is Polyguard 2X which is a double-thick polyester fabric known for its strength and high durability. The frame is made of metal which makes the entire canopy much heavier than the fiberglass framed ones but more resistant to bending in the wind. Each metal leg has an extra-wide foot for added stability and there are ground stakes and rope included to secure it.

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You can set it up by yourself but it goes much faster with two people. You first have to expand the metal frame, secure the fabric roof, and then attach the shade screen which is one giant circular piece. There is a large zipper going down the center of one mesh panel that acts as a large door.

The entire thing fits in a wheeled carry case that is 48 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 10 inches tall. All together it weighs 45 lbs which is almost 10 pounds heavier than the next heaviest camping shelter on this list.

The Coleman Screened Canopy With Instant Set Up will work for camping if you have the storage space and weight allowances to transport it.

It’s a very solid structure, and Coleman does a fantastic job with all of its products. There are no wind panels which is a bummer if you like to have protection again wind and more privacy but it’s not a necessary feature for some people.

While it’s maybe not the best camping shelter for full-time RVers, van dwellers, and car campers this is an excellent choice for use in the backyard of your home if you don’t have a screened-in patio. It will definitely keep the bugs out and even offer some protection from light rain.

PROS

  • Very Sturdy Metal Frame
  • Mesh Panels Are Removable
  • Wheeled Storage Bag
  • Thick Roof Fabric
  • Better For Rain

CONS

  • Takes Two People To Set Up Quickly
  • Heavy
  • Takes Up Lots Of Storage Space
  • No Wind Panels

6. Coleman Instant Screen House

Coleman Screened Canopy Tent | 15 x 13 Screened Sun Shelter with Instant Setup

Check Price at Amazon

The Coleman instant screen house is a smaller version of the screened canopy above. It is more portable, lighter, easier to set up for one person, and perfect for camping.

There are two sizes; 10’x10′ (click to view on Amazon) and the one in the picture which is 15’x13′ and 7 feet tall. That’s 195 square feet of space from base to base.

The walls do angle in slightly which means you won’t be able to stand in some of that space and the shaded area is smaller only 42 square feet.

It’s not as easy to set up as the pop up kind but it’s not nearly as difficult as the traditional canopies. The fabric and no-see-um mesh walls are already attached to the poles. All you have to do is lay out the frame with the tent attached and start extending each leg. The poles are lightweight, and easy for one person to carry.

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The fabric is 150D Polyester which is good enough to keep the sun away but won’t be as water resistant as the 600D. It’s still plenty durable.

There are two zippered doors for more entry options and there are ground stakes and tie down rope included with purchase.

The storage bag is wheeled and measures around 36 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 8 inches tall when the camping shelter is folded up inside. Everything weighs only 18.25 lbs which is very light for this size of shade tent/screen house.

There are no wind panels available which limit its use as an extra room for campers.

The Coleman Instant Screen House is very lightweight and has a lot of usable space. It’s the perfect option for those who need a screen house that is large but easy to transport. It’s not very good against wind and rain but it will definitely keep the bugs out.

PROS

  • Very Lightweight
  • Multiple Size Options
  • Two Zippered Entry Doors
  • Wheeled Storage Bag

CONS

  • Takes Two People To Set Up Quickly
  • No Wind Panels
  • Not Great For Rain

What To Look For In A Pop Up Screen Tent

Weight

When it comes to camping and RVing storage size and weight mean everything. You sometimes have to compromise heavy duty materials for those that are more lightweight and travel friendly.

The bigger the pop up screen house the heavier it will be. Luckily most of the ones in this review are made with fiberglass poles that are both durable and very light. Even the extra large pop up screen tents that are more than 10 feet in diameter weigh less than 40 lbs and fold down to very compact sizes for easy storage.

Set Up Size

Most campers want a screen tent or camp shelter they can prepare and eat food under. We all want to eat outside but getting attacked by mosquitoes, flies, and wasps can make the whole experience less enjoyable.

Most of the extra large pop up screen tents in this review will fit over a standard picnic table with room to spare. Even though they are a little heavier and a little less wind resistant than the smaller versions they offer maximum protection from bugs and more shade.

Roof Material

Unfortunately, most shade tents and screen rooms do not come with heavy duty waterproof roofs. It’s more like the material tents are made of. They are still very water resistant but having only one layer of protection does allow some water through.

Getting a camping shelter with thick roof fabric and fold over roof flaps for the wind/rain panels will help but if it really starts to downpour you may want to have a large tarp on hand you can throw over the entire thing to protect it even more.

There are also fabric sprays and seam sealers you can use to reinforce the UV and water resistant properties of your pop up screen tent. You can read more about that in the FAQ section below.

Wind Resistance

Most of us have seen a few shade tents fly away at the beach when sudden winds start to kick up. They are notorious for that and it’s mostly because the open wall design makes it easy for the wind to get under the roof and push it up and away.

Screened canopies are a little bit different. Even though the screens are thin enough to see through they stop a lot of wind.  If you camp and live in a windy area getting a pop up screen tent over a regular shade tent is a good idea.

Getting the kind that has wind panels available is even better. The wind panels will direct the wind around the tent which stops it from being able to lift it. You absolutely will have to stake and tie it down but the screens and fabric panel are a big help.

One thing you should be aware of with the very lightweight fiberglass pole pop up screen tents is they will bend slightly if left set up in high winds. If not staked down properly they may even collapse.


Pop up screen tent set up in a forest
The Coleman pop up screen tent takes a little longer to set up but its metal frame makes it sturdy.

Conclusion & My Recommendations For Best Pop Up Screen Tent

Pop up screen tents are the perfect way to make the outdoors more enjoyable. They can be used while camping or even at home on the patio.

They shade, reduce wind, and best of all, keep the bugs away. The kind that can be set up by one person in less than two minutes is perfect for campers who move around a lot and don’t want to spend a lot of time setting up and taking down camping gear.

Not all of the camping shelters in this review are made for the same kinds of things. Some are ultra lightweight and for keeping the bugs away while others are more heavy duty and protect better against rain.

Here are my recommendations based on certain uses.

Most Lightweight – Alvantor Pop Up Screen Room

The Alvator pop up screen room is not only the most lightweight camping shelter in this review, but it also folds down to the smallest most portable size.

The 15’x15′ version becomes a thin circle that’s around 4 feet in diameter. You can lean it against a wall for easy storage or slip it behind the seat of a car.

It’s extremely easy for one person to set up and take down. If you are familiar with pop up camp shower tents it’s basically a giant screened version of that with more walls.

As a word of caution the pro of the Alvantor being so lightweight can also be a bit of a con in windy conditions. Even when staked down strong wind will make it bend and I don’t recommend using it in anything stronger than a cool summer breeze.

Most Heavy Duty – Coleman Screened Canopy With Instant Set Up

Now for the heaviest and strongest screen tent in this review.

Both of the Coleman instant screen tents in this review are made with steel frames instead of the lightweight fiberglass that the others use. This makes them much heavier and a little more difficult to set up, especially for one person.

What the sturdy steel frame does give you is much more wind resistance. It won’t start to shake and move when the wind kicks up. You should still take it down during high winds and gusty weather. It’s also less likely to collapse under the weight of water from rain.

The main downside is the time it takes to set up the Coleman screened canopy. It’s a lot like a regular folding shade tent. You have to first open up the metal frame, secure the roof fabric to it, lift it to the height you want, then also add the screens.

It’s still considered a quick set up screen tent, it’s just not a pop up one.

If you live in a climate where it rains regularly and there’s always a healthy breeze blowing this will be one of the better options.

Best Overall – Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Screen Tent

Clam Outdoors has the most color and size options and there are wind panels available for added protection from the wind and rain. Their quick-set series is super easy to set up, take down, and is very lightweight and portable.

The fabric used on the roof is of high quality and very durable as well as UV and water-resistant. I also like the roof flaps on the brown camping shelter which fold over the wind panels and make them waterproof. It’s a good idea and makes the camping shelter almost like another room.

If you live and work your RV, van, or car full time you know how hard it can be to spend time outside when you have to be inside getting work done. Pop up screen tents like these can be used as an outdoor office that is protected enough to keep your electronics safe and out of the sun. But also open enough so you can still enjoy the fresh air and beautiful nature.

It’s also a great living area for family and friends and can be used as an outdoor kitchen shelter protected from flies and bugs that want to get at your food.

I wouldn’t leave any of these camping shelters set up during heavy rainstorms or high winds but for the average day, they work perfectly and are a great way to get some extra, clean, usable space outdoors.


Frequently Asked Questions About Pop Up Screen Tents

Can I make my pop up screen tent/camping shelter more waterproof?

Most of these pop up screen tents are water resistant but not waterproof, and some fabrics are thicker and hold up better against rain than others. If you camp in a rainy area there are ways you can make your camping shelter more waterproof and resistant to rain.

The first thing you can do is seal and waterproof all the seams on the roof fabric to stop water from dripping through. Thoroughly clean the seams and apply seam sealer like GEAR AID Seam Grip Waterproof Sealant (click to view on Amazon) for tent fabric.

The second thing you can do is apply waterproofing and UV protecting coating like Nikwax Tent (click to view on Amazon) to all the fabric on the camping shelter especially the roof to help stop water from collecting.

If the rains start to get too heavy and you don’t have time to take down your screen house a good old fashioned tarp thrown over the top and tied down may be your best last resort option.

How do I secure my pop up camping shelter against the wind?

The wind is one of the number one killers of instant camping shelters and screened canopies. Many a camper have woken up after a windy night to find that theirs has blown across the campground. The best thing to do if there are high winds in the forecast is to take it down until the storm is over.

If taking it down isn’t an option you do a few things to better secure it against the wind. First, put up wind panels if you have them. These will keep the wind from getting under the roof fabric and lifting up the shelter.

Second, use heavy-duty tent stakes (click to view on Amazon) to stake down every available spot on the tent. Also, use a rope to secure the walls of the shelter to the ground with more tent stakes. If you are camping in the sand or loose dirt you can use spiral stakes (click to view on Amazon) for better grip.

Most pop up screen houses have a flap of fabric that sticks out about 4-6 inches around the bottom edge. You can have this fabric sitting on the inside or the outside of the shelter. I prefer the inside under my area rug. You can use sand bags (click to view on Amazon) to weigh these flaps down to not allow any wind to get in under the walls.

If the wind is too strong there’s really nothing you can do to keep a canopy or camping shelter from blowing away. But securing it to the ground as much as possible will definitely help. If you have an RV or travel trailer you can also put the shelter up along the side of it to better protect it from the wind.

What is the lightest camping shelter?

The Coleman Instant Screenhouse (click to view on Amazon) is one of the lightest traditional framed screen houses I’ve ever seen. The only downside to it is the lack of wind panels.

The biggest and lightest camping shelter with wind panels is the Alvantor Pop Up Canopy Screen Room (click to view on Amazon). It uses fiberglass poles and isn’t as heavy duty as the Coleman.

Why does The Clam screen tent roof collapse sometimes?

One complaint about the Clam pop up screen tents is that the roof will sometimes collapse when it’s raining. The biggest reason it does this is the weight of the water is pushing down on a roof that is already designed to be popped down.

One thing you can do to combat this is to make sure you drain the collected water from the roof regularly if you leave it out in the rain. You could also put a wooden pole or pvc pipe in the center of the tent to give it support in windy or rainy conditions.

How to repair the screen on a screen tent.

The mesh screens used for any kind of tent or canopy is always going to be as thin as possible so you can see through it easily and to allow some airflow. This is one of the best things about screen houses but it’s also what makes them a little bit fragile as well.

Screen tears happen and the easier way to repair them is to use Screen Repair Tape (click to view on Amazon) or Screen Repair Patches (click to view on Amazon). These tapes and patches will cover the tears and still allow you to see through the screen.

I recommend putting tape or a patch on both sides of the tear to help seal off the adhesive and to make the weakened area stronger.

Have any more questions about pop up screen tents or camping shelters? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

2 thoughts on “Best Pop Up Screen Tents & Camping Shelters 2021”

  1. First time we set up our Clam / Gazelle / Master Canopy -type pop up shelter “in the wild” all went well (had practiced at home). But something went very wrong while taking down! Somehow a couple of poles got crossed and we couldn’t close it up properly. Eventually had to disassemble several joints to get everything in place to put down properly. Took about 1-1/2 hour with help from nearby campers. Best news it that this hasn’t happened again. And we have no idea what went wrong in the first place.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience with your shelter. I have noticed similar problems with pop-up tents if they don’t get folded down perfectly. I guess it’s the downside to instant shelters because it takes more work to learn how to take them down. Fortunately, once you figure it out it’s usually pretty easy.

      Reply

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