Are you keen on going camping but find tent setup tedious and time-consuming? Well, pop up tents may be the answer you have been looking for. To help you figure out which one is right for you, I will be comparing and reviewing the best pop up tents Australia.
Pop up tents (also known as easy set up tents) don’t actually have separate tent poles like conventional tents. Instead, the structure of the tent is already built into the seams, which means that as soon as you lay the tent flat on the ground, it will automatically unfold and form the correct shape.
With a pop up tent, setup takes (literally!) just a few seconds.
Best Pop Up Tents Australia
Explore Planet Earth Speedy 4 Black Hole Pop Up Tent
The Explore Planet Earth Speedy Black Hole range is widely regarded by many as the best pop up tent in Australia.
It is a surprisingly sturdy and reliable camping tent, especially for a pop up. The 3,000mm waterproof rating will keep you dry in almost all conditions, although some people have noted that you need to peg it out carefully to prevent pooling or water on the top.
The sunlight blocking lets you sleep in beyond 6am, and also helps keep you cool on hot summer days, but also warmer on cool winter nights.
The built in internal lighting is a nice touch, and it means that you can easily play some games in the tent at night, without trying to attach any torches or lanterns. It can be powered from a USB battery adapter, or a power bank (this is not included).
The 3 year warranty is fantastic and not often seen for these units.
It comes in 2, 3 and 4 person varieties.
Kmart 3 Person Pop Up Tent
Best Budget Pop Up Tent
The Kmart 3 person pop up tent is an incredibly cheap option for those who want a pop up tent but are on a tight budget. It is quite small and made from thin material which means that it is light and packs down into a small size.
However, it is not particularly waterproof and is likely to start leaking if it rains. For this reason, I don’t recommend that you use this unit for anything other than backyard camping, or situations where you can seek more sturdy shelter if the weather turns.
The thin material that it's made from also means that temperature regulation in the tent will be poor. The low ceiling (105cm) makes it difficult to get changed inside the tent.
Be aware that it can only comfortably sleep 2 people, and doesn’t come in a larger size.
You might be able to get away with using this tent for a quick overnight camp in fair weather, but for extended trips where there is the possibility of rain, I recommend upgrading to something more sturdy.
Outdoor Connection Easy Up 4 Pop-Up Tent
This camping tent from Outdoor Connection has long been a staple of the Australian pop up tent scene. It is a very sturdy and durable tent, designed to last many years of camping in the Australian bush.
It is rated to 2,000mm waterproofing and Outdoor Connection claims that it retains this degree of waterproofing even after many years of use.
The ventilation panels and side windows allow you to precisely control how much airflow you allow into the tent, which can keep you cool and prevent condensation build up.
This is a great all-rounder option.
It comes with a standard 1 year warranty, and in 2, 3 and 4 person varieties.
Malamoo Cicara 3.0 Pop Up Tent
This is the largest of the 4 person pop up tents reviewed in this article, and the only one that can actually sleep 4 adults in comfort. It comes with a very roomy 5.52 sqm of space to spread out in. Consequently, it is slightly heavier than the other options on this list.
It also has the highest ceiling at 145cm, which is quite good for a pop up tent.
There were many issues with this tent upon initial release, with many people complaining that their poles were snapping after only a few uses. Oztent claims to have fixed this issue with their new design that comes with white poles.
It comes with a 2 year warranty and in 2, 3 and 4 person varieties.
Pop Up Tents vs. Instant Tents - Which One Should I Get?
Pop up tents have tent poles that are sewn into tent fabric during manufacturing. These tent poles have already been carefully assembled in such a way that the tent will ‘spring’ into shape once it is free from the bag.
These sewn-in poles are much lighter than conventional poles, which makes the whole tent lighter and even faster to set up than an instant tent. However, they can be difficult to pack away, as they need to be folded up in a specific way to fit back into their bag.
Pop up tents are typically smaller than instant tents, as they don’t have the structural integrity afforded by an actual pole-supported frame.
A downside of pop up tents is that they can be a tad difficult to pack up. You have to fold them up in a very specific way to avoid damaging them and to ensure that they can actually fit in the carry bag. Wikihow has a useful resource on how to fold up a pop up tent.
Instant tents, on the other hand, speed up the tent erection process by using conventional poles but by pre-attaching them to the tent. The tent poles are initially collapsed, but you can simply lift the frame into place, fully extend the poles and they will then automatically lock into place. This gives the tent a sturdy, rigid structure.
Pop up tents can be set up within seconds, whereas instant tents usually take a few minutes to fully set up. Compare that to conventional tents, which can take 10-15 minutes to set up.
If you think that an instant tent is a better choice for you, check out my article on the best instant tents in Australia.
What To Consider When Buying A Pop Up Tent?
Remember that the number in the tent title refers to the sleeping capacity of that tent. Most 4 person tents can’t actually comfortably sleep 4 adults. They can either sleep 2 adults and 2 children, or 3 adults comfortably.
If you have a lot of gear or bags that need storing in the tent, take this into consideration too. Consider upgrading to a larger tent if you think that you will need the space.
Of the 4 person tents reviewed in this article, the Malamoo Cicara 3.0 is the largest and the only one that can claim to sleep 4 adults comfortably.
Keep in mind that most pop up tents have much lower ceilings than conventional camping tents, as they don’t benefit from the structural integrity that thicker, conventional poles afford. The Kmart tent has a very low ceiling height of just over 1 metre.
Pop up tents are thankfully much lighter than conventional tents, largely due to the smaller poles. This makes them much easier to carry.
As most pop ups fold up into a flat disc, many manufacturers put a strap on the carry bag that allows you to carry it over your shoulder. This is great if your campsite is far from where you have parked.
Some tents are more suitable for certain weather conditions than others. This is typically expressed with the ‘season rating’. 2 and 3 season tents tend to be for mild to moderate weather, whereas 4 season tents are suitable for use even in cold conditions.
Storms are unpredictable in Australia, with sudden, unexpected downpours very common. You don’t want to be woken up at night with water dripping on your face, so make sure that you choose a tent with a decent waterproof rating.
Ratings range from 1,000mm (the lowest rating that is considered waterproof), all the way up to 10,000mm.
The Outdoor Connection and Malamoo tents both have a 2,000mm waterproof rating, and the Explore Planet Earth tent has a 3,000mm rating. The Kmart tent does not have a waterproof rating, it is only labelled as ‘water repellent’.
We all know how brutal and unforgiving the Australian sun can be. Tents can act as greenhouses, trapping in hot air. Make sure that your tent has some vents and windows to let the hot air escape, otherwise you’ll be in for a hot and sweaty evening.
Ventilation can also prevent condensation forming on the inside of your tent.
As we all know, tent setup and pack down is not the most enjoyable aspect of camping. Thankfully, all of the tents in this article can be set up in literally a few seconds.
A warranty lets you sleep easy knowing that your tent is covered if it is defective in any way. It is also a good sign that the manufacturer has faith in the quality of their product, and that they stand behind this quality.
The Explore Planet Earth tent comes with an outstanding 3 year warranty. The Malamoo tent has a 2 year warranty, the Outdoor Connection tent has a 1 year warranty, and the Kmart tent does not have a warranty.
Poor build quality means a painful tent setup experience, higher risk of accidental damage to the tent, as well as frustrating and flimsy pegs, poles or zippers. Cheaper tents naturally have poorer build quality, as the manufacturers save on material to keep costs low.
The Kmart tent is an example of a cheaper tent where the build quality is likely to be lower than the other more expensive tents in this article.
Depending on what you plan on doing, extra features such as those below may be entirely unnecessary, or absolutely essential:
- Sunlight blocking can keep your tent nice and dark beyond the crack of dawn. This lets you and the kids sleep in as much as you like.
- Rather than trying to attach lanterns or torches to your tent, built in lighting can make it easy to find whatever you are looking for. It is also great for playing games in the tent.
For me, the Explore Planet Earth Speedy Black Hole is the best pop up tent Australia. Sunlight blocking, built in internal lighting, 3,000mm waterproof rating and a 3 year warranty! It is an excellent pop up tent and one that I would recommend to anyone.
However, it has suffered from many quality issues in the past, with many people reporting their poles snapping after just a few uses. Oztent claim to have fixed this in their new 3.0 iteration of the Malamoo.
Finally, the Kmart 3 Person Pop Up Tent is a possibility for someone on a very tight budget. It is very light and cheap, but it is also very small and not particularly waterproof. It is likely to suffer from leakage to condensation accumulation, so it is only recommended for very basic camping.
Have you enjoyed this roundup of the best pop up tents in Australia? If so, let me know in the comments below!
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