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5 Best Screen Tents for Camping Bug-Free in the Great Outdoors

Bugs are not invited guests when it comes to camping, but like an annoying RV neighbor, they show up anyway. Thankfully, there are screen tents, one of the best ways to keep them out of your party. But, with so many choices on the market, how do you choose the best screen tents for camping?

Come along as we take a look at these portable outdoor shelters designed to keep bugs out and help you find one to suit your needs.

What Is a Screen Tent for Camping? 

A screen tent acts like a tent that you would sleep in, with a few differences. The walls are see-through, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of natural views without the nuisance of bugs.

Screen tent canopies can have many options, including floors and zippered doors. Some are meant for easy setup and tear down. Others may take a bit longer, depending on the pole system it uses. You could also choose a screen with complete coverage, protecting you from rain along with bugs.

Quick-set clam tent for camping
Enjoy a bug-free zone no matter where you roam.

Benefits of Having a Screen Tent

There are many benefits of a screen tent, the most apparent being keeping those unwanted guests out of your hair–quite literally. 

Another benefit is weather protection. It’s quite lovely to sit outside on a rainy summer day, feeling the breeze and getting a break from the heat without getting soaked.

It’s also a lovely place to set up chairs and tables for a relaxing gathering area out of the elements. It provides adequate shade and a cozy atmosphere. Many of these screened canopies have a UPF sun protection rating as well!

Pro Tip: Relax in the great outdoors while camping by using this guide on how to Take Your RV Porch to the Next Level.

What to Look for in a Screen Tent for Camping

Whether you’re buying your first screen tent or you want to replace what you already have, we’re sharing some of our best tips for choosing one below. 

Durability

When seeking out the best screen tent for camping, you’ll want something that can handle almost anything. This includes unpacking it, setting it up, handling the weather, tearing it down, and packing it back up again, over and over.

screen tent set up at RV camp site
If you plan to use your screen tent frequently, you’ll want one made of durable materials that can withstand frequent use.

Ease of Use/Setup

Look for screen tents that take less than a few minutes to set up and tear down. Your time should be spent in recreation or relaxation, not figuring out complicated screen tents. So choose one that’s easy to use. 

Portability and Storage

You probably already have too much stuff, so your screen tent should be spacious enough to entertain but compact enough to store. Portability is also a plus. A tent that comes with a storage bag makes it both portable and simple to store.

Size and Weight

Along with portability comes size and weight. The best screen tents for camping should accommodate six adults but still weigh less than 40 pounds. Keeping its size and weight low will make it one of the best screen tents for camping. Unfortunately, the “quick set up” tents generally lean toward the heavier side, so you may have to sacrifice ease of use if weight is a concern.

Doors, Walls, and Floors

If your goal is to really keep those critters out and away from your party, then you need doors, walls, and a floor. Bugs are tiny; they can crawl under almost anything, so with all the above, you can create a lovely outdoor space without them.

Pro Tip: Keep the bugs out by using this Clam Quick-Set Screen Tent Comparisons to Help You Decide.

using screen tent while camping in desert
The best screen tents for camping will have wall panels to block wind and create a comfortable bug-free space to hang out in.

5 Best Screen Tents for Camping Bug-Free

Now that we’ve convinced you that you need a top-quality screen tent for your camp, you just need to know what to get. Here are some of our favorite options. 

1. Quick-Set Clam Escape Screen Tent

Dimensions: 12′ x 12′ open, 6′ x 12″ x 12″ folded
Weight: 34 pounds

The Quick-Set Clam Screen Tent is just that: a quick setup and tear-down screen tent. It takes only 2 minutes to set up, requires zero assembly, and is ready to use right out of the box! It’s a bit heavy at 34 pounds; however, the beauty of this gazebo-style tent makes it worth its weight.

Let it rain because this camping screen tent is water-resistant and all-season. It’s also packed into a carrying bag with tent stakes to keep it in place when the wind blows, so you’ve got everything you need.

We personally chose this model in the Escape size, which has greatly increased our time outside the RV in buggy locations!

CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Ft Portable...
  • Lightweight & Portable: Measures 140 inches long and 140 inches...
  • Spacious Shelter: Accommodates up to 6 people comfortably; fits...
  • Essential Camping Set: Includes 7 tent stakes, 5 tie-down ropes,...
Quick Set Escape Clam Tent for camping
We use the Quick-Set Clam Screen Tent for our Michigan RV camp setup and love it!

2. Coleman Screened Canopy Tent

Dimensions: 15′ x 13′ open
Weight: 18.25 pounds

The Coleman Screened Canopy Tent is easily portable, weighing only three pounds. Hanging out in here, you’ll find shelter from the sun, wind, and bugs. It sets up in about a minute and is made of durable Polyguard double-thick fabric. It also offers UPF 50 sun protection.

With two large doors, you can get in and out with ease. Plus, at 41.6 square feet of floor space and a 7-foot maximum height, this screened canopy tent is roomy and comfortable.

Sale
Coleman Skylodge Screened Canopy Tent with Instant...
  • SUN PROTECTION: UVGuard material offers UPF 50 sun...
  • INSTANT SETUP: In as fast as 1 minute
  • BUG-FREE ENTERTAINING: Screen walls keep the mosquitoes away

3. Coleman Back Home Screenhouse

Dimensions: 12′ x 10′ open, 4′ x 12″ x 12″ folded
Weight: 45.2 pounds

The Coleman Back Home Screenhouse is the next level up for Coleman screen tents. This gazebo-style screen house adds beauty and functionality to any event, whether camping or in your backyard. It also has a doubled-up heavy-duty Polyguard fabric, so you and your camping guests will be protected from the sun, wind, and bugs.

It has two doors for access in and out and sets up in three steps, taking only three minutes. Because of its durability, shape, and size, the tent is on the heavy side at 45.2 pounds. But for simple portability and storage, it comes with an easy-pull wheeled carry bag that fits inside most vehicles.

Coleman Back Home Screen Canopy Tent with Instant...
  • Screened walls for bug-free entertaining, UVGuard material offers...
  • Sets up in as fast as 3 minutes with Comfort Grip technology that...
  • Double-thick Polyguard 2X fabric stands up to the elements season...

4. Alvantor Pop-Up Screen House Tent

Dimensions: 10′ x 10′ x 7′ open
Weight: 15 pounds

The Alvantor Pop-Up Screen House Tent might just be the best screen tent for camping because of its unique shape and low weight of 15 pounds. This quick-setup tent is perfect for summer evenings without bugs. You can even purchase an optional floor, genuinely bringing the indoors outside.

With six mesh netting screen walls and a hexagonal shape, your views of the beautiful outdoors are only hindered by your friends, not the tent’s structure. While it’s not waterproof, the Alvantor Screen House can hold up to six people and instantly pop-up anywhere you need protection from the critters.

Sale
Alvantor Screen House Room Camping Tent Outdoor...
  • ☀Highlight: design patented Lightest Pop Up Screen Room for 4-6...
  • ☀Spacious space & ventilation: Alvantor Breezy Hexagonal Screen...
  • ☀Patent design: fabric top provides an all-day UPF 50+ UV...

5. Gazelle Camping Gazebo

Dimensions: 124″ x 124″x 86″ open, 8″ x 8″ x 73″ folded
Weight: 34 pounds

This Gazelle Camping Gazebo might just be everything you’re looking for in an outdoor shelter. With its gazebo shape and six sides, you might feel like royalty when hanging out safely in this space.

This fashionable canopy tent weighs in at just over 30 pounds and sets up in under a minute with no assembly required. It includes ground stakes and tie-downs for those windy days. And if it starts to sprinkle, the roof panel is water-resistant, so you can continue to play without getting drenched.

This shelter is generally considered the lower-priced alternative to the more expensive name-brand Quick-Set Clam Tents. In our personal experience, it’s very comparable in materials and build quality and can withstand some pretty intense desert winds!

Sale
Gazelle Tents G6 8 Person 12 by 12 Pop Up 6 Sided...
  • 6-Sided Gazebo: Designed with integrated wind panels for...
  • Hub Design: Pop-up gazebo hub design makes assembly fast and...
  • Durability: Shade tent has a large main entrance door that offers...
While camping in the desert with friends, we used their Gazelle Gazebo, and it worked great!

Are Screen Tents Worth It?

Considering most quality screen tents cost well over $150, we wouldn’t call them a cheap camping accessory. So are they worth the price tag? If you frequently camp in areas plagued by flies, mosquitos, and other insects, a screen tent is an excellent investment. However, if you camp in areas where bugs aren’t a big problem or you don’t spend much time outside your RV, you may want to pass on this item.

Pro Tip: When you’re not inside your screen tent, stay protected with one of the 8 Best Mosquito and Bug Repellents for Camping Bug-Free.

The Best Screen Tents for Camping: All Are Invited, Except the Bugs

Now that you’ve got one of the best screen tents for camping, it’s time to start planning an outdoor get-together. Include all the best foods and drinks, and send out invitations to everyone, except those bugs, of course. Even if they try gate crashing, they won’t be able to get in! 

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Dave

Monday 3rd of July 2023

Hi, great article. Do you know if any of these have magnetic vs zippered doors? A quick closing hands free magnetic door is a huge advantage in a buggy environment. We are searching for the elusive bug room which is both pop up and has magnetic doors

Aletha

Thursday 24th of March 2022

The first one and the gazell look like they would work best. Easy set up, fairly light and have attachable walls. I did not see that any of these on the site had floors.

Adam

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

The SansBug pop up screen tents have sewn in floors so they provide complete protection.

Samantha Nichols

Wednesday 26th of January 2022

I just wanna say thank you for your sharing. Great article and I love it.

Samantha Nichols

Monday 10th of January 2022

I do love this 21 foot screen room. It was very easy to install and creates so much more space! The carefree room is a very thick material and looks like it will stand up well. There are gaps in the corners where it meets with the rv and awning. We will play around with it and see if we can eliminate them. I do with the flaps to close the windows were on the inside but it isn't a huge issue. It is giving us a ton of extra space.

Marjorie Manson

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

I have to write because, when I choose a screen tent, I look at different things. First, if you are camping with limited space octagon shape doesn't work. I chose a screen area that would be big enough for several people, it could fit over picnic bench that are at State parks. So my screen is a 13x9 core, I think they're is a bigger Coleman that works also. If rain is in forecast, I have devised a way to attach tarps to top and sides quickly. Just my 2 cents

Helen Ray

Wednesday 17th of May 2023

@Marjorie Manson, could you share how you attach tarps quickly?

Mortons on the Move

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Good points. Thanks for sharing!