Bugs are not invited guests when it comes to camping. Thankfully, we have 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?
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.
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!
Best Screen Tents for Camping
When seeking out the best screen tents for camping, look for what suits your needs best.
Generally, you’ll want one that will last through many seasons of camping and will also be easy to set up and tear down. You’ll also want one that’s lightweight, compact enough for simple storage, and has all the protection you need from the weather and bugs.
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 thought we’d share some of our best tips for choosing a screen tent.
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.
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.
Tip: Usually the “quick set up” tents lean toward the heavier side.
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.
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 feet open, 6′ x 12″ x 12″ when folded up
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 (see video below), 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.
We personally chose this model in the Escape size. At 12 x 12 feet when open and 6′ x 12″ x 12″ inches when folded, it’ll do its job and use minimal storage space.
This greatly increased our time outside the RV in buggy locations!
- ESCAPE MODEL SPECS: Lightweight, portable canopy designed to...
- KEEPS WATER & BUGS OUT: Taped roof panel that resists water to...
- EASY SET UP & TAKE DOWN: Canopy shelter requires zero assembly,...
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.
2. Coleman Instant Screen House
Dimensions: 15 x 13 feet open, 41.6 sq. ft. of shade, 7 ft. center height
Weight: 18.25 pounds
The Coleman Instant Screen House is easily portable, weighing in at 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.
- 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
With two large doors, you can get in and out with ease. Plus, at 64 square feet of floor space and 84 inches maximum height, this screened house will make any outdoor space roomy and comfortable.
3. Coleman Screened Canopy Tent
Dimensions: 12 x 10 feet open, 4′ x 12″ x 12″ when folded
Weight: 45.2 pounds, has wheels on one end of bag for easier maneuvering.
The Coleman Screened Canopy Tent is the next level up from Coleman. This gazebo-style screen house adds beauty and functionality to any event, whether it’s camping or in your backyard. It’s also has a doubled-up heavy-duty Polyguard fabric, so you and your camping guests will be protected from the sun, wind, and bugs.
- Portable screened shelter offers protection from the sun, wind,...
- Sets up in 3 minutes in just 3 steps
- Made of durable Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric with UVGuard 50+...
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 pounds. But for simple portability and storage, it comes with an easy-pull wheeled carry bag that fits inside most vehicles.
4. Alvantor Pop-up Screen House
Dimensions: 120.08 x 120.08 x 83.86 inches open (10′ X 10′ X 7′ feet)
Weight: 8.8 pounds
The Alvantor Pop-up Screen House might just be the best screen tent for camping because of its unique shape and low weight of 15 pounds. This quick-setup unique 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 6 people and instantly pop-up anywhere you need protection from the critters.
- ☀Highlight: design patented Lightest Pop Up Screen Room for 4-6...
- ☀Spacious space & ventilation: Alvantor Breezy Hexagonal...
- ☀Patent design: fabric top provides an all-day UPF...
5. Gazelle Pop-up Screen Tent
Dimensions: 124″ x 124″ inches open (10’4″ X 10’4″)
Weight: 31.5 pounds
This Gazelle pop-up screen tent might just be everything you’re looking for. 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.
- Unique Hub Design System - Nothing sets up or takes down faster!
- Room for 8 People and a table - This 6-sided gazebo can...
- Shelter from the Sun, Biting Insects and More! - The roof of the...
This screen tent 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, and can withstand some pretty intense desert winds!
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 the grandest of 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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