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I’ve been using pop up tents for about 4 years now, and have a pretty good answer as to why some campers think these pop up tents don’t have poles.
All pop up tents have poles. This is what holds your pop up tent up. However, some campers mistakenly believe that pop up tents do not have poles because they don’t have to be set up, and they’re usually hidden or embedded behind long pole sleeves.
Do All Pop Up Tents Have Poles?
All pop up tents have poles, and all poles of a pop up tent are pre-attached to the tent body. This is one fundamental characteristic that makes a tent pop up. Without poles and the spring tension they store when folded up, a pop up tent will not be able to pop up.
Every single one of my 7 pop up tent has these poles, which are pre-attached:
|Pop Up Tent||Poles?||Pre-Attached?|
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Fresh and Black 2-Person Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Fresh and Black 3-Person Tent||Yes||Yes|
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent||Yes||Yes|
However, bear in mind that the poles of pop up tents, are thinner than poles of regular tents.
This is because the poles of pop up tents, particularly those that needed to be folded down flexibly into a circle, need to be incredibly flexible. If the poles were any thicker, it’ll be much more difficult for the camper to fold the pop up tent down.
This is especially so for my Quechua 2 Seconds and Coleman Pop Up Tents. The above picture shows how much flexibility is needed for folding the Quechua 2 Seconds tent into a figure-8 shape, and the below picture shows the flexibility needed to fold the Coleman Pop Up Tent into a taco, and then even further folding the taco down.
Related Reading: How Long do Pop Up Tents Last?
How are Pop Up Tent Poles Attached?
Pop up tent poles are attached to the tent body in 2 main ways. The first way is through being embedded in long pole sleeves, and the second way is with pre-attached pole clips. The ways of pole pre-attachment depend on how the pop up tent is to be folded up and popped open.
|Pop Up Tent||How Poles are Pre-Attached|
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent||Pre-attached pole clips|
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent||Pre-attached pole clips|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent||Embedded in pole sleeves|
|Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent||Embedded in pole sleeves|
|Fresh and Black 2-Person Tent||Embedded in pole sleeves|
|Fresh and Black 3-Person Tent||Embedded in pole sleeves|
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent||Embedded in pole sleeves|
Let’s go through each way in more detail below.
Embedded in Pole Sleeves
When testing my 7 pop up tents, I noticed that classic pop up tents (those with the iconic “pop up” motion) tend to have pre-attached poles embedded in long pole sleeves. Great examples of these tents are the Coleman Pop Up Tents and the Quechua 2 Seconds Tents:
Why this method of pre-attachment? Well, I’ve found that the long pole sleeves tend to provide a lot of support to the poles when they pop up, as well as fold down. The longer the pole sleeve, the more support they provide to the poles. This also helps to ensure that the poles don’t accidentally bend out of shape, or injure anyone when doing so.
These pole aren’t fully embedded though; after all, the pole sleeves need to come to an end. However, the gaps showing the exposed poles tend to be quite small. For example, here’s what the Coleman Pop Up Tent poles look like when not covered by the pole sleeves:
Also, here’s what the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent poles look like when exposed:
Some campers mistaken believe that pop up tents do not have poles, as they’re not always clearly visible. This is because the pole sleeves around the entire tent can be very, very long, hiding away your poles from clear view.
Take a look at the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black tent above. Do you see any poles? I don’t. But do you see the super long black pole sleeves running across the entire tent? Yes.
That’s exactly where your poles are hidden behind.
Pre-Attached Pole Clips
Another method of pole pre-attachment is by way of pre-attached pole clips. These pop up tent poles aren’t hidden behind long pole sleeves, instead the poles are usually fully exposed.
These pop up tents employ multiple pole clips along the length of each tent pole, which holds the tent body up. In fact, even a 1-person Teton Sports Quick Tent has a whopping 6 pole clips across each pole:
So, since there are 2 long poles intersecting each other across the Quick Tent, this single 1-person tent has 12 pole clips. Here’s what the pole clips look like:
They’re pretty thick and sturdy, and provide a lot of grip against the tent pole.
The reason why there’s no need for long pole sleeves for this tent, is because of the tent’s pop up and fold up motion. It doesn’t have as aggressive a “pop up” action, as compared to the Quechua 2 Seconds and Coleman Pop Up Tents.
Instead, the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tents employ more of an “umbrella” mechanism. All the poles are attached to a single central hub. So, when the central hub is pulled upward, the rest of the poles will follow.
To erect the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent, simply lift the central hub off the ground. Then, use one hand to grip the drawstrings at the top of the hub, and use your other hand to push down on the hub. Much like an umbrella, the Quick Tent will pop up like this:
No Need to Set Poles Up
Another reason why campers mistakenly believe that pop up tents do not have poles is because these poles do not need to be set up by the campers. Instead, all you have to do is to take the pop up tent out of the bag, and watch it magically pop up.
Related Reading: How to Set Up a Pop Up Tent (9 Steps)
In contrast, when it comes to regular tents, you’d have to grapple with long poles and long pole sleeves. The larger your tent capacity, the longer the poles are.
Related Reading: What are Pop Up Tents and How Do They Work?
Related Reading: Pop Up Tents vs. Regular Tents (8 Key Differences to Know)
What Holds Up a Pop Up Tent?
What holds up a pop up tent is the tent body fabric, as well as the tent poles. To attach these 2 parts of a pop up tent together, either long pole sleeves or pre-attached pole clips are used.
These are the essential parts of what holds a pop up tent up. Other parts like stakes and guylines are not entirely essential under certain conditions (like indoor or backyard camping), but can be used if you want to use them.
Pop up tents are entirely freestanding tents, so they can be fully set up without the need for any stakes or guylines. Notice that I’m simply carrying this Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent around, and it’s fully holding its own shape sturdily, without the need for stakes and guylines:
The same goes for the Coleman Pop Up Tent as well. I’m able to easily pick the pop up tent by its poles, and it holds its shape and itself up extremely well:
Related Reading: What Are Pop Up Tents Made Of? (5 Answered Questions!)
Related Reading: 16 Pros and Cons of Pop Up Tents
Do Pop Up Tents Need Pegs?
While pop up tents technically do not need pegs or stakes to hold its own shape, they will definitely be needed to be pegged or staked down under certain conditions.
When Do Pop Up Tents Need Pegs?
I highly recommend pegging and staking down your pop up tent if you’re camping anywhere apart from your backyard and indoors.
Even though there’s not a lot of breeze, I generally like to stake down my pop up tent. This is because outdoor breezes can be unexpected, and it’ll be not just uncomfortable but also unsafe if strong wind is able to pick up your tent and blow it away.
If you’re camping somewhere windy, staking down your tent and guying it out fully is definitely a must. Just be careful in extremely strong wind of 30 miles per hour and above; these are unsafe wind conditions for pop up tents, and you should take safety in your car rather than your pop up tent.
When Do Pop Up Tents NOT Need Pegs?
However, if you’re camping in your backyard, where you’re certain there’s not a lot of breeze or wind, you don’t need to peg or stake your pop up tent down.
Also, if you’re indoor camping, there’s definitely no need to stake or peg it down.
Related Reading: Do Pop Up Tents Need Pegs? (6 Answered Questions)
Related Reading: I Bought and Tested the 7 Best Pop Up Tents!
Related Reading: 13 Qualities for Choosing the Best Camping Pop Up Tent
|Pop Up Tent||Full Review||Check Price|
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent||Read Review||Amazon, Moosejaw|
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent||Read Review||Amazon, Moosejaw|
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent||Read Review||Amazon, Moosejaw|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent||Read Review||Amazon, Moosejaw|
|Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent||Read Review||Decathlon|
|Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 2-Person Tent||Read Review||Decathlon|
|Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 3-Person Tent||Read Review||Decathlon|
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