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I’ve used pop up tents while regular camping, indoor camping, backyard camping, and even wild camping. And I’ve used these pop up tents with and without pegs. Here’s what I found.
Pop up tents will need pegs in windy locations, especially when the breeze is moderate (13-18 mph) to strong (25-31 mph). However, if there’s no wind, pop up tents can be set up without pegs, and hold their shapes well even without pegs.
Can You Set Up a Pop Up Tent Without Pegs?
Pop up tents can be set up without pegs and also without guylines, as they are freestanding tents. Freestanding tents are tents that can hold their shape without needing to be pegged down or guyed out; these tents can also be picked up easily and moved to another location.
Setting up a pop up tent is simple. All you have to do is just remove the pop up tent from the carry bag that it comes in, remove the strap holding the pop up tent together, and toss it away from you.
Since the poles of the pop up tent are held tightly together, the tension will cause the pop up tent to spring open. This gives the pop up tent the classic “pop up” action. Simply watch the tent pop open in at most 5 seconds, and you’ll have a tent that’s almost fully set up.
Notice that the pop up tent is already set up, without even needing to be pegged down and guyed out. This is the very definition of what freestanding means. All pop up tents are freestanding tents, so they don’t need any pegs to be set up. The pre-attached poles of the pop up tent will hold all the tent fabric up on their own.
I can also easily pick the freestanding pop up tent up, and move it to another location easily. Notice that the pop up tent retains its shape even when I’m picking it up off the ground.
Related Reading: How to Set Up a Pop Up Tent – 9 Steps
Related Reading: Are Pop Up Tents Easy to Set Up and Fold Up?
Are Pop Up Tents Sturdy Without Pegs?
Pop up tents hold their shapes well without pegs in places with little to no wind. However, in windier places (like open fields), pop up tents will not be sturdy if they are not pegged down and guyed out.
Compared to a regular camping tent, pop up tents are less sturdy without pegs. Pop up tents are made with only fiberglass poles, and thin poles at that. This is because fiberglass poles are the most flexible material (compared to aluminum and steel), and thinner poles are more flexible than thicker poles.
This flexibility is needed especially for pop up tents, which need to be folded down, and popped open. This is a picture of me folding down a Quechua 2 Seconds tent, and check out how much the fiberglass poles need to be bent and twisted:
The material and thickness of the pop up tent poles is what makes a pop up tent not quite so sturdy in windy conditions. When there’s wind, and without the added support from pegs and guylines, these thin fiberglass poles are much more likely to bend and warp than other tent poles (like thicker poles, or aluminum/steel poles).
When Do Pop Up Tents Need Pegs?
Pop up tents need pegs in windy conditions. Regardless of whether the breeze is strong (25-31 mph) or moderate (13-18 mph), pegging down your pop up tent is always recommended. You can also consider pegging down your tent in gentle breezes (8-12 mph), though it’s not strictly necessary.
There are many benefits to using pegs with pop up tents.
- First and foremost, pegging down your pop up tent will prevent it from blowing away.
- Second, pegs and guylines will increase your pop up tent’s resistance to wind.
- Third, it helps to maximize the space inside the pop up tent, without having the fabric of the tent all crumpled up.
- Fourth, not all pop up tents will be laid flat on the ground. Sometimes, I’ve noticed that the back of my pop up tent juts out a bit, and I usually like to peg it down.
However, there are a few occasions where your pop up tent won’t need pegs at all. For example, if you’re backyard camping, and there’s not a whole lot of wind, you can get away without pegging your tent.
Or, if you’re camping in your living room (of course there’s no wind), you won’t need pegs. In fact, you can’t use the pegs even if you wanted to (because there’s no soft ground to drive your pegs through).
Related Reading: Are Pop Up Tents Good in Wind?
Related Reading: Are Pop Up Tents Good in Rain?
Do Pop Up Tents Come With Pegs?
Most pop up tents will come with pegs, at least those from reputable brands like Coleman, Quechua, and Teton Sports. However, bear in mind that the pegs provided are not the most high quality, wind-resistant pegs.
Over the past few years, I’ve bought 7 pop up tents, and every single one of them came with pegs. I bought 2 pop up tents from Coleman, 3 pop up tents from Decathlon (the Quechua brand), and another 2 from Teton Sports.
For all of these pop up tents, I received very similar pegs. Basically, just the standard inexpensive pegs that all brands provide. The pegs look like this:
Notice that the diameter of the pegs are rather thin. As such, these pegs are much more susceptible to bending when pushed into hard ground. Or when you accidentally step on them, like I did:
Also, notice that the design is very simple. The surface around the peg is very smooth, the peg is just a thin cylindrical shape, so there’s less grip against the ground, and it will get pulled out of the ground more easily (which is not a good thing).
On top of that, the tip of the peg is very blunt, which makes it more difficult to penetrate hard ground.
How Many Pegs Do Pop Up Tents Come With?
Most tent companies will provide you with just enough pegs to peg down the entire tent body, and to peg down the guylines. So, if you have 4 stake loops and 4 guylines, you’d be provided with 8 pegs.
This was what I experienced when I bought my 7 pop up tents over the past few years. Here’s all the peg and guyline details of my pop up tents:
|Pop Up Tent||Stake Loops||Guylines||Pegs Provided|
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent||4||4||8|
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent||4||4||8|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent||6||2||8|
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent||6||2||8|
|Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent||4||7||9|
|Fresh and Black 2-Person Tent||4||5||9|
|Fresh and Black 3-Person Tent||4||5||9|
The general trend is that I received just enough pegs for the number of stake loops and number of guylines combined.
However, there was one exception, which was my Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent. While I had 4 stake loops on the tent body, and was provided with 7 guylines, I received only 9 pegs from Decathlon (instead of 11). I found this a bit strange, but it’s a rare anomaly (at least in my experience).
What are the Best Pegs to Use with a Pop Up Tent?
The best pegs to use with a pop up tent are the MSR Groundhog Stakes, which you can click here to see. I usually will recommend buying these stakes, not just for pop up tents, but for all tents in general.
I’ve always liked these MSR stakes, because they’re made of high quality aircraft-grade aluminum, are lightweight, strong, and have a lot of holding power. And it’s not too expensive to boot. They’re definitely a huge improvement over the flimsier pegs provided for free by tent companies.
However, please bear in mind that pop up tents are not the strongest and sturdiest tents out there. If you need high quality stakes to face the strong winds, I highly recommend also getting a more wind resistant camping tent (not a pop up tent), with a more complex pole structure, and thicker and higher quality poles.
Related Reading: Do Pop Up Tents Have Poles?
Related Reading: What Are Pop Up Tents Made Of?
If you’re decided that you want to buy a pop up tent, check out this blog post that I wrote, where I bought, tested, and thoroughly compared 7 different pop up tents.
|Pop Up Tent||Full Review||Check Price|
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent||Read Review||Amazon|
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent||Read Review||Amazon|
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent||Read Review||Amazon|
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent||Read Review||Amazon|
|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|
All My Pop Up Tent Resources: