How to Fold Up a Pop Up Tent: 9 Steps (With REAL Pictures!)
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I’ve been using pop up tents for many years, and the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent is one of my favorite pop up tents (it also has the most common pop up tent mechanism). In this article, I’ll be showing you how to fold up this pop up tent.
- Step 1: Remove All Stakes and Guylines
- Step 2: Unzip Window and Door
- Step 3: Clean the Tent Before Folding
- Step 4: Fold the Pop Up Tent Poles Together
- Step 5: Stand the Tent Up
- Step 6: Fold Pop Up Tent Towards the Ground
- Step 7: Slide the Pop Up Tent Together
- Step 8: Replace Strap Across the Tent
- Step 9: Put Pop Up Tent Back in Carry Bag
- Bonus Read
Step 1: Remove All Stakes and Guylines
The Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent comes with 6 stake loops and 2 guy-out points. On each side of the Coleman Pop Up Tent, there are 3 stake loops and 1 guyline, which looks like this:
If you’ve staked down and guyed out the pop up tent, first remove all of these stakes and guylines. If you didn’t, skip this step and head to the next one.
Step 2: Unzip Window and Door
Now, head to the front of your tent, and unzip the window and door. For the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent, it has this inner window (lighter green and mesh) and outer door (slightly darker green). Let me show you what the window and door look like:
And this is what the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up tent looks like with both the window and door open:
Why do you need to do so? There are 2 reasons:
- First, it makes cleaning the pop up tent a lot easier (next step).
- Also, when folding up the pop up tent, air can be pushed out of the tent more easily through the door opening.
If your pop up tent doesn’t have an inner window, simply unzip the door.
Step 3: Clean the Tent Before Folding
Since all pop up tents are freestanding tents, simply pick the entire tent up.
With the door opening facing the ground, gently shake the entire tent so that any dirt and debris can be shaken out through the door and onto the ground. Get someone to help you, especially if your pop up tent is bigger.
It’s best to not fold the pop up tent when there’s a lot of debris and dirt inside the tent. Even tiny rocks may pierce the fabric of your tent (if they are sharp), or get trapped in the folds of the pop up tent, making folding it up that much harder.
I also usually use a wet wipe to gently clean the outer base of the tent, because that’s where all the mud and dirt will get caked. I try not to leave this till much later, because old dirt is much harder to clean than newly-caked dirt.
If you do this, please do remember to let the tent dry before keeping it up.
Alternatively, like my picture above you can use a hose to hose the entire tent down, but remember that it’ll take longer to dry.
Step 4: Fold the Pop Up Tent Poles Together
Now, go to the back of the tent, and pick the pop up tent up from one side. You can start with the pole right at the left or right of the tent.
While the poles are fully enclosed in long pole sleeves, you’d be able to feel the poles using your hands. For the Coleman Pop Up Tents, their poles are enclosed in these gray pole sleeves:
Then, fold all the poles together until the tent looks like a taco. Here are a few pictures to demonstrate that:
Also, notice how the air gets pushed out of the tent easily through the door, because I left it open. This makes folding it up easier.
Step 5: Stand the Tent Up
Once your tent looks like a taco, stand it up on one end, like this.
If there’s a lot of tension from all the poles being folded up, use both hands to grab the middle of the taco first. Take your time to stabilize the taco before moving on to the next step.
This is exactly what I’m doing in the picture above – using both hands to grip the poles of the pop up tent.
Step 6: Fold Pop Up Tent Towards the Ground
Once you’re ready, release one of your hands from the taco. This means that you’ve only got one hand gripping all the poles together. Again, take your time to get a good grip on it.
Then, with your other hand, reach out as far as possible to the other end. Ideally, you should be able to reach out to the other tip of the taco, like I was able to do with the 2-person version of my Coleman Pop Up Tent:
However, if you don’t have super long arms (like me), just do your best to reach out as much as possible. It will still be able to fold down, don’t worry about that.
Check out this picture (below) of me reaching out as far as possible with my Coleman 4-Person Pop Up tent. I’m not even close to reaching the opposite tip of the taco:
Once you’ve reached out as far as possible, pull that end of the pop up tent taco towards you, like this:
At the same time, quickly kneel on the ground, using one of your knees to press down on that end that you’ve just folded in. This is to prevent the poles from popping up again.
Step 7: Slide the Pop Up Tent Together
The rest of the poles will now form smaller circles:
Now, use both hands to push these smaller circles down and together. You know you’ve folded the pop up tent correctly when it folds back to just one single smaller circle.
Step 8: Replace Strap Across the Tent
After that, I usually hold the tent together using my legs, and place the black strap across the tent.
Tip: When the pop up tent is folded into this smaller circle, there’s a lot of tension on the poles (which is what gives the tent the classic “pop up” motion. At all times, always maintain a good grip on the poles.
This is why I choose to fit the tent between my legs, so I can free up my hands to replace the black strap over the tent.
Step 9: Put Pop Up Tent Back in Carry Bag
Finally, put the tent back into the carry bag, it should go back in no problem at all.
But before zipping the carry bag up, do remember to clean your stakes, and then keep them up into the pocket inside the carry bag.
If you’ve found the Coleman Pop Up Tents too difficult to fold down, and would prefer a more guided set up and take down, I’ve bought, tested and reviewed other pop up tents that might be more your speed, in this blog post right here.
Or, check out the Coleman Pop Up Tents:
|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|
All My Pop Up Tent Resources: