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Over the past 3 years of using pop up tents, I’ve managed to use them not only in light winds, but moderate winds as well, and this is what I’ve found.
Some pop up tents can stand up to strong breezes of 30mph, but will not take well to stronger winds. This is because pop up tents are made with fiberglass poles that are generally thinner than the poles of regular camping tents, and are not meant for strong winds and other inclement weather.
How Much Wind Can a Pop Up Tent Take?
Sturdier pop up tents can withstand strong breezes of up to 30 miles per hour (mph), while less sturdy pop up tents will struggle even in moderate breezes of 20 miles per hour.
Considering that standard camping tents are also able to withstand strong breezes of 30 miles per hour, while only the sturdiest pop up tents can withstand that, it’s quite clear that pop up tents aren’t meant to take a lot of wind.
The reason different pop up tents have different wind resistance is because they are equipped with different features. As a general rule, pop up tents:
- That have been thoroughly tested by the brand are usually more wind resistant.
- With more guy-out points for more guylines will withstand wind better.
- With lower peak heights will withstand wind better.
Why Aren’t Pop Up Tents Good in Wind?
Pop up tents are not known to be good in wind; these tents are manufactured for their ease of set up and take down, not so much for withstanding strong winds and inclement weather.
To give pop up tents their iconic “pop up” motion, in which they pop open the moment you take them out of their carry case, the poles of the pop up tent need to be easily folded.
To be easily folded, pop up tents need to be made of fiberglass poles, which is the most flexible material that tent poles are made of. And not just regular fiberglass poles, but thin fiberglass poles.
In contrast, regular camping tents without the pop up action are made from much sturdier materials, such as:
- Thicker fiberglass poles;
- Aluminum poles; or
- Steel poles.
This allows regular camping tents or wind resistant tents to stand up to much stronger winds without the poles bowing or flexing too much.
Related Reading: Pop Up Tents VS. Regular Tents – 8 Key Differences to Know
Related Reading: Do Pop Up Tents Have Poles?
Related Reading: What Are Pop Up Tents Made Of?
How Do You Set Up a Pop Up Tent in Strong Wind?
Setting up a pop up tent in strong wind is actually easier than setting up a regular camping tent in strong wind.
For a regular camping tent, you’d need to lay out the tent while struggling against the wind, and even stake down the tent to prevent it from blowing away, before you can thread the poles through the pole sleeves.
There’s no such staking out when it comes to a pop up tent, because all the poles are already pre-attached to the tent. It simply pops open right out of the carry case. You’d also have to toss the pop up tent away from you to prevent it from popping up in your face.
However, please bear in mind that in strong winds, the wind can blow the pop up tent towards you, and it might pop up in your face, which is something that you have to avoid.
Because pop up tents have a lot of built-up tension in the poles, which allow them to pop open, this will really hurt if the tent slaps you in the face. (Trust me, it happened to me once before.)
As such, if you’re expecting to set up a pop up tent in strong wind, I highly recommend staying away from the tents that pop open out of the carry case. Instead, I recommend tents with a more guided set up, like the Quechua 2 Seconds Tents.
To set up the Quechua 2 Seconds Tents, first take the tent out of the carry case, and remove the yellow strap (picture 1 below). The tent will pop open very slightly to make a bigger circle (picture 2 below). After that, unbuckle the yellow and red buckles (picture 3 below), and simply unfold the tent (picture 4 below). There’s no vicious popping up motion at all.
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?
Related Reading: Can You Use a Pop Up Tent for Camping? (6 Answered Questions!)
How Do You Keep a Pop Up Tent from Blowing Away?
To keep your pop up tent from blowing away, set it up behind your car, which will act as a wind break. Also, do use all the stake loops to stake down the pop up tent body, as well as all the guylines from the guy-out points.
Use Your Car as a Windbreak
As pop up tents are rather large and bulky, it’s likely that you’d be using your car to help take it around. As such, in strong winds, I highly recommend setting up your pop up tent near your car.
Do check the direction of the wind, and then use the large body of your car to shield your pop up tent from the wind in that direction. This will help to reduce the probability of your pop up tent’s fiberglass poles bowing and flexing in the wind.
Buy Better Stakes
Another great tip to prevent your pop up tent from blowing away is to buy much sturdier stakes. The stakes that come provided with your pop up tent are just thin metal that can bend quite easily, and will not hold up well to strong winds.
Here’s what they look like:
Notice that these provided stakes are quite thin, and provide very little grip against the ground. For higher quality stakes, you can check out these MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes from Amazon.
Related Reading: Do Pop Up Tents Need Pegs?
Fully Stake Out and Guy Down
Another tip to prevent your pop up tent from blowing away is to use all the stake loops and guy-out points on the tent body.
Your pop up tent can have as many as 6 stake loops on the tent base, and as many as 7 guy-out points for 7 guylines tent body.
The better your pop up tent is staked down and guyed out, the more anchored it’ll be, and the more wind it’ll be able to withstand.
To make sure that you’re prepared for your windy camping trip, do check the number of stakes you have, and also the number of guylines. You might not always be provided with as many stakes and guylines that you can use. For example, while my Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent could take up to 7 guylines, I was provided with only 5 guylines:
Related Reading: How to Secure a Pop Up Tent
Related Reading: Are Pop Up Tents Worth it? And, Should You Buy One?
Which is the Best Pop Up Tent for High Winds?
The Quechua 2 Seconds Tent is the best pop up tent for high or strong winds. This tent is equipped with 4 stake loops and 7 guy-out points, and has been factory tested in wind speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
“We test all of our tents in a wind tunnel with a rotary table to expose each side of the tent to the wind. A properly assembled tent with all the guy ropes properly positioned around the tent should remain habitable in wind speeds of up to 30 mph measured near ground level (Force 6).”From Decathlon website
Each Quechua 2 Seconds Tent from Decathlon has 7 guy-out points, 4 of them being at the front, and another 3 of them at the back:
In contrast, the rest of my pop up tents have much fewer guylines. Both my Teton Sports Vista Quick Tents have only 4 guylines (2 at the front, and 2 at the back). Both my Coleman Pop Up Tents have only 2 guylines (1 at the right, and 1 at the left).
Also, Decathlon does the most thorough wind testing of having their 2 Seconds Tents put through a wind tunnel test, from every angle possible. From my research, while Coleman does put their tents through a 35mph wind test, it’s not clear if their Pop Up Tents were subjected to the same test. They felt a little flimsier than my 2 Seconds Tents. And I didn’t come across any information about Teton Sports and their wind tests.
So, if you’re expecting strong winds (of not more than 30mph), and have your heart set on a pop up tent, I’d highly recommend checking out Decathlon’s 2 Seconds 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|
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