Are Pop Up Tents Good in Wind? (What You NEED to Know!)

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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.

This is a picture of me unfolding the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent.
This is a picture of me unfolding the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent.

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.

This is a picture of me using my Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent while camping.
This is a picture of me using my Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent while camping.

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.

This is a picture of me tossing the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent away from me.
This is a picture of me tossing the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent away from me.
This is a picture of the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent popping up.
This is a picture of the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent popping up.

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.

This is what the fiberglass poles of the Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent look like.
This is what the fiberglass poles of the Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent look like.

In contrast, regular camping tents without the pop up action are made from much sturdier materials, such as:

  1. Thicker fiberglass poles;
  2. Aluminum poles; or
  3. 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.

This is a picture of my brother putting together one of the steel wall poles of the Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent. Notice that the poles are a lot thicker.
This is a picture of my brother putting together one of the steel wall poles of the Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent. Notice that the poles are a lot thicker.

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.

This is a picture of one corner of the Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent staked out with one of the provided stakes.
This is a picture of one corner of the Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent staked out with one of the provided stakes.

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.

This is a picture of the Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent popping open as I throw it away from me.
This is a picture of the Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent popping open as I throw it away from me.

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.

When you first take the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent out of its carry bag, you’ll notice this yellow strap holding the tent together.
When you first take the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent out of its carry bag, you’ll notice this yellow strap holding the tent together.
This is what the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent looks like after I remove the yellow strap.
This is what the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent looks like after I remove the yellow strap.
This is a picture of me undoing the red buckles of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent.
This is a picture of me undoing the red buckles of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent.
This is a picture of me unfolding the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent, after undoing both the red and yelllow buckles.
This is a picture of me unfolding the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent, after undoing both the red and yelllow buckles.

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:

There’s a small pocket in the carry bag of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent, which holds the provided stakes and guylines.
There’s a small pocket in the carry bag of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent, which holds the provided stakes and guylines.
This is what the stake loops on the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent look like. There are 4 of these stake loops around the tent body.
This is what the stake loops on the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent look like. There are 4 of these stake loops around the tent body.

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.

Each side of the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent has 3 stake loops for staking down the tent body, and 1 guyline for guying out the tent.
Each side of the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent has 3 stake loops for staking down the tent body, and 1 guyline for guying out the tent.

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:

This is a picture of me guying out the 3 guylines at the back of the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent.
This is a picture of me guying out the 3 guylines at the back of the Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black Tent.

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:

This is a picture of me guying out the 4 guylines at the front of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent. I’ve only set up 3 guylines in this picture itself.
This is a picture of me guying out the 4 guylines at the front of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent. I’ve only set up 3 guylines in this picture itself.
This is a picture of me guying out the 3 guy-out points at the back of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent.
This is a picture of me guying out the 3 guy-out points at the back of the Quechua 2 Seconds Pop Up Tent.

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).

This is a picture of me guying out one of the guylines on the Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent.
This is a picture of me guying out one of the guylines on the Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent.
This is a picture of me guying out my Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent with the 2 pre-attached guylines.
This is a picture of me guying out my Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent with the 2 pre-attached guylines.

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.

This is a picture of me with my 7 pop-up tents. From bottom to top: Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent, Fresh & Black 3-Person Tent, Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent, Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent, Fresh & Black 2-Person Tent, Teton Sports Vista 2-Person Tent, and the Teton Sports Vista 1-Person Tent.
This is a picture of me with my 7 pop-up tents. From bottom to top: Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent, Fresh & Black 3-Person Tent, Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent, Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent, Fresh & Black 2-Person Tent, Teton Sports Vista 2-Person Tent, and the Teton Sports Vista 1-Person Tent.
Pop Up TentFull ReviewCheck Price
Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick TentRead ReviewAmazon
Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick TentRead ReviewAmazon
Coleman 4-Person Pop Up TentRead ReviewAmazon
Coleman 2-Person Pop Up TentRead ReviewAmazon
Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person TentRead ReviewDecathlon
Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 2-Person TentRead ReviewDecathlon
Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 3-Person TentRead ReviewDecathlon

All My Pop Up Tent Resources:

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