Category Archives: pop up tents ideas

Six Play Tent New Ideas For Your Christmas Gifts

Holiday season and Christmas are just around the corner. If you are looking for some gift ideas for your kids why don’t you think about a play tent?

Children love to carve out their own nook where they can create their own adventures, read their favorite book or just take a nap.

Pacific Play Tents Cottage Bed Tent

If you are a creative person or you have a passion for DIY stuff, there are lots of blogs where you can find ideas on how to build a play tent for your kid.

If you are not a DIY person or you lack the time, than you just have to go to your favorite toy store or find out what the internet can offer you.

Forts, Castles, Trains and all the play tents you can find

When it comes to choosing a play tent you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can find them in different shapes, colors, dimensions and prices.

Boys prefer the fort or castle shaped tent. It is the kingdom to be defended against enemies. Others will love the train shaped tent, the car shaped tent or the turtle tent.

Girls instead prefer the home shaped tent or the princess castle tent, in which they can play for hours pretending to be a stay at home mom, or the little princess of the castle. There are also cottage tents, tree house tents, beauty boutique tents and so on.

In short, you can find a toy tent whatever the tastes of your children.

Tent fabrics, installation, and other useful information about play tents.

I’m not kidding! Buying a play tent requires the same attention as when you buy a real camping tent. There are lots of things to consider.

  • Indoor or outdoor play tent

    First you need to know where the tent will be mostly used. Most of the play tents can be used both indoor and outdoor, while others can only be used indoor. If you are going to buy a play tent to be used in your backyard, read the product details before, to avoid the surprise of discovering that it is not waterproof just in the middle of a downpour.

  • Fabrics and poles

    Another thing to know is what kind of fabric is the tent made. This is very important if you have children with some kind of allergy. Most of the toy tents are made of polyester, and some of them can be also used outdoors. Others are made of soft but durables materials and are suitable only for indoor uses. The frame structure is usually made with steel poles, but if the play tent you are going to buy is some kind of pop up tent than the frame is made with fiberglass poles.

  • Measures and shapes

    Knowing in advance the exact measures of the play tent  is really important. It will allow you to understand the space occupied by the tent inside the room. Take also care of the shape and the height of the tent. In fact some of these tent are really huge and certainly you would not want to discover it when opening them in your living room.

  • Installation

    Installing a play tent is not difficult but there are tents that can be installed only by adults and others that can be set up even by the children themselves. Before you buy one, take five minutes to take a look at the videos you can find on Youtube.com or directly on the manufacturer’s website.

A selection of the best play tents for your kids

Pink Princess Castle Play Tent – by Poko

Girl's Playhouse Pink Princess Castle Play Tent for Kids

If you have a little princess than the Fairy Princess Pop Up Play tent is the ideal gift. This magic pink castle will be the enchanted kingdom of many adventures and stories. Measuring 40″ x 53″ is large enough for two little princesses. It has a big flap front door for easy access, which can be tied up, and two side windows. The tent must be assembled by an adult but sets up in a second. It’s suitable for ages 3 and up.

3.9 Stars

Knight’s Castle Play Tent – by Poko

Knight's Playhouse - Castle Play Tent

If your kid is a fearless knight than the right kingdom is the Knight’s Playhouse – Castle Play Tent. Suitable for children aged three to five years, it measures 40″ x 53″ and can fit up to three little knights sitting. It’s made of 190T polyester and features a front door and two side windows. It’s not properly a pop up tent but it’s easy to set up in minutes by an adult.

3.9 Stars

Beauty Boutique – by Playhut

Beauty Boutique Play Tent

Another nice play tent for your daugther or granddaughter is the Playhut Beauty Boutique. Very easy to set up the tent snaps open in a while. Designed for children ages three and older this play hut stands 3 feet tall, giving your children plenty of room to stand and play. The tent features a large front door, a side door and window for ventilation. The tent comes with a solid purple curtain that attached inside to the ceiling creates an inside changing room.

3.8 Stars

Safari Tent and Tunnel Combo – by Pacific Play Tents

Safari Tent and Tunnel Combo

The Pacific Safari Tent and Tunnel combo is a great play tent for small explorers. It can be used both inside your home or outdoors. The tent is extra large, 4-by-4-foot, for a great gameplay. It features a water-resistant floor, a zip up curtain and vented mesh screens for air circulation. A special feature is removable Safari Tunnel which is 19 inches in diameter and is 4 feet long. The tent canvas is made of flame retardant and water resistent polyester and is textured with nice drawings of elephants, monkeys and other animals of the savanna.

4.8 Stars

Mega Tent – by Schylling

Mega Tent by Schylling

The Mega Tent by Schylling is a real pop up tent. It pops up and down in seconds and it’s made of sturdy waterproof polyester. This 3 foot tall tent can be used indoor and outdoor. It features a side opening, and two side round opens. If you want this tent can easily connect with others product of the Pop Up Co line like the Schylling Peek a Boo Tunnel.

4.4 Stars

Thomas the Tank Play Vehicle – by Playhut

Playhut Thomas the Tank Play Vehicle

If your kid loves trains then Thomas the Tank Play Vehicle by Playhut is your choice. With the smiling face of Thomas the Tank Engine on the front side, this locomotive shaped play tent will be the favorite pastime of your little conductor. Made of lightweight nylon with mesh panels, it features a slit door on the side and a tunnel port in the back allowing an easy access into the train. Round portholes in the front part give your little driver a perfect view of the tracks ahead. Thomas the Tank Vehicle is very spacious. It mesures 38 by 52 by 26 inches (H x L x W ) and fits up to four small children inside at once. If you want you can collect other Playhut Thomas structures and connect them together.

4.2 Stars

You can find full descriptions and prices of all the above play tents here.

Don’t Use Pop Up Tents For Winter Camping

Winter camping, especially snow camping can be amazing as much as camping during the good season. The landscapes are beautiful, the trails are definitely less crowded than in summer and surely you will not have to worry about mosquitoes or other bugs.

Winter Camping

Marmot Alpinist 2p – 4 season tent on the snow

But while a weekend of camping during the summer can certainly be improvised, even by those who have never planted a stake, and the worst that can happen is you find yourself soaking wet due to a sudden downpour, winter and snow camping trips must be planned and organized very carfully.

Paths, weather, clothing, gear, food, every detail must be studied and prepared in advance if you don’t want to have a dreadful experience.

If you want some tips on how to prepare your camping trip on the snow you can read this winter camping and backpacking tips article.

Please, don’t use Pop Up Tents for Snow Camping.

As you may guess from its title, this is a review site dedicated to pop up tents. I’m am a huge fan of pop up tents. You can use them almost everywhere and almost in every weather conditions.

Except for winter camping and snow camping.

In fact, the main features, lightness and flexibility, that make pop up tents so versatile, so that can be used in spring, summer and even in autumn, instead become weaknesses when it comes to use them in very extreme conditions such as those that you may encounter during a hiking trip to high altitude.

Their flexible structure and the lightness of their materials makes pop up tents unsuitable to withstand the weight of snow or heavy rains of the winter.

Most of the pop up tents are single layer and even if they are waterproofed, winter rains and snow are quite another thing than the spring rains or even summer storms.

The poles used in pop up tents are usually made of carbon fiberglass. Yes, they are very flexible and can withstand strong gusts of wind but they can easily break under the weight of a large snowfall.

That’s why I say “don’t use pop up tents for winter camping“.

What kind of tent should you buy then?

A Four Season Backpacking Tent Is The Best Choice For Winter Camping

The best tent you can buy for winter camping or snow camping is a four season tent.

This kind of tent is designed specifically for withstand the worst weather conditions.

You can find two kind of four season tent, single layer and double layer.

The single layer or single wall tent has one layer of water resistant or waterproof fabric. It is lighter than a double layer tent and usually faster and easier to  set up. On the other hand they are colder and less roomy than a double layer tent.

You should choose a single walled tent for shorter trips, where moving light and fast is a priority like long ski tours or lightweight alpine climbs.

Here you can find a selection of the best single wall 4 season tents.

A double layer four season tent provides higher weather protection than a single walled because it is made with two layers of fabrics. The inner tent is usually breathable and water repellant to make the vapor pass through, reducing the possibility of raining back down on your head. The outer tent is waterproof and protects you against the icy winds, snow and rain.

A double layer tent is heavier than a single layer but it is warmer and more confortable.

You should choose a double layer tent for trips where you will be in the same camp for several nights.

Here you can find a selection of the best double wall 4 season tents.

Four season double-wall tents are equipped with vestibules, usually made of the same waterproofed fabric of the outer tent which provide a dry space for entry and exit the tent and store gear and boots.

Another detail to think about when choosing a four season tent is ventilation. Staying inside a tent involves the formation of condensation due to the humidity of our breath. The greater the number of vents in the tent, the lower will be the formation of condensation.

Whatever the tent you buy, it is best practice to mount it several times before using it on the hik,  maybe in your backyard.  This will allow you to be familiar with all the steps in order to be faster and more secure when necessary.

Regarding the price, four-season tents are much more expensive than three-season tents. This is due to the higher quality and cost of the fabrics and poles.

They can range from 250 up to 5000 dollars.

Some of these tents are intended only for the professionals of the extreme hiking or for expeditions in the high mountains, others are more affordable even for amateur hikers.

That’s another reason why winter camping trips must be planned properly.

It would be quite annoying discover, in the middle of a snowstorm, that the tent you bought at a very bargain price, is not as solid and confortable as you expected.

Backyard Camping With Your Kids

Camping with your kids can be an amazing experience or an awful failure. If you want to introduce your kids to camping without taking any risks, nothing is better than organizing a campout in your backyard.

Camping in Chris' Yard

Photo Courtesy of ©Flickr.com/thirteenofclubs

The atmosphere certainly will not be the same of a campsite in the great outdoors. The brisk air that you feel in te middle of a forest is definitely not to be compared with that of your neighborhood, but to camp in your own backyard also presents its advantages.

One of these is that you avoid long trips to reach your favorite campsite. That’s important just in the case your kid doesn’t like to stay out all night. You can always go back home and make him sleep in his bed.

Another advantage is that you can benefit of all the things you have in your home. And when it comes to children you always need something.

How to plan a backyard camping with your kids.

Even if it is not a real camping trip you need to plan it in details to avoid any last minute surprise.

First check the weather. One option is to take a look at your local weather channel. Check the forecast for rain an visibility. If you are a tech geek you can also find lots of weather apps both for your iphone or android phone.

Second check your tent. If it’s been a long time since the last time you used it, open it and double check that all parts are in place and that the tent is not torn or damaged.

If you don’t have a tent you can buy one at your local camping store or if you want directly on Amazon.com or other websites. You don’t need a very expensive tent. You can find some, well under a hundred dollars. If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend time on how to set up a tent you can buy a pop up tent. It opens within 2 or 3 seconds and you are done. If you want, here you can find a review of some of the best pop up tents on Amazon.

Third, other gear. Be sure that you have gathered all the other stuff you need for a real camping experience. Sleeping bags or bedrools, pillows, pajamas, flashlights, binoculars and of course can’t live without toys or Linus’ blanket. If you forget something don’t worry, you are a few steps from home.

Fourth, the food. It’s not real camping without a campfire or a barbeque on which you can cook burgers, hot dogs and of course the fabolous s’mores. Being in your own backyard also has the advantage of having a refrigerator or freezer nearby in which you can find your kid’s favorite icecream.

Backyard camping activities.

Camping in your backyard means that you also have to plan lots of fun activities to do with your kids.

Set up the campsite with your kids.  Ask your kids to help you set up the tent. It’s a funny way to teach him how to do it without the stress of finishing before dark. Show them all the parts and let them try to pitch the stakes and adjust the guy lines. If you have a pop up tent let them throw it in the air. For them it’s lot of fun. Let them unroll and try the sleeping bags. Are they ok? Then let’s move on.

Games. You can plan lot of games: Hide and seek, kickball, bocce. If you have your kids’ friends with you can organize a soccer match or an egg and spoon race. But if you want to make our campout memorable you have to create a treasure hunt, Minecraft style, one of the hottest games for kids. You will have to work a little during the week but the result will be amazing.

Eating together.  Eating together with family and friends around a campfire is one of the most beautiful things of camping. Cooking hot dogs, roasting beef and making s’mores are almost mandatory. But if you want to take advantage of being in your backyard you can order pizzas and your children will be delighted.

After dinner. Stargazing is popular after dinner but you have to be prepared. You need to know at least two or three constellations if you want to impress your kids. Singing funny songs or telling ghost stories around the fire are also a must.

Finally, sleeping in the tent or maybe not. Camping means sleeping in a tent. If it is the first time for your kids it may not be so easy. Be sure that your kids feel confortable. If they are scared by shadows or sounds don’t force them to sleep in the tent.

On the other hand what is the benefit of being in your own backyard? Being able to return inside whenever you want.

Five Questions Before Buying A Tent – A Guide For Beginner Campers

As the title suggests this article is intended for first time campers. If you are a professional camper you can choose to abandon the page or if you want (I would appreciate very much) you can leave a comment with your suggestions to the novices.

Okay, you’ve finally decided to give vent to your desire for freedom and take your first adventure in the outdoors, maybe together with your children or your grandchildren, and of course you are in front of the first important decision that an adventurer must take: what kind of tent should I buy?

The problem is not easy to solve. At the very least requires a bit ‘of reflection unless you want to find yourself in the middle of the rain with a beach tent or spend hundreds of dollars on a tent for extreme excursions when your intention is to set up an overnight camping for your kids in the backyard.

Of course these are exaggerations. But sometimes reality exceeds imagination.

It is for this reason that a beginner camper must ask himself these five questions before buying a tent:

  • What type of camping are you going to do?
  • What season are you going to camp?
  • How many people will be using the tent?
  • How much gear are you going to put into the tent?
  • Is the tent easy to set up?

What type of camping are you going to do?

Knowing what type of camping you are going to do is essential for choosing the right tent. If you are planning to car camping with all your family the weight of the tent may not be a determining factor. Usually a campsite is not so far from the parking area and you can carry the tent easily.

Coleman 14x10 Foot 8 Person Instant Tent

In this case you can choose a cabin tent which is best suited for established campgrounds and has a large square design with high ceilings and walls. It can be a little more difficult to set up but it gives you more room floor.

If you want more flexibility you can buy a dome tent, which can be moved around after set-up. They don’t usually have canopies and have less head room but are stable and designed to shed wind and all kind of precipitation.

 

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of family camping tents on Amazon.com >>

If you are going to hike or climb a mountain then the weight of the tent is major factor.

In this case you need to buy a very light tent. It can be a dome shape tent, or a pop up tent which are smaller and lighter, easy to set up and easy to carry if backpacking. They don’t usually have a lot of space inside and the height is relative. But they can provide protection in almost all weather conditions.

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of backpacking tents on Amazon.com >>

What season are you going to camp?

Another important factor you need to consider when choosing a tent is how many seasons you will use the tent. There are three options:

Summer Tent – This kind of tent is designed to be used only during the good season (Hot and humid weather only). It’s lightweight and easy to set up. Usually have a lot of mesh for ventilation.

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of summer tents on Amazon.com >>

ALPS Mountaineering Morada 4-person 3 season Tent

Three Seasons Tent – If you are going to camp between May and September you can choose a 3-Season Tent. It is designed to perform well both in wind and rain condition but not with snow. It usually has a rain fly that protects from rain and winds, a skylight window for extra light and a vestibule to store more gear.

 

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of three seasons tents tents on Amazon.com >>

Four Season Tent – The Four Season Tent is the strongest of all tents. It is made to withstand the worst weather conditions: heavy snow falls, high winds, cold temperatures, intense UV exposure. This is the tent for mountain expeditions. It’s more expensive than the others but it’s worth every penny when you are on top of a mountain or in the middle of a snow storm.

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of four seasons tents on Amazon.com >>

How many people will be using the tent?

The number of persons who will sleep in the tent is another factor to be considered. If you are going to camp with the family you can choose a cabin tent which is larger and more comfortable. It is heavier than a Dome Tent and needs more time to be set up.

If you are going to camp with your girlfriend or spouse than you can choose a pop up tent for two or three person. It is easy to carry in your backpack and easy to set up.

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of cabin tents on Amazon.com >>

How much gear are you going to put into the tent?

If you are planning to go car camping with your family or friends probably you will bring with you a lot of gear to rendere il vostro campeggio più comodo. Portable chairs and table, a cooler, a matrass, a camping stove. It is clear that you need a lot of space inside your tent. For this kind of camping you must choose a very roomy tent, like a cabin family tent or a dome tent.

If you are going to hike for a few days probably you will only bring with you the essential stuff. This will reduce the weight and the volume of your backpack. In this case a backpacking tent or a pop up tent is your tent. They are light and easy to set up even difficult situations.

Is the tent easy to set up?

Probably, the biggest problem a beginner camper faces is “how to set up a tent”.

On the market you can find a huge variety of tents each one with different instructions on how to set them up.

Genji Sports Pop Up Outdoor Family Tent

Some of them are very easy to set up like the pop up tents and the instant tents. After reading the instructions or viewing a set up video on Youtube you will be able to have them ready in very few minutes.

Others, like some kind of backpacking tents or big family tents, require more time to learn how to install them properly. In some cases you will need someone to help you set them up.

 

—->>Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of pop up tents on Amazon.com >>

In both cases I can suggest to take a look at the producer website and find the set up video for the kind of tent you intend to buy. If you cannot find it there you can find plenty of videos on Youtube.

My other suggestion is to set up your tent before going to camping, in your backyard or at home. This will save a lot of time and also a lot of hanger when you will be in the campsite and will leave you all the time to enjoy your very first night under the sky.