A decent tent is the key to getting the most out of a music festival. In this guide, we tested five for you to consider, to make sure you find the right tent for your needs.
In most festival environments, affordability is considered more important than plush interiors or fancy additional features. You’re much more likely to lose your voice and get covered in mud than you are to enjoy a decadent glamping experience. But then again, that’s part of the fun.
However, music festivals come in different shapes, genres and sizes, and so do tents. Getting the right mix of ease to setup, size and durability depends on whether you’re going to a more relaxed family-based festival, or one of the more intense big-stage events.
From the rolling fields of Glastonbury to the coastal charm of Latitude, getting the tent right can make all the difference. Below, we run through some top picks, plus some tips to make your festival camping experience as enjoyable as possible.
Take your tent home with you
Before we dive into the tents, it’s important to stress that leaving your tent behind at the end of a festival is extremely irresponsible.
Some festival-goers may have assumed that if they left their tents behind, they would be recycled or given to charities – but 90% of tents left behind at festivals end up in landfill, according to one estimate.
Eurohike Pop 200
Best affordable option
Waterproof: 2000mm HH
Packed: 70 x 70 x 3cm
Pitched: 220 (L) x 110 (W) x 90cm (H)
Besides being extremely affordable, Eurohike’s Pop 200 has some qualities that make it a viable festival tent. On test, we found it was very easy to set up and take down. The instruction manual featured diagrams that were clearly labelled and simple to follow, with a model figure to help guide you through the steps.
It’s lightweight when packaged and the bag features long handles for easy carrying. If you’re walking a long way, these handles should fit over your shoulder and if you attach it to a backpack the tent’s presence should go reasonably unnoticed.
Inside it was a little stuffy, but the door can be rolled back and clipped in place to let some air in. There are two ventilation pockets in each top corner of the tent, with a Velcro arm to keep the vent open. While the airflow was not remarkable, it did provide some cooling.
As might be expected from a tent at this price, the weather resistance was not particularly impressive. The poles felt a little thin and would probably not be very resistant to wind, so setting up close to other tents for shelter might be a good idea.
The Pop 200 also features a PU coated polyester fabric which should offer some light waterproofing, as well as taped seams to keep water from seeping in. We think it could withstand a light shower or two but would struggle in anything more. If the forecast is looking forgiving, it’s a decent option for the price.
Black Out Pop-Up Double Skin 3 Man Tent
Best for a good night’s sleep
Buy now from Mountain Warehouse (
Waterproof: Doesn’t specify
Packed: 87 x 87 x 4 cm
Pitched: 280 (L) x 180 (W) x 105 (H) cm
No, this isn’t a tent covered in aluminium foil. Mountain Warehouse’s Black Out Pop-Up uses this silver coating to completely block out any light. Even in broad daylight on a sunny day, we found it very effective.
If you’re trying to get some much-needed shuteye at a festival, where lights and torches are likely to be shining throughout the night, it’s a useful feature. The coating is eye-catching and would be hard to miss while trying to find your tent. And of course it should allow you to slumber blissfully even after the sun rises, which in midsummer – Glastonbury season – is a horrifying 4.44 am.
Something to consider: the side entrance and blackout material mean this isn’t the most sociable tent if you’re camping with a group. It’s not the easiest to open for some shade and a chat with your fellow campers. It’s essentially either pitch black or bright sunlight.
We found the tent easy to set up and take down, although you have to attach the guy ropes yourself. The packing away instructions don’t include diagrams, only words, which might make things harder to follow for less experienced campers.
The blackout keeps the tent reasonably cool and the mesh around the base can help to circulate some air. It was nice to see that the door featured three layers: an outer, inner and mesh, which can provide some ventilation while keeping any pesky insects out.
Eurohike Pop 400
Best for families
Waterproof: 2,000 HH
Packed: 78 x 78 x 9 cm
Pitched: 390 (L) x 215 (W) x 160 cm (H)
This tent from Eurohike is heavier and less easy to carry than the other options, but it should be able to fit four people comfortably. We’d consider it an option for family festivals or more low-key affairs.
It’s also not as easy to set up as the other tents tested, requiring users to attach an upper sheet with poles to help it maintain its structure. We had issues fitting the tent in the bag provided when packing away, so we’d recommend a few test runs before taking it to a festival.
However, we were very impressed by the tent’s build quality: it felt sturdy and durable thanks to extra pole support for the arches. There was a lot of headroom and space inside, including a small porch area where you could leave muddy clothes or trainers to keep the muck out.
Two entrances can be opened to create an airflow when the sun begins to beat down, and there’s a mesh door to keep insects at bay without making the tent overly stuffy.
There are other notable touches of quality: two large storage pouches for organising your possessions, dual covers to lessen the amount of condensation, high-visibility guy ropes and a hook for hanging a light.
Quechua 3 Man
Best dome tent
Waterproof: 2,000 HH
Weight: 3.4 kg
Packed: 78 x 78 x 9 cm
Pitched: 210 (L) x 195 (W) x 120 cm (H)
If you want a dome tent that is easy to assemble, this three-man from Decathlon’s Quechua range offers a pain-free set-up and take-down. This is mostly thanks to a free-standing design held in place by a pole installation.
It folds out to form a base, which requires two poles to be threaded through to create the structure. The liners are reasonably durable and high-quality, considering the price.
The cover itself feels solid and would help to reduce condensation on the inner. It’s held in place by guy ropes you’ll need to attach yourself – if you pull them tight, the front entrance can create a miniature porch for muddy boots or shoes.
When packaged, the tent is not heavy or bulky and carrying the tent is made easier due to a roll-out design. It could be strapped to a backpack.
If you’re looking for more non-pop-up options, have a read of our review of the best two person tents.
More options like the Quechua 3:
- MSR Tindheim 2-person tent review
- Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Bikepack 2-person tent review
- Robens Starlight 2 tent review
Best mid-range festival pop-up
Sleeps: 2 (4-person version also available)
Waterproofing: 2,000mm HH rating and taped seams
Packed: 77cm diameter
Pitched: 230cm(L) x 135cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Coleman’s Galiano feels like a more premium version of Eurohike’s Pop 200. It’s available for around double the price, but if you’re willing to pay more, you’ll benefit from some added durability.
The eight pegs feel high-quality and secure when dug into the ground. The fibreglass poles are similarly high-quality: lightweight and flexible but durable.
We were also impressed by the attention to ventilation. The Galiano features separate doors with mesh windows, as well as mesh inserts across the upper panels and through the top.
The door can be fully pulled back and fastened to open the tent up, which made the inside feel light and airy. You can also remove the entire top cover, making it ideal for some shade while chatting to friends or family in a group of tents, although you’ll need to unpeg the guy ropes to do this.
The pop-up design makes it easy to assemble, but we found the instructional images lacked clear direction and may make things difficult if you’re not familiar with packing away tents – so maybe practise packing the tent up before you set off for the festival.
It was lightweight and not too bulky, but the short straps are unlikely to fit over your shoulder which can make it frustrating to carry. We’d recommend strapping the tent to a backpack if you’re going to be carrying it for extended periods.
What should you look for in a festival tent?
Ease of setup
This depends on your specific needs. If you’re not bothered about additional features or capacity for a large group, and the weather forecast looks good, a small pop-up or dome tent can be a nice, easy option.
If you find a better camping spot, it’ll be easier to take down and move.
Perhaps even more importantly, when you reach the end of the festival, are exhausted and want to leave as soon as possible, a simpler design often means a far less stressful departure.
If you want a bigger tent, quick-release buckles or fasteners, clear instructions and less complex designs can all be factors that make them more manageable.
Given many festivals can get extremely hot and humid, it’s important to consider a way to keep cool inside your tent.
Tents are very likely to feel stuffy, but some come with some additional features to lend a helping hand. Look for tents with mesh or panels which can be opened to get some air.
Latches or hooks that allow you to hold vents or entrances in place can help you create pathways for a cooling airflow.
While most festivals are planned in the summer, they can involve a lot of rain and mud, especially if you’re going to a festival in the UK.
It’s usually close to impossible to choose a specific spot when camping at a festival, but we’d suggest trying to find a sheltered area to set up your pop-up. Failing that there are two qualities we’d suggest checking:
Waterproofing is good to look out for. If you want to know a tent’s ability to resist water, check the Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating provided by the manufacturer. For basic water resistance and protection against light rain, 1,500-2,000 HH should suffice. A tent fabric with a HH rating of 3,000 should repel steady rain. An HH rating of 5,000mm might be required to cope with a storm. And the fabric HH rating is not the only important element to repelling rainwater: taped seams, or seams that are sealed with waterproof tape over the stitching, can also help to prevent water from seeping through. Zips may also leak, so look for storm flaps – a strip of overlapping fabric that protects the zip from direct rainfall.
Windproofing is also important. Tents with sturdy poles and frames will maintain their structure better. As can tents with lower profiles and more aerodynamic shapes.
Unless you’re a VIP, festivals often involve long queues, lots of walking and use of trains or buses. A big, heavy tent may weigh you down and cause unnecessary stress.
Always check the weight. Anything over 5kg can be strenuous to carry for more than a few miles.
Also, remember to check both packed and pitched measurements and see if the tent might be too bulky for your intended use.
Look out for storage pockets or organisers sewn into the walls, these can help you keep smaller items from getting lost.
If you’re going to a family festival, some bigger, more expensive tents may have room dividers, which can give the family members some space and privacy.
Some tents may feature fold-out awning or canopies which provide shade in hot festival weather, without requiring you to escape into a stuffy tent.
If you’re sensitive to light and want to at least try and have a good night’s sleep, blackout fabric is a great option, saving you from waking up with the sun after a late night.
Reflective detailing, such as guy lines, prints or fabrics can help with visibility when it’s dark. It can also make your tent more distinctive and easier to find.
Here is a selection of other tips to look out for if you’re heading to a festival this summer:
Do a tent test run: Practise putting up and packing away your tent before you go, this will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Place your tent carefully: Avoid setting up your tent near pathways to avoid any unwanted trampling. It’s also a good idea to try and camp near toilets and water supplies.
Camp near a landmark: Setting up your tent near a recognisable area, flag or landmark can help you find your way home if you’re out late.
Plan ahead: Work out set times for the artists you want to see and make sure you identify any potential clashes.
Stay hydrated: Always keep a water bottle on you and make sure you know where it can be refilled, especially in hot weather.
Ear protection: If you can keep your ears protected, you’ll thank yourself long term. You can buy earplugs that attach to your belt, keychain or keep a pair in your wallet or purse.
Stay connected: Establish meeting points with the people you’re there with, exchange phone numbers and use location sharing apps to keep you from getting lost.
Be careful of your valuables: Always keep your valuables with you and don’t bring anything you won’t need. A crossbody bag can help you keep everything in one place without being too bulky.
Snacks: Keep non-perishable snacks on you to keep your energy up. Granola or breakfast bars, dried fruits and nuts can be good, convenient options.
Read more tent reviews:
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