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Self erecting tents, or pop up tents, are easy to set up and function just as well as a regular dome tent. While many dome tents take only a few minutes to set up, with a self erecting tent, all you do is take it out of its packaging and it assembles itself!
A self erecting tent has flexible fiberglass poles that are actually sewn into the tent. The poles are usually longer than a regular tent and fit in a cylindrical or round tent bag. The size and shape they pack up to makes them impractical for bike touring, motorcycling or backpacking but the bags fit easily in a car boot, making them great for Australian road trips, long weekends and festivals.
The main thing is that it’s very easy to set up these tents. Literally all you do is take it out of the tent bag and release it. Some say you can throw it, but it’s unadvisable as you could possibly snap the tent pole.
One drawback for some buyers has actually been the repacking of the tent. It takes a bit of practice to repack a self erecting tent. The poles are flexible and the tent is actually coiled up and collapsed. To repack a self erecting tent you need to take both ends and pull them together. Then you twist the tent underneath itself until it coils into the shape of the bag. Watch this video on YouTube to learn how.
OZtrail’s self erecting Eco tent series features two and three man pop up tents that are light and very affordable. The tents are considered entry level but still have waterproof flies and fine mesh windows to keep out all the bugs. These tents are fairly compact and great to take for those summer weekend breaks.
Engel makes similar self erecting tents to OZtrail, for about the same price. They’re not as attractive in appearance as OZtrail’s but still do the trick. The poles are made from fiberglass and the kit comes complete with pegs and guy ropes. International brands like Ozark and Coleman also make self erecting tents in the same price range.
If you're looking for higher end pop up tents check out those by EPE. It’s a pricier tent that OZtrail’s and features vynalester resin poles which are even stronger than fiberglass. EPE’s Speedy tents come in five different versions and are as easy to put away as they are to put up. The attached fly and floor make for no added assembly. Just pop up and go!
Self erecting tents may not be for the hardcore backpacking camper but they’re great for those who just want to get there and set up with no hassles. Self erecting tents are easy to set up and once you get the hang of it, easy to take down. There’s less hassle, which means less time spent laboring at camp—good news to any Australian camper!