Picture the last family camping trip. Some might smile at that and sigh, imagining a peaceful trip outdoors. Others feel the tension in their shoulder blades grow, thinking back to the shouting and fights to break out when you were all tired from the trip and trying to set up that confounded tent.
That doesn’t always have to be the case. Currently, there are fast pitch tents and instant tents. If you are that second person, these two products could be worth thinking about more. We look at each one of these and consider them personally to discover which of these two options might suit a camper better.
What is a Fast Pitch Tent?
The difference between a fast pitch tent vs. an instant tent is difficult to pick out. If you were to observe groups constructing these tents side-by-side to figure out the difference, we guess that you would feel stymied.
The fact is that the term “fast pitch tent” is primarily a marketing term used by Coleman that came about with producing their version of an instant tent. Other than this manufacturer’s differences in the design, there isn’t much that stands out between the Coleman Fast Pitch tent and a typical instant tent.
- 6-Person tent with a separate screen room
- Fits 2 queen-sized airbeds
- Measures 5'8 feet (1.73 m) in center height
What is an Instant Tent?
An instant tent is easier to define since it fits a broader spectrum of tents. An instant tent is one that enables you to set it up very quickly, if not instantly. That means it should go up in under a minute for the average camper.
Instant tents generally have very simple pole structures that might even be springloaded for a speedy setup. They cleanly thread through a straightforward system of loops to get the tent secured. Within the next ten seconds, the tent should pop up and be pinned down.
- Accommodates 4-5 adults
- Durable, lightweight and breathable
- Measures 4'4 ft (1.32 m) inner height
How Are They Different?
A fast pitch tent from Coleman doesn’t necessarily have to be built in less than a minute. It is “fast pitch” compared to their other tents. The aim is that a Coleman tent that is labeled as a “fast pitch” tent is one that goes up in half the time or less than one of their typical tents would take.
An instant tent is typically one of those that can be built in under a minute or is one that simply pops up with minimal assembly required.
How Are They Similar?
There are many similarities between a fast pitch tent and an instant tent. Primarily, the way that they are built is fundamentally the same. Both of these kinds of tents typically come with readily connected poles attached to the outer shell.
They often can fold up with the tent when it goes back into the bag. When pulled out, it is the way these poles are connected to the fabric that gives it its beginning dome shape. It is this preliminary shape that makes the rest of the setup so much more streamlined.
Other significant positives to the automatic dome structure of an instant tent or a fast pitch tent include how it allows water to run off of it even during bad weather. That makes assembly easier no matter what kind of precipitation you find yourself in.
Both of these tents are very easy to move from place to place. Their overall construction makes them quick to disassemble as much as assemble and put in place. If you have to move to another site or need to pick up your campground, get ready for a fast tear down to be on your way. That is especially useful when you have trips you need to get started early in the day. They are the type of tents that are easy to set up that one can pitch without needing a helping hand.
The fabric’s material also shares a similarity since, in both of these kinds of tent, only completely waterproof material is used. They might have mesh windows for increased ventilation, but they will have waterproof coverings and a rain tarp that accompanies them.
What’s Better about Fast Pitch Tents?
You will appreciate a fast pitch tent more if you are loyal to the Coleman brand. They use the same quality of materials and manufacturing processes to produce tents like this.
They have several different kinds of fast pitch tents, and most of them should have the capacity for the average camper to put together in 60 seconds or less. The primary objective, though, is that they go up in less than half the time that the typical Coleman tent goes up.
What’s Better about Instant Tents?
There is a broader variety of instant tents because it is the general name given by any company to a tent that goes up in less than a minute.
Instant tents normally come in several sizes, particularly 4, 6, and 8. These are not always very big and might feel like a tight fit if you try to fit that many people in, but that also largely depends on the brand.
Instant tents like the Moon Lence Instant Tent fits four people inside. It is marketed as a family tent but is particularly well suited to smaller families. That is especially true if you intend to store most of your equipment in a tent during your stay. There are rarely storage areas, aside from small mesh pockets, designed into these tents’ structure.
Downsides to Both the Fast Pitch Tent and Instant Tents
Instant tents and fast pitch tents both come with some downsides to consider before making your final decision.
One of these is that they are generally not the strongest or sturdiest type of tent. They cannot be backed down in the same way and have to make concessions built into a typical tent shape. It makes them a poor choice for those that want to camp in harsh elements. If you are that type, then be sure to invest on camping tents that are designed specifically for heavy rains.
If it looks like a strong wind storm is brewing, your instant tent should probably stay at home. They also don’t tolerate very high snow loads.
Instant tents and the like have very limited amounts of storage. They have to follow a dome structure since that is how they are put together. However, that means there are no additions or sizing considerations given for your supplies.
These tents are often not the best choices for those that intend on backpacking. Their internal pole structure functions make them heavier than a backpacking tent can afford to be. If you know that you have a ways to go before setting your tent up, consider taking a lighter option.
The last downside is its price. More often than not, an instant tent will be more expensive than their “slower” counterpart.
Who Should Get a Fast Pitch Tent (and Why)?
As marketed by Coleman, a fast pitch tent is an excellent choice for people who have brand loyalty to Coleman or believe in the quality of their products. They have grown to take up a significant corner of the market in terms of instant tents so that you can find many great options within this brand.
Who Should Get an Instant Tent (and Why)?
Looking at the question from a broader perspective, you should get an instant tent if your top priority is a tent that goes up quickly. If you know that you are traveling with a family, an instant tent can help make the trip go smoother. Your transition from car to camp becomes practically a flick of a switch.
You will want a quick setup if you know you are getting in late at night or want to take full advantage of the day ahead of you. Often, setting up the tent can take the most time than any other part of the camp, so an instant tent more than cuts it in half.
Are instant tents worth it?
An instant tent is worth it if you need a tent that can be set up quickly and taken down quickly. They can be more expensive because of their newer technology, but it is worth it for some families or traveling couples.
What is Coleman Fast Pitch?
A Coleman Fast Pitch tent is one that goes up faster than the other tents in this brand. These kinds of tents are made to go up in half the time or less than the manufacturer’s counterparts.
Are instant tents waterproof?
Instant tents should all be waterproof. These tents are often made with a mixture of nylon and polyester substances to make them durable and then receive a solid PU coating. Still, verify your specific brand and model before purchasing.