Which cheap party tents are best?

When hosting an outdoor event, it’s important to have a roof over your head. A party tent can keep the sun and rain out while also minimizing the amount of natural debris in your space. While you can invest quite a bit in a good one, it’s worth looking at affordable models if you’ll only use it occasionally. The good thing is, there are plenty of reasonably priced options.

Choosing a party tent

You can spend thousands on a 10-foot-by-30-foot canopy tent and get something that’s remarkably durable and can stay up for weeks without sagging or breaking. But not everyone needs that kind of performance or wants to make that kind of investment. Still, you do get what you pay for to a large extent with party tents.

You can expect to pay about $120 and up on a worthwhile party tent. Any less and you’re gambling on quality control, and the last thing you want is to show up to a campsite with brand-new broken equipment.

Types of party tents

Generally speaking, there are two types of affordable outdoor canopies. Instant-up models take little time to erect and are usually relatively lightweight. Wedding-style canopies are considerably different, requiring a good deal of time and usually multiple people to set up. The result is that wedding-style canopies tend to be more durable than instant-up models.

Tips for using party tents

  • Set them up on flat ground: Hills and other uneven ground prevent the roof and walls from pulling taut, and will ultimately compromise the frame and joints.
  • Look out for branches: If you’re in a wooded area, know that falling tree branches are a common cause of destroyed canopies.
  • Be careful about wind: Few, if any, budget-friendly canopies can withstand heavy winds. Some can tolerate moderate winds. Make sure to stake down your tent thoroughly, whether it’s to ground stakes or sandbags.
  • Exercise caution when cooking inside: It’s extremely popular to cook inside party tents and canopies. While many are made with fire-resistant materials, they’re not exactly fireproof. Make sure there’s adequate ventilation and enough space to avoid melting or burning the walls. You should also always have a fire extinguisher handy when cooking outdoors. 
  • Look for a higher denier: “Denier” is a measurement of the thickness of threads used to create fabrics. Textiles with a high denier count tend to be stronger than those with a low one.

Best cheap party tents 

E-Z Up Ambassador

E-Z Up Ambassador

E-Z Up instant canopies are so popular and effective that people often use the brand name to refer to pop-up canopies in general. The Ambassador is the current go-to for festivalgoers, tailgate partiers, barbecue enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to keep the sun and rain away while enjoying outdoor events.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Eurmax USA Commercial

Eurmax USA Commercial

Measuring 10 by 10 feet and made with rugged materials including two layers of sewn fabric with sealed seams, this is perfect for food stalls at festivals or selling crafts at a farmer’s market. There are 10 colors to choose from, a durable oversized roller bag and a steep roof to ensure rain rolls off without pooling.

Sold by Amazon

Coos Bay Cool Spot Instant Gazebo

Coos Bay Cool Spot Instant Gazebo

This premium option boasts a vented roof to help you stay cool on hot days in addition to integrated zippered mosquito netting to keep the bugs out. It’s made with 150-denier oxford fabric, comes in six colors and is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Sold by Amazon

Core Pop-Up Canopy

Core Pop-Up Canopy

Complete with a peak vent, pre-taped seams and rugged fabric, the Core is head and shoulders above the common bargain basement pop-up tent. It takes roughly two minutes to set up and includes a wheeled carrying bag in addition to stakes and tie downs.

Sold by Amazon

Costway Canopy Tent

Costway Canopy Tent

This is a good choice for small or mid-sized groups at formal events that demand something a little nicer than an E-Z Up canopy. The fabric is surprisingly durable for the price and the windows let in plenty of light, but you’ll need help setting it up.

Sold by Home Depot

Outdoor Basic Wedding Canopy

Outdoor Basic Wedding Canopy

At first glance, it’s not really that cheap, but it is one of the lowest-priced 10-by-20-foot options that includes walls and has multiple windows. Its 210-denier fabric is thicker than most of the competition and the heavy-duty steel frame is powder coated to hold up over time.

Sold by Amazon

Outsunny Wedding Tent

Outsunny Wedding Tent

If you need a lot of space, it’s hard to do better than this 30-foot-wide tent that’s perfect for events such as buffets. It comes with relatively durable PVC piping and joints, and the mesh walls do a good job of keeping bugs out, but it’s considerably more difficult to assemble than an instant canopy.

Sold by Home Depot

Costway Event Tent

Costway Event Tent

It’s about as basic as this size of canopy comes and it’s perfect for keeping the hot sun off guests during festivities. However, it lacks walls, isn’t incredibly durable and definitely won’t stand up to heavy winds, so it won’t be suitable for all seasons and regions.

Sold by Home Depot

Leader Accessories Pop-Up Tent

Leader Accessories Pop-Up Tent

One of the most affordable options to still offer long-term reliability, this 10-by-10-foot pop-up tent takes under a minute to put up and comes with everything needed to do so. It offers three height settings and generally performs well, but be aware that it’s more susceptible to wind damage than other, more rugged tents.

Sold by Amazon

American Phoenix Market Shelter

American Phoenix Market Shelter

Despite its low price, the American Phoenix uses 410-denier fabric that can even withstand a falling tree branch here and there. You don’t need any tools to set it up and it’s highly resistant to water and ultraviolet rays, but it doesn’t come with walls or have a vent in the top.

Sold by Amazon

Sunnimax Canopy Tent

Sunnimax Canopy Tent

They don’t get much cheaper than the Sunnimax, which, despite its low price, has helpful features including a special lining that ensures waterproofing and 100% ultraviolet protection. It comes in six colors, can be adjusted to three heights and includes a roller bag plus four sandbags in case you’re unable to drive stakes into the ground.

Sold by Amazon

Eurmax USA EZ Pop-Up Tent

Eurmax USA EZ Pop-Up Tent

If rain’s in the forecast, this one’s a great choice due to its relatively high peak and steep roof, which do a good job of preventing pooling that threatens the integrity of the canopy and frame. It’s offered in six sizes in addition to a wide range of colors to fit your event perfectly.

Sold by Amazon

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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