The Best Screen Tents of 2023

Are you tired of insects and other critters, intense sun, or wet weather ruining your good time? They won’t pester you inside of the best screen tent.

Best Overall

The Best Screen Tent Option: MasterCanopy Portable Screen House With Carry Bag

MasterCanopy Portable Screen House With Carry Bag

See It

Runner-Up

The Best Screen Tent Option: Coleman BackHome Screen Canopy Sun Shelter

Coleman BackHome Screen Canopy Sun Shelter

See It

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Screen Tent Option: Alvantor 2 to 15 Person Pop-Up Screen Tent

Alvantor 2 to 15 Person Pop-Up Screen Tent

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

When the weather is nice, it can be a shame to let pesky bugs, harsh sunlight, or even a passing rain shower drive you into your home or camping shelter. If you prefer to take in the sun and fresh air free from insects and other nuisances, a screen tent can be a welcome refuge.

The best screen tent is easy to set up and will provide enough space to move around, dine, and relax, whether at home, camping, or at the beach. While their main purpose is to prevent bugs and furry food snatchers from ruining the festivities, screen tents can protect against the sun, wind, and even light rain. Keep reading to learn more about the factors to consider when shopping for these handy and portable party spaces, and then explore some of the top options on the market in a variety of categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: MasterCanopy Portable Screen House With Carry Bag
  2. RUNNER-UP: Coleman BackHome Screen Canopy Sun Shelter
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Alvantor 2 to 15 Person Pop-Up Screen Tent
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Clam Quick-Set Pavilion Screen Tent
  5. BEST FOR CAMPING: Coleman 15 Ft. by 13 Ft. Screened Canopy Sun Shelter
  6. BEST FOR FAMILIES: Gazelle Tents T4 Plus Hub Tent
  7. BEST FOR BACKYARDS: Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House Tent
  8. BEST FOR PATIOS: Ideaworks 9-Ft. Umbrella Table Screen
  9. BEST ONE-PERSON SETUP: Clam Quick-Set Escape Screen Tent
The Best Screen Tent Option filled with a group of people at a campsite
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Screen Tents

The best screen tents should offer features that can aid in an enjoyable outdoor experience with the benefit of being effective in rain or shine. After we looked into all the key aspects that any good screen tent should have, we chose the options listed above, which should satisfy the needs of anyone in the market for a new screen tent.

The selected picks are made to be UV protectant, water-resistant, versatile in use, and easy to set up. Many selections take just seconds or minutes to set up while offering UV-protective waterproof mesh for sunny and rainy days.

Whether you want something to cover an outdoor dining table, a bug-proof space for your campsite, or a large screen tent to house your outdoor furniture set, one of the options above can satisfy your needs and preferences.

Our Top Picks

With that quick primer on these bug- and weather-resistant shelters, choosing the best screen tent for an outdoor gathering becomes a bit easier. For an even simpler selection process, check out the following list of screen tents. These top picks feature some of the best products on the market in a variety of categories for protection from insects, the sun, and short rains.

Best Overall

MasterCanopy Portable Screen House With Carry Bag

See It

MasterCanopy’s portable screen house is worth a look for anyone searching for a lightweight tent that’s both durable and easy to set up. This screen tent features a 12-by-12-foot surface area as well as 7.5 feet of height in the center, offering plenty of space. One person can easily set up this tent in just a few minutes via the collapsing and tightly woven mesh side panels.

The screen tent features a durable polyester fabric that’s both water- and UV-resistant, giving users a place to hide from an evening shower or the beating sun. It also boasts dual-zippered flap doors for keeping bugs and critters at bay, but they fully roll back for open passage. The entire tent packs down into a large duffel bag, and at only 31 pounds, it’s very easy to transport to wherever shelter is needed.

Product Specs

  • Size: 12 feet long by 12 feet wide by 7.5 feet high
  • Construction: Polyester, mesh, steel, and iron
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable; a great all-around camping shelter
  • UV- and water-resistant; provides protection from the elements
  • Dual-zippered flap doors are great for keeping bugs out
  • Packs into a small duffel bag, which is included
  • Available in multiple colorways to suit shopper preferences

Cons

  • May not be able to sustain heavy rain or winds

Get the MasterCanopy screen tent at Amazon or MasterCanopy.

Runner-Up

Coleman BackHome Screen Canopy Sun Shelter

See It

For a luxurious campsite setup, the Coleman BackHome Screen Canopy Sun Shelter is hard to beat. This large screen tent features a 12-by-10-foot surface area and plenty of headroom for taller adults. Additionally, the screening is detachable, so users can easily convert the screen tent to an open-air canopy. The tent’s accordion-type supports and telescoping legs ensure a simple setup for two people.

The screen tent boasts a double-thick and water-resistant nylon fabric with UVGuard treatment for protecting users from afternoon showers and the sun’s rays. The two large zippered doors fully roll back for completely free passage from either side. When not in use, you can store this screen tent in the wheeled carrying bag that fits inside most car trunks. At only 45 pounds, it’s easy to wheel right to the campsite or a backyard party.

Product Specs

  • Size: 12 feet long by 10 feet wide by 8 feet 4 inches high
  • Construction: Nylon, mesh, and steel
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • 12-foot-by-10-foot surface area is large enough for most groups
  • Detachable screens come in handy on hotter days when a breeze is welcome
  • Accordion supports and telescopic legs can be set up very quickly

Cons

  • Heavier than other options available; can be difficult to carry on trips
  • More expensive than comparable screen tents

Get the Coleman BackHome screen tent at Amazon or Coleman.

Best Bang for the Buck

Alvantor 2 to 15 Person Pop-Up Screen Tent

See It

An easy setup, portable design, and budget-friendly cost make the Alvantor screen tent a desirable option for campers and backyard party animals alike. This 10-by-10-foot screen tent features 6.5 feet of headspace, offering enough room for several adults. It also boasts two full-height zippered openings as well as six panels of bug-protecting mesh. The polyester material provides protection against harmful UV rays, offering some refuge at sunny campsites or during beach days.

The screen tent’s folding wire-frame design sets up in seconds and fits easily in the included carrying bag. Because it weighs just 15 pounds, transporting this tent is never an issue; just toss it in the car trunk and go. Keep in mind that since this tent is lightweight enough to bring almost anywhere, so it’s not ideal for windy days.

Product Specs

  • Size: 10 feet long by 10 feet wide by 6.5 feet high
  • Construction: Polyester, mesh, and fiberglass
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Dual full-height zippered openings; no crouching required
  • 6 mesh screens allow users to see all their surroundings clearly
  • Fits in an included compact carrying bag
  • Lightweight mesh and wire construction; very easy to transport

Cons

  • Not as durable as comparable options; limited water resistance
  • Sand for sandbags not included, and sandbags are likely necessary due to light weight

Get the Alvantor screen tent at Amazon, Lowe’sTarget, or Alvantor.

Upgrade Pick

Clam Quick-Set Pavilion Screen Tent

See It

Clam’s Pavilion screen tent offers features that make it one of the more luxurious screen tents on the market. As the name suggests, this screen tent pops up right out of the box, requiring just one minute and one person to erect it. It boasts a 12.5-by-12.5-foot surface area encased by six panels that quickly collapse for quick disassembly as well.

The tent offers a durable, water-resistant roof and built-in zippered wind and rain panels to stay a step ahead of the changing weather in a matter of seconds. Even with the built-in panels, this screen tent weighs only 41 pounds, though the carrying bag might be a bit long for some smaller vehicles.

Product Specs

  • Size: 12.5 feet long by 12.5 feet wide by 7.8 feet high
  • Construction: Poly-oxford, mesh, and fiberglass
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Pop-up design is very quick and easy to set up
  • Water-resistant roof provides ample protection from bad weather
  • 6 zippered wind and rain panels help keep users warm and out of the elements

Cons

  • Larger size may be difficult to transport

Get the Clam Pavilion screen tent at Amazon, The Home Depot, Wayfair, or Target.

Best for Camping

Coleman 15 Ft. by 13 Ft. Screened Canopy Sun Shelter

See It

Whether it’s a backpacking trip or an RV park party, Coleman’s screened canopy is an ideal tent for camping, offering campers a lightweight and easy-to-set-up place to relax, free from bugs, sun, and light rains. This tent measures 15 by 13 feet and 7 feet high in the center, with full-height zippered doors on both tall sides. The double-thick polyester fabric features a UVGuard treatment to prevent the penetration of the sun’s rays while also offering a bit of water resistance during light rains.

This screen tent features a traditional fiberglass pole setup, but it’s easily accomplished in under one minute. Both the tent and poles collapse to fit in a carrying bag similar to a medium-size duffel bag. Weighing just 25 pounds, the tent is a convenient item to keep in a camping kit or trunk. And since it doesn’t have a floor, there’s no concern about leaving campsite dirt and sand inside.

Product Specs

  • Size: 15 feet long by 13 feet wide by 7 feet high
  • Construction: Polyester, mesh, and steel
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Full-height zippered doors are easy to enter and exit without bending
  • UVGuard treatment protects from damaging sun rays
  • Lightweight, easy to transport, and comes with carrying bag

Cons

  • Mesh panels offer limited durability compared to similar options

Get the Coleman 15-by-13-foot screen tent at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Coleman.

Best For Families

Gazelle Tents T4 Plus Hub Ten

See It

Shoppers looking for a spacious and comfortable tent for family camping trips will want to check out the T4 Plus tent from Gazelle Tents. With room for four to eight people, this tent is perfect for families of all sizes.

One of the standout features of this tent is the privacy zipper wall panels, which allow users to add privacy to the tent while sleeping. Open them up during the day to create mesh windows that provide excellent ventilation and enjoy the views of your surroundings while keeping the bugs out.

The Gazelle T4 is also incredibly easy to set up. Its pop-up design allows you to have it ready in just minutes, leaving more time to relax and enjoy a camping trip. And when it’s time to pack up and head home, the tent conveniently folds down and fits into the included duffle bag.

Product Specs

  • Size: 13.75 feet wide by 7.8 feet long by 6.5 feet high
  • Construction: Oxford-weave polyester, mesh, and fiberglass
  • Ease of assembly: Moderate

Pros

  • Easily fits up to 8 people, with additional space for gear and equipment
  • Mesh windows have a zippered screen for privacy while sleeping
  • Folds down easily into the included duffle bag; ideal for transport

Cons

  • Large size can become quite cumbersome to carry long distances

Get the Gazelle Tents screen tent at Amazon, Lowe’s, or  Gazelle Tents.

Best for Backyards

Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House Tent

See It

Screen tents aren’t just for campsites; they can be equally useful in a backyard. Anyone looking for an attractively designed screen tent for a deck, patio, or backyard space will want to check out the Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House Tent. This screen tent features one magnetic screen for keeping bugs and UV rays at bay during backyard soirees and relaxing mornings, and they easily come apart to increase ventilation and sunlight or for when your hands are full. The other side panels are also made with large mesh walls. Measuring 11 by 9 by 7.5 feet, the tent offers plenty of room.

This screen tent has a sturdy steel and fiberglass construction for an easy setup, while an integrated panel at the door flips out to hold shoes and prevent dirt from entering the tent.

Product Specs

  • Size: 11 feet long by 9 feet wide by 7.5 feet high
  • Construction: Vinyl, mesh, steel, and fiberglass
  • Ease of assembly: Moderate

Pros

  • Magnetic screen door keeps bugs out when needed or is easily removed if unnecessary
  • Durable steel construction with UV-resistant mesh material
  • Integrated panel for shoe storage; ideal for keeping the tent clean

Cons

  • Assembly is slightly more involved in comparison to other pop-up tent options

Get the Tailgaterz screen tent at AmazonTarget, Wayfair, or Overstock.

Best for Patios

IdeaWorks 9-Ft. Outdoor Umbrella Table Screen

See It

Patio and deck diners looking for protection from bugs but who would prefer to leave their space as open as possible will want to check out Ideaworks 9-foot outdoor umbrella table screen. This umbrella attachment creates a compact screen tent to keep out insects when placed over a standard patio umbrella. The dual full-height zippered entries make entering and exiting the tent simple, while the weighted bottom prevents bugs from sneaking in underneath and the tent from getting carried away by the wind.

Setting up this screen tent is simple: Just drape the netting over a standard patio umbrella and adjust the height so the bottom sits on the patio surface. Then, fill the base with water to make it heavy. This tent is lightweight and convenient to store anywhere, measuring 4 by 10 by 6 inches when folded and weighing just over 3 pounds.

Product Specs

  • Size: 9 feet in diameter, unspecified height
  • Construction: Polyester, mesh, and aluminum
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Full-height zippered construction is very simple to set up
  • Weighted bottom helps keep the mesh screen secure on the ground
  • Compact design is easy to store when disassembled

Cons

  • Realistically only fits small round patio tables; not ideal for large backyards

Get the IdeaWorks screen tent at Amazon.

Best One-Person Setup

Clam Quick-Set Escape Screen Tent

See It

When it comes to screen tents that combine an easy setup, plenty of space, and built-in features, Clam’s Escape screen tent fits the bill. This six-sided screen tent features collapsing side panels and sets up in under 1 minute, even if no one else is available to help. This screen tent measures 11.5 feet long by 11.5 feet wide, with a center height of 7.5 feet, offering plenty of space and protection from insects for even the tallest adults.

The durable nylon-mesh fabric boasts water-resistant construction to keep people and items dry in light rains. Additionally, the built-in roof flaps feature drip edges to prevent rain from running down the side panels. Should the sun pop out after the rain, the roof’s polyester fabric protects not only from rain but UV rays as well. The entire screen tent folds into an oversized carrying bag and weighs just 37 pounds.

Product Specs

  • Size: 11.5 feet long by 11.5 feet wide by 7.5 feet high
  • Construction: Poly-oxford, nylon mesh, and fiberglass
  • Ease of assembly: Easy

Pros

  • Water- and UV-resistant construction suitable for most outdoor applications
  • Collapsing side panels; sets up in under a minute
  • Comes with an oversize carrying bag; great protection during transportation and storage

Cons

  • Large size may be difficult to transport

Get the Clam Escape screen tent at Amazon, The Home Depot, Target, Wayfair, or Overstock.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Screen Tent

While screen tents are an excellent addition to a backyard or campsite, not all of them have the same setup or serve the same purpose. Before choosing the best screen tent for your needs, there are a few key considerations that are helpful to know. Below are several of the most important factors to keep in mind while shopping for a screen tent.

Intended Use

Before deciding on a screen tent, think about how you intend to use it. Are you taking the tent on a camping trip or setting it up in a backyard? Are you primarily using it to keep bugs out, or does the tent need to serve as sun and rain protection?

If the screen tent is headed to the campsite, it needs to be lightweight and compact when collapsed with enough additional space for equipment and heaters (if required). There are plenty of models that fold down to the size of a large duffel bag, making them an excellent choice for stowing in a car trunk.

Also, look for heavy-duty screen tents with tightly knit roofs if they are intended for protection against UV rays or water. Be sure to check the product description for these types of screen tents to ensure they meet your specific needs.

Size

Screen tents are available in a wide variety of sizes. Some are large enough to cover a picnic table and several chairs, while others offer just enough space for a small table and chair set. In general, most screen tents offer more than 6.5 feet of headspace.

If you have a big family or like to entertain, a larger screen tent is the way to go, and many of these measure 12 feet by 12 feet. While some oversized screen tents take more work to set up, other models require only one person to erect.

A variety of smaller screen tents for tighter spaces are also available. Some are not much larger than a traditional picnic table but still offer enough headspace to easily stand up and move around.

Frame and Canopy Material

The frame and canopy materials are worth some serious thought when choosing the best screen tent. Striking a balance between durability and reduced weight is key. Steel frames are incredibly strong and usually inexpensive, but they tend to be heavier than aluminum frames. As for the canopy, heavy-duty nylon is more durable than polyester, but it also comes with a significant weight boost (though both materials are easy to clean).

Some screen tents can also successfully handle the elements better than others, thanks to their wind- and water-resistant panels. Do keep in mind that water-resistant screen tents are just that: water-resistant. They are not waterproof. After a prolonged rain or thunderstorm, they will take on water, so don’t leave water-sensitive items in these tents for long during rainy weather.

Entryways

At its core, a screen tent is just a tent: It offers shelter, so you need a way to enter the tent to protect yourself from insects and the elements. Whether you choose two flaps with magnetic closures or one zippered panel, how a screen tent opens and closes should be considered.

The easiest entryways to navigate are those with magnetic closures, but they’re often the least insect-proof and weatherproof. Zippered entries can be difficult to manipulate one-handed, but they do help to ensure unwanted pests aren’t able to pass through to steal food or leave a mess. Regardless of the entryway style, many screen tents feature convenient tiebacks to hold the screen open when you want to pass through freely.

Most screen tents aren’t for sleeping as much as for relaxing, dining, and other activities requiring plenty of headroom. For that reason, most options offer comfortably tall openings, so the height of the entryway is rarely an issue.

Portability

The location where you’re planning to kick back and relax has a serious bearing on choosing the best screen tent. A large tent that might be a bit heavy or difficult to carry is fine if it’s just a backyard getaway. However, taking the festivities off-grid requires a screen tent with some serious portability chops.

For portable screen tents, being lightweight and being compact are two essential characteristics. As mentioned earlier, some screen tents can be packed down to the size of a large duffel bag—a real benefit for car camping and other scenarios with limited space.

As far as weight, look for a screen tent that weighs enough to remain safely grounded in a breeze but is not so heavy that one person can’t carry it. The sweet spot might be around 40 to 50 pounds. Lightweight models are great for transport; just be sure to invest in spikes if they aren’t included with the tent.

Setup

If you’re concerned about looking like an old-timey cartoon character tangled in ropes, poles, and mesh during setup, it’s understandable. Some screen tents are downright impossible for one person to assemble on their own. However, there are plenty of options that allow for easy setup and breakdown, even for one person.

Some tents feature accordion-style supports and telescoping legs, and they set up in an instant with a little bit of help. Others with pop-up wire frames are simple to expand but don’t offer much support in wind or rain. Screen tents with the most convenience and durability are usually constructed with collapsing panels that users can just pull from the center to set up.

Additional Features

There are plenty of additional features or add-ons that can make a screen tent even more enjoyable. Many tents feature solid panels that lower to offer shade or privacy, providing more flexibility on where to set it up. Also, overhanging roof flaps and outward extending bottom flaps allow rain to drip off and away from the tent.

Most screen tents are open to the ground beneath them, making them lightweight and easy to fold up. These models are simple to install over a picnic table or even a hot tub. Still, many people decide to place a screen tent over a tarp or a rug to limit dirt, debris, and mud. If that sounds like too much hassle, consider a model with an attached floor. Just beware that it won’t pack down as compactly and can be more difficult to clean.

FAQs

Now that you know a bit more about purchasing the best screen tent, there might still be some lingering questions or concerns. Read on for several of the most frequently asked questions about screen tents, and be sure to check for your answer below.

Q. Why do most screen tents not have a floor?

There are a few reasons screen tents don’t have floors. First, they’re often placed over the top of items like a patio set or a picnic table. Second, the open floor means less fabric and less mess, making them lighter, easier to set up, and easier to clean up.

Q. How do I set up a screen tent?

Every screen tent—or screen house—sets up a bit differently. For those with accordion-type supports and telescoping legs, it’s helpful to extend the legs before pulling the corners away from each other until you can push up on the center support and lock the tent in place.

For standard tent-style screen tents, lay the tent flat on the ground, right side up. Assemble the poles and slide them across the roof from corner to corner. Start on opposite corners, and slide the pole ends into the corner pockets until the tent takes shape.

Wire-frame tents simply pop open or unfold until they take shape.

Q. How long can I expect my screen tent to last?

A screen tent can last up to 10 years if properly cared for. Keep the tent clean, dry the tent before storage, and don’t leave it under sap-dripping trees like pines.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer specializing in the home design, construction, tools, and automotive industries. He has been involved in the trades for over 15 years as both a contractor and a commercial building mechanic. In addition to his professional life, Tom enjoys getting outside on his mountain bike, camping, beekeeping, and fishing. Tom is also an avid racing and baseball fan. He lives in NY’s Hudson Valley with his wife, their three children, and three dogs.

Share
Tom Scalisi Avatar

Tom Scalisi

Contributor

Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer, author, and blogger with a passion for building. Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA