How To Fold A Pop Up Tent

For many people, the idea of having to put up a complicated tent can be enough to put them off camping altogether. But you don’t need to spend hours struggling with poles, pegs and tent material when there are so many pop up tents out there. 

As you can imagine from their name, these tents simply ‘pop up’, making setting up your camp one of the simplest things you’ll ever do. The problem is that while they are super easy to put up, they’re not quite as simple to take down. 

If you’ve ever tried to stuff a pop up tent back into its storage bag, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. But this shouldn’t be something that stops you from investing in a pop up tent, especially if you’re looking for convenience. There is an easy method to get your tent back into its bag meaning less stress at the end of your trip.

What Is A Pop Up Tent?

A pop up tent is a type of tent which requires no effort from the camper to erect. Instead of using poles, you simply need to throw the tent in the air and it’ll take shape all by itself. You will need to secure it once it is on the ground and you can do this quickly and easily using tent pegs. 

Quechua pop-up tent

These tents have become remarkably popular with campers over the last decade or so, particularly on the festival scene. The great thing about these tents is that putting them up takes seconds; most tents can be completely ready in just five seconds, as a matter of fact!

The pop up tent is a lightweight option that’s also a great choice for hikers and other people on the go. What’s more, there are several different types including single and double skin, various size berths and much more, so you’ll typically be able to find a pop up tent that suits your needs. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that a pop up tent isn’t usually as large or durable as some other types so it’s not suited to all styles of camping.

Preparing Your Tent For Storage

Before you go in all guns blazing trying to take your pop up tent down and store it in its bag, there are a few things you can do first to make the process a little easier. One of the things that these tents are notorious for is being difficult to fold away and while practice makes perfect, these tips will certainly give you that extra boost. 

Clean Your Tent

Before putting any tent into storage, you must make sure that it is clean. Failing to do this means that dirt and debris could cause damage. Not to mention that certain types of dirt could attract critters and insects that could also damage your tent. 

You might think that cleaning your tent on the campsite is a lot of extra work but since you’ll likely only have been camping in a pop up tent for a few nights, the chances of it being very dirty aren’t very high. But you may notice a few mud marks or stains and these can be easily wiped off using a damp cloth. 

It’s best to tackle marks like this as they appear as they’re typically easier to remove compared to when they dry. Just include this as part of your camp maintenance and you’ll be good to go.

Don’t Forget To Let The Tent Dry

If you attempt to fold and store a tent that is in any way moist, you’re going to be faced with the high possibility of damp and mould issues down the line. This can lead to total destruction of the tent, depending on how bad the problem is but it can be avoided by allowing your tent to fully dry before packing it away. Usually, leaving it to air for an hour is more than enough.

Take Out Any Ground Pegs

As we have mentioned, the only thing similar between a pop up tent and other types of tents, in terms of how they’re secured, is that you will use stakes or pegs to keep the tent from blowing away. It goes without saying that you will need to remove these before attempting to fold the tent. When you do, now is a good opportunity to give these a quick clean and remove any grass or dirt.

Does Your Tent Have A Tarp?

Not all pop up tents come with a tarp but some do and this gives you added protection against the elements such as hot sun or rain. You cannot fold your pop up tent with the tarp still in place so you will need to remove this and put it into the storage bag beforehand. The good news is that this is easy to fold and not at all fiddly. 

Step by Step Pop Up Tent Folding Guide

You’ve done all the pre-packing requirements for your pop up tent and now the fun really begins…can you sense the sarcasm? All too often, people struggle enormously with folding their pop up tents but it’s all about how you approach it. 

It’s no good simply trying to screw the tent up and force it into its bag; you’ll never get very far. The following steps will help to ensure that packing away your pop up tent is as painless as possible. 

Step One

The first step involves taking hold of the top two points of your tent and bringing these together. In order to do this, you’ll need to make sure that you’re standing on the side of the tent perpendicular to its door. You will now be able to take hold of those two high points and bring them together in one hand.

Step Two

Next, you will need to take the back part of the tent and fold this in towards the tent middle. Do this with the hand that is not holding the two upper points and take hold of the small arch at the back end of the tent. Bring that in towards the middle where you have the first two points you grabbed. Now take that back point and hold it in your hand with the two top points. 

Step Three

You will now need to bring the front part of the tent into the fold, so take your free hand and bring the front arch (located above the door) into the middle and to your hand that’s holding the other three points. It’s important to do it in this order as having the door at the front of the fold will allow for any excess air to come out. 

If you’ve followed these steps correctly, you should have something that slightly resembles a taco.

Step Four

It’s important that you keep your grip tight on those points you’ve folded in but at the same time, you’re going to need to turn the tent upwards. With your free hand, push the high point towards the ground and you should find that the whole tent closes in on itself. The points that you hold in your hand should stay on the outer part.

Step Five

Once you have your tent in the correct position, now twist it so that you end up with two circles. These circles should then easily fold alongside one another. Make sure that you keep the circles as neat as possible as this will make putting it back into the bag a lot easier.

Step Six

Some pop up tents have attachments that secure it once it has been folded so there’s no risk of it popping open again until you want it to. If your tent has such features, make use of them now to hold everything in place. You can now put the tent back into its storage bag and zip it up ready for next time.


A lot of campers struggle with getting a pop up tent back into its bag, despite the fact that these tents are super easy to put it. It seems counterproductive to have something so convenient to begin with that turns out to be a nightmare when you’re ready to pack away. 

But it really isn’t as complicated as you might first think. Getting a pop up tent back into its bag is more about following a specific technique. The step by step guide we have included in this article will allow you to fold your tent away without any problems and life will suddenly feel so much easier.