5 Easy Steps On How To Fold A Pop Up Tent: Step by Step

by Julie | Last Updated:   June 6th, 2022
5 Easy Steps On How To Fold A Pop Up Tent: Step by Step


One of the best things to do during the warmer months is go camping. There are so many people that love and participate in this hobby, and as such, there is a vast variety of gear. Anyone from all walks of life can enjoy camping thanks to different kinds of gear that make things more accessible and easier to do.

One such item is a pop-up tent. These tents are extremely convenient for those that are constantly on the go, have their hands full with managing kids, or just want an easy set up once at the campsite.

The less time you spend pitching and taking down your tent, the more time you get to spend enjoying the great outdoors.

The only issue present is how to fold a pop up tent properly. They can be a little tricky, and some are different from others. However, we are here to provide you with an easy guide that will help you fold a pop-up tent.

What Is A Pop-Up Tent?

First thing first, knowing what a pop-up tent is will give you a better understanding of whether or not it will be a good match for you. Sometimes it can be a struggle to fold a pop-up tent, so you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons.

A pop-up tent is different from a regular tent because they are almost always built with the tent poles already inserted into place. The only time this may not be the case is in some pop-up tents that have a porch feature. They may require you to insert those poles yourself.

The benefits of having a pop-up tent means that they are an instant set up, taking only one to two minutes at most to pitch. This is a great feature when you just want to enjoy yourself upon arrival at your campsite or campground.

The only downside is how troublesome they can sometimes be when trying to fold them back up. That is why it is important to thoroughly read the instructions, and just like with regular tents, you should practice before your camping trip.

Folding Your Pop-Up Tent: Step by Step Guide

How To Fold A Pop Up Tent

Let’s jump right into it. We will be following the general steps for folding most pop-up tents, which will be easy to follow. Certain tents may be a little different, but the general concept will apply. The instructions below will work for big pop-up tents as well as smaller ones with a similar design.

Unzip the door

You want the door open on the tent to let the air escape and not become trapped. Otherwise, this could make folding it more difficult. You can also take this opportunity to go through the inside of the tent to ensure it is clean of any dirt, pine needles, or other grime too.

Most tents are best put away with the door open because it also prevents moisture from being trapped inside, which can lead to mold and mildew.

Fold from back to front

It’s time to start folding! Since virtually all pop-up tents come with the poles inserted already, you’ll be grabbing the two top left and right poles. Pull them together. Next, you need to grab the bottom two poles that make up the outer edges of the tent.

Then, put one of those over top of the two top poles you already have together. Do the same thing with the other bottom pole so you can grab all four. You’ll need a firm grip to hold them together.

Lift and rotate the tent

At this point, you can lift the folded tent and rotate it up onto its side. You must maintain your firm grip on the tent poles at this time. The pop-up camping tent should look like a taco shell, and you’ll want the “open” side to be the one when you lift and rotate, that is, touching the ground.

Fold and slide the rings

We’re nearly done! Next, with one hand keeping the tent poles held together, you’ll take your other hand and push the back of the “taco” folded tent down to your opposite hand. This is often the colored part of the tent you are pushing down. Then, you can flatten the tent on the ground, pushing out any air that hasn’t yet escaped.

When done correctly, the folded pop-up tent should resemble two circles side by side. Finally, you’ll slide one of the circles over the other.

This pop-up tent video here will show you exactly how to fold a pop up tent down into this oval shape:

Bag it up

Once the tent is folded down to a single circular shape, it is ready to be packed away. It should fit easily into the bag it came with when properly folded and flattened. Some may come with an additional strap to slide over it before fitting into the bag for added security.

Now, you are all finished! So, the next time you open it, it’ll pop up quickly and easily.

If you experience trouble folding, then you can check out the following step-by-step guide:

Watch this video here for a more detailed explanation and demonstration of how to open up and fold a pop-up tent:

How Do I Fold A 4-Side Pop-Up Tent?

Four-sided pop-up tents are a little different but still just as easy to fold. They feature four poles, which you will need to grab and push the poles altogether. This will force out the air in the tent through the door you’ve left open.

Next, rotate the tent to pull one of the ends to meet the other. A strap or elastic band will secure the tent so that it is ready to be stored back in its pack.

Key Insights & Takeaways

A pop-up tent is an extremely convenient rendition of an essential piece of camping equipment. This way, you don’t have to struggle to put all the pieces together and worry about losing something. Everything is already put together, all you have to do is pop it open.

Spending a few seconds or a minute pitching your tent rather than 15 or 30 minutes can make a world of difference. Especially, if you don’t arrive at your campsite until late and will be setting up in the dark.

Although it is understandable that pop-up tents may not be for everyone, after all, learning to fold a pop-up tent for the first couple of times can be rather frustrating. However, once you have it down, this is by far the fastest and easiest option for a camping tent during the summer months.

Take your time and read the instructions carefully! Follow the guides and pre-folding tips we’ve provided above, and enjoy your next camping trip!

I was fishing before I could walk and it's been a family tradition for centuries. Fishing is my life, or at least as long as I can remember. In the Lake Champlain International Fathers Day Fishing Derby, not only have I won first place twice but also third place! Also, in addition to majoring in Wilderness Recreation Leadership, I also happen to be a licensed camping, hiking, and hunting guide for NY.