Pop-up sun tent

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ABO-Gear Instent Max pop-up sun tent ($100).

Over 42 sq ft of space, two zippered entries, ventilation on the other two sides, and sand bags on the outer two walls to hold the tent down. It pops open in seconds by pulling on two cords. Take-down is just as fast. The tent performs well as designed, however the poles are not rigid enough to withstand island winds (we live in Hawaii where the tradewinds on an average day hit 10-20 mph). On an average windy day, you have to position the tent so the wind blows THROUGH, not against the tent, so the sun may also shine in (see photo above). You still get some sun protection but it’s not idea as the wind has to blow through as well, carrying sand with it. A couple design recommendations:

– A UV screen on one of the doors so you can get shade but still allow the wind to blow through and not against the tent.
– More reinforcement on the joints of the poles so they don’t buckle in wind.
– Velcro closure for the carry bag vs stuffing it into the bag lengthwise. The set-up and take-down is so slick, but having to wrangle the tent back into the carry bag (a typical tent tube) takes about 2-5 minutes depending on whether or not you have help.

Overall, I recommend this tent for people taking kids to the beach without another adult handy to help with all the setup. It is lightweight and pops up instantly (hence the name – instant tent!). The sand pockets do work well to hold the tent down. The stakes will not work in sand, nor am I sure they’d be sturdy enough to handle being banged into dirt. The tent is not meant for camping out, nor is it water resistant.

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