A family camping in an outdoor setting, with a person demonstrating how to fold a pop-up tent step-by-step. The scene shows the tent being cleaned, unzipped, collapsed, folded, twisted into a figure-8, secured, and placed into a storage bag. The background features a beautiful natural landscape with trees, a lake, and sunlight. Other family members are enjoying the campsite with activities like playing, cooking, and relaxing.

How to Fold a Pop-Up Tent: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pop-up tents are a fantastic option for camping enthusiasts due to their convenience and ease of setup. However, folding them back can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the process. This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to fold a pop-up tent step-by-step.

We will also provide you with insightful tips, helpful statistics, and essential information to make the process as smooth as possible. Let’s dive in!

Introduction to Pop-Up Tents

Pop-up tents are designed to simplify the camping experience, especially for beginners. They are known for their quick setup time, often taking less than a minute to pitch. These tents are perfect for casual camping trips, festivals, and backyard camping. According to a survey by the Outdoor Industry Association, over 40 million Americans participate in camping activities annually, and pop-up tents are a popular choice among them due to their convenience.

Why Proper Folding Matters

Properly folding your pop-up tent is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Durability: Incorrect folding can damage the tent’s frame and fabric.
  2. Storage: A properly folded tent takes up less space, making storage more manageable.
  3. Ease of Use: Learning to fold your tent correctly ensures a hassle-free experience the next time you use it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Folding a Pop-Up Tent

A person cleaning and drying a pop-up tent using a soft brush to remove dirt and debris. The tent is set up in an outdoor area, with sunlight ensuring the tent fabric is completely dry.

Step 1: Clean and Dry the Tent

Before folding your pop-up tent, ensure it is clean and dry. This prevents mold and mildew growth, which can damage the tent fabric. Use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris, and let the tent air dry if it’s wet.

A person unzipping all the doors and windows of a pop-up tent to release trapped air, then pressing down on the tent’s peak to collapse it. The tent is in an outdoor setting and is beginning to lay flat on the ground.

Step 2: Unzip and Collapse the Tent

Unzip all the doors and windows to release the air trapped inside the tent. This makes the tent easier to fold. Start by pressing down on the tent’s peak to collapse it. Ensure that the tent is flat on the ground.

 person folding a pop-up tent in half, making sure the tent poles align and the fabric is not twisted. The tent is flat on the ground, and the person is holding the top edge firmly at the top center.

Step 3: Fold the Tent in Half

With the tent flat on the ground, grab the top edge and fold the tent in half. Make sure the tent poles align, and the fabric is not twisted. Hold the tent firmly at the top center.

A person forming a figure-8 shape with a pop-up tent by twisting it. The tent is halfway through the folding process, with the fabric and poles forming a clear figure-8 shape.

Step 4: Form a Figure-8 Shape

This step is crucial for reducing the tent’s size. Twist the tent to form a figure-8 shape. This may require some force, but be gentle to avoid damaging the tent poles. Once you have the figure-8 shape, fold it in half to form a compact circle.

A person securing a folded pop-up tent with a strap or elastic band. The tent is in a compact form, and the person is wrapping the strap around it to keep it secure

Step 5: Secure the Tent

Most pop-up tents come with a strap or elastic band to secure the folded tent. Use this to keep the tent in its compact form. If your tent doesn’t have a strap, you can use a bungee cord or a piece of rope.

A person placing a folded pop-up tent into its storage bag. The bag is open, and the tent is being carefully inserted. The setting is an outdoor area, and the bag includes stakes and guylines

Step 6: Store the Tent in Its Bag

Place the folded tent into its storage bag. Ensure that all parts, including stakes and guylines, are included in the bag. Store the bag in a cool, dry place until your next camping trip.

Tips and Tricks for Folding Pop-Up Tents

  1. Practice Makes Perfect: The more you practice, the easier it will become. Consider practicing at home before your camping trip.
  2. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Each tent may have slightly different folding instructions. Always refer to the user manual.
  3. Watch Video Tutorials: Visual aids can be incredibly helpful. Many manufacturers provide video tutorials online.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Forcing the Tent: Avoid using excessive force, which can damage the tent poles.
  2. Storing a Wet Tent: Always dry the tent before storage to prevent mold growth.
  3. Skipping Steps: Follow the folding steps in order to ensure the tent folds correctly.

Recommended Pop-Up Tents and Accessories

Here are some highly recommended pop-up tents and accessories available on Amazon:

  1. Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent: Known for its quick setup and durable construction.
  2. Quechua Waterproof Pop-Up Camping Tent: Offers great weather protection and easy folding.
  3. Kelty Late Start 2 Person Tent: Perfect for quick and easy setup and takedown.
  4. Coghlan’s Tent Peg Mallet: A handy tool for securing your tent stakes.
  5. Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Repair Kit: Essential for quick tent repairs in the field.


Folding a pop-up tent might seem daunting at first, but with practice and the right technique, it becomes an easy task. Following the steps outlined in this guide ensures your tent remains in good condition, ready for your next adventure. Remember, the key to mastering this skill is practice and patience. Happy camping!

Additional Resources

For further assistance, here are some helpful resources:

Raphael Dume
Raphael Dume

Raphael Dume is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and the visionary behind OutdoorDoer.com. Outdoor Doer is a passionate community of outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to inspiring and equipping adventurers. We offer expert advice, unbiased product reviews, and comprehensive guides on camping, hiking, fishing, and more. Our mission is to promote outdoor accessibility, holistic well-being, and sustainability through high-quality, engaging content and top-tier gear. Join us to explore, discover, and thrive in the great outdoors.

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