Party tents, or canopies, is one of the broadest product definition types you’re likely to run into in the purchase of anything. That’s why I thought that the first thing I should do is go over the various tent types so you can see what your options are. This way, you’ll at least know what to look for. I’m going to go over the four main types of party tents or canopies. Within these four types is a mass of sub types. But this should get you started.
Pop Up and Instant Canopies
Pop Up Canopies are the cheapest type of party tent. They’re designed with an emphasis on convenience and use accordion-style frames that can be set up in just a few minutes without any tools. They’re also extremely light and are compact enough to be easily transported in a storage bag.
However, that doesn’t mean that they’re a good choice for every situation. For example, instant pop up canopies don’t usually come any larger than twenty by twenty. So if you’re looking to host a larger event you’d probably need several. This could cause logistical as well as big budget problems. They’re also not designed to be left up for long periods and can’t handle the same kind of abuse as the other types of party tent. If you’re looking for something that can handle a lot of wear and tear, a pop up may not be the right choice for you.
Pole tents are supported by perimeter and centre poles. They rely on the tension created by stakes or other tie downs to keep the roof tight and stable. As a result, they’re lightweight and relatively easy to set up, even in larger sizes. They’re also the most cost-effective when it comes to covering large areas. With a pole tent, you’ll always cover more ground and pay less money per square foot than with pop up tents.
Pole tents are also very versatile. They come in a many sizes, including everything from a 10-foot by 10-foot all the way up to a gigantic 100-foot by 310-foot. Their tops also come in many colours and styles, making it very easy to find one that has the look you want.
There are, however, a few downsides to using a pole tent. The biggest downside has to do with placement. Because this type of tent relies on tension to keep the top from collapsing, you’ve got very little flexibility when it comes to staking. You need to allow about an extra six feet of space on all sides of the tent to accommodate the required staking. That means that you can’t install them right up against a building or in any other area where you don’t have enough clearance. And, because of the holes you’d have to make in the floor, they’re not suitable for use indoors.
Their centre supports can also present problems. The biggest problem is they interfere with visibility, which can be an issue if you’re holding an event where all of your guests need to be able to see clearly. Secondly, they can make it challenging to incorporate larger objects, such as a dance floor, into your layout, and there will be some floor plans they just won’t fit in to. If you’re planning to host an event that requires very specific set up, a pole tent may not be the best choice for you.
Frame tents use a tubular metal structure to support their canopies. This allows them to work without the support of centre poles and gives them much more placement flexibility than pole tents. You can use them right next to buildings as well as indoors. They also work well as semi-permanent structures.
However, this flexibility comes at a price. Frame tents are usually significantly more expensive than both pole and tension tents and are significantly heavier. They also require a ton of work to set up. A frame tent can easily take four times longer to put up than a comparably-sized pole model. And, because it uses very specialized hardware, if you lose or damage even ONE component, it will make your frame canopy useless until you can get a replacement from the manufacturer. It’s just not possible to create temporary replacement parts the way you can with a pole tent.
Also, the available size range is affected by their design, since there’s a limit to how wide you can make a structure without adding internal supports. Forty feet is generally the largest width you’ll find for a frame tent. There’s no limit on how long they can be, though, and they typically have the same colour selection as other types of shelter so there’s still a good chance you’ll be able find one that works for you. You need to ask how much you’re willing to trade for some extra flexibility. If your practical needs are the priority and you’re willing to deal with the additional costs and work involved with using one, a frame tent might be a good option.
Tension tents are very similar to traditional pole tents. They use perimeter and centre poles for support and rely on tension from tie-downs to keep the roof in place. They are simple and portable like pole tents. The only real difference between tension and other pole canopies is the size of their peaks. Tension canopies have much taller peaks than other shelters and can therefore look a little more elegant or fancy. You’ll find them at many formal and business events.
Their design also has some practical benefits. Their tall peaks actually improve wind resistance and drainage, allowing tension tents to withstand harsh weather better than other types. If you’re looking for something you can leave standing for long periods, tension tents may be the best choice.
However, because tension tents are a form of pole tent, they have the same kind of limitations. You have to leave a fair amount of clearance for staking and you can’t use them right next to buildings or indoors. And even though these canopies may have a spacious, open feel, they still have centre poles that can interfere with visibility and certain layouts.
Then there is the cost. Because of their construction, tension canopies are more expensive than regular pole tents. They’re not usually as expensive as frame structures, but prices can be fairly close depending on the manufacturer and model. Once again, you’ll need to decide if the structural and aesthetic benefits are worth the extra cost.
One of the first questions you should be asking, not only yourself, but the company you plan on purchasing your tent from, is how big the tent should be? Most people really only have an idea of how big but don’t know for sure. So what follows is a bit of a guide.
Auditorium-Style Seating – If you’re hosting a speech or another type of event where your chairs are going to be lined up in rows, it’s a good idea to allow 5 or 6 sq. ft. per chair. Be sure to keep in mind, though, that if you’re using particularly bulky chairs or have guests that require more space to manoeuver, you’re going to need more space.
Events with Meals – If you’re planning to serve a meal, the amount of room you’ll need will largely depend on the dimensions of the tables you choose as well as the number of people that will be seated at each one. Try to allow at least 12 sq. ft. per person when using round tables and 10 sq. ft. per person when using rectangular ones. It’s also important to consider the type of service you plan to use. Dinners with table-side service are going to require additional space in order to ensure that your servers will have enough room to work.
Extra Furniture – If your event requires additional furnishings like a dance floor, buffet table, or bar, you need to take the dimensions of these items into account when calculating how much space you’ll need.
Caterers, DJs, and Bands – Caterers, DJs, and bands all come with a fair amount of equipment. If you’re hiring any of these for you event be sure to ask each provider how much space they’ll need before deciding upon a tent size.
If you’re in doubt, describe the event to the retailer in as much detail as possible including how many people will be in attendance and how many pieces of furniture or “extras” will be housed under the canopy. Any professional worth his salt will be able to design a layout for you that will more than accommodate your needs.
What Should It Be Made Of?
Next question you should be asking is what your tent should be made of. There are several components to your tent and each one has options as far as the materials it is made from. Each material has its pros and cons. This section is going to go over those pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision as to which materials to choose.
Frames and Poles
Here, you have only two choices aluminum and steel. The most significant differences between these two materials have to do with strength and weight. Aluminum is more likely to bend than steel so steel poles and frames are going to be stronger than aluminum ones of comparable quality. Steel is also significantly heavier than aluminum, which can be helpful if you’re going to be using your canopy in windy conditions, but inconvenient if your primary concern is portability.
It’s also important to consider the difference in the way these two metals resist corrosion. Both steel and aluminum corrode. However, when steel deteriorates it creates damaging rust whereas aluminum forms aluminum oxide, a hard substance that actually helps prevent further corrosion. Steel tent poles and frames are usually treated to prevent rust, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never have any problems. You’ll have to decide if this potential issue is serious enough to affect your interest in steel.
And then, of course, there is the matter of cost. Party tents made with aluminum are sometimes more expensive than steel ones, but the large range of types and gauges of steel mean that there’s no true rule. Prices vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer so you’ll just have to see what is available in your price range.
There are also only two types available. However, your options are going to be dictated by the kind of party tent you choose. In some instances you may not have any choice about the material your top is made of. But it’s still a good idea to know what’s out there.
The least expensive material used to make party canopy tops is polyester. It’s most commonly used with pop up tents, though you’ll occasionally see it offered for pole and frame tents. In general, all varieties of polyester are durable and water-resistant, but each fabric’s overall strength depends on its thickness. The thicker the material is, the tougher it’s going to be. You can determine a top’s thickness by looking at its denier. The higher the material’s denier, the stronger it’s going to be. However, a top with a higher denier will also be heavier so if you’re looking to maximize portability a thinner top may your best option.
Vinyl tops, which are actually made of polyester that has been given a vinyl coating, are also quite common. If you’re planning to buy a pole, frame, or tension tent, this is probably going to be the only type of top available. Many manufacturers prefer them because they provide better UV protection and weather resistance than standard polyester tops. They’re also very easy to clean and most have been certified flame resistant. However, they are more expensive so if you do have a choice of top materials you’ll have to decide whether the improved performance is worth the increase in cost.
Party Tent Accessories
What follows is a list of some accessories that you might want to consider for your party tent if you haven’t already. These are the most common ones.
These allow you to enclose all or part of your canopy. If you’re having a private event enclosed entirely within the canopy, then a sidewall is something you’ll probably want to consider. If however the event under the canopy is going to be viewed by others outside of it, then a sidewall is not something you’re going to need.
Stakes and Anchors
Most party tents come with all the stakes and anchors you will need. However, there are going to be those occasions when you will find that you just don’t have everything that you need. In those cases, what follows is a list of some items that you just might need extras of.
Stakes – These will usually come with your party tent. They’re extremely easy to use and suitable for most situations. If you’ve chosen a pop up canopy and are interested in taking it to the beach, though, these aren’t a good choice; they can’t get a good grip in the sand. You’ll usually find them in sets, though it is possible to buy them individually.
Anchors – These are very similar to stakes, but they generally provide a stronger hold because you have to twist them to get them into the ground. They are a good choice if you’re going to be using your tent in areas prone to high winds, but they’re still not suitable for use at the beach. Some tents come with them so be sure to check what yours includes before ordering any
Weight Bags – These are only available for pop up tents. They rely on additional weight rather than a physical connection to the ground to ensure your shelter’s stability, making them an appropriate choice for almost any location, including the beach. Using them is as simple as attaching them to your canopy’s legs and filling them with sand or rocks. Their capacity varies, but most bags hold somewhere between fifteen and thirty pounds.
Stake Caps – Stake caps are designed to make your tent’s stakes safer to store and handle. They simply slip right over the sharp end. You’ll almost always find them in sets.
Stake Pullers – A stake puller is a tool designed to simplify the task of removing tent stakes from the ground. There are manual models that allow you to pull out stakes with just few pumps of a handle as well as gas-powered ones that do all of the work for you. These are particularly helpful if you’ve got a large tent that you set up and take down frequently.
Ratchet Sets – These are used in place of your party tent’s ropes. They’re much easier to work with than ropes and, because they can be tightened by a single person, will save you a lot of time during set up. They can also help you reduce the number of wrinkles in your canopy’s top because they provide greater tension during set up.
Other Things to Consider
What follows is a list of items that most people don’t even give a second thought to when purchasing a party tent or canopy. So you might want to go over this list and print it out for future reference.
Many towns and cities require you to get a permit before installing a party tent, particularly if you’ve got a larger model. This is mainly to ensure that your event meets fire safety standards. All you’ll usually need is a permit issued by your local fire department, but some municipalities have additional requirements. It’s best to find out what your local government’s policies are before buying a tent in order to make sure you’ll be able to obtain all of the necessary permits.
These documents certify that a tent’s fabric is flame-resistant and meets certain fire codes. If a shelter doesn’t have a flame or flammability certificate it’s really not a good idea to buy it. For one, you have no guarantee that it’s safe to use, and, two, making the arrangements for your event can be very difficult without the proper paperwork. Getting a permit to set up your tent, for example, can be impossible without a flame certificate. Even if you’re planning to use your tent for an indoor function, such as a business conference, the event organizer may require a certificate before allowing you to participate.
No one really wants to think about bad weather ruining their outdoor event, but even the strongest party tent can’t offer the same level of protection as a solid building. In the event of extreme winds or lightning, your tent can become unsafe and must be evacuated. Therefore, it’s a good idea to prepare an emergency weather evacuation plan beforehand.
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant
Party tent tops are either waterproof or water-resistant. Waterproof models are completely impervious to water, usually as a result of receiving a special treatment or coating. Water-resistant tops, on the other hand, are capable of handling a lot of exposure to moisture, but are still vulnerable to water penetration and can suffer related damage. The type of top a shelter has largely depends on its style. Instant canopies, for example, tend to have water-resistant tops while pole, frame, and tension tents often have waterproof ones.
Why? Most waterproof materials simply can’t handle rapid installation and frequent use as well as water-resistant ones. So for pop up tents, which are constantly being put up and taken down, the additional protection simply isn’t worth the potential reduction in durability. For pole and frame tents, however, wear becomes less of an issue because set up is slower and therefore gentler. These types of shelters are also more likely to be left standing for longer periods, making moisture resistance more important.
Making a Decision
We’re finally up to the decision making part of this whole process. I realize that I’ve given you a lot to think about, maybe even more than you expected. But contrary to popular belief, buying a party tent is not like going to the grocery store to get a loaf of bread. A lot of things need to be considered including event size, location, weather, and even town ordinances.
Here are our top recommendations for affordable and reliable party tents
• Galvanized steel frame, rust & corrosion resistant
• Polyethylene cover & walls, water resistant, UV protection
• Beautiful arched plastic windows
• Industrial strength zippers and heavy duty eyelets
• Industrial duty zippered entrance on both end walls
• Corner ropes and pegs included
• Heavy-duty Velcro and bungee cord straps
• Full instructions and care manual included
• Ideal for commercial and recreational use
• 4 storage bags included ($80 value)
This heavy duty Party Tent is made by Delta Canopies, a Company that have been in business since 2009. Weighing 240 pounds this tent can easily be erected by three people providing you follow the instruction sheet carefully. It’s a good idea to check that all parts are included on delivery so that there are no holdups when it is time to erect your tent. It looks very attractive with arched windows that also provide plenty of natural light. You should get plenty of compliments from your guests. Will comfortably seat 50 to 60 people.
The 4 storage bags make it easy for your party tent to be stored for your next occasion.
The Palm Springs 10×20 Heavy Duty Tent has many functions whether it be as used as a party tent, Carport, Gazebo, market stall, shade tent or for storage. Owning this stylish looking tent can provide an easy solution to any need that may arise.Comfortably holding up to 30 people this tent is a hosts dream as all the cleaning up after the guests leave is contained outside. The Palm Springs 10 x 20 Heavy Duty Tent came up as one of my favourites so I thought I would share my research with you.
Water Resistant and Sun Protection
The 180g Durable polyester cover with PVC coating is water resistant. The cover also provides up to 90% protection from the sun`s UV Rays keeping you cool and comfortable inside. If you want to remove the side walls you still have good overhead protection.
High quality steel frames which are provided for the tent are of 1.5” diameter which is industry standard. The powder-coated steel frame work is resistant to rust and corrosion
Removable Side Walls
Velcro fasteners which are used to attach the walls enable easy and quick assembly as well as removal. When the side walls are removed the tents remain strong and still appear stylish.
- 1.5″ Steel Tube Frame
Sidewalls have windows
Sidewalls can be removed
End walls with zippers that can be rolled up
White roof, white side walls
Setup is easy if you have 4 people
All hardware for assembly and detailed instructions included
Everything for the tent is supplied in a single box weighing no more than 110 pound
Customer Reviews and Scores
At the time of writing I have found 48 customer reviews and they have awarded the Palm Springs 10 x 20 Heavy Duty Party Tent 4.1 stars out of a possible 5 on average.
The customer reviews on Amazon are positive overall but there were a couple of minor issues raised. One customer said that the box that the tent arrived in was pretty Shabby but if you wanted to keep the box for storing the tent when not in use the box could be reinforced with duck tape. Another customer said that the four ropes supplied to anchor the corners were not enough and the tent would be more secure if you purchased another couple of ropes and stakes to anchor the middle posts also.
Other customers said they were very happy with the tent, it was very good value for money and they were extremely happy with their purchase.Another customer also said that buying the tent was much cheaper than renting something similar and it could be used for more than one occasion.
No doubt about it this easy-to-construct and easy-to-remove Palm Springs 20 x 10 Heavy Duty party tent of excellent quality leaves no room for disappointment by the user.
Whatever the occasion might be, the Quictent heavy Duty Party Tent can be the answer. Suitable for a gathering of up to 30 people your guests will enjoy the romantic atmosphere that this stylish party tent creates.
Quictent is a very well established company that`s been around for years offering a wide range of products from Greenhouses to Marquees. Known for their commitment to quality, value and reliability you can be assured that they really care about their customers.
The Quictent 10 x 20 Heavy Duty Tent came up as one of my favourites so I thought I would share my research with you.
Extra-thick Polyethylene Fabric
You only need to feel this fabric to recognise the high quality. The reinforced industrial grade fabric is durable, tear-proof, protects from the sun`s UV rays and is water resistant therefore keeping your guests comfortable inside.
So far I have only talked about party tents but this Quictent has a multitude of uses. Can be used as a temporary garage, for extra storage or to accommodate extra guests. The removable sidewalls allow it to be turned into a canopy, market stall, sun shade or for a festival event.
Features and Benefits
Windows that enhance the look of the tent and allow natural light to enter
Easy to clean
Double zipper doors both ends
Suitable for use on lawns or hard surfaces
No drilling or field cutting required
Instruction sheet with product
Size: 10’x20’x8.4′(H)/3*6*2.8 M (H)
Peak Height: 2.8M, Sides Height: 2M
Door Size: 2.45 x 2 M (H); Window Size: 0.9×1.1M (H)
Cover/Door Material: 160g PE, UV protected, waterproof
Frame Material: 1.5″(38mm), Heavy duty white powder coated steel
Joint connector Upgraded Heavy duty steel
Cover Colour: White
Package: 2 boxes
Gross Weight: 30kg/61.7lbs
1x Steel Frame
2x Front/back doors
1x Top cover
2 x Sidewalls with window
1x Necessary assembly parts
Customer Reviews and Scores
At the time of writing I have found 63 customer reviews and they have awarded the Quictent 20 x 10 Heavy Duty Party Tent 4.2 stars out of a possible 5 on average.
Overall the customer reviews were very favourable but there are a couple of issues that cropped up. One customer said that the instruction sheet with party tent was very basic but with some common sense and extra help everything came together quite easily.
Another customer said that the stakes were too flimsy for long term use but they went out and purchased some stronger ones.
Most the customers were happy with their purchase saying that they would purchase again. They also enjoyed the positive comments from guests, visitors and neighbours. They felt that their party tent had been a very good investment.