Not to be confused with Canopy Tents or Pop Up Canopies, these are not the same. In essence, they are both instant shelters that set up within minutes and provide a shaded, waterproofed area. However, this is where the similarities end.
Gazebos utilize an entirely different design and aesthetic than their commercial counterparts.
Their price, materials and purpose of use differentiate also.
Some are manually made gazebo kits or designed for use with grills, BBQ, others are made with wood or metal.
However, today we will be focusing on those that are ‘Pop Up’ and pitch instantly only, these fall into 2 categories. Garden/Patio and Camping.
The Gazelle, Clam and Coleman models are popularly used for camping trips, given the full enclosure of meshed side-panels and walls, making them perfect for outdoor family holidays.
But which models are right for you and which should we use for camping or the garden?
This will become clear in our article, so sit back for the next 5-10 and enjoy.
Pop up gazebos have a vast size range and also there is an abundance of different uses. Luckily, they are not all designed the same. We talk more about their uses below in the FAQ.
However, if you’re in the loop and know what you’re looking for, then let’s begin.
Best Camping Gazebos Reviewed
1. Clam Screen Tent
We will kick this off with an awesome pop up gazebo for camping from Clam Corporation. Producing portable, lightweight and fast pitch gazebos, which are tuned towards camping. An extremely wide range with the quick set escape, escape-XL, traveler and the popular pavilion models all available online. With the pavilion and escape models performing the best on the market, Clam is a premium choice with a high sell rate, let’s find out why.
This camping gazebo assembles in under a minute, and can be done alone. Open up the packaging and lay it flat on the ground. After, open out each hub, there are 5 in total, which make up each side panel. Then push up the center hub to secure all framework together, it will be fortified once you hear the clicking sound. Finally, after use, fold back in the same fashion in reverse, and place it back in its carry bag for safe storage. Job done.
The sides of the portable gazebo have built in wind and rain panels to help in fighting off any unwanted weather conditions. The zippered weather panels are also adjustable, meaning you can customize it against wind or sunlight, depending on the position of the sun.
Adjustable to create a low level breeze if the interior needs airing out. It’s waterproof with a resistant roof and taped seams, the meshed windows are also created with a fine mesh that reduces visibility from the outside. Offering some privacy when needed.
110 square foot of shaded ground, from within. Capable of fitting more than 6-8 people easily. Smaller models advertise as 6 people. Stays cool and dry inside thanks to the meshed panels. Plenty of space for a large camping table and a few fold up chairs.
An excellent gazebo for camping or garden events for a small group. It comes with the weatherproof panels, which is rare for Clam, they are usually sold separately at $48 each. Just be careful, remember that these are just pop ups, if you can, don’t leave them set up for months on end, take care of them and store them away safely after use.
- 3 Season Gazebo
- Weather Panels Included
- Fine Meshed Windows
- 110 Square Foot of Shade
- 60 Second Set Up
2. Gazelle G6 Gazebo
Our 2nd pop up gazebo designed for camping and outdoor use. The 8 and 4 person portable camping hubs from Gazelle, much like the addition from Clam. However without all the bells and whistles and a more economical choice. Let’s check out the features on this portable camping gazebo.
Offering a huge center height of 7.2 foot, it’s taller than most instant cabin tents. It has 92 square foot of shaded space for you to relax in. The size when assembled is 124 x 124, to give you an accurate idea of the size. Also lightweight at 34lbs in weight, it’s easily carried and lighter than the Clam edition. It’s suitable for a picnic table inside with 6 chairs, to enjoy while camping with the family.
Starting with the roof, it’s made with Polyester material, which has been integrated with UV resistant properties. It offers great protection from the sun. Also, they have reinforced the corner joints, which are usually weak points on hexagonal-shaped gazebos, as there are so many corners, nooks and crannies for the rain to filter into. Reinforced with heavy-duty material, that is sewn into the corner joints, to prevent any leaking issues. It only has 1 entrance and exit in the form of a single front door panel. However, this has been fitted with a YKK zipper which is durable and water-protected.
Unlike the Clam, the Gazelle gazebos wind panels are sold separately. As is the norm for all other Clam gazebos too, the quick set pavilion being an exception to the rule. They have packs of 2 or 3 available, so for the 6 sided hub I would recommend a 3 pack and maybe a 2nd pack for full surrounding coverage.
Made of 210D Polyester material, they are fully waterproof and offer good protection from light rainfall and moderate winds. Additionally, they are attachable to any gazebo from Gazelle.
They have also created a 5 sided version which is designed as a 4 person camping hub. If the 8 person is going to be way too big for your smaller group, consider this. It has the exact same features as the 6 sided hub, only smaller dimensions.
- Spacious Interior
- Reinforced Interior and Joints
- Durable YKK Zipper
- Free Bags, Stakes and Ropes
- UV Protected
3. Coleman Instant Shelter
Our next addition to our list is an instant screen house from Coleman. With the hexagonal shape, pop up design, attached framework and meshed screened sides, this definitely qualifies for camping with the family. This brand famously offers instant set up tents, canopies and gazebos that are easy to set up and use.
The whole frame is protected by a screened shelter that surrounds the gazebo. The fine meshed side panels give protection from mosquitoes, bugs and all those creepy crawlies, as the mesh is to fine for them to fit through. The roof and other fabric is made of a durable material known as Polyguard, which is an extra thick and long lasting material. It’s designed with an UVGuard, which is integrated into the fabric. The provides adequate sun protection and can protect your family with a factor of 50+ UPF.
In true Coleman style, it’s an incredibly easy set up. You can pitch this alone and have it set up and staked within 3-5 minutes. Afterward, it’s just as simple to fold away and make sure that you do this after each use. It can be stored in the easy pull storage back, that has wheel attachments so you can pull it rather than carrying it around from A-B.
Perfect for camping with friends and family, also makes a great picnic shade for the table. You can attach LED lights inside to create a relaxing ambiance. If you store away safely after each use, proof the roof with proofing spray and try to avoid severe weather conditions and it will outlast its very reasonable price tag.
- Lighting Hooks
- 3-5 Mins Set Up
- Polyguard Material (Weatherproof)
- UV Guard Tech
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4. Suntime Outdoor Gazebo with Solar Light
A backyard gazebo that employs an instant set up with push up technology. Our favorite feature of this model is the solar LED lighting that creates an ambient atmosphere on a calm night.
As mentioned there are 4 LED lights that are powered by solar energy, so obviously self-sufficient in spring, summer months, but perhaps need to switch-out to a battery-powered in the darker, winter months. Instant set up with pre-made framework and the height is adjustable into 3 levels, although the highest setting is probably the only one you will use. The sidewalls are attached by Velcro straps and hold well in light winds, significant strong winds will likely cause an issue with these lightweight gazebos, so use wisely in suitable weather.
The material used is waterproof, Suntime uses a 150D polyester fabric for the majority of the gazebo. This protects up to 95% of all UV rays so it is perfect for friends, family, and children, even the pets are safe from the sun’s rays underneath this gazebo roof. The most important feature with this gazebo for safety is the fire retardant properties maintained in the fabric. It’s CPAI84 level certified and proves useful in regards to grills, BBQ or even a small home bonfire, if allowed in your area of course.
- 4 Solar LED Lights
- Instant Set Up
- Removable Sidewalls
- Hexagon Variant Available
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5. Cloud Mountain Gazebo
Next up, we have a 13 x 13 instant gazebo for garden and patio from Cloud Mountain. This is a sturdy yet beautiful piece that is suitable for garden parties, barbecues and a sunshade for the family. It has a classical appearance with 4 color choices. Let’s see what’s hot and what’s not with this portable patio gazebo.
Colors and Dimensions
With 4 color variations, brown/beige, brown/tan, royal blue tan and hunter green tan. The Tan and Beige will blend well with stone houses, conservatories and patios. The Blue goes well poolside or on the lawn. The legs also match the chosen color theme, so the roof and legs will be the same. Erected it stands at 154 x 154 x 110 for length, width and height respectively. Giving a shaded area of 169 square foot.
Frame, Fabric, Roof
Steel frame, but still pretty lightweight at 34lbs in weight. Easily carried around in its carry bag. It has adjustable straight legs with 3 different height variations. The frame is protected with a powder coating that resists water, rust and corrosion. The fabric is made from 210 Oxford Fabric which is a decent protective material. This newer model includes an over-sized roof, which creates a larger shaded area. It measures up at around 46 x 46 in inches, and will contain the color chosen upon purchase.
It works well as a portable, lightweight pop up gazebo that you can use in the garden or patio, to shade you and your friends, for occasional get-togethers. However, it is not meant to be left outside in the weather for extended periods of time. Try to pack it away and store safely after each use to enjoy longevity in this model.
- Improved Rooftop
- Lightweight 34lbs
- Simple Assembly
- 3 Level Adjustment
- 4 Color Choices
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6. Z Shade Instant Gazebo
Similar in dimensions to the Cloud Mountain, however this model has a stunning double roof in a pagoda style. With a set of string lights this can set the scene beautifully for any social occasion, in your garden or patio. Also, an insta-lock frame for extra safety when pitching and storing. Let’s check out what else this shelter has to offer.
This model is insanely easy to set up. Can be up within minutes of unpacking, just simply extend and attach the pagoda style roof cover to the frame. The legs have attachments for mosquito nets and wind panels but unfortunately, they are sold separately. It all can be stored away safely into the free roller carry bag, if you’re looking for something a bit more robust than the free carry bags, check out these folding camping wagons.
The frame is steel which weighs in at around 59lbs in total. Coated with rust-resistant powder to fight the elements when kept outside for a long duration. The total canopy size is 13 x 13 with a 10 x 10 footprint. This offers around 170 square foot of shade, which is especially big due to the extended pagoda roof. The center height is tall and stands at 9.6 foot.
Mosquito Netting Panels
As mentioned there are meshed side panels to keep out bugs and insects, which fits perfectly with this portable gazebo. However, they are sold separately. They attach easily to the legs and frame, and have full zippers integrated into the lining.
Made with fire retardant fabric they are safe to grill or BBQ with and the purchase also comes with all 4 side-panels. You can customize accordingly, creating 1-2 doorways, or connect all 4 for full coverage. In fact, these panels fit most pop up gazebos that have a 10 x 10 footprint.
- 2 Year Warranty
- Insta-Lock Frame
- Fast Assembly
- Pagoda Style Roof
- Fire Retardant
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7. Mosaic Pop-Up Gazebo
A decent pop up gazebo for under $200 that would serve well on patio, poolside and in the backyard. We included this one as it strays away from the usual Beige or Tan color themes that many seem to follow. The features aren’t bad at all too, additionally the reviews have been positive in the majority. Let’s find out more about this model from Mosaic.
So the frame is a pretty sturdy addition for a pop up, with a sold steel frame, although not the thickest, it’s still steel. This means it has the benefits of superior durability when combined with a powdered coating. Luckily for you, it does, you won’t need to apply this yourself. The coverage is decent and the legs aren’t slanted, at 13 x 13 you will get the full 169 square foot of shade.
You may be wondering how a steel frame is instant, but it’s no rarity. Most durable canopies are indeed steel, it’s possible with modern engineering. This particular model utilizes an ‘insta-lock’ frame which clicks the frame into place, securing it tightly. You can have this up within 15 minutes with a bit of help.
- Powder Coated
- Water, Fire and UV Resistant
- Insta-lock Frame
- Free Roller Carry Bag
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8. Kinbor Hexagon Gazebo
This hexagon-shaped gazebo is more like a 2 in 1 so-to-speak. The foundation of the frame is essentially a squared frame, yet the way it’s designed is that when the multiple sidewalls are attached, it takes the shape of a hexagon, due to the angled side-panels. It then becomes less like the conventional canopies and much more like a garden gazebo. This is reinforced more-so with the addition of aesthetic window designs, which suit social occasions as opposed to commercial.
The material is in some parts superior to the Suntime Solar Gazebo, given the 210D oxford as opposed to the 150D in the Suntime. It’s also oxford silver which is renowned for having reflective properties against UV rays and will keep you relatively cool inside when concealed. It’s a simple task to set up, just pop up the initial framework then attach the sidewalls and it’s done. Instruction manuals are included, but not necessary if you’ve done this kind of thing before.
- Rust and Corrosion Protection
- UV Resistant
- Gazebo and Canopy Combo
- Durable Polyethylene Cover
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What is a Pop up Gazebo?
Basically the modern equivalent of a standard gazebo. Focusing on an instant set up, light carry weight and portability.
They are an easy set up shelter that can be used in a variety of situations.
They are generally used as a camping hub tent or as a patio and garden shelter, for the more aesthetic models.
Both contain side panels and meshed panels, which are either attachable or integrated, depending on the style.
For patio options, lights are attachable to create a nice environment for garden events.
The camping style gazebos offer perfect shade and spacious rooms to fit in the camping table and chairs.
Related Article: Best Replacement Parts for a Pop Up Gazebo
How do Pop up Gazebos work?
The larger portable garden and patio gazebos will most likely come with a pre-built aluminum or steel frame.
This will be firstly extended around 70%, then have the cover/roof attached, then fully extended.
Much like a carport, some of the more rigid roofs made of aluminum or other non-pliable material will be attached after a full extension of the frame.
Then finally, securing the gazebo with weights, guy lines and stakes, depending on if you set up on soft or hard surfaces.
The camping gazebo versions are much simpler to assemble.
They come pre-assembled in a complete frame with fabric already integrated into the framework. Assembled by extending the pre attached poles outwards, unfolding the framework, taking shape as you extend it.
Next, secure with pegs and stakes once it’s fully opened. Apply any rain-cover or flys after the frame is fixed. Additionally, lay any tarp for extra flooring. That’s it, job done.
Are Pop up Gazebos Waterproof?
They do vary and some are better than others.
All the pop ups listed in our article have waterproofing properties in the fabric.
However, it is worth noting the portable versions generally aren’t as robust as traditional gazebos.
The polyethylene and polyguard models do resist water penetration and with care after each use, can last as a decent outdoor shelter.
To conclude this article, pop up gazebos are a lightweight and multi-functional shelter that can be used in a variety of situations. Garden, patio and camping scenarios alike. All of which are waterproof and do a good job sheltering against the elements.
I think the most important thing to realize when buying, is the fact that you can’t just leave them outside in harsh weather for weeks on end. For best practice, try to store after use and make sure it’s dried out before storage to prevent mold build-up, which can eat away at the fabric, weakening it.
All in all an excellent and economical choice of instant shelter for camping and garden events.
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Until next time, happy camping!