top of page

Pop-up vs. Inflatable tents

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Investing in a tent for your business, sports team or other organization? In terms of portability, easy setup and versatile performance, there are few better choices than pop-up tents and inflatable tents. In this guide, our experts at Extreme Canopy discuss the differences between these two types of tents. We provide basic design overviews for both pop-up tents and inflatable tents while discussing their many benefits for users. We also provide resources and links to our very own industry-leading antipool canopy product lines.


Pop-up tents are all-in-one shelter and advertising solutions ideal for a wide range of environments. “All in one” applies to pop-up tents’ versatility as both shelter and advertisement as well as their consolidated design. With pop-up tents, no assembly is required for set-up. These tents each come as one self-contained unit that expands to form a canopy.

Pop-up tents for commercial or event use typically feature a four-pole design, with each pole perpendicular to the ground. These poles (typically made from aluminum or another type of metal) expand to four corners thanks to foldable sides. Pop-up tents can be outfitted with custom tops and sides for extra weather-resistance and advertising space.


Used at millions of events around the world, pop-up tents are the industry-standard when it comes to portability, easy setup, and temporary shelter. Below, you’ll find a list of just some of the of many benefits that come with owning a pop-up tent.

Fast Setup. Perhaps the biggest advantage that pop-up tents bring to users is lightning-fast setup time. With a team of three or four, a pop-up tent can be set up in a matter of minutes—even seconds. Simply expand the four corners, fasten the top and sides and set the height.

Rugged Durability. While not all pop-up tents are created equal, most feature the same standard four-pole design, which is optimized for balance and all-weather performance. At Extreme Canopy, our pop-up tents are manufactured with industrial-grade aluminum, making them incredibly resistant to structural damage.

Portable Storage. In addition to their fast set-up times and durable designs, pop-up tents are also easy to carry and store. Pop-up tents can be quickly packed up and placed inside carrying bags that fit easily into most SUVs, trucks and vans. This makes them an ideal choice for families and school sports as well as businesses of any size.

As an industry-leader in tent design and manufacturing, our team at Extreme Canopy is proud to offer a comprehensive line of pop-up tents for private and commercial use. Our collection of high-quality pop-up tents for sale includes product lines such as our Canopy Tent Range, X5 Recreational Range, X6 Business Range, X7 Commercial Range, Custom Pop-Up Tents and more.


Inflatable tents and canopies are one of the newest types of portable, temporary structures on the market. The essential difference between inflatable tents and other types of tents is that inflatable tents use air for their support beams rather than plastic, fiberglass or metal. The inflatable beams on inflatable tents reduce weight and allow for a wide range of construction designs that simply couldn’t be practically achieved with plastic, fiberglass or metal support beams.

Most inflatable tents come as a single large unit that is unrolled and inflated using a small to medium-sized air pump. Depending on the type of inflatable tent you’re using, set-up time can vary considerably—though inflatable tents are generally known for their relatively fast and easy setups.


If you are in search of a versatile, eye-catching and easy-to-erect tent for your business, an inflatable tent may be the perfect choice for you. Growing in popularity thanks to their many user-friendly and performance-driven benefits, inflatable tents are often an excellent alternative to traditional pole tents. Here are several benefits of inflatable tents:

Easy Setup. Unlike many pole tents, which must be constructed from several components (or, at the very least, lifted and pulled into position), inflatable tents simply need to be pumped up. This process is accomplished using an electric air pump, so setup is literally a breeze.

Excellent Durability. This advantage refers to a certain kind of durability. Inflatable tents aren’t necessarily the all-round most durable tent choice. Though it’s unlikely, they can be punctured. However, the inflatable poles used in inflatable tents will not snap and will flexibly adapt to windy weather. Valves and Velcro pads add to the weight and sturdiness of inflatable tents. When fully inflated, many of these tents weigh close to double that of comparable traditional tents.

Versatile Designs. Like balloons, inflatable poles can be designed to inflate into a number of different shapes. This basic principle has led to a number of different designs that simply could not be practically replicated by traditional tents. In fact, many inflatable tents seem to stretch the definition of “tent” altogether. This can work to an advertiser’s benefit: the more eye-catching your inflatable is, the more interest you’ll attract.


The choice between a pop-up tent and an inflatable tent can be tough — thankfully, both options have their upsides. There is no clear-cut answer as to which product is superior. Both tent types are fully-customizable and excel in different and sometimes overlapping areas. Investing in the best option will involve assessing your needs and preferences. Looking to eliminate labor? Choose inflatable. Be sure you have a nearby power source for your air pump — if you don’t, a traditional pop-up tent is the better option. Want to streamline setup? Both tent choices are excellent. If you’re working alone, an inflatable tent is an excellent choice. If you have a group, a pop-up tent can take only seconds to set up. Is weather resistance a priority? Here, both tent options can provide outstanding shelter. You’ll just want to be sure to choose a specific product designed for that purpose.

These and other factors should be considered when choosing between pop-up and inflatable tents. Start with assessing your needs, and then browse products from both lines that fit the bill.

105 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page