12 Best camping screen tent manufacturers
We review and recommend the best screen shelters for camping and picnicking in this guide to the best screen houses for camping and picnicking.
In addition, we’ll go over some key screen house features: Some screened camping shelters are better in the wind, while others are better in the rain. The most effective screen tents are designed to fit over picnic tables. And some pop-up screen shelters can be set up in under a minute!
Most importantly, the best screened-in shelters have plenty of tough mesh to keep pesky bugs out, particularly mosquitoes, no-see-ums, yellow jackets, and hornets. A screen tent will help everyone have more fun in the great outdoors if you want to enjoy fresh air with friends and family when the bugs are flying.
The main advantage of lightweight and easily portable screen house shelters is that they can be packed into small carry bags and easily stowed in a trunk or carried to your picnic spot or campsite. The main disadvantage is that they require you to assemble poles, just like most tents. Setup may then take a few minutes. If portability is important to you, here are our top screened shelters for 2022:
Bass Pro Shops Eclipse Refuge Screen House
The Bass Pro Shops Eclipse Refuge Screen House provides an unbeatable price-to-value ratio in a compact package. It’s not the quickest to set up, but once you do, it’s relatively sturdy, has plenty of wind tie-down points, and packs up small. Rain can slide down near the corner poles and work its way through the mesh despite the roof’s 800mm polyurethane coating. The 10′ x 12′ version we tested and reviewed last summer is shown above. However, Bass Pro Shops sells a 15′ x 17′ hexagon Eclipse Refuge Screen House with one built-in wind/shade
The only disadvantage of the Bass Pro Shops Eclipse Refuge Screen House is that it is not as well-made as screen houses from Big Agnes, REI, NEMO, and Eureka! as stated below Still, for a few weekends of casual camping and picnicking a year, the value is hard to beat. We like it because it can come in handy when you’re not expecting to be stung by flies or hornets — and it takes up little space in your vehicle. Oh, and one more thing: the Browning Basecamp Screenhouse has a very similar design but is more expensive.
Size: 10′ x 12′ rectangle or 15′ x 17′ hexagon
Peak height: 7’4″ or 7’9″
Packed size: 27″ x 8″ or 34″ x 12″
Weight: 16.1 lbs or 29.5 lbs
with nearly vertical sidewalls
Excellent price-to-value ratio
Not as quick to set up as pop-up screen houses.
Coleman Skyshade Screen Dome Canopy
The Coleman Skyshade Screen Dome Canopy, new for 2022, has a deceptively simple dome tent style design. One significant advantage is that the floor is removable. Most competitive screen houses do not include removable floors, so this is an excellent feature if you plan to set up in wet areas or want a more controlled eating area. It is available in two sizes: The smaller version is 8’8″ x 8’8″ with a peak height of 6’8″, while the larger version is 10’10” with a peak height of 7’2″. Choose the Skyshade 1010 Screen Dome Canopy for the most elbow room when using the Coleman Skyshade over a picnic table.
Size: 8′ x 8′ or 10′ x 10′
Peak height: 6’8″ or 7’2″
Packed size: 26″ x 8″ or 26″ x 9″
Weight: 11.4 lbs or 13.4 lbs
REI Co-op Screen House Shelter
The REI Co-op Screen House Shelter has two doors and high-quality no-see-um mesh. The solid fabric base and extra material at the bottom add strength and flow with uneven ground to keep crawling bugs at bay. The inclusion of eight stake-down loops is one advantage for stability and keeping the walls close to the ground. One disadvantage is that no guy lines are included, making it unsuitable for high-wind situations. REI, on the other hand, sells a Screen House Rainfly accessory that provides a completely waterproof roof with corner guy lines. It also has a built-in sidewall that can provide additional shade or wind protection — or extend up and out to function as an awning. Another thing we like is the high-quality aluminum poles.
Size: 10′ x 10′
Peak height: 7′
Packed size: 9″ x 29″
Weight: 13 lbs
L.L.Bean Woodlands Screen House
The L.L.Bean Woodlands Screen House has one large door for moving camp tables, coolers, and chairs in and out, as well as a half-size door for people traffic. The tough shock-corded aluminum poles and the inclusion of 10 stakes and 8 guy lines are the most significant advantages. L.L.Bean sells a Fly/Floor Kit accessory that includes a truly outstanding full coverage rainfly for added weather protection and versatility. With the full rainfly and floor kit, this screen house could be used almost like a cabin-style tent.
Size: 10′ x 10′
Peak height: 6’6″
Packed size: 13″ x 34″
Weight: 15.1 lbs
L.L.Bean Acadia Family Screen House
The L.L.Bean Acadia Family Screen House is slightly longer than the L.L.Bean Woodlands Screen House at 10′ x 12′, but its slightly sloping sidewalls reduce available space. However, the slightly slanted walls create a stable design — and it’s still long enough to fit over a standard picnic table. The two center zip doors also make the L.L.Bean Acadia Family Screen House ideal for using over a picnic table or large camping table, allowing easy access from either side. The overall design is similar to the Acadia 6-Person Family Tent, which we rated highly last year.
Size: 10′ x 12′
Peak height: 7′
Packed size: 13″ x 34″
Weight: 15.1 lbs
Best ‘Quick Setup’ Screen Shelters
The best quick-set screen shelters have hinged legs that connect to the roof poles. The advantage of quick-setup screen shelters is that they are easy to erect — most can be done in under a minute. Of course, you’ll need a few more minutes to finish staking down the screen shelter for wind stability and staking out guy lines. The main disadvantage of instant-up screen houses is that they are more difficult to pack and transport. If you have trouble with traditional tents, consider an instant setup screen house!
Coleman Screened Canopy Sun Shelter with Instant Setup
The Coleman Instant Screenhouse’s main advantage is that it can be set up in under a minute. The design features slightly slanted walls and legs, which aid in stability. The top is UVGuard material for sun protection, and the guy lines are already attached. Coleman offers two sizes of this screened shelter: a 10′ x 10′ square (shown above) and a larger 15′ x 13′ hexagon. The square works well for couples and small families, whereas the hexagon provides more elbow room.
Size: 10′ x 10′ or 15′ x 13′ hexagon
Peak height: 7′
Packed size: 49″ x 6.5″ or 52″ x 8″
Weight: 16.5 lbs or 18.25 lbs
Coleman Back Home Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup
The Coleman Back Home Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup has the same quick setup as the Coleman Instant Screenhouse, but it has space-saving vertical sidewalls. Setup is a little slower, but at around 3 minutes, it’s still quick. Aside from the vertical sidewalls, this Coleman screen house distinguishes itself by using a more durable double-thick Polyguard 2X fabric with UVGuard 50+ UPF sun protection. Coleman includes six tall guy lines, one at each corner, to aid in stability. The most significant disadvantage is the relatively bulky packed size and weight, but Coleman includes a wheeled carry bag to facilitate transportation.
Size: 10′ x 12′ hexagon
Peak height: 8′ 4″
Packed size: 47″ x 13″
Weight: 45 lbs
Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter
The Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter differs from most instant-up screen houses in that it has x-shaped side panel walls that pop out to provide additional stability. In fact, the Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter is stable in windy conditions if staked down with guy lines attached to the middle of each pop-out wall strap. Even better, the Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter is jam-packed with high-quality features, beginning with ultra-durable tear-resistant no-see-um mesh panels. The water-resistant roof is made of tough 210-denier polyester-oxford fabric with taped seams. You also get zippered pockets on the mesh windows, which allow you to store your coolers outside the screen shelter. . . However, make it simple to access the contents from within. We also like the wind and shade panels that roll down over each door when needed. Each panel has grommets that allow you to use the two included awning poles to create extra shade or light rain coverage. Cabela’s collaborated with ice-fishing shelter leader CLAM to create this Quick-Set Screen Shelter, and then improved the CLAM design with stronger wall pulls and an improved door zipper.
Size: 12.5′ x 12.5′ hexagon
Peak height: 7’10”
Packed size: 81″ x 15″
Weight: 50 lbs
Escape Sky Camper Screen Tent by CLAM
The CLAM Escape Sky Camper Screen Tent is similar to the Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter, but it has a screened roof with a rain fly and a removable floor accessory. It, like the Cabela’s version, employs the ingenious CLAM Quick-Set pop-out wall panels and is extremely simple to assemble. The Escape Sky Camper is about a foot smaller in diameter and a few inches shorter than the Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter. Nonetheless, it has a large capacity (up to 8 people) and fits over standard picnic tables.
Size: 11.6′ x 11.6′ hexagon
Peak height: 7’6″
Packed size: 74″ x 12″
Weight: 48 lbs
Best Screen Shelters for Rain
The best rain screen shelters have a fully waterproof roof or rainfly that can withstand heavy rain or drizzle. While most screen houses have water-resistant roof materials, their shapes do not always direct rain away from slightly sloped mesh walls. If you want a rain-proof screen shelter, consider the shape of the roof and walls to see how they will handle water flow. These are the best screened rain shelters for 2022:
Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter
The Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter is designed for discerning outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate quality in lightweight solutions. Big Agnes, based in Colorado, is well-known for its ultralight backpacking gear, but the company also produces excellent lightweight camping gear. Its Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter is constructed of high-quality aluminum poles. Our favorite feature is the excellent detachable rainfly that extends over the sidewalls to prevent rainwater from entering the mesh. If you want a completely mesh ceiling, remove the rainfly. Put it on if you need protection from the rain — and the sun. And if you don’t want to use the mesh, you can pitch it with just the rainfly for shade coverage. So adaptable. It measures 10′ x 10′ and is large enough to cover a picnic table.
Size: 10′ x 10′
Peak height: 7’4″
Packed size: 27″ x 15.5″
Weight: 15 lbs
NEMO Victory Screenhouse
NEMO, like Big Agnes, is best known for its ultra-high-quality backpacking and outdoor adventure gear, and the NEMO Victory Screenhouse exemplifies those design characteristics. The NEMO Victory Screenhouse’s best feature is its ingenious waterproof roof and pole structure. The roof’s shape prevents rain from pooling, and built-in rain gutters direct water away from the mesh sidewalls. That’s awesome. While some competing shelters have waterproof roofs, ineffective user setup can reduce effectiveness in the rain. The Victory Screenhouse, on the other hand, eliminates user error through creative design, which we appreciate. While there is no floor option for the Victory Screenhouse, NEMO perfectly sized the floor dimensions to fit its XXL Victory Picnic Blanket. Consider the Victory Picnic Blanket if you want a luxurious floor, especially for use on sandy beaches. If you’re wondering how it’ll stay put in the Victory Screenhouse with all the people, don’t worry because it has corner loops to keep it in place.
Size: 10′ x 10′
Peak height: 7’1″
Packed size: 27″ x 10″
Weight: 14.5 lbs
Eureka! Northern Breeze Screen House
The epiphany! Northern Breeze Screen House is one of the most adaptable screen houses on the market in 2022. It is very popular among outdoor enthusiasts due to its tough build quality and excellent features. The poles are made of strong aluminum. The waterproof roof fabric is 150-denier polyester oxford, which is thinner and lighter than the Cabela’s Quick-Set Screen Shelter Roof but waterproof. Wind panels roll down the sidewalls, and even these panels are waterproof. The epiphany! Northern Breeze Screen House also includes three awning poles that can be attached to any of the shelter’s four walls to create an awning for additional shade. Essentially, the Eureka! Northern Breeze Screen House is great in the sun, great in the rain, and very good in windy conditions if staked down properly with all of the included guy lines and attachment points. Furthermore, if you batten down the sidewalls on stormy days, the roof vent helps with both wind and airflow.
But wait, there’s more: if you need to spend some time inside the Northern Breeze Screen House, Eureka! includes useful mesh stash pockets as well as numerous attachment points for lantern or rope-style lights These attachment points are even strong enough to support a clothes line. The epiphany! Northern Breeze Screen House is available in two sizes. The 10′ x 10′ version is large enough to fit over standard picnic tables, while the 12′ x 12′ version does all of that and more. It
Size: 10′ x 10′ or 12′ x 12′
Peak height: 7’8″ or 8’5″
Packed size: 32″ x 12″ or 36″ x 14″
Weight: 27.6 lbs or 31.3 lbs
Best Screen Shelters for Wind
The best windscreen shelters have numerous tie-down points and stake loops. Next, the best windscreen houses should have strong pole structures and high-quality materials. Even if you start with a good design, you will most likely need to supplement your screen house with extra strong stakes and possibly extra tent guyline cord to keep your shelter secure against strong winds. Finally, position your screen shelter so that winds are more likely to hit a corner and flow around it rather than a sidewall straight on.
If wind is an issue, we recommend selecting a screen shelter with numerous guy line tie-down points and then purchasing extra stakes, including a couple Orange Screw Ground Anchors, which are ideal for sandy or loose soils (and made it into our guide to the best gifts for campers). Furthermore, screen houses with additional material along the bottom allow you to stack heavy coolers or rocks on top of the base fabric to help stabilize the shelter in windy conditions.
Screen House Tent & Screen Shelter Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a screen tent?
A screen tent, also known as a screen house, is a tent-like structure that provides shade and rain protection with mesh walls and a solid fabric roof. The best screen houses, screen shelters, and screen tents are ideal for camping and picnics because they provide a place to eat or visit ‘outside’ while also providing protection from pesky insects.
What is the purpose of a screen house?
Screen houses are ideal for camping and picnics when you want to eat or relax away from insects, the sun, or rain. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy taking screen houses camping so they can have a safe place to eat, play games, and visit. They’re especially suitable for family camping. Many screen tent shelters have two doors and are big enough to fit over standard picnic tables.
Screen tents are they waterproof?
Most screen tents are designed to be highly water-resistant but not completely waterproof in stormy conditions. Most screen house tents, in particular, have water-resistant roof fabrics that can shed light rain. However, some screen shelter roof designs allow rainwater to pour over the roof and down the mesh tent walls, potentially allowing water to enter the shelter. Fully waterproof roofs, as well as roof and wall designs that keep water outside of the shelter, are features of the best screen shelters. Even so, roll-down screen shelters are vulnerable to wind-driven rain. Water can get underneath the walls of screen shelters with floor kits because they do not have fully-sealed ‘bathtub’ style waterproof floors like true camping tents.
Is it possible to sleep in a screen tent?
Yes! In good weather, you can sleep comfortably inside a screen tent. However, because screen tent shelters do not have completely sealed floors and walls, some insects or rainwater may get inside. If you intend to sleep in your screen tent, we recommend that you use camping cots to keep your bedding dry in rainy weather.
What exactly is no-see-um mesh?
No-see-um mesh is simply a mesh screen with holes that are too small to allow tiny flying midges known as “no-see-ums” to pass through. No-see-ums, on the other hand, are much smaller than mosquitoes (and sometimes difficult to see). There are thousands of different species, many of which bite. Mesh screens prevent no-see-ums from entering the best screen tent shelters.