Top 5 Affordable Sports Tents

No matter if you’re looking to shade yourself from the hot sun or light rain, the best sports tents can save you lots of headaches as you watch your favorite games from the sidelines. A high-quality sports tent should be able to accommodate a family comfortably while also keeping you cool, giving you an unimpeded view, and protecting you from the elements.

The five best sports tents are:

  • Lightspeed Outdoors XL Sport Shelter
  • CoverU Sport Tent Pod-Instant Pop Up Tent
  • Genji Sports Instant Park and Beach SunShelter
  • Sport-Brella XL Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella
  • CORE 10′ x 10′ Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent

In the next few sections, we’ll be discussing the best sports tents in detail, along with providing you with a thorough buyer’s guide to help you make an informed choice for your needs.

1. Lightspeed Outdoors XL Sport Shelter

Available in two colors (blue or gray and yellow) and able to comfortably fit a group of three or four adults (or half a dozen children), the Lightspeed Outdoors XL Sport Shelter would be an excellent choice for a family, a team of mini soccer players, or group of friends headed to a game.

The Lightspeed Outdoors is 10% larger than the leading competitors and measures 8’10” wide, 4’7” deep, and 4’1” tall. The quality is well worth the price, making this product long-lasting and durable. This sports tent offers shade and a cool environment to sit in. It also protects users from harmful sun rays up to 50+ SPF.

It features a 360-degree view thanks to its mesh windows and open front and boasts overhang protection for even more sun-blockage. Because the product is so open, it allows for air to flow through and prevents heat from getting trapped on sunny days, keeping you and your family cool and comfortable.

Assembly and disassembly are made easy thanks to the patented hub system and sturdy due to the thick fiberglass poles and attached sandbags for holding the sports tent in place. A carrying bag is included to make transportation and storage at home a breeze.

What We Like:

  • Large floor for multiple adults (2 or 3 sitting in regular-sized chairs) or half a dozen kids 
  • Airy to prevent heat buildup
  • Excellent protection from the sun due to the overhang and enclosed back
  • A 360-degree view so that you can see the action wherever it goes
  • Mesh windows and window covers for privacy
  • Wonderful quality and long-lasting
  • Disassembly and assembly only takes minutes

What We Don’t Like:

  • This isn’t the best tent for baseball as it is difficult to see flyballs.
  • Not best suited for the extremely hot days as the reflective bottom keeps the tent toasty

Overall, this is an excellent sports tent for large groups or multiple adults that offers shade, 360-degree viewing, and protection from the elements.

2. CoverU Sport Tent Pod-Instant Pop Up Tent

Able to seat two adults comfortably, this compact pop up sports tent is perfect for keeping you out of the rain without blocking your view of the game. It’s available for purchase in three different colors to match your personality or team colors best: red, black, and blue. This sports tent can be zipped up completely to protect you from the wind and rain, keeping you dry and comfortable. 

On the left, right, and the front side of the tent are large plastic windows to give you a full view of the events around you. Zip them up or keep them open to allow a cool breeze to drift inside the tent. The auto fiberglass frame allows for easy setup and takedown, and inside the sports tent, two cup holders and electronic holders are featured. Once the game is done, simply fold the tent down and place it in its complementary rectangular carrying bag for effortless transporting and storage.  

Though this sports tent is better suited for sports during the winter, fall, or rainy months, it can also be used in the heat of the summer thanks to its excellent airflow and ability to block the sun efficiently. The only downside to this tent is that it doesn’t seat as many adults as other options on our list. 

What We Like:

  • Available for purchase in three different colors: red, blue, and black
  • Setup and takedown are simple and straightforward
  • Windows are located on either side and the front for optimal viewing
  • Windows can be opened or closed to allow for a cool breeze or block high winds and wet weather
  • Offers great sun protection while also keeping you cool and comfortable
  • An excellent option for a couple
  • Features 2 cup holders and holders for your phone or other electronics
  • Comes with a rectangular carrying and storage bag

What We Don’t Like:

  • May not be the best choice for large families, teams, or groups headed to a game
  • Plastic windows crinkle somewhat easily. May need to be steamed to smooth the wrinkles

All-in-all, the CoverU Sports Tent is ideal for a couple of adults or about four children to fit in comfortably. It’s an excellent option for sports that are in season during cold, windy, or rainy months and can enclose the users completely to block any elements from entering.

3. Genji Sports Instant Park and Beach SunShelter (Budget)

An awesome budget buy and large enough to accommodate 2 or 3 full-sized adult chairs or multiple children’s chairs, the Genji Sports Instant Park and Beach SunShelter is perfect for sports lovers on the go. This is a fiberglass, instant pop-up sports tent that sets up in as little as 2 seconds and folds down in 5, saving you time and the hassle of putting it up before the game and taking it down once it’s time to go.

The flooring is waterproof, making it perfect for those hot summer days when drinks are being passed around or for sports watching during the rainy seasons. Genji’s SunShelter also offers 50+ SPF protection from harmful UV rays for whenever you’re spending hours at practice or tournaments. It’s also ultra-lightweight, weighing in at only 4 pounds, making lugging around heavy materials a thing of the past. 

The front of the tent is completely open, and the back features a large window with a fold-down screen for privacy. Each side has a tinted mesh lining the bottom of the wall for increased airflow to prevent stagnant air and overheating. The Genji Sports Shelter is also pleasantly affordable and would make an excellent budget buy for those not looking to spend too many pretty pennies. 

What We Like:

  • Very affordable. Great for those on a budget
  • The instant pop-up design allows for setup and takedown in seconds
  • Lightweight, coming in at only 4 pounds, to make carrying and storage easier
  • Exceptional airflow to keep the inside temperature cool
  • The large window in the back with screen for privacy
  • The front is open to keep the view spectacular
  • Flooring is waterproof
  • Great to use at the beach

What We Don’t Like:

  • There are no side windows. Viewing is only from the front and back of this sports tent

In general, if you’re on a tighter budget, this would be a great choice to give you protection from the sun and a place to sit without costing you a dime more than you’re willing to spend or sacrificing quality.

4. Sport-Brella XL Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella

With thousands of rave reviews, and listed at an affordable price, the Sport-Brella sports tent/umbrella is a hard sports tent to beat. This canopy umbrella comes in two colors (deep red and steel blue) and offers users SPF 50+ sun protection, weather repellant, and water repellent, blocking 99.5% of harmful UVA and UVB sun rays from the user. 

Eight ground stakes and three tie-down cords are included in your purchase to securely position your Sport-Brella in place and prevent it from rolling over or moving. Located at the top of the umbrella are wind vents that allow wind to roll through and around the product to prevent it from blowing away. These vents also act as a makeshift air conditioner, keeping the internal temperature of the product cool during hot summer days.

When fully opened, the Sport-Brella measures nine feet wide and gives a full view of the game in front of you. Flaps located on either side of the umbrella can either fold up to give you an increased view of your surroundings or fold down and be anchored in place to protect you from gusts of wind or used as additional sun protection. Setup and takedown are simple, thanks to its easy-folding structure and the 4.5 mm steel ribs and 5 mm steel stretcher keep the Sport-Brella sturdy.

The Sport-Brella also comes with a compact carrying bag that features a strap for effortless transportation and storage, and on the inside of the sports tent are pockets for storing extra stakes or valuables, along with side panel zippered windows to give you optimal visibility and increases airflow.

What We Like:

  • Unique design
  • Sturdy build
  • Comes with multiple stakes and tie-downs to keep the sports tent in place
  • An affordable option, even for those that may be on a tighter budget
  • Comes in two colors: deep red and steel blue
  • Excellent airflow to keep you cool during the warm seasons
  • Offers SPF 50+ sun protection, blocking harmful sun rays
  • Weatherproof and waterproof for whenever the weather isn’t the best
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • Features an open front for optimal viewing
  • Inside are protective pockets to store excess supplies, electronics, or other valuables

What We Don’t Like:

  • Thought the middle telescoping pole provides stability to the unit, it may get in the way of some users or prevent extra chairs from fitting inside the sports tent.

Overall, the Sport-Brella is our favorite budget buy on our list. It’s unique in its design, very sturdy, capable of accommodating multiple adults and children, protects users from the elements, and is just an all-around decent choice for those who like to spend their days outside. 

5. CORE 10′ x 10′ Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent (Our Top Pick)

The largest sports tent in our review, the CORE Instant Pop-Up Canopy Tent is ideal for big groups and multiple adults and children. It comes in two colors, gray and seal gray (which is slightly darker), and sets up instantly in as little as 2 minutes. The CORE sports tent offers an astounding 100 square feet of shade and protects users from harmful UV rays (50+  SPF protection). The unique material blend used to create the canopy block over 97% of all dangerous sun rays. 

The canopy is weather and waterproof to guard you and your family against rain and other displeasing weather due to the fully-taped seams. Two vents are located at the top of this sports tent to increase air circulation, keeping you cool whenever you’re out in the hot sun. This sports tent also features large, no-press buttons that allow you to increase or decrease to one of the three height positions offered by the canopy to whatever your preference is. Whenever you’re done for the day, simply collapse the sports tent and place it in its complimentary wheeled carrying and storage bag. 

The materials used to manufacture the CORE Canopy Tent are incredibly durable and high quality, giving you a product that is sure to endure years of use. The frame is made out of steel components, and the center height of the tent is 112 inches tall (or a little over nine feet), making it perfect for walking around under or placing seats, tables, portable grills, or any other item under. Though this sports tent is a tad on the heavy side (43 pounds), it’s still relatively portable and great for big events.

What We Like:

  • Can accommodate many adults and children
  • Enough room to stand in 
  • Great for placing seats, a table, and a portable grill under
  • Well-ventilated with fantastic air circulation
  • Available in two colors
  • Comes with a wheeled transportation bag
  • Blocks over 97% of all harmful UV rays
  • Waterproof and weatherproof
  • Sturdy, long-lasting build with steel frame
  • Opens and collapses in as little as two minutes
  • No-pinch buttons allow you to change between the three leg heights
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Price point is a bit higher than other options on the list
  • On the heavier side

The CORE sports tent is undoubtedly the most versatile option on our list, allowing for multiple adults and children to sit or stand under, along with a few tables and chairs. It’s open on every side for the best view possible and protects against the elements, including the sun and rain. Though it’s the most expensive choice in our review, it’s highly durable and is sure to last for years. 

What to Look for in a Sports Tent

In the next few sections, we’ll be discussing the best features to look for in a sports tent to help you make the right decision for your needs.

Livability and Space

When it comes to sports tents, you’ll want to ensure that you’ll have adequate room for your entire group, along with some chairs, and perhaps a cooler. Before you purchase a sports tent, it’s important to note how many people can comfortably fit inside. If you usually have a large group with you, we would recommend a sports tent that can hold four or more individuals. However, if it’s usually only you and one other person, a sports tent for a couple should be more than enough.

Additionally, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want a sports tent with a fabric floor. 

Benefits of fabric flooring include:

  • Protecting the seat of your pants or dress from coming in contact with the ground
  • Blocking ants and other insects from easily getting to your food or drinks
  • Protecting your feet or legs from hot sand or ground (if you sit directly on the floor)
  • Aids in enclosing the sports tent to block weather

The amount of room and livability of your tent will significantly impact your experience if you’re an avid outdoorsman or are at games often. We do recommend that you choose some kind of fabric flooring if you plan on sitting on the ground or bring bags of food along without a table or chair that they can be sat on. However, sports tents without fabric flooring can be just as high-quality and useful. It solely depends on your preference.

Airflow

A tent in the summer can become extremely hot when it’s closed (and just in general). Another thing to keep in mind when considering which sports tent is ideal for you is its ability to move air and cool the inside of the unit. All of the options on our list have some sort of opening, such as mesh windows, an open front, or vents, that encourage better air circulation. 

To ensure that you’ll be cooled, be on the lookout for vents located at the top of the sports tent or foldable flaps on the windows. 

Setup and Takedown

Whether you’re at a game or practice, after a long day, you’re tired and ready to go home — and you probably don’t want to spend too long putting your sports tent away. The time it takes to disassemble (and assemble for that matter) your sports tent plays a big part in its convenience.

Most sports tents can be put up and taken down in less than 10 minutes with 1 or 2 people. However, many will pop up in seconds or only require around 2 minutes to assemble. 

Another good thing to look for is features that aid in making setup a breeze, such as large, no-pinch buttons. These work by pressing the button and sliding the legs upward to a notch that locks it in place. Some of these legs can even be adjusted to various heights to meet your preferences. 

Wind and Water Resistance

Because your sports tent will be exposed to the elements, one of the top priorities of shopping for a sports tent is the fabric’s wind and water resistance. Ideally, your sports tent should have a waterproof or water-resistant top and flooring (if applicable to your specific unit) and comes with enough stakes or tie-downs to hold it in place in case of high winds. 

Sun Protection

While all sports tents will provide some protection from the sun, some materials are better than others. Polyester is an excellent material that is used in some of the most high-quality, sun-safe sports tents.

If one of your primary concerns is sun protection outdoors, you should try to find a sports tent that blocks 97 to 99% of all harmful UV rays (or SPF 50+ sun protection). 

Other features to look for in sports tents for protection against the sun are flaps for the windows, overhangs, and sidewalls. Flaps for the windows will allow you to block any sunlight that may be coming from the side or back angles of the tent.

Overhangs will prevent any sun around noon from penetrating the innermost part of the sports tent, and sidewalls will ensure that you have an enclosed space to sit in to get away from the sun, no matter the time of day.

Storage and Portability

Having a complimentary carrying bag with your purchase of a sports tent is a must-have, especially when the model you buy is 100 square feet when assembled and 40+ pounds. You’ll want to be sure that your sports tent comes with a carrying bag with a strap or handle to make carrying and transportation from your home or field to the car easier. Some tents will have bags that are wheeled, making moving your sports tent over long distances less of a hassle. 

Having the carrying bag will also make storage at home a breeze, as you won’t have to worry about parts going missing, the fabric tearing, crinkling, or getting dirty, or parts opening and breaking. 

Material Quality

High-quality materials such as steel beams, thick fiberglass poles (inside or under the fabric), and polyester fabrics will increase the lifespan of your sports tent. You’ll want to avoid aluminum or fiberglass legs, if at all possible, as they are not as resilient as their steel counterparts (though they’re still long-lasting in their own right). Polyester is a fantastic fabric, as it’s scratch and tear-resistant and protects well against rain. 

Factors such as weight also play a role in the quality of sports tents. While lightweight sports tents can be great for daily activities and are often surprisingly sturdy for what they are, you’ll probably want to purchase one of a heavier weight if you plan on using it when the weather isn’t at its best, or you’re in otherwise unfavorable conditions often (such as heavy winds or rains). Generally, the heavier a sports tent is, the better it will hold up to the elements.

Final Thoughts

No matter if you’re out and about at the park, beach, or backyard or making your way to a game, sports tents are an asset to have on long days. Our top pick is the  CORE 10′ x 10′ Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent. Though it may not offer protection from winds or intense storms, it does accommodate a large group of people and allows users to stand underneath it (a big plus, as the rest of the options are too short).

At 100 square feet, the canopy provides ample shade and protection from rain and blocks nearly 100% of all harmful UV rays. 

However, if you’re on a tighter budget or just won’t be using your sports tent all that often, we’d recommend that you go with the Sport-Brella XL Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella. Its unique design allows for protection from winds and harmful sun rays from nearly all angles, while still providing you with a full view of your surroundings. It’s also large enough to accommodate a couple of full-sized chairs and has fantastic air circulation via vents to keep you cool and the air from becoming stagnant. 

Overall, the best sports tent for you will depend on your specific preferences and needs. All of the options on our list are relatively affordable for the average consumer, block the majority of harmful UV light, and provide sufficient to decent protection from the outdoor elements. No matter which sports tent you choose, we’re confident that you’ll be satisfied with the quality, spaciousness, and features!

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