For some people, camping out is a rite of passage. If they leave in a climate where cold weather makes winter camping unappealing, they wait eagerly for the warm months of summer so they can break out their camping equipment and enjoy the great outdoors.
If you and your family like to camp, then one option to consider is a camping screen house – a spacious but portable alternative to a tent. The benefit of choosing a screen house is that the ventilation is far superior to a tent, but it still keeps pests out. There are plenty of options to choose from, and we’ve taken the time to choose our 10 favorites.
Before we reveal them, let’s look at some of the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop for a camping screen house.
Table of Contents
- 10. Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House
- 9. Wenzel Smartshade Screen House
- 8. Wenzel Biscayne Screen House
- 7. Hasika All-Weather Diversified 8 x 8 Instant Screened Canopy
- 6. New SportCraft 8 ft Pop Up Screen Room with Floor Canopy Tent Shelter
- 5. NATURO Outdoor Double Bed Mosquito Net Canopy
- 4. Clam Corporation 9882 Quick-Set Pavilion
- 3. Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter
- 2. Northern Breeze Screened Shelter
- 1. Coleman 15 x 13 Instant Screenhouse
What to Look for in a Camping Screen House
Here are some of the features you may want to consider before you buy a camping screen house this year.
- The first consideration is the size of the model you choose. Screen houses are often larger and more stable than tents, and many of them are big enough to allow you to put a picnic table inside. You’ll need to consider how many people need to fit in the tent before you make a choice.
- The next consideration is the design of the screen house. Some models are bare bones and basic, while others come with a ton of bells and whistles. You’ll have plenty of options to consider.
- Ease of set-up is another key concern for people buying a screen house. You don’t want to be struggling to get your screen house erected before dark. The best bet is to choose a model that’s easy to set up and collapse so you can spend your camping time relaxing instead of waging war with your screen house.
- Portability is another key concern. If you’ll be camping alone, then some of the screen houses on the market may be too heavy or unwieldy for you to set up on your own. Also, if you have to hike from a parking spot to your camp site, the weight of the screen house may be extremely important.
- Some screen houses come with outside awnings to form a seating area for people who want to set up outside of the screen house. If that’s important to you, then you should look for an option that has them.
- Finally, you’ll need to think about the amount you want to spend. Screen houses are available in a wide array of prices to suit every budget.
That covers the key features to look for, and now it’s time to reveal our picks for the top 10 camping screen houses in 2017.
10. Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House
The first pick on our list is the Tailgaterz Magnetic Screen House. Here are some of the reasons why this screen house makes our list:
- 11’ by 9’ screen house is large enough to fit over a full-size picnic table.
- Despite its size, this product weighs only 19 pounds and is fairly portable when collapsed.
- The poles are flexible and have some give when the wind blows.
It’s important to note that there are a few potential downsides to this product:
- The magnet closures on the door aren’t as effective as zippers would be at keeping the doors closed.
- You will need to waterproof the roof if you want to camp in it.
- The support poles are made of carbon fiber and some people may prefer metal or plastic.
On the whole, this is an affordable model that’s best for camping in good weather.
9. Wenzel Smartshade Screen House
The #9 pick on our list is the Wenzel Smartshade Screen House. There’s a lot to like about this product:
- This good-sized screen house is 10’ by 10’ and 120” tall, so it has plenty of head space.
- It’s made of water-resistant nylon so it’s safe and comfortable to use in the rain.
- Sturdy construction can withstand high winds.
There are a few things that we think could be better about this product:
- If it rains, water will accumulate on top of the roof and it is important to remove it to avoid overstressing the poles.
- The zipper closures on the door are hard to open if your hands are full.
- The tent part of this product could be more securely fastened to the poles.
On the whole, this is a nice screen house with some good features – and as long as you keep the water off the roof it can last you a long time.
8. Wenzel Biscayne Screen House
The #8 product on our list is also from Wenzel, the Wenzel Biscayne Screen House. Here are some of the things we like about it:
- This is a large screen house, measuring 14’ by 12’ – definitely big enough for a crowd.
- Comes with two T-shaped doors for easy access.
- Unit is lightweight (a little over 17 pounds) and collapses to a small size for transport.
Here are a few things we think could be better:
- This unit doesn’t have a floor, so it’s best suited for use in a grassy area.
- The walls slant rather steeply so you lose some space around the edges.
- This screen house is not particularly easy to get set up, especially the first time.
On the whole, we like this house for its large size and portability.
7. Hasika All-Weather Diversified 8 x 8 Instant Screened Canopy
Coming in at #7 on our list is the Hasika All-Weather Diversified 8 x 8 Instant Screened Canopy. Here are a few of the things we like most about this product:
- This screen house has UV screen technology to protect your skin from sun damage.
- Two T-style doors provide access to the interior.
- This house has a floor to keep crawling bugs from getting inside.
We like this screen house a lot, but here are a few potential downsides to consider:
- This tent has a relatively low ceiling – just six feet – so it is not ideal for taller people.
- The roll down flaps for bad weather are located on the outside.
- The doors is very small and not easy to navigate.
We like this screen house because it offers protection from the sun and comes with a floor.
6. New SportCraft 8 ft Pop Up Screen Room with Floor Canopy Tent Shelter
Our #6 picks is the New SportCraft 8 ft Pop Up Screen Room with Floor Canopy Tent Shelter. Here are some of the things we like about it.
- The side netting is UV stabilized and flame retardant.
- The mesh is fine enough to keep out even the smallest flying bugs.
- This screen house has a zippered door and a floor.
While there’s plenty to like about this product, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- This screen house is difficult to fold and get back into the bag that comes with it.
- Water does collect on the roof when it rains, and it’s important to keep an eye on that.
- This is a small unit and best suited for just one or two people.
We like this particular product because of the fine mesh sides and the floor – two features that are very important.
5. NATURO Outdoor Double Bed Mosquito Net Canopy
Coming in at #5 on our list is the NATURO Outdoor Double Bed Mosquito Net Canopy. Here are some of the reasons that we chose it:
- Comes with a hanging kit, two mosquito-repellent bracelets, a storage bag, and an eBook.
- This particular product can be used inside or outside.
- The fine mesh keeps out even the smallest insects.
Here are a few things that could be better about this product:
- This product is not free-standing – it needs to be anchored to trees or bedposts to work.
- Because the net is so lightweight, it will not stand up to rain or wind.
- This product is not very large – big enough for chairs and for a couple of people to sleep, but not large enough for a picnic table.
On the whole, we like this product because it is both lightweight and inexpensive.
4. Clam Corporation 9882 Quick-Set Pavilion
Our #4 pick is the Clam Corporation 9882 Quick-Set Pavilion. Here are some of the reasons that it made our list:
- This is a large screen house, measuring 12.5’ by 12.5’ total, with built-in rain panels.
- The set-up is quick and easy, and takes less than a minute once you’re used to it.
- This product folds down to a small size for transport, and comes with a travel bag.
There are a few potential caveats to keep in mind. For example:
- This is one of the heavier products on our list, weighing in at just over 39 pounds.
- The roof collects water when it rains and it is best used as a fair-weather tent.
- This is a fairly expensive product.
We like the large size and quick, intuitive set-up of this product.
3. Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter
Our #3 pick is the Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter. We like many things about this product, but here are a few of its most impressive features:
- This screen house features 94 square feet of space, and at the center, the roof is 90” tall.
- Fabric has 50+ UV sun protection
- Comes with an oversize carry bag for transportation.
There are a few potential downsides to keep in mind. For example:
- The carry bag is large and even when collapsed, this screen house is 72” long.
- This is not a screen house you can put up by yourself – it’s a two-person job.
- The green tent does not come with rain flaps (but the brown camouflage one does.)
All in all, we like this large, sturdy screen house for most outdoor situations.
2. Northern Breeze Screened Shelter
Coming in at #2 on our list is the Northern Breeze Screened Shelter. Here are a few of the things we like most about it:
- This is a 12’ by 12’ screen house that comes with an awning for sitting outside.
- Shock-resistant aluminum frame weighs only 28 pounds.
- The built-in external rain flaps mean that you retain full use of the interior even if it’s wet outside.
There are a few things we think could be better about this screen house:
- The instructions are not easy to follow (although there are YouTube videos available to help).
- This is one of the pricier models on the market.
- It gets fairly hot in the interior on sunny days.
We like this product for its lightweight construction and spacious interior.
1. Coleman 15 x 13 Instant Screenhouse
Coleman is a respected name in camping gear, so it should come as no surprise that are top pick is one of their products, the Coleman 15 x 13 Instant
Screenhouse. Here are some of the things we like best about it:
- Provides 41.6 square feet of shade.
- This product is super-easy to set up.
- Fits a patio table and four chairs with room to spare.
We really like almost everything about this product, but here are a few things to be aware of:
- When you first take it out of the box and start to set it up, make sure the Coleman logo is on the outside – it can be easy to get confused.
- The instructions are not inside the box, they are sewn into the side of the carry bag.
- The covered part of the roof is small and does not provide much protection from the sun.
On the whole, this is a terrific, durable product that we highly recommend.
Screen houses are a great purchase from summer – and choosing the right one can provide you with protection from sun, rain, and bugs at the same time. The 10 products on our list all fit the bill!