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April 13, 2020Best In Tents

Celebrate life's moments in style with the perfect party tent. Life is full of special moments worth celebrating, and what better way to do so than with a spectacular party? Whether it's a golden anniversary, a graduation, a mortgage paid off, or a neighborhood gathering, a celebration calls for a unique and memorable setting.

American Tent offers a wide range of different types of tent to fit any occasion, ensuring your celebration is both fun and worry-free. With so many options on the market, choosing the right party tent can be a daunting task. That's why American Tent has compiled a list of the best party tents, each with its own set of pros and cons, to make buying a party tent a breeze.

At American Tent, we believe that your special event deserves the very best, and we won't settle for anything less. Quick note: we may not sell every type of tent listed, but our goal is to empower you with all the information you need to choose the perfect party tent for your event. So why wait? Start planning your celebration today and make it a day to remember!

Party tents

Pop-Up Canopy Tents

Unleash your inner party host with affordable and effortless pop-up canopy tents. These joyful little shademakers are so easy to set up, virtually anyone could do it! And with various canopy types to choose from, you can add some pizzazz to your backyard with a white, red, or blue colorful tent top.

Pop-up canopy tents don't just offer a break from the sun, but they can also be transformed into a chic and fabulous event space. Accessorize your canopy tent with twinkling lights, colorful flowers, festive balloons, or any other decor that aligns with your party vision. With a low price point, you can even go wild and buy multiple tents for multiple purposes, such as a DJ booth, buffet area, or gift table.

Pop-up canopy tents are also flexible and can be enclosed with sidewalls for privacy or left open for a breezy and relaxed atmosphere for your guests. So, whether you're hosting a casual cookout or a more sophisticated soiree, pop-up canopy tents are an affordable and fun solution for making memories that will last a lifetime.

10x10 Pop-Up Tent

Advantages of Party Canopies

Pop-up canopy tents offer the perfect solution for:

  • Intimate gatherings with a cozy ambiance
  • Quick and hassle-free setup
  • Solo or duo setups
  • Personalizing with unique décor
  • Mobile celebrations, taking the party on the go.
Canopy pop up tent

Disadvantages of Party Canopies

Canopy/pop-up tents may not be the top choice for:

  • Entertaining a lot of people - pop-up canopies only available in size 10x10 or 10x20
  • Hosting more formal events like sit-down dinners and dances
  • Events where you’d like your tent to be set up for a longer period of time

What Kind of Events is Pop-Up Tent Suitable For?

Pop-up tents are well-suited for outdoor events like picnics, barbecues, birthday parties, sporting events, and markets. This type of tent is ideal for short-term events thanks to their lightweight construction and effortless setup, providing quick protection from the sun or rain. They come in various sizes and styles, making them a versatile choice for different types of parties. These types of party canopies can also be customized with logos and branding for business events. Their affordability, portability, and ease of use make them a popular option for casual events where you need a shelter solution in a pinch.

Frame Tents

Frame tents are the MVP of the tenting world - and our most popular tent style by far. They can cover a huge amount of space, and no center poles are needed, which is why they are sometimes called “clear span” tents. Frame tents are sturdy and can be customized with sidewalls, so you don’t have to cross your fingers or hold your breath for a certain kind of weather. The only thing you have to worry about with a frame tent is just how you’re going to fill all that open space underneath it. Dance floor? Desert bar? Sushi station? Banquet seating or tables of 10? The options are as wide open as the space itself.
When buying tents for events, a frame tent offers a range of options, from a DIY ice sculpture station or cotton candy machine is just the beginning of the fun. A frame tent also offers the option of selecting the perfect flooring, whether it's cozy carpet, a glowing dance floor, or the natural earth. With so many possibilities, a frame tent makes for an unbeatable party centerpiece.

20x30 frame tent for graduation party

Advantages of Frame Tents

Choose a Frame Tent if:

  • You need maximum interior space with no interior pole obstructions.
  • You require long-term use, as frame tents are typically kept up 6-8 months per year (weather permitting).
  • You need versatility in setup, as frame tents can be staked or secured with ballasting.
  • You require a custom-sized tent, as our talented manufacturing team creates custom size frame tents to the nearest foot.

Disadvantages of Frame Tents

Frame Tents might not be your best choice if:
  • You have a limited budget. With a sturdy metal frame and hardware, frame tents come with a higher price tag.
  • You desire a classic arching peak look. Center poles provide the traditional tent aesthetic, while frame tents lack that curved peak.
  • You require easy set up. The frame structure of a frame tent takes more time and effort to put together compared to other types of event tents. Some lifting is involved as well but can be made easier with the help of a trusty frame jack.
  • You don’t have a lot of storage space. With multiple pieces, frame tents require more storage room than other styles.

What Kind of Events Are Frame Tents Suitable For?

When researching tent types for events, you’ll find that a frame tent is the jack of all trades. The frame tent’s versatility, ability to be set up on almost any surface, and lack of interior poles makes this a popular choice among bars and restaurants. Its sturdy construction also makes it a safe and common choice for temporary classrooms, wedding venues, and rental tents.

Pole Tents

When it comes to throwing a bash, nothing beats the charm of a pole tent! In fact, when you think of types of tents for events, you probably are picturing these classic beauties. It's the epitome of event tents and offers that classic, dramatic look with its sweeping peaks. Whether it's a circus-themed bash or a festive gathering, a pole tent will elevate the mood. And with the option to add sidewalls, you can tailor it to your specific needs.

Center poles are one of the biggest differences between a pole tent and a frame tent. Use center poles to define different areas within the tent, such as food, dance floor, or even a crepe station. Plus, they provide the perfect canvas for decorating with lights, flowers, drapery, or anything else that brings your vision to life. So why settle for anything less? Make a statement with a pole tent at your next event!

Advantages of Heavy Duty Pole Tents

Choose a Pole Tent if:

  • You want a quick and easy set-up. With fewer components, pole tents go up in a flash, making them a great choice for short-term events.
  • You need as large a tent as possible (our pole tents go up to 200’ in length)
  • You’re on a budget. Get the tent size you need for less than the cost of a frame tent.
  • You’re setting up on grass - or any other surface you can safely stake into.

Disadvantages of Heavy Duty Pole Tents

Pole Tents may not be your best choice if:

  • You really want a large amount of uninterrupted space with no center poles.
  • You want to leave your tent up for an extended period of time.
  • You need to set up your tent on a surface that you cannot stake into.
  • You need a custom size to fit your event space.

What Kind of Events Are Pole Tents Suitable For?

When looking at different types of tents for parties, depend on a pole tent for a stylish look, eye-catching appearance, and quick set up. These qualities make poles perfect for graduation parties, food festivals, and short term rentals. It is important to keep in mind that the center poles create an obstructed view and might not be the best choice for your concert or theatrical performance.

Clear Tent

Clear tents are different kinds of tents that offer a whimsical choice that won't necessarily cost a fortune. Illuminate the night sky while still keeping the weather at bay by opting for a clear top tent for your celebration or gathering. These tents provide natural light from the sun during the day, and come to life at night with their stunning glow.

A clear top tent is the clear choice for your party. After years of not having it quite right, the materials and engineering are finally such that a clear vinyl party tent looks not only good, but stunning. The pictures speak for themselves, and we here at American Tent definitely encourage you to speak for yourself by requesting a clear top tent for your special day. Like all of our tents, clear top tents can be combined with sidewalls to keep out the wind and rain. We offer completely clear sidewalls as well as solid white and window sidewall options.

Clear top tents are particularly suited for weddings or any other event where you might have a videographer who is keen on getting drone footage. Nothing is as breathtaking as overhead shots of a warmly lit clear top tent, no matter what the occasion.


Advantages of Clear Top Tents

Choose a Clear Top Tent if:

  • You like the wide open interior space of a frame tent and want to extend that open feeling all the way to the sky.
  • You’re planning an event that will go from day to night.
  • You need a versatile tent that can be set-up on grass or concrete.

Disadvantages of Clear Top Tents

Clear Top Tents may not be the best choice if:

  • You’re planning an event during the day, in the summer, in a sunny location; the greenhouse effect can come back to burn you.
  • Your event is being held in freezing temperatures. Clear vinyl can handle temperatures to 32°F.
  • You plan to keep your tent up long term. Clear tent tops are not as durable as white tent tops for the long term.

What Kind of Events is Clear Tent Suitable For?

Throwing a bash beneath the stars? Consider a clear top tent! When buying a party tent, these translucent shelters add a touch of magic to any event, with their clear roof inviting natural light to shine down on your guests. With various canopy types to choose from, a clear top tent is sure to elevate the ambiance for a grand wedding, restaurant patio, corporate party, or festive outdoor event.

Marquee / Cross Cable Tent

Marquee, a.k.a. “cross-cable,” a.k.a. “high peak,” - no matter what you call this type of party tent, they offer an elegant profile that evokes jousting, feasting, and all-around good times .

Peaks are created for the cross-cable/marquee/high peak tent with tension from cables pushing up on a center mast, allowing for abundant usable space underneath the tent. Although American Tent offers only 10’ x 10’ and 20’ x 20’, the lack of a center pole and sweeping peaks make the space much more open and airy.

These tents are also very easy to assemble and disassemble. You don’t need a big crew and you don’t need a frame jack. Just pop up and start living the dream.


Advantages of High Peak Tents

Choose a high peak tent if:

  • You love the look of a statement peak without an interior pole creating obstacles.
  • You don’t have a lot of time or crew-members to help set-up.
  • You are planning a short-term event.

Disadvantages of Cross Cable Tents

High peak tents might not be your best choice if:

  • You’re hosting a larger event and a max space of 400 square feet won’t be enough.
  • You’re planning a long term event.
  • You need a custom size.

What Kind of Events is High Peak Tent Suitable For?

High peak tents are the epitome of sophisticated grace and timeless charm. With their sleek silhouette, they offer a captivating open-air setting perfect for a wide range of events, from graduation parties to birthday bashes and everything in between. While this small-but-mighty tent may not have the capacity for your wedding reception, high peak tents are a popular choice for catering and food preparation tents.

Pagoda Tent

The romance of a cross-cable tent with 21st century engineering, pagoda tents are the cross-cable tent’s tech-savvy older brother. Pagoda tents are engineered with keder walls, zipper openings, and that same stunning peak, making them the go-to bet for peak seekers who crave a more structured approach.

With so many different types of party tents, have confidence that your Pagoda tents will stand our from the crowd with their show-stopping peaks thanks to a lofted frame supporting a center cone. Pagoda tents require just two people and a frame jack to set up, so you can get your party up and running with minimal effort and maximum speed.

Going up as easily as Marilyn’s iconic white dress above a New York City subway grate, pagoda tents are a working tent with the look of luxury. Keder walls and zipper closures make them secure and safe against the elements. No need to worry about flapping sidewalls or poor overlaps, pagoda tents will take you to the next level.




Advantages of Pagoda Tents

Choose a Pagoda Tent if:

  • You want the precision of keder walls.
  • You like the drama of curtain-like openings for your sidewalls.
  • You love tall, robust peaks.

Disadvantages of Pagoda Tents

Pagoda Tents might not be your best choice if:

  • You need to accommodate more people than a 10’ x 10’ or a 20’ x 20’ pagoda can provide.
  • You desire a custom size or color to fit your event space.

What Kind of Events is Pagoda Tent Suitable For?

Pagoda tents are the embodiment of chic refinement and everlasting allure. With their smooth and sleek silhouette, they present a breathtaking open-air ambiance, perfect for special events - from joyous fundraisers to delightful festivals and everything in between. While this compact but mighty tent may not have the space to accommodate a grand event with hundreds of attendees, it is a favorite among event planners for its versatility and strength.

Sailcloth Tent

Sailcloth tents are gorgeous. These unique types of event tents say class, sophistication, and money. Show your friends at the yacht club that you have all three of those things by choosing a sailcloth tent. At American Tent, we don’t make sailcloth tents (yet), but we certainly see their appeal. The special fabric is translucent which makes for a bright and sunny day (while still being protected from the elements) and a glowing evening as your tent is illuminated from inside.

Like hand engraved wedding invitations, sailcloth tents range from more expensive to even more expensive. If price is no object and you like the asthetics, you can spend quite a bit of money to get the look of your dreams. Another swoon-worthy factor that comes with sailcloth tents has to do with the poles. Sailcloth tents typically only come with grand wooden poles so you and your guests can dance to “Sloop John B” while feeling like you're aboard her. Wooden poles make your feel like you’re on the galley of a tall ship, setting sail for happily ever after.

In addition to a potentially prohibitive price tag, sailcloth tents turn to fail-cloth tents when you don’t have the right surface to set them up on. The glossy wooden poles, while looking amazing, aren’t easily set up in less than perfect ground conditions.

Advantages of Sailcloth Tents

Choose a Sailcloth tent if:

  • You have a large budget and price is no object.
  • Your special day just wouldn’t be your special day without the look and feel of sailcloth and brightwork.
  • Your tent will be set up on even ground.

Disadvantages of Sailcloth Tents

Sailcloth Tents might not be your best choice if:

  • You will be setting up somewhere other than grass.
  • You want to keep your budget in check.
  • You want to purchase with American Tent as this is not a product we currently offer.

What Kind of Events is Sailcloth Tent Suitable For?

With their elegant design and versatility, sailcloth tents are a great option for outdoor events where style, comfort, and protection from the elements are important. This makes them ideal for upscale coastal events, weddings, and other special occasions. Their light and airy look also provides a spacious and open atmosphere, creating an ideal setting for guests to relax, mingle and enjoy the event.

Choose Your Tent!

Thanks for taking this trip through your tent options! We hope you’re able to use this guide to find the best party tent for your next event. As always, we are happy to help if you have any questions at all.


Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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