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What's the Difference Between Pole Tents vs. Frame Tents?

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American Tent is proud to be your trusted resource for commercial tents and tent sidewalls. We understand that it can be difficult to notice the subtle differences between pole tents and frame tents, but as one of the most trusted outdoor event tent suppliers, we’re here to provide you with the information you need to find the ideal product. You can use the information on this page to help potential clients determine which kind of commercial tent is right for their needs, or you can use it to inform your own purchasing decisions.

Whether you’re purchasing a tent to add to your business’ growing rental selection or you’re looking for a pole or frame tent you can use for years to come, American Tent is your Top Rated Local® tent and sidewall supplier. If you would like to learn more about purchasing pole tents or frame tents, then get in touch with us by calling (920) 431-0938 or by sending us an email through our website. 

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Pole Tents

If you’re holding an outdoor event that takes place in a grassy area, then pole tents may be exactly what you need. Pole tents are secured by driving stakes into the ground, which makes them difficult to erect on concrete and asphalt surfaces. Depending on the size of the space, pole tents have at least one center pole that creates an aesthetically pleasing peak at the top of the tent. Some customers are concerned that the center poles will obstruct their guests’ view, or create an eyesore in the middle of the event space. These are understandable concerns, but the poles are as thin as possible to allow for virtually unobstructed viewing. Moreover, they can also be adorned with patterns, flowers, string lights, and other decor that adds to the ambiance of the event.

When Should I Use a Pole Tent?

As we noted in the previous section, outdoor events taking place in grassy areas are the ideal location for a pole tent. Available in a variety of sizes, they can provide ample space for family gatherings, conferences, picnics, and other large gatherings. They can also provide your business with plenty of space to use as a booth during a local festival, provided that the stakes can be driven into the ground. A few more of the reasons you may want to choose a pole tent include: 

• Fast and efficient setup: To set your tent up, all you have to do is determine where the stakes will go, drive them into the ground, attach the top of the tent to the stakes, and then connect the center pole(s) to the tent (your event tent may require more than one pole as the size increase).

• Versatility: We proudly provide small, medium, and large pole tents. Whether you’re operating a booth at a festival or throwing a company picnic, we have something that can accommodate your needs.

• Affordability: With minimal materials, you can purchase a quality event tent at an incredibly cost-effective price, allowing you to put your money toward other aspects of your event.

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Frame Tents

Do you need a large and open structure to use on a surface other than grass or dirt? If so, then a frame tent will perfectly fit your needs. As freestanding structures that do not rely on the support of a center pole, frame tents provide you with unobstructed square footage and a clear view of the entire space. While these tents do have more hardware and components than pole tents, they do not require much more effort or time to set up.

When Should I Use a Frame Tent?

• Flexibility: Without the constraints of center poles, you have the freedom to set up your event however you like. Frame tents are particularly ideal if your event will feature a movie, or if you will be arranging the seating around a particular focal point. These tents are also ideal if you will be erecting the structure in an area with gas lines, electrical networks, water lines, and other sensitive underground networks.

• Longevity: These event tents are ideal when you need the structure to remain standing for more than a few days. While the stakes that hold pole tents in place are unquestionably sturdy, they can shift and move as the ground conditions change over time. This makes them ideal for multi-day occasions, but not for long-term use. Frame tents, on the other hand, utilize a structure that does not depend on the surface beneath them to stay in place. The frame itself supports the top of the tent, allowing you to keep the tent in place for as long as you need.

• Flooring options: We’ve noted that frame tents are ideal when you’re working with a hard surface, but another major benefit is that you can use virtually any surface you want along with the tent. Would you like to add a dance floor, faux-wood flooring, or an aisle for a wedding? The open-concept floor plan makes it easy to customize the event space to your specific needs.

• Space: Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or planning an event with hundreds of guests in attendance, we have frame tents that can accommodate your needs. You’ll find everything from 10-by-10 foot frames to 40-by-100 foot frames in our extensive catalog. Just click the button below to take a look!

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Customize Your Frame or Pole Tent With a Sidewall

Now that you understand the subtle differences between pole tents and frame tents, it’s time to customize your event tent with a sidewall that brings it all together. At American Tent, we have a wide variety of sidewall options that can help you add elegance and sophistication to your tent. Learn more about our options below!

Solid Sidewalls

It’s no surprise that solid sidewalls are our most popular products. With ultraviolet protection and the ability to keep your guests protected from the sun, wind, and rain, purchasing a solid sidewall is the ideal way to create an indoor atmosphere wherever your event is taking place. Alternatively, you can use a sidewall to close off and secure your belongings after a trade show or festival ends for the day.

Window Sidewalls

Consider the following scenario: you’re planning an event in a beautiful outdoor space and you want your guests to be able to see the surrounding area, but you don’t want a rainy or windy afternoon to interrupt the party. Window sidewalls provide an ideal and aesthetically pleasing solution, and you can even customize the panes! You can choose from cathedral, E-style, or French windows, and we can accommodate anything from small pole tents to large frame tents.

Clear Sidewalls

While window sidewalls can create an elegant and sophisticated view of the surrounding area, there are times when you may want to provide everyone in attendance with a completely unobstructed view. Ideal for festivals, trade shows, and scenic areas, our clear sidewalls provide anyone inside the tent with an unfiltered view of the landscape while protecting the interior from the elements.

Cafe Sidewalls

Cafe sidewalls are perfect for restaurant patios, as they provide your customers with a bit of privacy while also shielding them from the weather. No matter where your restaurant operates, you’ve probably had to accommodate late-afternoon storms or cold fronts that force customers to come inside from the patio, and this can cause issues for both the kitchen and your wait staff. When you purchase a cafe sidewall for your establishment, your customers can enjoy the atmosphere of the outdoors without worrying about the elements interrupting their meal!

While cafe sidewalls are a great addition to outdoor eating areas, they can also be used for weddings, family gatherings, corporate events, and other situations in which you want to provide your guests with plenty of natural light without opting for a fully transparent sidewall.

Our sidewalls are available in 13-ounce translucent vinyl and in 13-ounce premium vinyl with blockout capabilities. We can customize all of our tents and sidewalls to your specifications, so please reach out to us to get started with a custom quote!

Why Choose American Tent?

American Tent is proud to be your Top Rated Local® resource for pole and frame tents. We know that you have multiple options before you make a decision, so we would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about why we should be your go-to event tent supplier.

Made-to-Order Tents

At American Tent, we recognize and appreciate the fact that no two events are alike. Whether you’re planning a wedding or a family reunion, your needs will vary according to the size of your party and what you plan to do with the space. We allow for fully custom ordering, allowing you to choose everything from the size of your tent to the colors and logo (when applicable). It’s impossible to anticipate every possible customization a customer could want, so please message us through our website or give us a call at (920) 431-0938 to inquire about your needs.

American-Made Products

You don’t want to choose just any large event tent when you’re planning a gathering or adding to your stock of rental tents. You want to buy pole and frame tents that are durable, aesthetically pleasing, and designed to your exact specifications. You want to support your local economy and the hardworking women and men who comprise our workforce, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you work with American Tent. We’ve been operating in the Green Bay area for more than 20 years, and we’ve become a trusted name both in our local area and across the United States.

Working with a local party tent manufacturing business also allows you to receive quick responses to changing circumstances. You can rest easily knowing that we’re just a few days away should an unexpected situation arise and you find yourself suddenly needing to modify your order. If you learn that your event will have more attendees than your originally anticipated, or if you need to add more space to make room for entertainment, then just let us know and we’ll work quickly to get your products made and delivered.

Additionally, the fact that our pole tents and frame tents are made and shipped domestically allows us to offer our products at an extraordinarily affordable price. Custom event tents and sidewalls normally come with a hefty price tag, but our cutting-edge manufacturing process allows us to deliver quality products at a fraction of the normal cost. Whether you plan on renting out event tents to existing clients, or you’re purchasing a tent for residential use, you won’t find a better value anywhere else.


We firmly believe that there is no such thing as a one-time purchase. Your guests and customers take notice when you purchase a party tent, and we offer referral bonuses for our customers who would like to fund their future purchases. We will also provide free advice and guidance to those who are looking to expand their rental business! As owners of a highly successful party tent rental business, we know exactly which party tents are currently in demand and how you can effectively reach your target audience. While you’ll find a wealth of useful and frequently updated information on our blog page, we’re happy to talk with you on the phone about your specific needs.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should choose American Tent. If you would like to learn more information, then please get in touch with us! We will gladly send you a sample party tent or sidewall upon request — get started by clicking the button below!

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