The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

AmazonBasics Pop-Up Review

Affordable, but lacking in durability and structural ingenuity.
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Price:  $110 List | $86.01 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, adjustable height, lightest of its type in our review
Cons:  Weak joints, difficult push tabs, weak materials
Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Michael Wood ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 28, 2019
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Livability - 25% 7
  • Ease of Setup - 25% 5
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 5
  • Durability - 15% 3
  • Portability - 15% 4

Our Verdict

The AmazonBasics Pop-Up canopy tent is an entry level shelter at with an affordable price tag. Durable enough to hold up for the occasional use, prolonged or frequent use may lead to damage or wear and tear faster than with other competitors. Weighing in under 45 lbs, this tent is lighter than most of its kind, but the materials are also some of the least robust, and the push tabs and design make set-up feel clunky and difficult to operate. The frame and legs don't feel stable, and at its max height, it feels as if a bump or strong wind may cause the joints to snap. If you're looking to keep the price low but still want a reliable canopy tent, we recommend the E-Z Up Pyramid over this one.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


This shelter offers plenty of shade and protection  but the quality leaves much to be desired.
This shelter offers plenty of shade and protection, but the quality leaves much to be desired.

Livability


The AmazonBasics model is a commercial tent with a max height of 8 feet and 97 square feet of sun protection. The tent offers three adjustable heights, allowing for more clearance or increased shade. The max height, while offering more clearance and headspace, decreases the stability and durability of the tent, due to the fact that when the legs are fully extended, the joints have less support.

Plenty of headspace but less structural stability.
Plenty of headspace but less structural stability.

Ease of Setup


Like all of the commercial style canopy tents, we recommend using two people for installation. Out of the box, you're required to attach the fabric to the frame which adds additional time to the first installation. However, once this is done, subsequent installations are relatively fast. With two people, we averaged a setup time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

The push pins (shown here on the AmazonBasics model) are difficult to use and on occasion will sink into the frame.
The push pins (shown here on the AmazonBasics model) are difficult to use and on occasion will sink into the frame.

The button system, since it has no quick or easy release, is on the difficult side. When sliding the frame completely to the top a lot of force is required. The frame itself doesn't feel as smooth as others, and at its max height, the legs feel as if a stiff breeze will cause them to snap.

Pull tabs are very difficult to pull out and require a lot of force in order to adjust.
Pull tabs are very difficult to pull out and require a lot of force in order to adjust.

Wind Resistance


The frame feels unstable and, in the severe wind, didn't instill confidence. This feeling gets even worse when the tent is extended to its maximum height. The quality of stakes and guy-lines are poor which limits this shelter ability to withstand the wind.

These stakes and guy-lines are the poorest quality of those tested  making them more likely to give out in windy conditions.
These stakes and guy-lines are the poorest quality of those tested, making them more likely to give out in windy conditions.

Durability


The AmazonBasics canopy is supported by high-grade steel, white powder-coat finished frame which helps prevent chipping, peeling, rust, and corrosion. The fabric is polyester but the Amazon description itself warns not to leave out in prolonged rain or strong winds. Joints and components didn't feel sturdy during the setup process, and the corners, where the metal hit the fabric, appear as if they would wear through after multiple uses.

Portability


Weighing in at 44 lbs and 2 oz, this is one of the lighter canopy tents reviewed, and the carrying case comes with wheels. This makes transportation easier when compared to tents like the Caddis Rapid Shelter, which is heavy and comes with a wheelless case.

Yes  it comes with a wheeled case. No  it's not a great case.
Yes, it comes with a wheeled case. No, it's not a great case.

With that being said, the bag material itself was not made from the highest quality of materials and the tiny wheels won't perform off of smooth, even surfaces. The two hand straps offer an additional transportation option, but they are not designed with hand comfort in mind, often digging into your palm from the weight of the tent.

Carrying case helps with transport  but the tiny wheels and narrow handles make this heavy tent frustrating to transport.
Carrying case helps with transport, but the tiny wheels and narrow handles make this heavy tent frustrating to transport.

Best Application


Best for the occasional, fair weather day, this tent will keep a group out of the elements, although it most likely won't hold up for extended periods of time. We would recommend this shelter for the occasional family gatherings rather than for keeping your products safe and out of the elements for regular farmers' market use.

This tent would benefit from higher quality materials to make it more reliable over time. However  if you only need it for use a few times  this one doesn't cost much.
This tent would benefit from higher quality materials to make it more reliable over time. However, if you only need it for use a few times, this one doesn't cost much.

Value


The cheapest of the canopy tents tested, this is an attractive access point if you're shopping on a budget. If you need a tent to rely on, however, this may not be the best tent for you. The EZ-Up Pyramid is more of an investment, but definitely better quality.

Conclusion


The cheapest commercial tent we reviewed, the AmazonBasics Pop-Up is a great access point if you simply want an occasional shelter to get your family out of the sun. With that being said, this shelter is not the best in inclement weather, and from our experience feels neither easy to setup or durable.


Michael Wood