The earliest European gazebos in the 1700s were reserved for the ultra wealthy. Nowadays anyone can live the gazebo life in their own backyard thanks to the different types of gazebos that have evolved from the original. One of the most popular types is the gazebo tent.
What is a gazebo tent? Like many questions that we get at GazeboSpot, this one requires a little bit of unpacking because the world of gazebos has many similar terms and synonyms. Let’s dive in and get to the bottom of it.
Short Answer: What is a Gazebo Tent?
A gazebo tent is another name for a pop-up gazebo or tent gazebo. All 3 of these terms refer to a light, portable structure that’s intended to travel with you for easy set-up and tear down. The most common uses for a gazebo tent include camping, beach days, and sporting events.
A gazebo tent is similar to a sleeping tent in that it is made of nylon or polyester and folds into its own travel bag. Some of them have mesh walls that zip around the sides to protect from bugs.
Gazebo tents are extremely lightweight. Many of them can be easily set up by only one person. Hence its other name, pop-up gazebo.
Gazebo Tents for Camping and Day Trips
The primary difference between a gazebo tent and a regular tent is height. A sleeping tent is shorter because it’s designed to accommodate sleeping adults. Gazebo tents are meant to shelter standing occupants so they have to be taller; standard sizes are 8’ x 8’ and 12’ x 12’.
There are many outdoor gear manufacturers that produce both kinds of camping structure. You can think of them as day and night shelters for the trail.
While all gazebo tents arrive in their own travel bag, some of them are enclosed by screens. If you live in an especially buggy environment (or if you’re just not especially keen on biting insects), a screened-in gazebo of any kind is always a good choice.
These screened walls will either be attached to the frame of the structure and thus, fold up with it, or you’ll need to zip on the screens after the gazebo is standing. In either scenario, gazebo tents are a breeze to set up.
The only real downside is their extreme light weight. This is a useful characteristic for set up and travel, but it’s also a potential hassle when wind gets involved.
If you’re taking one to the beach or the sports field on a windy day, we recommend that you prepare to make your gazebo a bit more windproof. There are a few ways to strengthen your gazebo to the elements:
- Smart Positioning – place the corner of the gazebo frame into the wind to improve aerodynamics.
- Leg Weight Bags – place the legs of your gazebo in bags filled with weighted material (sand, rocks, bottles of water)
- Guy Ropes/Guy Lines – anchor your gazebo to the ground with lines and heavy-duty pegs
- Gazebo Wind Bar – install an extra piece of material into the roof frame for added rigidity
All of these strengthening methods are explained in depth here.
Gazebo Tents for Events
There is another type of outdoor structure that sometimes gets called a gazebo tent. These are large event tents that are most typically used to house wedding receptions and other formal gatherings.
Sometimes called a party tent or event canopy, these kinds of gazebo tents are definitely not easy to set up and tear down. In fact, the larger ones that event planning companies use will require a legitimate crew to get ready for use. However, there are some backyard options that you and a friend can set up in an afternoon.
These large party tents are structurally identical to gazebo tents used for camping. They will arrive for assembly with a basic frame, often made from aluminum or PVC, and a Polyethylene canopy roof.
After you’ve got the gazebo part set up, you’ll be able to velcro on side panels that may or may not have windows built in. The walls are made of Polyethylene just like the canopy roof. Windows are cut-outs in the material overlaid with a different transparent plastic. Once set up, the entire structure should be anchored to the ground using heavy-duty pegs and guy lines.
Gazebo tents for events come in a wide range of sizes. The most common size for DIY set-up is 10’ x 20’ which can hold 30 standing people (without other furniture).
As with so many queries in the world of gazebos, the answer to “what is a gazebo tent?” requires a little bit of untangling terms. There are two types of gazebo tents, or at least two types of gazebos that have come to be called the same thing.
We love gazebo tents for camping and day trips because they’re a cinch to set up and take down, and they come with their own traveling bag. If you spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors beyond your own backyard, we highly recommend investing in one of the many low-cost pop-up gazebos out there.
We’d be remiss to not mention large gazebo tents for events. They may not be the easiest option to set up but they have the greatest connection to the original intent of the earliest gazebos in history. They are structures designed to celebrate and to take pleasure in the formal company of an extended guest list.
Both types of gazebo tents have very particular uses with a design to match. As long as you know what you need it for, you won’t have any trouble choosing the type that’s right for you.