If you’re in a hurry, the best screen house for camping available today is the Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter.
No matter how much time I spend camping out in the great outdoors, there’s one aspect that never ceases to make me shudder. Dealing with all the bugs and creepy crawlies!
My blood must be sweet because boy, let me tell you, mosquitos can’t get enough of me. Also, does anyone else feel like the hardest part about preparing a meal at a campsite is keeping all the bugs away before the food makes it into your mouth?
If these issues sound all too familiar, I’ll let you in on a little secret. All of this can be avoided by simply getting yourself a camping screen house. So do yourself a favor and check out this list I’ve put together of some of the best screen houses for camping.
Let’s get started. Here are the best screen houses for camping:
- Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter (Overall Best Screen House)
- Coleman Screened Canopy Tent (Best Instant Screen House)
- Eureka! Northern Breeze Screen House (Best Premium Screen House w/ Awning)
- REI Co-Op Screen House Shelter (Overall Best Screen House)
- Coleman Instant Screenhouse (Best Screen House For Couples)
- Core Instant Screen House Canopy Tent (Best Budget Screen House)
- NEMO Victory Screenhouse (Best Screen House Warranty)
- Wenzel Magnetic Screen House (Best For Families And Large Groups)
Best Screen House For Camping: Our Top Choices
Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter
Tent Size (People): 8 | Doors: 2 | Max Inside Height (in): 84 | Floor Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches (100 sq ft)
Big Agnes is known for making high-quality camping gear, and this screen house is nothing less than that.
With pre-cut guy lines and tensioners already attached to fly, this screen house is super quick and easy to pitch. Plastic clips attach a mesh body to the pole frame, so it really takes no more than a few minutes to set this thing up.
And with reflective guylines, webbing, and 16 aluminum hook stakes, you can rest assured this screen house will stand still even in windy weather.
Rain is not an issue either with this model. The canopy is made of polyester, which is coated with a waterproof layer. The same goes for all seams, which further keeps the water drops away from the interior.
Nothing less important is the little features that make this product even more enjoyable. There are plenty of gear loops throughout the interior that allow you to keep your necessities close at hand.
- Comes with high-quality rainfly, so it’s suitable for use in the rain
- Mud flaps tuck under the footprint for additional bug proofing
- Hook-and-loop tabs, guy lines, and tensioners keep the shelter in place during wind
- Comes with a briefcase-style carry bag with shoulder straps and pockets
- 2 zippered entrances, and high-quality aluminum poles
- Somewhat expensive
Best for: camping in less-than-ideal weather.
Coleman Screened Canopy Tent with Instant Setup
If you’re looking for a sturdier and more spacious option and your budget allows it, you might want to consider this Coleman screened canopy tent. With a base area of 120 sq ft , a peak height of 8.4’ and a straight-wall design, it’s fair to say that this screen house is roomier than the other models featured on this list.
It may take a little bit longer to set up than some other models, especially the first few times until you get the hang of it. Once it’s up though, I think you’ll find that it’s impressively stable and resistant to windy conditions.
The material it’s made of is thick and durable, so it holds up quite well against the elements. Of course, as with all screen houses, applying waterproofing spray will definitely help keep the contents inside dry if it rains while it’s up.
It is worth noting that this screen house is significantly heavier than most, weighing in at a whopping 45.2 lbs. The carrying bag it comes in is equipped with wheels, which makes it easier to tug it around.
Also, it’s a bit pricier than a lot of other screen houses, but in this case I can safely say that you get what you pay for in terms of quality and comfort.
- Its structurally sound design makes this screen house sturdy and stable
- Durable material provides a high level of resistance to the elements
- Features a base area of over 100 sq ft
- Provides a large 90 sq ft shaded area
- Its straight-wall design gives this screen house an exceptionally spacious feel
- Weighs significantly more than any other model on this list
Best for: high-budget campers seeking a large, comfortable screen house, who don’t mind hauling the extra weight.
Eureka! Northern Breeze Screen House
Tent Size (People): 8 or 10 | Doors: 2 | Max Inside Height (in): 110 | Floor Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches (100 sq ft)
You can never have too much space in your shelter. That’s what Eureka had in mind when designing this screen house.
As you can see, this screen house features a large awning. With three poles available, it provides plenty of space for you to place the table and chairs. That way, you’re outside of the screen house but still protected from the sun and rain.
The walls of this screen house feature Noseeum mesh, which protects you from even the tiniest bugs out there. Of course, there’s plenty of venting available, which offers airflow while keeping you safe from insects.
What I like about this screen house are the details. There are four hang loops and four pockets available, which help you organize electrical cables as well as other stuff you need close at hand. There’s also a lantern loop that makes it easy to add lightning inside the shelter.
You should keep in mind that, while this screen house is marketed as suitable for 8+ people, it’s more appropriate to call it a 6-person model. With a 100-square feet area, it’s hard to imagine how that many people can fit in.
- An integrated awning extends coverage outside the screen house
- Loops and pockets for storing cables and gear
- The 6-ft walk-in height and vertical side walls maximize space inside
- The fabric is durable, waterproof and UV-resistant
- Not as large as it claims to be
Best for: longer camping trips.
NEMO Victory Screenhouse
Tent Size (People): 8 | Doors: 2 | Max Inside Height (in): 85 | Floor Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches (100 sq ft)
If you’re tall, then you know the struggle of finding a suitable piece of camping gear. Well, Nemo has thought of all the tall campers out there when designing this Victory screen house.
With a maximum height of 85 inches, there’s plenty of headspace inside this screen house. You can forget about ducking when entering or walking around it. And that’s true for the whole 100-square feet area of this screen house.
This model also provides a nice shelter against rain. The integrated rain gutter canopy prevents water from pooling on the roof – instead, it simply slides downwards.
However, if it’s windy and it’s raining at an angle, you might not have such a fun time given that this model doesn’t have any window covers. But as far as ventilation goes, large mesh windows are providing tons of airflow inside.
One thing I especially like is the step pad. What this does is allows you to unzip the screen house with one hand. That’s quite useful when you’re, for instance, bringing in the food you just made on the campfire.
- 85-inches of maximum clearance offers plenty of headspace
- Nemo offers a lifetime warranty on this model
- Internal stash pockets provide you with a place to store personal items
- Rain gutter canopy prevents water from pooling
- As with all NEMO products, comes with a lifetime warranty
- No ways to prevent rain from getting inside through windows
Best for: those looking for a high quality screen house with a lifetime warranty
Wenzel Magnetic Screen House
The thing that sets the Wenzel magnetic screen house apart from the rest is the magnetic door mechanism. Magnetic strips, rather than zippers secure both doors. This system allows for easy hands-free entry and exit. It allows you to move in and out of the tent quickly and freely without having to put down what you’re carrying.
Setting this screen house up is quick and hassle-free, much like setting up a classic tent. Weighing in at 17.4 lbs., it’s lighter than some of the other models on this list. However, it’s also still quite a bit heavier than some of the lighter options that are available.
This screen house is also fairly spacious, with a base area of 99 sq ft and a peak height of 7.5’. Like the previous model I mentioned, it also features a straight-wall design, making the space inside feel more open.
Unlike the previous 2 models, this screen tent doesn’t have any extra material around the bottom edges. This means that if the terrain is uneven, you could be left with a gap between the tent and the ground, leaving room for insects to make their way in.
- Magnetic mechanisms on the doors provide convenient hands-free entry and exit
- Features a base area of just under 100 sq ft with a large shaded area
- Its straight-wall design contributes to the spaciousness of the interior
- Straightforward set-up means you won’t be wasting any time figuring out how to get it up
- Comes with an amazing 10-year warranty
- No extra length around the bottom edges, resulting in a gap between the ground and the tent on uneven terrain
Best for: families and larger groups seeking a screen house for picnics and gatherings.
Coleman Instant Screenhouse
If you don’t need quite as much space, you should take a look at this Coleman instant screen house. It’s a reliable, sturdy and well-designed little screen house that’s still large enough to fit around a picnic table.
It has a base area of 195 sq ft and a peak height of 7’, which might sound huge, but keep in mind that it’s shaped like a pyramid. This means that the space inside is actually quite a bit smaller than straight-walled screen houses with smaller bases. It can still comfortably fit 6 people though, so it isn’t tiny by any means.
Setting up this screen house is quick and drama-free. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, 1 person can have this tent up and running within minutes.
The Coleman Instant Screenhouse weighs in at 18.25 lbs., slightly heavier than the previous model we looked at, despite being smaller. It’s really no wonder though once you realize just how stable and sturdy this screen room is. It holds up phenomenally well in all weather, so you won’t have to worry about it blowing away if the wind picks up.
- Quick and easy set-up means you’ll have no problems putting this screen house up by yourself in minutes
- Its sturdy design holds up extremely well in windy conditions
- Made of thick, durable material, helping it withstand the elements
- Provides a shaded area of over 40 sq ft
- Heavier than some screen tents of a similar size
- There’s quite a large difference between the base area of the screen house and the actual shaded area it provides
Best for: smaller family units and solo campers who want a reliable, stable screen house that’s easy to set up.
REI Co-Op Screen House Shelter
Tent Size (People): 6 | Doors: 2 | Max Inside Height (in): 84 | Floor Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches (100 sq ft)
This product from REI is definitely one of our favorites. It has everything you could want in a screen house.
It’s incredibly roomy, with a covered area of 100 sq ft, a peak height of 7 ft and a straight wall design that maximizes the space inside.
It isn’t the lightest screen house on the market, but it’s far from the heaviest. Weighing 13 lbs., you won’t have any trouble carrying it to and from the campsite.
It also shines when it comes to organizational features.
It’s got multiple pockets where you can store various items so that the space inside the screen tent remains clutter-free.
On top of that, the pole sleeves and side clips are all color coded, which makes assembling this screen house a breeze for anyone.
This model does cost a little bit more than most screen houses on the market. That being said, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a top quality product.
- Provides a large shaded area with 100 sq ft of floor space
- Roomy, thanks to its straight wall design and a peak height of 7 ft
- Fairly lightweight, weighing in at 13 lbs.
- Features storage pockets to help you stay organized
- Color coded pole sleeves and side clips allow for easy set-up
- A little bit pricier than most screen houses
Best for: campers who don’t mind paying a little bit extra for a top-of-the-range screen house.
Core Instant Screen House Canopy Tent
If there are any fellow avid hikers reading this, I won’t have to tell you about the importance of having the lightest possible camping equipment. Every extra pound makes a massive difference when you’re carrying all of your stuff around on your back.
If what you’re after is the lightest possible solution, this Core instant screen house is probably your best bet. Weighing in at 8.1 lbs., this is the lightest screen house on our list. With a 100 sq ft base area, a peak height of 7’ and a pyramid shaped structure, it’s smaller than the last model we looked at, but it also weighs less than half as much.
You shouldn’t have any trouble getting this screen house set up. Even on your own, you should be able to assemble it quickly and without any difficulty. Do be extra careful though when you’re folding it back up. If you’re not paying attention, you can get your fingers or parts of the mesh screen caught in the pinch points of the collapsing poles.
- Super light-weight design lets you take this screen house anywhere
- Its compact form is ideal for campers on the go
- A base area of 100 sq ft means it will be able to fit around a picnic table
- Simple and fast set-up allows 1 person to assemble the screen house in no time
- Pinch points can cause injury and/or damage to the screen house while disassembling if you’re not careful
Best for: hikers seeking the lightest possible screen house for their camping expeditions.
How To Choose A Screen House For Camping
With so many different screen houses on the market, deciding which one is right for you and your needs can seem daunting. To make it easier to choose, consider the following characteristics when looking at the various options that are out there.
Screen House Vs Tent
Some of you might not be sure whether you’d be better off getting a screen house or a classic tent. Here are a few key differences to take into account.
For starters, the walls of a screen house are made of transparent mesh. If you like the idea of gazing at the beautiful nature surrounding you from within your tent, a screen house might be the right choice for you. If you’d prefer to have a more private space, then you’d be better off sticking to a classic tent or a standard pop up canopy.
The mesh walls on a screen house allow air to flow more freely than in a classic tent. That being said screen houses are, of course, also far less weather resistant.
Also, it is worth noting that while classic tents have a floor, screen houses generally do not, unless one is purchased separately. This is because it allows them to be easily placed over picnic tables and outdoor furniture.
Once you’ve decided it’s definitely a screen house you’re after, the first thing you’ll want to take into consideration is size. Ask yourself roughly how many people you foresee spending time together inside on average. Also, consider the size of the furniture you plan on using inside the tent.
If you’re a large family or you plan on using your screen house for outdoor gatherings, you’ll want to invest in a larger model.
If, however, you don’t plan on accommodating more than a couple of people, you’ll probably find that a smaller model is more than enough to fulfill your needs.
Do keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to go a size larger. For instance, if you’re a family of 4, it’s always better to get a screen house that fits up to 6 people.
If you’re aiming to keep your camping gear as light as possible, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the weight of the screen house you’re selecting.
Some screen houses can be surprisingly heavier than others, despite appearing very similar and being of a similar size. So, be sure to check how much a screen house weighs before ordering one if you don’t want to be stuck with a heavy load when camping.
Less experienced campers can be daunted by the task of erecting any kind of tent. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to go for a screen house with a straight-forward set-up procedure. There are lots of options out there, with some screen houses even having pop-up frames that don’t require any set up at all.
You’ll also want to consider how many people you generally have available to help you set up. Most screen houses can be set up by 1 person, but some models can be tricky to assemble without an extra pair of hands to help.
Another thing to take note of is the height of a screen house. This is especially important if you are of above-average height and don’t appreciate feeling claustrophobic.
Most screen houses are between 7’ and 8.5’ tall at their highest points. For someone who is above 6’ tall, an extra foot of headroom can make all the difference.
Also, screen tents with a straight-wall design feel far more spacious inside than those with a pyramid-like structure. Tall people will probably feel much more comfortable in a cabin-style screen room with straight walls.
Materials & Durability
There are many different materials used to construct screen tents. Generally speaking, those that are tougher and more durable tend to also be on the heavier side. However, there are still some lighter models out there that withstand the test of time and the elements.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that screen houses are primarily intended for occasional use on camping trips. This means that keeping one up in your backyard all summer long may cause the material to weaken and rupture.
Benefits of Using a Screen Tent While Camping
So, what’s the benefit of having a screen tent, you might ask?
First and foremost, it keeps you protected from pesky insects.
When you’re out in the wilderness, you’re surrounded by bugs, some of which can be particularly annoying. Yes, I’m talking about mosquitoes.
If you’re a mosquito magnet like me, then it doesn’t take long before your whole body is covered with bites.
Well, that’s where a screen tent comes in quite handy. You can actually sit outside and enjoy the outdoors without worrying about those annoying little insects around you.
Of course, there are other benefits aside from bug protection.
Don’t forget that the screen tent has a solid fabric roof. It’s designed to be used in nice weather, but it also has good UV protection.
The roof also offers protection from rain. Just don’t expect to stay completely dry during a pour.
What is a screen house used for?
A screen house is mainly used for shade and rain protection, as well as a protection against bugs.
Given it features mesh walls, it does nothing to keep you warm when inside.
Are screen houses waterproof?
In most cases, the roof of a screen house is coated with polyurethane for additional water resistance.
And while it can take a bit of rain, it’s not designed to provide proper shelter in bad weather.
Can you sleep or camp in a screen house?
You surely can, when the weather allows it.
Screen houses are great for camping during hot summer months, as they provide plenty of air circulation inside.
Should I get a screen house for camping?
A screen house is an irreplaceable piece of camping gear for keeping bugs away.
If you’re camping near water, or simply can’t stand the bugs flying all around, then you should definitely consider getting one.
Can you cook inside a screen house?
You can cook inside the screen house as long as you take some precautionary measures. They provide enough ventilation to prevent smoke from collecting inside.
Just make sure the flame is not getting close to the screen tent material, as it can melt or catch on fire.
How do I keep bugs out of my screened tent?
Bugs shouldn’t be an issue if you keep the doors properly closed at all times.
However, if your screen doesn’t have a floor, that’s one way insects can enter through.
To prevent that, you can spray some vinegar around the edges of the screen tent walls that touch the ground.
Is it safe to use a heater in a screen house?
Yes, you can use a tent heater inside the screen house.
Since screen tents have good ventilation, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
However, keep in mind that mesh walls will let all the heat through, so it won’t be very effective either.
Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article you’ll feel better equipped to decide which screen house is right for you and your needs.
Personally, I feel that most campers need to look no further than the Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp Screen House Shelter.
It truly is an outstandingly well-built screen house that you really can’t go wrong with. I’d recommend it to families and solo-campers alike, as it’s versatile enough to suit a wide range of purposes and can weather the harshest storms.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends. Happy camping and remember, adventure is out there!