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Screen Tents: Shelter from Sun, Rain, and Insects

Mother nature brings many joys and wonders: lofty evergreen trees, pristine lakes, and mountains for miles. But with mother nature comes a whole host of pests: swarms of flies, annoying mosquitoes, and, of course, rain. With a screen tent, though, you can bask in all the glory of mother nature without worrying about its pesky sidekicks. Find out what a screen tent is and why you should get one for your next camping trip, beach bash, or other outdoor adventure.

What’s a Screen Tent?

A screen tent is a type of shelter that can shield you from the sun, rain, and bugs. Generally taller than most sleeping tents, a screen house is often made with airy mesh walls and a solid weather-resistant roof. At a campsite, a screen tent can provide a comfortable, sheltered place to unwind.

Why Do I Need a Screen House?

A screen tent may seem like a luxury. But when you have one, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get one sooner. Here are some things a screen house can help with.

Provides Shelter from Sun and Rain

Whether the sun’s blazing or the sky’s spitting rain, you don’t have to retreat to your sleeping tent for shade or shelter. Take refuge in a spacious screen house instead. A screen tent can fit nicely over a picnic table so you and your family can chow down on dinner, play board games, or tell ghost stories in the dark. A screen house also makes a great shelter at park picnics, backyard barbecues, and other outdoor occasions.

Keeps Bugs Out

In the great outdoors you’ll find a great deal of bugs. Instead of swatting mosquitoes as you’re trying to eat, you can avoid these pests altogether by dining under the comfort of a screen house. A screen tent made with ultrafine no-see-um mesh will keep even the tiniest flying bugs out – so you won’t have to worry about swallowing any flies.

Offers Storage for Camping Items

Campsites are wide open, making them vulnerable to theft … and the occasional wandering bear. So, when you’re away floating in the lake or tucked into your sleeping bag, it’s best to put your gear away. Stow away your camp chairs, fishing rods, and water jug in a locked-up screen house to protect them from prying hands. (Just keep food locked up in the car so bears can’t get to it.)

What Should I Look for in a Screen Tent?

Searching for a screen house for your next camping trip? Here are some things to consider when shopping for a screen tent.

Weather Resistance

Screen tents generally aren’t designed for harsh weather conditions, but they should be able to stand up to a little rain and the sun’s rays. Look for weather-resistant materials like coated polyester and UV protection to shield you from the elements.

Floor or No Floor

Some screen houses have floors, some don’t. A screen tent without a floor can be easily pitched over existing fixtures like picnic tables or benches. On the other hand, a screen house with a floor provides a comfortable spot to sit or lie down without shoes on.

Easy-Opening Doors

Getting in and out of a screen tent should be easy, so look for one with convenient doors. Most screen houses have doors that zip open and closed for easy access. For security, look for doors with double zippers that let you lock the screen tent with a padlock.


Curtains or storm flaps can cover mesh windows to provide extra coverage from rain, sun, or light. Look for easy-to-zip curtains that can be tied back when you want an extra dose of sunshine.

Easy Set-up

No one wants to spend ages setting up a screen house. Some are set up like tents. Others have flexible frames for simple pop-up assembly. Find an easy-to-assemble screen tent that lets you spend more time relaxing and less time figuring out complicated set-up instructions.