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5 Most Popular Party Tent Types

5 Most Popular Party Tent Types

If you’re planning an outdoor party and looking to protect your guests from the elements, than no doubt you’ve considered renting a party tent. Tents come in all shapes and sizes. However the many choices and various options can be overwhelming to those that are not familiar with outdoor tents.

No fear, we’ve put together a list of the most popular types of party tents. This way, when you discuss options with your party rental company, you can feel confident that you’ve done your research.

5 Most Popular Tent Types

There are countless types of tents. Each type serves a different architectural or aesthetic purpose. But most party tents fall into one of five categories that we’ll discuss below:

  • Canopy tents
  • Frame/Clear span tents
  • Pole tents
  • Pole Marquee tents

But before you choose your tent type, you need to know some details about the event you’re planning.

  • How large is your guest list?
  • Where will you be placing the tent?
  • Do you need sidewalls, flooring and heating/cooling?
  • What type of event are you having?
  • Do you need to make accommodations for any special equipment?

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can determine what tent is right for your event.


Canopy Tents

If you’re looking for a tent that will provide your guests shade or create a dry spot should it happen to rain, than a canopy tent might be for you. Canopy tents are so popular because they’re easy to setup and dismantle. This is what makes them ideal for BBQ’s, birthday parties and other non-formal outdoor gatherings.

Canopy tents often go together easily but they tend to be on the smaller side. Their small size doesn’t make them suitable for larger events. These tents must be installed on grass and cannot stand on concrete. Canopy tents are not the best option for hosting your entire party, but are great additions to any event as optional shelter.


Frame Tents

These tents are meant to house large parties or formal events. They come in various sizes, from small to very large. Frame Tents, also known as Clear Span Tents do not have poles in the middle, leaving wide-open space to have your party. There is room for tables, a stage, entertainment, a dance floor or whatever else you plan for your event. They have various options for flooring including carpet or artificial lawn.

Frame Tents are very strong structures that can be fitted with sidewalls that can be opened or closed based on the weather the day (or night) of your big event.

Poles for a “Clear Span” Tent are built into the frame, allowing for more flexibility of your party space. The “Clear Span” means the space under the tent will be unobstructed from poles and structure that hold the tent up.


Pole Tents

Pole tents, also known as “circus tents”, have a large center pole that’s supports most of the structure. The center pole is visible inside the structure. It also has ropes and stakes that tie down the sides creating the swoop effect commonly seen in big top circus tents.

Pole tents are very popular for several reasons. They are often very economical due to the relative ease of setup when compared to a frame tent. However, they often require a but more space than a Frame Tent due to their staking requirements.

Pole tents can be installed on many different substrate types and can add style and function to any party. They also offer sidewalls and flooring much like their big brother, the frame tent.


Pole Marquee Tents

This tent type mixes the size and functionality of a frame tent with the ease of setup and teardown of a pole tent. It offers the classic big top feel of the pole tent and can be configured in many different sizes or locations. They often look like several pole tents, put together to form a larger structure. A Pole Marquee is typically associated with the English garden or estate setting look and feel. It’s popular for classical wedding events, where aesthetics mixed with functionality are important. However, Pole Marquee Tents have the same drawback as the Pole Tent, where poles are placed at the center points of tent to support the structure. In a Pole Marquee, you’ll have several center poles, holding up the various high points of the tent. If that’s a concern, then Frame Tents are the way to go.


As you can see, there are many different types of tents. Each offers a unique set of characteristics, usually making one tent type better suited for a specific event than another. When you’re thinking of planning your next event, consider a party tent. You’re local party rental specialist can help you decide on the best tent type to suit your unique situation.

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