OK, I was going to stay out of this discussion because I usually get
beat up when I espouse the EZ-Up tent. And I’m really not trying to
start an argument again but if you buy a cheap tent regardless of
the manufacture you will be lucky if it lasts one season. The cheap
EZ-Ups and cheap EZ-Up knock offs will be destroyed with the first
good wind or rainstorm.
Now that being said I have the more expensive line of EZ-Up and it
will be my 9th season this season with it in windy and stormy
Colorado. Last fall I set up my EZ-Up in the front yard and was
washing my tent before I put it away for the winter and literally
tried to get water to pool on the top. Doesn’t happen with the more
expensive EZ-Ups. Again it’s the cheaper line of EZ-Up and their
knock offs that pool water.
Proper weighting - regardless of the quality or manufacture of your
tent it will fly away if not properly weighted. Water filled milk
jugs and bricks aren’t going to cut it. You need a minimum of 40 lbs
for each corner. Some shows require it. I have 4" PVC pipe cut into 3
foot lengths filled with concrete and a ring imbedded in the concrete
that weight 40 lbs each. Mine cost me about $40 in materials at the
time I made them. More now with inflation. So look at the premade
weights for tents. Just be sure they have at least 40 lbs capacity
You need to suspend your weights from the top and not with bungee
cords. I use tie down straps and suspend my weights from the top
about 1 inch from the ground. You need to secure the weight to the
pole to keep it from swinging. I use small bungee cords to strap my
weights to the poles. If the weights are allowed to swing freely your
tent will literally walk away from you with a gentle wind.
Regardless of what you weight your tent with be sure the weights
don’t stick out much. Buckets and sand bags secured with ropes and
straps are an opportunity to trip someone. People are looking at your
art not looking where they are stepping. The same way for staking
down you tent if it is allowed. Tent stakes and ropes will trip
someone regardless how many colorful streamers you tie to them.
I talked to an old timer at a rock show last year and he told me if
you cut slits in the top of the EZ-Up style tent it will help prevent
it blowing away. Make sense to me and as soon as my SO can figure out
how to sew a cap for the top of our tent to keep the water out I’m
going to try it.
I’m going to say one more thing in favor of the quality line of
EZ-Ups. Last year we had a rainy weekend show and while unpacking at
home I set up the EZ-Up in the yard to dry it out. I wasn’t paying
attention and the wind came up and flipped it over breaking a pair of
struts. I ordered replacement struts and they were delivered 3 days
later. Some tent manufactures aren’t in business any more…
Now before the anti EZ-Up tirade begins remember what they said
about the Titanic and flying in the face of (insert your deity here).
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan