What is it about growing weed inside or plants in general that gets so many people excited? – Maybe it’s the thought of turning a profit or feeling a bit naughty. Either way, getting started is not always easy.
Before you even think about lights and other equipment, you need to create a proper mini ecosystem for your future crops. It all starts with the grow tent. Assume that you can’t remodel an entire room for growing your plants, and you’ll have to start considering grow tents.
But grow tents kind of grow on trees. There are so many of them to choose from. That also doesn’t mean that all of them are good. In this article, you’ll learn about what to look for in the best grow tent - complete reviews and comparison, as well as the best examples of some efficient indoor grow tents.
Best Grow Tent Reviews
1. iPower Hydroponic Mylar Grow Tent
This grow tent offers easy observation, low cost, and decent weight capacity which allows you to use a wide range of equipment for monitoring your weed crops.
The tent’s dimensions are 36 x 20 x 62 inches. It features a Mylar cover that also extends to the floor. It has two filter straps which should allow you to easily install and secure a standard carbon filter.
The Mylar only gives 90% reflective efficiency although the tent is rated at 95%. What’s even nicer is having heavy-duty zippers that prevent light from escaping without succumbing to wear and tear from daily use.
The tent is not very large, but it does reach the minimum 5 feet height requirement for strains of weed that grow tall rather than short and bushy.
What's to like about the iPower Hydroponic Mylar Grow Tent
The observation window is a really nice touch. You can raise a small blind and take a peek at how your plants are doing without having to enter the tent and create a variation in temperature and humidity.
What's not to like about the iPower Hydroponic Mylar Grow Tent
The Mylar cover is tear-resistant but not very heavy. This means that this tent might not be suitable for installation in rooms without proper habitat control.
2. TopoLite Full Range Indoor Grow Tent
TopoLite offers a wide variety of tents from the smallest to the largest and with various features such as windows or even doors. But not all models have the same features.
The vent holes are rectangular in shape. This is somewhat good for ventilation but not so much when it comes to actual installation and tidying up the interior.
The zippers are heavy-duty on all TopoLite models which means that whether or not you have a door is irrelevant. You can check in on your crop every single day without worrying that the zippers will fail.
The tent also features a removable floor tray which is great for dealing with excess water. The Mylar interior is supposed to be around 96% reflective due to its diamond pattern.
What's to like about the TopoLite Full Range Indoor Grow Tent
The variety from this manufacturer is the main selling point. You can find almost anything you want from a small 24 x 24 x 48 tent to an extra-large 120 x 120 x 80 tent.
What's not to like about the TopoLite Full Range Indoor Grow Tent
Although the tents have multiple ventilation access points, one of them is always located at the bottom. This may interfere with plant space allocation and with the temperature control in larger grow tents.
3. Vivosun Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
At 60” tall, this Vivosun grow tent is one of the best designs for growing tall strains of weed. It comes with a toolless assembly kit and quality components to ensure crop protection for a very long time.
Heavy-duty zippers are quickly becoming the norm when it comes to grow tents, so it’s almost no surprise that this model features them too. What is surprising is the black lining on the zippers that add an extra touch of proofing against light.
The interior is Mylar which means you get around 90% of the light reflected back to your plants. The canvas is a bit more rugged than what other tents in this price range have and it also comes with double stitching for even more light-proofing.
The observation window cut-out is about 50” above the ground. It has a flap and a mesh to help maintain the interior temperature and airflow as much as possible.
What's to like about the Vivosun Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
A very cool feature is the interior wall pocket. It’s basically a mesh pocket that allows you to hang various monitoring tools or repair tools so that you can take care of business in a pinch.
What's not to like about the Vivosun Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
Although the frame should support around 110lbs, once installed it doesn’t seem quite that sturdy. You may need to be more selective with your choice of equipment such as filters, fans, and lights.
4. Amagabeli Garden & Home HW0005 Grow Tent
This is a rather big 48 x 48 x 80-inch indoor tent suitable for anything from cooking herbs to medicinal weed. It has good lightproof reflective properties and also a slightly higher cost.
The ventilation holes are well protected by a double sleeve which should reduce some of the noise and help better secure any ducts.
The rope hangers are adjustable which gives you more customization options with filters and fans. The ground tray also has a Mylar surface which further helps with reflecting the light.
The tent seems to be designed around an HID lighting system. However, since no lighting system is included in the package, it’s safe to say that any system would work.
What's to like about the Amagabeli Garden & Home HW0005 Grow Tent
The 2-year warranty may just be this tent’s top selling point next to its size. Although well-built, there’s hardly anything else that draws this much attention.
What's not to like about the Amagabeli Garden & Home HW0005 Grow Tent
The door design is not ideal. Once opened, you let out too much heat and light, especially when compared with a top-down zippered entrance.
5. Zazzy Indoor Grow Tent
Zazzy is another manufacturer that’s not afraid to offer indoor grow tents in multiple sizes. You can find Zazzy tents in extra-wide, extra-tall, or extra-long, depending on what equipment you need to pair them with or how you want to grow your plants.
The package comes with all the standard stuff. You get a detailed user manual and two quality filter straps. You also get a Mylar floor tray to help you with the maintenance and light reflection.
The Mylar rating is advertised at 100% but if you’ll learn anything in this article, it is that that’s just not possible. Keep your expectations to around 90% or maybe 95% and you won’t be disappointed.
The zippers are heavy-duty, and they’re also fully covered in width to ensure that the temperature and light control is spot on at all times.
What's to like about the Zazzy Indoor Grow Tent
The steel corners are reinforced, and you can tell once you set up the tent. It’s quite sturdy and not at all shaky even when loaded with all the necessary equipment.
What's not to like about the Zazzy Indoor Grow Tent
If there’s one thing that might be considered a drawback, it’s that Zazzy doesn’t offer anything smaller than a 48 x 32 grow tent.
You can find grow tents as small as 2 x 2 feet and as large as 10 x 10 feet. Obviously, one of the main concerns is going to be the available space. Before worrying about how many plants you can fit inside and how much yield you can hope for, try looking at grow tents that fit inside your home. If you have to make too many adjustments to the room, the process may defeat the purpose of a ready-made grow tent setup.
After you’ve settled on how much floor space, you can allocate time to think about the height. An ideal tent size is anywhere between 5 and 7 feet in height. Of course, depending on the type of strain you’re growing, you may get away with less. But a bit of extra height doesn’t hurt as it allows you much better control over the height of the lighting setup.
Quality Reflective Material
Before describing what materials are the most popular and effective, here’s one that you should always avoid using even in a DIY low-budget setup – aluminum foil. Even when placed with the dull side facing the interior, aluminum foil only gives you about 50% effective reflectivity.
And, more often than not, it will create unpredictable hot spots that will result in uneven crop growth. There are many fabrics that show outstanding results but there is none that is completely flawless.
Although this is not the easiest to set up, because it has a tendency to wrinkle when not handled properly, it is one of the best. It was invented by NASA a while back and it offers 90% effectiveness when it comes to reflecting light. Not only that but the material has been coming down in price for quite some time.
White Plastic Sheeting
Rolls of white plastic are as cheap as grow tent reflective materials go. They have good reflective qualities too as they can achieve between 80% and 90% efficiency under optimal conditions. However, this material is also easy to melt if you don’t monitor the lights closely and don’t grow your plants at a lower temperature.
Another material that has some issues with heat, Panda Plastic is white on one side and black on the other. It has a light reflectivity rating between 85 % and 95%. It is more durable than regular plastic sheeting and it blocks a good deal of exterior light from getting inside the tent.
Not cheap but very effective, Foylon goes up to 95% in reflectivity. It’s basically Mylar on steroids, hence the effectiveness and the price. The spun polyester fiber in the Foylon and the foil laminate give it its extra hardness.
Orca Grow Film
This is another material that reflects 90% or more of the light in the grow tent. It does this thanks to its crystalline microfiber that has reflective boosting properties. This is not easy to wrinkle but it is still hard to keep flat. Long Velcro straps may help you keep it flat enough to give you 90% efficiency.
Frame and Pole Strength
This is one of the most important aspects of a grow tent. Don’t be fooled by the idea that a larger tent is stronger than a small tent. Most grow tents you can buy come with clearly defined weight capacity ratings.
When manufacturers slap those on the label, they indicate how much the frame can support. When you’re looking at the given value, you should be adding the weight of the fabric, zippers, wiring, ventilation, filter, and lights. If the tent can hold all the equipment you need and still has some leftover room to work with, then your tent is suitable for your operation.
If you don’t know much about grow tents, the zippers almost seem pointless right? – Wrong. Although they don’t act as seals for humidity and they don’t have airtight properties, they do keep the outside light out and the inside light in.
Poor quality zippers are something you should dread. You’ll use the zippers on a daily basis and perhaps multiple times a day going into the tent to check on the equipment, the environment, and the plants. If you can afford a grow tent with heavy-duty zippers, definitely go for it if you want rich crops for a long time.
Grow Tent FAQ
What is a grow tent?
A grow tent is essentially a portable grow room that allows you to grow an indoor garden. It is an enclosed space that usually has built-in grow lights. The interior often uses reflective material in order to improve light effectiveness.
The outside is sturdy, but it also serves as insulation. This allows better heat retention on the inside which when combined with lights will stimulate plant growth. Grow tents come in various shapes and sizes to cater to a variety of plant species. Some of them are also designed to support a hydroponic system.
One of the most important aspects of growth tents is that they are lightproof. This allows the plants on the inside to receive a specific and constant amount of light, unaffected by outside factors.
How to set up a grow tent?
After you’ve made your selection of lights, fans, frame, canvas, and everything else it takes to create a working grow tent, prepare the location where you want it to go. This means placing some mats on the floor to protect it from spills.
After that, you’ll want to first set up the frame. This should be easy enough to do if you follow the instruction manual. After the frame is up and secured, you have two options. Either put on the cloth or whatever canvas you have, with the reflective side on the inside of the tent or attach the lights and fan to the frame.
If you have enough light, either method should do just fine. But, when you do move on to the lighting setup, it will require extra care. Set up the holders to an appropriate height. Also make sure that you can easily adjust the height over time.
As the plants grow taller, you’ll need to raise the lights to avoid giving them too much heat. Organize the wiring too. Avoid having the wires intertwine with the weed plants or hanging too low that they may get wet.
Figure out the best place to hang the carbon filter and the fan for your tent’s setup. In most cases, hanging them off the top frame and as close to the center of the tent as possible is best. That’s where most of the hot air is and that’s what you want them to remove.
Before installing the fan, make sure that the intake is pointed at the carbon filter and not the ventilation opening. This is why it’s best to install the fan first and the carbon filter afterward, which is true for most setups. After that, use ducting between the filter and the fan and between the fan and the ventilation opening.
Put your monitoring equipment at the same level at your plants. This means temperature control, humidity control, etc. Configure timers, if you don’t plan on turning the lights on and off manually. Perform a check on the zippers, the ducting, and the wiring. Make sure everything fits in as tightly as possible.
The last step is to add your plants inside the mini ecosystem and adjust the height of the lights once more to make sure they’re at an optimal distance from the pots.
Grow tent vs. grow room
There are two main differences between a grow tent and a grow room. Tents are a lot smaller and can be used in almost any part of a house or apartment. Because of the insulated canvas, the room positioning and airflow in the room won’t affect plant growth.
The second big difference is the ease of use. Grow tents let you create a small plant-friendly ecosystem inside a room. A grow room requires you to make many changes to an existing room in order to make it suitable for growing plants.
This often requires a lot of drilling to set up equipment, adding quality waterproofing, setting up a lot more lights and adding even more insulation. This will allow you to grow more plants, but it takes longer to set up and it is more expensive.
Another downside of converting a room into a grow room is home ownership. If you’re renting, getting the approval for such changes may be impossible. The only real advantage of a grow room is a higher crop yield. But, depending on the previously mentioned factors, it may or may not be a more profitable solution.
How to make a grow tent?
Making your own grow tent takes a bit of time but it’s one of the easiest DIY projects you can take on. You need lamps, ventilation, reflective film, and PVC piping for the frame. Obviously, you can’t make all the other components on your own but cutting some PVC pipes to size shouldn’t be difficult.
First, you’ll need to consult a comprehensive guide on cannabis plants. Different plants require different tent sizes. Take sativa for example – it grows taller than most strains which means that you may need a tent frame around 6 or 7 feet tall to ensure enough distance between the plant and the lights.
Another way to figure out a good design is to look at online models of pre-made tents. Just take those measurements and apply them to your own design. Cut your PVC pipes to fit the design. Finally, using Mylar or something with similar light-blocking qualities is enough for most indoor grow tent setups.
Although duct tape will help you make everything fit perfectly eventually, it’s not a bad idea to get piping that’s at least 2 inches in diameter. You want the frame to be solid so that it can support the weight of the fabric, lights, filter, and ventilation unit.
Cut a ventilation port and a wiring port so that you can maintain proper airflow and a neat wiring setup for extra safety. Also check some online ventilation diagrams if you can’t follow one from a specific pre-made tent. And to make things easier with the framework, remember that you only need one access point into the tent, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
How many plants in a 4×4 grow tent?
A 4×4 grow tent may be enough to fit six adult plants. However, the maximum amount of plants you can grow is ultimately determined by the growing method rather than the space you have to allocate.
Also, keep in mind that not all strains of cannabis grow in the same way. Some strains tend to grow taller while others tend to be short, compact, and bushy when they reach maturity. Depending on these growth traits, the amount of plants you’ll be able to grow is highly variable.
So, which tent do you figure is the best grow tent for your indoor home garden? – We like and stand by all our top picks. But not everyone has the same needs. The good news is that since all these tents come with various degrees of adjustability, you may be able to find one that works with the equipment you already own.
The fact that they all use quality Mylar lining is very important. What’s really left to decide is how much room you really need and what type of vent design do you prefer.