Wednesday April 28, 2021
By Trevor Ross
Expanding legalization and social distancing efforts have led to a rise in home growing. And this explosive growth in popularity has led, in turn, to a vast market of grow tents that may seem overwhelming to potential growers, and has others wondering if it’s time for an upgrade. Using a grow tent is ideal when space and resources are limited, but what constitutes “limited” will change from grower to grower. There are a few variables to consider when selecting a tent, such as size, materials, frame, and ventilation. Thus, finding the right one for your needs can take a bit of research.
That’s where PotGuide has you covered. We’ve collected a range of options for all different types of growers to help you sort the best from the rest. So what are these tents all about, and which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the options.
Gorilla Grow Tents
Gorilla Grow Tents are at least the loudest option on the market right now, if not the best. But they can make a case for that too.
Gorilla tents boast the thickest exterior by far with 1680D nylon (many are 600D) that eliminates all incoming light and temperature influences, and their metal frames can support up to 300 lbs. Their reflective interiors use advanced cube-corner design to reflect the maximum light possible around your plants as well.
All of their tents are also expandable through a zipper in their roof, with one-foot height extensions included, and two-foot extensions available separately. Every sized tent offers 11” ventilation ports.
But expect to pay for all these premiums – a 3’x3’ tent begins at $300. While they do offer a “Lite” line of less expensive options, the exteriors are drastically thinner (210D). However, they are still equipped with the diamond reflective interiors and large vent ports.
Here is a more affordable alternative to Gorilla without compromising on most features. The universal 11” vent holes are replaced instead with sizes relative to the tent, and there are no height extensions, but MARS HYDRO does match Gorilla’s heavy exterior and diamond reflective interior. And their metal frames support up to 140 lbs.
They offer over half a dozen sizes maxing out at 8’x8’, and three multi-chamber tents up to 4’x5’.
The most critical complaints are about pinholes around the seams, but you can afford a roll of electrical tape with the savings. Their 3’x3’ tent is $175, over a hundred less than Gorilla.
VIVOSUN is a popular and reliable alternative to expensive premium tents. The exterior is a lighter caliber, but still durable, double-stitched, and dark enough to block all reasonable light. Be warned, however, that some customers have complained that pins of light can begin to seep through frayed seams around the zippers over time.
The interior is made of Mylar that achieves 98% reflectivity, and all tents come equipped with vent ports of various sizes between 4 and 8 inches, relative to the size of the tent. They offer several size options from 1.5’x2.5’ all the way to 10’x10’. These compromises are small, but make a difference in the bottom line. A 3’x3’ tent from VIVOSUN starts at only $100.
CoolGrows are very similar to VIVOSUN with a steel frame, Oxford cloth exteriors, and a reflective mylar interior. Ventilation ports also range from 3” to 11” depending on the size of the tent.
They offer fewer sizes than their competitors, with nothing over 4’x4’, though they have introduced a 4’x3’ tent with two separate chambers, which eliminates the need for some growers to buy a second tent. The modest sizes available will suit most beginner growers, and for a price that’s hard to beat – a 3’x3’ tent begins at just $80.
An incredulous consumer might expect that the low price implies low quality, and there have been recurring complaints about the quality of the zippers (read: light leaks), but on the whole reviews for this tent are overwhelmingly positive.
At first glance, TopoGrow crowds the tier with VIVOSUN and CoolGrows. Once again, you’ll find 600D Oxford cloth exteriors with Mylar interiors, and again they use a metal frame, though TopoGrow uses slip fitting assembly. Instead of bolts or screws holding the frame together, the corners are held in reinforced plastic. And unfortunately, this compromise in construction is not reflected in a lower price. But don’t discount them for that.
TopoGrow has more dual-chamber choices than competitors and offers more compact sizes than other brands, as convenient as 20”x20”. However, their real strength is in their complete kits. TopoGrow boasts several bundled options that include LED lights, an inline duct fan, flex ducting, and even a carbon filter, all guaranteed to work with the tent – all for the price of a premium tent alone.
A 32”x32” tent begins at $75, with the complete kit rounding out at $300. The kind of money that will get you started with Gorilla will carry you over the finish line with TopoGrow.
Ultimately, the best tent is the best tent for you. Will your grow tent be exposed to light, or is it going in a closet or basement? Will you be hanging over a hundred pounds of lighting and ductwork, or is yours a more casual grow with a single light and a fan? Growers striving to optimize every element of their environment can’t do better than Gorilla, but those final few grams will be had for a steep price. Many home growers will still produce perfectly lush plants and heavy harvests in a less expensive tent.
What features would you like to see in a tent? Let us know in the comments.