As hydroponic gardeners, we love the amount of control we have over our growing environment. Indoor gardening provides us with consistent temperatures, and reduced pest levels. We can dial in exact feeding schedules and nutrient loads.
This is all great, but what happens if we want to run grow lights at night because it’s more energy efficient? Most people don’t want annoying grow lights shining in the middle of the night.
How about relative humidity? A lot of plants produce the best yields with a relative humidity of 70-80%. I definitely don’t want my whole house that sticky.
Grow tents are a tool that allows hydroponic gardeners to achieve the highest levels of environmental control, while also reducing light, noise, and smell pollution throughout the rest of the living space.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the best grow tents.
Want to learn more about the benefits and key features to look for in a grow tent first?
Best Grow Tent for Closet Grows
Standard closets are at least 3 feet wide and 24 to 30 inches deep. Thankfully that’s just enough room for a stealthy 2×2 grow tent. These tents are a great option for keeping your hydroponic garden out of your main living space.
Plant House 2x2x63
Not only is it one of the highest quality tents you’ll find, the Plant House 2×2 is also the tallest closet tent I’ve been able to find. Most other tents with this footprint are limited to a height of 48″.
All Plant House tents are constructed using powder-coated galvanized steel poles. Most competitors use cheap metals, and paint instead of powder coating.
Bottom line: If you need a full-height grow tent in a tight space, this is it!
Best 4×4 Grow Tents
A 4×4 grow tent is one of the most versatile sizes on the market. It can squeeze into most spaces, and it provides a large enough growing area to support larger plants like peppers, tomatoes, and other things.
These tents are also large enough to house bigger hydroponic systems for growing enough lettuce, greens, and herbs to keep all your friends fed.
Gorilla Grow Tent
If you’re looking for the best of the best of the best, Gorilla Grow Tent is it. These tents are in a league of their own. They’re more expensive than most of the other options you’ll see, but they’re worth it.
You spend a lot of money on lighting and other equipment that goes into a grow tent. Do you really want to depend on a cheap Chinese grow tent to keep all that safe? Strict quality control standards, and industry-leading materials and components deliver a product that will keep your investment safe and in top working order.
These tents are made with tough, thick 1680D material. This material will stand up to a pretty significant amount of abuse, and helps to keep the entire structure rigid even when the doors are open.
Another benefit of thick material is improved environmental control, and reduced noise and smell.
The zippers are one of my favorite features with GGT products. They are actual industrial-strength oversized metal zippers. They feel substantial when you grab them. More importantly, they work so well. If you’ve ever had a cheap tent, you know zippers are a huge pain. Not with these tents.
If you need a tall tent, Gorilla Grow Tents can be extended to a max height of 10 feet. That’s a huge benefit if you’re growing tall plants!
Lastly, the frame of these tents can support up to 300lbs worth of equipment! No other tent comes close to that.
Bottom line: This is the best 4×4 grow tent on the market, period.
AC Infinity CLOUDLAB
The CLOUDLAB grow tent series from AC Infinity has a lot going for it. It has a budget price, with some pretty premium features.
AC Infinity arrives at their material density calculation a little differently than other companies, but their 2000D material is still a heavyweight. The 4×4 CLOUDLAB is only about 9 pounds lighter than the Gorilla Grow Tent of the same size, so that’s impressive.
Their support poles are also larger than any other budget brand. AC Infinity uses 22mm (almost 7/8″) support poles, compared to the 18mm used by other cheap tents.
Larger support poles result in a higher overhead capacity as well. The CLOUDLAB can support up to 150lbs of overhead equipment. More than enough for a 4×4 grow area.
My favorite feature is the aluminum panel on the front. It’s made for AC Infinity, and other brands, environmental control systems. The back of the panel has porting into the tent so you can control the environment from outside the tent, without any light leakage.
Bottom Line: You won’t find a better set of features at this price point!
Download the First Grow Cheat Sheet for step-by-step instructions, DIY templates, and shopping lists that will take your first grow to the next level!
The Best 5×5 Grow Tents
Somewhat outside the norm, 5×5 grow tents exist for 2 main reasons.
This tent size matches the flowering footprint of most 500-1000w grow lights. Matching the tent size to the light footprint maximizes efficiency.
Beyond lighting efficiencies, the larger size makes it easy to move around inside the tent. This is especially important for hydroponic growers who need to be able to clean and maintain hydroponic equipment.
If you plan to fill the entire 5×5 space with plants, pick a grow tent with doors or openings on 3 sides. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time navigating around a thick canopy of plants.
Quality becomes a lot more important when you start moving into tents this size and larger. The overhead poles are supporting weight across a longer span. Also, there is a lot more weight and tension on the entire frame because of the size of the tent.
If you’re in the market for a 5×5 tent, pay close attention to the frame quality. Amazon is full of negative reviews on cheap tents. You’ll see pictures of snapped welds, collapsed overhead supports, and serious damage to plants and expensive equipment.
Spend the extra money to get a safe tent. You’ll save money in the long run.
Gorilla Grow Tent
The overall best 5×5 grow tent is Gorilla Grow Tent. There is truly no other manufacturer in this industry that competes on the same level. While all the Chinese manufacturers on Amazon are in a race to the price floor, Gorilla Grow Tent is focused on delivering the absolute best quality products on the market.
These are the tallest, thickest, strongest, and safest tents you can buy.
How tall? Up to 10’ tall using their patent-pending adjustable extension poles. These extension systems come with poles and material extensions that take your grow room to new heights.
How thick? True 1680D material that’s 2 to 3 times thicker than most other materials on the market. Just compare the weights of Gorilla Grow Tents with other manufacturers if you don’t believe me.
How strong? Gorilla Grow Tents feature powder-coated ⅞” galvanized steel poles and fully welded corner brackets that form a rigid interlocking frame. These superior frames are rated to support up to 300lbs.
How safe? Beyond the sturdy frame, these tents use infrared blocking roofs to keep temperatures cool. The density of the fabric helps reduce noise and smell. A water-tight removable flood pool protects your home from water damage in the event of a major spill.
One last thing to note. The zippers on these tents are industrial grade and they’re buttery smooth even after thousands of uses.
Bottom line: If you want THE BEST 5×5 grow tent, this is it.
Plant House wins the best budget category because they have one of the lowest defect rates in the industry. When using tents of this size, quality control is important. You’ll have a lot of money invested in lighting and ventilation, protect that investment with a quality tent.
The tent material is 600D polyester with an external layer of PVC coating. Inside is a high-efficiency BoPET liner with 98% reflectivity. The thicker material insulates better than other tents in this price range.
Most importantly, this tent features powder-coated ⅝” galvanized steel poles and cross braces. The overhead bracing has a load rating of 110lbs.
The biggest complaint about Plant House grow tents is that their zippers could be better. Honestly, this complaint applies to every budget-priced grow tent. Quality framing and material are more important.
Bottom line: The Plant House is the best budget 5×5 grow tent you can buy.
Benefits of Using a Grow Tent
The number one reason to use a grow tent is control.
Total Control of Growing Environment
One of the biggest benefits of an indoor garden is environmental control. Your home is climate-controlled and sheltered from the weather. With a grow tent you have total control of the growing environment, and can create “microclimates” that match the specific needs of your plants. This is one of the keys to achieving high levels of production.
Speaking of microclimates, the tent I grow peppers in maintains a daytime temperature range of 75-80°F. I definitely don’t want my house to be that hot. Being able to contain that climate is a huge benefit.
Growing indoors also provides the advantage of having fewer bugs to deal with. Protecting your plants from bugs is a huge boost to production, and keeps your house a lot more fun to live in. A heavy-duty Zipper with over-flaps and exhaust vents with micro-mesh bug filters help keep pests away from those precious plants.
Disease Control & Quarantine
Growing in enclosures helps contain any kind of disease that may develop, and helps prevent the spread of that disease to other plants or tents.
More Efficient Lighting
A grow light is not 100% efficient. Some of the light it produces is directed away from your plants. The mylar walls of a grow tent help redirect usable light back onto your plants. This makes your lighting more efficient and develops more productive plants.
If you share your living space with your grow area, you probably get tired of the grow light shining at all hours. The UV light isn’t good for your eyes. It’s also not good for your pet’s eyes. Contain that light with a grow tent, and get back to enjoying your living space.
You have total control over the light/dark cycle. A quality tent will have true blackout dark inside when the grow light is off. This is incredibly important for some plants.
With no permanent mounting, you can quickly disassemble and move your tent when you need to change locations.
A Great Option for Apartments
If you rent, your landlord probably wouldn’t appreciate seeing a bunch of eye-hooks sunk into the ceiling for mounting grow lights. The same goes for exhaust ducting. A grow tent provides you with a way to secure growing equipment, without doing any damage to the walls, ceiling, or floor.
Important Grow Tent Features
Knowing what makes a grow tent “good” will help you make a choice that fits your needs….and budget! If you’re new to plant camping, pay attention to these features.
Spoiler Alert: A material density of 600D or more, and all-metal frame construction are the two most important features to look for.
1. Material Density
Material density, or thickness, is arguably the most important feature of a grow tent.
Grow tents range in thickness from 200D-1680D. The “D” at the end stands for denier. It’s a measurement of material thickness. The important thing to know; the larger the number, the thicker the material.
As the thickness increases, so does; durability, environmental control, odor containment, and light containment/blocking.
I recommend a material thickness of at least 600D, and prefer the 1680D thickness offered by Gorilla Grow Tent. Materials under 600D normally aren’t very durable and have excessive light leakage.
2. Frame Construction
The frame is the skeleton that bears the weight of the tent itself, and all the equipment inside. Go for a tent with all-metal frame construction.
Most “budget” tents use plastic corner brackets that often break under because of the weight of lights, fans, filters, and other components supported by the frame. The last thing you want is expensive equipment crashing down on top of your plants.
3. Light Leakage
One of the main reasons to buy a grow tent is to keep light in, or out of, the grow tent. While material density has a major impact on light leakage, the overall tent construction can have a significant effect as well.
Look for tents with flaps that overlap the zipper area. These flaps block light leakage that might happen at seams or stitch lines. Also, look for flaps that velcro down so they’re not flopping around being useless.
Access ports should have drawstrings or other fasteners that create a light-tight seal around any vent fans, inlet/exhaust ducts, or electrical cords. Higher quality tents normally feature both internal & external port shrouds for extra light sealing.
4. Zipper Quality
If you’ve ever owned a bag, tent, or pair of pants with a crap zipper you know how frustrating that can be. Being tightly stretched around a frame, grow tent fabric is always under tension. Zippers are used to increase that tension as the grow room doors are zipped shut.
Cheap zippers will break, come out of alignment, or strip altogether. None of those are fun. Look for a grow tent that uses all-metal, oversized zippers. One thing I love about Gorilla Grow Tent is how beefy their zippers are.
This part is pretty simple. Select a size that fits your needs. If you’re unsure what size you need, draw a diagram that represents what you plan to grow inside the tent. Alternatively, if space is a constraint, measure the space available and pick a grow tent with dimensions that’ll fit within the space. My advice, get the largest grow tent you can afford/fit into the available area.
Height is an important factor for a couple of reasons. Taller tents allow the plant canopy to stay cooler as warm air rises away from the plants toward the top of the tent. Also, a taller tent can support taller plants like peppers and tomatoes while still maintaining the correct light distance from the plant canopy.
6. Spill Pool
Spill pools can be lifesavers if your hydroponic system springs a leak. Make sure your grow tent comes with a spill pool capable of holding standing water, which saves your floor from water damage if your system springs a leak.
7. Reflective Material
Quality reflective material on the inner wall of the grow tent is important because….well, it increases lighting efficiency by reflecting light back onto the plants.
A diamond reflective pattern is generally preferred, and most tents come with a mylar inner liner that has a reflection value of 95% or higher.
While the reflective material is important, most grow tents come with good reflective material because it’s cheap. Frame construction, zippers, and material density are way more important when selecting a grow tent.
8. Port Configuration
Choosing a tent based on port configuration comes down to your own specific needs. If you’re running inlet and exhaust ports, you know where you need them to be.
If you’re not planning to run complication ducting or lights that produce a lot of heat, you don’t have to worry as much about port placement. Instead, make sure the port placements are convenient for routing electrical wires.
If the tent you’re looking at has a ventilation port, make sure it has a good bug filter. A bug filter is basically a micro-mesh screen that keeps pests at bay while you give your plants some fresh air.
Common Grow Tent Questions
What is the Best Size for a Grow Tent?
The most common grow tent size is 48″x48″ with heights ranging from 60 inches up to 96 inches, or taller.
The best size grow tent depends on your needs, equipment, and available space. Make sure your hydroponic system will fit in the tent. Also, make sure you’ll be able to reach all areas of the hydroponic system to clean it and care for your plants.
If you have the space, hydroponic reservoirs can be placed outside of the tent to maximize the growing area of the tent.
Bigger is not always better. If the tent is bigger than you need, it is less efficient.
What is the best height for a grow tent?
The tallest grow tent that will fit in your grow area.
When selecting a grow tent height, make sure to factor in the overall configuration of the tent. If intake or exhaust ducting will be going out of the top of the tent, make sure the tent and ducting will fit under your ceiling.
Also, be aware of other obstructions like rafters, beams, and sloping ceilings.
What is the best quality grow tent?
Gorilla Grow Tent is arguably the best quality grow tent.
Their tents sport industrial-strength oversized zippers, steel pole construction, smart port placement, a heat-dissipating roof, and 1680D material.
These tents are extremely sturdy, and can easily hold hundreds of pounds of equipment from the overhead supports.
For a quick comparison of quality, look at the weight of a Gorilla Grow Tent compared to a competitor. Gorilla tents are normally almost 2 times heavier than similarly sized tents.
What is the best size grow tent for 2 plants?
2’x4′ (24″x48″) is an ideal size for growing two large plants like tomatoes, peppers, and other large herbs. A 2×4 tent provides 4 square feet of growing area for each plant.
Equipment like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and hydroponic reservoirs can be placed between the plants or can be relocated outside the tent.
How many plants fit in a 4×4 grow tent?
4 large plants will fit in a 4×4 grow tent. This provides 4 square feet of growing area per plant.
Equipment can be positioned between plants, overhead, or outside the grow tent.
What’s your favorite grow tent?
Can you get by without a grow tent? Absolutely. You don’t always need to have one, but plants will perform better in a controlled environment.
I held off on buying a tent for a long time because I didn’t fully understand the level of control it would give me. Now I’m hooked.
What do you think the best grow tent is? Let me know!
Download the First Grow Cheat Sheet for step-by-step instructions, DIY templates, and shopping lists that will take your first grow to the next level!