Years ago a friend of mine had a wonderful outdoor cannabis garden. Weed wasn’t yet legal in his state, and one day he got a call from a neighbor who threatened to report him. He had to destroy his plants.
This was one of the first times I thought about the benefit of growing cannabis indoors.
If you’re new to growing, there are plenty of reasons to do so indoors. Not the least of which are inappropriate climates, or to avoid the watchful eyes of snoopy neighbors. I’ve looked for the best grow tents for growing cannabis indoors.
This buying guide and review will give you the knowledge to have the best indoor grow tent set up. This will save you from suffering my friend’s fate, and you won’t have to lose your crops.
Where To Buy
Best Small Tent
Best Large Tent
For Taller Plants
What Are Grow Tents?
Not everyone is completely clear about what grow tents actually are. A lot of people, especially new growers, often confuse them with grow boxes and grow rooms. Before I share more on the best grow tents, I’ll briefly explain the difference.
Grow tents, grow rooms and grow boxes all serve a similar purpose. They provide a habitable environment for plants to survive indoors, away from their natural climates. All of them are used to contain and control light, water, temperature, and air.
All of these growing options can replicate conditions that are as close to nature as possible. Where the three differ is in their size.
A grow room can be any place—from a garage, to an attic to a greenhouse—that you modify for your plants’ needs. They can be impressive, but are often inconvenient. Fulfilling the upkeep requires you to have property, space and means; for many of us, this isn’t possible. Cheap indoor grow tents can solve this problem.
Grow boxes are essentially portable grow rooms. Their design is close to that of a grow tent, but they take up far more space. Again, most of us don’t have enough room to accommodate one.
Grow tents, unlike the other options, are usually compact, and built to fit into any extra space you may have. They can vary in size quite a bit. As a general rule, they take up as little room as possible, and are more discreet as a result.
Because they take up less room, they also use fewer resources. They are the simplest option in indoor cannabis growing, and are usually the most affordable too.
Are Grow Tents Legal?
They absolutely are. There is a preconceived notion that grow tents are contraband: tools that only drug dealers use. This is not true.
A grow tent (as well as a grow room or box) is an agricultural tool, which is used to cultivate all kinds of plants and vegetables.
Anyone can buy and use them. You don’t need some sort of license to own one.
I haven’t heard of any local laws that will prevent you from installing one in your home. Just to be safe, you should do your own research and double check the regulations in your own state.
Still, just because the tents are legal, you must consider the consequences of growing cannabis inside them. Whether you are a hobbyist or more of a professional, be fully aware. Any experienced grower will tell you the importance of knowing the cannabis laws that govern your jurisdiction.
If you’re planning on growing cannabis indoors, I definitely recommend using a grow tent. They have many advantages, which I’ll cover in more detail below. Once I’ve given you some general information, I’ll share some specific reviews of the best grow tents.
Why Grow Tents Are Good
Grow tents are usually made from canvas and plastic, making them extremely lightweight. For those of you on a tight budget, you can buy grow tents for cheap. Their size, shapes and styles might differ. but the consistent appeal lies in how portable they are.
In addition to their portability, the best grow tents make indoor growing easier, more cost efficient, and effective. They’re great for soil and hydroponic growth alike, and they are light-proof. This means your plants won’t be affected by external lighting in your home.
But these are not the only benefits to using them. Grow tents are becoming increasingly popular, because they can enhance your experience in a number of cool ways. Because of their versatility, you can experiment until you find the best grow tent setup for your needs.
You Can Grow All Year Round
If you are an absolute beginner, you might not that know that cannabis—as with any other vegetation—is seasonal. Understanding when your strains will grow is just as important as knowing how to grow them.
Grow tents supply healthy conditions for your plants, no matter the time of year. You control the environment of your tent, so your harvest is protected from the great outdoors. Climate, weather and seasonal changes are no longer factors in your harvest.
This means that, unlike outdoor growers, you will be able to grow all year round, no matter where you live. It also means that you can experiment with growing exotic strains from foreign climates, right here at home.
Grow tents are ventilated and filtered. The circulation of clean air is healthy for your plants, and it fights odors too. The ventilation available in the best grow tents means your plants won’t stink up your house or room. This is an awesome perk if you’re worried about people sticking their noses where they don’t belong.
Pests are irritating. They interfere with and damage our crops, and are a pain to get rid of. Most growers try to avoid the use of pesticides. These are generally considered to be a bad idea, since they can pollute your cannabis crop.
The best grow tents are built to prevent infestations and mold. They’re sealable, so as long as you keep them closed, destructive pests won’t be able to get in. The ventilation I mentioned earlier also helps in deterring insects. Your fans could literally blow them away.
You’ll Save Space
Some of you aren’t able to grow outdoors because you just don’t have enough private property to do so. The best grow tent set up can help solve that problem. Some tents are as small as 2 feet by 2 feet and will easily fit into an empty corner or a vacant closet.
Their portability also means that you don’t have to dedicate a permanent space to your grow tent. You can pack them up quickly and easily when you’re moving, or if you need to disassemble it quickly.
They are also typically budget friendly. You should be able to find the best grow tent for the money and room you have available.
You’ll Save Energy
Grow tents fare better for energy conservation than other indoor growing methods because they are compact. Keep in mind that your choice in lights and vents will also be a factor in how much energy you conserve.
You control every element of what happens inside your grow tent, so you can alter how much energy your tent uses. With reduced energy consumption you save money too, and that’s always a plus.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Grow tents are simple to set up and easy to understand, and minimal effort is required to maintain them. You may find that there is a small learning curve when you first set it up. But this is still much easier than maintaining an outdoor garden.
The time spent on a bit of initial research will be well worth it. You’ll reap the same reward with a fraction of the effort. This is one of the reasons why cheap grow tent kits are especially great for beginners.
Keep Things Discreet
What you do in the privacy of your own home should be nobody else’s business. However, we all know that there are haters out there, who will take every opportunity to pass judgment and make problems.
As a general rule, I always think it’s best to keep your business to yourself. This will help to avoid unnecessary stress or bothersome lectures. I mean really, who has the time or patience for that?
Grow tents are inconspicuous. If you prefer to keep your activities to yourself, the best grow tent setup is an ideal, discreet solution.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
In the interests of being objective, I’ve tried to find some negatives for using grow tents. But to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t come up with any. Sure, there are a few downsides to them, but these hardly even seem worth mentioning.
Some people complain that although they’re cheaper than grow boxes, you have to buy—and set up—more components for them. I think that’s more of a disclaimer than an actual disadvantage. In most cases you can invest in a great grow tent setup for less money needed for a room or box.
There’s another concern that I’ve heard, but I don’t think it carries much weight. Because you have to buy more components for them, your purchase history could rouse suspicion. It doesn’t take much to debunk this one.
I’ve already mentioned that grow tents are often used by horticulturists and farmers. Buying one is neither illegal, nor frowned upon. As for the other gear you might need, like fans and lights, I can think of at least a dozen reasons why you’d need those.
The only other argument I could find against grow tents is that they just aren’t as attractive as grow boxes or gardens. Sure, they look a little bit messier, but form follows function.
The bottom line is that they’re compact and portable. If you don’t like the look, you can easily tuck it into a corner, or hide it in your closet. The best cheap tent might not look elegant, but it will do everything you need it to do.
The pros of grow tents massively outweigh the “cons” and it’s probably because they’re designed for a specific purpose. The best grow tents make indoor growing (of all plants, not just cannabis) possible for those who have limited space.
How Big a Grow Tent Do I Need?
You don’t want to settle for the first grow tent you see. Size is a factor in how well your plants will grow, because it can alter how much light they receive. The closer your lights are to your plants, the more intense it will be.
If your grow tent is too cramped, you could damage your harvest. It’s worth the time to do a little bit of research based on your expectations. A rule of thumb is that you want your lights to be at least 2 feet above your plants.
Also think about how much space you need. A 2-foot by 2-foot tent is good for one or two plants. You’ll want to consider a 4-foot by 4-foot tent if you want three or four plants at a time, and for anything more than that you will need at least a tent measuring at least 5 feet by 5 feet.
So, you should determine how many plants you intend to grow, first of all. Then you’ll be able to calculate what size tent you need, and where you are going to put it.
How Much Does a Grow Tent Cost?
The price will vary, depending on a number of factors, including brand, features, materials, add-ons and power. It’s understandable if you want a cheap indoor grow tent, but the capabilities of your grow tent should be no less of a consideration than its price.
There are many cheap grow tents for sale. Before you decide which one to buy, consider the following:
Grow tents are portable, so you don’t have to stress too much about the dimensions when you think of where to place it. However, there are other factors you should prepare for.
I recommend that, wherever you decide to place your tent, it stands on a waterproof surface. That is, unless you don’t mind water damage from a possible leak. If your tent is going to be free-standing, make sure that it has enough ground and overhead space.
You want easy access to it, and it’s better if nothing stands in the way of its doors or vents.
Ventilation doesn’t only distribute fresh air throughout your tent, it also regulates temperature, humidity and CO2. You’ll have to place your grow tent within reach of an electrical port for your fans. It will also need to be near a window or other vent for your exhausts.
To keep your grow tent well ventilated, you can choose between two types of fans: oscillators or extractors.
Oscillators are generally the cheaper of the two. They provide a constant and consistent source of clean air in your tent. They’re simple to use, but for bigger tents you’ll most likely need a few of them, to cover more ground.
Extractor fans suck old air and pollutants out of your tent, keeping it fresh. They’re a little bit more complicated to set up. You need to hang them and set them to run at regular and consistent intervals.
Ventilation is not just a matter of which type of fan to choose. You will want to place your fans strategically to give your tent the best quality air.
It might require some trial and error to get the placement right. But it’s a relatively simple task that you’ll only have to do during your tent’s initial setup.
Before you pick a grow tent, look into the lighting it has. All grow lights meet the same end, but different types use different means. Here is some basic information about the few most common types, including fluorescent, HID, LED and plasma grow lights.
Fluorescent lights are typically cheaper than other types of grow lights. They cover a larger surface area and they last longer. They are also not as intense as the others, so you don’t have to worry as much about the distance from your plants.
Keep in mind that fluorescent lights are only good for germination. They aren’t suitable for the vegetative or flowering stages of cannabis growth.
HID (high intensity discharge) lights produce adjustable, and often brighter, light than fluorescent tubes, and offer more usable light. But they can burn your plants if you don’t pay attention to their placement. They require add-ons, including reflectors and ballasts, and they run out of gas quite quickly compared to other bulbs.
LED (light emitting diode)grow lights aren’t the most common choice, although they’re gaining in popularity. They are, without a doubt, the cheapest in the long run because they’re energy savers. However, they tend to be more costly upon initial purchase.
LED lights are cooler than HIDs, so there’s less risk of burning your plants. They also last longer than most lights. But they tend to emit less light and aren’t always powerful enough for your growth’s flowering phase.
Sulphur plasma lights are relatively new. To replicate the intensity of sunlight, they burn at extremely high temperatures, and are thought to be the closest to natural light. They also last an extremely long time.
However, because of the heat they radiate, you can’t place them near your plants at all, and it might not be safe to install them in enclosed areas. These aren’t recommended for indoor grow tents.
Lastly, you want to take your chosen strain into account. There are people who enjoy growing multiple strains in one tent, but this can prove challenging. In general, different strains have different needs.
You need to know the specs of your strain so you can plan your tent accordingly. Some are tall, while others take up more room, and their lighting arrangements will differ. It’s pointless to set up your tent first, only to find out that it’ll be uninhabitable for your seeds.
If all of the above seems like an information overload and you don’t know where to start, the good news is that you can also buy cheap grow tent kits. They include everything you need to get started, so you won’t have to buy—or think about the compatibility of—the extras.
Review of the Best Grow Tents for Growing Cannabis Indoors
We’ve covered a lot of information about grow tents, so now we can get down to business. I’ve reviewed a lot of contenders, and selected the following based on a variety of criteria. These include durability, features, ease of use, and overall capacity.
Here are my favourites.
This heavy duty, superior quality tent has everything an indoor cannabis grower needs. It’s lined with 100 percent light-proof and tear-proof reflective Mylar. Its metal frame and reinforced poles improve its strength, retain light and prevent odors from escaping.
It’s also double-stitched for extra durability. The removable floor tray makes it a versatile and easy-to-use grow tent. I find it suitable for absolute beginners and practised growers, and for both soil and hydroponics alike.
The Apollo’s reflective Mylar returns up to 97 percent of light to your plants. This has a significant effect on your plants—and your energy bill.
This tent is a great choice if you’re just getting started, but seasoned growers will benefit from it too.
It’s made with high grade Oxford cloth and has 99 percent reflective silver Mylar inside, which provides near perfect insulation. Its reinforced structure and thick stitching make it quite a durable tent.
It’s also one of the more portable tents because it’s lightweight and easy to disassemble. It has a removable, waterproof tray and it’s worth noting that this tent is fireproof too.
Gorilla has tents as large as 10 feet by 20 feet. Its an excellent brand that could very well make the best large tents around. I’ve chosen their 5-foot by 9-foot tent as a middle ground.
This model is just as good as their biggest tents. Its size doesn’t defeat the purpose of why most people use tents instead of boxes or rooms: limited space.
What makes Gorilla stand out? For sure it’s the overall quality. But no less noteworthy is the fact that these tents were designed specifically for cannabis.
Gorilla tents are built to last. They’re made of the thickest canvas you can find, and will last you for years if you treat them well.
They are built with an interlocking metal frame. Gorilla is proud to say that it doesn’t use cheap plastic in its parts. The tents are lined with reflective Mylar and are light proof.
This grow tent is your best bet if you want to grow more, or taller, plants. Even though it is roomy, it still uses little space. It’s powered to nurture your plants, regardless of how many you fit in it.
It’s a double-stitched, tear-proof canvas tent, with 95 percent reflective Mylar. It seals really well to prevent light leakage. The reinforced, heavy duty poles can uphold up to 110 pounds.
It has strong zippers, a front window, and a removable tray. No tools are required to set this tent up, and you get some free add-ons with it.
TopoLite is one of the more popular grow tent manufacturers. The customer satisfaction is good and the company’s reputation as a favorite is fully deserved.
This particular tent is made of thick Oxford cloth, with 96 percent reflective silver Mylar as the lining. It has coated, heavy duty metal rods and double-stitching for extra durability. It’s a hassle-free setup that, like others above, has a removable tray for convenience and versatility.
This tent allows extra space for vents, fans and exhausts—an uncommon feature in other grow tents. It’s perhaps the best cheap tent you can find.
This two-tiered tent is a fun choice for hydroponics and soil planting, and is commonly used for seedlings and propagation.
It’s best suited for the true nurturers among us. I mean those who don’t mind experimenting and wish to spend a little extra time focusing on germination.
That’s not to say you can’t grow bigger, or older, plants in here. It’s an all-purpose tent which can accommodate almost every single need you have.
This tent works best with LED lights. It has a metal frame and the usual Mylar reflectors. It comes with nylon belts.
One of its defining features is the waterproof floor tray. This, combined with the versatility, adjustability and size of the rest of the tent, has left many hydroponic growers satisfied. Its rectangle vents also keep the bugs at bay, which is an added bonus.
So far I have shown you just the grow tents. You should know that there are entire packages that you can invest in which contain everything you need to begin. These are referred to as grow tent kits.
Sure, they cost significantly more than tents alone. But consider how much hassle you will save yourself from if you get everything in one bundle. In the long run, kits often turn out to be cheaper than buying pieces individually.
My top pick for this is, once again, Gorilla. In this grow tent kit, you will get a decent sized tent—which as I have mentioned, has unquestionable quality. It also comes with LED grow lights, an inline fan, carbon filter, thermometer, grounded timer, and more.
Of course, if you choose to go for one of these kits, you can add to, or modify, it as you see fit.
If you are an absolute beginner, I would highly recommend getting one of these. This kit is designed to work without any extra purchases. It gives you a complete setup to get yourself off the ground, and you can learn more as you go.
Buying a cheap indoor grow tent is not a decision you want to rush into. Hopefully my grow tent reviews here at hempgrowly.com have made things a little simpler.
It’s not a matter of propping one up and expecting it to do the work for you. You will still have to invest some time (and patience) in nurturing your harvest. That’s why it’s important to choose the grow tent setup that works for you.
I think that without a doubt, the Apollo Horticulture hydroponic grow tent is one of the best grow tents for cannabis and a great place to start. It walks the walk and talks the talk. It has proven to many of us that it’s the best choice for growing quality cannabis indoors with ease.
Grow tents should make our lives easier, and our harvests more fruitful. The Apollo grow tent does that and more. It also looks good—and is a great addition to whichever room you choose to place it in.