Reflective, tear-proof Mylar interior and floor tray. Double-stitched seams and heavy-duty zippers prevent light leakage. Strong metal poles support heavy-duty tent fabric. Ample vents and ports to maximize growth.
So well sealed that heat buildup may be a concern.
Reflective, waterproof Mylar maximizes light. Rectangular vents with mesh for ventilation. Multiple vents for fan and filter output. Heavy-duty 600-denier lightproof oxford cloth. 16 mm metal rods. Heavy-duty zippers and double stitching for leak protection. Removable waterproof floor tray. Choice of sizes.
Metal frame isn't very strong.
Mylar interior returns more than 92% of grow light back to plants and herbs. Removable Mylar floor tray. Heavy-duty zippers and double-stitched seams keep light from leaking. Tear-proof thick tent material. Easy-access door and observation window. Reinforced with metal poles for stability. Good for starting seeds and cultivating exotic fruits, herbs, vegetables, or seasonal fruits year-round.
Zipper is temperamental.
Tent with removable Mylar floor tray, filter straps. Reflective tear-proof Mylar with heavy-duty zippers. Double stitching. Thick tent material reinforced by metal pole ensures security and stability. Keeps odors in and pests out.
Zipper is temperamental. Plants taller than 2.5 feet may hit your light fixture.
Made of tough Mylar material that is very reflective and promotes plant growth. Has double-stitching and resists water. Well-made window allows you to keep an eye on your plants' progress. Framework is durable. Includes a removable floor tray and tool bag. Comes with instructions that are easy to follow, making setup simple.
Zipper is prone to jamming. Light tends to leak in around the seams.
An indoor grow tent can help you extend your garden’s life past the end of your region’s natural growing season. With a grow tent, you can start your seeds sooner, keep your plants going strong after the first frost, or enjoy fresh herbs in the middle of winter.
Indoor grow tents are flexible structures you set up inside your home so that you can control the growing conditions. The tent interior is lined with polyester film (Mylar) to maximize light reflection and minimize hot spots. Since you keep a grow tent indoors, it naturally keeps damaging pests like aphids and hornworms off your plants. You won’t need to risk using chemical pesticides, which can be harmful to ingest.
Grow tents come in different sizes and equipped with different features to make growing easier for your plants and gardening easier for you. Which features do you need? Keep reading to learn more. When you’re ready to buy, check our recommendations for the best indoor grow tents on the market.
When you’re shopping for grow tents, size is the most important factor to keep in mind: the size of your space and the size of the plants you want to grow.
If you’re putting your indoor grow tent in a small room, you can maximize space buy purchasing something narrow and tall. Tents kept in a family room or other living space must fit without being an inconvenience. If your tent is going in a basement, space may not be as much of an issue.
It’s also important to consider the eventual size of your plants unless you plan to use your tent only as a greenhouse for incubating seedlings.
Small: The smallest grow tents measure roughly two feet long and wide by about four feet tall. Tents that are four feet tall can easily accommodate full-grown salad greens and herbs, but tomato plants and cages can easily exceed that height.
Large: Many of the largest grow tents on the market are more than six feet tall and eight feet wide. Remember that in optimized growing conditions, your plants may grow larger and more quickly than they would outside, so plan accordingly.
Fabric: A grow tent’s main job is to reflect light onto your plants, so the backing should be high quality to help keep the light inside. Grow tents are usually made of canvas, oxford cloth, or some other thick, dark fabric. This contrast makes it easy for you to see whether light is escaping. Ideally, though, you want to buy something that captures as much light as possible.
Indoor grow tents are usually sold with exterior fabric rated at 200 to 1680 denier, a measure of fiber thickness. Generally, the higher the number, the thicker and more durable the fabric. Experts usually recommend that grow tents should be made of fabric that’s at least 600 denier. If you’ll be moving or collapsing your tent frequently, look for a tent with an even higher rating so the fabric can take the wear and tear without thinning or ripping. Avoid tents with fabrics that weave in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), because the material has been known to release plant-damaging gases under high temperatures.
Seams: Next to zippers, seams are the most likely candidates for tent failure and light loss. Seams can be torn because of accidental stress, wear and tear, or poor manufacturing. It’s best to look for indoor grow tents with double-stitched seams for an extra level of security.
An indoor tent is nothing but fabric without a quality frame. The tent frame must support the tent walls as well as lighting elements, fans, and filters. Frames may be made out of many different metals, but the best are thick stainless steel, powder-coated steel, or other heavy-duty steel that resists rust. Tents with PVC frames should be avoided because the material occasionally releases gases that can damage plants if they’re exposed to high temperatures.
Other nonnegotiables on your checklist must include electrical ports for plugging in your equipment. Make sure you have enough slots for lights, hydroponic units, fans, and other accessories. You also need venting ports for fans and other devices to stabilize the tent’s internal environment.
Light loss can occur through loose electrical port or vent openings. Look for electrical ports with double flaps to avoid gaps around cords and plugs. High-quality vent openings will stay in place with drawstring closures that keep the fabric in place around the vent.
Tray: Experts agree that a removable floor tray is one of the most important features an indoor grow tent can have. This tray catches any water, dirt, leaves, or other debris that falls inside the tent and eliminates the need to have your tent open for long, awkward cleaning sessions.
Door and window: But you will need to sometimes spend time in the tent. A sizeable door opening eliminates struggling to enter the tent, which can damage the fabric. A window flap can make it easier to look inside and see whether your plants need attention. Make sure any window flap seals securely with hook-and-loop closures or other features to prevent light loss.
Humidity monitor: This keeps you apprised when moisture levels in the tent are too high, too low, or just right.
Straps: These can give you a built-in place to store tools, equipment, and other gardening necessities.
Filters: Carbon filters and filtration systems can help reduce odors caused by plants or high humidity levels.
Prices for quality indoor grow tents depend mostly on size. Most quality tents are made of fabric that’s 600 denier or thicker and include an appropriate number of vents and ports for their size. Specialized features like frame material or adjustable height may factor into price differences, too.
Inexpensive: You can find small, inexpensive indoor grow tents starting at around $50. At this price, grow tents measure roughly two feet long by two feet wide by four feet tall.
Mid-range: Tents in the medium price range generally cost between $75 and $100. These tents are five to six feet tall and up to four feet in width and length.
Expensive: The largest indoor grow tents cost $125 to $200, depending on the size. Tents in this price range start out around five feet wide and measure between six and eight feet tall.
Q. What vegetables thrive inside grow tents?
A. While it’s not a comprehensive list, you’ll likely have the most success with these plants. Always follow the light requirements and other instructions that come with your individual plants.
Green beans grow easily in a grow tent, provided you give the vines a trellis or other vertical structure to climb. If you try these, lean your trellis away from the grow light, since green beans can be sensitive to too much heat.
Tomatoes of many varieties grow well and are extremely versatile in the kitchen. However, they are susceptible to fungus and mold, so make sure your tent is well ventilated.
Peppers such as red and green bells, as well as chili peppers, can produce extremely high yields with a quality hydroponic system.
Broccoli and cauliflower also can have impressive results in a hydroponic system if you pay attention to ventilation.
Q. My tent’s zipper isn’t working well. What can I do about it?
A. Zippers and their tracks are an area of weakness in a grow tent. It’s not unusual for grow tents to develop thin patches, torn stitches, and zippers with broken teeth. This structural damage can let light escape and allow pests inside. To keep your zippers working as smoothly as possible, wipe them or use a clean toothbrush to keep dirt and debris from getting stuck in the teeth or track. If a zipper is stuck, a small amount of wax or spray lubricant can help to solve the problem. Always be as gentle as possible with your zippers, especially if they’re stuck.
Q. How important is ventilation?
A. Compared to light and water, ventilation can be an afterthought, but it’s vital. Outdoors, plants have natural access to carbon dioxide, which they use to convert light into food. In a sealed environment, the oxygen plants release builds, with no way to replenish the carbon dioxide. If that isn’t enough of an issue, each leaf releases water into the air, increasing the humidity level. High humidity levels can stunt growth in some plants. Ventilation needs will vary depending on the tent you purchase and the plants you grow, but it can’t be forgotten.
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