The Best Grow Tent: Grow Your Cannabis in the Perfect Environment
Growing cannabis is awesome!
If you have the best grow tent in your arsenal, your job will be that much easier.
Grow tents are a perfect way to conveniently add an isolated environment to any room in your home.
It’s also a lot more affordable that outfitting an entire room for growing and 10x safer than growing outdoors.
Today, I’ll show you how to choose a grow tent, all about setting it up and, of course, review all the best grow tents on the market.
Quick Top 5 Grow Tents:
*Keep reading for full reviews and a complete buying guide
Why Use a Grow Tent?
Grow tents are a great option for modern day growers.
Not only do they allow you to create an ideal environment for growing cannabis, but they're also easier to set up and much more user-friendly than a traditional garden.
Now while apartment dwellers can just line their closet with foil, throw up some lights and grow herb, it’s not going to produce the best buds possible.
Grow tents allow you to completely control the humidity, temperature and light—all of which are vital to growing marijuana.
Even if you don’t live in an apartment, growing outdoors is risky.
A lot of us may live in a legal state now, but that’s not going to stop someone from jumping your fence to steal your hard work.
It also allows for maneuverability.
If you move, you can load up your grow tent and move shop.
How to Pick Your Tent
There’s not really much to a grow tent, but there are a few things you want to acquaint yourself first before you buy one.
You’re going to want purchase a size that will work with the amount of area you have, while also taking account how many plants you want to grow.
Measured in feet or inches, you can get grow tents in various sizes from 2’x2’x4’ to massive tents that are 8’x6’x7’.
To control the environment perfectly, you need the tent to be light-proof.
This is also a discretion concern.
If you’re trying to grow without anyone knowing (which you should always be doing) then you don’t want light to be shining through your tent.
And you don't want light sneaking in to mess up your plants flowering stage.
This is usually shown as a percentage, and it’s used to demonstrate how reflective the inside of the tent is.
You want high reflection so that light can reach even your bottom buds.
Plus, it helps conserve energy and requires you to use less light to achieve more results.
The old school way has always been foil or white paper, but grow tents use materials like Mylar.
True, you can get ventilation with a regular fan or even opening up the tent, but that’s not what we're going for.
We want to create an optimal environment.
To do this, you need a grow tent with plenty of ways to set up your exhaust fans.
Related reading on ventilation:
Grow tent frames come in many forms.
The best, however, are going to be metal.
You need a frame that will stand up to the weights of all your lights and ventilation system.
- Heavy-Duty Zipper
If you get a grow tent with a janky zipper, it’s going to be hard to maintain the environment.
You’ll have light leaks, air leaks and not to mention smell leaks.
Zippers are something you want to make sure the manufacturer isn’t being cheap about.
What Should Come in a Pre-Built Package?
To put it simply: everything you need to grow.
Here is a quick run down of the minimum you should expect from a complete grow tent package:
- Grow Tent
- Grow Light, Full Spectrum
- Inline Exhaust Fan
- Carbon Filter
- Fan Speed Controller
- Clip Fan (circulation fan)
- Heavy Duty Light Hangers
- Thermo-Hygrometer (monitors temperature and humidity)
- Digital Timer
Some kits even go so far as to give you pots, soil and nutrients.
And, some hydroponic specific kits give you everything for the hydro set up too.
The larger the kit, the larger the price tag, though.
Also, you don’t need to buy a kit—everything you need can be bought piece by piece.
If you go this route you have a little bit more control over what goes in the tent and you don’t have to cough up a large lump sum to get started.
You can buy the essentials and then slowly add to the tent and upgrade your equipment.
How Should you Set Your Tent Up
You'll want to bookmark this page and use this brief overview on setting up your grow tent.
Keep in mind, grow tent setup starts before you even buy your tent.
You need to plan where you’re going to place the tent in your home, and make sure that you have plenty of room to run ducting.
This means you can’t cram a grow tent in an area that’s just big enough to hold it.
Assemble the Tent
Every grow tent is different, but in general the assembly is this:
- Connect the frame work together
- Pull the canvas over the frame and zip it up
- Place the floor tray in the bottom of the tent
- Fit the ceiling hanging bars inside the tent
Once you have the tent put together, you can now move on to the fun stuff.
You’re going to want a light that can provide enough light for the square footage of your grow tent.
The formula for lumens per sq ft
Square Footage of Your Canopy Area (at plant per 4 square foot)
2000 lumens = Required lumens for your area
The formula for watts per sq ft
Square Footage of Your Canopy Area (at plant per 4 square foot)
32 watts = Required wattage for your area
Ideally, your grow tents hanging bars will be adjustable.
This is because you want the lights to only be about 6-12” away from your cannabis at any given time.
If they are too far away from your plants, they will stretch out to far trying too reach for the light source.
To set your lights up in your grow tent:
- Check to make sure the plug is properly grounded and the correct voltage.
- Decide on the cord ports you will use.
- Hang the light on the crossbar and adjust it to the correct height.
- Set your timer up with the correct “on” and “off” times (24 hr light for veg 12/12 for flower) and plug the timer into the socket.
- Pull the lamp cord through the grow tent port and plug the light into the timer.
You need to be providing fresh air to your plants if you want them to grow up healthy.
But it goes beyond that:
You need to provide proper filtration to make sure you’re giving them clean air AND killing the odor.
Your tents air should be replaced at least every 5 minutes that the lights are on.
Not only to bring in the fresh air but also to replenish CO2.
The equation can get a little complicated when it comes to ventilation.
Because CFM can be affected by so many variables like the lengths of the duct and even its path.
CFM - This refers to the amount of cubic feet per minute your fan can move.
So, to replace the air every five minutes you need your CFM needs to equal the volume of your grow tent divided by 5.
If your grow tent is 4x4x4 it has a volume of 64 feet.
Divide 64 by 5, and you get 12.8—anything less than this and your will be doing your garden a huge disservice.
Keep in mind, this is the bare minimum, and many growers opt for every 3 minutes all the way to 3-5 times PER minute.
The set up can be done in a number of different ways.
Here are a couple of examples
If one of your top priorities is dealing with the smell of your garden, then running both the filter and fan inside the tent will work best.
But if you want more room inside the tent, or your grow tent doesn’t have the structures in place to run them inside, you can run them both on the outside of your tent with just duct running out of your tent.
Again, it’s all just what works best for YOU.
How Many Plants in a 3x3 Grow Tent?
Ideally, you want to give each plant about 4 sq ft.
This, however, is not always feasible.
Especially when you’re growing in a grow tent that is only 3'x3'.
If you did, you’d only be able to grow two plants.
But growing in a tent, you’re able to get away with a little less space per plant.
In a 3x3 grow tent you can grow at max 4 plants in rows of two.
Putting four in the tent will hinder their size, though.
So, ultimately, it will depend on if you'd rather grow two large plants or four medium-size plants.
We recommend testing both these methods and seeing which one yields more cannabis.
How Many Plants Can I Legally Grow?
You don’t want to get caught not knowing the law, and, even though growing cannabis is legal in quite a few states, there is still strict regulations surrounding it.
And another thing, even though you can legally obtain cannabis in 28 states, there is only a few you can grow in.
So, please, don’t just assume that if you can carry or smoke marijuana that you can legally grow it.
Here are the states and a brief rundown of how many you can grow in your grow tent:
Washington D.C - Every medical marijuana patient is entitled to grow up to 15 plants each.
California - You can possess no more than six plants regardless of their stage in the growing process.
Colorado - Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
Alaska - Six plants growing at a time with no more than half flowering at the same time.
Oregon - It doesn't matter what stage they are you’re allowed four plants per home, total.
Sadly, if you’re not in one of these states, you can’t legally grow your own cannabis!
How to Keep Grow Tent Cool?
Since your grow tent in an enclosed area, you might have a problem keeping it cool.
And if you have any experience growing in a tent, you know it can be a challenge to keep it cool.
- Run your lights at night - Since the temperature in your grow tent is going to be influenced by the temperature outside the tent, run your lamps (which permeate heat) at night when it’s cooler outside.
- Turn half your lights off - If you’re experiencing a temporary heat wave, you can use this method to simulate an overcast day in your grow tent—a much better alternative to scorching your plants.
- Try adding A/C - There are plenty of portable A/C units that can fit in your grow tent. If you live in the south or other hot areas, during the summer this may be your only option. Remember, you can’t cool hot air with more hot air.
- Point a fan on your light - This can help keep the light cooler, which is the primary source of heat.
Another way to keep your grow tent cool is bringing the air in through ice.
Sounds messy, I know, but It’s a quick fix that is easy to set up.
You can get the run down in this video:
When deciding which grow tent to put at the top of our list, we took a lot of factors into consideration.
Including quality, specs and price.
While the Apollo Grow Tent might not be the best in every category, it’s solid in them all.
Plus, with Apollo, you're getting a brand name that it known in the growing space for quality products including lights, charcoal filters and inline fans.
As far as the tent goes, you couldn’t ask for a better starter grow tent that.
It has a durable metal frame and thick fabric that’s double stitched to prevent any light leaks or climate leaks.
The Apollo Grow Tent is lined with a mylar film that is not only highly reflective but also 100% light proof and tear-proof.
They guarantee 92-97% reflection from your grow lights which saves energy while also getting light to the backside of your buds.
The kit also includes a removable mylar floor tray and a couple of filter straps.
The zippers are thick and heavy-duty, but not as airtight as you’d hope.
If you look closely, you might see some light leaking through them.
Although not enough to spot the tent in a dark room.
One of the best aspects of this tent is how customizable it is.
With a bunch of six-inch ports, a few two-inch ports and three screened Velcro sealable openings you can hook up any number of fans, filters and lights.
And the frame is sturdy enough to handle a couple of lights and a couple of fans—maybe even more.
Overall, this tent is a great deal for anyone looking to delve into the world of grow tents.
- Plenty of customizable portals
- Thick, tear-proof material
- Available in many sizes (can grow around 6 plants in the 48”x48”)
- Light leaks through zippers slightly
The Best Grow Tents 2018
Gorilla Grow Tents—the leading brand in the industry.
They make their money by providing high-quality grow tents.
The only reason this grow tent didn't make the top of the list was the price.
As far as materials, features and overall quality this thing is the best grow tent there is.
This grow tent was also made with the cannabis grower in mind with features like an infrared blocking roof insertion 😉 that works to keep the surface temperature cool making it easier to maintain temps.
It also comes with a free 12” height extension kit!
Which allows this tent to be set at either 7’, 8’, 9’ or 10’ tall.
So, if you want to grow bigger plants you no longer have to buy a new grow tent.
Its frame is 100% interlocking metal that can hold up to a whopping 300lbs!
This tent is loaded with features like an EZ view window to see your plants without disturbing the environment and a large layout to be able to move around freely in the tent.
Its made from a thick material and dense threading to help combat smell and noise from leaking out.
Not to mention a flood pool, diamond reflection technology, double cinching ducting ports, a tool pouch and bug resistant pre-filters.
The biggest downside to the grow tent in the price.
If you’re just looking for a good grow tent to grow cannabis with, you can get that done at a much cheaper price point.
While a tent like this might last a few more grows then the others, it’ll ultimately be up to you to decide if you want to invest in a longer-lasting, higher quality tent or spend that money on better lights and fans.
- Free 12” height extension kit
- Frame withstands up to 300lbs
- Loaded with features and quality
- Price might be hard to justify for the average cannabis grower
iPower is another leader in the growing industry making all kinds of gear that makes a grower's life easier.
This grow tent is no exception.
The mylar interiors reflects 95% of light and thanks to its steel frame it’s sturdy as all get out.
You can hang any number of lights and fans from its support beams.
Heck, they claim you can hang up to 110lbs from them, though that’s a whole lot of lights.
It comes with a water resistant spill tray which makes watering your cannabis nothing to sweat.
And it comes with multiple fully adjustable vent doors.
Plus, double duct doors that block out the light while allowing you full customization over your exhaust system.
The zippers are the biggest downside to this grow tent.
There are a lot of zippers on this beast, and some don’t do a great job containing the light.
And they have to be reset fairly frequently, which is nothing but a pain.
- 95% of light is reflected
- 110 lb rated steel frame
- Double duct doors
- Zippers aren’t that light proof
- Zippers need to be reset often
The Vivisun Grow Tent is an excellent way to get your toes wet in the world of growing.
At one of the most affordable prices on our list, it’s a great beginner grow tent.
It also comes with a couple features you don’t see in a lot of grow tents—namely, the observation window.
This is an excellent feature that allows you to peer into your grow tent and scan over your plants without disrupting the environment.
It’s also made from a very thick canvas that’s both tear proof and double stitched.
Its sturdy metal frame is easy to put together and can stand up to any fans and grow lights you want to hang from it.
They claim to have the best zipper on the market.
And they deliver.
It uses an SBS zipper that’s a very high-quality but a tad cumbersome.
You might need to oil the track, though, which can easily be done with some WD-40 or even running a cheap candle along it.
The inside is lined with mylar that is 95% reflective and the tool bag on the wall is a perfect spot for your pH meter, spray bottles or any other gardening tools you want quick access too.
- Best zipper around
- Price point
- Observational window for quick access to plants
- Might want to oil zipper track
- Prone to pinhole size light leaks
Gorilla Grow Tents—the leading brand in the industry.
Hence why you see them on this list so often.
This is the model they made with the price conscious customer in mind.
That being said, it still has all the features that you’d want from a Gorilla.
It comes with a 100% steel interlocking frame and a huge easy to use zipper.
Also, it comes loaded with tool pouches and 10" double cinching ducting ports.
And, thanks to the large EZ View window, you can always keep an eye on you cannabis.
Another great feature of this grow tent is the 360° access you have thanks to the doorways and wrap around zippers.
You’re not going to going to get a grow tent that’s 100% light proof.
And this is not exception—don’t be surprised when light leaks sneak up around the zipper seams and the stitching.
- Loaded with tool pouches and ducting ports
- EZ View window
- High-quality zipper
- Light leaks around zipper seams and stitching
Let’s face it, we're not all made of money.
And, some of us need to grow our marijuana on a budget.
That is where a good, albeit small, grow tent like the value box comes in.
With it being only a couple of feet wide, you’re only going to be able to grow one plant in it, but even that one plant can yield a lot of bud if grown well.
Another great use for a tent like this is a tent for your seedlings or clones.
The only reason it’s price is so low is the size, because it’s not lacking in any of the features or in quality that you’d want from a grow tent.
99% reflective mylar and a metal frame.
Plus a nice viewing window and a water resistant mylar spill tray.
And it comes with multiple exhaust and duct posts—making controlling the environment a breeze.
- Best grow tent for the money
- Able to fit in anyone's closet
- Perfect for your seedling or clone tent
- Can only fit at most a couple of plants in it
There are a ton of grow tents on the market, and in the end, any number of them will work for you.
Just remember, to pick out the best grow tent for your needs:
- Dimensions that will work for your house or apartment
- A tent that is at least mostly light-proof
- 95%+ reflection
- Plenty of ventilation ports to control temp and odor
- A sturdy metal frame that can withstand your lights
- High-quality, heavy-duty zippers
You just have to find the balance between price and features that will work for your cannabis grow op.
Do you have a favorite grow tent? Or have any question?
Please, let us know in the comments!
Last update on 2018-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API