Written by Terry Smith
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Best grow tents [UK]: Top indoor, hydroponic, grow tent kits reviewed and compared
This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 2:09 am
While grow tents aren’t a necessity for growing plants and vegetables indoors, they certainly make things easier, more efficient, and give you the opportunity to grow your botanical favourites all year round.
With the best grow tents there is no worrying about the things you can’t control, such as the weather, and instead you have much more say in how much light, darkness, and humidity your plants are exposed to, and you can even control the air quality with the aid of a few extra bits of kit.
If you just glance at the grow tents for sale online, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re all the same, but there are differences, both big and small, that you should be aware of and that’s why we are here today.
PRO TIP: Some grow tents aren’t capable of handling the size LED light you may want. That’s why I picked you the Marshydro as this is a complete kit with a big light suitable for almost any application as well as ventilation for serious indoor growing!
Best grow tent reviews- here are our picks for the best grow tents at the present time:
Marshydro grow tent – best grow tent kit
Cool grows grow tent – best small grow tent
Rimarup grow tent – good for someone really serious about indoor growing
Gorilla grow tent – best Gorilla grow tent option for the UK
GA grow tent – best alternative grow tent for large projects
How to choose the best grow tent for your needs
Later in this article we review a selection of the best-selling Hydroponic grow tents currently on the market. But, before that, we’d like to point out a few things you should keep in mind while considering which grow tent, you’ll be spending your money on.
What size and shape of grow tent should I buy?
Just like with greenhouses, planters, and propagators, grow tents are available in all sorts of sizes. There are smaller tents that will sit in the corner of the room and not obstruct anything, all the way up to very large tents that can house multiple plants containers at a time and will probably need a spare room of their own.
Deciding on what size to buy all comes down to a mix of what you want to grow (and how much of it), and how much available space you have. You’ll need to grab your tape measure and figure out what the maximum size is that you can fit in your designated area. Please don’t forget to measure the height, as that is just as important as width and depth, and take into consideration that your grow lights will have to hang with a space between them and the plants below.
You’ll also need to work out enough space around the intended tent for you to be able to access the zips, and also for inserting things into the ducting ports. This is often overlooked, leaving the buyer frustrated after setting up and realising there isn’t enough room for them to actually work with the tent.
When it comes to shape, most grow tents are either square or rectangular, but there are some models out there that are designed to fit into corners or that have sloped tops instead of being flat. These are not as common though, so I’d make measurements for either a square or rectangular grow tent.
What are the benefits of using a grow tent?
In my humble opinion, the benefits of using a grow tent indoors far outweigh the negatives. In fact, the only downsides I can see is that they aren’t the cheapest things in the world, and you need a bit of space to house them. Apart from that, it’s all pros. Let’s have a closer look at them…
Grow tents ‘trap’ light
One of the biggest benefits of grow tents is that they ‘trap’ the light inside them. Usually, some of the light from your LED, HPS, etc. grow lights will be spread out away from the plants and won’t be absorbed by them.
However, as the inside walls of grow tents are lined with mylar. Aluminium, or some other reflective and insulating material, that light is ‘bounced’ back, giving the plant a better chance of catching it second time around. Mylar lined walls will reflect over 90% of light that would otherwise have dispersed elsewhere. Just think about how efficient that makes these grow tents.
Another advantage of the light being contained within the tent, is that it is not bothering anyone. This means that you could have a small grow tent right there in the living room, all zipped up, and it wouldn’t make any difference to your partner, housemate, or family, while they watch the telly.
Grow tents give you more control
As everything is contained within a relatively small area, it is much easier to control the growing environment. Take for example things like temperature, in an open space it is quite difficult to keep a constant temperature around the plants, but within a grow tent it is much more viable.
The same goes for humidity, as you can use the built-in air vents or buy a dehumidifier to control that quite easily. You could even set it up that the air that flows into the tent is filtered if you think your plants will benefit from that.
You can create total darkness
To grow optimally, plants need spells of darkness as it helps to stabilise their metabolism. Out in nature this is of course provided by the day and night cycle of the earth. In a grow tent, you need only switch the grow lights off and zip her up, and your plants will be left in total darkness for as long as you want.
Grow tents aren’t permanent structures
One of the best things about grow tents is that they are a doddle to set up and just as easy to disassemble. It’s not like a greenhouse which takes quite a while to build and take down. You can pop your tent up when you feel like growing, and if you fancy taking a break, or you’re getting grief from your better half, just pack it away until you need it again. Most of these products are pretty durable, and will not suffer from being boxed up for a while.
See? I told you the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
Other things to think about when buying a grow tent
I know we’ve already covered a lot, but here’s a couple of other things to keep in mind when deciding on your purchase.
The stability of your tent will basically come down to the frame, which just like other tents, will be made up of poles. The size and thickness of these poles, plus the materials they are made from will all affect the overall sturdiness of your grow tent., pretty obvious and simple stuff, but worth mentioning anyway.
The number of poles is important too. If you are going to buy a large grow tent, especially a long rectangular one, you should make sure there are central support poles so that the roof doesn’t sag in the middle.
Ducting ports are something found on all grow tents, but they can be various sizes and some are better sealed then others. Think about how you would insert things like cables for your equipment and ventilation ducts in a specific tent, and then the space you intend to put it in. if they pose no problems, then great, but always consider things first.
Something that is often overlooked is the importance of having good quality zips. As these are the moving parts that you will be using the most often, having zips that are smooth in operation, and will not be breaking off in your hand or getting stuck anytime soon, should be right at the top of your ‘things to check’ list.
One last thing to consider is how much weight a tent can handle. You will be using equipment such as lights and ventilation equipment, so make sure the tent you buy can handle it.
1. MARSHYDRO Grow Tent Kit
Getting the best results from your hydroponic growing efforts takes a bit more than just popping up a tent in your spare room. To really impress friends and family with your green thumbs, you’ll need a few extra pieces of equipment.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about what those pieces of equipment are, as MarsHydro have already compiled some ready to buy kits that include everything you could need, and will help you start off your grow tent journey on the right track.
We had a look at their TS600 kit, as it was the most affordable for people new to using grow tents, to see what you got for your money, and basically to see whether it was worth it.
Included in the kit is a 2ft-by-2ft MarsHydro grow tent, a TS600W grow light, 4” carbon filter, 4” inline duct fan with speed controller, 33ft of flex ducting, a timer, a humidity thermometer, 4×5 gallon grow bags, adjustable rope hangers, and duct clamps.
I’ve always liked MarsHydro tents, and count them amongst the best you can buy for the money. This one is no exception and is made from double stitched, and very durable 1680D canvas, and has the same smooth and strong zips as you would expect from a MarsHydro grow tent. Inside is lined with high quality mylar which is used to reflect light back onto the plants, and the metal frame can handle loads up to 40kg.
The TS600W grow light has 225 LEDs, including some IR LEDs, and has a high lumen output but has been designed so as to not burn through electricity and save you a shock when the bills arrive. The grow lamp’s reflective hood also helps with the overall energy efficiency, with marsHydro claiming it saves up to 20% of light that would normally be wasted.
Everything else in the kit works well, from the timer and fan, to the speed controller and carbon filter, although I couldn’t find instructions for some of the items. Obviously, this wasn’t exactly helpful, but luckily, there are lots of videos and info online to show you how to do it all if you’re new to the game.
To sum it all up, I’d say this is a great beginners grow tent kit. It has everything you need to get started, and the equipment is all decent quality and should last a while. There are more expensive versions of this kit available with stronger grow lights and a bigger tent. So, if you have the money to spare, you might want to think about that but it all depends on what, and how much, you intend to grow.
- Includes everything you require to get started, no need to aste time shopping for other equipment
- High-quality MarsHydro tent with 1680D canvas material
- TS600W grow light with 225 LEDs, including IR LEDs
- Energy efficient equipment will save you money on your bills
- Instructions weren’t very helpful. Luckily the internet came to the rescue with videos like this one…
2. Cool Grows Mylar Grow Tent with Observation Window and Floor Tray
Small but mighty is how I would best describe the 24” x 24” 36” Cool Grows hydroponic tent. It is perfect for people living in flats or homes where there isn’t a ton of free space, but who still want a top-notch bit of kit to grow their favoured plants in.
Despite its smaller dimensions, Cool Grows have not scrimped on the quality of this grow tent, and it features many of the same things found on their larger products, or on other popular, high-end grow tents that cost a lot more.
For example, the frame is made of steel rather than the plastic that is sometimes used with lower-cost grow tents, giving this product a lot of stability. Not only that, but the pieces all click together without the need for tools, so you can have it up and be growing in no time, even though the instructions could be much better.
Other quality of life features such as dual ventilation socks and a removable floor tray are always welcome, and it’s good to see them integrated here. Carbon filter belts are included in the box, and they too are good quality, as are the zips, and the oxford cloth exterior material.
By the way, if you’re wondering what the mylar lining on the inside of a grow tent looks like, here’s photo for you-
The interior is lined with mylar, and it does a cracking job of keeping the light contained inside the grow tent. If you really go over the whole tent with a magnifying glass, Sherlock Holmes style, you might find the odd tiny pinhole, but that could be said for most grow tents.
If you want to check on how your ‘babies’ are growing, without disturbing them too much or flooding the room with UV, there is a good-sized observation window situated on the side of the tent, complete with roll-down shutters.
For those of you who have more space at home, this same tent is available in larger sizes, all the way up to 96 x 48 x 80”, and the high-quality remains the same throughout the range. As for folks looking for the best small grow tent out there, you could do a lot worse than this one.
- Quick and easy to assemble and strong metal frames
- Compact and will be easy to find space for at home
- Available in larger sizes if required
- Overall, good quality for the price
- Some small pinholes of light leakage
3. AC Infinity CLOUDLAB 642 Advance Grow Tent
One of the main advantages of using an indoor, hydroponic, grow tent is that you can effectively ‘seal’ the light within the tent, which, when combined with reflective inner walls, helps your plants to soak up as much energy from your grow lights as possible.
Not only that, but for reasons we talked about earlier, i.e. not annoying the people you live with, you really want that light to be sealed in, without any leaks. This is why it’s really important that the grow tent you choose has a thick and robust outer layer, a lightproof middle layer, and of course, the all-important reflective inner one.
The AC infinity Cloudlab has all three of these, and the 2000D fabric used for the outside is very high density indeed. On top of these three layers, this grow tent has been given ribbon stitching around one of the other points light sometimes leaks- the zips.
Duct ports on the Cloudlab are all double cinched and so they close on both sides, to really trap that light where you need it. However, there were one or two tiny points around the edges where a leak could be detected. They were tiny, and very few, but present nonetheless.
One feature I liked about this grow tent was the aluminium plate on the side that you can use to mount your controller on later. Your controller will have to be bought separately, but I liked that there was a little forward thinking there, and a place set aside for it.
I also thought the metal frame was decent too, and the 22mm metal poles felt more than strong enough to keep the tent upright and sturdy. AC infinity claims it can handle loads up to 150lbs, and although I didn’t test it to that limit, I would believe it.
With the usual extras like a waterproof floor tray, viewing window, etc. and a competitive price tag, the AC Infinity Cloudlab is definitely worthy of consideration as a first grow tent. I did notice that the mylar on the inside could be scraped off if you are a clumsy git like myself, but nothing out of the ordinary there.
- 2000D fabric used for the outer walls is very thick and dense
- 22mm metal poles used for the frame make this one of the strongest in its price range
- Very good at trapping light inside, with very little leakage
- Features an aluminium plate for mounting a controller
- Mylar could be easy to scratch off, so you need to be careful.
Here’s how you set this grow tent up, for those who are interested-
4. RIMARUP Grow Tent Oxford Hydro Greenhouse
Not everyone has over 150 quid to spend on their first grow tent, and not many want to spend that much at first. This is completely understandable, and I get that some just want to ‘get their feet wet’ with something less expensive at first, and then upgrade later.
For these reasons, I’ve included a few lower-cost grow tents in this list, and this one from Rimarup is one of the better models when you take everything into account. Is it perfect? No, but I could say that about products that cost double what this one does. Is it good? I would definitely say yes.
Let me first just point out the few things where the lower cost can be seen, and then we’ll move onto the positives. There is some slight light leakage from the zip. It isn’t terrible, but it is there due to the stitching not being the highest quality around those parts. The same type of stitching is around the viewing window too, but there weren’t any problems there on the model that I played around with.
The 600D Oxford polyester material that the tent is made from is actually pretty decent, and the steel tubes for the frame are up to the job. Some of them were a bit of a tight fit when assembling the frame, but if you don’t rush, you’ll be fine.
Like with the AC Infinity product, which is far more expensive by the way, you will have to be careful not to scrape the mylar of the inner walls, but the double layered duct ports felt nice and secure.
Even though this is a budget grow tent, you still get features like the removable floor tray, multiple viewing windows, filter straps, and an integrated tool bag for storing the hand tools you use most often. The tent is also a decent size for the price at 80 x80 x 160cm.
I guess my only real issue with this grow tent is the lower-quality stitching in some places. Apart from that, it’s a really good product for the money. You want better? Then I’m afraid you’ll have to pay more to get it.
- Excellent low-cost option for beginner growers who don’t want to spend too much
- Still has features like a removable floor tray, double cinched ports, and other things found in more expensive products.
- At 80 x 80 x 1600cm, you’re getting a lot of tent for the money.
- Although 6000D isn’t the thickest material out there these days, it is still very durable
- Frame was a little hard to slide together at times, but manageable.
As I said, this is a good tent for a beginner, so why not get yourself started like this person did…?
Grow tent progress – first timer pic.twitter.com/0k47oc6plA
— Cloud architect guy (he/him) (@NSFWSec) October 19, 2021
Gorilla grow tents are well known for being some of the best you buy, provided you are willing to dip your hands a bit deeper in your pockets. That is.
This 4ft x 4ft grow tent gives you plenty of room to grow whatever you like in there, and extremely strong, 19mm steel poles ensure that the tent will keep its shape no matter what. In fact, these poles can handle a lot of weight, so if you’re planning on using a large grow light and other pieces of equipment that will need to be supported by a decent frame, this is one of the tents to be looking at.
This Gorilla tent is excellent at trapping light inside, and I could hardly find any signs of leaks. What’s more, the outer layer felt fairly cool to the touch, thanks to the roof which has been designed to block infrared, and the thick 1680D sides.
Large, metal, zips are just another sign of quality on this grow tent, as are the very well made, double cinching, duct ports, and a flood pool that actually works as well as it should. Even the mylar coating on the inside just seems better done, as does the stitching around viewing windows, seams, and the tool pouch.
If I was going to knock a point off for anything, I guess it’d have to be the assembly part. It isn’t impossible, or even that difficult to be honest, it just takes a while if you do it on your own, and the instructions were terrible, so get someone to help you, that’s my advice.
Another great grow tent from the Gorilla brand featuring some nice ideas and innovations. Are those innovations worth spending all that extra money? Well, that all depends on how serious you take your indoor growing, your financial situation, and a ton of other factors. I will say though, it is a cracking grow tent.
- High quality grow tent from a trusted brand
- Very strong and sturdy frame that can handle a lot of equipment
- Great insulation, thanks to infrared blocking roof design
- 1680D fabric on outside, good quality mylar on the inside, and good stitching throughout
- Might be too pricey for some people’s tastes, but here’s a photo of what you get for your money-
6. GA Grow Tent
Looking for a larger grow tent but don’t want to spend a fortune? As long as you’re ok with the odd minor flaw, this product from Green Architecture (GA) could be just the thing for you.
You’re probably wondering what minor flaws I’m talking about so I’ll start of with them. They’re pretty much the same things you get with all cheaper grow tents: some light leakage from small pinholes, usually around the flaps and zips.
It is also a little tricky to get the material around the frame towards the end. Again, a common problem with lower budget models and not a deal breaker, just a bit frustrating if trying to handle it alone.
Other than those, I don’t have anything but good things to say about GA’s grow tent. First of all, its size comes in very handy for growing multiple plants at once and having a bit of space to move around comfortably while working on them.
A lot of people don’t factor in that last part when they are buying a grow tent and then find themselves making mistakes and even damaging the plants because of a lack of room. A tent this size will give you enough space for plenty of plants, your equipment, and you. Just make sure you’ve got an empty spare room to house it.
The thickness of the outer material isn’t as thick as the stuff found on the Gorilla, MarsHydro, or AC Infinity products we reviewed, but that’s to be expected due to the price difference in relation to size. However, it definitely isn’t going to tear easily, and will last you if you take care of it.
The lichee mylar inner walls are actually good quality, and the 19mm metal frame poles aren’t bad at all. I mentioned some problems with assembly earlier, but actually getting the frame together was the easy part, so I can’t complain there.
This GA grow tent has all the usual things you’d expect: viewing windows with flaps, duct ports that seal well, floor tray, carbon filter belts, and tool pouch. I wasn’t unhappy with any of them apart from some very small light leakage around the flaps, and I can honestly say that I think that a grow tent this size, for the current price, is a pretty good deal.
- A large tent for growing multiple plants at once
- Very competitively priced
- Good quality Mylar inner walls
- Solid 19mm steel poles for the frame
- Outer material isn’t as thick as some of the products featured here