For us, products must always come from trusted brands. For the past 25 years, Party Tents Direct has been one of the biggest retailers of industrial tents for weddings, festivals, and corporate events. They are a top-rated company that carries an excellent assortment of premium party tents in ubiquitous styles to suit various customer specifications. All frame tents from Party Tents Direct are made using high-quality, commercial-grade materials with excellent durability and brilliant canopy shelter designs.
The Weekender is named as such because of its perfect blend of commercial and recreational features, making it an ideal choice for everyday consumers looking to buy an affordable 20x20 tent.
It is easy to assemble and is lightweight relative to other options. It creates the ideal atmosphere for an array of outdoor events including weddings, parties, graduation celebrations, and more. Offering up to 400 square feet of shade and engineered specifically for at-home, backyard, or light-duty commercial use, it’s a great choice for a myriad of weekend occasions!
Type of Materials Used in This Tent
Material type and construction are important factors to consider for large pop up tents. The tent frame consists of eight separate side poles with a 1.25" diameter, which are made up of two pieces, as well as a thick 1.5" diameter center pole that is made up of four pieces. It's worth mentioning that in comparison to many 20x20 frames that are made entirely of 1.5" diameter poles, the use of 1.25" poles puts this frame at a disadvantage.
The poles are all made of galvanized steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion, and the fittings are manufactured with schedule 40 steel and finished with zinc plating. Each of the eight side poles is supported by an anchored guy line and ground stake, and the weight of the canvas adds additional reinforcement once the tent is fully assembled. The center pole supports the peak of the canopy, keeping the canvas taut and stabilizing the entire structure.
It is important to mention that while the center pole dramatically improves the stability of the overall canopy, it has some negative side effects. The most efficient table layout to maximize seating under a 20x20 tent is to have four 8’ diameter tables in each corner and one 8’ diameter directly in the middle. This center pole does not allow for the middle table, resulting in up to 10 lost seats. For that reason, center pole pop up tents might be best used with standing cocktail tables as opposed to large seating tables.
The Weekender uses a robust, translucent 14oz PVC vinyl material for the roof that is 100% waterproof and resistant to UV light, mold, mildew, and flames. The 14oz refers to the weight per square yard, which effectively means this is one heavy-duty tarp. PVC vinyl is a synthetic polymer well-known for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like rain, wind, and sunlight. We love that each of the four panels is double-stitched and bonded with 1” heat-sealed overlapped seams, ensuring that not even the smallest drop of water penetrates the stitching.
Roof Shape and Design
The 20x20 structure features a center peak roof design, creating a pyramid shape that peaks in the center at 12’ 9” and 7’ on the sides. The scalloped valances add an elegant factor and overhang the eaves by 10”, which makes head clearance approximately 6’2”. Aside from the more visually appealing design of a pyramid roof over a gable roof, there are also a few advantages to this style. The higher peak at the center provides more vertical space in the middle of the tent, creating a more spacious feeling for guests. Additionally, because the pyramid roof does not have a flat side it is more resistant to windy conditions than roofs with two flat sides. Lastly, because the gable shape is often associated with carports, the pyramid shape is preferred for formal outdoor events like weddings as it gives a more elegant aesthetic.
It is worth mentioning that the design of the center pole frame makes it more difficult to hang string lights across the interior of the tent. We love the warm and gentle atmosphere lights provide for evening weddings, but you might be limited to hanging the lights around the perimeter due to the lack of connection points needed to anchor the lights under the canopy.
We were incredibly pleased to discover that erecting this 20x20 tent is a manageable and straightforward process with just two people. First, we completely rolled out the canopy by pulling the material taut and laid each of the side poles next to the grommet openings of the canopy. Next, we hammered the anchoring stakes vertically into the ground approximately 3.5 feet from the canopy's edge, leaving 6” showing above the ground. It is important to note each corner will have two guy line anchors while the four middle poles will have just one.
Starting with the corner poles on the same side, we located the metal grommet holes and inserted the pole pin through both the grommet and double D-ring. While one person held the pole vertically, the other person tightened the guy ropes using the included plastic tension block. We repeated the steps when it was time for the side poles.
Lastly, we connected the center pole and placed the pole pin through the center grommet hole. It is important to not fully erect the center pole at this stage, rather keep it at an angle while you go back and secure the 8 side poles to ensure they are perpendicular to the ground. We raised the center pole vertically and hammered the last 6” of the stakes into the ground.
When the event is over and it is time to take the tent down, simply go through the same steps in reverse and you’ll be on your way.
Unique Features We Love
While this party tent does not come with sidewalls, they can be purchased separately on the Party Tents Direct website. They offer three different types of 20x7 sidewalls: solid white, two cathedral windows, or clear. Ropes are permanently installed on the inside of the valances to connect sides, and the walls easily clip onto the rope with plastic connectors. We love all three sidewall options and think the cathedral windows are a must-have on at least one side if you're buying for an outdoor wedding.
The feature that makes this 20x20 different from all others is that it only weighs 120 lbs, half the weight of alternative products that weigh 250 lbs. on average. Whereas those structures have interconnecting steel frames and support trusses contributing to their weight, the central pole design removes the need for an interconnected frame, leaving just the weight of the side poles and roof tarp.
This weekend-ready pole tent is great for shading and sheltering your friends and family. The sidewall-free design allows for airflow on hot days and offers plenty of shelter for large groups of people on rainy afternoons. If you’re hosting a large event and need to seat 50 people the center pole might reduce your table space so this might not be the best option for you. But if you’re looking for a lightweight, compact, and versatile pyramid-shaped tent for a backyard birthday party or community event at a local park, this tent is worth your consideration.