What is a Grow Tent?
To all intents and purposes a grow tent is the same as a grow box in that it is a self contained indoor growing space that allows you to create the perfect environment for your strong and healthy marijuana plants.
The only real difference between a grow tent and a grow box is that grow tents, as the name suggests, are made from fabric stretched over a framework of poles. This means they are much more versatile and transportable than grow boxes because you are able to fold them away. This is handy if you ever have to move your grow op, or if you are an occasional grower and want to dismantle your grow tent between grows.
The downside is that grow tents can be structurally weaker than grow boxes. There are many stories on the online marijuana forums about cheap, value range grow tents that have collapsed under the weight of grow lights and ventilation equipment, squashing plants underneath. This is potentially worse than it sounds because not only have you broken the tent, the lights and your beloved marijuana plants. You also face a very real risk of fire, especially if you are running an HID lighting system.
Of course, most grow tents are well made and perfect for the job. The top of the range tents are often massively over engineered for the amount of equipment people use. Even run-of-the-mill, mid-range tents are easily up to the job. Just try and avoid very cheap tents from eBay or other bargain sites.
The fabric used in grow tent construction is normally a heavy duty Oxford canvas. This is usually laminated for stiffness and waterproofing, and then backed by a reflective surface; sometimes white, sometimes Mylar.
Putting together your grow tent is really easy and the whole thing can be up in minutes. Poles just slip together to form the frame and then the skin is pulled over the top. There will be bars that run across the top that are for hanging your lights and fans from. You can use whatever type of lighting you want; LED, HID or CFL.
Grow tent features
When choosing a new grow tent it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between them. On the surface they mostly look like big black boxes. Some of the features you should be looking for include:
- Fire and tear resistant – Now the prime concern is getting a tent that is not flammable. If a light fall off or water gets on electrics while you are away causing a fire then expect the police and fireman to be at your front door when you get home.
- Light tight – It is important that your tent is light tight. It’s not just about losing valuable light to the exterior either; the last thing that stealth growers need is shafts of bright light coming from their attic/basement/garage;
- Quality zips – The quality of the zips is crucial. The zips are the components that get the most usage, being opened every day, sometimes more than once per day. Because the taught canvas helps hold your tent in shape, a burst zip can ruin not only the light integrity of your tent, but its structural integrity as well;
- Robust corners – The corners of your grow tent take the weight and hold the frame in place. It is essential that they are strong and well made;
- Strong poles – height adjustment – The poles of your grow tent need to be able to take the weight of lights and fans without buckling. Metal poles are best, especially steel. Also look out for height adjustment models;
- Ventilation – exhaust ports – Tents that offer several different ventilation panels and intake/outtake ports allow you to be more versatile with your set up. Good ventilation is one of the key requirements to successful marijuana growing;
- Cord ports – A place to run electrical and other cords through is also very useful and is what makes a tent last the distance compared to cheaper models;
- Strong fabric – The stronger the fabric the better really, it helps keep noise to a minimum, odor down and pests and disease out. It also means that an accidental light or hydro system falling over won’t rip the tent apart.
There are also a number of additional features included with some grow tents that you should look out for:
- Removable floor insert – This creates an extra precaution against large spills. Like a large watertight tray it lines the bottom of the grow tent and will contain any flood water and prevent it from flowing outside the tent;
- Observation windows – This allows you to have a look inside the tent without unzipping the doors. This is especially useful if you use CO2 augmentation and don’t want all that CO2 to come flooding out when you open the door;
- Pockets – Pouches and pockets for storing equipment can be very convenient. Great for keeping PPM/pH meters, pens, scissors, magnifiers and those other small pieces of kit that you are always misplacing;
- Net trellis – A net trellis will help to support plants when they get heavy with buds, enabling you to grow bigger, fatter flowers.
How many plants fit in my grow tent?
Grow tents come in a huge choice of sizes, from tiny models for just a couple of plants, to room sized, commercial set ups that would supply a small ganja loving army.
How many plants you fit into your grow tent is dependent totally on the marijuana strains that you are growing and the growing methods that you use. You will obviously be able to fit in a lot more plants in using the Sea of Green method than you will if you are using the Screen of Green method.
As a rough guide, you should consider that the maximum plant density you get in an SOG set up is likely to be around 1 per 6” X 6” (15cm X 15cm) square. Therefore, the maximum amount of plants that you will fit in a variety of tent sizes is as follows:
2’ X 2’ – 16 plants 5’ X 5’ – 80 plants
2’ X 4’ – 32 plants 6’ X 6’ – 144 plants
4’ X 4’ – 64 plants 6’ X 8’ – 172 plants
4’ X 6’ – 96 plants 8’ X 8’ – 256 plants
Remember, these numbers are the absolute maximum and would depend on you using every square inch of floor space and require you to light the tent equally across the whole of the footprint area. In a real growing situation you would be unlikely to have as many plants as this in your tent.
When working out the plant capacity for a tent, or any growing area for that matter, we traditionally only work from the floor space available. There are ways of making better use of the vertical space available, such as fitting shelves or using vertical marijuana growing systems.
As a rule, grow tents are usually box shaped with a square or rectangular base and/or sides. There are a couple of exceptions to this, including the Roof Qube from Green Qube, which has a sloping roof and has been especially designed to make the best use of attic spaces. Similar models are available from other manufacturers, including Grow Cube.
Grow tent brands
One of the best ways to ensure the quality of your grow tent is to purchase a recognized brand name with a good reputation amongst the marijuana growing community. There are lots of good grow tent manufacturers around. We don’t recommend one over the other, but you might want to take a look at the grow tents provided by these companies:
- Grow Cube – Designed for professionals, with strong quality control and strong engineering. Velcro door holders, corner flaps, zip flaps, vents and ports for exhaust and electrical these are great tents. They offer the Grow Cube ‘Classic Range’, the Grow Cube Pro range and Loft Tent range.
- Secret Jardin – These are worldwide manufacturers of grow tents. High light proofing using 95% reflecting Mylar, very compatible with hydro system and th material is washable.
- Oasis – They always go for extra large air and light tight zippers, door and windows are designed so they do not have to rolled up, ducts have canvas around them for added toughness and offer steel poles.
- AgroMax – These are another tent brand to consider.
Grow tent kits
Some grow tents are just that, a standalone tent for you to put your own plants and equipment into. Others come as complete kits, just like the hydroponic grow box kits, except they are pliable and portable.
Buying a complete grow tent system is an ideal choice for a new grower as it will contain everything you need to get you started out growing your first crop of marijuana. If you already have some equipment, or are on a tight budget and need to build your system as you go, then a simple grow tent is a good idea for you, you can add more grow lights and ventilation as and when you are able.
If you are starting from scratch and can afford to pay for convenience then you should consider a grow tent kit.
When pricing up a grow tent kit is important to know everything that is included in the deal. This is the only way to make a good price comparison. Manufacturers should list everything that they supply so that you can make a comparison against buying all of the individual components separately. Luckily, we have done some of this work for you.
Grow tent reviews
Hydroponics 2 X 2.5 Grow Tent Kit
- GOOD FOR: Medium grows up to 6 plants
The 2 X 2.5 Grow Tent Kit is a fantastic all in one grow kit. This self contained kit features leading brand name components, all wrapped up in a top of the range Gorilla grow tent. Everything you need to start your own personal grow op in one handy package. All backed up by a solid, three year warranty and a lifetime of technical support. More details and reviews of the 2 X 2.5 Grow Tent Kit
Mortgage Lifter 3.0
- Good for medium grows of up to 20 plants.
The Mortgage Lifter 3.0 Grow Tent is a self contained unit that can grow up to 26 plants (maybe more like 20) at a time. It comes as a hydro version that operates on a combination of Aeroponics, Ebb and Flow and Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). The Mortgage Lifter 3.0 is also available as a 12 plant system designed especially for really tall sativas. The 12 plant system uses a Super BubbleFlow Bucket system. More details and reviews of the Mortgage Lifter 3.0.
2′ X 4′ Grow Tent Kit
- Good for medium grows of up to 16 plants.
The 2′ X 4′ Grow Tent Kit contains everything you need to set up and grow up to 16 plants right off the bat. It comes with a SuperPonics system that combines DWC, Top Feed Watering and Bubbleponics. Based around a 400W HPS grow light and housed in an award winning Gorilla grow tent, the 2′ X 4′ Grow Tent Kit also comes with nutrients, fans and all necessary equipment. More details and reviews of the 2′ X 4′ Grow Tent Kit.
5′ X 5′ Grow Tent Kit
- Good for medium grows of up to 20 plants, or 6 with BubbleFlow system.
The 5′ X 5′ Grow Tent Kit comes equipped with a 600W HPS Lumatek lighting system. There is a choice of hydroponics system. You can choose from a fusion of NFT, ebb and flow and aeroponics with the 20 plant option, or a mix of ebb and flow and DWC with the BubbleFlow bucket system for 6 plants . As usual, you will receive everything you need to start growing straight away, except the seeds. More details and reviews of the 5′ X 5′ Grow Tent Kit.
Buddha Box 5′ X 5′ Vertical Grow Tent Kit
- Good for large grows of up to 48 plants.
The Buddha Box 5′ X 5′ Vertical Grow Tent Kit makes the best use of space in your grow tent. It comes with dual 400W full spectrum HPS grow lights and operates with a fusion of ebb and flow and aeroponics sytems. As with all the kits it comes complete with everything you need to start growing, except the seeds. This kit is the best way to maximize your yield if you have a limited grow space.. More details and reviews of the Buddha Box 5′ X 5′ Vertical Grow Tent Kit.
5′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit
- Good for larger grows of up to 26 plants, or 12 plants with the bucket system.
The 5′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit is a larger grow tent for those who want to grow a bit more. It comes in a sturdy Gorilla grow tent that is built to last. At its heart is a dual 600W full spectrum HPS lighting system and all the fans and pumps you need. The 5′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit uses a combination hydroponics system that is based around NFT, ebb and flow and aeroponics sytems. The Kit supplies everything including meters, nutrients and growing media. More details and reviews of the 5′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit.
9′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit
- Good for large grows of up to 52 plants, or 26 plants with the bucket system.
The 9′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit is another step up from the 5′ X 9′ Kit above. With a tent this size you can really start to step up the yields. At the heart of the 9′ X 9′ kit are 4 X 600W HPS grow lights. This kit gives you the choice of a hydroponics system that is a combination of NFT, ebb and flow and aeroponics, or a system based around DWC technology. It all depends whether you want to grow a lot of medium sized plants or a few massive trees. The Kit comes complete with everything you need, including meters, nutrients and growing media. More details and reviews of the 9′ X 9′ Grow Tent Kit.