Event and Party Tents: Should You Rent or Buy?

Party Tent Pool Side

Event tents are an ideal way to shelter guests from the elements no matter what type of party you’re throwing. Perfect for weddings, corporate events, or even backyard barbecues, party tents and shades will make guests more comfortable and allow your get-together to go off without a hitch. Many people aren’t sure whether to rent or buy an event tent. There are pros and cons to each, and you should first figure out how you’re planning to use party tents before making a decision.

Ways to Use Event Tents

Blue and White Party Tent

When most people think of event tents, they automatically think of an outdoor wedding. While that is an incredibly popular reason to purchase or rent party tents, there are many different ways you can use these shelter solutions:

  • Corporate event: There are many different reasons businesses gather employees together. Whether it’s a celebration, training, or retreat, party tents can be utilized to shelter guests or even provide a space for them to check in to the main event held indoors.
  • Tailgate: People take the big game seriously these days, and that means bigger than ever tailgating parties. Maybe it’s your favorite professional sports team, or an end of the year event for your child’s baseball team. Either way, event tents will provide shelter and boost the fun factor.
  • Backyard barbecue: The heat can damper any backyard event if your guests have no place to escape from the sun. Provide shade and shelter with an event tent.
  • Birthday parties: Whether you’re throwing a children’s party or fancier sweet 16 bash, party tents can create the ambiance you’re looking for.
  • School festivals: School fundraising events are a great way to use event tents, providing a place for shelter, games, and a great area to eat food.
  • Farmers markets: Store the food you’re selling under an event tent, and people have more time to browse while staying out of the sun. Not to mention, your goods will be sheltered from the elements as well.
  • Rest area: Sometimes you may not want to use party tents for an actual party. Perhaps you have workers on your property for a large event and need a space for them to rest or get out of the sun.

Event tents are ideal for making sure you and your guests have proper sun protection. At the end of the day, the comfort level can make or break a party. Deciding how you’ll use a party tent is the first step in deciding whether to rent or buy. Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Whether you plan to use a party tent in the backyard, deck, or even a paved or concrete surface, we always recommend that you properly secure it. Please reference your manual for anchoring best practices.

The Upside to Renting Party Tents

White Party Tent Outside House

When analyzing your budget, renting may be the first option you think of for these reasons:

  • Cost: Renting a tent for the day is cheaper than buying your own party tent.
  • Ease: You don’t have to search for the perfect tent, and you won’t have to guess how large of a tent you’ll need. When you call the company, you tell them how many guests you have, and they will choose the tent for you.
  • Convenience: The event tent company will set up the tent for you if you rent from them. Then, they’ll tear it down.
  • Possible discounts: If you only plan to use a tent once, often times rental companies will give discounts on items like chairs and portable air conditioners for your event when you purchase the event tent rental.

Cons to Event Tent Rentals

Blue and White Party Tent Autumn
  • Limited use: Because you rented the tent, you can only use it one time. That cost can be higher than if you were to buy a tent that could be reused for years to come.
  • Limited options: When renting party tents, you’re at the mercy of the companies in your area. What happens if you don’t like the options? They have also been used many times, so the quality may not be what you’re looking for in a fancier event, and you likely won’t know until it’s too late.
  • Labor: You’re not just paying for the tent you’re renting. Chances are, you’re also shelling out cash for the people setting up your tent. Some companies charge by the hour, so that can become more expensive than you think.
  • You’re at the mercy of the rental company: If there’s bad traffic or a busy day, you may not be able to set up your event on time.

If you decide to rent a party tent, you’ll be charged for the labor of setting up and breaking down the tent. But some companies will also charge separate pick up and delivery fees, so be prepared for the extra costs.

The Upside to Buying Your Own Party Tents

The Upside to Buying Your Own Party Tents
  • While purchasing a tent outright might seem expensive, here are reasons why it might be the right choice:
    • Cost: When you look at the total cost of renting vs. buying party tents, the difference is minimal when you add in renting the tent and labor costs.
    • Value: You can use your own tent again and again, meaning you’ll actually save money in the long haul if you use your tent more than once. You even have the potential to make money off of it if you rent it to other people to use for events.
    • Quality: You never know what you’re going to get from a rental company. After all, they rent those tents day in and day out. With your own new event tent, you are guaranteed quality.
    • Customization: When you rent a tent, companies can limit how you can customize or decorate it. There are no limitations when you own your own tent.
    • Convenience: You aren’t at the mercy of an event company when you own your own party tents. You can place it where you want when you want to.
    • Options: If you’ve ever shopped around for event tents, you’ll learn options can be limited. That either means the companies may not have exactly what you need, or they’re already being used at the time you need them. When you purchase your own, you can choose from absolutely any tent out there!
Did You Know Logo

A 20 x 20 party tent can seat between 32 and 48 people, depending on your preferred setup. If you put 4 60” tables inside, it could seat 32 people. If you used 6 8’ rectangular tables, you could sit 48 people.

Cons to Purchasing Party Tents

Cons to Purchasing Party Tents
  • Cost: Up front cost may be higher than a one time rental.
  • Convenience: If you aren’t a DIYer, you’ll have to hire someone to set up the tent.
  • Estimate on your own: If you aren’t sure which size to purchase, you’ll have to do your own research. A rental company will generally provide the right tent for you based on the size of your event.

Many people simply rent event tents because they don’t realize how affordable they can be. The value in purchasing your own event tent will pay off over time. And even if you don’t use it more than once, you can turn your purchase into profit by renting it out to others.

The Best Party Tents for Your Event

Green and White Party Tent with Enclosures

When looking at all the factors, generally purchasing an event tent is slightly more expensive than renting. But that may not be the case with party tents from ShelterLogic, which are incredibly affordable. It can be the best value and even save you money in the long run. If you’ve decided purchasing party tents is the way to go, here are some cost-effective and stylish options for your next get together.

Green Party Tent on a Deck

Party Tent: This stylish event tent from ShelterLogic is a decorative way to keep guests safe from the elements. The decorative scalloped cover gives a touch of class for any event. Choose from:

  • 3 different colors
  • 2 different sizes, including 10 x 10 ft. or 20 x 20 ft. for larger events.

Safety is important, which is why this tent is fire rated and manufactured with 100% galvanized steel. Other features include:

  • 100% waterproof and UV treated fabric
  • Fitted cover with close end design and leg valances
  • Rust and corrosion proof construction
  • Simple assembly
  • Anchoring options
Party Tent with Enclosure Kit

Party Tent with Enclosure Kit: This tent boosts the comfort factor with added wall and door panels to completely protect guests from the elements. This is a great option for weddings, or if you need to keep guests insulated from rain or environmental factors. Whether you’re trying to keep guests cool or out of the elements, a party tent will help you create a party atmosphere. Clear PVC windows still give guests a few outside, and zipper doors provide easy exit and entry. Other features include:

  • Galvanized steel construction for ultimate strength and durability
  • Waterproof and UV treated seams
  • Fire-rated PVC fabric
  • Easy setup
  • Anchoring options
Max AP Canopy side-by-side

Max AP Canopy 2-in-1 with Enclosure Kit: Turn a versatile canopy into a party tent with an enclosure kit perfect for backyard get togethers. This 10 x 20 ft. model will provide a clean look with ample shelter for guests. This could also be a great way to store a buffet or other items at an outdoor event. This model also includes:

  • Powder coated finish
  • Easy installation
  • 50+ UPF sun protection
  • UV treated polyethylene cover
Max AP Canopy 2-in-1 with Extension Kit

Max AP Canopy 2-in-1 with Extension Kit: If you’re looking for an economical way to extend your shelter space for your event, this option gives you extra coverage by converting the 10 x 20 ft. model into a 24 x 20 ft. canopy. The setup is simple with only two people in under two hours or less. Also features:

  • Powder coated finish
  • Ripstop top polyethylene cover
  • Blocks 98% of harmful UV rays
  • Waterproof

The Verdict: Purchasing Party Tents Will Pay Off

Poolside Party Tent

ShelterLogic party tents are perfect for any event, and will provide shelter and ambiance.These party tents are cost-effective ways to make sure your guests have a great time at any get-together.

When comparing the prices of a rental vs. purchasing a party tent, you’ll find there’s more value in purchasing a party tent. When you purchase an event tent or party tent, you’ll have the ability to reuse it again and again. The covers to party tents and event tents are strong and durable, and will last year after year. The powder coated frames are rust resistant and offer maximum protection no matter what the weather brings.

More often than not, you’ll find that the price you pay for a one-time rental will be on par with what you’ll pay to own. You can reuse your tent for any event, and the strong construction will ensure you have the perfect event tents for years to come.

0 comments

  • I like how the article explains that you can rent an outdoor tent for a birthday party to have games and an area to eat food. My daughter is turning 16 and wants to have an outdoor party but we don’t have anywhere to have food or shelter.

    • We are glad you found the article informative!
      Make sure to thoroughly review the pros and cons of renting vs. buying. Your 16 year old may want to throw more parties!
      We offer an array of canopies in different sizes and price ranges.

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