The best known and the longest-established of the ‘instant tents’ are those from manufacturer Khyam, whose large range of tents has been on the market for more than a decade.
The system is based on a simple sprung ‘knuckle’ or elbow joint. This can hold a flexible pole straight or be ‘broken’ to let the pole bend. The tent skeleton is permanently fitted to the fabric and putting the tent up is as simple as getting it out of its bag and letting the poles fall into the right position. Working round the tent, the poles are straightened using elbow joints to allow the tent to adopt its final shape. Just be careful not to pinch your finger.