When a brand claims that it’s come out with a quality pop-up tent that can be set up in under a minute, my ears perk up and I start paying attention. The camper in me wants to see how well it works. The gear tester in me won’t believe it until I can make it happen. Then there’s the engineer in me — and he’s just skeptical and miserable, so we won’t even talk about what he’s thinking.
But, Decathlon claims that not only is its Quechua 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black Waterproof Pop Up Tent that fast to pitch, but that it’s also weatherproof and stays dark and cool inside even in direct sunlight. GearJunkie has reported on and dabbled with the company’s novel “2-second” tech in the past (with mixed results).
Now, the brand has brought its latest iteration of the design to a three-person tent. So, what better time to really put it to the test?
I’ll admit, at first, I figured this tent would be more of a gimmick than a quality product. There’s a whole part of the outdoor market flooded with tents that make claims about being quick and easy to set up. It’s really muddied things. Because even if they can pop open in a couple of seconds, most aren’t worthy of a true outdoor adventure.
But I’m happy to report, I was wrong about this tent. The 2-second thing is a bit of a marketing hook. But, this is still one fast tent to erect on site. And, it holds up to all of Decathlon’s other claims — especially (and surprisingly) one key aspect that tops almost any other tent on the market.
In short: The Quechua 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black Waterproof Pop Up Tent sets up easily and quickly (though not in a mere 2 seconds). And thanks to the “Fresh & Black” material used on the inside of the tent, the interior stays significantly cooler in direct sunlight than other tents. That’s ideal for desert or beach camping, music festivals, or campers who just want to sleep in without roasting like they’re in an oven.
- Type Car camping / Short-trip backpacking
- Seasons 3
- Weight 18.1 lbs.
- Waterhead 5,000 mm / 196"
- Doors 2
- Sleeps 3
- Floor dimensions 80.7" x 83.5"
- Height 52"
- Carry size 28" x 8.7" x 8.7"
- Price $349
- Quick setup and takedown
- Cooling capabilities
- 5-year warranty
- It’s a tight three-person fit
Who Is Decathlon?
Headquartered in France, Decathlon, rather surprisingly, stands as the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. The brand boasts 2,080 stores open in 56 countries. It tiptoed into the U.S. retail market in the last few years, but has withdrawn its brick-and-mortar presence to focus on digital retail (which GearJunkie kind of predicted in 2019).
For the American consumer, Decathlon has partnered with companies like Moosejaw, Target, and Walmart to sell its products across its 20+ product lines. And, of course, the brand sells direct-to-consumer on its own site.
Quechua is the company’s hiking and camping sub-brand, launched in 1997. It sells a little bit of everything in regard to what you need to go camping, hiking, or just a day of living life outdoors.
Quechua 2 Second Tent Review
Design & Features
Decathlon doesn’t get too deep into the details of the fabric it uses on its Quechua Fresh & Black, aside from the fact that it’s polyester. It does, however, note that the flysheet’s “greige” color is natural. In other words, the brand used no dye on this part of the tent. And the rest of the tent uses a “dope-dyeing” process at the fiber-production level that uses less water than standard dye bath processes.
The tent fabric is also waterproof and breathable. The flysheet has a waterhead of 2,000 mm (78 inches) and the tub of the tent is rated to 5,000 mm (196 in). Where the rating for the fly is common, that rating for the tub is off the charts. I have no doubt that the blackout fabric contributes to this — it keeps the inside of the tent cool and dark, and it is much denser than standard tent fabrics.
In regards to the hub and pole structure, there’s a lot of high-end engineering going on here, and it’s the secret to the “2-second” marketing. Pulling two ripcords on either end erects the tent, much like opening an umbrella. Once popped, the Quechua is a solid, freestanding structure.
And staked down, Decathlon claims the tent can withstand up to 30mph winds.
Out of the bag, the Quechua Fresh & Black is already fully assembled in one piece, including the rainfly. Like standard dome tents, it features two large doors for easy loading, unloading, and extra ventilation. Additionally, there are windows at the bow and stern of the tent. Those increase ventilation and bring some light into the room.
Fresh & Black Tech
The light-blocking fabric on the Quechua is referred to as “Fresh & Black.” This fabric purports to block out 99% of outside light while keeping it cool inside the tent. And it’s one of the most intriguing and unique features of this tent.
This would be an ideal car camping tent for the beach or desert. It would also probably be popular at music festivals, as most tents turn into greenhouse furnaces in hot environments.
But the Fresh & Black aims to keep the inside cooler than a standard tent — not unlike a cave. And it delivers! The trade-off is that this type of fabric adds to the weight of the tent. But to me, that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker.
Decathlon Quechua 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black: First Impressions
This Quechua Fresh & Black uses quality materials and, after my initial time testing the tent, appears to be robust enough to sustain many adventures — not just a few. I also believe it could weather a solid storm.
A pop-up tent usually has a complex pole set with hubs and, therefore, will be comparably heavy. In the case of the Fresh & Black, this holds true. At 18 pounds, it’s on the very heavy side. But it also packs down to the size of a bedroll for transport.
Personally, when hauling around a couple of kids and a dog — or even going solo — I don’t mind carrying a little weight. I just can’t deal with bulk. All corners of my 4Runner are reserved for specific bits and pieces of gear. For as heavy as this tent is, it is not bulky.
That all said, I never expected this to be an ultralight tent I’d take backpacking into the mountains for a few days. It’s a tent you’ll hump in a short distance to an established campsite or someone’s backyard. It’s also a breeze at the beach, as you can just put it on your carry cart and set it up in a jiff.
But where Decathlon really got me was with this tent’s build. First impressions of a tent come with the first pitch. When I laid the tent down in the backyard, pulled the two ripcords, and crawled inside, I was impressed.
This Quechua Fresh & Black model isn’t standard issue. This is a fully waterproof, light-blocking version that could be a lifesaver on both a brisk, rainy day or a hot, dry day. At the time of writing, I’ve got both types of weather on the horizon. With this tent, I’ll be prepared.
In the Field
Decathlon claims that the Quechua Fresh & Black can be set up in 2 seconds (hence the name). But that’s just the popping open part. That’s not the whole setup.
Being this is one solid unit — poles, fly, and all — the Fresh & Black unfolds instead of unrolls when you take it out of its storage bag. Once laid out, there is a round collar with a pull cord that you pop up on each side. This is the “2-second” part.
The unfolding of the tent and situating on the ground takes about a minute. From there, you pop it open and then comes the act of staking it down, which probably takes another 3-4 minutes.
All in all, the Fresh & Black takes about 5 minutes to fully set up. And breaking down the tent lines up with those times as well.
Like all tents, I first set the Quechua Fresh & Black up in my backyard. Aside from the way it opens and closes, the tent is like most other dome tents on the market today. Having just tested the Sea to Summit Ikos TR3, I can tell you that the Quechua Fresh & Black is noticeably smaller inside. It feels tighter — and that’s not just because it’s really dark.
There’s no doubt in my mind that three people could sleep inside. But two adults are more likely going to be the best fit.
And it is wicked dark inside. I don’t go camping so I can sleep all day. In fact, I am up with the birds. But this pop-up tent will even have me hitting the snooze button.
On the Beach
We brought it to the beach and set it up as our sunshade for a nice day in June. It was around 85 degrees, with a slight breeze. But, it’s a beach, so it’s hotter than normal. You cook quickly under the sun.
Having the Quechua Fresh & Black as our base of refuge mitigated that significantly. Thanks to the design, it was even better than having one of those three-sided sun umbrellas.
No, the stakes don’t work on beach sand. You’ll need to invest in some heavy-duty sand screws or weigh it down with something inside. But this tent is a whopping 18 pounds and shouldn’t take off on you if a gentle breeze blows by.
As far as temperatures are concerned, we were out in the sand most of the day, and the inside of the tent was anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees cooler than it was outside!
Decathlon claims that it could be up to 30 degrees cooler! Regardless, it made a notable temperature difference and I appreciated it.
This is weird, but the inside of the tent can block a Wi-Fi signal. It makes sense when you think about it, as the fabric is so dense. But it’s not something you would generally even consider.
Low Tub Floor
Even with its exceptional waterhead rating, the Quechua Fresh & Black has a low tub floor with zippers that meet at an upside-down T at the top of the tub. Water won’t penetrate the fabric, but if it’s high enough it could get into the tent. And on a beach or in a desert, the low tub is an easy opportunity for sand to spill inside.
Strictly Car Camping
Decathlon categorizes the Decathlon Quechua 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black as a “car camping” or “short-backpacking” tent. The former is certainly true. And maybe it’s not out of the question for someone to lug this tent a mile or so with the carry handle.
But, you’re not putting the Quechua Black & Fresh inside of a backpack. Any tent that’s 28 inches long packed up and that weighs 18 pounds should not have the word “backpacking” anywhere near its description.
Decathlon Quechua 2 Second Tent: Conclusion
Let’s get this out of the way: The Quechua 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black Waterproof Pop-Up tent is one of the most premium three-person, car camping tents I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. And for $350, it’s also an affordable car camping tent.
That puts it in the lower-middle price range compared to GearJunkie’s Best Camping Tents of 2023.
But don’t take the 2-second claim literally. It’s still a wicked quick setup, but the Quechua Fresh & Black is more like an “under 5 minutes” tent.
As a parent who takes his kids to the beach a lot in the summer, I am beyond happy with the Quechua Fresh & Black’s ability to block out the sun and keep things cool and dry inside. When you combine that with the fact that the pop-up tent sets up in a few minutes, on the sand, or less than a minute freestanding on any other surface … take my money.
And, as a guy who’s kept a tent and sleeping bag in his vehicle for the last 15 years — so I can hang out longer at a summer party or hit the woods spontaneously — I’m impressed with what this tent has to offer. I haven’t gotten “banged up” in a while, but if I wanted to have a few extra cocktails, at least I know the tent sets up easily, and the light-blocking fabric will keep me cool and let me sleep in.