Finding the right grow tent might not seem difficult, but it isn’t an easy task once you start digging into the details. You have to consider your space first, of course – if it won’t fit in the room you’ve set aside for your grow operation, it won’t do you much good – but beyond that, there are many factors to consider that might not be so obvious.
We asked knowledgeable blades on the Grasscity forums what their preferences are and how they decide on a new tent. The responses were very helpful (thanks guys!) and offered some great insight on what to look for. Here’s what we learned:
1. Prepare to modify
No grow tent is perfect, we discovered.
“I think you will eventually find something you don’t like about all of them,” said user Olde School. He gave a fantastic write-up on his Secret Jardin DarkRoom II, citing a number of features that seemed great at first – but turned out to be a bit difficult to deal with down the road:
I started discovering things that you just have to force them to work. For one, the vent openings on the tent are low – like toward the bottom 1/3 of the tent. Now WTF would I want to take up a considerable amount of real estate inside the tent by running flex duct from two lower sides of the tent up to the top / light? A 2X2 is already little, and having to route those ducts up through the tent was robbing space…
The solution? Some outside-the-box thinking and a slight modification!
Startin’ to piss me off until I realized – HEY – turn this puppy upside down.
This allowed him optimal access to the vent openings without having to damage the grow tent or risk allowing unnecessary light into it. Smart solution – and one you should keep in mind when setting up your own grow tent!
2. Keep budget in mind
A number of blades suggested dishing out a few extra bucks for a Gorilla Grow Tent, despite the fact that they didn’t own one. This suggests confidence in the brand (and likely some positive stories from friends), but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best grow tent for your operation.
The hands-down most commonly cited grow tent in the thread was the Apollo Horticulture Hydroponic Indoor Tent, known for both its budget price and reliable quality. A large number of respondents claimed that it’s served their purposes quite nicely, despite its relatively low cost. JayOrganic said he’s tried both the Apollo and the Agromax, and found the Apollo to be the easy favorite of the two – though he considered both to be pretty solid.
3. Consider your surroundings
Size is an important consideration, but there are plenty of options – and most major suppliers offer tents in different sizes that should accommodate even smaller growing spaces. Maximizing your grow while keeping space in mind can be a challenge; some users even went as far as to build their own grow tent to meet their specifications. That’s not really necessary thanks to all the options available, but it’s definitely something to consider if you like projects that make you feel proud – or are confined to an awkward space (attics aren’t always square, but they can be great spots to fit a small grow).
4. Darkness is critical
CrackInTheBox had good things to say about his ONE DEAL 4×4 tent, especially considering the price, but he did have some concerns about pinhole-sized light leaks making it through to the inside. How can you tell when a grow tent will allow even the smallest amount of light? Hop in and zip it up, of course, If you see any light, just know that you’re probably going to have to deal with that at some point. Beeswax was mentioned as a solid option for sealing light leaks, but any major sources of light should be considered a flaw that you’ll want to avoid.
5. Durability matters
Finding something sturdy and difficult to rip was a common suggestion, and it really comes in handy if you’re planning to get the most out of the grow tent. User cannalife digs the Lighthouse Hydro, saying it’s “very strong and sturdy n hard to rip” – important if you want the tent to last through multiple grows or in conditions that might not be properly climate-controlled, such as the garage or basement. Most grow tents are built to last, but some of the cheaper options may be made of flimsier materials – something you should look into before buying.
In the end, it comes down to your preferences and what you’re working with. Olde School really laid things out in his post quite nicely. He offered a few more suggestions for novice growers looking for their first grow tent:
– Don’t bother with semi-rigid duct work.
– Get a tent with good side vent placement up high on the side walls.
– Check the zippers for a good light tight seal. Get inside the tent and zip it up; you should be dark.
– Check the frame quality and make sure any extra support members can be placed where you need them to hold heavy centrifugal fans and carbon filters.
If you’ve got a bit of extra cash and can’t be bothered to piece everything together separately, you might even want to consider a grow kit. There’s a great discussion on the forums in which blades discuss the positives and negatives of these all-in-one growing kits, which can help you get started in no time.
What do you think? Is there a true winner among the many grow tent options out there today? Let us know in the comments below, or speak up on the forums and join the discussion!