Looks like a castle
Spacious enough for more than one kid
“Door” easily folds up and down
Poles are hard to place inside tent
Ties to fasten poles tear easily
Instructions for disassembling the tent are confusing
The FoxPrint Princess Play Tent is one of several pop-up style play tents on the market. While we think the tent looks adorable, we wanted to see if its construction would hold up to real-life use as an indoor and outdoor toy. So, we handed the tent over to our 4-year-old daughter for some fun make-believe moments. (And, keeping parents in mind, we also looked at how easily it could be packed away and then reassembled.) Did it pass the test in terms of durability and design, or does this pop-up playhouse fall flat? Read on to find out.
Design: Perfect for little princesses and princes
The play tent is designed to look like a miniature castle, complete with a flag-topped turret and a drawbridge-like “door” that can be rolled down for privacy or tacked open to allow friends to enter. It has two mesh windows and, at 41.5 x 41.5 x 54 inches, the playhouse was large enough to fit both our son and daughter (along with several dolls or stuffed animals). However, that’s where the dynamite design ends.
The tent comes in a small bag and “pops up” when unfolded. It includes four sock-corded fiberglass poles that need to be inserted into fabric slots and then tied into place to keep the tent upright. But we found it difficult to set up the poles without actually climbing into the tent (no easy feat for taller adults)—and they’re rigid, which required us to forcefully shove them into place. One pole cracked the second time we set up the tent, and one of the ties tore off after minimal use. The poles are also visible from inside the tent and are easy for curious kids to grab, which can cause the tent to tip over.
Folding the tent back into the carry bag properly also comes with its set of challenges. The included instructions are vague and confusing (the YouTube videos posted by parents were more helpful). Finally, the description for this play tent touts its glow-in-the-dark properties, but in actuality, it barely emitted any light in a darkened room.
We found it difficult to set up the poles without actually climbing into the tent.
Entertainment Value: Fun in short bursts
Once it’s up, our kids enjoyed crawling in and out of it. If you leave it up indefinitely, in a playroom or bedroom, it’s the type of toy that kids will gravitate towards in short bursts—taking shelter inside before moving on to something else.
Age Range: 3 to 6 years
While tents and forts do appeal to older kids, the size of this tent is better suited to supervised toddlers and preschoolers. Our 4-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son were both within the manufacturer-recommended age range of 3 years and up, but our daughter fit inside better and was much more entertained. Since it's lightweight, we weren’t worried about our kids getting injured, and we felt that the simplicity of this toy encouraged imaginative play.
Ease of Cleaning: Simple wipe down
The nylon fabric of this tent is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth. Parents can choose to keep it assembled or pack it away after each use, depending on how much free space they have. However, we found the playhouse more difficult to disassemble than it seems.
Price: You get what you pay for
At around $30, this playhouse is one of the cheapest on the market. Most of the play tents available cost more than that, with some costing as much as $60—though those are often larger in size.
The description for this play tent touts its glow-in-the-dark properties, but in actuality, it barely emitted any light in a darkened room.
FoxPrint Princess Play Tent vs. Sonyabecca Princess Castle Tent
The Sonyabecca Princess Castle Tent is about the same price as the FoxPrint Princess Play Tent, but it comes with curtains that can be tied back or left loose. The included set of LED string lights are more exciting than the somewhat underwhelming glow-in-the-dark stars on the FoxPrint castle.
At 40 x 29 x 55 inches the Sonyabecca is slightly smaller, too, saving a little space in your child’s playroom or bedroom. Like the FoxPrint Princess Play Tent, the Sonyabecca Princess Castle Tent also comes packed into a reusable storage bag that keeps the tent folded flat when not in use.
- Product Name FoxPrint Princess Play Tent
- Product Brand FoxPrint
- Price $29.99
- Weight 2.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 41.5 x 53 x 41.5 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+