We all spend time browsing for things on Amazon. It's so convenient, and you can get most items in only a couple of days. They are usually priced very competitively, and there are reviews for real world feedback. The flip side of the coin is that a lot of the items you buy on amazon have to cut corners to make their price so cheap.
Unfortunately this applies to grow tents. You start looking for a grow tent and you see a Gorilla Grow Tent for lets say $250. You then check Amazon for a similar sized grow tent, and it costs $120. You then say, “can this cheap Amazon tent really be that much different from a Gorilla grow tent?” Most likely, yes, but not in all cases.
What Makes Gorilla Grow Tents Different?
Gorilla grow tents came out many years ago. I remember when they first started to hit the market, and they were trying to push a stronger, heavier, taller tent. At the time, it was revolutionary for the grow tent market. During those early years, I remember most tents being like the cheaper amazon tents of today, except they cost 3 times as much. At least Amazon has helped bring the prices down on a lot of items.
The biggest thing that stands out with Gorilla Tents is the adjustable height roof. Now more than ever this is an important feature, especially if you are using DE lights or an air cooled light. With Led lights this isn't as cool of a feature. The added height you get will allow you to grow taller plants, and run DE lights which need some space from the top of the canopy to not burn the top buds.
Another standard feature they have is their infrared blocking material built into the top of the tent. I remember back in the day that you would use a special type of mylar in your grow room to make it so that if law enforcement used a FLIR camera on your spot they wouldn't see the heat from the lights and equipment. Gorilla tents built in material does this same thing, and it's a standard option. I will say that with weed being legal in so many places now, you don't really hear about FLIR being used to catch illegal grows anymore. Usually it's just a nosy neighbor, or scorned Ex.
One of the things I like best about Gorilla tents is the zippers. If you have ever grown in tents for any length of time, you will know that the zippers are the tents Achilles heels. Imagine being half way through flower, and one of your zippers breaks. You learn real quick how creative you are and start making some sort of light darkening shade cloth protector, that you can use to finish up your current run. It's one of the worst parts about growing in tents. I feel like Gorilla Tents heard that, and made this a priority, which reflects in their current product line.
Another thing I always found a little unnerving was how flimsy the roof frame felt on the tents I used. When I used tents, air cooled HID lights were standard issue for most growers. They would add a decent amount of weight to the roof frame, along with carbon filters, and fans. I always had in the back of my head that if that collapses, then my house is most likely going to burn to the ground. The frame built into Gorilla's products are much beefier, and can handle way more weight than a standard tent. I think most of us have seen those adds they have with the guys hanging from the tent frame. There really isn't a better representation I can think to drive that point home.
(Gorilla grow tent specs that set them apart)
Why Won't An Amazon Grow Tent Work the Same?
If you buy a grow tent on Amazon, it will indeed work for you to some degree. Just like any product, in any industry, at some point it's going to break. How long, and how much it breaks will depend on the quality of the product. As we know quality is typically tied to cost. So to expect high quality for a budget price is a pretty unrealistic expectation.
I would personally recommend a cheap Amazon grow tent when you need to blow up a spot real quick and then leave. If you are only needing to get 1 or 2 runs under your belt before you are going to shut down, then save the money and get an Amazon tent. However if you plan on using your tents for multiple years, I would always spend a little extra and buy a high quality tent.
The cheap tents you buy on Amazon are of a lower quality, and that shows through in the materials used. The zippers, the material its self, the frame, the openings, etc.. To be able to sell it for that cheap of a price, they have to choose certain materials, and those materials are not high end. Again, if you want to blow up a spot real quick, it's a solid option.
The number one thing I see with lower end tents is the light leaks. Spending a full day taping and trying to seal light leaks in seams, and zippers, is pretty frustrating. Ironically, I have found Gorilla Tape, an unrelated company, is best for sealing up these leaks.
So What Are the Specs That Make Gorilla Grow Tents Better?
- Their adjustable height kits can make their grow tents go from 7' all the way up to 9' tall. Most grow tents are only 6' tall, so with this extra height you have way more options with lighting and plant height.
- Gorilla Grow Tents are made with 1680D threaded, reflective fabric, which is up to 3 - 9x denser than any other grow tent set up. This makes them more light proof, quieter, and more durable than most any other grow tent.
- The frames of the gorilla grow tent originals are 2x to 5x stronger than the competitors frames. This means you can hang a lot more weight in equipment without having to worry about an accident.
- Infrared blocking material built into the roof to beat the POPO in the FLIR game.
- Industrial strength zippers are wheres it at, and gorilla tents zipper game is strong AF.
- An ample supply of access ports, windows, and doors. Their tents open up more than a patient in MDMA assisted psychotherapy.
I have Seen Different Lines of Tents Gorilla Makes, Are They All The Same?
Always being the innovator, Gorilla tents has continued to expand on their original product line with two other lines. They are now producing the “lite line”, and “shortys”. Each of the lines have their advantages, and they help to better custom fit to your exact needs.
The lite line Gorilla Grow tents have had a few tweaks made to them to help fit into a certain price point. The first thing you will notice is that the lite line is a little shorter. They have also switched to a thinner fabric then they use on their standard tents. A side benefit of this is they are much lighter, thus easier to transport. The lite line is going to be a step above an Amazon budget tent, but a step below their standard Gorilla tents.
The shorty line of grow tents by gorilla is summed up by their name, they are indeed short AF. They are a great alternative for veg tents, or for situations where height is an issue. They are made with the same material as the standard line, but they will weigh less because they are significantly shorter than their standard line counterparts. Think of the shorty's as the originals tent that had some height chopped off. Nothing else was sacrificed to design this line of tents.
I think purchasing a new tent is like anything else you buy in growing, you want the best deal possible for a product that will perform to your expectations. I will be the first to say that Gorilla Grow tents are on the higher end of the spectrum as far as price goes. They are no where near what a cheapo Amazon tent runs. I will also be the first person to tell you that buying a product once, is way better than having to buy the same product 3 times over the same period of time. Which ends up happening when you try to “save money”.
Everything has it's place, and purchasing a cheaper tent from Amazon seems to be where a lot of people start out. It's a new hobby, and you really don't know how much money you want to commit to it. Then you get hooked like a junky, and realize that your plants are your children, and that you will do everything possible for them to have the best life. Then a zipper breaks on your cheap tent, or you want to expand your “medical” grow, and you upgrade your ladies to a gorilla grow tent. It's a story as old as time it's self. :)