Air tents vs. pole tents: which is best?
Can air tents actually compete with traditional poles and frames in terms of quality? (Photo courtesy of Pat Kinsella) ) I cut my camping canines while erecting pole tents, as did the majority of folks who like the great outdoors at the time – mostly because there was no other alternative at the time. Also acceptable are dome designs and tunnel tents with pole-based skeletons, which can be used in conjunction with other constructions. Then, a few years ago, ‘air tents’ began to emerge on campgrounds and in retail establishments.
Although these are essentially pop-up tents with pumps, I didn’t think they were really useful for anything other than recreational purposes such as day trips to beaches or festivals, or backyard sleepouts with the kids.
In addition, the technology that underpins them has continued to evolve.
However, when it comes to choosing on the best option for a large, family tent, I’m divided between the two – should I go with a pole structure or with a pump structure?
Both are big vehicle camping tents that can easily accommodate families of four or five people, but the Aether 450 XL is a pole tent, and the Osiris Air is supported by Vango’s ‘AirBeams’, which act as a replacement for traditional poles.
Air tents vs pole tents: head-to-head
In most cases, modern pole tents are fairly simple to erect (see: How to pitch a tent), and most of the larger models these days are built around a tunnel design, which means that you simply thread several large poles through the sheaths on the inside, bend them, and thread each end into an eyelet or similar at ground level. As you can see, the Aether 450 is quite basic to use – although it is always best to have at least two people on hand to assist. Even though the poles are of varying lengths, it is extremely beneficial if they are color coded, which they almost always are, especially if the sheaths are likewise color coded.
Pinch the tent’s base together, hook the hose to the valve on the airbeam, and turn on the pump.
Using an appropriate pump (such as the one that comes with the Osiris Air) makes it quite straightforward, and it takes only a minute to inflate the beams to their full capacity.
This is why we’re going to declare the air tent the victor in this competition. One person can simply inflate and deflate inflatable tents (Image credit: Pat Kinsella) pump provided for inflating the Vango Osiris Air 500 inflatable kayak (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
Design, stability and adverse weather
All of this comes down to the quality of the various tents in issue when it comes to their features and comfort levels. In terms of height and width, family-sized air tents may stand just as tall and broad as pole tents built for a similar purpose, providing the same degree of head height and floor area, so there isn’t much of a difference there. Read How to Choose a Tent and What Size Tent Do I Need for additional information on this topic. Families sized pole tents and air tents both need substantially on tensioning at either end to keep up, and guy ropes all around to be stable during severe winds, owing to the fact that they both tend to stand rather tall and are more typically tunnel-shaped than geodesic (half dome) shaped.
While testing both styles of tents over a wild and windy weekend, we discovered that the Osiris Air 500 pole tent outperformed both models, in part due to the inclusion of internal bracing straps that assist the tent maintain its shape even in the most blustery of circumstances.
It is important to note that performance will vary across tent companies as well as between particular designs and models, and not all air tents will be fitted with these straps, making them more prone to bending in the wind.
After taking everything into consideration, we’re going to call this one a tie.
When it comes to camping, lowering the tent and putting it up is always the least enjoyable aspect of the experience, not least because it signals that the adventure is almost over. Family-sized tents are notoriously difficult to roll up and stuff back into the carry bag that comes with them, which always appears to be too little to accommodate such a large amount of tent. To deflate the Osiris Air 500, you’ll need to use the included pump, which has a deflate setting. Otherwise, you’ll end up with air pockets in the tent, making it very hard to get it back into its bag.
An air tent with tension straps will be able to endure inclement weather.
Durability, repair and maintenance
As previously said, while an air tent may float about a little more in severe winds, at least the beams will not snap – which may be an issue with pole tents in harsh weather conditions, as a consequence of an accident (such as reversing your car over them), or wrong use. Even with that being stated, a puncture to an airbeam is a risk you should be aware of. Due to the heavy-duty materials utilized on the tubes, this is an extremely unusual occurrence, although it is not unheard of either. However, this does not imply that the tent as a whole is rendered permanently ineffective.
The pump is the one thing you don’t want to break (or forget to use). In every other aspect – such as the durability of the fly and ground sheet, the zips, the mesh, and so on – there is no discernible difference between air tents and pole tents. This is yet another attraction.
It’s one thing to talk about the simplicity with which a tent may be set up and taken down; but, getting the tent into the car and across the campground is another. Family tents are always large, taking up a significant amount of space in whatever vehicle you use to get to the great outdoors with your family. The Aether 450 weights 20kg/44lb, and when packed away, the carry case measures 72 x 30 x 32cm/28 x 12.5in, making it a relatively compact yet thick and hefty item to transport around the world.
It is available in a variety of colors.
The pole version of this model has the same specifications as the backpack version.
You’ll also need to make room for the pump, which will add a little more heft.
When you talk about simplicity of setup and takedown, it’s one thing to say that you don’t have to worry about transporting your tent from one location to another. Invariably large, family tents take up a significant amount of space in whatever vehicle you travel with in order to access the outdoors. In terms of weight, the Aether 450 weighs 20kg/44lb and, when packed away, the carry case measures 72 x 30 x 32cm/28 x 12.5in, making it a relatively compact yet dense and hefty item to transport.
A more compact 15.3kg/33.7lb, the Osiris Air 500 has a pack size of 73 x 34x 34cm/28.7 x 13in and the same specifications as the standard model.
Generally speaking, there isn’t much of a difference in weight and volume between the two types of tents; however, air tents tend to come in somewhat larger bags to make it easier to repack them once they’ve been dropped (see’set up’).
There is a notable difference in the amount of space that each of them takes up when packed (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
Air tents vs pole tents: the verdict
We were particularly taken by the ease with which an air tent can be up, which means that one lucky person can put up the entire thing while the rest of the group explores the place. Taking down the air tent was a piece of cake, but putting it back into the bag proved to be a little more difficult. For those who value money over everything else, a pole tent will be the most cost-effective option; nevertheless, in terms of performance, they were about equal in comparison. The Vango Aether 450 and Vango Osiris Air 500 are two Vango aircraft.
Along the way, he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks, among other accomplishments.
For Lonely Planet, he’s written walking guides toDevon and Dorset, as well as a book on toilets that was published in 2012. Here’s where you can follow Pat’s adventures.
What is an Inflatable Tent?
Here are the answers to your queries concerning inflatable tents: In light of the increasing popularity of inflatable tents, as well as the several manufacturers that are now producing their own versions of this concept, we thought we’d address some of the often asked concerns we receive about this exciting new technology. However, while the phrase “inflatable tent” may conjure up visions of a bouncy castle, it refers to any tent that is supported by inflatable beams rather than fibreglass poles in its construction.
- Due to the fact that each company has a separate name for their own technology, we continue with a generic term for these tents.
- Each one is unique in its own way, but they all come down to the same basic concept: a tent without poles that you pump up to pitch.
- Inflatable tents are a significant advancement in the field of family tents.
- An inflatable tent requires only the simple steps of unfolding, pumping up, and securing it with pegs.
- The responses were overwhelmingly positive.
- We’ve all had issues with inflatables, but the reason inflatable tents are a touch more expensive than a conventional tent is because they are constructed of a far more durable material than your standard tent.
- We had the Vango inflatable tents set up outside and inside several of our stores in 2013, and we’ve been sleeping in the Hi Gear ones while out filming this year, and we can confirm that the tent hasn’t deflated on us in the middle of the night just yet.
2) “I’m not familiar with the airbeam tents.” I don’t believe air can be as strong as fibreglass or steel, and a good strong wind would have me believing they’d be all over the place?” ‘Mark’ is an abbreviation for Mark When you think of inflatables, you probably think of the beach store at the seashore with all of the dinghies and inflatable crocs and other water toys blowing around in the breeze, don’t you?
Don’t be concerned, the beams on these tents expand to become extremely strong and durable.
Do not take our word for it; we received feedback from someone who previously owned an inflatable tent, and they had the following to say: “we have the Vango Evoque 400 as well.
Last summer, I traveled across France, Italy, and Austria.
It withstands extremely strong winds with ease; I woke up one morning after a particularly violent storm and went outside to find that nothing had moved, the guy ropes were still taut, and the tent had maintained its perfect shape.it is the most waterproof tent I have used in over 33 years of camping.” — Rob et al.
There has never been an issue with any of the Vango parts.” – Anne & a n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n Fiberglass poles have been known to break when a tent is set under excessive pressure in heavy winds; the fundamental advantage of inflatable tents is that there is no risk of this type of problem arising.
This guarantees that they are not as easily punctured as you might expect.
In our opinion, there is no greater risk than with a standard tent, which can simply be pulled down from the outside by disconnecting the pole from the pin.
5) “Do inflatable tents perform better than ‘traditional’ tents?” – Sam &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; A good reason why fibreglass tents and steel-poled tents are so popular is because they are quite durable.
If you’re searching for a large family tent that can be set up quickly and easily by one person, then an inflatable tent is the best option.
If you’re a family on a tight budget, or if you’re new to camping and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a tent, a fibreglass poled tent is a good option to consider.
Take into consideration where you will be camping, whether or not you will have assistance in setting up your tent, how much room you will want, and how much money you have to spend.
In the meantime, if you have any further questions about inflatable tents, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, ask us on Facebook and Twitter, or come into store to speak with one of our camping experts – they’ll even be able to demonstrate how to pitch the tent if the store isn’t overcrowded at the time.
However, I am skeptical of purchasing one because every inflatable item I have ever purchased has leaked air, and the valves seem eerily like those seen on cheap plastic airbeds. I understand that the beams are strong, but with my luck, the valves would fail as well.
Inflatable Tents: 10 Superb Options for Quick and Easy Camping
Inflatable tents are not a new notion as an alternative camping tent, and in recent years, the huge developments in the designs and technology underlying inflatable tents have seen them progressively increase in popularity as a result of their increasing versatility. Surely, tents with actual poles have been providing humanity with adequate protection from the elements for hundreds of years? Is it true that inflatable tents are all they’re hyped up to be, or is it all just hype and hot air? Nothing can be said about the fact that, on the surface, inflatable tents appear to be nothing more than a money-making scheme.
The comparison table below provides a high-level overview of the top inflatable tents currently on the market in 2020, with even more fantastic alternatives included in ournotable mentions section at the bottom of the page.
|“>Heimplanet Fistral||1-2 people||Backpacking||2.5kg||$$|
|“>Heimplanet Cave||2-3 people||Car camping||4.8kg||$$$|
|“>Kelty Airlift||4 people||Car camping||8.16kg||$|
|“>Heimplanet Nias||4-6 people||Car camping/base camp||6.8kg||$$$$$|
|“>Berghaus Air 6XL Inflatable Tent||6 people||Family camping and glamping||6.7kg||$$$$|
|“>Quechua 6 Person Inflatable Family Tent||6 people||Family camping||25kg||$$|
|“>Vango Inspire 600||6 people||Family camping||17.5kg||$$|
|“>Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario||6 people||Family camping and glamping||50.8kg||$$$$$$|
|“>Outwell Grandville 8SA||8 people||Family camping and glamping||52.6kg||$$$$$$$$|
|“>Gybe Bus Tent||n/a||Van life||11kg||$$$$$$|
What is an inflatable camping tent?
You wouldn’t be the first person to imagine oneself futilely attempting to retain your privacy in one of those see-throughbubble tents, and you’d be right. Despite how amazing they are, they don’t quite meet the mark when it comes to portable inflatable camping tents. In terms of functionality, inflatable camping tents are very identical to regular camping tents. The most significant distinction is that they do not have poles! At least in the manner in which we are used. Columns of air or tubes of compressed air are used in place of fiberglass, steel, or aluminum poles.
Isn’t that clever?
The benefits of inflatable tents
So, how effective are inflatable tents in terms of protection? Yes, in a nutshell, is the answer to this question. Because of their advancements throughout the years, they have become a very sought alternative to more traditional designs of camping tents. The reason behind this is as follows:
01 They are easy to put up and take down by one person
In contrast to practically all other large family tents, inflatable tents are simple to erect on your own with little to no assistance. During the process of connecting this pole to that pole, you won’t need a second pair of hands to keep everything in place. This is especially critical if you are camping with young children who need to be closely monitored at all times. The process of erecting an inflatable tent is as simple as securing the tent’s foundation with pegs or stakes, pumping up the inflatable poles, and pegging the supporting guy lines into place.
Bingo! Tents that are inflated are much simpler to take down: just untangle the guy lines, release the valves to deflate the tent, then un-peg the remaining tent pegs. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
02 They take no time at all to set up
For some campers, spending a few of hours perfecting their tent pitching is an important aspect of the whole camping experience. And for the rest of us, getting it up and running as fast as possible allows us to get back to performing more enjoyable activities. It may be a tedious procedure to put up massive marquee-sized tents that take a couple of hours to build at the best of times, especially when the weather is bad. No matter how large the inflatable tent is, it takes less than 10 minutes to set it up.
03 You don’t need an instruction manual to set one up!
After spending hours on the road to get to your campground, the last thing you want to do is pull out a 40-page instruction booklet to figure out how to put your poles together, which is exactly what happened! It just takes a few hungry and angry children to turn camping with kids into a bad idea. The advantage of pitching an inflatable tent over a tent with poles is that you can do it on your own without the requirement for a degree in engineering or other technical training. Pass the children off to the other adults in your company and take pleasure in erecting your inflatable tent with ease and confidence!
04 Inflatable tents hold up really well in high winds
Surprisingly, the tubes of air that support inflatable tents perform an outstanding job of withstanding strong winds, despite their relatively small size. Wind may make even the strongest poled tents struggle, especially larger family tents, which are especially vulnerable. Windy conditions can cause solid poles to flex and become deformed or crack, which can result in the fly sheet being ripped as a result of the damage. The same way that solid poles bend, inflatable poles flex in the same way, but instead of becoming distorted and broken, they simply pop back up to their original shape nearly quickly.
Also advantageous is the elimination of the need to brave the elements in pajamas to inspect the damage.
05 They are very durable in bad weather
It is possible that a single storm will be enough to damage or snap the poles of a standard tent. However, over time, the elements would damage the poles in the same location again and over again, finally causing them to collapse. The tubes of inflatable tents, on the other hand, are constructed from extremely resistant and durable materials that are intended to be subjected to continual pressure. Moreover, although it is recommended that you always carry a puncture repair kit when camping in an inflatable tent, you will be extremely unlucky if you ever have to use it more than once.
06 They do not puncture as easily as poles break
Early inflatable tents have problems with blowouts when used in hot weather. As the air swelled inside the tubes as a result of the heat, the pressure built up, and the delicate inner tubes were forced to rupture due to the increased pressure. Since then, not only have the tubes gotten more harder, but the systems have also been equipped with pressure releasing valves to alleviate pressure buildup.
When the temperature rises over a certain point, they automatically release little amounts of air. Then, once the air in the pole chambers has cooled down again, all that’s left is to fill the tubes with air to the appropriate pressure in the tubes themselves.
07 Inflatable tents stuff away easily
Despite the fact that most inflatable tents are larger and slightly heavier than their solid pole equivalents, the lack of poles allows them to be packed considerably more compactly when not in use. Not only do you not have to strain to roll up your tent package to the precise length of your folded poles, but you also do not have to battle to get everything into its bag. Just cram it in there! This is perfect for canoeists to fit into a dry bag, for cyclists to push into a pannier, and for bikepackers to place into a saddle bag.
08 They are easy and cheap to repair
The enhanced durability and inflating mechanisms of today’s inflatable air tents make them more reliable than they have ever been. However, this does not imply that they are invincible! To be safe, always have a puncture repair kit with you when camping in case you manage to get a hole in the air beams of your tent. However, inflatable tents are simple to repair and do not require the purchase of replacement pole components from specialized providers, making them an excellent DIY project. Continue reading to learn how to repair an inflatable tent at a campground.
How to repair an inflatable tent
Any tent that fails on you while you’re out in the field is really inconvenient. However, repairing a broken air pole is far simpler than repairing a shattered or bent solid pole. If your tent does not come with a repair kit, you may useTear Aid patches, which are elastic and resilient while also being incredibly simple to apply. Inflated pole inner tubes may be repaired in a manner similar to that of bicycle inner tubes: remove the tube from the inflatable panel, find the puncture, patch up the hole, and replace the tube with a new one when needed.
The best inflatable tents in 2020
There are a slew of factors to consider when purchasing a tent, just as there are when purchasing any other type of item. Take a look at our buying guides for backpacking tents and family camping tents to gain a better understanding. These inflatable tents are suitable for both lightweight hikers and family vehicle campers, as shown in the selection below.
Sleeps:1-2 Weight:2.5kg This Heimplanet tent is yet another feasible alternative for hikers who want to keep things light and simple in their accommodations. When sharing a space with a second person, the 2.4kg tent’s two entrances and vestibules make it extremely user-friendly and convenient. Additionally, the distinctive designs of Heimplanet tents are just as enticing as the high quality and durability that they provide. Find the most up-to-date pricing on: Amazon|REI
Sleeps:2-3 Weight:4.8kg However, despite the fact that the Cave tent’s innovative and extremely robust construction appears to be quite difficult, it couldn’t be much easier to put up. The Cave is inflated with a single valve, and like all of the Heimplanet tents, it is equipped with a Multi Chamber Safety System for further protection.
As soon as the tent is filled, the mechanism splits the inflatable chambers such that even if one of them is punctured, the remainder of the tent will remain intact. The cave with the most cutting-edge technology ever! Find the most up-to-date pricing on: Amazon|REI
Sleeps:4 Weight:8.16g The Kelty Airlift is one of the more reasonably priced inflatable tents we’ve seen so far in our research. Setup and takedown are a pleasure thanks to the integrated fly sheet and dual action pump (both included). In fact, it takes less than 60 seconds to put up and take down (or so Kelty claim). This is a wonderful, no-fuss option for a couple of luxury vehicle campers or a small family who want to appreciate the finest things that camping has to offer without having to deal with a lot of planning and hassle.
Amazon has the most recent price information.
Sleeps:4-6 Weight:8.8kg The Nias is another another incredibly unusual design from Heimplanet, and it will not just impress your camping neighbors with its remarkable appearance. The tunnel type tent, which achieves geometric stability through the use of air beams, also offers unparalleled adaptability, with two roomy and detachable sleeping cabins, a central vestibule with two entrances, and lots of ventilation. The total weight of everything is an amazing 6.8kg. This tent is ideal for families or as a base camp shelter for people who have a lot of stuff.
Berghaus Air 6XL Inflatable Tent
Sleeps:4-6 Weight:8.8kg The Nias, yet another remarkable design from Heimplanet, will not only impress your camping neighbors with its striking appearance, but it will also provide you with a comfortable sleeping environment. The tunnel-style tent, which achieves geometric stability through the use of air beams, also offers unparalleled adaptability, with two roomy and detachable sleeping chambers, a central vestibule with two entrances, and lots of natural light. 6.8kg is a substantial weight for all of this.
Visit Amazon to get the most up to date prices.
Quechua 6 Person Inflatable Family Tent
Sleeps:6 Weight:25kg The 6 Person Inflatable Family Tent from Quechua provides plenty of living space, with two darkened bedrooms, a big center vestibule, and a retractable third bedroom. Each bedroom is spacious enough to accommodate two single air mattresses (each measuring 70cm in diameter) and is furnished with dark fabrics that allow you to sleep in late and comfortably. The center hub has 210cm head height and has storage pockets, a vented flysheet, two large entrances, and windows with blinds.
The tent’s fabric offers 50+ UV protection, and the 2,000 mm polyurethane-coated polyester flysheet can resist rain comparable to that of a tropical cyclone without tearing.
Decathlon has the most up-to-date pricing information.
Vango Odyssey Air 600 Tent
Sleeps:6 Weight:17.5kg It is one of the greatest value alternatives for group and family camping, especially if you will be exposed to the weather. It is made of incredibly good quality materials and is one of the best values available. The Odyssey Air 600 is equipped with a Protex 70D polyester flysheet that is both sturdy and rugged, and has a waterproof rating of 4,000mm HH. The straightforward design provides ample sleeping room for six campers, as well as a spacious porch to relax on – making it an excellent choice for families and vehicle campers who like having lots of space without sacrificing on durability and quality.
Furthermore, with an inflation time of only 8 minutes, it is also one of the quickest setups available! Amazon has the most recent price information.
Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario
Sleeps:6 Weight:50.6kg If you’re looking for a large quantity of living space, then the Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario is the model for you. It has two separate bedrooms and a large porch space that can be separated into an open porch and a closed inner vestibule, which can accommodate up to six individuals. Outdoor Revolution claims that the Ozone inflatable tent is the fastest to set up on the market, with a set up time of less than 5 minutes! This is one of the greatest inflatable camping tents available in terms of living area, but it is also one of the heaviest at 50.6kg!
Outwell Grandville 8SA
Sleeps:8 Weight: 52.6 kg If you value spaciousness and comfort above all else, the Outwell Grandville 8SA could be a good option for you to consider. This extremely large tent can easily accommodate eight guests in four bedrooms that are each amply proportioned and darkened. However, it also includes a large center vestibule with double doors at either end, as well as a porch on the front. The ‘QuickQuiet’ interior doors of this tent, which provide a great deal of adjustability, are a standout feature.
Although it is possible to unzip each side of the door independently, it is also possible to just roll the door away altogether.
With some really intelligent design elements, this family tent is a true standout in its class.
Gybe Bus Tent
Sleeps:n/a Weight:11kg Someone who isn’t quite ready to dive headfirst into the world of inflatable tent camping has another alternative available to him or her! In the event that you own a Volkswagen or Mercedes Campervan (yes, just the finest! ), these blow up awnings for your van are the perfect complement to your road trip adventures. The inflatable beams of the Gybe Bus Tents can be set up in less than 10 minutes and provide a massive 7.9 m2 of living area, making your van even more delightful than it was before!
Gybe has the most up-to-date pricing information.
What are the problems with inflatable tents?
Choosing the right tent for you is a very personal decision that involves weighing a variety of criteria. Consequently, when you consider your alternatives, consider the following reasons why you might prefer a traditional tent over a pop-up or inflatable tent.
In general, inflatable tents are slightly heavier than solid pole tents, particularly when taking into consideration the presence of a pump. It’s not a big deal while you’re vehicle camping since the weather is nice. Furthermore, the smaller 1 and 2 man tents discussed in this article are lightweight enough to accommodate the addition of a lightweight pump. It is common for the extremely big inflatable family tents to be significantly heavier than their non-inflatable counterparts.
And it’s much bigger when it’s compressed. However, when it comes to family camping, inflatable tents really shine, and the extra weight is a modest price to pay for the multiple advantages they provide.
Although most inflatable tents are reasonably priced, when compared to their non-inflatable counterparts, they are on the pricier side.
How do inflatable tents work – Outdoor World Direct
Due of the ease and convenience with which they may be set up, inflatable tents have grown more popular. Each company currently offers a variety of inflatable tents, each of which operates in a somewhat different manner. However, there are fundamentally two types of inflatable tents available: Single Inflation and Multiple Inflation. Single inflation tents, which can be inflated from a single beam, as opposed to numerous inflation points, which need each beam to be inflated individually. Air tents are designed to function with the same technique, which relies on pressurized air to generate a strong, rigid tent structure.
Tube and Sleeve Design:
Due of the ease and convenience with which they may be set up, inflatable tents have grown increasingly popular in recent years. Each company currently offers a variety of inflatable tents, each of which operates in a slightly different way. However, there are fundamentally two types of inflatable tents available: Single Inflation and Multiple Inflation, which are described below. Single inflation tents, on the other hand, may be inflated from a single beam, whereas multiple inflation points require each beam to be inflated separately, as seen in the diagram.
It works in much the same way as a bicycle tire, with each tube holding an air pressure ranging from 4 to 8 pounds per square inch.
- There is a plastic tube that can be inflated to a specified pressure
- There is also a rubber tube. The plastic tube is put into a strong polyester sleeve to prevent it from being damaged. The tube and sleeve are then contained within the tent in a tent sleeve, and once inflated, they serve as the framework of the tent. a tiny hole has been drilled in the flysheet at each beam, where the valves are located, allowing the tent to be inflated and deflated from the outside
The Air Valve
There is a basic valve on one side of the tent, which you open and insert the pump into, and then inflate the beam, which then builds the tent’s structure. The tent’s construction is then completed. Aside from being exceedingly easy and well-thought-out, it is also far less complicated than the trouble of tent poles. A pump valve specific to each brand should be included with the tent purchase. There are two types of valve systems that are often used:
Airbeam- Twist Valve
There is a basic valve on one side of the tent, which you open and insert the pump into, and then inflate the beam, which then builds the tent’s structure. The tent’s construction is then complete. It is really easy and well thought out, and it is lot less time consuming than the headache of tent poles would be to construct. Each tent manufacturer has its own pump valve, which should be included with the tent. A typical valve system consists of two parts:
Push Button Valve
On the valve, there is a white button that you must first press in before the valve will close properly. Afterwards, you insert and twist the pump onto the valve, which will cause the valve to open and permit air to enter the beam. When you turn off the pump, the valve will automatically close. It is critical to seal the valve before inflating the tent, because otherwise all of the air will escape through the open valve when the pump is turned off.
Make sure the valve is pushed outwardly in order to close it. Deflating the tent is as simple as pressing the button to open it, allowing the air to flow out of the tent.
Type of Inflation
Generally speaking, a single inflation point tent is a tent that can only be inflated from a single beam that is interconnected to all of the other beams inside the structure of the tent. Typically, all beams are connected together and may be inflated from any of the major tube connections. This enables a larger number of people to assist and allows the tent to be set up much more quickly.
- It is possible to plug in an air pump and sit back and relax because the tent is self-inflating. Bracer beams, which help to reinforce the tent’s construction, are included. It is possible that it will inflate more quickly.
- This form of tent is more prone to problems since there are more points of connection between beams, which increases the likelihood of a fault occurring. We would expect to find more single-inflation tent difficulties than multiple-inflation point concerns despite the fact that the product has been tested. It is more difficult to repair or locate the source of the air leak since you must lock off each individual beam in order to determine where the leak is located and then repair that specific tube. When deflating and packing away the tent, it is more difficult to do so because air might transfer from tube to tube as you are packing away the tent, leaving air in the frame system.
Multiple Inflation Points:
- As opposed to a single simple beam per building, which is less prone to break. If a single tube fails, it is much easier to repair because the tube can easily be removed and replaced. Take a little rest in between inflating each beam. It is much simpler to deflate and pack away than before.
- Bracer beams are less likely to be present. Much more dependant on the camper to pitch it, since you cannot simply plug a pump in and let it do the heavy work
Are Inflatable Tents Reliable?
It is true that we are seeing more unintentional damages to pole tents, which are more reliant on the camper to set them up. There is virtually little a camper can do to cause harm to an air tent because the framework is already constructed. They also tend to function better in the wind because the beams, if distorted by severe gusts, will easily snap back into shape. The majority of air tents have been tested to 45-55mph. Anything more severe than this sort of weather is not suggested, and it is not recommended to camp in this type of weather.
This will provide you with piece of mind in the event that something does go wrong.
This was useful to 291 out of 561 people.
Inflatable Tent & Air Tent Buying Guide
If we could just skip over that bit and get right to exploring nature or spending time with our loved ones, wouldn’t that be wonderful. Setting up a tent may be time-consuming, especially if the weather is a little iffy, but inflatable tents can make the process much easier. This guide has been updated to cover product lines for the year 2021, so you can be confident that you’re receiving the very newest and greatest inflatable tents available. Please read the list below if you only want a short overview of the top air tents available:
- The Vango Keswick II 600DLX TC Air Tent, the Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario Air Tent, and the Kampa Kielder 5 Air Tent are all excellent choices.
Continue reading to learn more about inflatable tents, as well as the top air tents available for this year’s outdoor adventure. Inflatable tents (also known as air tents) are similar to other types of tents, with the exception of one key difference: they are inflatable. Instead of using typical poles made of metal, plastic, or fiberglass, the tent makes use of inflatable beams that are inflated to give the necessary structural support. With their AirBeam line of inflatable tents, Vango was the first firm to successfully introduce inflatable tents to the general camping market.
- Other firms, like as Empire, Outwell, Kampa, and others, have entered the market in recent years, with tents of extremely high quality from brands such as these.
- What is the procedure for using inflatable tents?
- In general, they’re also a lot quicker to put up than regular tents, with some being able to be set up in as little as a few minutes.
- The most obvious reason is the amount of time it takes to set up and take down the structure.
- Consider the expressions on the faces of your fellow campers when you arrive at the campsite after them and complete erecting your tent before they get at the campsite.
- Construction of even the largest air tents may be completed within minutes.
- Consider how much time you will save as a result of this.
You also won’t have to be concerned about broken or bent poles, or about attempting to repair them with duct tape or whatever else you happen to have on hand.
Air tents are built to an exceedingly high quality and are no less dependable than their poled counterparts in terms of performance.
Punctures, on the other hand, are exceedingly rare.
Simply said, if you take good care of it, you will have no problems.
These replacements are incredibly simple to install and require very little effort.
Tents with continuous airflow, on the other hand, will not collapse on top of you in the middle of the night if a puncture occurs since you may block off each part within the tent before it collapses.
Best inflatable tents 2021
Well, the title of “best inflatable tent” is quite subjective – it all depends on what you’re searching for in the first place. Do you like a tiny, snug tent or a large, spacious inflatable tent that can accommodate the whole family? Some of our personal favorites are listed below:
Vango Keswick II 600DLX TC Air Tent
Vango’s Keswick Air TC 600DLX tent is the highest-end model in the Keswick family of tents, which is available only through Winfields. A combination of Vango’s remarkable AirBeam technology and Sentinel Exclusive flysheet fabric results in a luxurious top-of-the-range tent that outlasts polyester tents by a long shot. The following are some of the winning characteristics:
- There is a new side pod addition that has a divider curtain for multipurpose storage separate from the main living space
- And For adding extra lights and accessories, a new Skytrack II System has been developed. Super Zips on flysheet doors that are stronger, smoother, and more durable – excellent for heavier weight flysheet fabric
- New Super Zips on flysheet doors that are stronger, smoother, and more durable
- In addition to being breathable and helping you have a good night’s sleep, the new Nightfall bedding fabric helps limit early morning light in your bedroom
Learn more about the Vango Keswick II 600DLX TC Air Tent by visiting their website.
Kampa Kielder 5 Air Tent
The efficient tunnel design of the Kielder 5 Air tent, which is another Winfields unique, is jam-packed with helpful features. This tent, which can accommodate five people, is ideal for families. It has been renovated for 2021 and contains a big living space with daylight ceiling panels, which allow for significantly more natural light to enter the tent. At the front and back of the tent, weather-protected ventilation may be found, and the huge front canopy gives even more interior room. The following are the winning characteristics:
- A side entrance allows for more flexible entry and exit from the tent. In the living room, the drop-down door allows for level and simple access. The addition of a secondary mesh panel on the front and side doors provides comfortable bug-free ventilation. The quantity of morning light is reduced by using a darker sleeping pod material.
Learn more about the Kampa Kielder 5 Air Tent by visiting their website.
Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario Air Tent
Outdoor Revolution introduces the gorgeous Ozone 6.0 XTR Vario Air tent, which is available in a variety of colors. This tent is only available from Winfields and boasts extra-deep ‘King Deluxe’ beds that are dark in color and strategically placed at the darker-colored rear-section of the tent for a restful night’s sleep. This tent is ideal for extended weekends away since it has a large living space that seems open and broad due to the lighter material used around the windows and the use of skylights.
The following are the winning characteristics:
- They are the most trustworthy inflation valves on the market because they are the quickest, simplest, and most reliable. In order to prevent over-inflation, an intelligent frame relief valve protection mechanism is included, which expels any extra air above 6psi. The Versatile Vario Front Door is an unique movable front door panel that may be used as an expansion of useful living space or as a protected front porch area, depending on the situation. The term “zip-off end bedroom” refers to the ability to completely remove the end bedroom to generate more living or storage space.
Learn more about the Outdoor Revolution Ozone 6.0XTR Vario Air Tent by visiting their website. It is hoped that you now have a better understanding of inflatable tents than you had previously, and these are just a handful of the incredible air tents that are available from Winfields Outdoors. Check out our whole collection of exclusives from the most well-known camping companies online now. More camping items to pack for your next excursion may be found by clicking on the links below.
Inflatable Air Tents Vs Pole Tents
There are a plethora of various types of tents available. A camping vacation can be made even more difficult by having to select the proper style of tent. If you’re new to camping, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between sleeping in a tent and sleeping in a tent. A tent is just that: a tent, right? False, most of the time it is not that straightforward. Consider the fact that a tent is meant to give temporary shelter, which is a fairly narrow function. It is something that differs considerably from one individual to the next.
These considerations might result in a wide range of needs for a camping tent.
We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each, and by the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll know which choice is the greatest fit for your needs.
Inflatable Air Tents
Inflatable tents, instead of using plastic or steel poles to support the tent, employ air tubes to support the tent. The framework of the tent is provided by the inflatable tubes, which eliminates the need for heavy tent poles. Inflatable air tents are still relatively new on the market, and many campers have not yet had the opportunity to test them out. Because of the numerous advantages that these minimalist on-demand shelters provide, they have a great deal of potential. Advantages of using an inflatable air tent
- Inflatable air tents are quick and simple to erect! All that is required is that you extend out the corners and allow the air to circulate. An inflatable air tent may be set up in a matter of minutes by a single person. Inflatable air tents retain its “coolness” element as a novelty item. Because inflatable air tents do not have any poles, there is no need to be concerned about them breaking.
Cons of using an inflatable air tent
- Inflatable air tents are often more costly than conventional tents. An air pump is required for the setup of an inflated air tent. Check to see whether this is included with the purchase of your inflatable air tent! (With every inflated air tent ordered from Wildcat Outdoor Gear, a free air pump is included.)
- Because there is just one major portion to an inflatable air tent, they tend to be heavier than other types of tents.
The most significant feature of an inflatable air tent is the ease with which it can be put up. There is no way to go wrong with an inflatable air tent, no matter how inexperienced you are at camping. If you have a foot pump, you can simply and quickly set up an inflatable air tent by yourself without encountering any serious difficulties. You are not need to bring a second person to assist you in raising the tent or lowering the opposite side of the pole.
A standard pole tent is supported by metallic or plastic rods that run down the length of the tent. Pole tents, like inflatable air tents, have their own set of pros and downsides to consider. For example, the components of a pole tent may be divided into many bags, making them easier to transport when trekking to your camping destination. Pole tents, on the other hand, can be time-consuming to assemble. For example, you must insert the tent poles into the tent and string out the guy lines in order to protect the tent from collapsing.
- You can frequently fit the tent in your bag because it is lightweight and portable. Pole tents are less costly than inflatable air tents when compared to other options. When it comes to pole tents, you may obtain a tent as large as you like
- However, they are more expensive.
Pole Tent – Disadvantages
- Pole tents may be difficult to set up, making them a poor choice if you are going camping with a group of friends. You may order a pole tent in whatever size you like, but the larger the tent, the greater the number of people required to set it up. During windy or severe weather, pole tents are prone to sustaining significant damage.
So, whatever sort of camping tent should you choose with is a personal preference. To be honest, it depends on a variety of things. As you can see, each form of tent has its own set of benefits and drawbacks to consider. Pole tents are typically less costly than other types of tents due to their shorter length. If you’re working with a limited budget yet want the assistance of an experienced team for the setup, this is your best choice. Rather of using inflexible metallic or plastic poles, inflatable air tents use inflated air poles, which have several advantages, including being easier to put up and having more strength.
Are Air Tents Better Than Pole Tents?
We couldn’t afford a vacation “get-away” for our family because we were a young married couple on a tight budget. Instead, we rented a cabin tent and camped out on the shore of a neighboring lake. On the contrary, we were completely out of our minds with excitement. We were traveling with three children, the smallest of whom was in a bassinet. Putting up that tent was a complete disaster. It was a test of endurance for three rowdy children and two irritable, overheated parents, to say the least.
- If we had chosen to rest in front of our inflated tent holding hands and watching the sun set, we would have avoided hours of stone silence under the stress of things uttered in the heat of the moment (“I said pull the rope taut, not take it out of my hands”).
- I’m still not sure I’d camp with a small child again, but it was the pole tent that came dangerously close to destroying our relationship.
- In order to restore order to the campground, my husband and another gentleman who offered their time were had to intervene.
- The act of camping is beneficial to a marriage as well as the entire family.
A excellent approach to get away from the difficulties we all face today and to remind ourselves that there is still tranquility and beauty in the world is to go on a nature walk. Camping chairs provide a comfortable place for a happy couple to rest.
What Is an Inflatable Tent?
It’s possible that when you hear the term “inflatable tent,” you see a tent that has been inflated like a balloon. You’d need an airlock to go in and out of the tent while keeping the canvas inflated. However, the design of inflatable tents is quite similar to the design of pole tents, and this is true in practice. It is common for tents to look almost comparable to normal pole tents after they have been built once they have been set up. We’ve used the phrases “air tent” and “inflatable tent” interchangeably throughout this article.
- Instead of poles, the tent is supported by airtight pockets that are implanted or connected to the structure.
- Pumping air (thus the name) into the pockets of an air tent is all it takes to put one up.
- Depending on the inflatable tent, the air pockets may be linked to one another.
- Each air beam in the inflatable tents we’ve looked at has its own inflation and deflation point, which is convenient.
- Because achieving 6PSI does not need a significant amount of additional air, it is simple and quick to pump up each air beam.
How Do You Set Up an Inflatable Tent?
Inflatable tents are simple to set up and take down. The majority of them have built-in footprints. All that is required of you is:
- The tent should be unrolled and staked down. Make sure the footprint is fully stretched and the tent is secure. It is possible that the footprint will need to be staked in numerous locations for more complicated tent forms. Set up the air beams in the tent according to the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. It is possible that you may need to assist the initial air beams in order to sustain the tent if it is a large or heavy tent. This is when you may want the assistance of a second person to assist with the setup. The guy ropes should be unrolled and staked once all of the air beams are inflated.
The sample movies provided below will help you have a better understanding of how to create an inflatable time.
Inflatable Versus Pole Tents
So, which is preferable? Which is better: pole tents or inflatable tents? As is always the case, the answer is not straightforward. Before we even begin to address your question, we recommend that you read our piece on Family Camping | How to Choose a Tent That is Right for Your Family. If you don’t have time to read the entire essay, the most important item to take away is that you must be certain of what you want from a tent (any tent) before making a purchase. Here are a few of the most important points:
- The question then becomes, which is preferable. Inflatable tents or pole tents: which is better for you? Again, this is not an easy question to answer. You should first read our page on Family Camping | How to Choose a Tent That Is Right for Your Family before contacting us about your question. If you don’t have time to read the entire essay, the most important item to take away is that you must be certain of what you want from a tent (any tent) before making a purchasing decision. A few of the most important considerations are as follows.
The following are some more characteristics of inflatable tents that should be mentioned:
- Inflation speed
- One or two people required for setup
- Are there any repair kits included? – The majority of inflatable tents are equipped with self-adhesive repair patches.
In light of the fact that we have stated what we are seeking in a tent, which is preferable a pole tent or inflatable tent?
Inflatable Tent – Advantages
- Setup time and ease of use are important considerations. Very good in the wind — check the example below
- Capability for three-quarters of the year
Inflatable Tent – Dis-advantages
- Weighing a lot
- Having few design alternatives
- There may be fewer doors and windows, as well as additional ventilation choices
Pole Tent – Advantages
- Dome tents, cabin tents, tunnel tents, multi-room tents, and instant tents are all options.
Lightweight and compact in terms of packing size When constructed, the tent will be rather large — many larger tents are available.
Hikers and backpackers sometimes divide their gear into two backpacks for convenience (as family, car campers, this is not an advantage for us) Modern pole tents are simple to erect and take down once they are set up. Instant tents are able to be set up in a matter of seconds. Price
Pole Tent – Dis-advantages
- Larger pole tents may be difficult to set up and may require the assistance of at least two persons. Not frequently three-season (while they may be marketed as three-season tents, they are often designed for usage primarily in the late spring, summer, and early fall when the weather is warm)
- The design may not be suitable for use in windy or adverse weather conditions.
So, Is an Air Tent Better Than a Pole Tent
Are air tents preferable to pole tents in terms of performance? A lot depends on your own preferences, your preferred camping spots, and the type of weather you anticipate. The range of situations in which the benefits of an air tent are most noticeable is limited. The majority of family campers will be better suited by purchasing a normal pole tent than than a dome tent. A year ago, it appeared that air tents would soon overtake pole tents in terms of sales. Now, it appears as though that early promise has been dashed – at least in the United States.
- If you take a look at Cabelas.com, you will notice that they do not sell any air tents.
- The price, we believe, is a significant concern.
- A family air tent will cost you around $500 to purchase at the outset of your search.
- ‘Instant tents,’ which can be built up in seconds by attaching a few poles together, are becoming increasingly popular.
- It’s also possible that the design of air tents just does not work in our climate or environment.
- Most of the time, keeping the tent cold is our primary concern.
When Should I use an Inflatable Tent?
If you want to camp “in the wild” after a five-mile trip, the inflatable tent may not be the best option for your needs. The air tubes must be durable in order to maintain high air pressure while also supporting the weight of the tent. As a result, inflated tents are significantly heavier than their more conventional counterparts. Some campers may not be put off by the prospect of backpacking with a tiny inflatable for two people. It’s not going to work for a camping vacation with the family, for example.
The presence of tiled showers and heated pools at a camp site isn’t necessary, but we do like a location that isn’t too far from the car.
In contrast, if you’re camping with your family, the convenience and speed with which you may put up your tent are more than compensated by the constraints in terms of size, weight, and expense.
How Good Are Air Tents in the Wind?
Strong winds have little effect on the performance of air tents. Consider the bending of a tree in response to the wind. The same principle applies to the inflated air tubes. The tent will flex in the wind, but if it is correctly tied down, with its footprint secured, and with all guy ropes deployed, taut, and suitably staked, it will be able to withstand most wind conditions.
In addition, rigid poles will bend in a heavy wind. Tent poles can and will eventually break if the wind blows for an extended period of time or becomes very powerful.
What Inflatable Tent Should I Buy?
There is a limited selection of inflatable tents that are suited for family camping. While we are excited about the possibilities of inflatable tents, we believe that the reality is taking a long time to materialize. As you are aware, for a family of four, we strongly recommend that you choose a tent that can accommodate 6, or ideally 8, people. There aren’t a lot of inflatable tents available in this category. Some excellent instances are as follows:
HEIMPLANET Original | Backdoor – 4 Season | 4 Person Dome Tent
The Heimplanet tents have a unique and amusing appearance. Some individuals are against it. Aside from its appearance, the Heimplanet Original is a substantial amount of tent for the money.
- Weight: 13 lbs
- Ground area: 96 square feet
- Packing dimensions: 20x10x8in As a comparison, our top pick for 6-person tents (the smallest tent we review for family camping) – the Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch – gives just 90 square feet of useable area (the smallest tent we review for family camping). The Heimplanet Cave tent, on the other hand, comes with a complete fly. The functional space inside the tent is anticipated to be roughly 80 square feet, and it can accommodate up to four people. However, we haven’t tested it, but if you want to sleep on an air mattress, we believe you will only be able to find one in this tent.
This is what we call a mountain tent. The entire fly is waterproof to a depth of 5000mm. While the inside tent contains mesh panels for ventilation, the fly sheet will prevent the majority of air flow from passing through. Originally Inflationary Heimplanet
HEIMPLANET Original | Nias Classic Tunnel Tent
Even the most ardent fan of inflatable tents would find it difficult to appreciate the design of the Heimplanet Nias. Here are some of the most important characteristics:
- Packing Dimensions: 24x12x10in
- Weight: 13.2lbs
- Ground Area: 107 square feet
- Double-layer air struts
- Packing Dimensions: 24x12x10in
- Weight: 13.2lbs Water resistant to a water column of 5000mm
- Tent may be inflated from a single valve because to the interconnected air chambers. Once inflated, each chamber can be separated from the others in order to maintain stability in the event of a chamber failure.
You can find other air tent alternatives on Amazon.co.uk if you want to check what else is available. In recent years, it appears that the Europeans have adopted air and inflatable tents in significant numbers. Here are a few illustrations: (remember these are from Amazon.co.uk and may not be available in the US)
Vango Odyssey Airbeam 600
This Coleman six-man (read: four-person) model is equipped with inflatable poles for added stability, as well as a covered porch where you could put up a picnic table if you so desired. This tent is an excellent choice for a family. In addition to the two bedrooms, there is a “family room.” Take a look at this video to get a better sense of what I mean. Unfortunately, this tent is not available in the United States.
So, Are Air Tents Better Than Pole Tents?
Consequently, if they are made accessible, are inflatable tents a good investment? We would have said “probably” a year or two ago. Now we say “definitely.” Because there aren’t any reasonably priced family air tents available right now, the answer has to be ” no.” No matter whatever option you choose, we recommend that you give tenting a try. There’s something unique about waking up early in the morning and watching the dawn from a log while holding a mug of steaming coffee in your hands. Bird singing is the best kind of morning music, and there is none greater than it.