Family camping is an excellent way to spend quality time together and create lifelong memories in the great outdoors. It allows you to get back to nature and put down your gadgets. Children can learn a lot from spending time outside, including self-reliance and teamwork, all of which are enhanced by the camping experience. Camping is a great way to strengthen the bond between family members. Sharing an outdoor shelter, cooking meals, and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, or swimming give you the opportunity to connect as a family.
For any camping trip, a tent is a crucial piece of gear, and to make your outdoor adventure pleasurable, you need to choose it wisely. These days, many campers will naturally choose an “Inflatable tent” also called an “Air tent” because of its convenience. And it's no wonder why; there's a long list of benefits that make this outdoor shelter the best option for practically any kind of camping. And relaxation in nature with your family is not an exception. But it can be pretty hard to choose a good inflatable shelter because there are so many things that you need to pay attention to when choosing an air shelter that it's very easy to make an improper choice. Below, we will tell you what to look for when choosing an inflatable shelter for an outdoor trip as well as introduce you to some of the best models available on the market so that you can make the best choice and your dream trip doesn't end in some sort of nightmare.
What should I look for when choosing an inflatable tent?
There is a wide range of air models on the market right now, making it tough for even skilled campers to narrow down their options.
The dimensions of your shelter are without a doubt the most important aspect to take into account. In most cases, manufacturers will list the maximum number of people that can fit inside of a canvas, but there are always nuances. If a canopy is advertised as being appropriate for up to three people, then the space allocated for the third individual is going to be quite small. So, as a general rule of thumb, you should add one to the number of people for whom you require space. If you have a family of three, you should probably look for a shelter that can accommodate at least four people so that everyone has enough space for themselves. In actual use, however, larger is almost always preferable, so if you have a roomy car and a family of four, an option that can accommodate six people might be a smart choice for you.
Inflatable shelters exist in a variety of shapes and sizes with varying inner tube support structures. Some of them feature a single valve that pumps up the entire structure, while others, typically larger ones, have many valves and distinct parts. This gives the user peace of mind if one piece suffers a leak.
The ease with which an inflatable canvas may be packed away is one of the most underrated features of these kinds of shelters. It is easy to pump air into a tube; however, it is not easy to get all of that air out of the tube again. Because of this, folding and rolling the tubes and canvas can be challenging. Practice is required, but that is true of anything. A bag that is significantly larger than necessary is best to have along with any canvas. Air shelters normally do not pack down as tiny as classic designs do, so it is important to carefully check the dimensions if you have a restricted amount of space in your vehicle. This is something else to keep in mind.
It’s best to seek out a shelter that has good weather resistance and can handle a variety of weather situations, such as rain, wind, and sun. Because even if you are going on a summer trip, no one can guarantee that the weather will not suddenly change for the worse. Check for waterproofing, UV protection, and strong stakes and guylines. The outer waterproof level should be at least 3,000 mm. The cloth should be wind-resistant but vented so that no moisture accumulates within. Choose a type with the most arched crossings if you want a shelter that can withstand strong winds. Take note of the ventilation windows; it is quite convenient when they can be opened from the inside. In warmer regions, effective tent ventilation is essential, as is the presence of a mosquito net.
Best inflatable models for family camping trips
Quechua Air Seconds 4.2 XL Fresh & Black
This inflatable model is incredibly adaptable. It comes with inflated poles and blackout bedrooms for maximum lie-in possibilities. It has a living area of 5.9 m2, divided between two bedrooms, and a generous public area in the center that stands 1.95m tall at its tallest point. Pumping it up takes a bit longer than others since it has four independent inflatable poles constructed of two layers of durable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and four well-designed air valves, but you get the extra peace of mind that if a sharp calamity hits, the tent won't collapse on you. When inflated to the necessary 7 PSI, you'll be surprised at how rigid the structure is. While not intended for extreme weather, the 2,000-mm water-resistant polyester flysheet with taped seams will laugh in the face of rain, stay grounded in severe winds, and provide the best protection from adverse weather.
Kampa Kielder Air
Kampa Kielder has one of the best selections of sizes to choose from on the market. You have the option of choosing the Kielder 6 Air, which is ideal for a family of four or five. If there are fewer of you, you can go for the Kielder 5 Air or even the Kielder 4 Air, which is the smallest available. The Kampa Kielder 4, 5, and 6 Air shelters have excellent design and all of the features you may require. The Kielder 6 air has three huge living rooms that are rationally laid out in an 'arched tunnel' format: front porch with a good ground sheet that is Ideal for removing dirty boots. The main lounge area features huge side and front doors with windows that enable excellent visibility, as well as two triple sleeping rooms at the back provided by a clipped-in inner tent. The Kielder line includes all of the features you may want while camping, such as an access flap for an electric hookup wire and exceptional water resistance; the main tent has a hydrostatic head of 6000mm and the groundsheet has a hydrostatic head of 10000 mm. You will not get wet!
3m Nova Air Dome Tent
This is a fully modern twist on the classic glamping yurt, constructed from a mid-weight 200GSM polycotton canvas with a waterproof covering that also protects against UV damage and mildew (the curse of the classic models). It's a beautiful, innovative design that checks all the glamping boxes, but it's also quick to pitch. To preserve the classic look, the six-air beam geodesic construction is hidden behind the canvas, but each air pole is reassuringly modern, made of 2mm thick TPU. It's not particularly large, especially for the price, but Nova also provides 4m and 5m diameter designs if your budget allows. Novas have wide windows with external flaps to divert rain, as well as guy-rope-free webbing straps. The Nova Air Dome is comprised of a lightweight polycotton canvas that allows faster drying time without sacrificing breathable and insulating properties. The canvas of the shelter has been treated with water, UV, and rot-repellent compound to ensure lifespan no matter where you set up camp. All family members will benefit from the mosquito nets, decent headroom, 150cm door height, and rain-deflecting ability of this canopy.
Premium Inflatable Tent "Panda Air" Large
This big shelter is ideal for people looking for a warm family trip. But if the weather unexpectedly turns bad, it will not ruin your holiday because the shelter has one of the best weather protection you can find thanks to a 210gsm T/C fabric that is mildew-proof and waterproof and will keep you safe from severe rains and high winds on the camping grounds. It can be simply erected in a matter of minutes. This huge model features three inflation points, which means that if one section of a shelter is punctured, the other two parts will remain unharmed and support the structure, making it easier to repair the damaged part. This shelter is made up of one huge room that can be used according to your needs and preferences and can comfortably accommodate up to six people, ensuring the best comfort for all family members. This shelter distinguishes itself from the competition due to its distinctive panoramic roof, which is not present in many other shelters. This function will be appreciated by the entire family.
Portal Alfa 5-Person Air Tent
Go no further than the Portal Alfa Inflatable Air for excellent value. It would be ideal for a budget-conscious family of three or four. The Portal is made up of three inflatable arches that form two main rooms: a front 300 x 260 cm lounge area with windows on both sides and a single spacious bedroom at the back spanning 210 x 300cm. It only takes a minute or two to inflate the air beams with the included hand pump. The polyester used for the primary outer covering is waterproofed to a hydrostatic head of 4000 mm and should withstand any thunderstorm. It is surprisingly light for a '5 person' option at 12 kg and can be readily moved to your campground. The bedroom is a suspended inner cotton tent and, as previously stated, is just a single room - you're all in this together! There are a few design details to be aware of before purchasing the Portal Alfa. The maximum height is 190cm (about 6ft 2) in the front and 180cm (approximately 5ft 11) in the bedroom. This means that if you are taller than this, you will stoop somewhat inside. It's not a huge deal, but it's worth mentioning. Second, the side windows in the lounge are very high up and not particularly large. As a result, if the sun isn't shining outside, it can feel a little dark indoors.
🏕 Are inflatable tents long-lasting?
The answer is yes; the construction of such shelters is long-lasting and durable. In most cases, they are made of the best materials that are resistant to ripping and puncturing.
📦 Are inflatable tents easy to set up?
Yes, these shelters are generally easier to set up compared to traditional models because they do not require poles or stakes. Instead, they come with an air pump that you can use to inflate their beams and frame.
💡 Are inflatable tents suitable for family camping?
Some advantages of these shelters for family camping include their quick and easy setup, which can be especially helpful if you have young children who are eager to start exploring the great outdoors. Also, this kind of shelter usually comes in bigger sizes, which will guarantee maximal comfort for all family members.