Inflatable tents open up new camping horizons

Inflatable tents open up new camping horizons
Pavlo Lysyy June 23, 2023 13 mins read time

Self-inflatable tents make up a new category of dwelling facilities for campers. One thing that distinguishes them from traditional products with poles is that their frames consist of air beams. They do not feature metal or fiberglass frames. Air camps are taking up a decent niche in the market, mostly because they are very handy and easy to set up. Blowup huts are increasingly popular in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, NZ, etc.

 

Why buy it?

These temporary houses are easy to pitch, and the inflatable beams are integrated into the whole structure. A pump is a must-have accessory that should accompany the tent during a trip. Besides, there should be a kit of pegs and guy ropes that should prevent it from bouncing to and fro on a windy day. Because these products do not use poles, they are more lightweight than traditional canopies with metal or fiberglass frames.

There are air camps of various shapes and sizes, and many of them are big enough to accommodate a group or family of 5 or 6 persons. They come in bags that can fit well in a car trunk without taking up too much room. For this reason, they are ideal for hiking and car camping and can be used in outdoor events. Besides, they can save a lot of time for hunters and fishermen, so they can get down to work without much fuss.

Manufacturers use sturdy materials that display durability and integrity. Frames are made of strong and water-resistant polyurethane. On the other hand, they require special care and must be stored properly. Many users say that they are easier to repair. Punctures, tear and wear are the biggest issue with air-beams. Camps from reputable brands are supplied with a repair kit that includes glue, patches, tapes, etc. It allows you to fix the canvas or beams right on the spot, so it will remain usable throughout the trip. Once you are back home, you should repair it properly.

Why not buy it?

As mentioned above, self-inflatable tents for camping are made of sturdy and durable materials. This makes them slightly more expensive than those that use traditional frames.

So far, there is no standard pump for all air-beam tents: different manufacturers come up with their own specific valve types, which require a specific type of pump. You may have difficulty finding an appropriate pump if you lose it.

Once inflated, your portable home can stand solid for several days. However, you should keep track of the temperature outside. A sudden temperature drop will cause it to deflate, while warming can cause overinflation. In the latter case, the consequences can be serious because overpressure can cause the inflatable frame to burst beyond repair. For this reason, it is advisable to follow weather forecasts and depressurize the frame in case of a dramatic temperature increase.

Peg it properly so that it remains standing in case of strong winds. Your kit should include high-quality stakes, pegs, and guy ropes to ensure stability in any weather.

How do I buy the right thing?

Now that you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of camping inflatable tents, it's time to narrow down your search and find a high-quality product that meets all your needs and preferences.

There is one important rule to remember: don't compromise on quality! There are many brands and online stores that offer a wide range of products at different prices. However, not all of them can be trusted. It is crucial to exercise caution and think twice before making a purchase.

Look for a product from a reputable manufacturer with a proven track record. Take the time to research information about the manufacturer, their products, and user feedback. Pay attention to detailed reviews from experienced campers, as they can provide valuable insights into the features, strengths, and weaknesses of the product you are considering. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the right inflatable tent for your needs.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is one of the most important criteria of quality. Look for a properly insulated canopy with properly glued seams and a hydrostatic rainfly. Be sure that vents and electric hookup outlets are designed in such a way as not to let rainwater in

Size and capacity

Size and capacity are important too. See how many people you are going to camp with and use a +1 approach. For example, if you have a team or family of four, you’d better buy a 5-person shelter. It will make everyone feel comfortable inside and save a bit of space for your gear. Look for a camp with a vestibule and a sufficient number of pockets, so you can store your gear without cluttering the dwelling space.

Check the inflatable beams. Check with the manufacturer and user manuals to ensure that the self-inflatable frame is made of a high-quality material. Read guidelines on how to handle them properly to avoid premature wear and puncturing. Make sure that the package includes a repair kit.

You can buy a self-inflatable tent with separate bedroom areas and provide a bit of privacy for team/family members (especially children or teenagers). It is advisable to buy a shelter with two entrances/exits, so you can get in and out easily and without bothering each other.

When camping in summer, be sure to keep the inside ventilated. Some canopies have large and clear windows, vent holes with mosquito nets, and mesh ceilings. Proper ventilation will make your self-inflatable camping house tent more livable, and it will increase its life, as it will prevent the formation of moist and mildew.

Make sure there is a sufficient amount of headroom. Many high-quality self-inflatable cabin, tunnel, etc. tents can accommodate a medium-tall man, so he/she can walk inside without bending.

If you are planning winter hiking trips, you may want to heat it up with a wood stove. In this case, you should know how to use it properly and take precautions. Make sure the stove area is equipped with heat-resistant mats and follow safety instructions. Keep control over the pressure inside the air beams, as pressure may grow dramatically if it gets really hot.

Other types of blowup camps

Manufacturers strive to abide by accepted standards and meet preferences and come up with products catering to individual needs. For example, there are inflatable see-through cabin tents with transparent canopies. They are good for those who want to stay quiet and maybe display their joy of having a wonderful weekend to others. There are inflatable indoor tents for kids as well.

A floating inflatable tent is actually a blowup raft topped with a cabin. It is intended for the specific way of camping on water, which can be quite exciting. A floating inflatable cabin tent should be waterproof and strong, and it should come with high-quality ropes and anchors. Right now, floating camps are not very common, and they are definitely very expensive.

RBM Premium Inflatable Tent No Stove Jack "Panda Air" Medium

The Panda Air is a superb-quality 3-season cabin-type shelter, which employs a number of innovative features. The manufacturer has relied on countless customer reviews and has worked really hard to create an advanced and user-friendly product.

It features a self-inflatable frame with just one valve. It comes with a powerful pump, so it does not take a lot of time and effort to erect it. It will stand up straight after a minute or so. Once it does, all you need to do is peg it down properly.

This inflatable camper cabin tent offers a good amount of space and can accommodate 4 to 6 campers, depending on whether or not you are going to use camping beds: 4 persons with beds, and up to 6 persons in sleeping bags. Many users, who have purchased this item, say it is good enough for glamping.

The Panda Air Medium is made of best-quality T/C material. The PVC valve will last a lifetime. The canopy is waterproof and insulated, and the air-beams are strong and sturdy. The double-layer top will keep the inside completely dry on a rainy day. On a sunny day, you can remove the fly and open the panoramic roof. The meshed ventilation window will keep the air inside fresh.

The Panda Air does not have a stove jack, and it was designed as a 3-season shelter suitable for camping in spring, summer, and fall. You can use it in winter unless it gets very frosty. It will protect you against wind, rain, and snow. It won't work well in a heavy snowfall or snowstorm. It is not intended for alpine camping either.

Coleman Weathermaster

The Coleman Weathermaster showcases effective solutions that keep dwellers comfortable inside and protect them against outer influences. Particularly, it sports a unique type of material that blocks sunlight effectively and enables you to sleep. The material keeps the interior cool in summer and warm in winter.

This inflatable insulated tent is tunnel-shaped, and it consists of three sections: the front porch, lounge area, and bedroom. The latter is found at the rear end of the tunnel. The canopy and self-inflatable beams are made of sturdy materials and guarantee years of safe use and a hundred-percent protection against bad weather. The canopy has a 4500 HH.

Like many Weathermaster products, this one comes in pastel green. It is roomy enough to accommodate up to 6 people (the X6 series). The bedroom area is divided into three sections, each accommodating two persons in sleeping bags. The walls between the sections provide a bit of privacy. It is 7 ft high, so even tall people are okay inside.

A storage area at the back can house a good amount of gear. It is located close to the bedroom area, and there are hooks on one of the air-beams. You can hang a lamp, clothes, and other items without cluttering the space.

The Coleman Weathermaster has five air-beams, each with a separate valve. However, the beams are not large by nature, so the pumping does not take a lot of effort. Because of its big size, it weighs around 84 lbs. Therefore, it can be good for car camping, glamping, or outdoor feasts, but not for backpacking.

There are three series of Coleman Weathermaster: X4, X6, and X8. They differ in size and can accommodate up to 4, 6, and 8 persons respectively.

Portal Alfa 5-Person Air Tent

Although the Portal Alfa is far from the biggest canopy, it is quite good for a family of 3 to 5 people, and the sleeping area can house up to five campers in sleeping bags. The camp has two rooms: a lounge area at the front (118” x 102”), and a bedroom (83” x 118”). It stands up once the three air-beams are blown up. The process takes up just a few minutes.

The canopy is made of a 4000 HH polyester, so it can keep you dry even in a heavy rainfall. The whole thing weighs 26.5 lbs, which is quite light for a 5-person shelter. The bedroom is designed like another canopy inside. The material blocks a good amount of light, so one can sleep comfortably at daytime. Thanks to the electric hookup hatch, you can use your car battery or another source of electricity and keep the interior lit at night.

The lounge area is roomy, and there are large windows at the front and smaller ones at the sides. The height is about 6.2 ft in the lounge area and 5.9 ft in the bedroom area. That is quite enough for a medium tall man and a little tight for someone taller than that. Light and compact, the Portal Alfa is as easy to pack as it is to pitch, and it fits well in the bag that comes with it.

Many users have confessed that the product is very good for the price of $629. It has all characteristics of a 3-season tent, and it is not good for camping high up in the uplands or in extreme climates. It is not well suited for use in heavy storms either. Some users have noted that the side windows are too small, so it can be somewhat dark inside.

Vango Joro 600XL Air Tent

The Vango Joro 600XL is part of a green project, as it uses a canvas that is made of recycled plastic bottles. The product has been around since 2021, and it has proved to be great in many ways. The blue-color canopy rests on five inflatable beams that keep the structure strong and stable.

The Vango Joro is a 6-person tent, and it is 23.12 ft in length, 12.46 ft in width, and 6.89 ft in height. It is relatively lightweight (56.2 lbs). If you have experience with such tents, you can put it up yourself in 15 minutes or so single-handedly.

This transportable house offers a good deal of space, and the front porch provides ample room for sitting and admiring the surroundings and cooking. This place will be dry even if it rains heavily. Thanks to large windows with a layer of clear plastic, the lounge area is quite light. Here you can stay for a while and relax, as you must have come a long way to this location and wouldn’t mind a little rest or some quiet indoor activity. Apart from the main entrance, there is a smaller entrance at the right side of the canopy.

The 6.89 ft high canopy provides substantial headroom even for a tall man to walk around without much stooping. The bedroom at the rear accommodates six persons in sleeping bags, and it is divided into three compartments for two. However, some feedback suggests that it is somewhat tight for six campers, and four to five persons would be okay. The blackout material is quite effective. The Vango Joro is much cheaper than many similar products because it is made of recycled material.

Robens Aero Yurt 8 Man Adventure Tent

This inflatable camping yurt tent beats all expectations in terms of size, as it offers enough space to accommodate 8 persons with a good margin. It can be categorized as close to a cabin winter tent, as it can keep you warm in winter. Thanks to its size and design, the Robens Aero Yurt is a nice option for glampers.

The Robens Aero Yurt is very tall, measuring 8.63 ft high. It features a door almost the size of a rural house. The 8 inflatable air-beams converge at the very top. The pattern keeps the whole structure rock solid even in a strong gale. Even if the canopy does collapse under the pressure of the blowing wind, it will bounce back into shape once the wind diminishes.

It has just one room with no extra walls or dividers. Privacy lovers consider it a weak spot. Thanks to the polycotton, the interior is well-insulated, and it does not get too hot inside in summer. In winter, you can use different safe ways to heat it up, and it will retain warmth just as effectively as it retains coolness in hot weather.

The material deserves a special mention: it is a ripstop mix of cotton (35%) and polyester (65%). The ratio solves the weight problem and helps maintain a comfortable environment inside. Second, the breathable canvas keeps humidity at a low level while keeping the inside dry even during a heavy rainfall. This happens because the cotton expands from moist, and the swollen threads block the holes between them, preventing water from seeping through.

The product features a sewn-in bathtub-style floor that is made of a highly waterproof 210T Oxford polyester. There are three elongated floor vents. The windows and the door have mesh layers that keep the inside ventilated and insect-free. This product’s biggest downside is that it is very expensive.

Berghaus Air 6XL

The Berghaus Air 6XL is a good-sized tunnel tent with a large lounge area and sleeping area. It accommodates 6 persons easily, and there is space for gear as well. The canopy is highly waterproof, and there are two versions – polyester and polycotton. It rests on five air-beams, so it takes about 15 minutes to pump this outhouse. The aerodynamic tunnel shape prevents it from bouncing in a high wind, providing it is pegged down properly. Like most inflatable canopies, the Berghaus Air 6XL is a 3-season camp, so it cannot be used as a winter tent.

The Berghouse Air 6XL is well suited for glamping, as it offers a good amount of space. There are large windows on both sides of the lounge area, as well as in the front wall at both sides of the large zipper door, so the room is well lit at daytime in any weather. There is a spacious porch, which is big enough to be used as a cooking area and/or kitchen.

The sleeping area can house up to six persons. If can be divided into three rooms for two or two rooms for three. It uses a dark material that blocks sunlight and keeps the area dark, so you can take a nap at daytime.

The Berghouse Air 6XL comes in two versions: polyester and polycotton. The latter is nothing less than a 65/35% mix of polyester and cotton. It combines the waterproofness of polyester and the breathability of cotton. For this reason, the polycotton version is more expensive. The more breathable the canvas is, the less condensation appears inside. This makes the air inside fresh and extends the canvas’s life.

This product is highly priced, and it weighs around 108 lbs. It is definitely not for backpacking, and it takes at least two persons to carry the bag over a certain distance. Given the high quality, size, and level of comfort, buying this inflatable tent for camping is actually a long-term investment in your best years with exciting trips around a beautiful country with your loved ones and friends!

TentTube

This inflatable cabin tent is not the biggest one, and it is not for use in frosty winter. Measuring 7.4 ft in length, 5.2 ft in length, and 5.1 ft in height, it accommodates 2 to 3 persons. Compact and lightweight, it fits in a travel bag or rucksack, so is great for camping, hiking, and backpacking, as it fits well in a travel bag. If you have a large apartment or house, you can even use it as an indoor tent for kids.

The pack includes an inflatable frame, with a canopy and four pegs. It takes less than a couple of minutes to blow it up and peg it down. When pitched, the canvas is suspended by the frame. It is quite stable, but it is not intended for camping in bad or extreme weather, as it may get blown off by a gust of wind. In any event, you can peg it down securely or use other ways to keep it stable on the ground.

The canopy is water-resistant, so it can keep you dry in a mild or moderate rain. There are gear pockets inside, and a rope just below the ceiling, by which you can hang a lantern. To take down the camp, open the valves on the air frame. You can buy the TentTube for $249, so it is one of the most affordable inflatable canopies in the market.

Outwell Hornet XL

Outwell is a Danish company that offers an extensive lineup of air shelters for camping of various shapes and sizes. The brand uses a specific approach to creating maximum comfort for dwellers. Particularly, Outwell seeks to provide sufficient space for gear and people. It has gained a reputation of one of the most family-oriented manufacturers, as making things easier for families with kids is a substantial part of their philosophy.

For example, the Outwell Hornet XL is a 6-person inflatable camping tent that can be pitched in less than a couple of minutes. The package includes a pump with a pressure gauge and a spare valve, so you can replace the current valve if it fails.

Outwell makes large canopies, and the Hornet XL is no exception. It weighs around 88 lbs, so it is not the right option for backpacking. It takes at least two people to carry it from a vehicle to a camping site. The Hornet XL has a lounge area and a three-section bedroom area. The lounge area is very large. It has big, tinted windows, through which dwellers can see what is going on outside and stay invisible from outside.

The Outwell Hornet XL package includes a couple of metal poles and a good set of pegs. The unique combination of the cross beams and steel supports makes your temporary home into a rock-solid structure that is impervious to even a strong gale. It is noteworthy that Outwell implements a simple pegging system known as the Outwell Easy Pegging System, which prevents it from bouncing in the wind.


FAQ

🏕  What is an inflatable tent?

An inflatable camping tent features a canopy and uses an inflatable frame instead of metal or fiberglass frame. Unlike a traditional shelter, an air shelter is erected with the help of a pump and pegged to the ground for greater stability.

📦  Why are air tents popular?

Pitching an air camp takes less time and effort. All you need to do is connect the hose of a manual or electric pump to the valve and pump it until the canopy stands straight up. Number two is that these shelters are easier to carry around because they do not have heavyweight metal or fiberglass frames.

💡  How do I choose the best blow-up shelter?

Buy the best product you can afford from a long-standing brand. Pay attention to the type of shelter you want (cabin, tunnel, teepee, etc.), and materials used in it. High quality blowup camps feature air beams made of polyurethane, and canopies that are made of polyester and/or polycotton (mix of cotton (35%) and polyester (65%)).

 

 

Comments

Kareem Gilmore

Kareem Gilmore said:

definitely worth a try !

Samson Kidd

Samson Kidd said:

For me such tents are wayyy easier to set up

Paul Ray

Paul Ray said:

Panda M is my new all time fave tent

Dominic Finch

Dominic Finch said:

Glamping experiences are great

Nora Howard

Nora Howard said:

I enjoy your content sm

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