Need to know more about inflatable tents(54 Posts)
We've been looking for a new tent, really like the look of airbeams, but can't decide if it's worth the extra cost.
Do you have one?
If so, what type and do you recommend it?
Are they that much easier to put up?
Any problems with condensation?
Ever had an airbeam puncture/ deflate during a trip?
Are they much heavier/ bigger to pack?
Is it worth getting polycotton?
Anything else I should know?
Thank you in advance for any help!
We have a Vango airbeam. It's an eight man so huge! Easy to put up and deflate but nightmare to get back into bag. And heavy. We do love it but going to have to find a better way of packing it up.
Our tent is inflatable and polycotton.
Condensation is not an issue with a polycotton tent. And it’s much cooler on hot days and warmer on cool days. The downside is that it is large and heavy.
Our tent takes 30 mins to pitch and it is a doddle as it has a quick pitch system. The beams are very strong and it is very solid in high winds.
We have the Kampa Croyde Air classic. I’d highly recommend it.
@tastylancs which Vango do you have? We like the look of the Vango iris 6xl, but there don't appear to be any reviews online!
I love the Kampa tents, but don't think I can justify over £1000 on a tent (which the large polycotton ones all seem to be). But if we're going to spend the amount it'll cost to get a decent inflatable, then it's not so much more to get a really decent one... So hard to decide!
We have a Vango airbeam and I put it up for first time by myself in about 30 minutes with two small DC running about. Dead easy. Getting it in the bag was a pain and needed a couple of people to pin it down and squash it back in.
I have been looking at the Decathlon inflatable tents as they seem lighter and cheaper than the Vango ones I’ve looked at (I’d be going myself with the kids so need to be able to lift it into/out of car myself). I have no qualms about the airbeams, I run two inflatable kayaks so have confidence in the technology.
We have a Vango Illusion 500xl TC. I love it. It's polycotton and there is a massive, massive difference in the temperature on hot days. It's warmer at night too. It's easy to put up but I think the best thing about it for me is the polycotton. It's a bit harder to get back in the bag - you need 2 people really. Also, it's bloody heavy!
The inflatable tents do take up a lot of room in your boot even if they are not polycotton ones, but I would say go for polycotton if you can afford it. Also, look at the ratio of cotton to polyester as it makes a difference. The Vango ones are 60/40 cotton/polyester, I think. The Kampas are 40/60 cotton/polyester. So the Vangos will probably be better at temperature regulation- but heavier of course.
I have a Vango that I managed to put up by myself with 2 little ones running around. It’s brilliant, and withstood some absolutely torrential rain with no leaks.
I did manage to explode the foot pump the second time I put it up as I hadn’t realised it was fully inflated and kept going. Easily replaced though.
The only thing that makes it tricky for just one person to do is the sheer weight of it. It’s bloody heavy even just to pick up to put in the car. Everything else about it is great though.
Kampa polycotton ratio is the same as Vango.
OP you need to look at the longevity of your tent. If you stick with polyester, look for a higher rating denier (not 70D) so your tent is stronger and does not rip after a year or two. Polyester tents will last a few years as the sun will eventually damage the fabric. Polycotton will last twice that.
Friends of ours bought one so she could take the dc camping o er the summer while her DH is at work ( she’s a teacher) but she can’t lift or move it as it’s too heavy
We’ve got one and we do love it, especially as it only takes 20 minutes to pitch. Like others have said the downside is the size and weight when packed. Ours isn’t poly cotton but we’ve only had to dry out the tent once at home. The windows sometimes have condensation in the mornings but as it’s so well ventilated, it clears up quite quickly once we’re up and about.
I adore our tent - it's an outdoor revolution one. As everyone says - so fast to put up. But the time you save there you use up putting it away. You have to roll your whole body on each beam to get all the air out to even get close to putting it back in the bag. And the size and weight are sooo much bigger.
A lot to think about... We're currently mainly weekend campers, but would like to get the kit sorted so we can do a whole week away. We completely fill the boot (and every space in the rest of the car) just with weekend stuff, not sure how we'd squeeze in a bigger tent and a week's worth, but can't picture being comfy enough in a smaller tent for longer breaks. Might need to start looking at trailers/ roofboxes as well!
We have to take two cars! And it’s still a squeeze
If you are looking at an Iris then I honestly don't think you'd feel the benefit of airbeams. Iris are so easy to put up anyway. You'd get better use of the boot space by taking a little 2x2m utility/kitchen tent so you can get all your cooking stuff and food stored out of the living space to make that more comfortable for longer breaks.
I’ve got a vango Idris. To deflate, I put the nozzle on the pump on the other way and then suck out every last bit of air. Then roll from leftto right, double over and pull the bag down over it.
Mines only small but I can let it down and gat it in the bag as quick as I can put it up. Longest part is pegging out.
Downside with Iris (any sort): there are no doors with a canopy so in heavy rain you cannot avoid it raining into the door area.
Otherwise they are great tents. I use them for weekend camping with the Brownies as they are so easy to put up even a child can do it!
We have a Decathlon inflatable tent with two bedrooms. It takes 20 mins to put up- its great as means it’s worthwhile going away for one night.
We have a vango illusion poly cotton. It was wonderful for our camping weeks in France and Spain last summer. I’m looking forward to using it again in Ireland this summer, however ours is a six man and not easy to pop in the boot or take down. I’m now looking for a smaller weekend tent for using by myself with the kids so we can go spontaneous weekends.
I love our vango airbeam, could happily live in it. Ours is just a bit big and bulky when packing up to justify using for smaller trips of one or two nights.
How long do people take to put up poled tents? I have never taken more than 20 mins and we have ours down to about 10 now, me and one teen assistant. I guess massive complicated tents take longer. But you still have the same amount of pegging and guying out with an Airbeam.
I am put off by the lack of saving in time deflating and rolling, the extra weight, bulk and cost, and in top of that the need to find space for the pump.
Vango Centara Vis a vis tent. Completely love it.
12 mins up, 20 mins down max.
Had to get it due to my arthritis so DH can pitch it on his own.
Condensation is like any other tent, if you have the vents open it's fine.
What i like about the inflatable tent is it's easier to pitch cos you don't need the space around it to thread the poles through.
We have a Coleman Valdes 6 man and we're very pleased with it. If it was up to me we probably would have gone a size down as it's massive for three of us.
I have not only de-pitched and folded it myself (there was an 8yo involved but he didn't bring a lot to the party if we're honest), but I then carried it up two flights of stairs. I wouldn't want to do that every day but it was drying in the communal garden, DH was at work and I had to get it away as soon as it was dry.
I have just bought a Kampa Croyde Air Classic so it’s good to hear that you like it so much!
We go weekend camping mainly but the poles on our current tent are so heavy and I am a bit fed up with the hard work of getting it put up. We had it for 9 years so we did well out of it but now I want to take advantage of the new tent technology to make life easier!
With the inflatables, you can’t lose anything or get it in the wrong place. All you need is a pump and a mallet and pegs.
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