Camping is a wonderful thing. Getting back to nature, kicking back with a cold one, breathing in that clean country air – everything about it is a joy. Except maybe putting up the tent.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just skip that part and get straight to exploring nature or relaxing with family?
Pitching a tent can be hard work, especially if the weather is a little on the inclement side, but that’s where inflatable tents can help. This guide has been updated to include 2021 product ranges, so you know you’re getting the very latest and best inflatable tents.
If you just want a quick look at the best air tents, see below:
Read on to discover more about inflatable tents as well as the best air tents available for this year’s adventure…
What are inflatable tents?
Inflatable tents (or air tents as they’re otherwise known) are just like any other tents, except for one significant difference. Instead of having traditional poles made from metal, plastic or fibreglass, the tent uses inflatable beams, pumped up to provide the structure.
Vango was the first company to really bring inflatable tents to the mainstream camping market with their AirBeam series. It remains, arguably, the most popular tent range around. Other companies have joined the scene now, however, with tents from Zempire, Outwell, Kampa, and more, all of very high quality.
They’re inflated just using a pump, meaning you don’t have to worry about poles, that you can’t quite get to bend properly or get lost inside their little sleeve when you’re putting the tent up.
How do inflatable tents work? Check out this video below to see just how easy it is…
Generally speaking, they’re also a lot faster to erect than traditional tents, and some can go up in a few minutes. Some may take longer than others, but, on the whole, the process is smoother and more streamlined.
Why use an inflatable tent?
Well, the most obvious reason is the time it takes to put up and take down. When you get to your pitch, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time erecting it, meaning you’ll have more time for exploring or relaxing.
Just imagine the looks on the faces of your fellow campers as you turn up to the campsite after them and finish putting your tent up before them.
We’re not just talking about the small tents. Even the largest air tents can be erected in literally minutes. You can have a large, high-quality, eight-berth family tent in just 15 minutes. Think of how much time you’ll save.
Being lighter, air tents are easier to lug around with you, which is particularly handy if you have to walk a distance to your pitch.
You also don’t need to worry about broken or bent poles and trying to mend them using duct tape or whatever else you have lying around.
Are inflatable tents reliable?
We’re not talking about some cheap novelty tent here. Air tents are created to an incredibly high standard and are no less reliable than their poled alternatives.
Regular tents can withstand a fair bit of battering but will get damaged if not cared for, and the same goes for inflatable tents.
As for punctures, they are incredibly rare. As with all tents, just be mindful of any particular sharp objects and ensure you pitch the tent on a level surface, clearing away rocks and any other nasties.
Simply, look after it and you won’t have any issues. Most tents come with a puncture repair kit in the unlikely case you do happen to get a puncture, while you can purchase replacement inflatable poles for some models (the Vango AirBeam series, for instance). These replacements are very easy to fit with minimal fuss.
Some air tents have one continuous airflow through the whole structure, whilst others use separate inflatable poles. However, even if tents with a continuous airflow get a puncture, it won’t collapse on top of you in the middle of the night, as you can close off each section inside the tent.
Best inflatable tents 2021
Well, the title of the best inflatable tent is somewhat subjective – it really depends exactly what you’re looking for. Do you want something small and cosy or an inflatable tent with room for the whole family?
Here are just a few of our favourites…
Vango Keswick II 600DLX TC Air Tent
Ever popular and evergreen, Vango’s Keswick Air TC 600DLX tops the Keswick range of tents exclusive to Winfields. The TC model features Vango’s incredible AirBeam technology and Sentinel Exclusive flysheet fabric to create a luxury top-of-the-range tent, which lasts longer than polyester tents.
Winning features include:
A new side pod addition with a divider curtain for versatile storage away from the main living area.
New Skytrack II System, for attaching optional lighting and accessories.
New Super Zips on flysheet doors that are stronger, smoother and more durable – ideal for the heavier weight flysheet fabric.
New Nightfall bedroom fabric helps reduce early morning light in your bedroom while being breathable for a great night’s sleep.
Another exclusive to Winfields, the functional tunnel design of the Kielder 5 Air tent is packed full of useful features. Ideal for families, accommodating five people, this tent has been updated for 2021 and includes a spacious living area with daylight ceiling panels to allow much more natural light into the tent. Weather-protected ventilation can be found at the front and rear of the tent while the large front canopy further adds to the space.
A side door offers flexible access into the tent.
The drop-down doorstep provides flat and easy access into the living area.
Secondary mesh panel on front and side doors for comfortable bug-free ventilation.
Darker sleeping pod material reduces the amount of morning light.
Introducing the stunning Ozone 6.0 XTR Vario Air tent from Outdoor Revolution. Exclusive to Winfields, this tent features extra-deep ‘King Deluxe’ bedrooms, dark in colour and positioned at the darker coloured rear-section of the tent for a great night’s sleep. Perfect for long weekends away, this tent has an enormous living area which feels spacious and wide thanks to the lighter material used around the windows and use of sky lights.
Dynamic speed valves are the quickest, simplest and most reliable inflation valve available.
Intelligent frame relief valve protection system prevents over-inflation, expelling any excess air above 6psi.
Versatile Vario Front Door is an innovative variable front door panel which allows it to function as either an extension of usable living space or as a sheltered front porch area.
Zip-off end bedroom means the end bedroom can be zipped fully away to create additional living or storage space.
Hopefully, you know a lot more about inflatable tents than you before, and these are just a few of the amazing air tents available at Winfields Outdoors. Check out our full range online today for exclusives from the biggest camping brands.
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