April 4, 2018 / Comments (19)

Inflatable Tent & Air Tent Buying Guide

Inflatable air tent being inflated

Camping really 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 a drink?

Read more: 12 UK Campsites You Must Visit

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 post has been updated to include 2018 product ranges, so you know you’re getting the very latest and best inflatable tents. If you just want a quick looks at the best air tents, see below:

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 were the first company to really bring inflatable tents to the mainstream camping market with their AirBeam series, which is still probably the most popular around. Other companies have joined the scene now, however, with tents from Zempire, Outwell, Kampa, and others, all of a 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.

Generally speaking, they’re also a lot faster to erect than traditional tents, and some can go up in literally a few minutes. Some take longer than others, but, on the whole, the process is smoother and more streamlined.

How do inflatable tents work? Check out this video below to see just how easy it is…

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/drinking wine. 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. Priceless.

And 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, 8 berth family tent in just 15 minutes. Think of how much time you’ll save.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide To Tent Repair & Maintenance

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.

How stable are inflatable tents?

It’s not going to float off in the wind if that’s what you’re worried about. Due to the lack of poles, inflatable tents are lighter than regular tents, but that doesn’t mean they’re unstable. They still require pegging down and securing with guy ropes, just like any tent, and are actually incredibly strong during rough weather, often more so than poled tents.

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 brethren. Regular tents can withstand a fair bit of battering but will get damaged if not cared for, and the same goes for inflatable tents.

Vango even sent a tent into space and it survived the journey! Check it out…

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 comes with a puncture repair kit in the unlikely case you do happen to get a puncture, whilst you can purchase replacement inflatable poles for some models (the Vango AirBeam series, for instance). These replacements are very easy to fit, and can be done with the minimum of fuss.

Read more: 7 Amazing Glamping & Luxury Camping Sites In The UK

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 2018

Well, the title of 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 AirBeam Keswick 600DLX Air Tent

The Vango AirBeam Keswick 600DLX air tent is one of the best selling family tents around, so it’s no surprise to see it back for 2018!

Exclusive to Winfields Outdoors, The Keswick 600DLX air tent is quite simply one of the best value inflatable tents on the market, and few others can compare with the features and specifications it boasts. It’s a 6-person tent, and thanks to the covered extension at the front, provides the perfect balance between outdoor and indoor living space. Ideal for family camping.

Want to have a sneaky peak inside the tent? Check out this awesome interactive video below that lets you walk through the tent and see all angles of it!

Read more about the Vango AirBeam Keswick 600DLX air tent.

Vango AirBeam Lomond 500 Air Tent

The Vango AirBeam Lomond 500 air tent is another Winfields exclusive and has been updated for 2018. It’s a 5-person tent, and also has a surprisingly roomy living area as well, so is ideal for families or groups of friends away for the weekend camping or something a little longer. It’s now available in the attractive grey colourway and can be pitched in just ten minutes, so you can spend more time enjoying your camping holiday.

This is without a doubt one of the best value tents on the market right now, especially for an inflatable tent, so you really can’t go wrong with this one. Again, if you want to see the inside of the tent and check it out in all its glory, cast your eyes over this awesome 360 degree video…

Read more about the Vango AirBeam Lomond 500 air tent

Kampa Croyde 6 Air Tent Pro

The Croyde 6 Air Tent Pro is a real Kampa classic and sure to make you the envy of any campsite. This 6-person tent is configured with a 2+2+2 sleeping arrangement, although this can be changed as required thanks to the zipped dividers.

This inflatable tent features a large living space, ideal for relaxing, dining or for extra storage – it’s up to you! It features Kampa’s AirFrame technology, ensuring strong and sturdy inflatable poles that can be inflated and deflated in minutes. Learn more about the Croyde 6 with the video below…

Read more about the Kampa Croyde 6 Air Tent Pro

Vango AirBeam Keswick 800XXL Air Tent

The Vango Keswick 800XXL air tent is another tent that’s exclusive to Winfields in 2018, so you won’t find it anywhere else!

This tent is perfect for those who need a little extra room, sleeping eight and boasting one of largest living areas in the Vango range. Highly waterproof and featuring Vango’s inimitable strong and sturdy AirBeam technology, this tent will stand up to whatever the British weather can throw at you!

Have a play with the 360 video below to see inside the tent…

Read more about the Vango Keswick 800XXL Air Tent

Zempire Aero TL Lite Air Tent

This eye-catching inflatable tent is absolutely perfect for families who want something reliable and easy to transport. The Zempire Aero TL Lite air tent sleeps five people so is great for families or even for couples who just like a little extra room when camping.

The tent features a larger door at the front, as well as doors on either side for versatility. There is also plenty of room inside for relaxing or sheltering away from the weather if it takes a turn for the worse.

Read more about the Zempire Aero TL Lite Air Tent

Buy inflatable air tents at Winfields Outdoors

Last modified: January 22, 2019

19 Responses to :
Inflatable Tent & Air Tent Buying Guide

  1. Phil Robinson says:

    Hi looking at the keswick air due in on the 22 May. Would this be deffinate as I want to use the weekend after. Thanks Phil

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Phil,

      thanks for your message. Yes, if you pre-order the Keswick then you should be fine for the following weekend. If you want to be sure, then we’d recommend choosing next day delivery. If you have any other questions, please let us know.

  2. Dan says:

    Hi, Seriously thinking about the Vango Keswick air due in 22/5. Like the other interested email i too am going away the weekend after it is due to arrive in stock. A couple of questions though. 1. Does the covered extension come with a groundsheet or is the footprint used for this. 2. Is this model somehow inferior due to its price or would i be better off spending more. I have 2 children and we camp twice per year on average for a week or more each time. Thanks.

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Dan,

      thanks for your questions. First of all, all should be fine for going away the weekend after if your pre-order. To answer your questions – 1) The covered extension does not have a groundsheet, but if you order the footprint, this goes under the main tent and a further extension groundsheet is supplied to go in the covered extension. 2) The Keswick Air is by no means inferior and in many cases is just as good if not better than similar Vango models. It has a higher spec 150 denier material, 5000mm hydrostatic head and zip up curtains. It sounds like an ideal tent for you and your family!

      We hope this helps, but if you have any other questions, please let us know on here or you can give us a call on 0845 688 3667.

  3. Shona says:

    Hi, can you tell me the dimensions of the Kampa Brean 3? The description only gives the pack size. Thanks.

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Shona,

      thanks for your question. The overall dimensions of the Kampa Brean 3 are 2.3m x 4.4m. The sleeping area measures 2m x 2.1m. We hope this helps!

  4. Irene Aylett says:

    Does the Kapma Brean 3 come with a pump and how easy would it be for a single female to put up?

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Irene,

      thanks for your message. The Kampa Brean 3 does indeed come with a pump, and should be no problem for a single person to put up. Hope that helps!

  5. Bev says:

    We had made our mind up with the kampa hayling air 6, but looking at the van go Keswick air on your website- this one comes with a larger porch area and is closed off without having to buy the kampa vestibule. Really looking for a recommendation? Are there any extras about the kampa that make it the better choice?

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Bev,

      Comparing both models, side-by-side, it’s safe to say the Keswick 600DLX Air is much better value for money and, as you’ve mentioned, comes with everything you need in one box – whereas with the Hayling 6 Air, you would need the vestibule to enclose the front of the tent. The Keswick 600DLX Air is our tent of the year and is certainly a model we would say that you go for in this instance. Hope this helps!

  6. Emma says:

    Hi when will you be getting the Keswick 600 DLX back in stock? We are going away the 21st August and would really like to purchase one in time.
    Thanks Emma

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Emma,

      This has actually been one of our most popular tents this year and unfortunately we have sold out for the season. If you wanted any recommendations for alternatives then the Taiga 600XL, Maritsa 600XL and Rivendale 800XL are all excellent.

  7. Joyce Harrison says:

    Hi there would like to ask , i have recently purchased the vango Edoras 500XL from you guys, any idea on the pitch size, as in high season most sites request it. many thanks.

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Joyce,

      the pitch size for the Edoras 500Xl is 370 x 650cm (W x L). Hope that helps!

  8. Martin says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great read.

    We’ve been using a Vango Infinity 400 airbeam since 2012, it really was the best tent investment we’ve ever made. Its so easy to put and take down that my wife (who was not experienced at putting tents up) loves putting it up even on her own. That argument that used to happen when fighting with tent poles together is no more when using the airbeam.
    We’ve used in lots of different conditions, and it actually performs better than any tent with poles in strong storms.
    If anyone is considering buying then I’d say do it, and buy the best you can, and remember to get all of the accessories such as footprint, carpet, and any extension awning, as it will last you and be a long term member of your family that you will love!!

  9. Edward Smith says:

    Hi Looking for some help, we have a Vango hexaway awning unfortunately the groundsheet has been damaged and we need to replace it. I have spoken to Vango direct and they do not list the groundsheet as a spare for the hexaway. Can you recommend a groundsheet that would fit? It is very disappointing that Vango do not list such a vital item as a spare especially due to it unique shape.

    1. Craig Winfields says:

      Hey Edward,

      I’m sorry to hear Vango don’t list this as a spare, however, Vango do offer a repair service which may resolve this for you? You can find the link below.

      I hope this helps!

  10. Kieran Vivian-Byrne says:

    We have discovered this summer that both of the ‘crossbeams’ in our Vango Airbeam are leaking – we are looking to see whether they do spares – do you know?

    1. Winfields says:

      Hi Kieran,

      we have various replacement AirBeam poles available here: https://www.winfieldsoutdoors.co.uk/equipment/tent-accessories/poles-guy-lines/

      If there isn’t what you’re looking for then it’s worth getting in touch with Vango.

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