Inflatable tents were possibly, once a long time ago, scoffed at. Who would want to sleep in a tent that could collapse on you thanks to a wayward stick! But tents and technology have come a long way. These days, many tents are all about speed in putting up, and minimal fuss.
Inflatable tents meet a need in the market – that of no fuss, less worry, no poles, and no experience required. Naturally, bringing along the pump is the crucial part of this tent set up.
They use stronger material than the average inflatable you might have around the house (!) and because of the better material, the cost goes up. The beams which support the tents are crucial, so you will see each brand has all this different technology/design to keep the tent up, with different terminology to describe that design feature. Of course, you may have to deal with a puncture which could cause issues in the middle of the night, but think of your tent pole like a bike tyre – it has an an inner tube, which is where the puncture would need to be fixed.
Highly recommended to use ropes and stakes, regardless of the weather conditions, but from all reports, once staked out, these tents perform very reliably in poor conditions. Without them, I can see tents blowing all over the campground which wouldn’t be ideal for anyone.
This story was put together initially, about 5 years ago. The tents weren’t even in Australia then (well, rarely). Now, we can readily access them thanks to online shopping. So this is an updated look at 5 inflatable tents that are available to buyers right now.
None of these tents are what you would call inexpensive, but if you are the sort of camper who loves camping and wants to do without the issue of poles, then you might want to review these.
Vango Solaris 6 Person Family Tent
The Vango tents seem to be one of the leaders in inflatable tents. They have been around for a while, so you know they must have something going for them.
The new Vango Solaris 600 Airbeam Family Tent is a three beam Inflatable tunnel tent that is perfectly suited to shorter breaks and longer holidays with friends or family. The Solaris’ pre-bent AirBeams ensure that it is quick and simple to pitch as well as boasting impressive headroom in its living quarters. Also included is the huge pre-attached sun canopy, which effectively doubles the living space in the tent, allowing you and your family to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Full details and pricing here. (Available in Australia)
In Australia it has a range of inflatable tents along with all their other canvas and nylon tents. Black Wolf was one of our first tents we owned, and they are good quality. These inflatable tents do come in a variety of sizes, based on the number of people you wish to accommodate.
There is the 11 person Turbo Twin – full details and pricing here (its frequently on sale so keep an eye out for a sale) . It has a main 3x3m room, and then bedrooms either side. I wouldn’t put 11 people in here, but a larger family would definitely appreciate the space and ease of use.
If 11 people sounds excessive, the 8 person tent (below) may be a better option. This would fit 5-6 people comfortably.
Bushranger Blue Gum
Bushranger is a supplier of offroad and 4WD gear and have entered the market into inflatable tents as well.
The Bushranger Bluegum is a dome style design and features two strong and sturdy integrated air poles, and with 8 tent pegs to replace guy ropes issues.
We use dome style tents a fair bit, so this one does appeal to me in terms of how it looks and practicality for a family (once again, like the Kampa, it is more for the recreational user as opposed to the NEMO Gogo, which is designed for individuals who have to carry their tents).
Specs of the Bluegum include:
Floor: 2.75m x 3.35m Height: 198cm Weight: 13kg Capacity: Family Fly Type: Full Coverage Fly Features Door: 2 Dutch ‘D’ Style Doors. Bag: Duffle Style Carry Bag Windows: PVC Windows with inside privacy flaps Quick Clips: Side-Release Buckles Intake Valve: Standard Automotive Pressure Valve: Prevents Over Inflation Extras: Gear Loft, Lantern Hook, 4 Pockets Materials Tent Body: Polyester Rip-stop Screen: Nylon No-See-Um Mesh Floor: Nylon Oxford 2000mm Coating with seam tape Fly: Polyester Rip-Stop 2000mm Coating with seam tape Supports: 2 Inflable Air Poles Pegs: Aluminium Zippers: YKK
This is one of the cheaper tents in the inflatable market, and this 3-4 person inflatable tent would suit those who want a fast set up, but without a hefty price tag. This tent is designed not for the family but more for couples I think.Zempire is New Zealand company which has grown to be throughout the world, and available here in Australia. They do a wide range of products, should you find this one not the right one for you.
Darche Air Volution AT 4 Person
I hadn’t even heard of Darche until researching this story on inflatable tents.
This particular tent has been designed for Australian conditions, and is using some revolutionary new technology in its design. The marketing advice says this about the tent:
By replacing traditional swag poles with easy fast set up air poles, you can inflate your swag in less than 10 seconds, whilst the inflation time for the AT4 four person tent is less than a minute. The air poles are made from puncture resistant thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and are encased in highly durable PVC/Oxford Polyester sleeves. All this means arriving at your campsite with peace of mind, and spending more time relaxing and enjoying what matters when outdoors! Source here
At first glance, the above tent, looks very much like a tent, so don’t get confused!
To find out more, and pricing – see all details and costs here
Below is the Darche set up in action. Looks good!!!
Size: 280cm length x 280cm width x 207cm height
Carry Bag/Fold Down Size (approx.): 120cm length x 28cm width x 28cm height
Weight (excluding pump): 17.4kg
Pump Weight: 750grams