I was once very skeptical about Inflatable Tents in general, but you may have arrived here for the same reason I have written this article.
We’ve become intrigued by ever convincing performances and positive user reviews. In fact the first tent to appear in space was an inflatable, courtesy of Vango and other air tents have picked up various camping awards in 2018.
They’ve gone from strength to strength, solidifying their place in the camping world. With this, an abundance of manufacturers have entered the fray, in a bid to claim their piece of the pie. With this in mind, we believe 2019 could be the year of the Air Tent among campers, if they were given the opportunity.
This creates an issue for consumers, how could you possibly choose from over 200-300 models? To the untrained eye this is a difficult task with many dangers and pitfalls afoot.
Our team has set to work, meticulously testing and researching numerous products with an intricate criteria, to filter out the treasure from the trash.
Let’s kick things off.
Best Inflatable Tent Reviews
1. Vango Odyssey 600 Review
The Vango Odyssey line is a top quality line of inflatable tents that have performed excellently well in the field. Their Odyssey 500 hit the stage a while back and did so well, they went on to develop the 600 and now the 600SC. We like this model as it suits families very well with the sun canopy, awning attachment and large dimensions.
This is a very easy pitch tent as far as inflatables go, it has less preparation needed and you can get straight to work with pumping it up via its pressure valve. A rough estimate is around 8 minutes from the car to fully pitched. A cool feature on this tent is the air beams that replace tent poles in traditional tents are pre-bent, this provides additional strength in the design, making the whole structured more rigid.
The flysheet has been manufactured with a high quality polyester which has an insane Hydrostatic Head rating of 4000mm. You can rest assured no water will penetrate this material, as long as there are no rips and tears. The Protex 70 Denier material is also fire retardant, so you don’t need to worry about sparks and embers lighting up your tent.
The Odyssey line has a patented tensioning system named the Vango TBS II, you will see this appear in many of their models and helps to improve the stability by using a tensioning band system to pull and hold the framework in place.
〉 Solo Set Up
〉 Top Quality Materials
〉 4000mm HH Rating
〉 Screened Room
〉 Repair Patches Included
〉 The blackout rooms aren’t official, but definitely darker than your standard tents
2. Heimplanet The Cave Review
This air tent is prolific among backpackers, hikers, cyclists who camp and any outdoor enthusiasts with an affinity for cool stuff. With insane resistance to winds, it is has the perfect design for remote camping in extreme conditions.
Simplistic Set Up
The Cave has the ability to set up within 60 seconds, given that you have a decent pump with a high PSI. The main reason for its fast set up, is that the whole frame has been put together as a unit. All attached and working together in unison, the whole framework will stand and erect together in one motion.
The unique design mainly derives from its Geodesic structure, which is not so common in tents, especially air tents. The reason for its stability is due to the ratio of fabric to volume, it’s an efficient structure. This ‘principle’ is known as IDG among Heimplanet, which means Inflatable Diamond Grid and they have conveyed this principle in the design of all their tents, including The Cave and Fistral.
Including a Multi Chamber system which easily inflates the tent, however it also serves another purpose. It allows the frame to be divided into chambers that are separated from each other. This is a safety feature, because if one part suffers a problem or deflation, the other sections that are separated will remain inflated and support the tent. Giving you time to repair without panic.
The inner tube or TPU has an airtight bladder feature, which keeps the air in for longer periods. They are protected from the outer shell which is made from durable polyester, high quality double layered air beams.
〉 5000mm Water Column
〉 Patented Safety Feature
〉 Futuristic Geodesic Design
〉 Incredible Wind Tolerance
〉 Perfect for Remote Camping
〉 Small sizes only, not for large groups or family camping
3. Coleman Valdes 6XL Review
The Air Valdes series has been received excellently well by campers and picked up an award for innovation back in 2016 from Camping World, for its blackout bedroom feature. Coleman have marked their place in the inflatable tent market with the Valdes 6L and 6XL. Large family tents that can be set up instantly and easily.
Amazingly, the huge 6XL can be set up alone by a single person. Connect your pump to the valve and begin, the valve is a high pressure valve which allows air intake much faster than standard valves. It also speeds up deflation. The inner poles will erect quickly, due to the durable inner tubes (TPU) in the framework, which are protected by a durable Polyester shell, inflating with force unbroken.
An award winning innovation completely blocks 99% of sunlight from penetrating any of the sleeping rooms, creating a dark, sleep inducing environment. It also decreases the temperature by up to 5 degrees internally. Additionally while it blocks the sunlight, it absorbs it, later using the energy to warm the tent.
An additional benefit are the bedroom sizes, they are huge. Possibly a clever ploy by the company to integrate their large Double Air Mattress into the sales, but we aren’t mad. May as well sleep like a king or queen in these over-sized rooms.
〉 Fire Retardant
〉 Durable TPU Inner Tube
〉 Blackout Bedroom Technology
〉 4000mm HH Rating
〉 XL Sized Rooms
〉 The groundsheet isn’t very breathable, in case you visit campsites that require a breathable groundsheet to reduce earth damage. Not a problem for on-the-go remote campers.
4. Berghaus Air Review
We were impressed by the standard of this tent and the quality is in sync with what we are used to from their clothing line. For starters their HH rating is higher than many of the other models and the TPU’s are of the highest quality around.
Inflation and Deflation
The Air 8 is very easy to set up due to its pressure valve system allowing for smooth air flow in and out of the air tent. The deflation process is also very simple with a touch button that begins deflation. The bedroom is also pre-attached to the framework so there is no additional connecting or construction needed during the pitch.
The Berghaus Air line also has TPU integrated into all of the models. Protected from the top and the bottom by way of a flysheet that has been seam sealed and fully taped, additionally a durable and heavy duty groundsheet lies beneath.
There are storage pockets inside all of the bedrooms, not just one. A heavy duty carry bag also comes with the tent, which has wheels integrated onto the base. This is helpful as the 8 person air tent has a 70lb weight when packed.
〉 Ideal Family Air Tent
〉 Various Sizes 4-8 Person
〉 6000mm HH Rating
〉 Storage Pockets in All Rooms
〉 High Performance TPU Beams
〉 On the heavier side for an 8 man air tent
5. Quechua Air XL Review
This series has 2 models that have performed outstandingly well among American and European markets. The Air XL series maintains the pop up method of set up, but utilizing air beam supports instead of fiberglass and aluminum.
With the air pressure valve integration, this allows for a fast set up, especially if you use a high pressure pump. The valve fully opens allowing air to enter quickly, in the same respect upon deflation, the air can escape just as easily.
Designed with ventilation panels built in, fly sheets and attachable side panels, to create air circulation. The rear sheet in is cord operated, so you can raise the sheet by pulling the cord down, like blinds on a window.
The Polyester fly sheet and the Polyethylene ground sheet both passed testing, achieving a 2000mm hydrostatic head rating. Protected internally by an inner tent shell, this keeps you away from the outer layer which can accumulate condensation.
〉 Waterproof Tested
〉 UV Protected SPF 30
〉 Inflatable Pop Up Design
〉 Well Ventilated
〉 2 Size Options
〉 Holds up well but in the wind it can be loud, you may want ear buds for sensitive sleepers out there
6. Heimplanet Fistral Review
Similar to The Cave, with the same technology and familiar geodesic design. However you will notice that the Fistral has a smaller framework resulting in smaller dimensions. This is a 2 man air tent as opposed to the 3 man Cave model.
Also utilizing a very futuristic style design, it helps to tolerate extremely high wind-speeds. Due to the high aerodynamic value of the the tent, strong winds will glide straight over it and the air beams will bend in the wind, not break like poles.
A backpackers dream as far as air tents go, super lightweight at 5.5lbs, a 2500mm water column, 5000mm groundsheet, allowing sustainability in heavy rain. Secondly, with a low bearing height, it allows you to get pitched in secret and remote environments, off the trail.
The head height in the center is 112cm with a 45 square foot ground area. The overall height is 132cm with the interior measuring 31 square foot. In total the pack size is 34x20x20 in cm.
〉 Lightweight at 5.5 Lbs
〉 2500mm HH Flysheet
〉 5000mm Groundsheet
〉 High Tenacity Polyester
〉 Utilizes Geodesic Design
〉 The 4 Season Rating is Debatable
7. Vango Taiga 600 XL Review
A large 6 person Airbeam tent from Vango, the Taiga has a unique aesthetic design with a quick pitch guidance system, a perfect choice for holidays and trips away with the family.
The improved XL version has larger living spaces than any other models, plus you can benefit from new porch area. The additional area can be used as a canopy shaded area or as an entry point, depending on how you use both front and rear doors. The canopy area is also extendable with the use of support poles.
Utilizing durable TPU’s for the inner tubes, it inflates very quickly and easily due to the airspeed valves, allowing air to flow through from a high pressure pump safely. It also uses TBS II like some other Vango models, which helps to strengthen connection points, keeping the structure solid in windy environments.
Fire retardant material, breathable meshed inner rooms, large carrying bag and sewn-in groundsheet are just a few of the notable features. It’s very well ventilated with darkened sleeping areas, vented windows and flooring and the whole pack weighs around 30kg.
〉 Lights-out Technology
〉 Vented Roof and Floor
〉 Breathable Interior
〉 Quick Pitch System
〉 Fiberglass Porch Area
〉 UV Reflective properties are weaker than some other models
8. Vango Capri 600XL Review
An ideal choice for family camping groups who need spacious rooms and an easy going time when setting up. The Capri 600XL is the largest in this line of model from Vango.
Utilizing pre-angled beams, this means it creates more direct space inside as opposed to an arc structure. Angled beams create cabin style rooms which we know has more interior space when compared to dome tents. The shape is also aerodynamic, beneficial in strong winds.
The interior features dark fabric which reduces sunlight, cooling the room and providing a more relaxing atmosphere to sleep in. The windows are also diamond clear, so when light is needed, you can get clear visibility from sunlight.
Stability stems from the TBS, which are internal connection points. These support the beams in their position and prevents erratic movements in winds, which can cause breakages. After use they can be easily disconnected and stowed away in the carry bags.
〉 4000mm Water Rating
〉 Diamond Clear Windows
〉 Dark Fabric Interior
〉 TBS Stability Feature
〉 Airspeed Valves (faster inflation/deflation)
〉 Higher End Market Price
9. Outwell Vermont XLP Review
The older model of the 7SA but actually still providing modern qualities, with a more attractive price tag than the newer high tech models.
The tent is totally sealed with double wiring, this provides additional sealant and will prevent nay water penetration from filtering through vulnerable parts. The ground floor is removable and you may be pleased to know its of a tub design, providing more comfort and space while inside.
Utilizing a patented safety feature, the Wind Stabilizer System from Outwell ensures excellent protection against winds and heavy rainfall. Protecting the joints and the air beams will flow with the wind, rather than resisting it.
Beautiful panoramic windows surround the entire tent, due to the Gothic style design of their air tents. You can sit back and relax inside and admire the views, even on rainy days.
An incredibly easy set up operation, inflating quickly with the airspeed valves. Secured by tent stakes into the pegging points, which are adjustable, giving you versatility in pitching positions. Lastly, attach the guy ropes to add stability to the frame, they are also self-luminous also, alleviating any trip hazards.
〉 Self Illuminating Guy Ropes
〉 Unique Gothic Design
〉 Removable Tub Floor
〉 Double Wired Seams
〉 Panoramic Windows
〉 Will sleep 6 well, but not 7 as stated
10. Zempire Aero Air Tent Review
A true cabin style air tent, the Aero TXL is a spacious family tent with enormous internal living space, sleeping up to 6 plus storage.
Utilizing vertical walls and a tension ridge design, this creates a cabin effect, increasing the size internally with an increased head height. Additionally there is an awning attachment at the front, providing further shelter to be used.
The windows are large and made of PVC, allowing light to pass through, so its not too dark and dreary inside. The awning floor is also removable, so its easier to keep clean and shake off.
You can create up to 3 bedrooms with the dividers, or 2 plus storage space, depending on your group size. The fabric is blackout in the bedroom areas to stop the morning sun and provide a cooler environment for sleeping.
Storage pockets can be located internally, which helps to keep important things off the ground and organised. They are also meshed preventing condensation and insects, in the case of storing food or medicine.
An impressive 5000mm water rating supports this model and the fabric is fire retardant and UV protected, perfect protection for family camping.
〉 5000mm Water Rating
〉 Fire Retardant Fabric
〉 UV Protected
〉 Canopy Awning Attachment
〉 Storage Pockets
〉 A more demanding set up than standard issue air tents
11. Kampa Hayling 4 Air Pro Review
A great choice for smaller groups or families that require something a bit more compact, but still pitches as quickly as others. The Hayling from Kampa fits the bill perfectly.
A true air tent that utilizes Airframe technology to pitch within a minute or 2. The wide valves are compatible with all air pumps universally and allow air to flow in efficiently, also during deflation.
A 4 person tent at best, you probably wouldn’t fit more than that in here. For best results perhaps 2-3 person and use the rest as storage would be ideal.
There is a sewn-in groundsheet which has been sealed around the edges to prevent water leakage. There is also a meshed insert located on the side, to prevent mosquitoes and bugs etc from entering. Additionally a large canopy resides over the front entrance, for extra shade and shelter.
〉 Large Front Canopy
〉 Fast Set Up
〉 Compact Design
〉 Sewn-In Groundsheet
〉 Rather bulky and heavy to carry
12. Kelty Sonic Air Tent Review
A compact air tent that comes with a free air pump to get you started immediately on your camping trip. Included with a high volume floor pump, combined with the efficient design of the Kelty Air Pole line, you can have this tent set up within minutes. Then secure with guy lines and stakes for security. With an integrated fly you don’t need to attach various accessories, it all comes ready assembled, just pump it up.
It has 2 points of inflation as opposed to the usual 1, this allows for a faster deflation when its time to pack up and go. Additionally if you have 2 pumps, it can inflate twice as fast.
No fiberglass or aluminum poles included in the framework at all, so in cases of high-wind you can rely on the air beams to bend with the wind rather than try to resist it and break. You can benefit from a cool interior due to the great air circulation in this tent. Due to the high and low vent system, creating a cycle, bring in new cooler air and pushing out old warm air.
A quality fly sheet utilizing 68D polyester has a respectable water rating of up to 1800mm, that goes for the walls and other areas of the tent as well. Not as high as some of the premium tents, but still respectable for a smaller, compact model.
〉 1800mm Water Rating
〉 Dual Valves
〉 Free High Volume Pump
〉 Easy Set Up
〉 Lower End Water Rating
〉 Often Low/Out of Stock
13. Outwell Corvette 7 Air XL Review
An elongated, large family air tent which can sleep up to 7 in its large spacious rooms in a Gothic design. The Gothic influence comes from Outwell’s Danish heritage, they have integrated their Scandinavian roots into the design of all their tents. Giving an unforgettable appearance which is unlike any other air tent you will find on the market.
Night Sky Ceiling
Utilizing a cover that protects you from UV rays and also can reduce the heat internally, due to the material having a heat protective coating. Useful on hot summer days when camping with the family.
The tunnel design, gives it an elongated effect with huge interior space. The tunnel is divided up into 3 room areas, giving you privacy, tall tent head height and different possible sleeping arrangements.
The quality of protection on the XL is insanely high, with a Hydrostatic Head rating of 5000mm, higher than the Vango and the Coleman. The ground sheet is a double layered Polyethylene fabric with a hydrostatic head rating of 10,000mm. This can ensure you stay dry from the ground up no matter the weather.
〉 5000mm Water Rating
〉 3 Rooms
〉 Unique Gothic Design
〉 Cooled Internal Rooms
〉 Tunnel Design Shape
〉 Tricky Set Up for First Timers
14. Vango Illusion 800XL Review
In traditional Vango colors, the Illusion 800XL is a perfect air tent for those going on extended holidays, longer camping trips and need something robust enough to endure any conditions.
The flysheet is made of premium Polycotton fabric which provides an excellent waterproof rating over the whole roof of the tent. It also reduces the interior temperature, cooling in the hot sun.
With the over-sized SuperBeam framework, you can hang various accessories and equipment from the ceiling without concern of the tent bending.
There is also a convenient side awning, providing extra shade for some tables or chairs, or a place to store shoes when you are entering the tent.
Panoramic windows allow for great views from inside the tent, also providing significant lighting during the afternoons. Additionally the bedroom space is huge due to pre-angled breams creating a cabin style interior, as opposed to a dome shape.
〉 Panoramic Windows
〉 Polycotton Flysheet
〉 Sewn-In Groundsheet
〉 Large Cabin Style Rooms
〉 Over-Sized AirBeams
〉 Closely matches the Taiga at a higher cost
15. Vango Homestead 600XL Review
The luxurious Homestead from Vango is best suited for those of us searching for the cutting edge in their new air tent, with attention to detail and all the bells and whistles.
Utilizing expensive Polycotton fabric for the flysheet, this provides an outstanding waterproof rating which can withstand heavy rainfall, preventing water penetration even in vulnerable areas, like seams and zippers. It also helps to regulate the temperature within the tent, blocking UV rays and heat as much as possible.
The SkyTrack II technology is a new feature that provides multiple areas to hang camping accessories, something which is often overlooked in air tents, due to their sub-optimal frame strength. However, the Homestead uses SuperBeams that are 30% bigger than average AirBreams, thus able to support much more weight.
A sewn-in groundsheet is included that is fitted tightly and seam sealed, keeping insects from encroaching, along with other nuisances. Additionally it prevents unwanted drafts at sleeping level. Circulation will come in at appropriate levels via the vented windows and breathable tent material.
〉 SkyTrack System
〉 SuperBeams (30% Bigger than standard)
〉 Sewn-In groundsheet
〉 Premium Polycotton Flysheet
〉 Pre-angled Beams for Stability
〉 Premium quality means premium prices
16. Kampa Studland Air Pro 8 Review
An enormous air tent from Kampa that takes precedence at any campsite. Boasting some of the largest dimension on our list, when you need absolutely the biggest, Studland is for you.
Capable of sleeping up to 8 people, this 6 berth air tent is a monster. Divided up internally into 3 separate sleeping areas, there is also space to arrange a 2 berth inner tent for storage, living area or additional bedrooms. The head-height stands at 7.3 feet which creates the spacious environment inside and the total pack weight is around 50kg.
There are 2 doors located on the side of the tent, allowing for a fixed entry and exit points, additionally it helps to create circulation in such a big tent. A sewn in groundsheet keeps the ground clean and the 2 side doors are fully meshed to keep out mosquitoes and other bugs. A 3rd door is present which has an integrated canopy, providing extra shade externally.
The materials are superbly made, with a waterproof rating of 6000mm its well above standard and can withstand heavy downpours. All windows included airflow vents, when combined with all the access doors, you will have no issue keeping the tent cool during hot days.
〉 4000mm Water Rating
〉 Airflow Vent Windows
〉 6 Berth Inner tents
〉 Quick Pitch System
〉 Darkened Bedrooms
〉 Stakes are low quality plastic, consider buying sturdier ones
17. Ryno Tuff Air Tent Review
A decent, economical choice of air tent that is suitable for up to 2 people. Presented as a 4 person, we feel the space will suffice for 2 adults, plus gear comfortably.
Fire retardant fabric is used throughout this tent and it also has a water rating of 1000mm. Which is respectable but will not hold up in very heavy rain, for casual camping it will work well. Utilizing polyester taffeta it is quite durable and lightweight to boot.
Using 4 large inflatable tubes from each corner, that erect the tent when inflated, holding the structure in place. You pump these in minutes with a foot pump or high pressure version, without too much hassle. Very convenient.
With 8 x 8 dimensions it is reasonably spacious and has a 5 foot head height, so you can pitch it under remote locations, trees etc. However, marketed as a 4 person tent, we don’t feel an 8 x 8 can fit 4 adults with gear and beds comfortably. You’re better off using this as a 2 person tent for efficiency.
〉 Fire Retardant Fabric
〉 Easy Set Up
〉 Best Air Tent Under $100/£100
〉 Low end water rating at 1000mm, so although waterproofed, it won’t hold up in long term heavy rainfall
〉 Capacity is slightly off, it would make a good 2 man air tent, but not 4
18. Neumayer Inflatable Tent Review
For a large family camping trip, the XXL Fiji is an excellent choice. One of the largest inflatable tents on the market that utilizes an easy set up with quality materials.
Manufactured with 100% Polyester for the tent material, providing a waterproof but breathable function. The ground sheet is made with a more robust material, in polyethylene and the water rating for this tent is 4000mm, which is above standard.
The framework consists of 2 TPU inner tubes and various polymer frames, which helps to keep the tent inflated and sturdy. Additionally you can tie down with the steel tent pegs and polypropylene guy ropes.
In a dome design it can easily sleep up to 6 people, given the spacious interior. Very well ventilated with 5 meshed vents, which restrict insects also. Pitches easily enough but will require more than one person, due to the size of it. 3 sleeping cabin areas feature inside, separated by dividers, allowing for privacy.
〉 4000mm Water Rating
〉 Durable TPU Frame
〉 3 Cabin Sleeping Areas
〉 5 Meshed Vents
〉 Polyethylene Ground Floor
〉 Demanding set up and will require 2 people minimum
19. Moose Outdoors Inflatable Tent Review
Probably the cheapest air tent on the market, is this model from Moose Outdoor. A simple design for small groups, its a good choice for backpacking trips. Sets up very easily with an air pump and can be up and ready within 3 minutes. Additionally it can deflate even faster, taking seconds to exert the air due to the wide valves.
Utilizing a Ripstop material for durability it also includes an impressive waterproof rating of 3000mm, for the tent and ground floor alike. The material isn’t so dense, so it can breath, withstanding wind speeds of up to 33mph. The measurements are 10.5 x 9 x 4 roughly, although they market it as a 4 man tent, we would suggest using it as a spacious 2 man, with extra space for gear. For the best performance.
〉 Simple Set Up
〉 3000mm Water Rating
〉 33mph/53kmph Wind Rating
〉 Attachable Ground Sheet
〉 Cheap Priced Air Tent
〉 Will fit 2 people well, not 4 as advertised
What is an Inflatable Tent and How Does it Work?
An Inflatable tent, uses air to fill support beams known as Air Beams. They do not employ traditional tent poles in its set up, so no more fiberglass or metal framework to deal with. Inside the beams are inner tubes, like bicycle tyres, known as TPU’s, these provide stability and are the framework of the tent. A durable, thick inner tube is the core f a quality air tent. The majority of inflatable tents should have a TPU integrated into the design.
What is the Best Inflatable Tent?
Vango have always been at the forefront of the inflatable tent movement, they even had one of their tents put in space. Which is a phenomenal achievement, you would agree. As they gained more popularity, more brands emerged and existing companies began to design their own models.
Respectable brands to look out for as well as Vango are Outwell, Kelty Mach, Berghaus, Easy Camp (their Hurricane Series) and Quechua. Heimplanet have also created an amazing lightweight, backpacking version, as opposed to the large family designs which are so common.
Are Inflatable Tents Strong and Stable?
Yes. You might assume that because it’s inflated with air it might not stand strong. This isn’t true, in fact air tents have unbelievable strength against even the strongest of winds. The key to their strength is that they are malleable in wind, whereas pole tents aren’t able to bend with the wind, they try to directly resist it. If the wind speed picks up high enough, it will just snap and break. Air beam supports can’t snap or break, they flow and bend with the wind, this results in a much higher resistance to strong winds. Obviously not comparable to a solid structure like a car canopy or garden canopy and gazebo. However they definitely have their place for outdoor extremities.
We had a lot of fun writing this piece and we hope you enjoyed reading it to.
It’s clear in 2019, inflatable tents have really come along way and may have overtaken there traditional pole tent counterparts in many ways, much like the tarp has in many ways. With this in mind we truly think they are worth a try. Perhaps you could find the perfect set up for family camping with an air tent by your side.
Until next time…Happy Camping!