Even if you’re a camping veteran, when you hear the term ‘inflatable camping’ the only thing that might come to your mind is an airbed, by itself, underneath the stars.
However, this concept has really found it’s feet over the last couple of years, and that’s because of the high quality tents that have been produced. The ease in which you can set up an air tent surpasses that of your regular tents and really makes a difference to that all important camping getaway.
No one wants to spend hours putting up a tent; it’s raining, you’re tired, you’re hungry, you’ve travelled forever to get there. How amazing would it be if with a couple of pumps, your tent was up and ready to go?
But how do you know which inflatable tent is best for you?
In many ways, buying a new tent is like buying a small house. How many rooms do you want? What kind of windows? A tent just to sleep in? Or do you need a tent that you can relax in too? There are so many on the market now, you don’t want to spend hours trawling through the internet, do you?
Well, that’s where we come in!
In this article you will find, what we think, are the best inflatable tents. We’ll be giving you the run down on what they offer, and which one could be right for you.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get to it!
The Top 10 Best Inflatable Tents
Max. Occupancy: 3 persons | Weight: 4.8 kilograms | Shape: Dome
This inflatable tent is aptly named The Cave. This 2 to 3 person dome tent is a great little hide-away. It’s design is unique, but simple, and let’s us see what life on Mars could look like. It’s unique design comes from the way the air poles are set up in a geometric shape. This avant-garde star shape helps to provide extra stability. If you’re not buying this tent for the design alone, you’ll be happy to know that this sturdy and strong structure is also waterproof and can also withstand wind speeds of up to 110 mph. Created by a couple of adventure seekers, this tent was made to cater to the overly adventurous. A true friend to the wild camper, as one of it’s features is a one pump system, so you’ll be able to easily set up this tent in a flash, no matter the weather. What else could you want for your money? Start exploring!
2. THE ORIGINAL AIRFORT
Weight: 24 oz | Dimensions: 77 x 50 in
This tent is marketed for kids, but is still available for fort lovers of any age. It comes in a range of seven different colors for its digital camo print design. You don’t need much as this tent has an easy setup; all you need is any ordinary house hold fan. This tent is lightweight due to it’s polyester fabric, perfect for all those fort-lovers out there. And for the fashion conscious, this tent comes with a matching carrier bag, for all those essential sleepovers, or for the adventurous backyard glamping. And for the worried parent, one feature of this tent is that there is a fan guard, so no fear of your little ones losing any of those all important digits. The lack of floor is also a plus point, as it can be considered a good safety system in case of the need for a swift exit. Also it’ll be much easier to clear any contents away when you need to dismantle. But really, who would want to do that?
3. VANGO RINGSTEAD AIR TENT
Weight: 17.3 kilograms | Water Resistance: 3000 mm. | Seasons: Four Seasons
This 4 person tent is a good bit of gear for families or friends, and with 2 sleeping areas there’s plenty of space. The inflatable air beams are built for durability against strong winds and heavy rain, and is quick and easy to set up with the double action air pump (which is included within the price tag).
Do you hate to get up earlier than you wanted, because your tent always lets that sunrise in? Well maybe this tent is the one for you! With lights out bedrooms, the darker fabric of this tent makes sure to reduce light exposure, giving you those extra few hours that make all the difference.
A fully sewn in ground sheet (also known as a footprint) allows your ground area to be bug and dirt free, and is one less thing to worry about. Also, one of the fantastic things about this tent is that it has drop down doors. These are one of the features that make this tent one of the best inflatable tents, as it allows a lot of big items through them; definitely a benefit for anyone with a pram or a wheelchair.
4. EASY CAMP HURRICANE 300
Max. Occupancy: 3 persons | Weight: 14.2 kilograms
This is a great little 3 person tent for the on-the-go campers. A true home away from home it’s sleek gray design is just one of the great features about this tent. The extra large living area is as big as the bedrooms, and with the all around windows in the living area, it really does give you that room with a view.
Another great feature of this tent is the fiber-glass poles that are provided alongside the inflatable beams. These will provide extra stability against the wind and rain, improving over-all durability as well. There’s only 1 floor area for sleeping in this tent, but the size really makes up for this, making sure that every person has that essential sleeping space. There are extra storage pockets for you to put all your essentials, making sure you don’t lose anything, or that important things, such as phone, wallet, keys, are within reach.
The setup for this tent is made easier with a 2-way pump, that has a high quality manometer included (this helps check the pressure of the air beams). There’s a rear vent and an external inflation valve to make sure everything stays up and stays in!
5. NEMO EQUIPMENT MORPHO
Max. Occupancy: 2 persons | Weight: 5.5 pounds
This product is one of the smaller of our camping tents on the list, but has several features that make sure you’ll have everything you need. It was designed by an industrial design major and therefore this tent has been created to be not only stylish, but exceptionally functional.
More for the wild camper, or the on-the-go explorer, this 2 person tent is your own little light weight cave. At 5.5 pounds, this tent is easy to store and take with you, so much so you’ll probably forget you’re carrying it at all! Don’t expect several rooms with this tent, as with only one sleeping area, this tents sleek and compact design isn’t for hanging around in. But don’t worry! There’s a boot cut front, to give you space for your shoes, and a retractable vestibule area to provide extra storage.
A good size for 2 with a very quick setup, due to the light weight pump, this tent is a handy companion for the more adventurous explorer.
6. KELTY AIRLIFT TENT
Max. Occupancy: 4 persons | Weight: 18 pounds | Closure: Zipper
This inflatable tent is another great compact tent for the festival goer, or the weekend away. The orange and grey design is easy to see and is a feature that will help you find your tent, even in the biggest campsite!
It has a 4 person sleeping area, but don’t worry! The floor area is wide enough to fit you in with plenty of space, without having to worry about rolling onto anybody else. It’s been created with fabric that is durable against high winds and has excellent weather resistance. The tent also features mesh windows to allow for fresh air inside the tent, making sure you enjoy your time inside as much as outside. Just in case that fickle weather doesn’t end up going your way.
There is also a sheltered porch area if you want to sit outside (and that weather has lightened up just a little). Easy to set up with the double action pump (included in the price tag), this inflatable tent is perfect for those wanting to enjoy as much of their time as they can.
7. MOOSE OUTDOORS TENT
Max. Occupancy: 8-10 persons | Water-Resistance: 3000 mm.
This Moose Outdoors tent is our biggest size air tent on the list, and for this tent it’s true what they say, bigger is better! It’s an 8 person tent, but can fit up to 10 people and is therefore perfect for family camping!
It boasts the fastest setup out of the tents on the list at 3 minutes, for an easy camp experience. This tent not only has an inflatable infrastructure, but also features steel poles for improved stability and that all important increase in durability.
The fabric of this tent is different from others however, as not only is it water proof, but it also has a special ripstop tenting fabric designed for extra durability as well. This makes sure that you get to enjoy this tent for longer. The sewn-in ground sheet provides an even and dirt free floor area, and the built-in sun canopy is great for those lazy days. Also with a full three month warranty, it seems like a great choice for a family tent, especially if you have a big and boisterous family.
Other features include the double action pump (also Included: aren’t you lucky!) and some lovely mesh windows that allow your inside tent time to be free of those dreaded camping smells (we’re looking at you walking boots).
8. VANGO ODYSSEY TENT
Max. Occupancy: 5 persons | Weight: 14 kilograms | Water-Resistance: 4000 mm.
This tent is a good size for family camping as well. It’s made to fit 5-6 people, in 2 spacious bed rooms, and has a large living area; a perfect place to retreat to after a fun-filled day.
This tent is not just inflatable but also has accompanying fiber-glass poles for extra stability against the elements, and again, that brilliant improved durability we always want with our tent. Even if you don’t want to spend all your time outdoors, this tents PVC windows let in a lot of light and make the already sizable living area look even bigger. A great plus if you ever need a day inside and giving you plenty of space to eat, drink, and have fun indoors. With it’s relaxed cool green vibes, this is a tent you might not want to leave!
Other features include the fantastic fire retardant fly sheet that gives your tent some extra safety measures, allowing you to have that all important barbeque close enough to home (as long as your campsite allows it). It also has a front and side point of entry, allowing you to move about even more freely, alongside the spacious inside. We’re sold!
9. COLEMAN FASTPITCH
Max. Occupancy: 4 persons | Weight: 18.5 kilograms
This tent does exactly what it says on the tin. With it’s double-action hand pump (included) and a simple 3 air beam system, this tent sets up in a flash, for a stress-free start to your vacation.
It holds up to 4, with a nice living area, so you won’t be getting under anyone’s feet. But the best feature about this tent, would be the amazing fabric that it’s made out of. Not only is this tent fabric waterproof, but it also has a UV guard that protects you up to 50 SPF. This contributes to the fantastic lights out bedrooms that this tent has. Boasting bedroom darkness to up to 99%, this tent is for those who enjoy their good night sleep or their afternoon nap. Giving you that delightful shade during the day, and those extra, undisturbed hours in bed that we crave.
10. FERINO FLOW
Max. Occupancy: 4 persons | Weight: 28.26 pounds | Water-Resistance: 2500 mm.
Through many of the reviews about this tent, there is only but a single conclusion: it is big. This tent is very spacious, both in the bedrooms, and in the living area. In fact, a considerably generous amount of space has been provided for your relaxing needs. It’s only made for 4 people, with 2 bedrooms, but it has an open floor plan that seems to only add to the overall size. Not only that, but there is also a side point of entry, as well as the main, giving you a real sense of freedom. This tent also features windows, making sure you feel at ease and allowing you to enjoy your time inside the tent as well as outside of it. This tent is definitely for the camper who covets their space.
If you’re thinking that this tent might be too big for you, and therefore too much to handle, don’t worry! This tent sets up just the same as many others on our list, all you need is an air pump, and you’re good to go!
Considerations for Buying Inflatable Tents
If you are new to inflatable camping, you’ll need to consider these 4 things:
Capacity is one of those things you’d think was an obvious choice to think about before buying a tent, but here are some ideas you might have skipped:
- First things first: How many people need to fit into your tent?
Unless you’re buying a specific two person tent, like the Nemo Equipment Morpho listed above at number 5, you can always take a bit more time to decide how big a tent you want to buy. If there’s 4 of you, but you might want a little more wiggle room, so there’s no harm in looking at 5 or even 6 person tents to see how much space you can get.
- Is this tent for relaxation or just a glorified sleeping area?
The living space within your tent is just as important as the sleeping space. There will be times during your camping trip that you won’t be able to enjoy nature because of high winds or a LOT of rain. So you should think about how much space you want to be able to relax in. Even if you’re an explorer, wanting to walk against the elements, it’s always nice to have a little place you can kick back and dry off.
- Do you want a multi chamber tent?
How many rooms is enough? Are you okay sharing your sleeping space? Or would you like a bit more privacy for your camping trip? There’s no harm in looking at tents that help you divide up your space. Even if you’re a couple, purchasing a 4 person tent gives you that extra storage space you’ll be grateful you thought about.
Inflatable tents make difficult setups a thing of the past. With their easy-to-fill air beam infrastructure, those stressful times working out which bit goes where are but a distant memory. But there is still a lot to consider when working out what will be the easiest tent for you.
- How easy is it to put up?
When it comes to setting up tents, slow and steady doesn’t always win the race, especially if you’re battling the elements. If you’re impatient to get your vacation started, a tent like the Moose Outdoors inflatable tent, which boasts a 3 minute set up time, might be the right choice for you. Inflatable tents shave your set up time in half; making sure you enjoy as much of your time exploring nature as possible.
- What do you need to put it up?
Another element to look into, is what kind of gear do you need to put up an inflatable tent? Well whether you’re looking for something big or something small, most inflatable tents just need one pump. Several of the inflatable tents on our list come with a double action pump already included in the price. However, if you’re into something a little more high tech, the Easy Camp Hurricane 300 tent that comes in at number 4 on our list, comes with it’s very own manometer (A handy little pressure gauge).
- How much stability are you looking for?
The stability of your tent can be improved with what goes into the setup. Are you okay with added poles that’ll add to your tents overall stability and durability? It must be said that they also add an extra stage when setting up your inflatable tent, but they also make sure that your tent stays up. If you’re okay with this then you might be interested in tents such as the Vango Odyessey Tent coming in at number 8 on our list. . Whatever you decide, there’s a lot of choice out there!
This is something that comes into question a lot when discussing inflatable tents. Will it endure? Are the air beams going to hold? Most inflatable tents are made with that question in mind, and many have different features that compensate for their lack of poles.
- Added features: such as poles
As discussed above in our construction section, some inflatable tents do have these included to provide that added support you might think an inflatable tent is missing.
- It depends on what type of camping you do
If you are purchasing an inflatable tent just for some backyard fun, tents such as The Original Airfort, that comes in at number 2 on our list, is more of an appropriate purchase. It’s light weight polyester fabric means it’s easy to transport, and carry around. However if you’re more of a wild camper, a tent such as the Nemo Equipment Morpho would be more suitable for your camping tent needs.
- Go for a camping tent with extra structure and shape
If you’re really worried about your inflatable tents durability, then go for a tent that has more structure to it. Most camping tents are structural sound, to survive the elements. However, there are some, such as Heimplanet’s ‘The Cave‘ that have a specific geometric design to battle the harshest of elements. Tents like these will be able to provide for you the upmost durability. Making sure you get as much out of your camping experience as you can.
Whether you’re a big family, or you’re just one person hoping to explore solo, there are many different tents that are made that will provide for whatever durability you’re hoping to receive.
Sometimes a tent isn’t just a place to sleep after a fun-filled day. With this in mind, many tents come with extra features that you’ll want to take into consideration before purchasing.
- Storage pockets – These are great if you have a tent that’s a little on the smaller side. Normally tucked away in the sides of your tent, storage pockets are a great feature to look for. Especially for family camping: you now have a place for any toys that normally get in the way.
- Windows – This might not seem like an obvious choice to think about, but windows are a great feature to have on a tent. Allowing in extra light, and with mesh windows, extra breathability.
- Multiple chambers – Do you need extra rooms? Going camping with friends and family is always great, but sometimes you just need that extra space to relax. Even if there’s just 2 people, a room for storage and a room for sleeping could really come in handy.
- Design – Most tents only come in one color and design, but for the more fashion conscious, this is still an important feature to factor in. Do you want a tent you can find easily? Do you want a unique looking tent? Do you want a tent that blends in to your natural surroundings?
- Specific features – For some people, the little details are the ones that win you over. Do you want a cable entry point? How many square feet do you want? Does it need to be light weight?
All of these things need to be factored in before you purchase any tents for when you go camping.
1. Are inflatable tents easier to put up than pole tents?
Most inflatable tents are easier to put up because they have a simple set up by design. A lot of inflatable tents have a one pump system, and are therefore the simplest to setup.
You don’t have to mess around with what pole goes into what hole when it comes to an air tent, although there are some tents on our list that do have poles included. That doesn’t mean to say that the air tents who don’t have a handy little extra pole are any less sturdy. In fact, a lot of tents out there have a reinforced structure to provide the same amount of stability as any other regular tents for camping.
As long as you don’t mind a small arm workout before your new adventure begins, then inflatable tents might just be for you!
To find out more about which is better, look at our guide above, especially our construction section!
2. How do you put up an inflatable tent?
The set up of inflatable tents is similar to that of your standard canvas tents in terms of the first steps.
- You have to make sure your floor area is clear, from debris such as small rocks or stones.
- Lay down any ground sheet underneath where your floor area will be for added protection. (Some tents have ground sheets sewn in already.)
- Set out the air tent over your clear floor area as carefully as possible to make sure nothing is poking into your air beams. The worse thing that can happen is for one of your beams to get a hole in before you start camping!
- Make sure, if your tent has an air valve at all, that it is clear and free of any thing that could cause a blockage. Also check that your valve isn’t pressed up against somewhere that could block it as well.
- Place your pump in the appropriate place and inflate until you have a good, stiff structure. If you have any sort of manometer or other pressure gauge, keep checking so that you’re not in danger of bursting your tent.
- Some tents need poles, so this is where you make sure these are in place, taking care not to handle them too hard so they’re in danger of bending, snapping, or cracking.
- Take out your tent stakes, and make sure that they are placed properly at the correct points, before hammering them down.
- Now you can begin to have fun!
3. What is the best inflatable tent?
There are many different types of tents for camping, all with a different design to suit this. The best inflatable tent depends on your wants and needs. Every air tent on our list are good quality and built for peoples different specific needs.
- Are you looking for a family tent?
- What size tent do you want? 2 person? 6 person?
- Are you looking for a tent that is easy to set up?
- Do you need something more heavy duty?
- Are brands something you look at before buying a tent? Do you want a brand with good reviews?
It really does come down to what you are looking for specifically. If you have any specific feature in mind already, it’s okay to start your search from there and see what else the tents you look at have to offer you to sway your decision.
However, if you’re still having difficulty starting out, then please take a look above to our list to see which air beam tents from our top 10 might be the best tent for you!
4. Are inflatable tents durable?
Inflatable tents are made to be durable. Several tents on our list have poles to help increase their durability, but again, that doesn’t mean to say that tents without this feature are any less durable. It also depends on what type of camping you’ll be doing. If it’s just some backyard glamping, then you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on a tent that can survive staying up in gale force winds, as that’s not something that needs to be factored into your tent purchase.
So it’s best to follow these simple guidelines:
- Just like any regular tent you’ve got to make sure the inflatable beams are taken care of when you’re setting up and packing away.
- You always have to make sure that you’re storing your tent right. Make sure it’s not squeezed in between any sharp objects as any damage to your air beams isn’t good.
- You might think that any lighter weight tents would be less durable, but a lot of tents on the market factor in shape and size when choosing their fabric. Making sure that their tent is as strong as any standard one.
- When choosing a camping tent, you’ll also want to consider the fabric specifically as well – How durable is it?
- Looking at the design also helps, choose one with a more rigid structure for added durability.
Please look above at our guide, specifically the durability section, that’ll give you more information on air tents and their durability!
All in all, whether you’ve been camping with inflatable tents for a long time, or are just now taking the plunge, there’s a tent out there for everybody. From enhanced stability to those lovely little extra features, you just have to start looking. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go!