Inflatable tents, sometimes called air tents, are a fairly new innovation and are becoming increasingly popular. The traditional tent poles, made of fibreglass or steel, are replaced by inflatable beams that are filled full of air using an electric pump, making them rigid like a normal tent pole.
There are many advantages to inflatable tents, but perhaps the most impressive is the fact that they are so easy and quick to pitch. There is a wide range of different models on the market, including some that are totally inflatable and others that are similar in design to traditional tents but have inflatable poles rather than steel or fibreglass ones. The pros and cons of this type are discussed below.
Pros of Inflatable Tents
They are quick to set up, often just taking minutes to erect. The inflatable poles provide stability, and this type of tent can often prove to be better in rough weather conditions than a traditional tent. In high winds, an inflatable tent will move and flex, and unlike a traditional tent, there are no poles to snap. They will stand up to storms and adverse weather much better than a traditional tent of a similar size.
If any damage does occur to the inflatable poles, this is easy to repair in the same way as you would repair a puncture in a bicycle tyre.
As well as being quick to set up, they are also easier to erect and even novice campers will be able to assemble them with ease.
Inflatable tents also have the advantage of being relatively compact and easy to transport. They have become very popular with backpackers, who find that they fold up easily like a sleeping bag and can be carried in a similar way. Single campers or a single parent with children will find that they are able to inflate even quite a large tent alone with no need for help from another adult, since all they need to do is plug in the pump and turn it on. There is no need for assistance with the other end of the tent pole. Inflatable tents can provide a very spacious and comfortable camping experience.
Cons of Inflatable Tents
Like traditional tents, inflatable tents need guy lines, and pegging them securely can actually take longer than inflating them. Another minor inconvenience is the fact that you need to carry an air pump as well as the tent, as it has to be inflated when it is pitched. Some campers may worry about the durability of an inflatable tent, but as long as you opt for high-quality equipment you will find that it provides good service for many years to come, and repairs are easier than trying to fix breaks in a traditional tent pole. Most manufacturers will include a repair kit with the tent.
The only other possible disadvantage can be the cost of the tent, but inflatable tents are becoming more affordable as their popularity increases.
Because they are so safe and durable, it is worth investing in a good-quality inflatable tent that will last much longer than the traditional equivalent