If you are looking at 6-person air tents right now, you surely have come across the Quechua Air Seconds inflatable tents amongst many. I can completely understand if you don’t know which one is better or worse, there is a vast range of great air tents from Vango, Coleman, Eurohike to Berghaus just to mention a few. I am hoping that this detailed Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL review will help you see a bit more clearly!
In this review you’ll find first-hand information on;
- For whom this tent is recommended
- How big it is and how comfortable it is to live in this tent
- What materials are used
- How weatherproof it is
- How easy it is to erect it
- Any outstanding features (Pros)
- Any features that could be improved (Cons)
- How the Air Seconds 6.3 XL compares to other inflatable tents
Let’s see the full line of Quechua inflatable tents first, because it can be a bit confusing.
The basic idea in their numbering system is that the first part tells you how many people can sleep in the tent. The second part tells how many rooms you have. So, 4.2 means that it sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms. 6.3 sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms etc.
Fresh&Black is Quechua’s take on ‘Black Out’ rooms. These tents have bedrooms that are made of dark fabric, blocking out 99% of the light.
|Quechua 2 Seconds XL Air||2||Room 150 X 210 cm. Maximum headroom: 95 cm. 1 storage area||£69.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 3 XL Fresh & Black||3||Bedroom 210 X 210 cm. Maximum useful height: 118 cm. 2 storage areas.||£149.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 4.1 XL||4||Bedroom: 280 x 210 cm | Stand-up living room: 6.5 sqm with bowl ground sheet||£199.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 4.1 XL Fresh & Black||4||Bedroom: 280 x 210 cm | Stand-up living room: 6.5 sqm with bowl ground sheet||£249.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 4.2 XL Fresh & Black||4||Bedrooms: 140 x 260 cm | Stand-up living room: 5.8sqm with a bathtub groundsheet||£299.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 XL Fresh & Black||5||2 Rooms: 210×210 – 140×210 | Stand-up living room: 8 sqm||£399.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL Fresh & Black||6||Bedrooms: 140 x 210 cm | Stand-up living room: 10 sqm with bathtub groundsheet||£499.99|
|Quechua Air Seconds 8.4 XL Fresh & Black||8||Bedrooms: 147 x 210 cm | Stand-up living room: 9 sqm||£699.99|
What makes it even more interesting (or confusing) is that the Air Seconds 6.3 XL can be used as a 4-person tent as well…in fact, while it is a decent 6-men tent, it is simply brilliant as a 4-person tent.
Once you have read this review, I think you will understand why I am saying this!
Who is it for then?
The Air Seconds 6.3 XL can sleep 6 persons in comfort in 3 large bedrooms. This makes it ideal for families or groups of friends. Thanks to its large living space and good weather performance I can recommend it not just for weekends, but for longer camping holidays as well. Pitching and deflating is easy, so it could serve well on a road-trip too.
The Air Seconds 6.3 XL is also very versatile thanks to its easily removable 3rd bedroom. Turning the tent into a luxurious 4-men tent with a huge living space is really easy.
The Quechua Air Seconds is 630cm long and exactly 3 metres wide, and it takes up around 40sqm fully pegged out. The full height is 210cms and you have this ceiling height above the living area and the 3rd bedroom. The roof slightly declines over the 2 double-rooms and I must bend slightly when in these 2 rooms as the ceiling height is only 170cms.
I must admit though, that owing to the dark materials used I do not really sense the ‘room’ in the rooms. Yes, I do bend slightly but even when my head touches the fabric it does not feel confined, as the fabrics are soft and as I said, it does not feel like that there’s no more space.
The living area is 7 sqm when the 3rd bedroom is fitted, and 10 sqm with two bedrooms.
As for the size of the bedrooms, Quechua family tents come with ‘standard’ 140x210cm bedrooms. The Air Seconds 6.3 is not an exception, it has spacious bedrooms, comfortable for two people. A normal size inflatable double mattress fits in easily.
Alternatively, you can set up two single mattresses or camping beds on the sides, leaving a corridor for easy access in the middle.
The separation between the twin-bedrooms can be easily removed, so if you want to, you can have a large 280x210cm bedroom too.
I must admit that we have been using it without the 3rd bedroom, and I was very impressed how comfortable it was for the 4 of us. If we had the 3rd bedroom hung up, it would have been a bit different. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that the 6.3 XL is more of a 4-person tent that can be turned into a 6-men tent, then the other way around.
Ease of use
Simply because you have the main entrance at the front, and a side-door, well, on the side. The 3rd bedroom blocks the main entrance, so the only access you would be left with is through the side door, which is not too big. And to be honest it does not provide the same sort of feeling of being connected to the great outdoors as the huge front door…
You can remove the 3rd room every morning, it is not a hassle at all, and chuck the bedding in one of the other rooms and then hang it up again in the evening. However, I must admit, it’s a bit less user-friendly than other 6-man tents – but those don’t have this sort of versatility.
But as a 2-bedroom inflatable tent, the Air Seconds 6.3 is simply brilliant. I mean you have plenty of space, more than 10sqm, and it really does feel like a living room. You have space for your stove, cupboards, chairs, table etc…whatever you want.
For me it seems a bit more sensible to simply have a couple of camping beds in the living room, rather then put in the 3rd bedroom, unless you need that extra privacy and the ‘black out’ feature.
Pitching could not be simpler
If you have a footprint (can be bought separately) you must lay it out first. Then unpack the 85 x 38 x 38 cm (128 litres / 25 kg) rectangular shape carrybag and unroll the Air Seconds 6.3 XL. S secure the 4 corners with stainless steel reinforced pegs. Inflating takes about 5 mins, the rest of the pitching time is taken up by securing the rest of the pegs, inserting aluminium roof poles (for added stability) and fixing the canopy frames.
As I mentioned, the 10sqm living space is more than generous. Besides the large main entrance there are 4 windows (2 PVC and 2 mesh windows) and 1 side door. The main door has mesh windows too. The living area is light and airy, the light-beige flysheet lets plenty of light through, yet it has UPF50+ UV rating: it blocks out more than 97.5% of UVA and UVB rays.
What struck me straight away is the feel of quality, compared to the Airgo Air Genus 800 that I tried not a long ago (see my review here). The zippers were the biggest surprise: finally, someone fitted some decent zippers on the tent that at least look like they are going last long. Time will tell, but they feel sturdy and good-quality.
There are plenty of air vents – in the bedrooms and in the living area as well. There are high-and low-level vents, so it is easy to maintain a good airflow across the tent.
To further reduce condensation, the ground-sheet is not sewn in, and it only covers the living area. The twin bedrooms are ‘bathtub’ style bedrooms, so their bottom is made of the same material as the groundsheet, but they rest on ‘plain ground’ (unless you have a footprint underneath the tent).
I am not particularly a big fan of this construction, as you mostly see this applied on tents that use cheaper, poorer quality flysheets that are more prone to condensation.
The groundsheet hooks up with the flysheet by Velcro, but there are a few gaps.
Dog owners! If you are camping with your dog (like I do) and you know they keen on sneaking out, then the Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 is not for you!
If you have a pug, like I do, who is less….hm…”street-smart”…and can’t even go through an open gate unless you show him the way through, well it is not that big of an issue then. It may be his eye-sight and sense of space, but he has never been clever enough to escape…
As for storage, I can’t even list the number of pockets. There are quite a few in the living room, mesh pockets in the bedrooms, lantern hooks all around and cable entry point by the side door.
Weather resilience and materials used
I have mentioned the soft, dark fabrics that are used inside, they are 100% polyester. The groundsheet is made of 190gsm polyethylene.
As for the flysheet, a polyurethane coated polyester flysheet protects you from the elements. It has excellent UV protection (UPF50+) and 2000mm HH rating for waterproofing. If you think it is a bit low (compared to 4000mm HH and even 6000mm HH you see on other tents) Quechua test their tents to validate their waterproofing. So it is not just a number for the thickness of the coating on the fabric, but to describe the overall water-tightness of the tent.
The first test is done in the laboratory, 4 hours under 200 litres of water per hour per sqm, the equivalent of tropical rain of 200 mm per hour. The second test is done in the field under real conditions.
All the seams are taped, and the groundsheet can be rolled up, so no water can get inside.
As for protection from the heat, apart from a plenty of low- and high-level vents, mesh windows etc. the fabric is designed to reduce heat inside the tent, Quechua calls this Fresh fabric. Not sure if they used a special coating, it is the UV coating or just purely the light colour fabric that Quechua have turend into this cheesy marketing slogan, but it definitely works.
What really impresses me that the tent also went into a wind-tunnel to test its wind resilience. Thanks to the aluminium poles that stretch out the ceiling the Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 can withstand Force 7 winds (up to 40mph). As far as I know, only the Vango Airbeam tents, that use an inner tension system, can withstand winds of this scale.
What makes the Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL Outstanding?
Apart from the great stability and ability to withstand any kind of weather, what sticks out is the 5-year warranty – other manufacturers tend to give you 2 years, 2+1 maybe, but not 5 years.
To reiterate some of the features that I have mentioned above:
- Versatility, option to convert it to a luxurious 4-men tent
- Generous living space
- Large ‘Black Out’ bedrooms
- Good weather performance
- Quality materials
- Easy to erect / deflate
- Lightweight package considering its size (25kgs)
- Plenty of storage space
What Is Not So Great About It?
Having used for over a week I can tell that it was great for the 4 of us. But I kept thinking how it would function as a 6-man tent?…I just found it weird, that the 3rd bedroom blocks the main entrance. And you lose the great living space – although 7.1sqm is not bad either, compared to the ‘free flow’ open area, you are left with an enclosed living room, with a narrower side access.
That’s why I think that the Air Seconds 6.3 is a more of a 4-person tent, than a 6 person tent…
What other options you have?
Now it makes any comparison rather interesting, and… difficult. If used as a 6-person tent, the Quechua Air Seconds is one of the cheaper ones. For the price, you get a pretty decent 6-man tent even though the functionality and ease of use is somewhat compromised. In return, you can remove the 3rd bedroom easily, and you still have groundsheet under your feet (unlike other tents, with bathtub style removable bedrooms: they sit on the ground, there is no groundsheet underneath them).
If you use it as a 4-person tent, the Air Seconds 6.3 is pretty much topping the list. Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either.
One thing is for sure, that it is hard to beat it on the living space for the price (only one that I can think of is the Kampa Kielder 5)
Where to buy the Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL:
Let’s see some of the competitors and how the Air Seconds 6.3 compares to them! Keep in mind that the full RRP of the Air Seconds 6.3 XL is £499, I listed some of its competitors below, RRP comes first, sales price in brackets.
Alternatives for 6-person
I have selected the best air tents in this article to cater all needs: Best Air Tents in 2020. And also: Cheap 6-Man Inflatable Tents (Good Value for Money)
Airgo Air Genus 800 £600 (£299)
Although the Airgo Air Genus 800 is an 8-person tent, in terms living space per person, the Air Seconds 6.3 XL is much more generous. If used by 6 persons, the sleeping pods of the Airgo Air Genus 800 are roomier, but regarding the usability, a lot depends on the preferences of the group living in the tent. I believe that the Air Seconds 6.3 is more balanced on the living space v. sleeping space ratio than the Air Genus 800. The Air Genus is pricier, its retail price is £600, but it has been on sale for quite a while now and you can grab one for £300.
Read my full review here: Airgo Air Genus 800 Review (The Ugly Truth)
Berghaus Air 6 £849 (£579) and Air 6XL £1099 (£734)
Although two completely different inflatable tents, they share their name so to avoid confusion let’s discuss them together. The Air 6 has two large, 3-person bedrooms that face each other, enclosing a moderate size living area. There are two doors to get in and out of the tent, so the layout is more user-friendly then the Air Seconds’. The Air 6 performs really well in bad weather, having been fitted with a 6000mm HH flysheet.
The Air 6XL has a completely different layout, having 3 double bedrooms side-by-side. The living area is enormous, even without the porch, it is more than 12 sqm. Having been fitted with the same flysheet as the Air 6, the Air 6 XL should be seriously considered if you are looking for a 6-man tent. As you can see it costs more than double the price of the Air Seconds 6.3 XL, however it is currently on sale, which can save you around £350.
Without going into details, I have listed some other interesting alternatives below;
AIRGO Cirrus 6 – GoOutdoors – RRP £850 (£500)
Alternatives for 4-person
I feel that the Air Seconds 6.3 has its most dangerous competitor in-house: if you are sure you’ll never use the 3rd bedroom, then the Air Seconds 5.2 XL may be even better for you.
It is not just a £100 cheaper but has bigger bedrooms (sleeps 5) and an equally large (8 sqm) living area (so you can put extra beds in there if you want to). (Sold by Decathlon)
In terms of living space & comfort, only the Kampa Kielder 5 comes anywhere near. It is a 5 person tent (and it is cheaper than the Air Seconds 5.2 XL) and goes over and beyond in weather resilience: PU10000 sewn-in groundsheet, 6000mm HH flysheet.
You could also check out a few more 4/5-person inflatable tents: Top 5 Inflatable Tents For Camping With The Family
Or have a look at these below;
VANGO Odyssey Air 500 – Amazon – £600 (anything between £300 and £500)
AIRGO Stratus 400 – GoOutdoors – £600 (£299)
KAMPA Kielder 4 Air – Winfields Outdoors – £650 (£469)
Still can’t decide?
No wonder, there are so many great inflatable tents out there. The Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL is certainly one of them. For me, if nothing else, the 5-year warranty would be a strong reason not to think about it for very long.
If you have any questions, I would be really happy to hear them! Don’t be shy, leave a comment below!