Top 5 Inflatable Tents For Camping With The Family

When it comes to spending the night outdoors with the family, it is not easy to find a tent that keeps everyone happy. They must be large, but not TOO Large. You need some sort of living space, but you also need some private space where you can rest during the day. (However, if you click the link, there are some pretty decent 6-man tents if you need more living space.) It must withstand rain and must be weatherproof: not too hot in the summer, not too cold on cooler mornings, not blown away by a light wind. They should not be too heavy and should be easy to erect with a limited amount of parts that can go missing. I have found 5 inflatable tents for camping that tick most of these boxes.

Inflatable?

Inflatable tents, or air tents, have air beams instead of classic poles. You can erect them within 8-10 minutes using the hand pump that usually comes with them. They can offer a large living space (10 m2 and above) and most have a blackout room for a better night’s sleep or for a nap during the day.

They are completely water-proof, and some can resist winds up to 120 mph.

To mention some disadvantages as well: they are normally a bit heavier and you have to carry the pump too. Plus, they can be a bit pricey.

Inflatable tents for camping with the family

I selected 5 inflatable tents that meet the criteria above and can be ideal partners for camping with the family;

They are entry level, small air tents for 4 person, just about big enough for a weekend away for couples and 1 or 2 kids. What they have in common is that they have at least two bedrooms that can be separated; and the tent provides enough living space to spend time together even when its rainy outside. If you are looking for slightly bigger tents for your family, I can recommend these high quality 6 man inflatable tents!

Vango Odyssey AirBeam 500

Vango Odyssey 500

Vango was one of the first companies (if not the first) who introduced the air beam design years ago. The Vango Odyssey 500 is a 3 beam tunnel construction. The living space is almost 15 m2, the sleeping area is 210 x 300 cm (more than 6 m2) so it can easily accommodate the whole family. There is a divider to split the sleeping zone into two rooms, so it is ideal for families with kids.

Vango Odyssey inner tension system

Pros

Both rooms have a ‘Lights Out’ feature, meaning that you have an external waterproof shell tent, plus an inner smaller tent with a darker material that blocks the light out. The sitting zone is a single layer structure.

The Vango Odyssey is almost 2 metres high so there is plenty of headroom. Thanks to its tunnel type design, the 3 pre-angled air beam arches support the tent, and this gives it its tunnel profile and a high ceiling in the bigger part of it.

There some nice built-in features too; like the full mesh doors, lantern hanging loops, storage pockets, see-through PVC windows and an inner tension band system for greater stability.

The tent fabric is made of 70D ripstop PU4000 polyester fabric which gives an impressive water resistance.

It is also the cheapest inflatable tent on this list, at the time of writing this post it sells around £320

Cons

The tent weighs 15.9 kgs but at least it is small enough to be carried by hand for shorter distances if need be.

Due to its design there is no vent on the top of the tent, so in warm weather it may become hot inside.

10TS-tents rating

Living space, comfort and features: 4.5/5
Ease of setup: 4/5
Reliability and protection: 4/5
Price: 4 /5 *
Overall: 4.2 / 5 Recommended
Where to buy the Vango Odyssey 500: exclusive to Amazon

*Make sure you check the price on Amazon UK (link above), as Vango tends to change the price on a very wide scale every day. I don’t know what is the point of this, but if you would like to be sure you get the Vango at a good price, add it to your basket (but don’t check out). Amazon will email you when the price drops. I have seen the Vango Odyssey 500 going above £450 and under £350, so if you keep your eyes open you can have it at a really good price…

Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 XL

Quechua Air Seconds 5.2 XL

The Quechua Air Seconds is a 3 beam tunnel design inflatable tent. It has enough space for a family or a group of 5 people on a camping holiday with two separate black-out rooms. Pitching is easy and only takes minutes.

Pros

The sleeping area is HUGE (210×350 cms aka 7.35 m2), more than enough for 5 people. The large bedroom of this tent is designed to accommodate a maximum of three 70 cm wide mattresses. The small bedroom is designed to accommodate maximum two 70 cm wide mattresses.

The height of tent is 2.14 m in the living room, 1.8 m in the sleeping rooms so you can stand up easily in it. It has several pieces of equipment:

  • a bowl-shaped ground sheet that can be folded up at the entrances in case of rain
  • a transparent window with shutter
  • a mosquito net window with shutter
  • storage pockets in the bedrooms and in the living room

Quechua Air 5.2 FloorplanAs for weather resilience and the materials used, this tent is equipped with a polyurethane-coated polyester flysheet of 2000mm water resistance. Well-pitched with the guy ropes properly anchored, this tent remains habitable in a force 7 wind, measured at 60 km/h. It also has seams taped using heat-sealed strips and a 190 gsm polyethylene groundsheet.

It is also worth mentioning that the Quechua Air Second 5.2 XL comes with 5 years warranty.

Cons

Greater stability comes at a price, there’s an aluminium bar in the living room to stiffen the structure. Along with the aluminium pegs, the whole unit is quite big and heavy (20kgs) and the hand pump is not even included.

10TS-tents rating

Living space, comfort and features: 4.8/5
Ease of setup: 4/5
Reliability and protection: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Overall: 3.8 / 5
Where to buy the Quechua Air Seconds: decathlon.co.uk

Note, that you can take the smaller sibling, the Air Seconds 4 XL home for around £150. The 4 XL is considerably smaller and lighter than the 5.2 XL. It does not tick all the boxes for a family camping tent, hence not on the list, but it can be perfect for couples who only need a decent tent to sleep in.

Another alternative for your family camping could be the one-size bigger Air Seconds 6.3 XL. Having spent some time in it, the Air Seconds 6.3XL did not disappoint: it is huge, comfortable and very versatile to suit all needs. Read my full review here: Quechua Air Seconds 6.3 XL (Full Review)

Eurohike Air 400

Eurohike 400

Despite that the Eurohike Air 400 is slightly smaller than the previous two inflatable tents, it is very close up to its competition. It has some interesting features – including its price – that puts the Eurohike Air 400 in the Top 3 of my ‘must have’ list. If you’d like to know why, feel free to read the detailed review here:

Eurohike Air 400 Review (All Questions Answered)

Pros

Eurohike 400 Floorplan

The Air 400 is a 4 person tent. The sleeping pod is only 5.4 m2, but it can be separated into two equal-size black out rooms. This means that there is a lot of room for the kids, but the parents will have to share a 120 cm wide sleeping area. But there is a big BUT:

It has a double-efficiency pump (included) for easy inflation, and spring-loaded, quick-release air valves. So pitching it and deflating it really takes only seconds.

As for weather-resilience the Air 400 was designed for the UK weather: it has a 4000 HH flysheet that can withstand intense rain and snow, and a 3000 HH groundsheet which is fully sewn in and seam-taped for complete waterproofing.

There is a mesh front door panel and a fold-flat side door

The inner fabric remains breathable to allow condensation to pass through

There are five pockets in the living area and further storage pockets inside all bedrooms

The pump, a repair kit and a handled carrybag are all included. The packed size is rather small and light: 75cm x 40cm x 40cm and only 14.7kg

Cons

The only real downside is the small bedroom size. However, if you do not mind the tent being a bit heavier (18.7 kg), you should definitely checkout the Eurohike Air 600. It has a 465cm (L) x 385cm (W) footprint and over two metres headroom, making it a 6 person air tent. Have a look at the specs here (pretty similar to the Air 400), and it is actually only a few quids more expensive than the Air 400: it is under £400 on Blacks’ Ebay Outlet.

10TS-tents rating

Living space, comfort and features: 3.5/5
Ease of setup: 5/5
Reliability and protection: 4.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Overall: 4 / 5 Recommended
Where to buy the EuroHike Air 400: Blacks Ebay outlet, Blacks / Millets / Ultimate Outdoors

It is worth checking time to time on all platforms: sometimes eBay is much cheaper, sometimes there are online only offers on the official website (further 20% off the half-price). In case it is not available any more, you may be interested in the Berghaus Air 4 range. The Berghaus Air 4 is bigger than the Eurohike Air 400 and normally comes at the same price, shooting well below the £400 mark. If you are interested, you can find more details in this review on the Berghaus Air 4 & Air 4XL.

Airgo Air Genus 800

Airgo Air Genus 2

The Airgo Air Genus 800 is a new inflatable tent on the market, sold by GoOutdoors, so there aren’t many reviews out there yet. The Air Genus 800 is much bigger than the ones we have seen above, yet it is not a penny more expensive. Up to 8 people can sleep in two sleeping rooms that face each other, however the rooms are not too big. (You can read a detailed review of the Airgo Air Genus 800 here: Airgo Air Genus 800 Review (The Ugly Truth))

Pros

It is an air tent, so it is easy to pitch just like the others. On top of having two bedrooms, providing plenty of space (although a bit tight for 8), there is a central living space as well. Again, not an enormous amount of space, but if you don’t want to spend too much time inside, it can be big enough. The materials used are more on the lighter-side than on the sturdy side (68D), but the Air Genus 800 is weatherproof (PU4000mm) and comfortable inside. The ground sheet is 140gsm thick and is not sewn in.

Airgo Air Genus 2 – cosy for 8

The tunnel design maximises your living space and head height, and the loose groundsheet means you can roll it back to create a ‘wet area’ for your mucky gear. It packs up into a small and light package, weighing only 13.6 kgs and not taking up more space than 70 x 40 cm.

According to the prospectus it sleeps 4 in each room, however the rooms are only 250 cms wide which leaves 60cms for each person for sleeping. That’s a bit too cosy, but 3 people should have enough space.

It features a fire-retardant flysheet, internal storage pockets and lantern hanging points

Cons

The rooms are not black-out rooms so don’t be surprised if the first rays of sunshine wake you up in the morning. Having said that, it is still a double layer ‘tent-in-tent’ design, and the fabric is dark grey so it should block out the light very well. Also, if you are taller you may not be able to stand up fully as the inner height is only 180 cms.

10TS-tents rating

Living space, comfort and features: 3.5/5
Ease of setup: 4/5
Reliability and protection: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Overall: 4 / 5 Recommended
Where to buy the Airgo Air Genus 800: GoOutdoors.co.uk

Kampa Kielder 4 Air Inflatable Tent

Slightly more expensive than the previous ones, but still well below the £500mark, the Kampa Kielder 4 has a lot of space and some stunning weather resilience.

Pros

The Kielder 4 has decent space for 4 people, it is truly a 4-berth air tent: 70cm for everyone as opposed to the 60cm most manufacturers allocate for one person. That 10cm can make a huge difference, the whole tent is almost half a metre wider than other 4 person air tents. You find two darkened bedrooms side by side in the back of the tent with plenty of pockets on the micro-polyester walls of the sleeping pods. The bedrooms are divided by a toggled curtain, low and high level ventilation points make sure that fresh air comes in.

As for protection from the elements, the Kielder 4 has a Polyethylene sewn-in ground sheet. Although not very thick (130gsm), it has a stunning 10000mm HH waterproof rating. To protect it from stones, rocks, uneven ground, I do recommend the bespoke carpet (only a few pounds extra if you buy them in bundle). The flysheet has a so called Weathershield coating, this is Kampa’s smart coating that protects the polyester from UV and water. It has a 6000mm HH rating, and to make sure it lasts long it is twice as thick as most others on this list: 150Denier.

The living room is 5.8sqm, which is about average for a 4 person tent, but in addition you can roll out the groundsheet to cover the porch area, adding an extra 3sqm flooring to the living space. Furthermore, you can attach a vestibule as an optional extra, so you can easily turn the otherwise open porch into a fully covered living room, protected from the elements.

The living room has light panels on the ceiling – the fabric is of a lighter colour – letting plenty of light in. There is one large PVC window, and you’ll be glad to hear that this PVC window is much better quality than those on cheaper air tents: you can actually see through them. On the opposite side, there is a wide door with a secondary full mesh door – again, not typical in this price range.

There are a lot of other features like cable entry points, heavy duty zippers or reinforced pegging points; if you’d like to see the full features I place the link further below.

Cons

Two things that are worth noting: you will need strong hands to carry this to a distance as it weighs 22.6 kgs. Secondly, the groundsheet at the side door does not fold flat, so it may be a bit more difficult to get in and out through the side.

10TS-tents rating

Living space, comfort and features: 4.5 /5
Ease of setup: 4/5
Reliability and protection: 4.5/5
Price: 3 (4) / 5
Overall: 4.25 / 5 Recommended
Where to buy the Kampa Kielder 4: it is exclusive to Winfields Outdoors

Summary

I know there are a lot more family friendly inflatable tents…While I appreciate how affordable the Eurohike Air 400 and the Airgo Air Genus 800 are, from the 5 that I have reviewed in this post the my personal favourites are the Kampa Kielder 4 and the Vango Odyssey 500.

The Kampa Kielder 4 is just simply far more advanced than the rest, while it is only a slightly more expensive. It goes over and above in weather resilience, and quality of materials used is just superior to the others. If I wanted to use my air tent a lot, it would definitely worth the £100 or so extra investment into a quality air tent.

The only other tent to match this quality is the Vango Odyssey 500 with its inner tension system and proven track record of making high quality tents. I wish they did not play this silly game with the pricing…The Odyssey range is exclusive to Amazon, so I guess the best we can do is to keep an eye on the pricing…

Having said that, you can easily find a good reason to go with any of the others, the Quechua for example, you would not be disappointed with any of them.

What do you reckon? Do you own or have tried any of them? Please leave a comment!

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