Best Inflatable Tents (Buying Guide)
An air tent, sometimes referred to as an inflatable tent, is a tent that is erected by pumping up inflatable beams. Instead of using traditional fiberglass tent poles, the air-filled beams form a strong but lightweight structure that acts like a normal tent, only often easier to assemble. We might assume that an air tent isn’t as strong as traditional tents, due to the fact that they are pole-less. However, the best inflatable tents can be even more strong. Because they move slightly under high winds, instead of buckling or holding strong like traditional poles, they actually respond better to high winds. A bit like buildings that are created to withstand earthquakes, whose foundations move lightly and let the building adapt, air tents can respond well and bounce back from adverse weather conditions.
The main benefit of an inflatable camping tent is just how quick and easy they are to get up and ready. Instead of fiddling about with poles, trying to get all of the elements color-coordinated, you simply need to pump up the inflatable beams. Some models have a handheld or self-inflatable pumps, and others electric: depending on your need you could consider opting for a tent with the pumping option of your choice, or buying another option of pump suit. And when you’re ready to leave your campsite and take down your camp, all you need to do is pull the lever, and the tent will easily and quickly deflate on its own.
Air tents have become more and more popular in recent years, but are still quite unusual and sometimes hard to come by. This new trend in camping gear could potentially make your trips easier, and safer, so try one out for yourself to see what all the hype is about. Sometimes a little more expensive than traditional tents, air tents should only be considered really if you’re an experienced camper, or outdoors enthusiasts, looking to try something new and more convenient.
Best Inflatable Tents – Overview
1. Quechua 2 Seconds XL Air III Pop Up Tent – 3 Man, Blue
- Easy assembly / dismantling Free standing structure. 2 Seconds assembly. Guided folding system: Easy
Considering the size of this tent, which sleeps only three, the price could be seen as not worth the investment. However, we would recommend considering this tent if you’re seriously into outdoor adventures. If you like to go camping in remote places, where the weather often turns, or there could be strong winds, this tent will have you covered: literally. With a bedroom capacity of 210 X 210 cm, there’s more than enough room for two to sleep in this tent comfortably. And with a height of 109 cm, it’s not going to feel too cramped inside, and you can move around with ease.
One of the main benefits of this tent is the storage area and porch. Here you can store your boots, kit and backpacks, to keep them from getting wet while you sleep. It’s also a great way to keep your tent clean and tidy on the inside, avoiding you having to clean it arduously when you return home. Another great feature of this tent is that it’s designed for multiple weather conditions, even inclement weather, and holds up well to even very strong winds.
And for when it’s hot out, and to avoid waking up in the morning all hot and sweaty in your sleeping bag, it has a really good ventilation system: a heat reduction flysheet, and mechanical vents at side and rear. It has inbuilt ventilation panels, fly sheets, and attachable side panels, so you can control the type and amount of ventilation you need.
In terms of pitching, this is where this model really wins. The tent is marketed as a pop u[ tent, but with air poles instead of fiberglass. This model boasts air pressure valve integration, meaning you it’s super simple and quick to set up, especially if you have a powerful pump. Quechua even claim you can set it up in 2 seconds! Although we think this assembly claim may be slightly overstretching it, this really is one of the easiest tents on the market to assemble and disassemble, especially with a powerful pump.
- Super easy 2 second set up
- 109cm high
- Storage area and porch
- Withstands high winds and heavy rains
- Too short for tall campers
2. Vango 6 Person Odyssey Air 600 Tent, Epsom
- 6 Person air beam tent with inflatable poles, quick and easy to pitch
This option is a classic dual-entry tunnel tent using what they refer to as Vango air beam inflatable tent technology. This allows the tent to be erected in just 8 minutes. Consider investing in an electric pump, so you can leave the tent to inflate on its own, and you don’t have to pump it yourself with your foot or hand. Another benefit of this tent is that you can use it even if you’re tall: it gives full stand up height throughout by using pre-bent inflatable beams. Having pre-bent inflatable beams is a really useful feature in air tents, and can add more stability and strength to the structure of your tent. It also adds more internal space than curved air beams.
Although it uses modern technology, this tent has a classic design. The large diamond-clear PVC windows allow light to flood into the tent, especially in the front storage and porch area. This is a great option if you’re going camping in the rain, and want somewhere where you can hang out, and maybe read a book and relax after a long hike, under shelter from any inclement weather. It also comes with a clever linked-in groundsheet, which is really easy to clean and can be attached or detached from the living area.
Another benefit of this model is that it’s made from really durable and heavy-duty materials. The Protex 70D 4,000Mm hh polyester flysheet, for example, is highly waterproof and durable fabric exclusive to Vango. If you’re camping on the top of a hill, or in higher climbs, this tent could be worth your investment. With its tension band system, this can be attached for extra stability in high winds, and the air-filled structure won’t break or bend, but will move accommodatingly even when really stretched. And if you’re using it in hotter weather, the air zone ventilation system ensures a comfortable flow of air through the tent to minimize condensation.
- Erected in just 8 minutes
- Pre-bent inflatable beams for extra headroom and stability
- Large diamond-clear PVC windows allow light to flood into the tent
- Protex 70D 4,000Mm hh polyester flysheet
- Tension band system, this can be attached for extra stability in high winds
- Doesn’t erect as quickly as some other models
3. Kelty Sonic 6-Person Airpitch Tent
For a more compact and less expensive option, check out this tent from Kelty. Although it also sleeps 6 people, it doesn’t have the kit storage and porch area, so you might want to set up a tarp next to your tent for extra rain protection. For more recommendations on camping in rainy conditions, check out our rainy camping guide here. If you want a portable, cheaper air tent, that still sleeps a group, this option from Kelty could be just right for you.
By replacing traditional poles with Kelty AirPoles and creating a large, single-wall tent, Kelty’s AirPitch Sonic 6 speeds up setup and takedown, giving you more time to spend doing all of the activities in the great outdoors that you really love. However, if you’re going camping in a group and you want a bit more privacy, for example with divider walls, this tent isn’t the best option for you. It might be better to look into an L shaped tent, for more privacy. However, the ease of set up is a big selling point with this product. Simply use the included dual-action, high volume floor pump and in less than a minute you’re home-away-from-home is ready.
As with all air tents, a main benefit of this model is that it’s durable, and able to withstand high winds. Unlike traditional aluminum or fiberglass poles which can bend or break, Kelty AirPoles are strong and flexible and ways return to their original shape. It’s also made of really durable materials: 68-denier polyester. And when you’re done with your camping trip, or you’re ready to leave your campsite and move on, the takedown is super simple. Just pull the plug and these tents take themselves down, no need for you to even lift a finger! Put it back in its convenient travel bag, and away you go.
- Sleeps up to 6
- Sets up in less than a minute
- Made of really durable materials: 68-denier polyester
- No storage/ porch area or awning
- Not suitable for tall campers
4. Ryno Tuff, Camping Tent, 4 Person Tent with Inflatable Poles, 8 by 8 Feet Wide and 5 Feet High, Durable, Waterproof Materials with Full Coverage Rain Fly and Mosquito Mesh, Inflatable Tent for Camping
- TOUGH, TOP-QUALITY, WATERPROOF MATERIALS - The breathable inner tent has large mesh windows and a waterproof floor it is great for warmer weathers. For colder or rainy nights the optional rain fly...
If you’re looking for a cheap inflatable tent, you’ll find they’re few and far between. However, this tent in our opinion represents the best value for money. It’s reasonably cheap, while still using the cutting edge technology, and you don’t sacrifice on the quality of the design or the durability of the materials. This is a simple design of inflatable tent, with just two inflatable tubes that keep the structure up in a cross shape. Despite its simple design, it’s quite spacious. This family tent when fully set up is 8 feet by 8 feet wide and 5 feet high. That is enough room to sleep at least 4 people comfortably, perfect for a family or a small group, or one queen air mattress.
Another huge benefit of this model is that it’s perfectly designed for all weather conditions: it’s an all season tent. The breathable inner tent has large mesh windows, meaning you’ll have a through breeze and be able to stay cool in summer. The waterproof floor is also great for warmer weather. For colder or rainy nights the optional rain fly provides waterproof coverage, by diverting the water off the top of your tent. This rainfly is rated at PU 1000mm, and allows you to be comfortable in this inflatable tent in almost all weathers. The seams are taped for additional weather protection, meaning you’ll never get soggy at the edges of your tent.
As we’ve mentioned previously, this tent will withstand strong winds because it’s an air tent, so it doesn’t have any poles that could buckle or snap. It also can be pumped up in just a couple of minutes with your foot. But one of the real selling factors of this model is its portability. When condensed, it measures just 16.5” x 14” x 8” inches and weighs about 12 lbs. This means that this is a great option of backpacking tent, or for hikers.
- 8 feet by 8 feet wide and 5 feet high
- Roomy, family tent
- Seams are taped for additional weather protection
- Portable: 16.5” x 14” x 8” inches, and weighs about 12 lbs
- Storage pockets inside for your belongings and a loop on top to hang a tent lamp
- Not an electric pump, have to DIY
- Only 5 feet high
- Sometimes difficult to fully inflate tubes
5. MOOSE OUTDOORS Inflatable Tent, Comes with Air Pump and Fast Set Up in 3 Minutes, Family Camping Tent with Air Flow Vents, Waterproof, Windproof and Sewn-in Groundsheet
- Quick 3 Minute Set-Up: Unlike traditional tents, Moose Outdoor tents are designed to to be set up and taken down in the easiest way possible. The tents easily inflate by air pump in under 3 minutes...
This is another smaller and cheaper option for inflatable tent. And it boasts a super easy setup and take down: easily inflate by air pump in under 3 minutes and deflate in seconds by simply opening a valve. However, despite its’s lower price point, this tent doesn’t sacrifice on the durability of its materials. It’s made of durable ripstop tenting fabric. The instant tents are 3000 MM water-resistant with an attached groundsheet. The high-quality material is breathable and windproof at 33 mph.
Moose’s tent provides you with the interior space you need to feel comfortable. This tent is designed with 4 people in mind. It has a large capacity, but also prioritizes comfortable living space. This tent includes a covered sun-shade area that makes a great place to relax or and store camping gear and belongings, stopping your tent from getting dirty with muddy boots or kit. We would recommend this tent as a great option for couples, or small families or groups.
This tent is also designed for all weather conditions. When it’s hot, you’ll feel the benefit of the airflow technology. It creates cool air circulation inside your tent. This feature keeps the interior cooler during the day and warmer during the night. The tent is designed with two riser vents to ensure fresh air comes in and out. At the same time, the vents are reinforced and covered and to prevent any water leaks. And that brings us to more inclement weather conditions. The 100% waterproof tent is made of high-quality materials with industry-leading Ripstop technology. Each tent is designed with a built-in groundsheet to prevent insects, pests, or soil moisture from disturbing your rest. Furthermore, it’s windproof at 33 mph, and securely fastened by 6 included stakes to ensure stability.
- High-quality material is breathable and windproof at 33 mph
- 3000 MM water-resistant with an attached groundsheet
- Blow-up and deflate in 3 minutes
- Good value for money
- More comfortably sleeps 2
- Hard to fit in the bag
For the best value for money, our recommendation would be the MOOSE OUTDOORS Inflatable Tent. It comes with it’s own pump, and you can easily set it up in just three minutes. Although this isn’t a large tent, we think it will really add to your camping experience. Because of it’s durable design and materials, you can use this tent in even more adventurous climbs, which really opens up possibilities for where you can travel, hike and set up camp. Without the need for guylines, this simple option is quick and easy, and is a perfect portable option for backpacking tent.
When it comes to new trends in camping, people are often skeptical. For a lot of us, it’s something we’ve been doing since childhood, and if it ain’t broke why fix it? Because air tents are quite a new phenomenon, they’re still pretty expensive. The winner we have picked out, however, is about as pricey as one of the best tents in the traditional style to sleep 2-4. And it could just revolutionise your camping experience. It’s lightweight, and extremely portable, making it a great backpacking tent.
Air tents also have lightning quick set up times, and are so much easier than traditional tents. But the main selling point, we think, is that these tents withstand even higher winds and inclement weather than their older uncles. So why not give inflatable tents a go, with our recommendations for the best inflatable tents, and see whether they add to your adventure.
Bonus tip: To learn how to pitch your inflatable tent, watch this useful video!