Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

27Products analysed

17Hours spent

4Evaluated articles

65User reviews

The inflatable tent is a special alternative to conventional tents with poles. It allows you to pitch your tent in no time at all. The inflatable tent is characterised by its stability in unstable weather. It is the ideal companion for longer camping trips, as well as for spontaneous overnight stays in the garden by children. With our big inflatable tent test 2022 we want to help you find the perfect air tent for you. We have looked at different inflatable tents and picked out the most important facts for you. We also show you the advantages and disadvantages of inflatable tents. Have fun reading.




Summary

  • Unlike conventional tents, the inflatable tent stands up due to an air tube system. Because the tubes are more flexible than poles, they give way well in strong winds.
  • With an air pump or air compressor, the tent can be inflated in no time. If it loses stability, it can be quickly adjusted with a little extra pumping.
  • The large models guarantee long comfort on holiday because there is more storage space.

Inflatable tent: Our Selection

Buying and evaluation criteria for inflatable tents

If you search for the perfect inflatable tent for you on the internet, you will come across a variety of models and offers. In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between this multitude of possible inflatable tents. The criteria you can use to compare the models with each other include:

Waterproofness

The weather resistance of a tent is essential. It should be able to withstand different weather conditions, be it wind, rain or snow. A good model in this respect means good comfort. A water column in the outer tent describes how much water is kept out by the tent canvas. A tent is considered waterproof from 1500 mm. Manufacturers have realised, however, that this is only partly true for continuous rain and therefore produce tents that can withstand a larger water column.

But if you follow all the rules of camping, there should be nothing to stop you even at low altitudes. For example, you should not put anything on the outer walls.

With 300 mm, your tent has the average value. The water column can be up to 5000 mm. The flysheet is just as important as the water column. It guarantees that the tent can be well tensioned. Depending on where the rain comes from due to the wind, the flysheet must be tensioned. In this way, as little water as possible gets onto the lower tent, whose walls are more permeable to rain.

Ventilation

The right ventilation system guarantees that fresh air can flow into the interior of the tent, but that no unwanted guests such as insects or water find their way into the tent. Ventilation systems can vary from tent to tent. Essentially, a distinction is made between ceiling and side vents. They perform similarly in comparison.

Size / dimensions / weight

To begin with, the size of an inflatable tent varies, just as with conventional tents. However, many inflatable tents are relatively larger. It should be noted that the ventilation system takes up some space up front. When buying a model, you should also take into account how much space your luggage might take up. An awning guarantees more storage space. For camping tents, the dimensions depend on the number of sleeping cabins. The number of sleeping chambers varies from 1 to 4, each of which can accommodate 1 to 4 people, depending on the model. The manufacturers' specifications can sometimes be misleading, because in practice there is usually a little less space per person.

It is best to calculate with one person too many than too few.

As a guideline, a one-man tent should measure 2.6 x 1.5 metres. For a three-man tent, at least 4.3 x 2 m are necessary. For families, there are tents for 8 people that are equipped with 4 sleeping chambers. In any case, always include space for luggage and tent accessories. If weight is not an issue, the same applies as for any tent: the bigger the better! An air tent is usually in the same weight range as conventional tents. In addition to the ventilation system, you also have to carry the air pump. Depending on what you need the tent for, it can be more or less important to count every gram. For an intensive or long hike, a lightweight model is advisable. If you are travelling by car, large air tents are ideal. They give you enough space, and even if you're staying for a long time, it won't get cramped quickly.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an inflatable tent

Before buying an inflatable tent, there are a number of factors you should consider. In the following sections we have summarised some of these factors and explained them in more detail for you.

What is special about an inflatable camping tent and what advantages does it offer?

One special feature of an inflatable camping tent is that it is much easier to pitch than tents with poles. This saves you time. The inflatable tent is supported by air tubes. These air tubes can be inflated with air pumps or air compressors.

zelt-aufblasbar-test

The inflatable tent is suitable for different weather conditions. If it loses some of its stability, it can simply be re-inflated. (Image sources: Thomas Colby / unsplash)

You are less dependent on the help of a second person during pitching. Dismantling is also easy: just loosen the pegs, open the valves and you can pack up your air tent in no time. Because your inflatable tent has no fixed elements, apart from a few poles or cross ribs for stabilisation, nothing can break. This is ideal in strong winds, because the air ribs bend and your tent gives way. In intense weather conditions such as snow, cold or extreme heat, the air in the air tubes can become a little less. Then you can simply pump in more air so that the tent stands well again. In terms of shape, however, they may or may not differ much from conventional tents when you buy them. For example, inflatable tents can be found in the popular living tents and tunnel tents. They also come in fancy models for event organisers and companies.

How many people fit in an inflatable tent?

As already mentioned in the buying and evaluation criteria, you can afford an inflatable tent for 1 to 8 people. It is important to take the luggage into account.

Who are inflatable tents suitable for?

An inflatable tent is suitable for many types of people. It is ideal if you are on tour for several days or even weeks. After a hard day, you can quickly set up the tent and have more free time.

zelt-aufblasbar-test

The air tent is quick to set up. This gives you more time to find your way around the new camping site, for example. (Image source: Munkhuu / unsplash)

If you like to go camping for several days, a large inflatable tent is a good idea. A large model offers storage space and a place to retreat. But the inflatable tent is just as suitable for children's adventures in the garden at home or camping over the weekend.

How much does an inflatable tent cost?

Inflatable tents are generally a little more expensive than conventional tents. This is because the air ribs are more costly to manufacture. Throw tents are still cheaper, but you lose a lot in terms of quality. So it's generally fair value for money when you buy an inflatable tent. It should be said, however, that there are extreme price differences in inflatable tents. For example, 3-person tents can cost between 250 and 750 euros. Customer reviews help you to find out whether the model has the right features for you and whether the price is worth it. The rule of thumb is that the larger the tent and the more sleeping cabins it has, the higher the price. In the long run, however, it pays to invest in a good model because it is more durable. In the event sector, it is possible to rent inflatable tents. Unfortunately, the same is only available for camping tents in isolated cases.

What other alternatives are there to inflatable tents and conventional tents?

The throw-up tent / pop-up tent

If you want to pitch your tent quickly, the pop-up tent is a good alternative. It scores with its ease of use. In contrast to the air tent, they are mainly available in small sizes. This is another reason why it is a real lightweight. In addition, it is also affordable for a small budget. However, you also have to reckon with a loss in quality. Customers complain in reviews that the waterproofness of the roll-up tent leaves a lot to be desired. In strong winds, there is a risk that the tent will be dented. In general, it can be said that it is a good companion for mountain sports. The pop-up tent can be fixed well on different surfaces.

Advantages
  • Fast pitching
  • Relatively cheap
Disadvantages
  • Poor waterproofing
  • Impression risk in strong winds

The inflatable awning

In our test, we focused primarily on the popular whole tents and omitted inflatable awnings. They offer similar features, such as ease of use, quick pitching and spaciousness. However, it requires that you can pitch it to a suitable (large) car. As such, it is the ideal format for multi-day holidays, for example at the campsite with the family.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Additional space
Disadvantages
  • Prerequisite is ownership of a car

Source of cover picture: DNokziXbgQw/ unsplash.com

Reviews