The Beauty of Bubble Tents
From the moment a toddler first sees an iridescent bubble glide through the summer air, humans become entranced with spheres … fish bowls, snow globes, blowing bubbles, marbles, blown glass, and glass domes. Then, gazing up at the beautiful night sky, one innovative soul imagined a contraption that kept out the bugs and the weather, but did not obstruct the view. Poof! The bubble tent was born. The opportunity to watch the sunrise and sunset from the security of your own spherical space is a unique and special experience.
|TM Dreamland Outdoor Camping Clear Inflatable Lawn Tent Bubble Tent Dream House||4.5||$$$|
|Stagerinflatables® Transparent Inflatable Bubble Tent Room 2 Tunnels for Family Camping Outdoor Activities Holidays 1 per Package||4.5||$$$|
So other than round, what is a bubble tent? It’s actually a spherical shelter made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and depending on the manufacturer, sometimes PVC tarpaulin, which has transparency properties. The tent is constructed with a flat bottom and a dome attached on top. The entrance/door is generally a small tunnel shaped opening, which leads into the main dome. The structure is filled with the air from a small, electrical blower fan, which maintains air pressure in the cabin. Since the airflow is constant, the air is replaced somewhere between six-seven times per hour, blowing the air through exhaust vents. Most bubble tents come with a heavy-duty storage bag, a repair kit, tie-down ropes, and a blower. According to manufacturers, the bubble tent kit weighs between 95 and 145 pounds deflated and packed (it can be heavier depending on the number of domes, discussed later in this article). These tents are not meant for packing in to remote trails or being particularly mobile, however, if you have a power source and a flat surface, the sky is the limit!
Tent Design Style & Functionality
Like a sci-fi movie, bubble tents come in one general design, but vary in configurations. These amazing tents are well liked for the wide application uses:
- Single Dome Structures
- One bubble, with one entry tunnel – this structure is great for personal cabins and recreational tents.
- Multi-dome Structures
- Two or more domes, with multiple connecting tunnels – this configuration is a literal tent city from out of this world.
- Display Structures
- One bubble, with a one entry, usually set up with the tunnel at a less noticeable angle – This type of application is used for advertising, trade shows, exhibitions, and promotions. This use is perfect for event and public venues: display a valuable art piece or sculpture; create a mall display, like a snow globe; create a photo opportunity with Santa or Jack Frost or an Ice Princess.
Freedom & Limitations
Bubble tents offer as much freedom as the blown bubbles that capture a child’s imagination; but there are limitations to the beautiful design. Let’s take a closer look at both freedoms and limitations:
No other tent on the market offers protection while still offering a wide-open view of the sky. Regardless of the pitch site, if the night is cloudless, the bubble tent is the only tent that brings the stars to you.
However, in the same way the sky is open before you, you are open and visible to the world. You must be conscious about changing clothes, using the restroom, or doing anything you do not want bared it to the world.
Through Rain, Shine, Winds or Snow!
Bubble tents are designed to be watertight and can withstand both rain and snow. Manufacturers recommend removing heavy snow from the dome before it accumulates into a thick layer, causing a collapse. However, they don’t recommend use in temperatures less than 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius).
Enjoy the sun in a new way, without bugs, no sand if you are on the beach, and perhaps limited allergy irritants. Users have reported tanning in the privacy of their own tent, without the nuisance of bugs and dirt. It’s a beautiful thing!
Again, just remember that the dome is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The air is being blown in from the blower fan but it’s not an air conditioner. It can get hot and act as a convection oven of sorts. We do want to point out that this situation would be entirely based on the temperature and the amount of shade overhead, whether the shade be due cloudiness, a tarp, or trees. The good news is that the industry is making strides in adding portable air conditioner units. For these reasons, manufacturers don’t recommend use in temperatures greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius).
The bubble tents are designed to withstand winds less than 69 km/h and recommended that you do not attempt to use the tent in winds greater than this. It is stressed that with or without winds, your tent should be secured to the ground with stakes for your safety.
Pumping is not Equal
Other inflatable tents use hand pumps, but to the campers’ relief, with bubble tents no manual labor is required. Lay out the tent, plug in the blower, and poof, your bubble tent is ready. Delightful!
Power is the number one limitation to bubble tents. You must have a power source for the blower fan, both to inflate and sustain the shape. Fortunately, the blower only requires a few amps. If you are a resourceful camper, it might be possible to create a solar power source, but that may not be feasible due to the bulk and weight of the gear required.
Keep in mind that the average time to full inflation is under 30 minutes for a single tunnel, single dome.
Repair and Maintenance
Being made of TPU or PVC, cleaning is a snap. A simple wipe down with soap and water is all that is needed (chemicals are strongly discouraged). The bubble tens come with repair kits for the TPU/PVC!
Bubble tents have some amazing accessories available. During daylight, the tents are filled with natural light, but at night, the ability to use specialty lighting is tremendous. Industry manufacturers have solar lighting and LED lighting available. Lay the lights around the circular base to create soft ambiance or connect the LED’s to a control device and watch a light show with color changes. It’s a party in a bubble waiting to happen. Since these tents are a stationary setup, the addition of furniture is a real possibility. Bring your chairs, small tables, beds, or purchase some futuristic inflatable furniture. It’s like the Jetsons® in real life. Additional accessories include shelving, portable restrooms, and heaters (*note, this is a polyurethane structure and a heater can be a safety concern, but the structures are fire-retardant). Finally, consumers can add additional rooms and connecting tunnels.
Best Bubble Tent Reviews
Today we are focusing on the absolute modern beauty of a bubble dome tent. They are functional, easy-to-use, with clean graceful lines. They bring camping experiences to the next level of intense and fulfilling outdoor living. The quiet, 110V blower fan is extremely easy to attach and power-up. As an added benefit, the entry tunnel provides a “mud/dirt room” where you can remove dirty shoes and soiled clothing without spreading any of the muck and mud into the main cabin room.
Many of these you’ll find online are actually the exact same product but re-branded by different sellers. So we narrowed it down to find the ones with the best prices.
Let’s take a closer look at specific models:
TM Dreamland Outdoor Camping Clear Inflatable Lawn Tent Bubble Tent Dream House
Ground to sky views, not one part of the view is obstructed with this model – it is completely transparent. Suitable for pitching on a deck, in a backyard, or at a local campground, this bubble tent is flexible in application. This high quality, clear inflatable bubble tent is great for woodland camping as well as beach camping. Perfect for stargazing and surf watching.
Stagerinflatables Transparent Inflatable Bubble Tent Room 2 Tunnels for Family Camping Outdoor Activities Holidays
This design comes with a three-quarter high white siding, semiprivate, model for additional privacy, without obstructing the sky. One tunnel is the doorway leading to the outdoors. The other tunnel is an additional room that can be used for storage, additional sleep space, or privacy for a changing area or portable restroom.
Experiencing a night camping under the stars is a life-changing event; why not invest in a full comfort experience with an inflatable bubble tent? Bring all your comforts from home and enjoy a 360-degree view.