Comfort and ease tend to contribute to making a significant difference between a successful camping trip and a trip plagued by inconvenience and hassle. Compared to fifty years ago, camping gear has taken a drastic turn for the better. Portable propane and butane stoves that boil water in minutes, tiny squares made of flammable gel that keep flames burning in the heaviest rains, improved sleeping pads making a night spent on the ground more comfortable – all these improvements have contributed to making the camper’s experience a little more enjoyable. Another modern outdoor innovation that is making an impact on campers is the inflatable tent, also known as the air tent or inflatable beam tent, amongst other names. Produced by brands such as Kelty, Heimplanet, and Wenzel, the inflatable tent is making a rather impressive entrance into the outdoor market.

Inflatable Doesn’t Mean Flimsy or Bouncy

Whenever the word inflatable is attached to anything a person will be using, the mind tends to picture an object that is bouncy or flimsy. However, whenever talking about tents, this idea is truly inconsistent with the actuality of how these tents are constructed. Inflatable tents are constructed using robust, air-filled tubes in place of fiberglass poles. To inflate, all an individual must do is simply hook the tent’s pump into the input valves and pump away, usually by using the foot. So whenever you hear the term ‘inflatable tent’, know this simply refers to a tent that is equipped with inflatable beams rather than fiberglass poles, and that these beams’ construction are worthy of notice and are built to withstand elements under which the regular fiberglass poles are notorious for collapsing.

Kelty Sonic 8 Inflatable Tent

Extremely Simple Setup

One reason which the inflatable tent concept is taking off so quickly in the outdoor market is that although the idea of popping up a tent made of fiberglass poles sounds quick and simple, and although it can be whenever it is done with a one man tent, the fact is that the creators of this concept realized that whenever it comes to family sized tents, flimsy poles can make it awkward, turning the project quickly into a hassle. With an inflatable tent such as the Kelty Airlift 6, the process is a lot simpler. The steps to prepare this tent for use is lay out the tent in the desired area, peg it down, and use the high-volume, dual action floor pump to erect the tent to its proper height. These types of tents that come equipped with an interlinked frame can inflate in little as 60 seconds.

Do Inflatable Tents Get Punctures?

Some customers, however, can be a little hesitant whenever it comes to purchasing an inflatable tent. The hesitancies of these tents leaking air or not being constructed out of quality material compared to the average pole tent often circulate in the minds of potential inflatable tent purchasers. However, the opposite can be said to be true. Inflatable tents tend to run a little higher in cost and that is due to the fact that because of the way these tents are constructed they require to be made out of much stronger, more reliable material than the common tent. For instance, the Wenzel Vortex 4 tent is equipped with Weather Armor Polyester walls with an 800mm coating that has good UV protection and will not sag when wet. Also, the Vortex 4 is fire retardant. And if you’re worried about puncture holes ruining a camping trip, it is important to note that isolation valves ensure these types of tents remain inflated in case of punctures. Whenever contemplating the purchase of an inflatable tent, the quality of an airbeam compared to a fiberglass pole tent should not be a factor in the decision making process depending on the brand.

Just As Strong As Regular Tents

Airbeam tents tend to draw speculation on their strength since they are inflated by air and those that are erected using fiberglass poles are set up using tangible materials. The reality is that the manors in which these tents are designed whenever erected are actually quite strong. Heimplanet’s The Cave is built with a multi-chamber system that separates the frame into independent inflating chambers which makes for solid stability, even when the unlikely case of a leak is present. And with the Cave’s diamond grid, easy repair and replacement are ensured. The reality is that whenever pitched under too much pressure, fiberglass poles are notorious for collapsing beneath harsh winds and other conditions outdoorsmen face while on the trail. Some inflatable tents are tested under waterjets and constructed to withstand the pressures of extreme winds within wind tunnels. More often than not, inflatable tents are constructed with more quality and are built to withstand more harsh conditions than the average tent.


Flexibility is another reason inflatable tents are increasing in popularity within the outdoor community. For instance, the Kelty Sonic 8 is constructed to offer massive space for larger groups and big families. The inflatable tent market has caught on to the facts that engineering sturdy tents that can be assembled easily and quickly and house large groups and families are much needed, offering the ability for large groups of people to enjoy the outdoors. Large airbeam tents such as the Sonic 8 are inflated using a manual pump. These larger classes of tents also often feature tapered floor seams, high and low fly vents, noiseless zipper pulls, and guyout points. The ingenuity that is being put into giving airbeam tents the reliability and sturdiness outdoorsmen seek is drawing adventurers’ attention everywhere.

Deflates Just As Easy

The facts these tents often come as single interconnected units and are easy to store away due to the requiring of no poles and can be deflated in minutes are drawing outdoorsmen’s attentions. Whether an adventure seeker or a festival goer, the ease of set up and take down of camp is just another factor that makes the experience all the better. Whenever it comes to quality, space, construction, and ease, the airbeam tents flooding the shelves of outdoor stores and online shopping websites are matching and often times excelling past the average stake and pole tent.

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