So, Are Air Tents Better Than Pole Tents?
In the last couple of years, inflatable air tents have been making big waves in the Outdoor Gear market. Though the European trekking scene has enjoyed them for some time, the American market is now starting to heat up.
So it’s likely you’ve seen a couple models floating around the online stores. Or even in your REIs or other brick-and-mortar storefronts. And perhaps you have a couple questions.
Nothing to worry about: that’s what we’re here for.
In this guide, we’re going to cover:
- Whether air tents are worth a second look
- Whether air tents are cheaper than traditional pole tents
- How much you should expect to spend on your inflatable tents
- What are some of the best inflatable tents on the market
Related: 10 Best Inflatable Tents
Q . Are air tents reliable?
Often, inflatable air tents are much easier to set up and use than a traditional pole tent – especially for those who are new to camping.
Air tents come with an air pump and air beams, which is the main variation from a traditional pole tent. Rather than having solid tent poles, these tents inflate flexible tubes with pressurized air. This keeps them standing.
While this might seem like it would cause issues with structural stability and weather resistance, air beams are as reliable and durable as solid tent poles. They actually stand up to the wind a good deal better.
So if you’re shopping for a camping tent, it’s definitely in your best interest to also keep and eye on any new inflatable tents that are hitting the market.
Q. Are air tents cheaper than pole tents?
Not usually, but this depends on the brand and model of tent you buy. Like traditional pole tents, there are inflatable tents that are lower quality and cheaper, and there are models that are more expensive and better-quality on the market as well.
But, there’s going to be less variation in the quality and price of air tents than of traditional camping tents. This is because air tents are much newer to the market. Tents with traditional poles have been popular for many decades.
Being newer to the market, these tents still have an air of novelty to them, and many excited campers are willing to shell out a little extra cash for them than for a camping tent with regular poles.
However, part of the price difference also comes from the fact that these tents are generally better-quality than big-brand pole tents.
Tent manufacturers like Ozark Trail are able to mass-produce their tents quickly and cheaply, whereas many of the companies making inflatable tents are smaller, and focus on quality over quantity. Unfortunately, this also makes the price a bit higher.
Q. How much does an inflatable camping tent cost?
A An inflatable camping tent may run you anywhere from under one hundred bucks to well over five. In fact, there are some really innovative, high-quality tents that cost close to one thousand bucks though these are certainly the outliers.
As I mentioned previously, on average an inflatable tent is going to cost you a bit more than you’d expect to pay for traditional pole tents, and there are various reasons why.
Another major factor in the price of your inflatable tent will be its size. A tent that holds one person will cost much less than a tent with six or eight person capacity, just from the amount of material used and the time that goes into manufacturing it.
All that said, if you want a reliable four to six-person inflatable tent, expect to pay somewhere between two to four hundred bucks (though often a bit more).
Tents you can find tents for less than this. But at that point you may be in danger of sacrificing quality for a better price.
Q What are some of the best brands and individual inflatable tents on the market?
We recently reviewed some of the top inflatable tents in the field, and I definitely suggest that you read our review for a more in-depth look at some of our favorite tents.
For highlights, though, our Editor’s Choice was the Vango Odyssey, which we thought embodied everything great about these tents. It’s a tunnel tent, which means it’s very weather-resistant and has good internal space. The tent is a bit more expensive, but the quality and longevity make it worthwhile.
From other reviews and personal experience, I’d recommend Vango’s inflatable tents across the board.
For a more affordable tent, Moose Outdoors has a solid 4-person which won’t break the bank. I’ve had little experience with other products from that manufacturer, though
Conclusion: Are Air Tents Better Than Pole Tents?
So there you have it: a little more information on these new and exciting inflatable air tents that are starting to show up on the American market.
On my end, I (along with the rest of the TopNotch crew) had an absolute blast testing out all these tents.
From an expansive aero yurt to the tiny one-person Heimplanet.
And by reading a couple of our individual product reviews, you can definitely get a feel for which tent would be best for you.
Related: 10 Best Inflatable Tents
If you’re looking for quick and convenient camping, as well as a great setup time and better wind resistance, you can count on these tents. So if you’re tired of fumbling around with tent poles in the dark, then it may be time for a change
To wrap up, it’s important to remember that there are many, many different styles of camping, and the best way to find yours is to try out new things. So even if you’re a little wary of these inflatable tents – and you love your trusty old pole tent – don’t write these off without giving them a try!
We’re glad we did!