This is our TopNotch Ultimate Outwell Tent Review 2020.
We had an incredible time writing reviews for tons of cool new inflatable tents (which use air beams rather than tent poles).
Though the market for these tents has been alive and well throughout Europe for a while, America is starting to catch on as well now.
In this comprehensive tent review we’ll cover:
- What makes for a great inflatable tent
- Our personal experience with the Outwell
- Specs and features that set this tent apart from the rest of the field
- Where the tent excelled, and where it fell short for us
- Lots more…
So if you’ve been looking for a solid, mid sized tent that’ll last for years, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get cracking…
Needless to say, we were very excited to test out this tent. It’s rare we have the opportunity to play around with camping gear that’s this expensive, and it certainly gave us a sense of luxury before we even unpacked the thing.
And truth be told, it was the price that first caught our eye.
Housing 6 people, this tent would be best suited for a small family or a few friends, and that means the price is even more eye-watering (assuming a few of you are pitching in) than most other tents on this list.
However, though we’ve been impressed by pricy and ingenious gear, just as often we’re let down by products that don’t live up to their price tag.
So while we were both excited and apprehensive going in, when the dust settled we really felt like we got the quality we paid for, and nothing more or less
- Lots of room
- Excellent porch space
- Very comfortable
- Very bulky when set up
- Very heavy
Outwell Tent (Broadlands 6 Person Tent)
As we mentioned previously, the tent had a steep price point that won’t be accessible to every camper. But for those who do have that kind of cash to hand, you could do a lot worse than the Outwell tent.
As you’ll see from our review.
Though our initial impressions led us to believe this tent would be a sort of science fiction experiment – complete with air beams, an aerodynamic tunnel tent frame, etc. – it’s actually deceptively simple.
Rather than investing in all sorts of experimental features, Outwell stuck to the basics and we think the tent really benefited.
In other words…
This tent is comfortable, fairly easy to use, and reasonably weather-resistant. Its design helps make sure you have plenty of room, and actually prioritizes practicality over flights of fancy.
So while we were a bit disappointed that Outwell tent didn’t completely reinvent our understanding of tents, the Broadlands is a solid addition to any camping repertoire.
Related: 10 Best Inflatable Tent
Ease Of Set-up
This was a hard metric to measure, given we were looking at inflatable tents.
Generally, we scored each tent based on how intuitive their inflation device was, and whether we (and other, less experienced campers) were able to figure it out without directions.
Ease Of Set-up Rating
As you can see, the Outwell tent was near the bottom of the list for this category, but that doesn’t really say much.
With a rating of 8, the Broadlands was still pretty easy to set up, though its directions and inflation mechanism weren’t the most intuitive.
That said, after you set it up once or twice, you’ll have no trouble with it!
Space, ventilation and light should all play a huge role in your tent-buying choices.
Without enough space, you’ll be stuck leaving your gear outside or in your car (if it’s even available).
And too much light or too little ventilation can result in a hot, uncomfortable or sleepless time in the woods.
I’d like to start by saying that this tent was really, really comfortable.
Not only did it come with plenty of ventilation and internal living space, the orientation of windows and storage space was probably the best of any of the tents we tested.
Beyond that, the standout feature of this tent was its massive front porch area. Whereas many larger family tents come with a small screened in porch/veranda sitting area, the Outwell’s was nearly as large as the tent itself, and provided enough space for all six of us to set up our chairs and relax.
The internal layout was also great, with several separated rooms (each with its own door) for increased privacy and plenty of storage pockets.
Rain and wind can really put a damper on your camping trip, especially when they cause your tent to cave in or flood.
We looked at each tent’s capacity to stay dry through heavy rain and to stay standing during winds exceeding 20-30 mph in this case.
Weather Resistance Rating
I spent my childhood in various campgrounds around the East Coast, so I’m no stranger to rainstorms and heavy winds. I’m also keenly aware of how miserable it can be waking up to a soaking wet sleeping bag.
So when I say that this family tent has excellent weather resistance, you can rely on that.
We tested through both heavy rains and high winds, and the Outwell tent emerged without a scratch. Indeed, replacing traditional tent poles with air tubes really did the trick, giving the wind nothing too solid to hold onto.
The tunnel tent design means the wind skirts around, travelling over the rounded surfaces.
And though we didn’t have any rain forecasted, we mimicked it by spraying our tents down with a hose.
And guess what? No leakage with the Outwell tent!
So in the end, it felt right to place this tent in the upper echelon for this category.
Though weather (particularly wind) can cause plenty of damage, that’s only one aspect of a tent’s durability.
Nature has plenty of other hazards as well; falling branches, sharp rocks and sticks, as well as the general bumps and scrapes of moving your tent from Point A to Point B.
For this metric we tested for all of the above.
In all honesty, this was the one category where we were really disappointed with the Broadlands.
Though the tent did seem pretty structurally sound, the main living room – and especially the air beam poles – didn’t hold up very well during the falling object test.
Given the tent’s weight and price, this wasn’t acceptable.
With that said, this tent was by no means the least durable on our list – it sat right in the middle of the pack.
So while we wanted more from the Broadlands, we really did put it through some excessive paces.
Finally, we have versatility.
Though not the easiest to define, I consider versatility a measure of how many different environments you can successfully take this tent to. In this category, weight is a huge factor, as is size and bulkiness.
Once again, the Outwell tent didn’t impress, though this time is a bit more understandable.
Considering how much we praised this tent’s living space, ample storage pockets, huge front porch and air beam technology, it’s no surprise that it also weighs more than your average tent.
Family camping will always be more about comfort than versatility; not too many of us plan on backpacking hundreds of miles with our young children.
So in that case, we can’t be too harsh with our feedback on this particular metric.
Outwell knew what kind of tent they were building, and they stuck to the brief.
Conclusion: Outwell Tent
Well, you’ve made it this far, and we’re glad you did!
To wrap it all up, would we recommend this tent?
…yes and no.
In all honesty, for its price and weight, you can get similar tents that perform better in plenty of areas.
But this tent does have excellent workmanship, and will probably outlast almost any other tent you pit it against.
Not to mention its great layout, solid door design and air beam tech, which worked as smoothly and reliably as we could have imagined.
So if you have the cash and you want a tent you can enjoy for years (and one which has the space for a growing family) this is the one for you!
Go ahead and treat yourself.
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