You’ve found our ultimate guide to your Vango Airbeam Tent – Odyssey 600 2020.
We’re glad you could make it – and pleased to have you along.
In this airbeam tent review, I’ll cover:
- What makes this tent such a great addition to your camping gear
- How the Vango Odyssey stacks up against the competition
- Where the tent excels and where it falls short, from comfort and ease of set up to versatility, weather resistance, and durability
- Interesting and unique features to look out for
- Lots more…
So if you want to learn more about this great ‘lil tent (it was our TopNotch Editor’s Choice, after all), you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get straight to it.
Vango Airbeam Tent – Odyssey Airbeam 600 Inflatable
Our TopNotch Editor’s Choice goes to the product we find to be the very best overall, showing great versatility across all our metrics.
In this case, the Vango Odyssey made an amazing first impression on us…
…and continued to impress the more we used it.
Here’s how the tent stacked up where it really matters:
- Extremely easy to set up
- Very spacious – great capacity
- Held up well in all weathers
- Imaginative design that works really well
- A bit on the heavier side
- Needs a pump
Our Verdict: Odyssey Airbeam 600 Inflatable
As one of the first tents we tested, we were really blown away by the Vango Odyssey Airbeam 600 Inflatable Tent (quite a mouthful, but it more than lives up to its superior name!).
This Vango Airbeam tent really excelled in our first three tests, proving that airbeam tents can not only beat our traditional pole tents for Ease Of Set-Up (something they always excel at), but also Weather Resistance and Comfort too.
It was this uncompromising excellence across all three that encouraged us to give this tent our TopNotch Editor’s Choice Award.
After all, it’s hard to find another tent – traditional, inflatable or otherwise – which can balance these three factors quite so elegantly.
For the sake of completeness, we’d be remiss not to mention where this tent fell short, but there really isn’t very much to say.
The tent is a bit heavier than some of the other products on the market, lowering its score for versatility.
And though it will take a lot to tear this tent, it does lack some of the features to make it truly versatile.
Beyond that, this tent is an excellent addition to any campout, whether you’re hoping to go camping with friends during the spring, or you have a family trip planned for sometime in the future.
Related: 10 Best Inflatable Tents
Our Analysis, Comparisons, and Test Results
The Vango Odyssey Airbeam 600 is an inflatable tent that comes in two sizes – one that can comfortably hold six people and one – eight.
This tent provides excellent and comfortable camping in all seasons, though it’s best used from late spring to early fall.
And of course, the tent’s defining feature is its airbeam technology, which replaces traditional tent poles with pressurized air, pumped through the exterior of the tent to keep it upright. These provide excellent weather resistance, since – unlike traditional tent poles – they will not splinter or crack during high winds.
The tent inflates using an internal pump, and stands 183.07 x 149.61”.
Weighing in at 44 lbs, the Airbeam 600 is a bit heavier than other tents on the market, but the extra weight pays for itself in comfort and weather resistance.
Here’s how it stacked up to the competition:
Ease Of Set-Up
This one speaks for itself, and it all comes down to convenience. When I’m rating this particular metric, I like to check in on both how long the tent takes to set up…
… and how easy it is for camping newbies to figure it out.
Ease Of Set-Up Rating
In general, inflatable tents provide a much easier set up than traditional tents, meaning fairly high marks across the board.
Having clear instructions included with the tent, along with a reliable and intuitive inflation process, helped a couple of these tents stand out from the rest of the pack.
The Vango Odyssey, in particular, showed us just how easy camping can be.
In case you might be wondering…
Even without the directions – which were very clear, with plenty of diagrams and simplified instructions – we were able to figure out how to inflate the tent in a minute or two. We also handed the tent over to some newer campers, who had no trouble getting the tent up and running.
Comfort is subjective, but we can all agree that getting poked in the back by a bunch of sticks and rocks is the last thing we want from our camping experience.
When we test a tent for comfort, we’re looking for exactly that: how well were we able to sleep in the tent; how much room did we have; how insulated were we from the weather outside?
Inflatable tents can be just as comfortable as more traditional tents.
And the Good news?
Several of the models we reviewed featured both spacious interiors and excellent floors, meaning you could sleep soundly without interference from a cold or rugged ground underneath your tent, and without cramming yourself in alongside your fellow campers.
The Vango Odyssey was a huge standout from the crowd on this one. Many tents market themselves as 6-person, while only comfortably fitting four.
Believe it or not…
The Odyssey easily fit all six of us, with some room to spare. When you add in the large front porch, you can even fit another two or three people when the weather is nice enough to sleep outside.
Many people share the common misconception that inflatable tents are somehow less weather-resistant than their traditional counterparts.
After all, it’s hard to believe that a structure supported by pressurized air can really stand up to more intense weather. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Weather Resistance Rating
For this metric, we were pleasantly surprised at how well many of our models held up in rough weather. In particular, the Vango Odyssey and Heimplanet Cave really outdid themselves in all environments
Regarding the Vango Odyssey, we were particularly impressed with the amount of weather resistance that came with their airbeam technology. Though airbeams may give you the sense that your tent is flimsy, the opposite is actually true.
Airbeams are much better than traditional tents in high wind environments, as tent poles are known to splinter and crack when stressed. On the other hand, airbeams will shift with the wind, but will allow your tent to maintain its shape through anything that comes your way.
We always have a good time measuring durability, and we make sure to put each tent through the wringer.
However, for a tent that excelled at every other metric up to this point, the Vango airbeam tent still did a great job when we really tested it to its limits.
Weather resistance is only one aspect of the stresses your tent needs to handle in the Great Outdoors.
We tested each tent to see how well it could withstand punctures and tears, as well as heavy objects falling on it, and being dropped while packed.
All that said…
While the tent does lose some structural integrity from the absence of tent poles, it also means there is no chance the poles themselves will puncture the tent fabric if something heavy falls on the tent.
So while there is certainly a trade-off, we were still more than happy with the toughness of this tent!
This metric is always the equalizer, as many tents make sacrifices in their pursuit of comfort, durability or weather resistance.
See, excelling in any of those areas means your tent needs more material, which means it will be heavier.
As you can see, our Vango airbeam tent was merely middle-of-the-pack for once, weighing in at a beefy 44 lbs.
In general, other popular Vango Airbeam Tent (including the Capri 500xl) tend to be on the heavier side.
Likewise, the Vango Odyssey 800 tent will be even heavier. However, this wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.
This tent has the benefit of a solid carrying case, which does wonders for moving the tent from A to B, regardless of how far that is.
However, you won’t be running any marathons – or doing any long backpacking trips, for that matter – with this tent.
The internal space, amazing weather resistance, and easy-use air pump all add to its weight.
Our Final Verdict: Vango Airbeam Tent (Odyssey 600)
The testing and reviewing is all over, thanks for staying with us…
Now for the finale.
As you can see our Vango Odyssey romped away with Top Honours to be crowned TopNotch Editor’s Choice for 2020…
Conclusion: Vango Airbeam Tent (Odyssey 600)
At the end of it all, did we love this tent?
If you’ve made it this far, it should be clear just how impressed we were with this Vango airbeam tent… it’s hard to imagine any other tent stealing our hearts as much as this one did.
This is why the Odyssey won our TopNotch Editor’s Choice award
It ran the tables in three categories, and only really came up short in versatility, which is a category where lighter tents dominate anyway.
As for our personal experience, myself and the rest of our testing crew had several really memorable nights out in the Wasatch foothills, where the snow has finally melted.
It’s windy out there, but the tent held up and I don’t think I’ve ever slept so soundly.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of great inflatable tents on the market, but this has to be our favorite.
I’m sure the Vango Odyssey 600 or 800 will be your favour too.