Which tents are the fastest? Our guide to quick-pitch and inflatable tents

No-one wants to start a camping trip with an argument over the best way to pitch the tent. What you need is a tent that’s easy to put up.

So, which are the fastest to pitch? 

We’ve taken a close look at what’s available in quick-to-pitch tents – inflatable tents, pop-up tents, quick-erect pole tents and even bell-tents and tipis. 

Here’s our easy guide for tent buyers.

 

 

Latest update: March 2020

Quick-erect tents – Coleman, Khyam, Queedo, Slumit and more

Coleman FastPitch tents

Coleman instant tent

Discontinued, but still plenty left at a bargain price. The Coleman Instant Tent Tourer 4

Some of our favourite quick-erect tents these days are the Coleman FastPitch. 

But, if you’re after a bargain, see if you can snap up one of the last Instant Tourer tents (also called the Cabin) for less than £100. We love its simplicity.

The FastPitch range of Hub tents are light and compact tents without a separate living area (extensions available). Up in seconds and simple to use.

Choose from Hub Drake tents for 2, 3 or 4 people – all under £100 too.

These magic hinges make it easy to pop the poles into place.

Qeedo Quick Up

German company Qeedo make a range of five Quick Up system tents. These are very affordable. The Pine sleeps three (porch, £70); the Maple sleeps four (£140), the Ash sleeps two (£70), and the Oak (porch, £120) sleeps three.

Here are the Pine and the Maple – available in a choice of colours. Set up in under 30 seconds too.

They have super-fast-to-erect preattached and hinged poles that lock into place.

There’s now also a cabin-shaped Qeedo that we really like (and a campervan awning we’ve recommended in our awnings guide). This is the five-person Villa for around £190.

It’s a big 320 x 320cm but packs to just 110 x 27 x 27 cm.

 

Khyam Quick Erect tents

Khyam’s system of quick-erect Rapidex tents is (or should we say, was) unique and stunning too. Sadly, they’re rarely available now and Ebay is the best source we’ve found for both used and new.

The tents have built-in poles that enable them to be folded up a bit like an umbrella and then clicked into place. They really couldn’t be easier to put up and take down.

Some of the Campfire team have used the lovely two/three-person Igloo and the old-style Chatsworth (no longer available)

Khyam’s smaller tents are gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want a black and orange tent. The Biker Plus, shown here, sleeps three and has that useful porch/canopy area. From around £120.

 A bell tent? Really?

A bell tent can be surprisingly easy to put up because there’s usually just one central pole. The rest of the work is in pegging and guying. 

The advantage is the space and headroom. Lots of choice – from heavy, but durable canvas to lightweight polyester – and from less than £200 to thousands. 

Have a look at the tempting range at Bell Tent Boutique for traditional canvas and read on below for more.

Hewolf instant tents

An incredibly cheap ‘umbrella’ style pop-up tent that sleeps three (four snugly!). The Hewolf tent (silly name, eh?) has a feature that we really like, which is that you can use it as a shelter without the inner.

Packs up very small, weighs around 5kg and gives head height inside of around 5′. Best bit? It’s under £80.

Slumit Flashframe tents

Thanks to reader Mike, who suggested the Slumit tents. These have a Flashframe system that means you can pitch both the inner and outer in less than a minute. 

There’s a range of sizes (from the one-person Inca and two-person Cub to the three-person Gobi). Very lightweight and all between £70 and £130. 

A trend for tipis, bell-tents and yurts – they’re looking good!

How about an Aeroyurt? An inflatable yurt from Robens with roll-up sides for air and a view. Stunning and so spacious. Available new on Ebay at around £980 or Amazon at £1,100.

At the last camping show we went to, not only was there a better proportion of tents to caravans and motorhomes, there were some eyecatching alternatives to the usual dome or tunnel tent.

 

There seems to be a new trend for tipis (teepees?) and, as mentioned above, this kind of tent, including bell tents, are often fairly fast to erect.

Best of the ones we saw were the Robens – not least for the enormous range of shapes and sizes. Even the smallest tipi was roomy. They do some lightweight models with aluminium alloy poles, a whopping air yurt that sleeps eight (and weighs 30kg) and an Outback range of six teepee-style tents in heavier polycotton, sleeping from four to 10 people. Optional inners, porches and flooring. 

We also like the Campfeuer range and have included some of theirs below.

If you’re after a traditional bell tent in a range of sizes from 3m up to party-size, Bell Tent Boutique is worth a look.

Here are some of our favourite tipis, yurts and bell tents.

Grand Canyon Indiana

One central pole to pitch and you have a 4m diameter tent with a 2.5m central headheight. Weighs under 10kg and sleeps eight. Around £200.

10T Outdoor tipis

Some of the lightest and most affordable tipi-style tents are by 10T Outdoor Equipment.

The Arona XXL (400 x 400 x 250cm) weighs under 10kg and packs to 20 x 65cm. It sleeps five comfortably, but you could squeeze an extra few inside!

The Desert tipi is a canvas version with a huge canopy extension. It’s the same size inside as the Arona, but you get extra outdoor shelter. Around £350 and weighs 20kg.

Biggest of the lot, and a great blend of modern and traditional is the Navaho 470 teepee/tunnel hybrid tent. A lot of tent for £380 and very striking. 720 x 470 x 350 cm and weighs 22kg.

By the way, this is the same tent as the Navaho that’s branded Skandika! Only difference is the colour.

Justcamp teepees

We love this black beauty of a tipi-tent. And it’s so spacious. It’s designed for up to 10 people, measures 5 x 5m x 3.5m and costs around £160.

It still packs fairly small – to 80 x 24 x 26cm and weighs around 14kg.

Robens Cone and Field Tower

The smallest and cheapest in the Robens tipi range. The Green Cone is simple and weighs under 5.5kg. It sleeps four. The Field Tower sleep five and eight. We like the zip-in groundsheets. Sewn-in ones add to the weight and lack versatility. £290 to £520. 

There’s a pretty good range of new Robens tents on Ebay too.

Cozy House bell-tents

There’s a vast range of affordable and traditional bell tents from Cozy House, with choices of tents between 3m and 6m in diameter, awnings, floors and tarps.

They look lovely, of course, but the cotton canvas makes the larger sizes quite heavy. Having said that, it’s still possible to put one up solo in less than half-an-hour.

Prices range from around £270 to £550.

Campfeuer Teepee

Way bigger than it looks, this Campfeuer teepee tent costs under £90! 

It has a sewn-in groundsheet so isn’t quite as versatile as some of the others, but it packs to just 60 x 20cm and opens up to 365 x 365x 250cm. It also weighs under 7kg.

The one we tried needed a bit of tent sealant on the windows, but we didn’t mind doing that given the price.

Touareg bell-tent

This Touareg is beautiful and big enough for a party at 5m x 4m.

It’s made of water-repellent cotton, treated against mould and has a zip-in groundsheet and a springloaded centre pole.

Costs around £500. Lots more in a range of sizes at Bell Tent Boutique.

Quest Bell-Tents

A choice of sizes in these traditional-meets-modern bell-tents. Canvas so a bit heavier than some, but they still promise that one person can pitch them easily (depends on that one person maybe!).

Cotton canvas is breathable, but will take longer to dry out. The zip-in groundsheet is heavy-duty PVC.

The 4m version weighs around 26kg. From £420.

Inflatable tents

The main difference – apart from overall tent quality – between the inflatable systems used by manufacturers is whether the air ‘beams’ are separate or connected.

 

Vango, for example, uses three or more separate beams that you inflate independently of each other. In fact, that’s true of most of the bigger family tents. Some, however, have connected tubes with isolation valves – Outwell, for example.

Nothing looks quite like a Heimplanet tent. Show off your inflatables! Around £900 and sleeps four to six.

While the Outwell people believe this makes everything faster and easier, the Vango people are convinced separate beams are better because, should there be a problem with a valve or air tube, you only need replace the one section. Outwell counter with the fact that their tubes have isolation valves so that if one fails, the whole tent won’t collapse.

Will it get punctured?

For us, any talk of things going wrong with valves, punctures or leaks is a bit scary. Snap a regular pole while camping in the wilds of Portugal and you can always rig something to keep your tent upright. We weren’t sure how quick and easy it would be to find a leakage problem and fix it on-site, let alone get a replacement part.

This really comes down to confidence in the tent manufacturer, so we would certainly advise against buying an unusually cheap inflatable. And, if the materials or design seem a little low on quality, we would definitely not take the risk that their inflatable system would be trouble-free.

How do they work?

You lay the tent out in position, peg it loosely and inflate the air beams using the two-way pump (supplied by most manufacturers). The beams fill with air and the tent rises magically. You then shut off the valves. To unpitch, you open the valve and the air races out under pressure, though there may still be a bit of squeezing out to do to get a tight pack. 

Inflatable tents do tend to be a bit heavier than those with poles and the bags can be quite big – in fact, some of the larger family tents come with wheeled bags.

The best air tents

The choice is overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed down the list to our absolute favourites from the best manufacturers. For each, we’ve chosen a two/three-person option and a four/five-person family tent.

Bear in mind that we all have our own preferences for shape, colour and so on. We always go for spacious and airy with lots of windows. We like hinged doors rather than zips where possible. We like blackout features for sleeping past dawn. Read on…

Decathlon and Quechua inflatable tents

Decathlon have some of the most unusual-looking and most affordable inflatable tents.

The Air Seconds series (that’s seconds as in time, by the way, not slightly faulty ones!) offers tents to sleep three to eight people.

We love the lightblocking lining on the Fresh and Black range. Some Quechuas can also be customised with extra rooms, a shelter roof, awnings and so on. A 10-year guarantee is great.

Our choices

Quechua Air Fresh and Black

The Quechua Air Fresh and Black four-person tent. We’ve chosen a slightly larger tent for our two-person option here as the extra space makes it brighter. Dark bedrooms, but a bit of a squeeze for four adults. We prefer it for a couple (maybe one child), but the extra room makes storage a doddle.

  • Size: 480 x 280 x 190cm (max height)
  • Pack size: 75 x 35 x 35cm
  • Weight: 14kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes, liftable at doors
  • £250

Quechua for eight

The 8-person Fresh and Black Quechua tent has four separate bedrooms and a central living area. The bedrooms stay dark, which is great.

  • Size: 740 x 310 x (max) 225cm
  • Pack size: 85 x 38 x 43cm
  • Weight: 30kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • £700

Outwell’s air tent range

There are 23 inflatable tents to choose from and they range in price from around £600 to a whopping £2,500. Some combine inflatable with steel poles and some with fibreglass.

Our choices

Both our choices have dark bedrooms, quiet closures as well as zips on the inner doors, sewn-in groundsheets and tinted windows.

Lindale 3pa

The Lindale 3PA is the smallest of the Outwell air tents and has a separate bedroom and a living area. It has fibreglass poles at the front.

We like the steep sides that give you more headroom and the big windows in the living area. The extra canopy is good for keeping blustery weather out.

  • Size:  250 x 440 (inc. canopy) x max 210cm
  • Pack size: 71 x 36 x 36cm
  • Weight: 15kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • £500

Avondale 5pa

Roomy and bright, this tunnel tent sleeps five comfortably with two separate bedrooms inside and an extended living area and porch.

 

  • Size: 625 (inc. canopy) x 330 x max. 210cm
  • Pack size: 90 x 40 x 40cm
  • Weight: 22kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £620

Air Seconds 4.2XL

Just had to include this pale, interesting and VERY affordable Air Seconds 4.2 XL tent, which won the 2020 Best Value Family Tent award. It has great blackout bedrooms, plus a zip-out groundsheet.

 

  • Size: Only stated for two bedroom sections – 140 x 260cm. Living room height 195cm (max)
  • Pack size: 77 x 38 x 38cm
  • Weight: 18kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Zip-in, detachable
  • £300

Vango Airbeam tents

The Vango Airbeam range is maybe not the most eyecatching range, but they’re relatively fast to inflate and deflate. There are 30 to choose from ranging in price from £1700 to £450.

Our choices

Alton Air 400

The Skye II Air 400 is actually Vango’s smallest airbeam tent and it sleeps four (just). But, we didn’t like its slightly cramped feel, so we’ve gone for the Alton Air 400 instead. This one has a fantastic front canopy and two entrances.

  • Size: 520 x 265 x (max) 190cm
  • Pack size: 70 x 32 x 36cm
  • Weight: 15.5kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £400

Capri II Air 500

Bright in the living area and dark in the two bedrooms. Great! The Capri is a standard tunnel tent shape, but some nice touches, like the hanging track for lights and a generous bag for easier packing away. Shows they’ve thought about design.

  • Size: 600 x 325 x (max) 210cm
  • Pack size: 70 x 39 x 42cm
  • Weight: 23.5kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £600

 

Zempire Evo tents

Zempire’s tents are some of the most attractive around, although definitely not the cheapest. They’re full of nice touches like blackout bedrooms, storage pockets and zips that don’t jingle!

Our choices

We’ve gone for the Evo for both smaller and family-sized, although the smallest is still pretty spacious. While the Serolink airbeams keep pack size a little smaller, all air tents tend to be heavier and bulkier.

These tents were designed with summer in mind as they’ve got lots of ventilation and a nice airy feel. Pump with double action and gauge included.

Evo TM

  • Size: 525 x 300 cm (head height tbc)
  • Pack size: 75 x 45 x 45cm
  • Weight: 22kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £700

Evo TL

  • Size: 740 x 310 x (max) 220cm
  • Pack size: 75 x 50 x 50cm
  • Weight: 28.5kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £900

Coleman Valdes Air

Keeping their range short and sweet, Coleman offer their Air Valdes in sizes for four or six people.

We absolutely love the hinged rather than zipped doors and the blackout bedrooms. Superfast to inflate too.

Our choices

Valdes Air 4

The extra-large bedrooms mean you can fit big comfy mattresses or campbeds in there. Plus a good canopy, big window and a side entrance with a low threshold.

  • Size: 610 x 300 x max 200cm
  • Pack size: 78 x 58 x 38cm
  • Weight: 20.8kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes
  • Around £460

Valdes Air 6

With a porch big enough for a table and chairs, this is a very roomy tent indeed. Three bedrooms that block out 99% of daylight for nice lie-ins…providing no-one’s playing a bugle in the next tent (yep, it has happened to us!)

  • Size: 820 x 300 x 200cm
  • Pack size: 78 x 58 x 41cm
  • Weight: 26.5kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes, welded
  • Around £650

The Octagon

Just have to mention our favourite tent here too – the £200 Coleman Octagon. It’s a poled tent rather than inflatable, but the gazebo-like structure makes it versatile and airy.

There’s now a new blackout version too, though this is more expensive.

Outdoor Revolution

Thanks to a reader for their recommendation of Outdoor Revolution’s affordable inflatable tents. How could you refuse a tent with “self-healing” mesh windows?

Lots of nice features such as optional lights, skylights in the living area roof and add-ons such as awnings.

 

Our choices

Cruiz 4

  • Size: 515 x 310 x 210cm
  • Pack size: 80 x 47 x 36cm
  • Weight: 16kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – 
  • Around £450 (on offer at Winfields for under £400 at the time of writing)

Mojave PC 5

  • Size: 695 x 340 x 210cm
  • Pack size: 83 x 63 x 57cm
  • Weight: 39kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – 
  • Around £1,300 (best price was at Ebay at the time of writing)
We have heard from reader Dan Field that three Airedale 12 tents all failed for them. Make sure you buy from somewhere with cast-iron customer service. Love ’em or hate ’em, Amazon and Ebay shops do seem to be fantastic in that respect.

Dometic air tents (was Kampa)

Rebranded and slightly updated, the Dometic tents get a thumbs-up for their affordability – under £600 for a family inflatable tent, though there are also some expensive models in their range.

Our choices

Brean 4

The optional inflatable canopy is a good feature, but we like the simple shape and relatively low weight of this compact tent for couples or a small family.

  • Size: 410 x 300 x max 195cm
  • Pack size: 78 x 40 x 40cm
  • Weight: 16.5kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes, separate for canopy area
  • Around £500

Hayling 4

Dometic’s air tents have multipoint inflation. That does make it easier to get them up and down, but does take a bit of getting used to for the order of inflation. The Hayling is fabulously airy and has a nice integrated guying system. 

  • Size: 540 x 320 x max 210cm
  • Pack size: 78 x 43 x 46cm
  • Weight: 24kg
  • Sewn-in groundsheet – Yes, separate for canopy
  • Around £750

 Pop-up tents

Pop-up tents are mainly thought of as children’s, festival or two-person backpacking options. However, some manufacturers have taken them a little bigger. 

Here are the best instant-pitch tents.

Cinch pop-up tents

Wow! They have an optional built-in solar panel, LED lights, great materials and can be set up in less than a minute…meet the Cinch

 

The Hub model is a fantastic replacement for the long-gone Decathlon Base (lots of people used that one as a campervan awning too). It’s a great size – 230 x 230 x 190cm – and weighs around 8kg.

The pack is a round bag, so a bit cumbersome at 86cm, but it’s virtually flat. Thank goodness that getting it back into its bag has been made easier with a colour coding system! Costs around £250, plus £80 for the solar pack.

Decathlon pop-up tents

Quechua has added three-person options to its range of pop-up tents.

These tents come in a circular pack and are held flat by Velcro and straps. You peg out a separate groundsheet and then release the fastenings on the tent package. The built-in poles ‘explode’ the tent into shape and you then fasten it down with pegs and guyropes.

Don’t try to get them back in the pack without having first watched the instruction video…you’ve been warned!

Quechua 3-person pop-up with blackout lining. £80.

Coleman pop-up tents

 Coleman has added a four-person pop-up to its Galiano options. They cost around £50. We love the ability to open up the top for stargazing.

What’s your fast-tent tent pick? Or are you a pole person?

We’re updating this article every so often. The links will take you through to options and prices, but apologies if these change. If you’ve got a tent recommendation, do leave a comment below.

If it’s an awning you’re after, we’ve got some recommendations in our feature on lightweight, driveaway awnings.

And have a look at our choice of multipurpose camping shelters for extra space, rain/sun protection or an outside kitchen/dining room.

Instant event shelter

Finally…if basic camping is more your style, here are some good ideas for bivvying, including sleeping comfortably in the trees!

Camping gear must-haves – our 60 best finds

When we find a new piece of camping or outdoor equipment that we love and that really works, it’s here. Everything you see – from barbecues to mosquito repellent – has been tried and tested by a member of the Campfire team and is now one of their actual camping essentials …
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23 Comments

  1. Andrew Ringrose

    I am a solo camper so find an inflatable tent so much easier to put up and take down.
    I have a Berghaus Air 4. I can have the tent up, including pegging out the separately supplied footprint, in about 20 minutes.
    I had 5 trips away last year and was impressed with the quality, also it has a high 6000mm HH rain protection.
    The tent was supplied with an air beam repair kit in case a leak occurred but with the quality of the material it doesn’t seem likely to me.
    Separate sleeping area has black out inner material and the living area has massive quality plastic windows. Plenty of headroom and storage pockets.
    I can’t wait for my first of eight planned trips this season.
    Big saving at Amazon at the moment. £349.95, half price.

  2. They don’t make them any more but the old Decathlon Quechua Base Seconds pop up as been as excellent companion to us and our VW T5 as shelter/tent/awning. Can put up it on my own in under 2 min and it’s a discrete size for some ‘wild’ camping. Also I have the additional tent inner and detachable ground sheet for versatility. A camping friend has one and they can also be linked together. I think they seem belatedly to be gaining a cult following as now seem to be selling for £200++ on eBay secondhand, when originally they were only £100 to 150. I would buy another but as not available might have to consider the new air version or alternative. Bring them back Decathlon!ED: We did get in touch with Decathlon about this because so many readers have mentioned the Base Seconds. They tells us that the factory that used to make them is at capacity and unable to take on such a complex (to make) design. They know we love them, though, so you never know! Meanwhile, we did find 10 of them from £130 on Ebay, though they’ll get less available as time goes on. Meanwhile the best alternatives we’ve found are Decathlon’s Quechua 3mx3m camping shelter (£130) and the Arpenaz Base Fresh in two sizes (from £80)

  3. Richard Taylor

    Carole
    Our 12V fridge works OK on one but we have a battery pump which may be cheaper than a mains converter
    If you get one check first how many amps the pump needs
    🙂

  4. adaptorCan I ask a question
    I have a 12V pump but need to put air tent up in the back garden and car doesn’t reach. Has anyone used one of these. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2BGRMZ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=campfmagaz-21&linkId=93767003c0b63afad03c1a3b9c063164&language=en_GB

  5. Jane Sommerville

    I love inflatable tents! We have had various inflatable awnings for our teardrop caravan which were adapted Campervan drive-away awnings. Best for quality was an Outdoor Revolution. We have now moved onto a folding camper, but hate poles with a passion, so have an Air Opus. The brilliant thing about air beams is their resilience. We camped on top of a Welsh cliff top in a proper gale. All the tents around us collapsed as their poles snapped like Twiglets. Our air beams swayed and bent a bit but were fine.
    As far as leaks are concerned, it is important that each beam is properly isolated. So long as this is done, then even if a beam fails, then the main tent should stay up. Replacing the inner bladder is pretty straightforward if necessary.
    These tents are heavy and bulky and not really suitable for backpacking. I would recommend not buying the cheapest, though a Sunncamp air awning that we have is very basic and simple but well made and survived heavy use last year while touring.

  6. We bought an Easycamp Tempest online, after reading about it here and on the manufacturer’s website. It arrived within 2 days and we took it away on a trip without trying it out. I’ve never been a fan of tents as they’ve always been a pain to put up and take down.
    Compared to our two previous tents, which always seemed to be Basil Fawlty style farces, this was a joy in comparison – it was out of its bag and looking like a tent in practically no time. One person could easily do it themselves, unless it was windy. After reading here about some tents having quality issues, and this brand not, I can confirm that this looks and feels like a quality product. Lots of clever features too, like the little velcro pockets for the guy lines. Time will tell as to its durability of course, but this has changed my mind about camping. Thanks to this site for the review, otherwise we’d never have known about this type of tent (and would likely still be trying to figure out our Australian geodesic dome with no instructions…). ED: That’s lovely to hear. Thanks so much for sharing that with us. Here’s hoping you have many, many years of hassle-free camping.

  7. David hodgson

    Wouldn’t buy inflatable tent again. Waste of good money. Poles are the best. Take it from someone who bought one, took it back after 2nd time we used it. Leak in valves, not just one either. They replaced for another one, but lasted only once. All valve pipes decayed and we’re still waiting to here from Go Outdoors. They don’t care.
    ED: Sorry to hear that, David. I certainly wouldn’t buy a cheap inflatable tent (not that I’m suggesting you did!). There’s a lot to go wrong with them and, unlike a pole tent that could be worked around if a pole broke, once the wind’s out of your sails, you’re stuck!

  8. Interesting, but no mention of Slumit quick pitch tents in this article? ED: There is now, Mike!.
    I have been using the Slumit Cub tent for over 3 years. Fantastic quick pitch tent, goes up and down in seconds. They have different sizes using the same system. Worth a consideration. Slumit tents

  9. My problem with tents is not just the pitching it’s all of the other gear. We have 2 kids so with the beds, kitchen unit, two wardrobe units, the ever so long pitching of our trailer awning (which made us sell it in the end as it took longer to pitch than our old Outwell bear lake 6), this has put my wife and 16yr old daughter from camping as it always takes 2/3 hours to pitch up and take down everything.

  10. We have a four person Queenie pop up, has a living area and large bedroom. Squeezed two adults and two smallish children in. Seems easier to fold up than the smaller ones but lack size only good if car camping, too big to carry far but not c heavy!
    ED: Let us know what the Queenie is, so we can have a look.

  11. Abbi Brooks

    Can anyone please advise if the family ‘air beam’ style tents would be suitable for me as a single parent? I have a 12 year old to assist, but setup would be predominantly a one adult challenge!The inflatable style definitely looks as though it would be easier to construct than many of the more traditional style tents.

  12. Laurence Milton

    …..oooh, also consider, for lovers of plastic tents, the Slumit Flashframe series of tents. Very well thought of on various fora.

  13. Laurence Milton

    Bell tents, small ones such as Robens Fairbanks, and more traditional 2-3 metre ones are available, my 4 metre one (Blacks Solace), is 10-15 min pitch on my own, take any weather. Love them. Very quick to pitch, only one pole potentially.
    (Obviously not talking backpacking, but if you are, and want canvas, for around £30, yes £30, take a look at the Polish tent Lavvu/Pelerina Namioty (!)))

  14. CORIE FLETCHER

    Oztent rv series?

    Ed: They are nice-looking tents, but quite expensive. We hope to be reviewing their tents and awning very soon, and will report back on whether the cost is worth it. On first view, they do seem well-made, if a bit heavy.

  15. Overlooked in terms of ‘quick pitch’ but I would put one against a lot of these any day: tipi style. The ultimate Tentipi Safir 9 we can pitch in 10 minutes and take down in less.
    Also, the ‘daddy’ of inflatables not featured: Karsten. Yes you pay a lot, but you get a superb tent that will last long after these others have gone to the tent skip in the sky!

  16. Hi Doreen. Is this the sort of thing you’re after? It’s got good reviews?
    You might also want to ask the question over on the Camping and Campervan Chat group on FB.

  17. Can anybody recommend a small waterproof bell tent, for 2 or 3 people. Saw someone camping with one last week (one central pole – aluminium I think), but can’t track it down online Bendy fibre poles keep splitting, and I’m fed up with them. Ta!

  18. Try a bell tent, you’ll be pitched and sat having a cuppa before the pop-ups have untangled the guy ropes.

  19. A very disgruntled vango customer

    Beware,

    We bought a vango inflatable tent last year and one of the beams literally blew up in the middle of the day. We were stranded in Europe with no replacement and it rained – the tent collapsed and all our belongings were basically either destroyed and ruined. Vango were useless – they failed to replace the beam and then blamed us even though we had used it countless times and were well within the inflation guidelines. When I returned I found lots of others in the same boat. I will never buy one again. Buy a tent with poles at least they cant blow up!

  20. Pingback: What do we need? The real camping pack list - Campfire Magazine

  21. Mark Pittam

    I quite like the Airbeam tents; the fact I don’t have to faff about threading poles through fabric and worrying if the pole is caught on which requires someone else to try and sort out if its windy.

    I have a Vango Velocity 300 and a Vango Lumen V 400 and they are both cracking tents. Velocity is perfect for a quick pitch whereas the Lumen V 400 is great for either a long weekender or a week away from home.

  22. Cheap Camping Tents

    I do like pop up tents but I would never consider one if I was travelling or know that i’ll have to carry it for a while. The size of them is just too unwieldy, although they make great festival tents.

    Maybe i’m old fashioned but I just don’t trust the new inflatable tents. Poles – even the easily assembled ones – just seem more stable and as you point out, easy to bodge a repair when you’re in dire straights.

    I’ve never tried one though so I could be wrong!

  23. Matthew Hewitt

    We had a pop-up beach shelter last year and it put me off ever considering them again – just couldn’t get it packed away despite watching the video numerous times and the tems got damaged in the process of trying it out! The thought of arriving at camp and inflating a tent sounds fun, though…

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