So we finally decided on a tent. I think it’s been the most difficult decision of our lives! We narrowed it down to a Montana 6 from Outwell, but then had to choose between the inflatable or poled version.
We opted for the Montana 6AC inflatable tent, mainly because of how easy it is to pitch and take down single handedly. If you are camping with a toddler, it essentially means that one of you will be putting up the tent and the other will be running around like a loon looking after your child(ren). This is what really swung it for us. This video illustrates how quickly you can get the tent up and secure. In real time this took about 15 minutes.
Of course there was still all the guylines to peg in, but Luke did this while I moved our stuff in and chased after Finn. Luckily we had good weather on our camping trip, but this speedy pitching and setting up will be invaluable when it’s raining.
The other reason we loved this design was the amount of living space. The porch on the side also makes a great place to store boots and coats etc. Again, this will be so useful when the weather is less than ideal. There is also plenty of head height, this is important to us as Luke is 6’3.
We love the great design and all the little touches that you get with an Outwell tent. The ventilation points, storage pockets, two side doors and curtains make life so much easier and more comfortable.
I was a little dubious about inflatable tents. I was worried about punctures and leaks and wondered if they have the same longevity as poled tents. After a lot of research, we were reassured about the quality, and also the fact that you can replace the inner tubes if necessary was a great relief.
So far my only niggles are relatively minor. The pole for the porch was a bit tricky to get up, but we managed eventually and I’m sure it’ll get easier with practice. Also, I’m not a massive fan of the ‘D door’ at the front. While it is a nice big opening and is easy to fold back, I would prefer a roll-up door that we could use as a canopy with a couple of poles. This would be especially useful as we have decided, for the time being, not to get an extension for this tent. We are struggling for space in the car, and it is already quite large and heavy when packed up. For those that are interested, the pack size is 45 x 90cm and 30kg. (For context, compared to the Montana 6 which is 39 x 80cm and 20kg for the flysheet and 18 x 69cm and 11kg for the poles) Going forward, we are planning on getting a small camping shelter for cooking under when it rains.
All in all we were so impressed. While not the cheapest tent (RRP £1099.99, I got ours for £878) we are hoping that our investment will pay off and this will last us for many years of family camping trips.
What do you think of inflatable tents? Worth the money, or are good old fashioned poles the best?
Categories: Camping Tips