As camping fans, James and I have a few tents between us – maybe not as many as the number of bikes we own – but still a pretty comprehensive collection. From tiny two-mans to massive beasts that sleep a whole football team (well, maybe not) we have a tent for every occasion. Still, they can sometimes take a bit of fiddling about and a while to put up, no matter how experienced a camper you might be.
Enter the Decathlon (Quechua) Air Seconds 4.1 XL, a tent that offers you super quick assembly and disassembly thanks to its three inflatable arches. A few pumps with a bicycle-style track pump and your tent pops into view! I felt pretty smug sitting there with a cup of tea fifteen minutes after arriving at our campsite, whilst everyone else faffed about with poles and tent liners…
We have now used this tent on a couple of occasions, the first of which was during a ridiculous snow storm in the Peak District – whilst we did manage to pitch it, the tent blew away after inflating as the pegs weren’t strong enough to hold it into the ground (before the guy ropes were pegged down too). Therefore I would definitely recommend picking up some stronger pegs if the weather forecast is anything apart from calm and sunny (which lets face it, it pretty much always is in the UK!).
However, apart from this initial snag, I’ve been hugely impressed with the tent. We stayed for a week down in Dorset over Half Term last month and didn’t need to re-inflate the poles once. The space inside is great – we fitted two large double blow-up mattresses in the bedroom area, and in the living space had enough room for our kitchen set up, chairs to sit and a dog bed!
I love all the hanging loops and pockets inside as well, which make keeping the tent tidy really easy, and with a nice big window you get lots of light too.
As there is such good ventilation – lots of mesh, gaps around the bottom of the walls – we had no problems with condensation at all, but it did get rather cold in the snow! There was no leaking however, the waterproofing is excellent and it was quite funny listening to the raindrops ‘plinking’ on the inflated tubes of air, making a little tune.
I would say this is probably a three-season tent, and one that is great for couples or small families – with James, E, myself and Blake (dog) it was fine, but many more and you’d be a bit squeezed. It would be nice to have an additional metal pole that you could use to prop the door up as an extension/awning for cooking when its raining, but other than that, I don’t really have any major improvements. I would definitely recommend it!
Just maybe avoid the snow 😉
Have you ever tried an inflatable tent?
NB: I was sent the Decathlon Air Seconds 4.1 XL tent to review but as always, all opinions are my own.