In a rush? Our top pick for the best inflatable tent is Moose Outdoors 4-Person Tent.
Admit it, no one likes setting up tents. Between the poles, stakes, tarps, and flies, putting together a tent is the most stressful part of an otherwise relaxing camping trip.
Inflatable tents attempt to solve that by cutting down the amount of work it takes to pitch a tent. Instead of using annoying poles to prop up your tent, inflatable tents use inflatable beams to put a roof over your head.
We know there are hundreds of tents out there, in this article, we’ll save you time by reviewing our top 5 inflatable tents. Let’s dive in!
Moose Outdoors 4-Person Tent
Coming in at #1 is the Moose Outdoors 4-Person Inflatable Tent. Moose Outdoors is a newcomer to the tent world, but their flagship 4-person tent is rising in popularity.
We rank this as the best all-around tent for its quality materials, strong weather resistance, and fast inflation time. When you combine these with a light price tag and a 3-minute setup time, you can see why we chose this tent as our best all-around pick.
Despite that ranking, this tent is not for you if you need a lot of space. This tent is rated for 4 people, but that might be too small if you like your personal space. On top of that, it’s only 4 ft tall, so there isn’t much room to walk around.
Also, the Moose Outdoors Inflatable Tent weighs 15 lbs, so it’s not the best option for backpacking.
- Strong weather protection – windproof up to 33 mph and 3000 mm of water resistance
- QuikFrame Inflation System means setup only takes 3 minutes
- Includes tent, air pump, carrying bag, instruction sheet, tent stakes, and extra patches
- Vestibule large enough for 2, so you can take off your boots in comfort
- Well-priced for anyone that wants a superior camping experience
- No skylight/rainfly to see the stars
- Not very tall
Best for: Couples looking for a tent that’s easy to set up and easy on the wallet.
Vango 6-Person Odyssey 600 Tent
If you think a 4-person tent is too small for your adventures, then this six-person tent is made for you. The Vango 6-Person Odyssey 600 Tent is our pick for midsize inflatable tents.
Did you know? Scottish company Vango was the first to make the inflatable tent mainstream. Vango launched their AirBeam frame line in 2011, and inflatable tents have been growing ever since.
This six-person tent is proof that Vango knows what they’re doing with inflatable tents. It’s rated for six people, but with all the different rooms, you’ll be amazed at how much space this thing has.
Vango also went the extra mile when choosing materials. Their flysheet is made of an exclusive polyester blend called ProTex, which gives this tent a water resistance rating of 4,000 mm (very strong!). There’s also a linked-in groundsheet to make sure your butt stays dry.
Don’t think that water resistance is all this tent is good for. Vango also wanted to make sure it was comfortable to stay in this tent. That’s why it comes with a large vestibule (for your gear) and windows on both sides (for ventilation).
Also, Vango doubled down on the material over the sleeping area, so that you won’t be woken up by the sun at the crack of dawn.
- Two rooms mean tons of space for you and your loved ones
- Pitched in less than 10 minutes, a fast time considering this tent’s size
- Includes a large dual-action pump, so you can inflate and deflate it quickly
- Extremely weatherproof, thanks to linked-in groundsheet and 4,000 mm water resistance
- Smart tent design allows plenty of space without losing ventilation
- Heavy (36.2 lbs) – not for backpackers
Best for: Car-camping couples or small families who want to save time on setting up their tent.
Vango Odyssey 800 Tent
As mentioned before, Vango is the pioneer of the inflatable tent. That’s why we’ve also included the Odyssey 800 model.
We do think inflatable tents are best for large groups that are car camping, so we thought it’d be worthwhile to mention both the Odyssey 600 and 800.
You can expect to get many of the benefits of the Vango listed above, but this one fits eight people more comfortably. It comes with two entrance ways, and although there’s no outside vestibule, there is a massive living room in the middle for storing gear. It’s also fit for 8 people, so space should not be a problem.
- Comfortably fits 8 people with plenty of room to spare (22 ft. long)
- Sets up in 15 minutes – a fraction of what other 8 person tents would take
- Open living room means both sleeping areas can socialize
- Large diamond-clear PVC windows allow you to soak up nature while relaxing inside
- Plenty of places to hang lanterns and store your gear in the side pockets
- The main door doesn’t have a screen, so it has to be open or closed.
- Large even when deflated
Best for: Large families or camping groups that want enough space to comfortably fit 8 people and their gear inside.
Next up is the Heimplanet Fistral. Looking at the name, you’ll notice this tent is…different. That’s because Heimplanet isn’t any regular outdoors company. They’re a high end traveling brand that’s been featured in New York’s Museum of Modern Art design store.
Heimplanet’s founders started the company while taking a surfing trip in Portugal. Every night, they’d have to set up their tents. After a while, they got tired of pitching poles, and Heimplanet was born.
The goal of this brand is to create unique outdoors products that work as good as they look. The Fistral is their flagship product, and it is quite the tent.
- Super-strong frame thanks to their unique intercrossing beams
- Sets up within 3 minutes since all beams are connected
- Very lightweight (5.5 lbs) so you can comfortably carry this around
- Decent inside area for a 2 person tent – 31 sq ft.
- Unique look and color scheme will make you a hit at the campground
- Fashion-forward pricing
- Does not include a pump, but does come with a repair kit
Best for: experienced solo campers who want a lightweight inflatable tent for backpacking.
Ryno Tuff 4-Person Tent
This tent has large interlocking beams that are great for supporting your tent in high winds. It also comes with pockets for your phone and a hook for a lantern.
The Ryno Tuff doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some of the other tents. Its rain rating is only 1000 mm, and the included pump is not very strong. Unless the price is your #1 concern, we usually recommend the Moose Outdoors over this tent.
- The reasonable price tag for these high-quality materials
- The included porch allows you to unwind and unpack outside the tent space
- Windows come with a zip-up mosquito mesh, increasing ventilation without letting bugs in
- Lightweight (only 12 lbs) and packs up into a small carrying bag for easy transport
- For every purchase, Ryno plants a tree through the National Forest Foundation
- Rainfly is only 1000 mm
- The included foot pump is considerably weak
Best for: small families who want to test out a smaller inflatable tent before splurging on a larger model.
Why Would You Want An Inflatable Tent?
When you first see an inflatable tent, you might think, “what the heck is this nonsense?” Considering how many normal tents you’ve seen, you’re probably used to seeing tents supported by little metal poles.
Oddly enough, that right there is exactly why you’d buy an inflatable tent – there are no poles! While some camping snobs raise their nose and call inflatable tents a “gimmick,” there’s no doubt that there are benefits to inflatable tents.
Camping Made EZ-PZ, Lemon Squeezy
The #1 reason why you’d want an inflatable tent is if you want to simplify your setup situation. Generally, inflatable tents are easier to set up and take less time than traditional tents.
All you have to do is layout the tent, nail down your stakes, and pump that bad boy up. Ta-da! Much simpler than installing poles, and much faster.
This means that inflatable tents are great for families, especially ones with kids. No one wants to have to keep an eye on their kids while you take a bunch of time to pitch your tent. Instead, opt for an inflatable tent and save yourself the headache of dealing with impatient kids.
Inflatable Beams Beat The Breeze
Another motivation for buying an inflatable tent is if you want one that’s strong against heavy weather.
During severe weather, traditional tents are open for a lot of damage. Strong winds can snap your poles, leaving your tent lop-sided. Broken poles can also poke holes in your tent, which unless you want your tent to have a built-in shower, is not a fun idea.
On the other hand, inflatable tents are supported by beams of air. They stand up really well against winds since the air inside the beams is practically weightless. There’s no risk of the beams breaking, except for small tears in the fabric.
Thankfully, repairing an inflatable beam takes minutes. Most inflatable tents come with a repair kit, so all you have to do is slap on the adhesive and you’re good to go. That’s MUCH easier than dealing with a broken metal pole.
What’s The Catch?
At this point, you might be thinking that inflatable tents are the best thing since sliced bread. However, they don’t come with their downsides, and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention them.
Quite The Workout
Inflatable tents are definitely easier to set up because of their inflatable beams. Unfortunately, those inflatable beams take up a lot of space. This means an inflatable tent will usually be heavier than its traditional counterpart.
Inflatable tents also require you to bring an air pump along, adding pounds to your gear. There are some lightweight options (including manual hand-pumps), but these aren’t as fast as bulkier options.
That’s why we definitely recommend inflatable tents for car camping. When you’re car camping, weight is not an issue, since everything’s going back in the trunk anyway. You can bring a high powered air pump and have your tent set up in minutes, without having to worry about carrying the dang thing.
Backpackers and distance hikers should definitely consider traditional tents to save on weight. We have an entire article on lightweight tents here.
Inflated Tent = Inflated Cost
There are definitely benefits to having an inflatable tent, but you might find that the price of an inflatable tent is higher than a standard tent. That’s because of all the extra material that’s required to fabricate the inflatable tent – it’s not cheap.
At the end of the day, the cost can be worth it, since a few dollars for a tent is well worth saving time (and stress) during setup. It depends on what you want.
How Do You Choose The Best Inflatable Tent?
Now that you know why you’d want an inflatable tent, let’s talk about how to choose the one that’s right for you.
Size (Weight and Space)
First things first is the size (both how much it weighs and how much space it takes up). Ask yourself what your goals are for camping. Figure out how much space you’ll need and how much weight you can tolerate carrying.
For example, a family of 6 going car camping for the weekend is a bit different than a single man who’s backpacking for three months!
This is the first and most important thing to decide. Then, once you have your size in mind, check how much you can fit in the tent. Not all 2-person tents, and you might find that you’ll want to go up or down a size depending on the manufacturer.
Lastly, make sure you can manage to carry the tent wherever you’re going. You don’t want to end up hating your tent because it’s so heavy.
No matter where you are, you want to buy a tent that’ll stand the rain. Except maybe Arizona…but even then, it’s worthwhile choosing a tent with a strong HH.
(HH a.k.a. Hydrostatic Head is a measurement of how much water pressure a tent can withstand. More is better!)
Without going into the nitty-gritty, HH is measured in millimeters (mm). A solid tent is rated to at least 3000mm, or above. You can splurge on a tent with more HH, but remember that HH is only one factor in determining how waterproof a tent is.
Of course, the price is always a consideration when looking at tents. You want to make sure you’re getting a high-quality tent while also not overpaying for useless junk. That’s why we do in-depth research to make sure you’re getting the best tent.
But, if you’re planning on using this tent to scale Kilimanjaro, it’s probably best to splurge on a high-end tent. No one wants to have their camping experience ruined by the elements all because you wanted to save a few pennies.
Lastly, don’t forget the price of an air pump as well. Some inflatable tents come with a pump, some don’t.
If you’re a backpacker, you might want to buy a lightweight hand pump, but if you’re a car camper, you might want to buy a powerful electric air pump. No matter what you choose, consider the price of the air pump when you’re looking at inflatable tents.
After reviewing all of the inflatable tents on the market, we decided that our favorite inflatable tent is the Moose Outdoors 4-Person Inflatable Tent. Overall, it’s a great combination of weather resistance, size, price, and features that any camper would love.
It also comes packed with the added features every camper desires. It’s got a nice vestibule for storing your gear, inflates rapidly thanks to Moose’s QuikFrame technology, and even includes stakes, an air pump, and a patch kit. On top of that, this tent provides superior weather protection without an insane price tag.
We also recommend Moose Outdoors’ 4-Person Inflatable Tent for its size. Inflatable tents can have a learning curve, and it’s worthwhile to purchase a medium-sized inflatable tent before upgrading to a larger one. This tent allows you to learn the ropes of an inflatable tent and make the decision on if you love inflatable tents, or want to stick with a traditional tent.
Either way, all five of our choices above are excellent tents that will provide an awesome camping experience.