Inflatable (Air) Tents

The evolution from the 1950s to today's leading brands

The innovation of the Inflatable (Air) Tents

While they are often hailed as the latest innovation in camping, inflatable (air) tents boast a rich history spanning nearly a century. Join us as we explore their fascinating evolution, from the pioneering 1950s igloo and the luxurious Karsten Inflatable tent, to the modern day companies that have made them a must-have for every camper. Don't miss out on experiencing the next big thing in camping!

A brief history

Inflatable tents, also known as air tents, have a fascinating history that dates back to the mid-20th century. The Pneumatic Tent Company was a pioneering force in this field during the 1950s. They introduced the concept of air-supported structures, which replaced traditional poles with inflatable beams. This innovation provided a new level of ease and convenience for campers, making setup quicker and more straightforward.

Image: An inflatable "Igloo" tent by the Pneumatic Tent Company

Re-innovation in the 1980's

The concept of inflatable tents saw a significant resurgence in the early 1980s when the renowned Dutch Tent manufacturer Karsten Tenten launched the Karsten Inflatable Tent in 1981. Technological advancements, new materials and a modular design with a unique inflation system spurred this renaissance, bringing air tents back into the spotlight. These tents were now more durable and user-friendly, capturing the interest of a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

Image: The new inflatable Karsten Tents on display in the 1980's

Modern Mainstream Air Tents

Today, inflatable tents have become mainstream, with leading brands like Vango and Outwell pushing the boundaries of design and functionality aimed at a more affordable budget. Since their launch in in early 2013, these companies have made significant strides in improving the quality, durability, and ease of use of their tents, making them a popular choice among campers looking for a hassle-free camping experience on a more affordable budget.

Image: The early day Vango Inflatable Tents 

A Benchmark in Quality

Among the many brands available, the Karsten tent stands out for its exceptional quality. These tents are made from robust cotton canvas, known for its durability and high breathability. The unique high-pressure air system used in Karsten tents ensures that these storm tents remain sturdy and reliable even in adverse weather conditions. Tubes are inflated to 60PSI as standard.

Karsten tents have received numerous accolades, including multiple awards from the Camping and Caravanning Club's Owner Satisfaction Awards for the best inflatable tent (5 years running) and best premium brand tent (7 years running). These awards are a testament to their superior quality and the satisfaction of their users.

Image: A modern day modular Karsten Inflatable Tent

Ultimately, the best tent is the one that suits your camping style, budget and meets your specific needs. However, when it comes to quality and reliability, Karsten tents are the market leader. Their robust construction and innovative design provide peace of mind, especially when camping as a family.

What makes a Dutch Tent so special?

Image: View from Town Farm Campsite, Ivinghoe