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If you’re after a reasonably priced inflatable family tent, you may find the market decidedly limited. So the prospect of the Halfords 6-person Air Tent coming in for under £500 caught our attention.
We took the tent out for a thorough test to see how it measures up, and whether that miniscule price tag meant scrimping on quality.
Here’s what we found out.
Main material: polyester
Pitch time: 25 minutes
Affordable price point
Three separate bedrooms
Does not sleep 6
You’ll see some seriously huge and hefty family tents on sale, but there’s no need to go massive for just a few nights outdoors. Halfords are here to prove that you can comfortably sleep four people in a more compact, lightweight and easy to use model than most behemoth designs.
Halfords may be best known for selling car and bike paraphernalia, but they also stock a line of functional tents – 12 different ones in fact, ranging from a two-person pop-up to an affordable eight-person model.
If you’re shopping for a new tent for shorter family holidays, our pick of the brand’s line-up is this 6-person, two- or three-bedroom family number.
This design may be smaller than many family-sized tents we’ve tested, but there’s still adequate living and sleeping space inside. That said, we’d say Halford’s design is definitely best for four people, despite its name – you wouldn’t want to squeeze in six campers unless you were happy for the sitting room to double up as a makeshift bedroom.
Walk through the main door and there’s a bedroom on the left and one on the right, with a small sitting room in the centre that will also hold some kit. It’s a pity, though, there’s no overhanging canopy where you can sit outside with protection from sun and rain.
On test, we found the Halfords Air tent’s outer material withstood rain effectively, but did flap and flail a bit in high winds.
Bedrooms - what size are the bedrooms?
One each side of the tent are the two roomy bedrooms, and there’s an option to split one of the bedrooms further, so you end up with one large bedroom and two small ones. This option is brilliant if you’re camping with older kids who want their own space, if you want a family tent that will double up for friends to share or if you’re a family of three, as you’ll have a spare bedroom to use for storage.
Pitching - how hard is it to put the Halfords 6-Person Air Tent up?
Family tents can be notoriously fiddly to pitch, but this design is that problem-solving wonder, an inflatable ‘air’ tent. Inflatable tents, in case you haven’t tried them before, are a bit of a lifesaver when it comes to setting up camp – these designs have hollow poles that are inflated to hold the tent sturdy, and usually weigh a lot less and are far easier to pitch than poled tents.
The downside is that air tents are usually pretty pricy – but Halfords’s model is cheaper than most models you’ll find on the market at £435, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here.
On test we found this tent easy to inflate using the included pump - and one person can erect it (unlike some bulky family tents that require at least two pairs of hands) - and quick to put away again, with a handily oversized storage bag so that once you’ve got the hang of rolling the tent up it packs away nicely.
Weight - how heavy is it?
At 23kg, this tent is best suited for shorter camping forays such as long weekends, festivals or quick trips abroad. You do compromise on space here – there’s far less living room than bigger but pricier inflatable family tents, and storage space is limited - but if want the convenience of an air tent without having to fork out close to a grand, this is a good compromise.
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Read our full review of the Leisurewize Olympus here.
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Read our full review of the Outwell Avondale Air Tent here.
Read our full review of the Vango Aether 600 XL here
- Berth : 6
- Approx Pitch Time : 20 mins
- Waterproof Rating (HH) : 3000mm
Halfords’ Air Tent really stands out for value for money – you’re unlikely to find another inflatable tent sleeping four people on the market for under £500, or at least not one this well-made and weatherproof.
We like the adjustable bedroom layout for families with older kids, and the fact that there’s head height in the living room, but this tent is definitely on the small side – choose it for shorter camping trips rather than summer-long holidays.
If you’ve got a family-friendly festival booked and you want something light, easy to inflate and hassle-free to use, this tent will do you proud.