Putting up a tent in good sunny weather can be a challenge for some and once you’ve added rain and a decent rush of wind it becomes a nightmare. Tent producers have made it a mission to make this particular part of camping less of a chore, after all who doesn’t want easier?
The Crazy amount of Pop Up Tents available have taken away some of the tent pole problem (if you can master the art of getting it all back together after you’ve used it), but these tend to by simplistic in design and don’t serve every bodies needs.
Now the further reasoning is to take away these cumbersome poles altogether and replace them with rigid beams that you simply fill with air, all in an attempt to make putting up a tent pain free (for veterans and novices alike).
These ‘air beams’ have become common place on bigger sized family tents, but now seem to be filtering down into the sort of tent that more remote campers could use, like the Air Seconds Xl II 2 Man Tent pictured above.
Modern tent poles are nearly always the lightest part on a tents components and omitting them doesn’t make you better off if your lugging the tent for any distance.
That said their are some extremely lightweight small wild camping tents out there that need a pole structure to stay in place and upright.
Rough Weather Handling
Every things points to a tent without rigid poles having trouble with an excess of wind. How tents with ‘air beams’ will react and what sort of noise is generated is going to depend on wind speed and how exposed your position is.
These tents do come with the necessary guy wires to keep them in place and it wouldn’t be a big ask to slap some more on if the wind picks up. I’d rather have a tent (with of without poles) looking like a spiders web, if it meant a good nights sleep.
Opting for More Room
Looking for something with extra space but not wanting to deal with a full sized family tent could be a problem. There’s a distinct gap between the smaller inflatable tent and the sort of thing that will accommodate your whole extended family.
I get the sense (as with most sales) that this is very much market driven with retailers and tent producers both opting to serve the most valuable sections of the outdoor recreation market first and foremost (won’t sell/won’t make).
Always one to do away with the hassle of putting up a tent whenever possible, I really like the idea of just plonking it down, whacking some air into it and pegging the tent down. My only concern would be the extra weight any pump could add to my pack, but might learn to live with this very quickly for an effective instant tent 🙂
It would be interesting to see how a tent of the inflatable variety stacked up against something similar in shape/size but using poles, on one of those very rough nights I seem to have an addiction for!
But you know me, it’d find it funny if I pushed it way too far and one or both of the tents failed with the only personal drawback being another night in my bloody awful emergency bivy.