IF you’ve ever been camping and put up your own tent, you’ll know all too well the tests of stamina and endurance that doing battle with tent poles can provoke.
Threading unco-operative tent poles through their sleeves to construct your tent doesn’t always go to plan, but behold, there is a solution, and it is the new inflatable tent range from sports equipment supplier Decathlon.
I road tested this new breed of tent at the Morris Minor Owners’ Club National Rally at Kelmarsh Hall in Northampton this summer. After a long four-hour drive to the venue, I was tired and ready for a cuppa, but before I could have one, the tent putting up challenge had to be completed.
I shouldn’t have worried, compared to the tent pole battles, this was a relative doddle! All I had to do was extract the tent from its bag, unroll it, peg down the four corners of the ground sheet and inflate three tubes which form the structure of the tent . . . and job done, apart from securing the guide ropes. It took minutes and will be even quicker next time, now I know how it works.
The pump, which doesn’t come with the tent, despite being a rather essential accessory, comes complete with a pressure gauge which shows when the required 7PSI pressure has been reached and helpfully provides inflate and deflate options.
Once inside the four-man tent there was plenty of space to stand upright and I loved the fabric of the sleeping area which is made with Fresh and Black technology ensuring 99% darkness, so if you want an early night, or a late start, you can get some well-earned shut eye. It works too, and keeps much of the light out, so when it’s warm enough to camp in the summer and it gets light at 4am, you won’t be woken up in this Decathlon tent.
I slumbered on, my alarm clock being the distinctive sound of a Morris Minor exhaust as the first of the early risers began to move their cars to the show ring – I actually woke with a start thinking someone was pinching my car! Well, they do all sound the same!
The tent comes complete with a robust selection of tent pegs, all of which were ok to be reused and is waterproof and wind resistant up to 60mph meaning bad weather won’t spoil the camping fun.
For me, the inflatable tent priced at £199 was a revelation and I’m looking forward to my next outing.
And if you’re going camping, a table and chairs set and some new sleeping bags are always useful additions to take with you. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/Buy/folding+table+4+people?fi=c
These and the rest of the range and all the sports and outdoor kit you could ever need are available on the Decathlon website www.decathlon.co.uk
Just remember to order a pump to go with the tent, or you might arrive on your campsite feeling a little… deflated!