Air tents perfect for single mums: Quick and easy to pitch

Eurohike Genius 400 air tent

Camping as a single parent can be daunting, as the main concern is how easy is it to pitch a tent on your own?

Over the years, I have pitched various styles and sizes of tents. At some point, it has caused arguments. I become frustrated, especially when trying to pitch my 5-man Outwell poled tent. So I decided to invest in the Eurohike Genus 400 air tent.

Why are inflatable tents great for camping as a single parent?

Air tents are perfect for pitching on your own. They inflate in less than 5-minutes, are sturdy, easy to peg the guy lines and hold up well in high winds. They are heavier than poled tents; however, they are worth the additional cost compared to the ease of pitching.

Since buying my air tent for our overnight camping trips, I asked myself why I did not purchase one sooner. I love my new Eurohike Genius 400 inflatable tent, and I will be upgrading my larger holiday tent next year.

Why are inflatable tents ideal for single parents?

Eurohike Genius 400 Inflatable tent from Go Outdoors

As a single mum, I am over the moon that I purchased an air tent. It has been the best investment I have made towards my camping gear, especially for our quick 1 or 2-night stopover camping trips. We often arrive late in the evening, travelling after work on a Friday night, and the last thing we want is to be left feeling frustrated trying to pitch a poled tent.

It does not matter how much experience you have as a camper. Inflatable tents remove the worry of ensuring that the tent poles are in the correct slots or separate whilst you are threading them through. The worst part of using poled tents is not getting that last pole hooked correctly at the base, leaving you feeling very annoyed and frustrated.

Inflatable tents are very easy to pitch, and you can do it all on your own. You can spend more time with your children or chill out whilst exploring their surroundings, making friends with other kids on the campsite.

It takes longer to lay and peg your groundsheet and place your tent over, pegging the corners securely than it does to inflate. Before you start to inflate, check that the fittings are tight and the hose is secured correctly to stop it from disconnecting whilst you are inflating.

Inflatable air tent foot pump

The downside of inflating your air tent is using the free foot pump. Invest in an electric pump and make it even easier. The air tubes of your tent will inflate in seconds. When using an electric air pump, it is essential to check the PSI of your air tubes, and you do not want to over or under-inflate.

Pegging your guy lines is more manageable, as the sturdy air tubes keep their shape and light. Making it very easy to peg out and move to avoid sagging.

Inflatable air tent valves

Not only are inflatable tents easy to put up, but they are so quick to deflate. Unscrew the air valve slowly and release the air. You can use the deflating section on the foot pump, which takes longer. I want to get the car packed and go home, so I ignore the pump.

Getting your tent back into the bag is a nightmare and the worst part of camping. Check out my 8 step illustration on how to pack your tent back into its bag.

What happens if you overinflate or underinflate the tubes in your air tent?

The inner tubes of your tent have to be at the psi stated in the instructions, which will vary per design. Air tubes are known as the bladder, and if you overinflate this, they will not explode but add pressure on the values and zips. The zips may split.

Not having correct, consistent pressure throughout the different beam sections of your tent will add stress to the main support beams, and sagging will occur. It is often assumed that the values leak or bladder tubes have a puncture.

Are inflatable tents heavier than poled tents?

Inflatable tents are heavier than traditional poled tents. With air tents being a whole unit, you cannot remove sections to reduce the carry weight. Pole tents, you can reduce the weight by keeping poles and tent pegs separately in another bag. You do not have to place these in the same bags as your tent.

The pumps for air tents are bulky but do not weigh hardly anything. The only benefit of not packing the pump inside your rolled tent will be to reduce the size so that it can fit easily into your tent bag. But you will need to remember to take your foot pump with you on your next camping trip.

Are inflatable tents more expensive than pole tents?

Inflatable tents are more expensive as they are more modern technology than traditional poled tents. It depends on the tent’s size, as larger pole tents are slightly cheaper to purchase. Air tents are of much more excellent quality in material, especially the zip area. Comparing the zip material strength to the quality of material you thread your traditional tent poles, you can see the difference in quality.

Are you aware that you can use everyday purchases to help buy your tent or camping gear? Every time I shop online or at a local retailer, I earn commissions or tokens that convert into vouchers. I save the vouchers during the year, ready for my larger camping purchases, either a new tent, gas stove or camp bed. Here is how you can save money on your camping gear.

If your budget has restricted you to the size of tent you want to buy, there is an easy way to extend for under £100. I purchased the Colemans Classic Awning, which is lightweight and compact for travel. There are other ways you can extend your tent cheaply by using a tarp.

Some companies hire tents if you do not want to pay for a tent. Either air or poled tents and depending on your location, they will pitch the tent for you. Prices can vary per company from £290, depending on the size of the tent. If you have not purchased your first tent and are unsure if camping is for you, hiring a tent is a good alternative. Plus it gives you a chance to decide on the type of tent you want later. Our article explains everything about hiring a tent and recommended companies to contact.

Related questions

Do you still need to use a footprint or groundsheet with an air tent?

If your tent has a loose or sewn-in groundsheet, you still need to use a footprint or another separate groundsheet. The purpose is to protect the underside of your tent from puncture damage from stones and dirt. A sturdy groundsheet will help to insulate the inside of your tent.

Are air tents suitable for the strong wind?

Inflatable tents are more sturdy in high wind. They are not rigid like poled tents allowing them to be flexible in the wind. They still need to be pegged correctly, and if they buckle, it is easy to push the beams back into shape. Air beams will move with the wind, but this is to be expected.

Whereas in traditional tents, the pressure on the poles can lead to your tent collapsing for good. We camped during hurricane Francis last year in our poled tent, and I thought our tent was going to collapse. I thought it had withstood the high winds very well until our next camping trip, where I soon realised the strain the poles had been under, weakening them.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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