Best Inflatable Tents for Camping – Our Top 5 in 2021

Gear Tents

If you’re looking for inflatable tents for camping, you’ll be after something super-lightweight and easy to carry.

Inflatable tents sound a bit unusual, especially if you’re used to traditional camping tents with frames. The question is: are inflatable tents safe? How do they work? And how can you find an inflatable tent that can withstand bad weather? We’ll be looking at all of these questions, as well as recommending our top 5 inflatable tents.

The bottom line up front: we like the Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent. It’s a good all-rounder that would suit a couple or a solo backpacker.

We also like:

Today, we’ll be looking at:

  • What an inflatable tent is
  • The main features you should look for
  • Our top inflatable tents, including their key features and more details about their pros and cons
  • Frequently asked questions 
  • Which inflatable tents we would recommend, and why

Let’s start by comparing our top 5 inflatable tents.

Best Inflatable Tents for Camping Compared

Feature
Good All-Rounder
Best for Backpackers
Best for Bad Weather
Best for Stability
Best Value
Model
Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent
HEIMPLANET Original
HEIMPLANET Original 4-Season Tent
HEIMPLANET The Cave Original 2-3 Person Tent
GYMAX Inflatable Family Tent
Zealwind Inflatable Tent - 2 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tents for Camping - Waterproof Easy Set Up Instant Tent for Kids or Adults, Outdoor Camp Tent for Beach, Hiking with Air Pump and Carry Bag
HEIMPLANET Original | Fistral 1-2 Person Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping | Supports 1% for The Planet
HEIMPLANET Original | Backdoor - 4 Season | 4 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet
HEIMPLANET Original | The Cave 2-3 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet
GYMAX Camping Tent, 2-3 Person Inflatable Waterproof Tent with Pump Carry Bag, for Family Outdoor Camping
Sleeps
2
1-2
4
2-3
3
Materials
Polyester, nylon
Polyester, nylon
Polyester, nylon
Polyester, nylon
Polyester
Weight
5.46 Pounds (2.48 Kilograms)
5.5 Pounds (2.5 Kilograms)
13 Pounds (6 Kilograms)
10.6 Pounds (4.8 Kilograms)
Polyester
-
-
-
-
-
10 Reviews
2 Reviews
27 Reviews
-
Feature
Good All-Rounder
Model
Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent
Zealwind Inflatable Tent - 2 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tents for Camping - Waterproof Easy Set Up Instant Tent for Kids or Adults, Outdoor Camp Tent for Beach, Hiking with Air Pump and Carry Bag
Sleeps
2
Materials
Polyester, nylon
Weight
5.46 Pounds (2.48 Kilograms)
-
-
Feature
Best for Backpackers
Model
HEIMPLANET Original
HEIMPLANET Original | Fistral 1-2 Person Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping | Supports 1% for The Planet
Sleeps
1-2
Materials
Polyester, nylon
Weight
5.5 Pounds (2.5 Kilograms)
-
10 Reviews
Feature
Best for Bad Weather
Model
HEIMPLANET Original 4-Season Tent
HEIMPLANET Original | Backdoor - 4 Season | 4 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet
Sleeps
4
Materials
Polyester, nylon
Weight
13 Pounds (6 Kilograms)
2 Reviews
Feature
Best for Stability
Model
HEIMPLANET The Cave Original 2-3 Person Tent
HEIMPLANET Original | The Cave 2-3 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet
Sleeps
2-3
Materials
Polyester, nylon
Weight
10.6 Pounds (4.8 Kilograms)
27 Reviews
Feature
Best Value
Model
GYMAX Inflatable Family Tent
GYMAX Camping Tent, 2-3 Person Inflatable Waterproof Tent with Pump Carry Bag, for Family Outdoor Camping
Sleeps
3
Materials
Polyester
Weight
Polyester
-
-
-

What is an Inflatable Tent for Camping?

tourist camping tent inflatable new model

An inflatable tent is a tent that uses air, pumped into small chambers, instead of poles. This saves you threading poles through your tent – you can set up your pump and leave it to inflate, which makes setting up fairly easy. While there isn’t a huge amount of inflatable tents to choose from, there are some high-quality, robust tents that are lightweight and easy to carry.

What to Look for in an Inflatable Tent for Camping

What key features should you look for in an inflatable tent? Here are a few things to consider:

Setup

Pump for inflating a mattress in a tent outdoors.

Setting up an inflatable tent should be easy – just attach your pump to a valve built into the tent. You can use an electric pump, which should make this process fast and easy. You may have to attach the inner tent to the outer frame. They usually attach using toggles. If you’ve never used an inflatable tent before, it’s worth practicing before you go camping.

Not all tents come with a pump, and if they do include a pump, they tend to be manual pumps, so be prepared to spend a bit of time and energy inflating it!

Puncture Repair Kits

saddle bag and set of tools for repairing punctured tube

Look for a tent with a puncture repair kit included. This means you can quickly resolve a puncture while you’re on the go. It’s also worth looking for a tent with multiple chamber systems. This prevents the whole tent from collapsing if you get a puncture in a particular area.

Size and Layout

middle age woman feeling the nature outdoor in a roof tent on the car

Look at the dimensions of the tent. While tents are advertised with the number of people it can sleep – for example, you may see ‘4-person tent‘ in the description – but sometimes this is a bit of an exaggerated measurement. While you could technically fit 4 people in a tent, you may not have room for gear, for example. So it’s worth looking at the actual size.

You can look at the center height, too. If you’re a taller camper, this is particularly important if you don’t want to be bent over all the time.

You can also look for a tent with room dividers for privacy. Storage is key, too – look for a tent with pockets for valuables and a hook for hanging a lantern at night.

Weatherproofing

Dew drops on green tourist tent. Waterproof fabric rain, test of bad weather

Looking at the hydrostatic head measurement can help you to figure out how waterproof your tent will be. This measures the column of water that can collect on top of your tent before it begins to leak through. Measured in millimeters, 2,000mm is a good minimum to look for in a tent for rain. You can also look for features like heat-sealed seams and covered zippers which can prevent rain from entering your tent in tiny gaps.

Tent Lookout Hardangervidda

Some tents come with a footprint, to provide a barrier between your tent and the ground, so it’s always worth checking the description to see if you’ll need to buy a footprint. A large tarp does the same job, although you may have to cut it down to size. We like the Terra Hiker Caping Tarp as it’s pretty tough and versatile.

Ventilation is also important. Mesh windows will help to promote airflow through the tent, keeping you cool while keeping insects away. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has some ideas on avoiding bug bites if you need to know more about this.

It’s also important to look at wind resistance. Inflatable tents don’t have the benefit of heavy, strong poles to keep your frame in place, but they should be designed with strong air channels to keep the structure intact even in high winds. If you want to make extra sure your tent will stay in place, check out the Eureka! Guide to Camping in High Winds.

Materials

detail of a air inflated tent on a sunny day

Inflatable tents tend to be made from a mixture of polyester and nylon. These are strong, robust materials that can withstand bad weather and prevent punctures. They may be coated in waterproofing materials for extra protection.

Seasons

large sleeping bag on tent Lookout

A tent season refers to the weather conditions it is suited for:

  • 1-Season these are lightweight, ideal for hot weather and festivals
  • 2-Seasons – these are a little more waterproof, but still won’t withstand heavy rain
  • 3-Seasons – these are pretty versatile tents, ideal for keeping out heavy rain while providing ventilation for warm weather
  • 4- and 5-Seasons – these are harder to find, but will keep you warm and dry in extreme weather, including heavy snow

Size Packed

a man twists the tent

An advantage of an inflatable tent is the lack of poles. This means that once packed, your tent will be pretty lightweight and easy to carry. The downside is that you will need to carry a pump with you, but it should still be pretty easy to throw into your backpack.

Looking at the size packed can help you to plan, which is really important if you’re backpacking (or if you need to take a flight).

Top 5 Inflatable Tents for Camping

Here are our top 5 inflatable tents for camping. We’ve included what we like about them, as well as features that could be improved – so hopefully you can find an inflatable tent that suits you!

Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent – Good All-Rounder

Zealwind Inflatable Tent - 2 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tents for Camping - Waterproof Easy Set Up Instant Tent for Kids or Adults, Outdoor Camp Tent for Beach, Hiking with Air Pump and Carry Bag

Key Features

  • Color: Grey
  • Size: 90.5 x 59 x 54.3 Inches (230 x 149.86 x 137.9 Centimeters)
  • Size Packed: 33 x 22 Inches (83.82 x 55.88 Centimeters)
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Materials: Polyester, Nylon
  • Seasons: 3
  • Weight: 5.46 Pounds (2.48 Kilograms)
  • Hydrostatic Head Measurement: 4,000mm

The Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent is a good choice for 2 people, and it’s an overall great tent. It’s small, so it won’t suit you if you want to stretch out, but it’s so lightweight that it won’t be a problem to carry around with you. It has 1 room and a simple dome shape, with a large storage pocket for valuables or water bottles, and a hook to hang a lantern from the ceiling.

It has an impressive hydrostatic head measurement of 4,000mm, meaning it is super efficient at keeping the rain out. The tent has waterproof layers on the joins of the tent, too, giving it extra reinforcement and stopping leaks from coming through. It’s also coated to prevent UV damage, and it has 2 mesh windows for ventilation.

It’s easy to set up – it takes just moments using an air pump. To put it down, you just have to open up a valve to deflate it and roll it up to put it back in the sack provided.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Great waterproofing
  • Good ventilation
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Quite small, so won’t suit larger groups
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

HEIMPLANET Original – Best for Backpackers

HEIMPLANET Original | Fistral 1-2 Person Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping | Supports 1% for The Planet

Key Features

  • Color: Grey
  • Size:
    Ground Area: 31 Square Feet
    Height: 44 Inches (112 Centimeters)
  • Size Packed: 15 x 8 x 8 Inches (34 x 20 x 20 Centimeters)
  • Sleeps: 1-2
  • Materials: Polyester, Nylon
  • Seasons: 3
  • Weight: 5.5 Pounds (2.5 Kilograms)

The HEIMPLANET Original Dome Tent is a good inflatable tent for backpackers. Super small and lightweight, it might be a tight squeeze for 2 people, but could give you just the right amount of room if you’re a solo traveller. It has 1 room with 2 entrances and small pockets on the inner tent.

It’s designed to be stable, with an inflatable frame around the outside of the tent, keeping you protected and secure in high winds. It has a multi-chamber system, meaning if 1 area of the tent is punctured, the rest of the frame will remain intact. The polyester and nylon materials are good at keeping the rain out, and the large doors give you some ventilation. The downside is that you’ll have to buy a separate groundsheet. You can go for the HEIMPLANET Groundsheet to match.

It’s easy and quick to fold down and pretty easy to inflate too. Just attach a pump to a valve to inflate.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Ideal for solo backpackers
  • Great for windy conditions
  • Easy to use
  • Has a multi-chamber system

Cons

  • Groundsheet has to be bought separately
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

HEIMPLANET Original 4-Season Dome Tent – Best for Bad Weather

HEIMPLANET Original | Backdoor - 4 Season | 4 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet

Key Features

  • Color: Red
  • Size:
    Ground Area: 68 Square Feet
    Height: 49 Inches (125 Centimeters)
  • Size Packed: 20.07 x 10.23 x 8.26 Inches (51 x 26 x 21 Centimeters)
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Materials: Polyester, Nylon
  • Seasons: 4
  • Weight: 13 Pounds (6 Kilograms)
  • Hydrostatic Head Measurement: 5,000mm

The HEIMPLANET Original 4-Season Dome Tent is good for all weathers. It has enough room for 4 people, with 1 room. It’s large but still fairly lightweight, and it has 2 large doorways and some storage pockets for things like water bottles, keys, or valuables.

The main selling point of this tent is the weatherproofing – designed with HEIMPLANET’s signature outer frame system, it can withstand winds of up to 110 miles per hour (177 kilometers per hour). The nylon material helps to protect you from wind and cold – you can use this tent in the snow with no problems. It’s also super-rainproof, with a hydrostatic head measurement of up to 5,000mm, which is excellent as you won’t have to worry about rain getting in. 

Like other HEIMPLANET tents, you won’t have to worry about a puncture ruining the whole tent, as it uses a multi chamber system. If 1 area has a puncture, the frame will still be strong. It comes with a puncture repair kit, too.

The downside is that you have to buy a groundsheet separately, and it can be hard to get hold of the groundsheet to match it. We’d recommend the Terra Hiker Camping Tarp.

It inflates easily using a pump, and it deflates quite quickly, rolling down into a small carry bag.

Pros

  • Great for cold weather
  • Can withstand rain, wind, and snow
  • Easy to set up
  • Multi chamber system

Cons

  • Difficult to find the right groundsheet to match
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

HEIMPLANET The Cave Original 2-3 Person Tent – Best for Stability

HEIMPLANET Original | The Cave 2-3 Person Dome Tent | Inflatable Tent - Set Up in Seconds | Waterproof Outdoor Camping - 5000mm Water Column | Supports 1% for The Planet

Key Features

  • Color: Grey
  • Size:
    Ground Area: 64 Square Feet
    Height: 40 Inches (102 Centimeters)
  • Size Packed: 16 x 13 x 9 Inches (40 x 32 x 23 Centimeters)
  • Sleeps: 2-3 person
  • Materials: Polyester, nylon
  • Seasons: 3
  • Weight: 10.6 Pounds (4.8 Kilograms)
  • Hydrostatic Head Measurement: 5,000mm

The HEIMPLANET The Cave Original 2-3 Person Tent is a very stable tent that can withstand high winds. It’s a 2-3 person tent, but is more suited to 2 people, as that will give you a bit of room for storing your gear. It has small storage pockets.

It’s a great weatherproof tent, with a super-strong frame. The frame encloses the tent, keeping it secure even in super high winds (up to 110 miles per hour, or 177 kilometers per hour). It has a hydrostatic head measurement of 5,000mm, which is great for keeping the rain out. The tent comes with a puncture repair kit to quickly deal with any punctures you encounter.

It may take a bit of time to learn how to set up this tent, so it’s worth practicing before you go. It packs down into a small sack.

Pros

  • Super-strong frame
  • Great for keeping the rain out
  • Spacious for 2 people

Cons

  • May take some time to learn how to set it up
  • Pump is not included
  • Doesn’t have a multi-chamber system
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Gymax 3-Person Inflatable Family Tent – Best Value

GYMAX Camping Tent, 2-3 Person Inflatable Waterproof Tent with Pump Carry Bag, for Family Outdoor Camping

Key Features

  • Color: Blue
  • Size: 87 x 87 x 41 Inches (220.98 x 220.98 x 104.41 Centimeters)
  • Size Packed: Not Stated
  • Sleeps: 2-3
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3
  • Weight: 11 Pounds (4.98 Kilograms)

The Gymax 3-Person Inflatable Family Tent is a great-value tent. While it sleeps 3, it’s pretty small, so would be better suited for a couple with 1 child, or for just 2 people. It has 2 rooms, a vestibule, and a sleeping area, which is ideal if you want to keep your gear separate from where you sleep.

It’s a fairly robust tent, with coated polyester fabric to keep the rain at bay, although it may leak a little in heavy downpours. It has good ventilation however so you can enjoy a bit of airflow in hot weather.

The tnet inflates really easily, and it packs down easily too. It comes with a carry bag for easy transportation.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Easy to set up
  • 2 separate rooms
  • Comes with a carry bag

Cons

  • May leak in heavy rain
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s look at some commonly asked questions about inflatable tents for camping:

Are inflatable tents for camping safe to use?

woman in a tent on an inflatable mattress

Yes, they are safe. While it may feel strange if you are used to a traditional frame tent, inflatable tents are perfectly safe and make good tents for bad weather. It’s important to take a puncture repair kit with you to be on the safe side. Some tents come with puncture repair kits included, which is great.

Can I take my inflatable tent (and pump) on a plane?

The plane is preparing for airplane service

You should be able to, but it’s always worth checking – the TSA’s website suggests that you check with your airline before you fly.

How do I repair a puncture in my inflatable tent for camping?

Rolls of adhesive tape of different types

If you have it, use the repair kit that came with your tent. This is the best way to quickly and safely repair a puncture. In a pinch, you can use something like waterproof tape to keep you going if you don’t have a repair kit with you. This is a good thing to throw into your bag, along with other essentials to bring camping in a tent.

The REI Co-Op has a guide to tent repair if you want to be prepared for your next trip.

Are inflatable tents for camping easy to take down again?

A woman folds and packs a sleeping bag, going on a journey through the forest.

Yes, it’s pretty easy – just make sure you give yourself enough time to deflate the tent so it can be rolled into the carry bag or sack. It’s worth practicing before you go so you know how long it will take.

To Sum Up … Which Inflatable Tent for Camping is the Best?

man in outdoor outfit and wool knit sweater who stands next to futuristic inflatable camping tent

We really like the Zealwind 2-Person Inflatable Camping Tent. It’s good value, it has decent weatherproofing, and it’s super-easy to set up. It’s ideal for couples or for solo backpackers wanting to stretch out a bit.

If you’re in a larger party, or you’re off somewhere cold, we’d recommend the HEIMPLANET Original 4-Season Dome Tent. This is a super-tough tent that can keep you safe even in difficult weather conditions.

If you’re a backpacker and you want something super easy to carry around, we’d recommend the HEIMPLANET Original Dome Tent. Fast and easy to set up, this is a lightweight but tough little tent.

We hope this has helped you to find the best inflatable tent for camping. Feel free to share it with your family and friends if they’re looking for a tent too. If you’ve ever used an inflatable tent, leave us a comment below – what are your tips and tricks?