The AirBeam Velocity 200

The AirBeam Velocity 200

Camping manufacturer Vango is claiming a first with its innovative pump-up range of tents.

The Scottish company says broken tent poles will be a thing of the past with the introduction of its AirBeam tents, which come with a hand pump to inflate the tent hoops in a claimed three minutes for the smaller models.

The pole-less range starts with the two-person Velocity 200 and goes up to the Infinity 800 for eight people.

But these are no lightweight backpacking tents: the 200 weighs in at a hefty 7kg and the 800 tips the scales at 28.1kg – heavier than a sack of potatoes. These are definitely aimed at the family camper or the touring tripper rather than the wild camper.

Vango says: “To pitch one of these amazing tents all you have to do is take it out of the bag, pop a peg in each of the four corners, blow up the inflatable beams, peg down a few guy lines and away you go. This can all be done in less than five minutes.”

The company says it has spent 15 years perfecting the technology and its fully featured tents are made of extremely durable material, and have been tested in extreme winds and weather conditions to ensure safety and stability.

The larger Infinity tents also come with the Vango TBSII tension-banding system for extra stability.

A custom pump is supplied with the tents to inflate the low pressure, 5psi (0.344bar) beams. Electric pumps and other bike and car foot pumps are not suitable.

Vango claims that, because there are no poles to snap, the tents perform well in high winds. A puncture repair kit is supplied for damage to the beams.

It says: “The inflatable AirBeam tubes are encased in a very robust material to protect them from damage and ensure they do not over-inflate. The beams are inflated at very low pressures, ensuring your tent doesn’t go droopy when the temperature drops at night.”

Other features include:

  • Waterproof Protex 6000HH polyester elements
  • Embossed flysheet
  • As-one pitching
  • Double entry with one mesh door to allow airflow on warmer nights
  • Crystal clear PVC windows with internal covers
  • Orange reflective guy lines
  • Sewn in polyester groundsheet
  • Breathable fabric inner tent with Vango ‘lights out’ fabric to keep out that early morning sunlight
  • Handy storage solutions such as inner pockets and hanging loops to keep your belongings tidy.

Prices start at £235 for the two-person Velocity 200 and range up to £760 for the Infinity 800, which sleeps eight.

The AirBeam range is expected to go on sale next month. Further details are on the Vango website.