Dometic Inflatable Tent

Inflatable Tents: Better Than Pole Tents?

Inflatable tents are currently the talk of the camping market, but why should you invest in one when pole tents have been doing a good job of keeping campers sheltered for decades?

In this article, we explore how inflatable tents compare to pole tents so you can decide for yourself.

What Is An Inflatable Tent?

Inflatable tents are not brand new, but they are more popular than ever before. An inflatable tent is different from a pole tent because they do not have poles – at least not in the way you’d expect. Rigid tent poles are replaced by columns or tubes of air. These air beams are inflated to provide structure to your tent.

On the other hand, a pole tent has rigid poles that you often need to click together and thread through the material to create your tent structure.

Inflatable tents tend to be larger tents, designed for families and groups. The latest innovative range of inflatable tents by Dometic includes spacious 4-person and 6-person tents in different styles. You also get lots of features, just as you would in pole tents.

Enter The Great Outdoors with Dometic

Why have inflatable tents suddenly become more popular? Because now they are more affordable, which means they are a viable alternative to pole tents for campers.

Now you know what an inflatable tent is, how do they compare to pole tents? Take a look at the pros and cons.

Inflatable Tents Pros & Cons


Fast and Easy Set Up

Remember all those times you spent hours trying to put up a tent, struggling with poles in the pouring rain and wind? Those days are long gone.

Because there’s no messing around with rigid poles, inflatable tents are easier and faster to set up, especially if you’re a camping beginner.

In fact, the top selling point for inflatable tents is just how easy they are to set up and take down. For example, Dometic inflatable tents use Dometic’s AirFrame technology and multi-inflation points. Multiple AirPoles will inflate individually plus there’s a quick-pitch guiding element to ensure the tent sets up in seconds without needing to be manually guided.

To make it even easier, you can use a 12V electric pump. Simply plug the pump into a 12V power source, set the required PSI and watch as the tent inflates!

Taking down inflatable tents down is even easier. Simply take out the guy lines, open up the valves, deflate, and un-peg the rest of the tent. Hey presto!

Strong In High Winds

Surprisingly, inflatable tents have a very strong wind resistance. Where even the best pole tents will struggle, inflatable tents will stay strong. Think about it – windy weather causes rigid poles to bend, become misshapen or even snap which can potentially rip the flysheet and damage the tent beyond repair.

But when inflatable poles bend, they just return to their original shape. To improve their strength even more, Dometic inflatable tents are designed with durable, UV protected and weather-resistant material, so they last the distance.

Easy To Repair

With an inflatable tent, there are no poles to bend or break which means it is a great option if you’re far from home. Simply pack a puncture repair kit when camping in an inflatable tent, but you will rarely need to use it. Air poles won’t puncture as easily as rigid poles break. 


More Expensive

Inflatable tents tend to be more expensive than their pole tent equivalent, but they also come with lots of innovative features as standard. So, it really depends if you’re willing to part with more cash for a high-quality tent that designed to last.

Heavier To Carry

Inflatable tents weigh in at more than their pole counterparts which makes them a less attractive option if you’re hiking in to camp. Pole tents are easier to split the weight between fellow campers.

But if you’re planning on car camping, weight shouldn’t be an issue!

Pole Tents Pros & Cons


Easy To Carry

The great thing about pole tents is that the parts can be distributed between different bags, so you can carry it more easily when hiking to your campsite.

Less Expensive

If you’re comparing inflatable tents and pole tents like for like, pole tents will be the cheaper option. So, if you’re on a tight budget, check out a pole tent first.

Bigger Choice

Because pole tents have been around for decades, there’s a much bigger choice of tents available.That said, as inflatable tents become more popular, there are more to choose from.


More Difficult To Set Up

There’s no getting around it – pole tents are more difficult to set up, especially if you’re solo camping. And the bigger the tent, the more difficult they are to pitch. That said, there are some tents that are easier to set up than the average pole tent, like the Weisshorn 8 Person Instant Up Camping Tent, where the tent is already pre-attached to the frame, so it only takes two minutes to pitch the tent. 

Easily Damaged

As soon as you add wind and rain, pole tents are a nightmare! The structure is more easily damaged in storms, with poles becoming bent or broken which can damage the tent material too.

More Difficult To Repair

When you have damaged poles, it’s very difficult to repair them on the go. Whereas for an inflatable tent, you can simply use a puncture kit.

Our Verdict:

Inflatable tents are the new kid on the block, but are they better than pole tents? It depends what you want from your tent. If you want something that’s quick and easy to set up, durable and less prone to damage, we recommend you check out our range of inflatable tents. You’ll be amazed at the features you can get for your money.

If you want something cheaper, lighter and more traditional, a pole tent could be the best option. Start by working out your budget and must-have list, then go from there!

Head to our website now to check out our range of inflatable and pole tents. Still not sure which one is right for you? You can give our team a call on 1300 400 122.

DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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