The Inflatable Air Tent Story

The Inflatable Air Tent Story

As explained by our very own camping mad Justine Smith ........... follow her firsthand experiences and impressions as she tried our inflatable tents, for the first time, not long after joining the Zempire Team.

"They are unbelievably solid!"

The first thing you will notice about the tubes in a Zempire Air Tent is that they are significantly larger than any traditional tent pole. And once inflated, unbelievably solid! If you are like me in any way, you will be left questioning any preconceived ideas you may have had. And if any child thought the tent might resemble a bouncy castle, they will not only be disappointed but very sore should they try and bounce on these poles!

The idea behind the Air Tent is not a new one and has been around since the 1930s. Back then they did somewhat resemble a bouncy castle though; the poles were similar to a fire hose. The technology has come a long way since then, and our Zempire team have taken it to the next level. Over many years they have worked to ensure the design withstands everything the world climate can throw at it, within sensible camping reason! The tubes are now of the same durability you would find in a daredevil kitesurfers equipment. Not sure if you have ever watched a kitesurfer? But put it this way, your tent is never going to receive that kind of treatment, even in the worst of weather conditions.

The tube itself is almost indestructible, but also fiercely protected. Encased first in a 2-layer zipped protective shell, which is then also zipped into the glove-like pocket within your tent. It’s like ‘Fort Knox’ to get to, but importantly, should you need to replace the tubes at any time you absolutely can. Needless to say, getting a puncture is pretty unlikely and would be like getting a prickle through your jandal while playing backyard cricket. To translate a jandal is the kiwi term for flip-flop or rubber sandal.

So here is the fun part! You turn up to your campsite potentially all ‘new camper nerves’ or possibly ‘experienced camper excitement’. Either way, when you first arrive, the adrenalin levels are high, and nobody wants to look like the guy (or girl in this case) who can’t put up their tent. No problem, it is actually difficult to make this look anything outside of a breeze!!

STEP 1 – Get your tent out the bag

STEP 2 – Lay it out flat and peg down the outer corners

STEP 3 – Attached your pump to the applicable valve/s

STEP 4 – Start pumping! It will pop up before your eyes, and if a small amount of encouragement is required to get the final lift, it really is just small!

STEP 5 – Finish knocking in the remaining pegs

STEP 6 – Peg out your guy ropes 

STEP 7 – Roll up your windows and doors and admire your handiwork

It is at this point you should grab a chair and have a celebration beverage. The bedding and furniture can wait because this process probably took a total of 20 minutes, there is now plenty of time for that later! You will need to stop to chat to all the intrigued audience members anyhow so you may as well have a refreshment in hand.

As the sun goes down it is always good practise to double-check your set-up just in case there is unforeseen weather in the night. Even though your Zempire inflatable tent doesn’t seem like guy ropes are necessary, they do provide that extra support should the wind get up. You can also add a bit of additional air to your tubes, we usually suggest between 7-9PSI depending on conditions. In the wind, 9PSI is plenty, and your handy pressure gauge on your included pump helps get this right. The tubes themselves can hold as much as 30PSI so no chance of overfilling them, even in the heat of the day if the air expands be assured they can take it.

I’ve spent many a windy and stormy night in our Air Tents, as have many of our customers. We often get feedback after a stormy holiday period thanking us for our design. Many people comment our tents were some of the few left standing! The biggest advantage is, although very firm and rigid, under extreme conditions the inflatable tubes will bend and flex more than a traditional pole. They bounce back upright when the gust or gale has passed.

After the fun is over and pack-up approaches Zempire Air Tents help to minimise the time and dread of this also. When your camping world has been removed from your tent, open the valves to release the air. An impressive hiss will announce your pack-up process, and the tent will disappear even quicker than when it went up! Once all the air is out, don’t fear the next step either, the bags are designed to fit!! Fold the tent to the width of your bag as per your instructions. My most helpful Zempire camping hack is, make sure you roll your tent towards the open valves! This ensures you expel the remaining air at the same time you roll. You won’t believe me until you do it yourself, but if I can do it, so can you!

So, in summary, camping in a Zempire Air Tent makes camping stress free, easy and quick! I hope my honest account of my thoughts and experience has outlined that. They also have no resemblance to pool floaties or beach balls and certainly will not float away like any one of these inflatable favourites. However, the pump that comes with your tent comes in very handy when your new oversized inflatable flamingo arrives in time for your summer fun in the sun.

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