Why We Chose It: Innovative, surprisingly sturdy and reliable, fun
It’s often assumed that inflatable tents are supposed to have sparked a revolution in the field of lightweight camping and, because of this assumption, the options that have become available since their conception have therefore been criticised for not being any lighter than a normal tent.
The thing is, their big advantage doesn’t really lie in their weight but in their dependability, because, unlike standard tents, they don’t have a breaking point in strong winds – they bounce back. And that’s why air beam tents have proven so popular in the family camping market.
Who Is the Fistral Classic Tent For
At 2.5kg, the Fistral Classic, is by no means a lightweight tent but it is still light enough and packable enough to carry in a backpack. Granted, you’re not going to want to go and hike the entire 600-mile South West Coast Path with it, but it’d be great for any weekend wild camps from spring through to autumn – especially if it’s split between two backpacks.
Materials and Construction
To inflate the Fistral, the supplied adaptor will allow you to use a normal camping mat pump or, or you can purchase one of Heimplanet’s own pumps. The Mini Double Lift would be our recommendation as it’s only 150g and won’t take up much pack space. It’s a rather steep €29 though.
It takes no time at all to inflate this and have a freestanding structure. We’d still recommend staking it in however, just as it makes sure the flysheet is nice and taut and the porch space is maximised. Once you’ve done that it’s remarkably sturdy.
As far as space goes, this thing is super, super roomy for a single person, with two vestibules on either side (each big enough for a large backpack and pair of boots), a spacious area to sleep in and plenty of head height so you can sit up comfortably. Our tallest tester, Jordan, who’s 191cm tall, found his head was just about touching the top mesh and said there was plenty of extra lengthways space when he was lying down. For two people, it’s a cosy fit but it’s certainly doable. You’ll just need to be happy to get quite close to the other person!