Should I buy a traditional Lotus Belle tent or a Lotus Belle air tent?
When it comes to outdoor adventures and camping, having a reliable and comfortable accommodation that works for your needs is essential. The choice between pole tents and air tents can be a significant decision that can impact your camping experience. Before we go any further, please be reassured that whatever model of Lotus Belle tent you choose, it will be made of the highest quality canvas and our after care customer service is known for its support!
Both pole and air tent options have their own set of advantages, catering to different preferences and needs. In this blog, we'll delve a little into the features, benefits, and any quirks of pole tents and air tents to help you make an informed decision for your next glamping investment
Pole Tents: Time-Tested Tradition
Pole tents, also known as traditional tents, have been the go-to choice for glampers for decades. These tents are constructed with a framework of curved steel poles that provide structural support and shape to the tent. The poles form almost like "ribs" within the wall canvas, giving the shape and structure to the Lotus. This allows for additional space and a firm structure..
Here are some key aspects of pole tents:
1. Sturdy Construction: Pole tents are a time-tested design. The pole framework provides excellent stability, making them suitable for various weather conditions. We’ve seen many a Lotus Belle handle snow storms and thunder and lightning with ease. Our tents are tested to industry standard (49mph). We have had customers in their Lotus Belles in stronger winds, but this is not something we would recommend!
2. Roof Options: We’re the originators of the stargazer style roof, which is only available as a pole tent roof option. And it’s iconic to see and to sleep in, even if we do say so ourselves.
3. Durability: Properly maintained pole tents can withstand prolonged use and exposure to the elements, making them a reliable investment for frequent campers. We have customers who still have our original designs and they are going strong!
1. Setup Complexity: Setting up a pole tent can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming in the beginning compared to modern alternatives. Your mileage will vary depending on if you have assistance, and if you’ve read the instructions of course.
You can make your pitching / breakdown experience MUCH easier using one of our banana bags, which makes packing down and putting up a ton simpler. The wall simply concertinas into the bag, with poles and all in place.
2. Weight and Bulk: Due to their structural components, pole tents tend to be heavier and bulkier when packed, which could be something to bear in mind for trips with limited storage space. However, their groundsheet, wall and roof are all separate pieces, which makes it easier for packing and transport.
Air Tents: Inflatable Innovation
Air tents are a more recent innovation in the glamping world. These tents eliminate the need for traditional poles by using Air Beam technology (inflatable tubes filled with air), to provide structural support. Truly, we’re living in the future. Here's what you need to know about air tents:
1. Quick Setup: One of the most significant advantages of air tents is their rapid setup. Inflating the tent's tubes using a pump can significantly reduce the time and effort required to pitch the tent. More time to find the tea making kit? Yes please.
2. Spacial Versatility: No Centre Pole - this makes the interior design of the tent more versatile as you don't need to work around the centre pole.
3. Affordability: Our Lotus Belle Air Bud is the most affordable of our models with the same high quality components and craftsmanship. We’ve been warned it’s the gateway drug into building a substantial Lotus Belle collection. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. Puncture Risk: All our air tents are designed with durable materials, but we must acknowledge there is still a potential risk of punctures or leaks in the inflatable tubes, which could compromise the tent's structure. Please be reassured that the air tubes are encased by a super-thick zip-open sleeve, so the risk of anything happening to the inner tube is at a minimum. (If you’re still concerned, ask us about the best puncture repair kit to travel with!)
2. Limited Space: We can only guarantee you can comfortably sleep up to 3 in our smallest air tent. Which is still very roomy - but you must remember that we go up to a Lotus Mahal in our pole tents, which is enough to house a small village.
Choosing the Right Tent for You
Ultimately, the choice between a pole tent and an air tent depends on your specific camping preferences and needs. Consider factors such as the type of glamping you'll be doing, the size of your group, the weather conditions you're likely to encounter, and your personal preferences. Whichever option you choose, both pole tents and air tents offer unique glamping experiences that can contribute to memorable outdoor adventures.
Take advantage of our free tool to help you decide here
The images for this blog were shared by Glow Camping on Insatgram.