More and more people are buying huge tents containing acres of space. This is a real change from when I started out camping back in the early 1990s – then it was all about taking as little gear with you as possible – now it’s about building mini-empires on site!
We recently published a roundup of great family tents and set ourselves an upper limit of 6-person tents to provide a big enough space for the standard UK family of 4 or 5 people. However, on our most recent campsite visits, it was clear that many families are extending well beyond that with 8+ person tents – for example using trendy glamping Bell tents.
With all that space available, the option to bring along some luxury furniture is often too good to resist. If you are likely to have friends visiting your tent for drinks or there are a few of you camping together then a huge inflatable air sofa is a fantastic bit of kit for social gatherings. They are doubly good for just chilling out.
So what are the features of the best inflatable sofas?
Small pack size when deflated – inflatables can fold up extremely small when not being used considering the size of sofa on offer – let’s face it, there’s no way you could transport a real couch to the campsite unless you hire a Luton van!
They are exceedingly comfortable – some people even use blow up couches in their homes as substitutes for real sofas.
Opportunities for punctures are low if you make sure there are no sharp stones underneath your tent. A thick groundsheet or rug/carpet in your tent can normally help protect the underside of the sofa too. Just don’t jump on them when you sit down!
They are flexible – some of the best blow up settees can be reconfigured into beds for nighttime sleeping. We have found this useful because I’m a snorer. My wife Ali and daughter Loz often sleep in the campervan, and I use the inflatable sofa in our awning. Don’t tell them but it’s actually comfier than the campervan bed!
Use a blow up couch outside on a sunny day – you can drag them outside and recline in the sun – they can even replace standard folding camping chairs if care is taken against puncture risk.