The Vango AirBeam Tent is a large-sized family tent, capable of sleeping a family of six while simultaneously holding all their stuff… or so they say.
We took a more in-depth look at the Odyssey AirBeam 600 to see if it really does do all it says it will. We will try our best to provide an unbiased look into this tent, to find out whether or not it is worth your time.
AirBeam Tent Key Takeaways of the Vango Odyssey
- Incredibly easy to put up.
- Performs brilliantly as a waterproof tent.
- Gives you the best chance possible at a great sleep.
- It is slow to deflate and pack away.
- It doesn’t come with a sun canopy.
- There are only two rooms. In a normal 6 person tent, we would expect three.
A Bit About Branding
Vango isn’t incredibly well known in the tent-making industry, despite a background of around 50 years of experience. This can (perhaps) be put down to their specialization: inflatable tents. This is probably also because they are a Scottish company, and the Scots tend to lack the same advertising opportunities that some of the bigger brands have.
Based out of their production facilities in Inverclyde, Vango has been making tents since England won the World Cup in ’66. Their boss was from Govan, and their company name is an anagram of this.
One of their most famous products was the ‘Vango Force 10 Tent’, a bright orange number capable of withstanding gale-force winds up to force 10… or so they claimed. We doubt any tent could withstand gale force of 10: but we do admire their bravado.
The Tents that Inflate!
Vango famously captured the hearts and minds of the inflatable tent market back in 2011. Their first AirBeam tent took five minutes to fully erect and could house a family of five. The Odyssey is a step up from this at six-berth. If you need a tent for a family holiday and you hate poles and strings then this might be the tent you have been praying for.
Vango AirBeams work by inflation. This means that any reputable sale of this range of tent will come with a pump. If it doesn’t come with a pump then don’t purchase… you may be getting ripped off. Besides anything else, there is a high chance that you won’t get your tent to go up without one!
The Vango AirBeam 600 Inflatable in Detail
So let’s take a look at this particular model by Vango and see how it performs on a usability level.
Erecting the Vango AirBeam 600
One of the best things about the Vango AirBeam range is the speed. When you are camping you start off thinking it is a brilliant idea. Within twenty minutes of setting off you realise what a horrible mistake you have made. After two hours driving and a half-dozen toilet breaks you have three angry kids and a hyper dog to worry about… so setting up the tent is usually a pretty frustrating affair.
The AirBeam takes away that stress. It means you can draw up to the campsite, unpack the tent and hook up the pump. You wait no more than ten minutes and your tent is ready for you to move into for a few days.
When it comes to ease of use the Vango AirBeam tent 600 scores a solid ten out of ten. The best thing about it is the lack of poles. It’s truly outstanding in this category.
Space in the Vango Inflatable tent
There is plenty of room in the Vango. You can put two adults in one of the two rooms and pile the kids into the other. The two rooms are side by side and connected with a communal area that is big enough to store all your camping gear. This area is perfect for the table, the stove, the camping chairs, and everything else you want to keep out of the rain. Just remember to open the windows id you are cooking though, you don’t want to gas yourself!
What About Sleeping?
In terms of comfort, you will be hard pushed to find a tent that caters to your every need. What the AirBeam 600 does do, however, is to provide black-out technology on the inner sleeve of their tents. This means that the inside of the rooms in a Vango is always black. This deep black allows you to sleep late if you want to and even helps keep the heat in on the coldest of nights.
The communal part of the tent has ‘diamond clear’ technology on the windows so you still have outside light if you need it. They also thoughtfully placed lantern hanging loops to make sure you aren’t left in the dark.
We actually love the sleep features in this tent. It’s spacious, thoughtful, and easy to rest. It is also very hard to find your phone but that is a sacrifice we are willing to make.
Waterproofing in the Vango 600 AirBeam Inflatable Tent
The Vango Odyssey Air 600 is waterproof to 4000mms. This is actually pretty excellent when you compare it to other tents of similar prices.
A waterproof rating of 4k means that 4000 mm of water pressure has to bear down on the tent before anything gets wet. It is typically recommended that an English summer tent be capable of withstanding 2000 mm, so 4000 is already twice what you are likely to need.
…Remember these tents were made in Scotland, where the typical rain level is much greater. The Vango performs so well in this category it blows all competition out of the water.
Added Extras in the Vango
So what about the added extras? Does the Vango AirBeam tent come with a sun canopy? Do it does not… though you can always tie the doors up.
Does it have storage pockets? Yes, it does. Is it easy to get back into the bag? Sort of… one area where this tent does let us down a little bit is in the packing away. The tent definitely fits into the bag with plenty of space left over – but only if it is properly deflated. There isn’t really a way to speed up the deflation process either. This makes waiting for it to deflate in the rain heaps of fun…
In loads of categories, the Vango scores highly. If you are likely to need to pack and run in a hurry? We think maybe try something a little less inflatable. It’s so good that Tent Hub voted it one of their top inflatables for camping… but what do you think?