The phrase ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ comes to mind when people ask me to describe the Berghaus Air Tent. 70mph winds, horizontal rain, golf-ball sized hail and heavy snowfall were all on the agenda for my epic five-day camping adventure in County Durham and The Lake District, and I’m surprised to say the tent survived these brutal conditions, and so did I.
I'm Jack from Millets HQ: here’s my first impressions of the Berghaus Air 4 Tent and how it stood up to Mother Nature’s worst.
Many told me I was crazy to go camping so early in the year, and even more so when I told them my tent of choice. I was on the lookout for a spacious tent to replace my Vango Beta 550XL and decided to purchase something from the exclusive Berghaus Air Tent Collection. I’d heard great things about the revolutionary air tube pitching system and really liked the classic Berghaus colours so after checking the tent out in store I took the plunge and ordered the smallest offering in the range, the Air 4.
As a Scout leader and someone who regularly holidays in the UK under canvas, I felt that the Air 4 would give me the comfort, headroom and space I needed. The Air 4 is primarily designed for small families and couples looking for a spacious tent that is easy to pitch and will bring a touch of luxury to the campsite.
When the tent arrived it was a little larger than I expected, but because there are no poles I found the tent to be surprisingly light and therefore it was easy to lift in and out of the car using the strong handles on the carry bag. The bag also has wheels which is a handy feature.
After an initial tester pitch in my friend's garden the week before, I set off for Barnard Castle Camping & Caravanning Club Campsite in County Durham. On arrival I was told ‘…you do know we had 70mph winds last night don’t you?’ and ‘…I hope you’ve brought some extra pegs with you…’ After this great confidence booster, I set about finding a sheltered pitch to inflate my tent. I must admit I was a little apprehensive about pitting an inflatable tent against 70mph winds but there was no going back so I made the most of a dry spell and laid out my tent footprint.
The innovative air tube system made erecting the tent so quick and simple. The Air 4 has three inflatable air beams which each feature an integrated inflation valve. To inflate you simply push the valve once so it is open, attach the included high pressure foot pump which twists securely into the valve, and then begin to pump. To my amazement (and the rest of the campsite who came over to watch) each beam went up in a matter of seconds. These spring loaded, quick release air valves are also used for deflating the tent; simply press each valve once and stand back to watch the tent drop effortlessly. This was a great feature for a quick tent strike when I moved on to the National Trust’s Great Langdale Campsite in The Lake District.
Throughout my entire camping trip, the air beams remained stable and strong whatever the weather. The worst, and most unexpected weather arrived on my last night camping when heavy snow was dumped across the campsite. The snow to my surprise collected on the roof of the tent and the weight of the snowdrift depressed the beams to the floor, something I have never experienced before, (and might I add wouldn’t rush to experience again). Despite this, once I’d pushed the snow off the tent the air beams simply stood back up. It is very likely that if I have been camping in a tent with standard fibreglass poles, that the weight of the snow would have broken the poles so I was glad to be sleeping under this inflatable alternative. Remember - I’ve tested the Berghaus Air 4 against heavy snow so you don’t have to (mainly because you’ll likely camp at a more appropriate time of the season).
My favourite feature of the Berghaus Air Range is the integrated rain shelter entrance to the side which kept the weather out of the tent throughout my trip. The sewn-in groundsheet was also fantastic as it completely sealed the tent from front to back, extending underneath the sleeping compartment for total protection against wind, rain and mud.
The large windows to the front and sides of the porch create a light and airy space in which to relax while convenient pockets below the side window and throughout the inner tent are ideal for stashing your essentials. The four corner stakes make securing the tent so simple and I’m a big fan of the Berghaus blue fabric colour which contrasts well with the luminous guylines and yellow sections which bring a vibrant pop to the overall design. The fact that the inner tent is so easy to remove and clip-in was a real bonus. For those who have devices that need juice there is a handy zipped electric hook up port which allows you to bring mains power into your tent.
So how did the Berghaus Air fare over my five-day camping trip? Well the answer is brilliantly! Both myself and my brother agreed that the weather conditions were terrible, yet the Air 4 took everything in its stride.
How could the Berghaus Air 4 be improved? Well I feel the rain shelter which currently is held up with a fibreglass pole would have dealt with the challenging conditions better if it was replaced with an inflatable beam. This is something that the design team has included in the design of the new Berghaus 6XL Air Tent.
The Berghaus Air 4 for me was the perfect home from home for this trip. An inflatable Air Porch is also available which I am very temped by to complete my set up. With the Berghaus Air 4 Tent having survived rain, wind, hail and snow, you can be confident that the Air Tent will more than meet your camping needs throughout spring, summer and early autumn. It truly is a tent for the unexpected!
Has Jack’s review tempted you? The Berghaus Air 4 is exclusive to millets as part of our Berghaus Air Tent Collection. Available to order online or in store now, choose from the Air 4, 6, 8, Air Porch, or new 6XL now.
And don’t forget, you can get involved with our ‘Home From Home’ campaign! Simply share your camping and caravanning pictures on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter now and tag them using the #homefromhome hashtag.