I’ll admit I wasn’t entirely convinced by inflatable tents before our 3-week family camping trip to France and Spain. Running through my mind were endless questions – how do they work? What is an air tent?! How do you decided if you want a Berghaus Air 8, or some other tent? Surely poles are just as easy (and cheaper)? Are Berghaus tents any good?What if it gets punctured – won’t that be a faff to fix? Some might say I’m an overthinker, but if you’re investing in a tent that’s going to stand the test of family holidays, then it’s worth getting it right.
Air tents don’t come cheap, but the ease they’ve added to our family camping holidays is noticeable, and several campsites, pack-ups and tent adventures later, I’m a convert! If you’re in the market for a new tent or are considering the Berghaus 8 inflatable tent but need a bit more convincing, read my Berghaus air tent review.
*Disclaimer: This Berghaus Air tent review contains some affiliate links, any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you to help me keep this blog running – thanks.
What is an air tent?
First off, let’s just find out the fundamentals! What exactly is an air tent and why would you want one? Inflatable tents are exactly the same as an any other tent, except for one significant difference. In place of traditional metal, fibreglass or plastic poles traditional poles, the tent has inflatable beams, which can be pumped up to provide a sturdy structure.
How to put up a Berghaus Air 8 – is it easy?
It occurred to me that I should have recorded a stop motion video of us showing how to put up the Berghaus air 8, instead of arsing around and pretending that I had magic powers to summon the inflation on my video (see below)…it’s on my to do list! But basically, it’s very simple.
Like a normal tent, you roll it out, lay it flat on the ground and peg down the corners first. To pump up the tubes, you start at one end and work your way down.
There are five beams altogether and with our electric pump it took about 90 seconds per tube to pump up. Just attach the pump to each beam in turn and inflate to the specified pressure. As soon as you take away the pump, the pressure valve system keeps the air locked in, so there’s no scrabbling about to stop the air shooting out once the beam is full of air.
Then, simply peg out the luminous guy lines and your done – ready to stand back and admire your handiwork (preferably with a beverage!)
Do Berghaus Air tents come with a pump?
So, how to inflate Berghaus Air tent? The Berghaus Air 8 tent comes with a hand pump and pressure gauge making the inflation process quick and easy. There are no fiddly poles to speak of, just robust inflatable air beams which take minutes to blow up and are just as quick to deflate. If you’re using an electric pump (we do – this one from Decathlon is brilliant, and also works for our paddleboard), just make sure you’re within reach of an electrical point (i.e your car), then it’s even easier to put up the tent!
What should the Berghaus air tent pressure be?
The air pressure for the Berghaus Air 8 inflatable family tent should be between 4psi and 7psi.
How easy is it to take down the Berghaus Air 8 tent?
I’m not kidding when I say a five year old could do it – watch my video below to see our young daughter deflating the tent! It’s spring-loaded, so all she had to do was press the buttons on the quick release air valves, et voila! Simply repeat for all the beams.
Berghaus Air 8 interior
One huge noticeable timesaver was not having to fix an inner tent via loops and hooks to an external shell. The tent is a single unified component – the bedrooms and living space are pre-attached to the framework so there is no additional connecting or construction needed once you’ve blown up the tent.
The tent sleeps families or groups of up to 8 people and has 4-berth bedrooms at each end, with living space in the middle. It feels really spacious and you can stand up easily throughout.
We had a double bed in one bedroom and kid’s camping bunk beds in the other, which was a great space saver. It felt very big for four of us and would happily sleep 8 people. The bedrooms include a removable divider for additional privacy, and I hope one day that we’ll be able to use this for the addition of a portable toilet to our camping trips! There’s also a place to hang a lantern in the living area and in the bedrooms.
Inside Berghaus Air 8, there are plenty of storage pockets dotted all around the tent – a large organiser below the window, inside both bedrooms, outside both bedrooms and 5 pockets in the main living area – which is really handy for easily accessing toiletries, torches, kids’ paraphernalia and the like.
Instead of waking up sauna style, sweating and gasping for air, we found the tent really breathable. 185T polyester is used to prevent condensation and the bedrooms are darkened, so you don’t get that alarmingly bright 4am wake up call (unless your kids have other ideas). There are big windows in the main living area, which makes the tent light and bright during the day, and these are fitted with adjustable blinds for shade and extra privacy.
The tent is protected from the top and the bottom by way of a flysheet that has been seam sealed and fully taped, with a heavy duty groundsheet beneath (which our youngest tripped over without fail every time she entered or left the tent). It’s generously ventilated with high and low-level vents and meshed doors for improved airflow and condensation control, which can be easily sealed in the event of bad weather.
There is a zipped access point on both sides of the tent for an electrical hook up and the central beam is fitted with velcro cable routing to keep wires tidy and out of the way. There are also large doors at the front and rear for greater flexibility, and both are equipped with fly mesh inner doors to help manage the climate inside.
A rain brow above the door prevents fly sheet run-off from dripping inside the tent.
Tips for deflating the tent
Wrangle in a small child to assist! It’ll keep them busy and away from getting up to mischief while you’re trying to take down the tent!
- Unpeg and tie up the guy lines.
- Take off the door canopy first (with the only pole in the tent!)
- Unpeg rest of the tent, leaving the 4 corners still pegged down.
- Press the valves to deflate the beams in no particular order.
- We often got the kids to walk across the deflated beams to get as much air out as possible.
- Fold one side into the middle, then fold the two halves together.
- Roll it up slowly and expel any extra air by sitting on it as you go.
What about punctures?
One of my main concerns was how to repair Berghaus tent if we had a puncture. We didn’t have any during our 3-week camping trip, pitched on a variety of terrain, but the tent comes with a repair kit, just in case.
Are there any downsides?
I really love the Berghaus inflatable camping tent but if I had to think of a downside, I’d say that when it’s packed down, it is quite large and heavy (70lb when packed) – it took up half our car boot. But I think that’s quite standard for a large tent. We were really tight on space with three weeks of camping gear and this meant we had to be really strategic with our packing, despite the fact we had a roof box and a back box! However, the heavy duty carry bag that comes with the blow up Berghaus tent has wheels integrated onto the base to make it easy to manoeuvre.
As we had never planned to carry the tent ourselves – i.e, we are always going to have the car when we intend to use it, this doesn’t pose a problem. The Berghaus family tent is perfect for a few nights camping, several weeks of outdoor adventures, or if you fancy just pitching it in your garden a la lockdown.
Berghaus Air 8 vs 8.1
Since writing this Berghaus tent Air 8 review, based on our family camping experience of the blow up tent in 2019, Berghaus have updated the tent to what is known as the Berghaus 8.1 Nightfall tent. The air 8.1 nightfall tent was released in 2022 and improves on the Berghaus Air 8 with new Nightfall® blackout bedrooms. Using new Nightfall® blackout technology the tent comes with removable darkened bedrooms plus divider for peaceful sleep.
The tents are essentially the same (same footprint etc), but the 8.1 has the darker bedrooms. I have therefore linked to the Berghaus Air 8.1 nightfall in this post.
Where to buy the Berghaus Air 8 inflatable tent
You can often get a great deal (especially if you have a free membership card) from Go Outdoors. This is where we bought our tent and camping equipment from.
It’s worth considering the ‘Berghaus essential bundle‘, (which includes a lightweight, waterproof, insulating carpet) at the same time as your tent to save money.
Extras for the Berghaus Air 8 tent
For those wanting extra storage and living space, a Berghaus Air Tent Porch extension is also available. The Berghaus Air 8 porch dimensions are 345cm x 260cm x 215cm (pack size: 78 x 32cm), which basically adds an extra 9 squared metres of space and features the same rapid inflation system as the tent. The porch is designed to join seamlessly with all Berghaus Air tents.
If you’re after a slightly smaller tent, there are Berghaus Air 4 and Berghaus Air 6.1 versions available.
I’d also recommend getting a mat for outside the front porch to stop everyone traipsing mud and sand into the tent.
Future family camping adventures
The tent was a brilliant piece of new camping kit for us. Pitching time was dramatically reduced which was very welcome, especially on days where we had to pack down at one campsite and pitch at another. I loved not having to clip the inner tent to the outer shell each time too.
We had such a great camping holiday in the Berghaus Air 8 tent and can’t for our next family camping adventures!
Berghaus Air 8 tent size – stats lowdown
- Berghaus air 8 layout – 8 man tent – tunnel design with 2 pre-attached bedrooms and 1 spacious living room.
- Fully waterproof – 70 Denier flysheet with 6000mm Hydrostatic Head and fully taped seamed with a rain hood above the door to keep you and your belongings dry.
- Large windows – For extra light and visibility with polycotton curtains for privacy, designed with toggles for multiple height options.
- Side doors – One step-through and one C-shaped to prevent leaks and draughts.
- Fire retardant – Tested to the BS EN 5912 standard.
- Berghaus Air 8 tent dimensions: 215 x 750 x 300cm
- Pack size: 88 x 56 x 47cm
- Berghaus Air 8 Weight: 30kg
- Recommended tent pressure: between 4psi and 7psi – temperature and outdoor pressure can affect the pressure within the tube. Please note over inflation can cause the tubes to burst.
- Berghaus tent pump – included.
Final thoughts: Berghaus Air 8 review
We spent three weeks in the Berghaus 8 man blow up tent during our summer holidays in France and Spain and we look forward to many more years of family camping in it. As a family of 5 now, it’s definitely the most budget-friendly way to holiday and one of the most free and fun!
The Berghaus 8 person tent is excellent quality, was entirely waterproof when we had bad weather, is a great size for family camping and it’s easy to put up and get down.
Click here to see the latest prices of the Berghaus Air 8 Tent at Go Outdoors
If reading this Berghaus Air 8 tent review has got you in the camping mood, try the following for some holiday inspiration!
Camping San Sebastian, Spain: review Camping Bungalows Igueldo
Campsites on the Dordogne river: Camping le Capeyrou, Beynac France
Camping bunk beds for kids: Hi Gear Duo Bunk review
Camping in South West France; Review: Camping Cote d’Argent
angSeptember 9, 2020
I’ve just got an air4, what electric pump do you use and have you had to adapt it?
Angharad PaullSeptember 10, 2020
We use one that we got from Decathalon – https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/0-15psi-12v-15a-electric-pump-for-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards-and-kayaks/_/R-p-149019
Didn’t have to adapt it and we can also use for our paddleboards!
MeganNovember 2, 2022
Really clear review, thanks. I’m so tempted after seeing so many of these at a festival we went to. We’ve got a roof tent and awning for our van but I’m looking for a large tent for times we can’t take our vehicle on site like at a music festival. Stupid question but would you be able to pump with a hand pump?! And if so, is it easy to know when to stop? (My husband over inflated & popped our blow up mattress this year.) cheers.
Angharad PaullNovember 3, 2022
Thank you! And oh no re your husband and the mattress! You can definitely use a hand pump with the tent – it comes with one and a pressure gauge. The recommended pressure is between 4psi and 7psi, so as long as you keep within those markers on the pressure gauge, you should be fine.