Inflatable RTT

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DRAX

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I'm always a bit leery of inflatable anything aside from self-inflating mattresses which are worth the risk. Just imagine a tree branch poking a hole or accidentally pinching one of the tubes during take-down and then you don't have a tent anymore until you search for the leak. Finding leaks sucks.

Cool in theory, though. I just couldn't bring myself to buy one regardless of price.
 

El-Dracho

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In the last few years, inflatable ground tents have appeared on the market from time to time. Actually, it's an interesting concept. Inflatable versions also work very well in other areas of outdoor products such as with canoes, for example. I own an inflatable canoe since some years and it is really robust and stable.

But somehow the inflatable design hasn't caught on with tents yet. Let's see how it develops. In any case, it's a design worth considering from my point of view!
 

Boucher

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In the last few years, inflatable ground tents have appeared on the market from time to time. Actually, it's an interesting concept. Inflatable versions also work very well in other areas of outdoor products such as with canoes, for example. I own an inflatable canoe since some years and it is really robust and stable.

But somehow the inflatable design hasn't caught on with tents yet. Let's see how it develops. In any case, it's a design worth considering from my point of view!
I don't own one but have seen some of the bladder test the seem to make them pretty tough for the near term, but as they get older I wonder how those bladders will hold up to sun damage and the continually inflating and deflating. I also can't figure out the price justification for the price they are asking for that RTT, Guess cause a new cool air feature.
 
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MazeVX

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Need to say something more... I have a bit of experience with inflatable tents, wanted to order one but chose another but that had nothing to do with inflatable. I bought a solid quality tent with aluminum poles, one of them broke, mild temperatures and no wind, almost irreparable. Good it happened at home while drying.
Repairing a hole in the air hose is actually many times easier than repairing a aluminum tent pole...
I friend of mine uses a high quality inflatable tent from "heimplanet" for about 3 years now, and actually never had a "flat" the same can be heard from others, so it is doable.

The price:
Well there we have it, if you name it rooftop tent the price will automatically quadruple or worse. Most rtt are very simple, mediocre quality, heavy as hell and the manufacturer or reseller get rich with it. That's the sad truth after 3 years of research and uncountable amount of appraised rtt's.
I actually found 1 (yes one...) rtt that actually uses technology from expedition tents to shave of effectively 20kg/44lbs and is reasonably priced compared to other rtt's and I'm planning to buy one when I recovered a bit financially from the horrible last year...

The point is, lesser weight is worth paying more but it's not worth paying 4 times as much as a high end expedition tent.
 

El-Dracho

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Good point!

The question of resistance to environmental influences and especially uv-raditation is very important. Of course, this depends on the materials used. I know from boats that pvc, for example, is not particularly resistant to uv over the long term. However, there are synthetic rubbers with very good uv resistance.

Exactly, and then the question of how the increased pressure works in sunlight. Some of the boats have pressure relief valves for this purpose. But they should not be stored in the sun, not even for a short time. It's better to let off some air when not in use and then fill them up again later to avoid damage. I don't know how it is with the tents. Maybe also a pressure regulation valve? But then it would have to be pumped up again later...
 

El-Dracho

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The price:
Well there we have it, if you name it rooftop tent the price will automatically quadruple or worse. Most rtt are very simple, mediocre quality, heavy as hell and the manufacturer or reseller get rich with it. That's the sad truth after 3 years of research and uncountable amount of appraised rtt's.
I actually found 1 (yes one...) rtt that actually uses technology from expedition tents to shave of effectively 20kg/44lbs and is reasonably priced compared to other rtt's and I'm planning to buy one when I recovered a bit financially from the horrible last year...

The point is, lesser weight is worth paying more but it's not worth paying 4 times as much as a high end expedition tent.
I agree. Many of the RTTs are not worth the price. It´s just because it´s a kind of trend. At least here in Germany you can see RTTs on every type of car now and plenty of them, everywhere, everytime, not a single day I see not a lot of them. But if I were to buy a RTT, I would think very carefully about what I actually need to fullfil my individual needs. For example, I have used quite expensive ground tents for the last few years when I was traveling with ground tents. Simply because I had to rely 100% on them. So if I had this requirement for an RTT, it would probably also be a more expensive one. This is dependent on the requirements of each individual and general advice cannot be given here.

So the lightweight RTT you are talking about is that Peter and his team developed and we saw the kind of prototype last year at his shop, right?
 
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MazeVX

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I agree. Many of the RTTs are not worth the price. It´s just because it´s a kind of trend. At least here in Germany you can see RTTs on every type of car now and plenty of them, everywhere, everytime, not a single day I see not a lot of them. But if I were to buy a RTT, I would think very carefully about what I actually need to fullfil my individual needs. For example, I have used quite expensive ground tents for the last few years when I was traveling with ground tents. Simply because I had to rely 100% on them. So if I had this requirement for an RTT, it would probably also be a more expensive one. This is dependent on the requirements of each individual and general advice cannot be given here.

So the lightweight RTT you are talking about is that Peter and his team developed and we saw the kind of prototype last year at his shop, right?
Yes, we are pretty much sold to the nakatanenga lightweight, I'm sure it will last long.
UV resistance sure is a point but in reality I don't see it critical for a rtt, most of the time it will be covered during the day and it will be very unusual for it to be set up the whole day. That's also a point that he was taking into consideration with the prototype.
With the newer tent materials it's not much of a problem anymore. The old school polycotton fabric thats often used is much more sensitive as far as I know.

Talking inflatable stuff... So the bottom is made with the same technique as a airtrack mat or a sup board. At least airtrack mats can withstand the sun without problems with the pressure.
I know that some guys went through Morocco with a heimplanet tent and had it set up at different Basecamps for several days without problems.
Heimplanet is very responsive so I guess they would answer a email.

Gentle Tent is most famous for their Bus extension tents that are known to stay in the sun for extended periods of time and I heard no problems.

Overall I believe the technology is proven and trustworthy.
 
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