Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Zempire Aero TXL Air Tent - Experience-based review


I want to take time out of my usual garden and baking blogs to bestow upon you a little review of this product, based on personal experience.

About the tent
This is the largest of the inflatable tents that hail from Zempire, a company based in New Zealand and breaking into the UK market. The following is a quote (direct copy) about Zempire from their website:

"We [Zempire Camping Equipment] have now done extensive research on the specific requirements for international markets, such as the UK and Europe and have ensured our tents are designed specifically to withstand the rigours of the Northern Hemisphere weather extremes."

About us - the users
I am a carer for someone with mobility issues and other specific needs and I needed to be able to erect the tent - by myself.  With this in mind, this tent had to be able to accommodate both carer and the person being cared for, two separate bedrooms for a start, which is why this tent was the tent of choice. Space, two bedrooms and easy to put up.

What is to follow is my own, personal review of the tent, based on first hand experience.

The plus points:
  1. It is possible for one person to put this up with little or no assistance from a second person.
  2. It has two, generous sized bedrooms
The negative points:
  1. I'm guessing I should have realised there were going to be issues when the pump, supplied, didn't have its pressure gauge and the porch poles were missing! I had to borrow a pump with gauge to ensure the 7psi was reached.
  2. The two poles at the rear of the tent, even though pumped to the correct PSI, could not maintain their upright status and kept flopping all over the place.
  3. These two poles were deflated and re-inflated in order to reshape them - without success
  4. This left the two bedrooms unusable and a makeshift sleeping area had to be made in what was to have been the 'living room' at the centre of the tent.
  5. During the night, it leaked! Which I expected with it being a new tent. This instigated a 20 mile drive to purchase extra towels to place at the bottom of the poles where the water was pooling.
  6. When we arrived back we were welcomed by the inside of the centre air pole (see images below) that had burst out of its casing and also the zipped compartment that attached it to the tent. I undid the outer case and made an attempt to make a 'fix'.
  7. The pole front of centre (see below) had distorted in shape.  Little did I know that it had already burst out the its internal casing and was only being held in place by the casing of the tent material.
  8. Strange little tearing noises could be heard and before I knew it, this second pole burst out of its tent casing material and ripped at the side of the zipper whilst the zipper stayed zipped up.
  9. This now meant that it could not even have received a temporary fix
Centre air pole



Front of centre air pole distorted before bursting out of tent casing


Front of centre air pole whilst bursting out of tent casing


What happened next
  1. It was to late to pack it up and come home, but the person I was caring for needed somewhere to sleep so ...
  2. A B&B was needed for the night. But, alas, there was no room at the inn so to speak, therefore ...
  3. Another 20 mile trip ensued on a hunt for a replacement tent of any description. Found one and pitched beside the one we couldn't sleep in. This had turned out to be a most expensive weekend.
Two other air tents, that use the same system but by a different manufacturer withstood exactly the same weather conditions as this but maintained their structural integrity without any issues

In conclusion

I cannot give you a reason for this happening but this tent needs further work and research because, in my personal opinion, this tent at least was incapable of withstand the 'rigours of the Northern Hemisphere weather extremes', I'd go as far as to say it cannot withstand a gnat's fart!

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