Kelty Airpitch Tent: A Pole-Free Shelter You Pump Up


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It’s not the first inflatable tent, but it might be the most affordable and easiest to use.

By replacing traditional poles with inflatable “AirPoles,” Kelty’s family camping-sized shelters set up in under a minute with a dual-action floor pump, the kind you’d use to pump up an inflatable raft. The rainfly is pre-attached to the body of the tent, so there is no futzing with inner and outer layers.

Once it’s up and inflated, internal sleep room can be set up with a couple of clips, while oversized vestibules hold even a car-camping quantity of gear. And when you’re ready to break down, just pull the plug.

“As anyone who has ever been camping will tell you, setting up a tent—especially a larger tent—can be a time consuming headache,” said Sue Timbo, marketing director for Kelty. “AirPitch tents speed and simplify this process. And the 'poles' are stronger and more durable than traditional aluminum or fiberglass—they won’t bend, kink or break even in stormy weather.”

The Mach 4 has 50-plus square feet of internal and vestibule space with a peak height of more than six feet. An internal sleep room clips into the tent to create a double-walled private space. The Mach 6 has more space than most New York City apartments, with two separate sleep rooms, each with 49 square feet of floor space. A central vestibule has an additional 38 square feet of storage space with a peak height of more than six feet. The sleep rooms in both tents are removable. Available spring 2013, $389 (four person), $499 (six person);

—Berne Broudy