Highlights from the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show 2017
On arrival at the NEC we headed straight for all 5, which was packed full of camping goodies and tents as far as the eye could see. Once again, the focus this year was on showing larger family tents and there were more infltable tents on display than ever, proving that far from being a short-lived fad, inflatable tents are here to stay.
As usual our focus is on tents and camping accesories, but we’ve also included some caravans and trailers that we liked the look of too.
Read on for some of our highlights from this year’s show.
As far as inflatable tents go, we particularly liked the continuous single-tube design of the Outdoor Revolution Inspiral 5 which makes inflation of the tent incredibly fast. Well known for their awnings, Outdoor Revolution made the move into manufacturing tents around 5 years ago, and since then, their tents have all been designed firmly around the needs of their customers.
There were a good selection of tents from Royal in display, including the massive Royal Brisbane 8, a traditional tunnel tent shown below with additional awning.
We also liked the look of the Royal Air 4 berth tent below, a great size for touring.
The focus for Outwell this year is very much on increased comfort, an ethos evident in new features such as extra large sleeping compartments with cable entry points and Night Sky ceilings. The Outwell Vermont 6E 2017 is a spacious 3 room tunnel tent that features an impressive 6,000mm hydrostatic head, taped seams and has light but sturdy steel poles.
When it comes to inflatble family tents, the Outwell Smart Air Polyester Collection is a market leader. The award winning Montana 6SA has been updated for 2017 and is just one of the models featuring one-go inflation technology, and also includes the newly enlarged master bedroom. When paired with the awning, families benefit from an enormous amount of living space, making the Montana 6SA a great choice for long camping holidays.
Outwell Sleeping Solutions
I must admit to having slightly fallen in love with the Outwell Dreamboat 7.5cm XL SIM shown below, it’s a brilliant piece of kit. I’ve genuinely never tired a SIM that’s so comfortable. Thanks to it’s innovative one-way valve system, inflation and adjusting the mat to your preferred level of firmness is a cinch.
I also really liked the comfort provided by the Outwell Single Deepsleep XL SIM. At a lower price point than the Dreamboat, it features the new Air Flow Control Valve for fast and easy inflation and deflation, and it provides great cushioning and support.
It was nice to see thought being put into new camping products aimed at kids too. We loved the fact that the new sleeping bags (below) come with little extras like a torch and a smart carry bag, with extra room to carry secret sleeover stuff. Too cute! Check out the Outwell Batboy Sleeping bag below. There’s also a matching Batboy Sleeping SIM and pillow, and for girls there’s the Butterfly Girl Sleeping bag, with matching Butterfly Girl SIM and pillow.
Outwell Camping Acessories
The Outwell Padres XL Camp Kitchen shown below features a bamboo worktop, which not only looks beautiful but is practical too. There’s ample storage space, and it’s super quick to put up.
Continuing the bamboo theme, we loved Outwell Kimblerley round side table below, which folds flat, is light and is easily transportable.
The Outwell Grand Canyon shown below is an ergonomic camping chair, made from padded mesh fabric. It dries quickly and and can cope with a maximum load of 150kg.
The aluminium Outwell Kelowna Folding Table shown below looks stylish, is easily portable and it also cleverly extends, making it super versatile.
Check out the clever Outwell Pine Hills Junior Chair below, it’s increased height means that your little one can sit at the same height as everyone else around the dining table.
The Outwell Drayton Camp Kitchen is always a strong seller, and it’s easy to see why. We’re big fans of camp furniture in general and think a decent camp kitchen is a must for family campers.
We’ve had our eye on the enormous Vango Maritsa tent for a few years, though this was the first time seeing the award winning Vango Maritsa 600 XL Airbeam version. It’s a very spacious family tent with multiple doors and 3 bedrooms and an enclosed porch. Thanks to the Airbeam system, despite it’s size, the tent pitches in just 12 minutes.
If you’re looking for a traditional pole tent, or fancy something even bigger, the Vango Claremont 800 XL could be for you; it’s positively enormous. There are three bedroom compartments and a fourth that can be easily removed should the already huge living area not be large enough, whilst the pre-attached front awning provides even more space. Part of the new Exceed Plus Collection, the Claremont features 150D, 5,000mm fabric which is highly waterproof and hardwearing.
We were once again wowed this year by the quality of Zempire Camping Equipment tents. Designed and manufacturered in New Zealand, Zempire has gained a reputation for creating innovative and high quality products. The Delta Force is a huge 3 room canvas, inflatable tent, with pre-attached porch.
This year Opus have launched a fantastic self-inflating trailor tent, the Air Opus Camp Trailer. The interior finish is stunning and it inflates in seconds.
Kid O Bunk
After seeing these camping bunkbeds all over Pinterest last year, it was great to get to see one close up. We found out that there’s even an adult version (used by the US military) which is called the Cam-O-Bunk. The kids version is extremely sturdy, and easily converts from a bunk bed into two single beds and even into a sofa – kids will absolutely love the Kid-O-Bunk.
There were very few smaller tents on display, with manufacturers choosing to show their most popular family models and larger show-stoppers, so this Kampa Brean 3 pole tent was one of only a handful of smaller touring tents we spotted.
We liked the funky colours and found the Kampa Tub Chairs much comfier than traditional camp chairs.
We also liked the look of this clever little Zempire Rechargable Lantern Torch combo.
Active & Outdoors
It was great to see an increased focus on outdoor activities at the show this year, and we had a good chat to Red Paddle Co
For little ones, as well as spotting a bushcrafting demo there was also a free climbing wall, provided by North Wales Active.
Inflatable Paddle Boards from Red Paddle Co
Solving the storage and transportation issue that owning an SUP can present, Red Paddle Co use innovative technology and advanced construction techniques to build inflatable paddle boards that are more easily transported.
The boards are surprisingly rigid and the Ride shown above, is the world’s most popular inflatable SUP. Quickly inflated, the board and paddle packs down into a medium suitcase sized carry bag, shown below.
Watersports World UK
An inflatable kayak is one of the things on our wishlist for this year, and the show deals on offer from Watersports World UK were very tempting indeed. Deals included a Z-Pro Tango 200 Kayak including paddles and pump for £349.
Caravans & Motorhomes
These gorgeous little Barefoot caravans now come ‘naked’ so you can design any interior that you like. We saw them last year at the show and loved their cute retro styling.
The Silver Camp Mini 270 is the most adorable tiny little caravan, with a pop-up top it eptomises company and bijou.
The Elddis Avante 586 caravan is an award winning caravan that packs an awful lot into the space. With a fresh and neautral interior and all the comforts of home, it’s a real stunner.
It was another fantastic show and a superb day out. If you are thinking of upgrading your tent or camping equipment the show is an absolute must and we look forward to seeing some of you there again next year!
Visit the official show website.