Almost a year ago now, we bought our first proper tent. Before then, we’d made do with little pup tents – which are fine for the odd night away or a weekend in the summer, but not practical when camping as a family and for longer periods. We excitedly went along to the Caravan and Camping Show at the NEC and came home with our Kampa Paloma 5 Air tent.
Kampa Paloma 5 Air Tent
Finding the Paloma 5 Air tent felt like we’d stumbled upon the perfect tent for us. On paper, it ticked all the boxes we could have hoped for, and it was just on the cusp of our budget.
- Air poles for quick pitching
- Large inside living space
- Porch entrance with a canopy extension
- Bedroom area that can be kept as one large room or split into two
- Plenty of windows to create a light and airy living space
We used the tent in a variety of situations last year: for a Bank Holiday weekend away, for a couple of festivals (Timber Festival with Pickle, and Cornbury Festival without him), and a longer summer holiday in Cornwall. As I start to plan our trips away for this year, it felt right to have a look back and see if the reality of using our Kampa Paloma 5 Air met our expectations.
Air Poles for Quick Pitching
We didn’t set out to buy an air pole tent, mistakenly thinking they would all be out of our price range, so we felt pretty posh when we walked away with one – excited about the promise of quick pitching. But did it actually save us a lot of time?
The answer is yes and no. The benefits of the air poles meant I could pretty much pitch the tent on my own – whilst Little Pickle’s Dad kept Pickle occupied by exploring the campsite or, in the case of the festivals, made several trips to and from the car with the rest of our gear.
Pitching it on my own did mean it took just as long to pitch but if LPD had been helping too – it would have definitely been quicker. And ultimately, it did save us time as it meant between us we were multitasking.
On our last trip, we did have some issues with our manual pump. I’m not sure if it was user-error or whether manual pumps are just not that robust, but our pump basically fell apart leaving us without a way to inflate our tent! Cue a lot of muttered swearing and panic as we faced the prospect of literally sleeping under the stars… Thankfully, our next-tent-neighbours heard our plight and offered to lend us their electric pump. With that, we were sold. The electric pump made pitching the tent even easier, and buying one has been on our to-do list ever since.
For anyone wondering just how sturdy air poles are – let me tell you, they’re pretty impressive! It’s a clever feat of engineering, and despite my worries that we’d be blown away by the smallest gust of wind, this tent has been the sturdiest I’ve ever stayed in. There didn’t seem to be as much of that scary ‘flapping’ sound that I’ve experienced during turbulent weather in the past.
Large Indoor Living Space
Over the last couple of years, we’ve accumulated a fair amount of camping furniture – a decent sized kitchen unit for our double gas burner to sit on, a table that has two compartments underneath we use as a larder, two XL Kampa chairs and a variety of toddler chairs and rugs for Pickle.
Being able to put all of these inside our living space in the tent, whilst still having room to run around and to accommodate the piles of belongings that miraculously accumulate over the course of a weekend is brilliant. It means we’re set whatever the weather, and I’ve been glad for the added peace of mind.
The only time our spacious tent felt superfluous was at Cornbury Festival. We’d streamlined the belongings we took to save numerous trips from the car to the camping pitch, and with just two of us, the tent felt palatial.
Porch entrance with added Canopy
There is absolutely nothing I love more, than sitting drinking a cup of tea sat underneath our porch first thing in the morning. I don’t know why, but cups of tea always taste so much better when drank outside.
Being able to add on the additional canopy just gives a bit of extra space for us – a chance for some more shade during the summer, and a bigger shelter from the rain during showers. It particularly came in useful during Pickle’s nap times when we were in Cornwall. He slept safely and soundly on his SnuggleSac, in the welcome cool shade during the heat of the midday sun which made having a nap inside impossible.
High Waterproof Rating
Wanting a large indoor living space was a requirement for us having experienced the mixed weather of UK holidays over the past three decades. However, thank the weather Gods, we’ve been blessed with some wonderfully dry weather during our 2018 trips – which was a welcome change from our almost-washed-out trip to Wales the year before.
We did camp through some downpours – including a thunderstorm – during our Bank Holiday getaway to Hogsdown Farm, Gloucestershire last May. It was our first trip in our Kampa tent, and we anxiously watched the roof with baited breath… But hurrah! All was fine! We had some water pool on the top of the tent (which says more about mistakes we made when pitching the tent rather than the design of it), but no leaks and nothing to worry about.
As to be expected, the tent is much bigger when packed away than our little previous pup tents. It takes up a fair amount of room in the car (there’s no way we could ever go camping in my car, we definitely need the room of LPD’s Honda CRV) and it’s really quite heavy to move. Ordinarily, that’s not a problem on normal campsites, but we felt the weight of every ounce having to haul it from the car to pitch during our festival breaks. I think that’s par for the course with large family tents though, so not a disadvantage of this particular model – just something that comes with the territory.
Was the Kampa Paloma 5 Air tent right for us?
Absolutely. This tent was perfect for us last year, and I can see it continuing to be perfect for us over the next few years too. For the price we paid (around £400 from memory), it’s already been worth the expense and we’ll have lots more holidays to enjoy in the future.
All that’s left is to book more adventures!
Disclaimer: Just so that this is abundantly clear, we paid for this Kampa Paloma 5 Air tent ourselves, and are under no obligation to write this review. We did receive a small discount when further purchasing a Kampa footprint.