THE INFLATABLE STORY............ PUMPPUMPPUMP IT UP!

As explained by our very own camping mad Justine Smith ........... follow her firsthand experiences and impressions as she tried our inflatable tents, for the first time, not long after joining the Zempire Team.


"They are unbelievably solid!"

The first thing you will notice about the tubes in a Zempire inflatable tent is that they are much bigger than any traditional tent pole, and the moulded tube, once fully inflated, is unbelievably solid! If you’re anything like me, you are left questioning any preconceived ideas you may have had........... and if your children eagerly thought the tent may resemble a bouncy castle, they will not only be disappointed, but very sore should they try and bounce on these poles!

The idea behind the inflatable tent is not new and has been around since the 1930’s. Back then they did somewhat resemble a bouncy castle though and the poles were similar to a fire hose. The technology has come a long way since then and our Zempire team have taken it to the next level working over many years to ensure its designed to withstand everything the world's climate can throw at it, within sensible camping reason! The tubes themselves are now the same durability of those you see in a daredevil kite surfers’ equipment. Not sure if you have ever watched a kite surfer but your tent is never going to receive that kind of treatment, even in the worst of weather conditions.  

Aside from the fact, the tube is almost indestructible it is protected fiercely. Encased first in a 2-layer zipped protective casing, which is then also zipped into the glove like pocket within your tent. It’s like ‘Fort Knox’ to get to but importantly should you need to replace the tubes at any time you can. Needless to say, getting a puncture is pretty unlikely and would be like getting a prickle through your jandal whilst playing backyard cricket. To translate a jandal is the kiwi term for flip-flop or rubber sandal.

So here is the fun part, you turn up to your campsite potentially all ‘new camper nerves’ or possibly ‘experienced camper excitement’ but either way when you first arrive the adrenalin levels are high. Nobody ever wants to look like the guy (or girl in this case) who can’t put up their tent. No problem….. it is actually difficult to make this look anything outside of a breeze!!

STEP 1 – Get your tent out the bag

STEP 2 – Lay it out flat and peg down the outer corners

STEP 3 – Attached your pump to the applicable valve/s

STEP 4 – Start pumping! It will pop up before your eyes, and if a small amount of encouragement is required to get the final lift it really is just small!

STEP 5 – Finish knocking in the remaining pegs

STEP 6 – Peg out your guy ropes 

STEP 7 – Roll up your windows and doors and admire your handiwork

It’s at this point I generally grab a chair and have a celebratory cold beverage. The bedding and furniture can wait, and because this process probably took a total of 20 minutes there is now plenty of time for that later! You’ll need to stop to chat to all the intrigued audience members anyhow, so you may as well have a refreshment in hand.

As the sun goes down and the night sets in, often as campers, we like to double check our set-up just in case there’s unforeseen weather in the night. Even though your Zempire inflatable tent doesn’t seem like it needs the guy ropes they do provide that extra piece of mind and support should the wind get up. You can also add a bit of extra air to your tubes if you wish, normally we suggest between 7-9PSI depending on conditions. In the wind 9PSI is plenty and your handy pressure gauge on your included pump helps get this right. The tubes themselves can hold in excess of 30PSI so no chance of overfilling them and even in the heat of the day if the air expands be assured they can take it.

I’ve slept many a windy and stormy night in our inflatable tents now and so have many of our customers. We often get feedback after a stormy holiday period thanking us for our design and comments highlighting the fact our tents were some of the few left standing! I guess the biggest advantage is although very firm and rigid, under extreme conditions, the inflatable tubes will bend and flex more than a traditional pole. They just bounce back upright when the gust or gale has passed.

After the fun is over and pack-up approaches let’s just say a Zempire Inflatable tent minimises the time and dread of this also. When your camping world is removed from your tent just open the valves to release the air. An impressive hiss will announce your pack-up process and the tent will disappear even quicker than when it went up! Once all the air is out don’t fear the next step either because the bags are designed to fit!! Fold the tent to the width of your bag as per your instructions and my most helpful Zempire camping hack is make sure you roll your tent up towards the open valves! This ensures you expel the remaining air at the same time you roll. You won’t believe me until you do it yourself, but if I can do it, so can you.

So, in summary, camping in a Zempire Inflatable Tent makes camping stress free, easy and quick and I hope my honest accounts of my own thoughts and experiences has outlined that. They also have no resemblance to bouncy castles, pool floaties or beach balls and certainly will not float away like any one of these inflatable favourites either. However, the pump that comes with your tent comes in very handy when your new oversized inflatable flamingo arrives in time for your summer fun in the sun.