Nick Harding

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This upmarket inflatable awning is aimed at those who are looking for a bit more permanence. Nick Harding checks out a real ace up Kampa's sleeve

Overview

Interesting concept, the seasonal awning for 'vans, given that we tend to travel around a lot more than our caravanning cousins.

This range-topper from Kampa is easy to pitch, but it's better suited to staying in place for a few days, as it's not a drive-away.

High quality fabric with extra breathability and UV protection suggests it's best suited to seasons in the sun.

All models come with 4mm and 6mm beading, so there's no need for adaptors.

They all have single-point inflation and a system of interconnecting airbags with isolating taps, which means you can take out any beam without affecting the rest of the structure.

At its largest, there's a generous 3m depth to this awning, tapering to 2.5m.

Last season's Ace models had curved roofs, but new models are dual-pitch - this means better rain run-off and optimal headroom. The main fabric is Weathershield Pro, with a top-class 6000mm hydrostatic head rating. Durable and breathable, it's a 70% polyester, 30% cotton blend that feels more comfortable to live under, thanks to its breathability.

The three front panels all zip out, as do the two interchangeable side panels. As well as No-see-um mesh in the side doors, there are zipped mesh panels as part of an optional kit, too, so you can ring the changes with ventilation and/or walls and doorways.

Fixed upright pads and poles in metal are standard, allowing the cosiest of fits. A storm tie-down kit is supplied, too. The whole unit is also Limpet Fix Ready. In this Kampa innovation, the limpets (in packs of eight) attach via pre-cut apertures at the back of the awning, direct to the smooth surface of your vehicle (although it's best to avoid stuck-on graphics).

There's a good choice of annexe and flooring options. Plus, if you want more light, you can add up to three of Kampa's Sabre Link 12V linkable lighting strips.

The awning's dimensions are 400cm wide by 300cm deep with a fixing height of between 250 and 265cm.

Verdict

Kampa has been building up a real head of steam since introducing its inflatable awnings to the UK in 2013. This might be its best yet.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Quality poly cotton main fabric; dual-pitch roof

Cons

  • Suitability for longer-term pitching may not appeal to all