Practical Motorhome's expert tests the new Vango Attar 380 Tall inflatable awning, a spacious drive-away awning for motorhomes

Overview

Forgive the pun, but inflatable awnings really are popping up everywhere.

There is plenty to say in their favour, not least the fact that they can be pumped up in minutes, though pegging it out securely takes most of the time.

As Editor Niall Hampton writes, it's a 'New dawning for awnings'.

Vango, backed by some 60 years of tent-making pedigree, has been at the forefront of the inflatable- awnings revolution for two seasons so far. It now seeks to extend its leadership with its largest model yet, the Attar.

We’ve tested the 380 Tall variant; there’s also the Standard, for a lower band of fixing heights. Also available are wider 440 versions for attaching to coachbuilts with built-in awning rails or a wind-out awning with its own attachment rail.

The Attar 380 Tall that we tested weighs 25.3kg and measures 380cm wide and 413cm deep. This is a considerable bonus if you're feeling a bit cramped inside your motorhome. Its fixing height is from 230cm to 295cm.

When it's packed down, it measures 78cm by 42cm by 39cm. So it's well worth putting this drive-away awning up as your pitch-marker on the campsite while you're out and about in your motorhome every day.

There are two side doors as well as the main front door to this awning, so you can easily adjust the ventilation to suit the wind direction and warmth each day. There's high-level and low-level ventilation. Talking of warmth, there's a detachable sun canopy, ideal for days when you'd like to sit outside, but don't want to burn. The large front windows mean that you can move indoors when the weather's inclement, yet still enjoy plenty of light and a great view from the comfort of your awning.  

The 420D Ripstop polyester promises durability and the 6000mm hydrostatic head rating indicates a very high level of water resistance.

An interesting move by Vango is to supply heavier- duty rock pegs. This addresses the recurring question of how much awning will fit on the grass without impinging on the hardstanding you probably want for your vehicle.

Other performance- enhancing features include taped seams, zip-down curtains, reflective pegs, a lantern hanging point, zipped entry point for a mains lead and a pre-attached Kador strip.

Use the last to attach the awning directly to any rail on the side of your ’van. Better still, invest in a fixing kit that makes attaching and reattaching so much easier.

An inner tent for use as a two-person bedroom is supplied as standard, with the added benefit that it can be fitted at either side.

Optional extras are available to make the most of your Vango Attar 380 Tall awning. You can buy a carpet, and an extra layer to put under the groundsheet. You can also buy a second two-person inner tent, a replacement tube and a storm strap, if you wish.

The Attar is highly stable (another bonus of inflatable technology), but consider buying one of those storm straps for use in extreme conditions.

Stable as these inflatable designs seem to be – they flex in heavy wind, then bounce back into shape – there’s the reassurance of bracer beams and the TBS II tension-band system.

Compare this to more traditional drive-away awnings for motorhomes, by reading our Inaca St Jordi 370 review.  

The Attar 380 fits motorhomes with an attachment height of 205 - 235cm and if you have a Volkswagen T4 or T5 campervan this awning will cover the whole length of the 'van.

Technical specs

Size380cm wide x 413cm deep
Packed down size78cm x 42cm x 39cm
Weight25.3kg
Type of awningInflatable
Canopy5m
Comes withTwo-person inner tent
Optional extrasCarpet, under-groundsheet, second two-person inner tent, replacement tube, storm strap
Fabric420D Ripstop polyester
TestedEuropean Standard EN5912
PumpDouble action AirBeam pump included

Verdict

The inflatable drive-away revolution continues, with the new Attar awnings, that use Vango’s proven AirBeam technology. The possibility of having two inner tents will appeal in what is already a roomy addition to the side of your motorhome.

Buy the Vango Attar 380 Tall awning here from Amazon 

Conclusion

Pros

  • Easy to set up, thanks to AirBeam technology
  • Valves are 1m from ground level
  • Two inner tents are available
  • Turns a small campervan into a family 'van
  • Lantern hanging points
  • Sewn-in groundsheet
  • Double action AirBeam pump included

Cons

  • The canopy needs standard poles
  • The canopy extends more than 5m
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