Nick HardingSee other accessory reviews written by Nick Harding
The Westfield Hydra 300 proves that motorhome awnings don't need to blow your budget or weigh you down to get the job done – let's take a look
This awning comes from Westfield’s Travel Smart series, which marks it out as something of a ‘starter’ model.
Consider it ideal if you like the idea of an inflatable drive-away motorhome awning, but baulk at the price of more mainstream models.
There’s only a little bit of compromise as far as the materials used for these motorhome awnings are concerned.
The main fabric is a 175D/190T polyester with a 3000mm hydrostatic head, so it’s reasonably light and offers a good degree of waterproofing.
Ease of use is key here. In fact, it’s feasible for one person to put it all up.
There’s multi-point inflation – that is, individual tubes that aren’t interconnected – and the pegs (red plastic examples for the main points, and standard metal for the flysheet) also help to keep things simple.
Connecting it to your motorhome/camper van is straightforward, too.
The Hydra comes with 4mm and 6mm beading for attaching to a typical wind-out awning, plus sleeve-and-pole for gutter attaching.
There are also guyline points for over-the-top connection if you haven’t any kind of rail.
Strapping for the roof section allows you a bit of adjustment to take up any slack.
Also, a storm pole is an option – it adds to overall stability, overcoming some of the bend and flex that you get with any air awning.
There’s also a sewn-in groundsheet. It’s fully ‘tubbed’ (ie, it comes up the sides) in the main living area, but can flatten at the front entrance for easier access.
There’s a separate, flat groundsheet for the tunnel area between tent and ’van, and you can extend the living space by removing the dividing panel altogether.
Ventilation is key in an inflatable awning, where you typically get more condensation as a result of the heat of the tubes.
The Hydra has it covered: side windows are half-mesh and can be zipped down, and there’s permanent upper-level ventilation across the front.
This is the High version, for fixing heights from 240-280cm. There’s also a Low (180-245cm).
If there’s a ‘crossover’, the advice is that Low is better unless your awning-rail height really exceeds the limit.
Westfield’s bags are designed to be some 33 per cent larger than necessary. Not only does it make packing away easier, but it also leaves room for any optional extras.
These options include an inner tent (£48.99), a roof support pole (£8.99), a footprint (£18.99), a carpet (£48.99) and a canopy pole set (£17.50).
|Dimensions (W x D)||300 x 3700cm|
|Fixing height||240-280cm (High)/180-245cm (Low)|
|Pack size||113 x 30 x 30cm|
|Access||Front door, tunnel door|
The Westfield Hydra 300 is light in weight and keenly priced. If you are looking at inflatable motorhome awnings and want to try the concept with minimal outlay, this is an ideal buy for a first-timer.
- It's well priced
- It is very easy to use
- It only has a 3000mm hydrostatic head