The best family air tent? The Vango Edoras 500XL Air REVIEWED

Are you looking for the best family air tent? TraveLynn Family were gifted the Vango Edoras 500XL Air in return for an honest review. As always, these are all my own words and opinions. This post also contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission. 

As a family we absolutely love camping, and the Vango Edoras 500XL Air was PERFECT for our month long summer road trip around France.

This tent is currently on offer at Winfields Outdoors.

We first used this test at the Just So Festival mid August 2017. Check out this video of the boys putting the tent up before taking it to the festival.

It’s super easy to put up, principally as there are no poles. A tent with no poles? How can this be? Well in the place of poles are air tubes that you pump up (it comes with a hand air pump). There are five tubes and it takes about 20 seconds for a parent to pump up each tube. There’s a clever button that keeps the air locked in as soon as you remove the pump attachment; so you don’t have that classic manic fumble to get the cap on once you pull the pump out.

Best family air tent
Best family air tent

Then getting it down is even easier! Turn the button around to ‘open’ and the tube deflates.

Steps to erect the tent:

1. Roll it out and open out flat.
2. Peg down the four corners
3. Pump up the back two air tubes first
4. Go inside tent and push the blown up tubes to standing
5. Pump up the remaining three air tubes
6. Peg down the base and guy ropes
7. Crack open a congratulatory beer for the parents (juice for the kids)

a blue family tent

Once it’s up…

There is so much space inside and would very comfortably sleep a family of 5. Even more if you wanted to use the spacious ‘lounge’ (which is a super handy space for those rainy days).

I also like how there’s a covered porch at the front to provide some outside shelter and keep muddy boots in the dry. There are also lots of neat pockets to store items.

Tips for getting it down

  • Turn the nozzle to deflate to open, and leave open.
  • Start folding the tent in from the opposite side.
  • When rolling it away for packing, we always open again to redo the roll. We find that just a little more air comes out and it’s easier to pack away.

Ok I love it, but there must be some negatives?

The only downside is it’s size when packed up and weight. It takes up almost half of our boot space and I’m unable to carry it on my own (although hubby can). However, this isn’t a tent to take backpacking across the hills for a night of wild camping. This is a family tent perfect for weekend festivals and setting up camp for a few nights (or longer!) of outdoor family fun.

Where to buy the Vango Edoras 500XL

This tent is currently on offer at Winfeilds Outdoors.

This tent has served us well for two summers now, and I’m sure there are many years of camping fun to be had in it. It may be on the pricey side, but it’s excellent quality, a good size for families, and very easy to get up and down. It gets a BIG thumbs up from us!

Extra equipment

Vango also sent us two double sleeping bags (extremely warm and cosy, with lots of padding and comes with two pillow cases!) and a clothes rack. Now I had no idea how handy this clothes rack was until we put it up at Just So Festival. Rather than attempting to live the weekend out of our rucksacks and everything dispersing across the tent to represent a bomb explosion (our usual approach), it was very handy actually unpacking all our clothes and food into the clothes rack, keeping everything tidy and easily accessible.

Best family air tent

And Vango also do fantastic rucksacks! The day pack pictured below is waterproof, comfy on the shoulders and just the right about of space to store snacks, drinks bottles and jumpers for a day of adventuring.

Best family air tent

Now where to take our tent next? We should really take the opportunity to explore more of the UK’s campsites. Perhaps here in the Peak District, up to the Highlands of Scotland, or maybe down across to the family friendly campsites in Pembrokeshire

If you’re still looking for a tent with poles (perhaps a cheaper option), check out this complete guide to the best family tents.

You may also like to read:
Finding family adventure in the UK
Short walks for young kids in the Peak District
Travelling Africa with kids: our top 10 highlights

Blog Comments

Jenny (The Little Adventurer)

A tent with no poles? Sounds exactly my kind of thing. Looks very spacious too!


Jenny (The Little Adventurer)


The no poles thing is absolute genius! And lots of space which is fab for a rainy day

HI, This is a great tent, How convenient is it to pack it back up though. We’re planning. along trip next year and this might actually just be the answer to all our questions. Thanks for sharing

It’s even easier to put down and super easy to put away. Fits into the bag absolutely fine.

Wow, this is a massiv tent that may be able to convince even someone like us to sneak in lots of little luxuries and treats and finally give in kiddoes requests to go camping πŸ˜‰ #fearlessfamtrav

I love how much indoor space there is for those inevitable rainy days.

Looks good, shame it is big and heavy though. I like the idea of the clothes rack, very civilised! #fearlessfamtrav

It may be big and heavy, but for a family tent for festivals and long weekends it’s perfect. I just wouldn’t take for a weekend of hiking and wild camping ☺️

This tent is just so big…there’s SO much space!! I love the no-poles concept, and the video of the boys putting it up on their own was absolutely priceless. I didn’t even know a pole-free tent existed! #fearlessfamtrav

Either did I until I received this tent. I’m TOTALLY converted. Good bye poles!

I’ve been intrigued by tents with no poles for a while – this one sounds fab and I love how much room you have x

Genius isn’t it? The air tubes are so much more sturdy too.

Ive never had a tent, but this looks like the way to go – easy up and big and comfy. although with a small car, like you said, might take up alot of space

We were so amazed at how easy it was to put up! Loving our new family tent πŸ™‚

Love the video! If you ever need another career, I reckon your editing skills could get you one..! Looks like a great tent. We have a Vango too but not with an awning, that would be invaluable for muddy boots! #Fearlessfamtrav

Ha! Thanks Annabel πŸ™‚ It was fun to put together!

Is “tent envy” a thing? If so I DEFINATELY have it!!!! I love the storage rack too. What an inspirational thing. I definately think i NEED that. having stuff on the ground is the worst thing when camping. #fearlessfamtrav (maybe not THE worst… but you know what i mean)

A tent with no poles! Now that is my kind of tent. So many childhood memories of my mum and dad standing there looking befuddled with colour coded poles on our huge canvas tent trying to figure it out!! #fearlessfamtrav

We still have not taken our daughter camping yet, though she asks quite frequently. Long story but for me it partially involves some of the issues it seems this tent would fix. Thank you for letting me know about it! #fearlessfamtrav

It’s huge (particularly compared to your old one)! No-pole tents have got to be the way forward. Just loved the video of the boys putting the tent up…!


This tent looks and sounds amazing! How nice to not have to deal with poles. I wonder how durable it is. If you were to tear a small hole, how difficult would it be to patch? Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s definitely worth looking into!

I think this tent is bigger than my first London flat – great for families

That sounds like an awesome tent. No poles is a new one on me but how handy is it! We had a Vango tent in the UK and it really did us a turn for a week’s camping at the Isle of Man TT! #fearlessfamtrav

I can’t believe how huge that thing is! Not sure I’ve ever seen one that big. #fearlessfamtrav

Oh my goodness I love the sound of everything on here! Especially the no poles part (what happens if you get a puncture?) and the clothes rack – so handy with four in a tent!

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