The Heimplanet Cave inflatable tent

I was shown what I think is quite an ingenious tent two weeks ago by my friend Adam Cottrell. The tent is from a company called Heimplanet and is erected simply by inflating it. This post is not an in-depth review as I have only seen it once for a very short period. My initial impressions of it were very positive and I would be keen to try it out sometime.

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The Cave

The tent weighs 11.5lbs (5.2kgs in new money) so one for the car I think rather than the backpack. The quality of the bag was very good with a ‘canoe bag’-type top that you roll down to compress and seal it.

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One tent in a compression bag and pump

All the guylines were detached when Adam opened it up so there was nothing tangled up.

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Laid out ready for pumping

Dotted around the tent are 5 nozzle points; only one is needed for inflating the tent, but all the tubes can be closed off after they have been inflated so that if you get a puncture in one tube the whole tent does not deflate.

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5 possible nozzle points

In about two minutes Adam had set everything up and inflated the tent.

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Simple to inflate

I got Adam to re-do the inflation of the tent and took a short film of it to show you how simple the procedure was. I was quite surprised at the size of the tent and can see why they call it the Cave.

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Inflated quickly

Each of the five sections of the tubing can be closed off by this simple locking valve that pinches the small connecting tube between the main tubes.

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Each tube can be locked off with these valves

The guylines come in an unusual configuration. They are attached to the tent via toggles and one set of lines on each side is pegged out flat on the ground.

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Simple low-lying guylines

Here you can see a little more clearly how the toggles attach to the tent.

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Toggles attach the upper guylines

Both sets of guylines on each side attach to the same peg keeping things neat and tidy.

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All the guylines on each side go to one peg

Everything is connected either  by velcro straps or toggles. The tent can be erected without the outer sheet (but that’s probably not advisable here in the UK).

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Tubes and the tent are connected with velcro and toggles

The workmanship I observed on this tent was very high. All the seams looked neatly sealed and the stitching was very accurately placed.

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Strong velcro straps

As well as a locking valve on each section there are also 5 access points so that the inner tubes can be removed and repaired if need be.

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Separate access to each tube

The tent has a small porch and the small front awning will stop rainwater dripping into the tent when you open it (but only just I think). However when this tent was fully inflated and the guylines were secured it was very stable and strong.

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A very strong and stable tent

I liked the small pockets for stowing the door flaps. Very neat and a great idea.

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Neat pouches to stow the entrance flaps

In terms of space you could fit two adults with lots of kit into it comfortably. If there were three of you then you would just need to be a bit more disciplined about things but you would be comfortable enough.

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Good gap between inner and outer. Also plenty of space inside.

The tent had good ventilation with plenty of mossie-style nets on the inner and a number of covered openings on the outer. It also comes with a good loft storage area and loads of pockets. You cannot stand up in the tent but when sitting most folk will not touch the ceiling with their head.

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Good internal ventilation and plenty of storage

To deflate, simply unlock the valves and let the air out. The tent simply collapses in on itself.

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Easy to deflate

You need to spend a couple of minutes just pushing all the air out of the tubes, otherwise the tent will be very difficult to put back into the bag.

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Take your time pushing all the air out

The tent is rolled up to the size of the bag as with most tents but you can use your knee to push out any trapped air. A good enhancement to the tent back would be to install a little valve so that as you rolled the top down the air could escape quicker.

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Compression sack gets rid of the last of the air

As I said at the beginning I was very impressed with this tent. I initially thought that this could never work but after looking at the quality and the strength of the tent I soon lost any doubts. I like the fact that the sleeves covering each tube are very strong and that each section of the tubing can be locked off to aid quick repair. Amazon has these tents on sale for about £395 so they’re not exactly cheap for a 2-3 person tent but this certainly scores highly for quality and ease of erection. I had a look at the Heimplanet site and all the specs for the tent can be found here – The Cave.



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