Nick Harding

See other awning reviews written by Nick Harding

Outwell is known for its clever camping gear, but can its ingenious innovation translate to the inflatable awning market? Read our Mirage 400SA review

Overview

Outwell may be a fairly little-known brand for British caravanners, but it’s earned its spurs as the UK’s market leader when it comes to tents for family camping.

It’s a relative latecomer to the awnings sector, but that hasn’t stopped it jumping on the inflatables bandwagon.

The 400SA here is the middle model of three Mirages that, along with two Corsairs (with canopy fronts), comprise Outwell’s Imperial Collection for 2017.

Putting it up is as easy as bending over to fill your Aquaroll – and even easier if you go for one of two electric pump options over the standard manual pump.

There’s some 450cm of beading to feed through your awning rail first, then – after a few pumps at a single inlet feeding the four ‘poles’ – it’s ready to peg out, the most time-consuming aspect of the whole operation.

Even then, Outwell makes it just a bit more simple thanks to its Easy Pegging System, which includes three types of peg.

The main fabric is Outwell’s own Outtex 6000 HD, a Taslon polyester that’s a proven performer in its more premium tents. It has a dense weave with extra treatments claimed to enhance its initial toughness and long-term durability.

Also, a heat-reflective coating is added to the roof, which has darker colouring. Still too light? You can go back and order the all-polyester roof lining: it toggles in, and adds insulation.

There’s a considerable slope to the roofline, but standing height is still a commendable 2.15m at the very front.

For those balmy days, you can take out any or all of the three front panels, which also come with mesh inserts.

Other noteworthy features include the tinted windows – again, they help reflect heat as well as cutting down glare – and zip-up curtains.

If you want a bedroom inner, you’ll have to order the annexe, which comes complete with such a fitting.

Other options include fleece-backed carpet, which really adds a level of comfort underfoot, and a footprint: an extra layer of protection that will be a bonus if you’re pitching directly onto a hardstanding surface.

There are plenty of key details as standard, however. Outwell’s trademark luminous guylines should prevent unwanted tripping at night, for example.

And, although it might not seem a lot, the branded doormat is just the kind of neat little finishing touch you want to make your awning that bit more special (and clean!).

Specs and Layout

Manufacture websiteoutwell.com

Verdict

It may not be a big name in caravan awnings, but Outwell brings the might of its tent-making expertise to the sector. This awning is full of thoughtful, clever details and there are some great options available.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Luminous guylines are standard and a neat safety feature
  • It comes with a branded doormat
  • The Taslon fabric feels great
  • Single-point inflation means it is easy to put up

Cons

  • You only get a bedroom inner if you order the annexe option
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan 2017 Coachman VIP 565 review – 1 - The VIP’s looks have stayed fairly constant since 2012, yet it remains a desirable luxury tourer – plus, the front gas locker door boasts double locks (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Caravelair Antarès 476 review – 1 - The Caravelair Antarès 476's quirky, one 'eye' looks hint at the unusual layout inside – it has an MTPLM of 1200kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Buccaneer Galera review – 1 - The silver sides are new and give the 2017-season Buccaneer caravans a distinctive, upmarket look (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Hymer Nova GL 470 review – 1 - Its external styling is a little boxy and retro, but there's no getting away from the Hymer Nova GL 470's £27,690 price and 1700kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)

Xplore 554

£15,599

The Practical Caravan Xplore 554 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Xplore 554 is aimed at couples and has a 1335kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Knaus StarClass 480 review – 1 - A Continental van with its door on the UK nearside, shows that Knaus is committed to wooing British caravanners – does it work with the StarClass 480? (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)