Nick Harding

See other awning reviews written by Nick Harding

It's been updated for 2017, but do these changes increase its appeal? Read our Vango Kalari 420 review to see if this heavyweight air awning works for you

Overview

First time out with your new awning? Why not follow the latest craze and film yourself ‘unboxing’ it?

No, not for YouTube, but it may just prove the perfect aide memoire when it comes to packing it all away again.

Not that you’re particularly likely to need any extra help with putting up an inflatable awning such as this, the Kalari 420 from Vango.

It was the company’s biggest seller in 2016 (although that might be affected by the new, smaller 380 that’s been announced for 2017).

And, the one thing about all inflatables is that they’re pretty easy to put up – arguably even simpler this season, thanks to touches such as the taller, narrower footpump and the higher attachment points. This makes it just a bit easier for the end-user because there’s less bending down involved.

Details, for sure, but the Vango Kalari 420 is also distinctively shaped, with a pronounced taper down to a height of 192cm at the front.

Indeed, it could have been designed for caravans such as the Swift Conqueror 580 it’s mated to in these pictures, where the door and window locations mean it’s a perfect fit.

Once attached and inflated, separate roof beams simply push into place, while pads and metal poles keep this awning flush with the caravan’s sides. An added section of fabric here is an absolute boon for pitching on uneven ground, too.

The Kalari 420 package includes valance/draught skirting, along with ventilation panels plus a pair of wheelarch covers.

The main fabric is a 600D double-ripstop polyester with a 6000mm hydrostatic head. Translated into layman’s terms, it’s tough, won’t tear and is very waterproof.

All three front panels/doors can zip out, as required, and you can also add annexes – the latest versions have a fully zipped door and come with a bedroom that can be clipped out.

Another option is to pay a bit extra for mesh sections, should you wish to take out either of the side panels.

The side doors can be half- or fully opening, while pegging points in each doorway make sure the groundsheet stays flat for easiest access.

Zip-up printed blinds provide privacy at the windows. Plus, you now get two handy pocket-storage sections.

Steel rock pegs (you never know when you’re going to need them) complete a thoroughly modern inflatable whose popularity looks set to grow.

If you want to add an annexe that will be £235, while a mesh side door is £20, a bedroom inner costs £50 and it is £75 to add a carpet.

Specs and Layout

Manufacture websitevango.co.uk

Verdict

Its traditional-looking sister the Varkala may have been our Awning of the Year in 2016, but here’s a more premium, distinctive-looking inflatable that simply adds to the appeal.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Vango’s AirBeam technology really is leading the way
  • The fabric is durable
  • It's a good spec

Cons

  • It's no lightweight awning – check you can handle it before you buy it
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