If you're looking for caravan awnings that are easy to put up on your own, read Practical Caravan's Westfield Easy Air 350 inflatable awning review
Inflation doesn’t always mean high prices when it comes to the best camping gear for your caravan. New from Westfield for this season is a range of Easy Air inflatable awnings, with price tags that really should make you stop for a closer look.
The Westfield logic is simple enough. An attractively low cost (just under £300) means that you can make that first step into inflatable awnings without risking a big financial outlay. And in case you haven’t guessed – or seen – inflatable awnings are the talk of the campsites at the moment. So we thought we'd put the Westfield Easy Air 350 to the test to find out if it lives up to expectations.
Inflatable awnings are a long way from the challenging-to-erect, traditional full-size caravan awnings.
Old-style awnings were notoriously tricky to fathom out and we are sure you've heard people talk about awnings they have nicknamed 'divorce in a bag'. Fortunately the new generation of caravan owners will not have the same puzzling experiences as their parents, thanks to the latest inflatable awnings.
The Easy Air inflatable range uses a triple-layer tube system, with larger diameter tubes than those of most rivals. Sole UK distributor Quest Leisure says this makes it stronger and more resistant to windy weather.
If you're looking for awnings that are simple to erect, you've come to the right place. Putting up the Westfield Easy Air 350 is certainly a doddle – you just slide the unit onto your awning rail (this is the one bit where you may need some help), then peg the rear corners to the ground next to the caravan, then attach the manual pump and away you go.
There’s no danger of over-inflation, either. The pump supplied has an automatic cut-off valve. There’s a single inflation point and, it takes only a few minutes or about 18 pumps to get to full inflation.
Padded sections with Velcro form a draught-free seal with the side of the caravan, while the polyester mud skirts and wheel covers deal with draughts coming in from underneath the caravan.
If you don’t like the idea of solely relying on inflated tubes, you can bolster the Easy Air 350 awning with steel-pole add-ons. In truth, though, these inflatable awning designs stand up to rough weather better than their poled counterparts. Once it's up, you can roll up the two front panels neatly or insert optional poles to create a sun canopy with them. Access to the caravan through the Easy Air 350 awning is via the two side panels and also the two front panels. This means that you can decide which way the wind is blowing before choosing which doors to unzip.
The awning is 3m tall, with an awning rail height of 2.35m-2.5m. It is 3.5m wide and 2.5m deep. When it's all packed up into its carry bag it measures 95cm x 30cm x 25cm. It weighs 7.2kg.
The awning's main fabric is 190T polyurethane-coated polyester, with a hydrostatic head (level of waterproofing) of 3000mm. That suggests that this unit is more suited to regular occasional, rather than long-term, use. The windows are Westfield’s Superclear Transparent Foil.
If you want something a bit smaller, check out the Easy Air 280 version, which has just the one front panel. The price quoted here is as recommended by the manufacturer. Shop around and you’ll probably get a Westfield Easy Air 350 for just a bit less.
Specs and Layout
If you’re new to inflatable awnings for caravans, the low cost and light weight make the Westfield Easy Air 350 an ideal starting point. The optional extras are well priced, too. You can buy an extra aluminium roof pole storm kit (£8.99), steel storm leg pole (£4.99), universal steel canopy pole kit (£8.99), rear pad and pole kit (£29.99), extra-wide rear pad and pole kit (£42.99).
We're quite impressed by the Westfield Easy Air 350 and would have given it a higher rating if only it had had strong metal pegs like more traditional caravan awnings, instead of plastic pegs that look as though they'd bend if you put your awning up on stony ground.
- Easy to manage
- One person can put this awning up
- Light weight (7.2kg)
- Automatic cut-off valve
- Plastic pegs (not as strong as metal pegs)