Nick Harding

See other awning reviews written by Nick Harding

Made from a flashy new fabric and inflated from a single point in minutes, is the Outdoor Revolution Esprit 420 Pro awning your pitch-perfect partner?

Overview

Here’s an exclusive early look at a model that, by the time you read this, should be in the shops.

It’s an inflatable, and it looks to build on the success of the initial Outdoor Revolution Esprit caravan awnings... except this is the Pro.

So, as well as costing a bit more than the standard Esprit 420, its big claim to fame is that you can inflate the main structure via one connection point.

You also get an 800HD (high-density) yarn-dyed woven polyester fabric that feels like a traditional awning material to the touch, but is in fact a lot lighter and more water-resistant.

Also new is the Phoenix mesh, which Outdoor Revolution assures won’t snag on the hook-and-loop (i.e. Velcro-type) fixings you get on outdoor jackets. Note, also, the tinted windows.

What we have here is a four-beamed, three-front-windowed unit, with a distinctive curved and tapered front and a considerable slope to the roofline.

The zip-out side panels are half window/half door, and the Esprit 420 Pro awning comes supplied with a variety of pegs to suit conditions, plus mudflaps that are tucked inside here but can also fold outwards.

Grey guylines have extra loops at the top for adding storm straps (two of which are supplied as standard – it’s up to you if you want to buy more, but the feeling is that this unit will easily cope with anything that’s blown at it).

Among the options is an annexe that’s also inflatable (£399). The design is taller for this season, with less slope – which means more head height. There’s a generous ventilation panel, too.

Other options available are roof lining (£37), rear upright poles (£16), a Treadlite groundsheet (£35) and an electric pump (£75).

There are a few updates to report over the early model we’ve pitched here. For example, curtains will be standard, on built-in tracks.

The single-point inflation means the unit you buy will forego the two central intakes you can see here (retaining the outer two).

Also, the roof will be darker – it’s a question of getting the right balance between taking in too much heat from the sun and not letting in too much daylight (especially if you’re using your awning for sleeping in), although the three rooflight panels remain.

In addition, it’s backed by two warranties – three years for the frame and one for the fabric.

Specs and Layout

Manufacture websiteoutdoor-revolution.com

Verdict

Witness the rise and rise of inflatable awnings targeted at caravanners who like the look of a traditional framed unit, but really want something that’s easier to use. This fits the bill perfectly and the new fabric bodes well.

As ever, take that price as a guide. Shop around (from a reputable retailer) and you should be able to buy it for less than £1000.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The new fabric looks and feels great
  • It is quick to inflate and put up

Cons

  • There’s rear padding, but the upright poles are an optional extra
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Elddis Crusader Zephyr review – 1 - The exterior colour is called 'Champagne', but it is really a heathery brown, differentiating it from the blue of its Compass Camino 660 sister van (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Lunar Lexon 590 review – 1 - Flush-fitting windows, the sunroof, alloy wheels and the cantilever-action gas locker door all add a touch of class to the 590 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sprite Quattro DD review – 1 - This twin-axle from the 2017 range of Sprite caravans has an MTPLM of 1624kg (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Bailey Pursuit 560-5 review – 1 - The single front window may look budget-style to some, but we like the uncluttered view it provides from inside the van (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Compass Capiro 550 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Compass Capiro 550 has a 1467kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sterling Eccles 510 review – 1 - Sharp graphics and a carbonfibre-effect gas-locker lid give the Sterling a unique personality that distances it from its Swift Challenger sibling (© Practical Caravan)