Nick HardingSee other awning reviews written by Nick Harding
An award-winning, well-specced air awning, the Crusader Climate Airzone 350 DeLuxe has a lot going for it on paper – let's pitch it and put it to the test!
It would be easy to decry the lack of wow factor for this inflatable awning, but that’s not what it’s about.
It’s sensible – with the right features at the right price.
An ideal unit, also, if you want to give yourself a taster of what inflatable awnings can do for you, without breaking the bank (as ever, shopping around will find you the keenest price, but consider also the aftersales service you may or may not get).
It’s a manageable size, too, at 350 x 335 x 245cm, which means it provides plenty of living space once it has been put up.
Those features? The main fabric of these awnings is a UV-resistant 300D ripstop polyester (with an impressive 5000mm hydrostatic head, which means it’s very waterproof), hot-air taped seams, two side doors, windows with roll-up curtains and mesh panelling, adjustable pegging, hi-vis guylines, rear support poles, a draught skirt and more.
That’s a whole host of accessories that usually cost extra elsewhere.
It’s the usual formula for erecting an inflatable awning: thread it through your caravan’s awning channel, partially inflate to check it’s all in order, then inflate fully before the final pegging out (adjustable pegging points help when the ground is a bit uneven).
The manually operated pump supplied should do the job for most owners. Generic electric pumps can be a benefit if you’d rather not get too physical, but our advice is to try manual first.
Crusader may not be up there among the big names in awnings, but there’s no shortage of credibility.
It’s a Midlands-based, family-owned business that’s been around for more than a quarter of a century.
It has also just taken over Cornish wholesaler Blakes Leisure Group.
As far as its caravan awnings are concerned, look out for new 420 and 260 Airzone models this season.
But, in Crusader’s words: “We have deliberately kept the number of awning models fairly low so that we can continue to concentrate on producing high quality products at exceptional value.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
If you’re yet to be convinced by inflatable awnings and don’t want to spend too much on your first model, something like this fits the bill more than admirably.
Just bear in mind the usual bulk and weight considerations of such awnings.
The final bit of good news is that price and specification have been held for this season.
This awning has a fixing height of 235-250cm, a pack size of 100cm x 38cm x 36cm and weighs 29.5kg.
An annexe is a £149.99 option, a groundsheet costs £59.99 and a canopy is £89.99.
This caravan awning represents an excellent blend of quality and price, with a more-than-generous specification, from a company that’s well worth keeping an eye on in the future.
No wonder this product was highly commended in our Awning of the Year Awards.
- You get a generous specification
- It is simple to use and manageably sized
- The inflatable pole tech makes it easy to erect
- The sloping front cries out for the canopy option (£89.99)