Peter BaberSee other awning reviews written by Peter Baber
Small but perfectly formed? The baby of Outwell’s mid-market inflatable caravan awnings features the best of the firm’s other ranges – and is easy to pitch
Danish company Oase Outdoors has completely transformed its range of caravan awnings, and has already reaped the rewards, with an awning from the more entry-level Pebble range winning the Awning category in our Tourer of the Year awards this year.
The Outwell Tide 320SA is a step up from that.
It’s a step down from the Amber range, with its huge canopy, which you may have seen all over the billboards at last October’s NEC show.
It looks much more like a conventional air awning, but shares the Amber’s single-point inflation system, which makes assembling it much easier.
Our test model, which we assessed at the Love2Stay caravan park in Shropshire, was a prototype, but it still went up in reasonable time.
The Tide range has been redesigned to minimise any sense of being caged in, which the designers at Oase believe some inflatable caravan awnings can give off, with large tubes at the front dictating the need to have small front openings.
In contrast, on this air awning you will find just one window on the fully opening front, with the single central tube hidden behind a thin strip of blue.
Oase has also introduced a new system to seal the awning to the side of the caravan, which is designed to do without poles, so there’s no risk of damaging the side of the van.
A set of extra pads can also be fitted to get around awkward areas like windows (again, because this was a protoype, the final production model pads might differ slightly from what you see here).
If you are still not convinced, you can get poles as an optional extra.
You can also get pads to put under the front tubes if you are pitching on uneven ground.
We were a little doubtful about these, but they are a doddle to fit and stay in securely.
All this means you get an awning in which most people can easily stand up straight, even relatively near the front.
The 6000mm hydrostatic head is perfectly acceptable for a caravan awning like this, while all of the seams are taped inside for extra waterproofing.
There are also some handy little extra touches in the interior, such as a column of shelves and a cubbyhole for boots in the draught skirt.
The Outwell Tide 320SA weighs 27.5kg, has a fixing height of 240cm-255cm, a 45cm x 90cm pack size and measures 320cm x 300cm.
The Outwell Tide 320SA isn’t as dramatic a reinvention of an awning as the Amber, but it is still a high quality awning that’s easy to assemble, with a good range of extras.
The price is at the higher end of reasonable for its size.
- Single-point inflation makes things easy – you might expect it at this price
- The shelves and boot storage are very useful
- Other manufacturers might include items like a roof lining as standard