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.
The new fabric looks and feels great
It is quick to inflate and put up
There’s rear padding, but the upright poles are an optional extra
Here’s an exclusive early look at a model that, by the time you read this, should be in the shops.
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.
The fabric feels like a traditional awning material, but is a lot lighter and more water-resistant