An Inflatable Monty? We try the new Outwell Smart Air tent

An Inflatable Monty? We try the new Outwell Smart Air tent
Our Review

Review Summary
We love this tent. It's perfect for those longer camping stays where you want a base and a 'home from home'.
The Good Stuff
A fantastic holiday tent that has plenty of space, both in the living area and bedrooms.
The Not So Great
Despite the usual high quality found with Outwell, I did find some stitching had come undone on the canopy.
Rating

Overall Rating

Value for Money

Quality

Features

Family Friendly


Last Updated: June 13, 2016

Over the last two years, we’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of our camping trips in the fabulous Outwell Hornet XL tent.

That was our first foray into inflatable tents, and the Outwell tent proved to be all it was expected to be and more.

Well, in 2016, Outwell updated their Smart Air collection. Although the Hornet is available as a new model, our old Hornet XL tent is no longer current 🙁

Fortunately, Outwell agreed to send us one of their new Smart Air tents to look at, and it just had to be the ever popular Outwell ‘Monty’ Montana. 🙂

First Impressions

Not long after getting the tent, we did a test pitch in the garden. Here’s our video and first impression of the Outwell Montana 6SA.

Outwell Montana 6SA Layout & Features

The layout is the same as all the Monty tents: a large living space, bedrooms at the back, and a side entrance porch.

However, being in the Smart Air collection, it also gets the Master Bedroom concept that Outwell introduced. These are bedrooms that are deeper, and so give more space for bags and using camp beds (see the pictures further down).

Outwell Montana 6SA Features

Using the Outwell Montana 6SA

we love this tent
We’ve now been on a few camps with the Monty and we love this tent. However, there are few things that you should note.

We definitely class this as a ‘holiday tent‘. It is a big heavy tent when packed, and you’ll not going to want to use it for just one night at the weekend.

You’ll need a big boot in your car
You’ll need a big boot in your car to take the tent to the campsite. We managed to fit it into our camping trailer, which solved that problem for us.

You can create a real home from home
However, as a holiday tent, it is fantastic, with a good balance of sleeping and living space. You can create a real home from home.

The canopy that comes with the tent is quite large. We’ve not had to use our tarp with the tent yet.

If you want to look inside the Montana 6SA, then watch this video below.

Differences with the Previous Smart Air Collection

On the surface, there appears to be little difference with the previous version of the SmartAir tents. You inflate them just the same, you still have the isolation valves inside (though they are slightly updated valves), and, just like many other inflatable tents, you still need someone to go inside and give the air tubes a little push.

there are some great improvements
However if you look closer, there are some great improvements that Outwell made to the SmartAir collection.

The newer tents are not as round. They now have a slight arch on the roof. A ‘gothic arch’ as Outwell describe it.

I don’t know if this is just for cosmetic reasons or if it gives some additional stability. We certainly didn’t experience any stability issues in our previous SmartAir though, due to the additional air tubes that run lengthways. But, when using the new tent, the slightly raised ceiling does make it feel even roomier.

a great additional storage area
All tents now have a storm side entrance. This is a nice addition. If you are blessed with nice weather, this proves a great additional storage area.

I’ve already mentioned about the new Master Bedrooms, which are now much larger than the previous SmartAir collection. The bedrooms also sport head-height windows, which of course have blinds for night time. The bedrooms also have a cord that you can use as a hanging rail and more storage pockets.

better airflow on hot days
Another useful feature is that you have doors on both sides of the tent, which is great for better airflow on hot days.

easier to pitch without needing a really long EHU cable
As well as doors both sides of the tent, you also have cable entrance on both sides, making it easier to pitch without needing a really long EHU cable.

I said how heavy and big the bag was. The Montana 6SA feels bigger and heavier than the Hornet XL. I’ve not had it confirmed by Outwell, but I’m wondering if some thicker material has been used, which could account for the additional bulk and weight.

Another minor tweak is with the toggles you use to tie back doors and blinds. These are now adjustable and have been very good in practice.

Here’s a bunch more pictures of the Monty.

Quality

Stitching on canopyDespite the usual excellent Outwell quality, I did find some stitching that had come undone on the canopy.

It hasn’t affected the performance of the canopy, and I’m sure I can repair it, but if I had paid this much for a tent, I would have been pretty disappointed.

Their quality is usually quite high, so I hope the tent we have is just one one-off issue.

Extras

Of course, with a tent like this, you’ll want to get a carpet.

We have a look at the 3 Layer Insulate carpet for the Montana in this video here:

You can also get a footprint to go underneath the tent. This can help keep your tent clean so that packing it away is a lot easier. It could also add a little bit of ground insulation.

You can see the footprint in this video here:

If you do use a tent footprint, make sure it is completely covered by the tent. If you do leave a little bit exposed, simply tuck it under the tent. Leaving the footprint exposed could allow it to collect water under your tent if it rains.

If you are thinking of getting these extras, you might want to consider a package deal, like this one from Camping World.

outwell-montana-6sa-awningAlthough the tent comes with a canopy, if you want more space, you can also get an extension awning for the Montana 6SA.

ou simply unzip the canopy from the front of the tent and zip on the awning instead. The awning is inflatable too and comes with the same privacy windows as the tent, plus a groundsheet.

Another Monty?

If you like the Outwell Montana design but can’t stretch to a SmartAir version, you can find the Monty in other guises throughout the Outwell collections. There’s even a smaller 5 person version, as well as a polycotton one too.

Outwell Montana 6 Tent Outwell Montana 5P Outwell Montana 6P Outwell Montana 6AC Tent Outwell Montana 6SATC Tent Outwell Montana 6SA Tent
Picture
Price 399.99 559.99 598.00 898.35 2099.99 1269.99
Buyer Reviews
Height (cm) 215 220 225 225 215 215
Hydrostatic Head (mm) 5000 6000 6000 5000 6000
Length (cm) 590 575 625 620 610 790
Weight (kg) 31 21.2 + 12.5 25.3 + 16.8 30.0 50.4 39.2
Width (cm) 415 360 415 390 415 415
Units: Height, Length and Weight are in ; Weight is in
Prices and review ratings last updated on June 13, 2016

Conclusion

This is a big expensive tent. Despite the minor quality issue on the canopy, the tent is fantastic.

Outwell Montana 6SA Camping AwardGOWTK Thumbs Up AwardWe love it.
If you are thinking of getting one of these, then know that we’ve given it the GOWTK Thumbs Up Award.
But it’s not just us that like this tent, it has also won the editor’s choice award in Camping Magazine.

Thanks, credits, and disclaimers: We would like to thank Outwell for supplying us with the excellent Outwell Montana 6SA so that we could review it in depth. All product photos are copyright to Outwell. All other photos, such as the tent being used, are ours. All opinions are our own.


What you could expect to pay


More Top Picks

Here are some more items we have tried, tested, and reviewed.

See more: Tents

Be in the know!

Join thousands of other parents and receive our regular newsletter containing a round up of the latest articles, days out, campsites, and reviews for helping you get your family outside and active.

Powered by ConvertKit
Gav Grayston
Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.
Gav Grayston

@getoutkids

Family adventures, activities, camping, holidays,days out OS #GetOutSide champions 2017 #DofE brand ambassador @Craghoppers Partnership @campandcarvan @_elddis_
Did we find one of the wildlife film crew from the Discovery Channel? https://t.co/mhCqWPuZRR @CraghoppersUKhttps://t.co/oYAZQJGbTv - 10 mins ago
Gav Grayston
Gav Grayston

Latest posts by Gav Grayston (see all)

4 Comments
  1. OMG it is made out of … some sort of plastic material. Nothing can beat a cotton tent, try the Dutch Karsten, absolutely top of the inflatables.

    2:06 pm on November 8, 2016

Leave a Reply