We love a good air tent for family camping (see our reviews of the Coleman Air Valdes and Outwell Montana) mainly because the system gets you up and running much quicker than the traditional pole set-up would. But do these benefits translate to a much smaller 1-2 person tent?
No surprises here, the Fistral is pitched in no time. The beams, fly and inner pitch together so a few good heaves on the pump and it pops up pretty much ready for use, save for a bit of pegging out. The pump isn't included with the tent which we think is a little stingy, especially when the optional Mini Pump costs an extra £22, nudging the total package close to £400 which some might consider too much.
The total package weighs around 2.7kg, with a pack size of 34 x 20 x 20cm. This is too heavy and big for the ultra-lightweighters but you could still conceivably take it backpacking, especially if you were sharing the weight between two.
One of the big saving graces of the Fistral is how it looks - it makes normal tents look utilitarian and boring and sparks plenty of conversations with camp buddies.
After the initial "wows", "ooohs" and "aaaahs" the conversations soon turn to the durability and stability of the air beam system. The beams are made of a very thick and durable material and seem like they could take some serious abuse.
Should the worst happen Heimplanet supplies the Fistral with a repair kit and the two-chamber system gives you enough time to enact an emergency repair before the tent turns into a floppy mess. We were sceptical about the stability of the tent at first but the geodesic design principles seem to work and the Fistral stands strong when the wind gets up.
The inner is accessed by one of two entrances which both have their own vestibules big enough for cooking or for a small backpack. Once inside, headroom is good at the peak with plenty of room to sit up and move around in. The length of the Fistral is great for a 1-2 person tent, giving you storage options at the head or foot.
Additional gear storage comes in the form of three good sized storage pockets as well as a storage area under the apex which is perfect for a light.
If you like your gear to be different and unique then the Heimplanet Fistral might well be worth a look.