Heimplanet’s innovative The Cave tent is a true wonder, using an inflatable airframe and ripstop nylon to pack up small, then set up in just a minute without any help. We took some time to enjoy this modern tent out on our back deck while sheltering in place in Chicago this Summer.
The entire Cave tent comes packed inside of this small mylar bag, and the idea that something this compact would soon be a spacious 2-person tent is pretty mind-boggling.
The initial setup of The Cave tent is the only time you won't just unpack and inflate it. The first time you use it, you have to unfurl the airframe, then attach the nylon inner and outer layers using a number of strategically-placed toggles.
This process took us about 45 minutes, but you only have to do it once. And now that we know how it goes together, we could probably do that in half the time. The airframe's innovative multi-chamber design means that individual sections can be repaired or replaced without compromising the overall structure.
After the initial set up, deploying The Cave tent is ridiculously easy. You just unpack it from its carrying bag, spread it out on the ground, close four of its five air valves, and then pump up the structure through the one open valve. With the optional 2-way air pump, it takes less than a minute, and can be done without help from another person. Since we set up the tent on our garage deck, we didn't use guy lines, but if you'll be out in the wind and the dirt, staking the tent to the ground is quick and easy.
Once inside The Cave, we were impressed by the sense of space and the structural design of the geodesic dome. The Cairo Camo design is especially neat, with different shades of green creating almost a stained glass effect inside of the shelter. With an inner height of 40", it's not tall enough to stand up inside, but we didn't feel cramped either.
The double zipper portal can keep the elements out entirely, or be opened up to reveal a screen that lets more airflow in, while keeping the bugs out.
With a 54 square foot footprint, there's plenty of room in here for two people to relax comfortably. We spread out a full-size camping blanket for our sleep quarters, and had plenty of room for storing supplies inside the tent. A nice touch is the built-in storage pouches on the walls of the tent, which are great for keeping reading material, iPads, or phones up off of the ground and keeping them accessible.
Tents can get pretty stuffy, especially in the heat and humidity of a Chicago summer, so we were happy to find the integrated ventilation ports. These prop open using a flat rod and velcro to keep them in place, and do a good job keeping air flowing and rain out.
This was also the easiest tent we've ever taken down. All you do is open the air valves, squeeze out the air, and roll it up. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes. The entire tent fits into a compact and easy to tote bag made from the same sturdy ripstop Nylon, and weighs just about 11 pounds all together (not including the pump.)
With prices starting at about 600 euro - or about $680 US Dollars, Heimplanet's The Cave tent isn't cheap, but it's a very special and unique way to camp, offering quick deployment and teardown, compact and lightweight carrying, and a comfortable and airy feeling space for your outdoor adventures. For those looking for more space, Heimplanet also makes a 3-person variant called the Backdoor, and a huge basecamp version called Mavericks.