My £1,374 Outwell inflatable tent left me feeling let down | Money


In May 2017 we spent £1,374 on what was supposed to be an extremely well-made inflatable tent – a Hornet 6SA by Outwell – with a view to keeping it until our children were grown up. But, when we arrived at our Dorset campsite last summer, the tent would not go up because the inflatable poles were perished and leaking. After spending several hours on hold to Outwell in Denmark we were forced to buy a £380 replacement in nearby Poole.

Since then, I have been trying to resolve this with Outwell. It has told me that it no longer stocks replacement poles, and because of Brexit it can’t collect the tent. Its only solution is to offer to sell us a new one at a discount.

I am upset about the money wasted – and hardly need a third tent – but I’m much more upset about the lack of concern about what we should do with the non-functioning one.

It is huge, weighing more than 40kg, and the idea of sending it to landfill is awful. We only used it four times – our previous one lasted 25 years.

SA, Lancaster

Most people would expect a £1,374 tent to last more than four trips. Outwell, while it was very sorry, hasn’t really come up with a solution. It tells me it had tried to source replacement tubes but had failed. It has offered a 65% discount on a new tent – the same, it claims, as it would have cost to replace the tubes. It again blamed post-Brexit customs problems for being unable to collect your tent.

I spoke to the inflatable tents expert at Attwoolls Outdoors, near Gloucester, who, amazingly, knew your (early) model.

He said that Outwell had since changed the design of the tubes and thought it unlikely you would find replacements, or that the universal pipes that now exist would fit.

The retailer you bought the tent from is responsible under the Consumer Rights Act but I suspect you won’t get a better offer than the 65% discount if you go to court.

I’d be trying to find an ingenious local person who may be able to fix it. Can anyone suggest somebody who can?

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