Vango AirBeam Drive-Away Awnings – Review of the New 2016 Range
This review is a basic overview of the new 2016 Vango AirBeam Drive-Away Awning Range highlighting new features and updates. We have only highlighted the AirBeam (aka AirAway) models that we consider to be the most compatible with VW Transporters.
Overview of New 2016 AirBeam Models
Idris II and Kela III
The ever popular Idris and market leading Kela continue as the base models in the new AirBeam range and for 2016 have been renamed the Idris II and Kela III respectively. As with last season, they both have identical dimensions and the floorplan sizes are also the same as last year, although the maximum head height is now 230cm slightly lower by 3cm across the whole range.
As with the first Idris, the Idris II is based on the Kela III but comes in a lighter fabric with a ‘linked-in’ (detachable) groundsheet, lighter/smaller pack size and a price tag £100 less than the Kela III. The Idris II now has connection tabs for an inner tent sleeping compartment if required. Both models are available in the new LOW connection height which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Kela III XL and Kela III Deluxe 310
Vango have consolidated the 2016 AirBeam range around their bestselling awning by using the Kela as the base model (everybody recognises and knows the Kela now) and adding the Kela III XL and Kela III Deluxe 310. Although this may seem slightly confusing at first, we’ll explain…
The Kela III XL is the extra-large version (the clues in the name) and has an additional main air-beam with bracer beam that offers extra living area. The Kela III XL is available in STANDARD height connection only. The Kela III XL has basically superceded the Sapera model from previous seasons and has the same floor dimensions. If you own an earlier model Sapera, the Kela XL footprint and carpet will fit perfectly or if you upgrade to the new Kela XL you could use your existing footprint and carpet.
The Kela III Deluxe 310 comes with zip off front sun canopy and a porch over the side door, and this model has superceded last season’s Attar awning. The Kela III Deluxe 310 has a slightly shorter connection width than last year’s Attar 380 which means it will now fit a SWB VW T4, T5 and T6 as well as LWB Transporters. The Kela III Deluxe 310 is available in LOW and STANDARD connection heights. We can still order in (with 2 or 3 days notice) the Deluxe 380 for any customers that prefer an extra wide awning. The Kela III Deluxe 380 is available in STANDARD height only.
The Galli AirBeam Awning is a completely new design from Vango and the flagship model of the 2016 range – we like it a lot! It’s Vango’s first drive-away awning design to run perpendicular to the vehicle which means that the front of the awning faces the same way as the front your uber-cool VeeDub… obviously this would be the reverse on LHD’s offering easy access to the rear tailgate/barn doors.
At the front of the Galli is the main entrance door with integrated porch, perfect for sitting out and watching everybody run for cover in a summer shower and an instant shelter while you unzip the door if you return in wet weather.
The Galli is also the first drive-away awning from Vango that can accommodate two double sleeping compartments with the layout still offering easy access to the connection tunnel and a decent amount of living area.
Call into our Twickenham showroom to see a Vango Galli on display and either connected to our 79’ Bay or T5.
New AirBeam Awning Updates
New LOW Height Connection Option
Vango have been a bit slow to offer the option of a lower connection height awning tunnel but better late than never. This hasn’t really put off VW owners too much as AirBeam awnings have been embraced by the scene since they were first introduced. It is possible to get a Standard connection tunnel nice and taught on a Transporter, it just takes a bit of practice.
Although Vango’s new LOW height connection is an improvement when it comes to tightening the adjustment straps at the top of the connection tunnel, we do think it’s more important to set-out the awning properly in the first place. Watch this blog page for tips on setting up an AirBeam drive-away awning – coming soon
Vango have drawn on their 50 years of tent manufacturing experience and created new Sentinel high quality fabrics for their 2016 AirBeam awnings. The Idris II uses Sentinel Active 70 in its construction which is a 70 denier polyester combining strength to weight to provide a compact pack size.
All other awnings in the AirBeam range are now manufactured using Sentinel Pro 420 – an incredibly strong 420 denier double rip-stop fabric that will withstand all weathers. This high-density base fabric combined with high tech coatings ensure AirBeam awnings are durable, fully waterproof and will have a long life.
The Idris II now comes in a cool Sky Blue colour with Black detailing with the rest of the collection finished in a much lighter Cloud Grey/Black colourway.
New Universal Sleeping Compartment
Bedroom inner tents aren’t included as standard with the 2016 range and they are now an optional extra. We can understand why Vango have done this as in past years many of our customers have bought AirBeam awnings for just living/storage space and the bedroom was surplus to requirements. The new universal double bedroom fits all 2016 models and is reversible.
AirSpeed Valve System
Vango have improved their AirSpeed Valve System by tweeking the pump adaptor slightly to make inflation 30% more efficient… which equates to 30% less effort or same effort and 30% faster inflation… yes, even faster! We do have a few of these new adaptors to give away to any of our 2015 AirBeam customers who call in our shop.
All 2016 AirBeam’s still have Vango’s patented Tension Band System (TBS) which is what makes them the most stable drive-away awning on the market.
Just email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title AirBeam for a FREE 2016 Vango AirBeam Awning brochure and pricelist.
The FL Team