Launched in 2020 from the same family as Vango tents, the Lichfield Eagle 6 (RRP £849), is one of a new breed of inflatable tents that uses ‘air’ poles to hold its shape rather than traditional poles. Once inflated, this tunnel design has two bedrooms, a large living room and a separate porch, offering a generous amount of room for a family of four. We pitched the Eagle to how it fared in the wild, and in all kinds of weather conditions, and it turned out to be one of the best family tents we've tried. Read on for our full Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review.
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Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review: design and features
Lichfield Eagle 6 tent: specs
Pack size: 645cm x 360cm
Bedrooms: One (divisible into two)
Pitch time: 15 minutes
After a spacious family tent for summer camping adventures? Lichfield have set out to fill that brief when designing the Eagle, a large tunnel-style tent that boasts inflatable air poles. Our first impression of the Lichfield Eagle was a favourable one – this tent stands out from the crowd for its smart sandy colourway, which gives the tent a safari-tent vibe and helps make the living quarters feel light and airy to hang out in. We think the Eagle looks far more expensive than it actually is.
Once five ‘Airbeam’ poles are inflated, the Eagle is split into three parts – a large living room, one big bedroom that can be divided into two with a fabric divider, and a wide porch without a groundsheet. Both living spaces have big clear windows that add a real feeling of light and space to the interior. The windows can also be covered with toggled curtains for privacy, and the doors have mesh inner doors to protect against insects. There’s good head room throughout, even for taller adults.
Despite its quick air pitching, the Lichfield is a heavy tent at 32kg, and bulky even when packed down – you’ll need a big car boot for transporting it to your campsite, plenty of storage space at home, and two people to carry it comfortably.
Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review: pitching
Pitching is where the Lichfield Eagle really stands out from the crowd. Family tents are notoriously fiddly and long-winded to pitch, and can leave you juggling poles and instructions when all you want is to be relaxing with a beer. Not so the Eagle – air poles make it very simple, quick and intuitive to pitch this tent. It may not be lightweight or small, and it’s definitely far easier pitched by two people, but once you’ve unpacked and laid out the Eagle, it’s a doddle to attach the included hand pump (or your own electric pump if you’re feeling lazy) and inflate each of the five air beam poles in turn, magically popping the tent up intact and ready to use – there’s no need to separately pitch the outer flysheet or the bedrooms.
Then you just peg out the guy ropes, and you’re done. If you like to use a family-sized tent on weekend trips, if you’re moving campsites a few times on holiday or if you simply don’t want a pitching headache, this is our top pick of the family tents for a simple set-up.
Like all big and heavy family tents, it’s a bit more of a faff to pack away the Lichfield Eagle than it is to unpack it – when it’s home time you’ll need to carefully squeeze air out of the poles, then fold the tent lengthways into four, and finally roll it up tightly to fit it in its carry bag.
Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review: performance and comfort
While the Lichfield Eagle can sleep six adults if needed, there are only two bedrooms, so realistically this design its better suited to a family of four or five, with adults in one bedroom and kids in the other. There’s one huge bedroom that can be divided into two using a toggle divider, and blackout walls keep the bedrooms cool and dark even when dawn breaks, which is ideal when camping with kids, or if you’re a light sleeper. Each bedroom fits a double air mattress comfortably.
The bedrooms are actually the smallest section of the tent – the big living room and porch offer tons of head height, storage and living space. Our only real issue with the interior of the Eagle is the bedroom divider, which is thin, flimsy and almost translucent. It still works to separate the bedrooms into two for a family, but wouldn’t be ideal for two couples keen for a bit of privacy.
Facing stormy weather? The Eagle proved ready to take on the elements when on test – it’s fully waterproofed thanks to a 5,000mm flysheet, and the five sturdy air beams put up with wind without any issues. The big porch is also great for cooking and eating in in bad weather, as you can open up the big doors but stay sheltered – this is a great tent for hanging out in in rainy conditions without feeling claustrophobic. On hot summer days the Eagle also feels cooler and more ventilated than other family tents we’ve tested – top marks for versatility in the mercurial British summertime.
Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review: alternatives to consider
We recommend the Lichfield Eagle for a family of four (or five max) – if you do want a family tent suitable for a family of six, take a look at the Coleman Weathermaster XL Air (available in 4XL, 6XL and 8XL versions). There's also the more affordable Vango Stargrove ii 600xl tent, or the more expensive, inflatable Berghaus Berg Air 6XL, both of which can be laid out to have three bedrooms rather than two. If you like the safari-style looks and airy spaciousness of the Lichfield Eagle you may even want to consider a cotton glamping-style bell tent such as Life Under Canvas’s bell tents as an alternative. While there’s also a five-person version of the Lichfield Eagle available, we think this six-man version we reviewed is worth the extra spend and extra 5kg of weight for the added space you get in return.
Lichfield Eagle 6 tent review: verdict
There’s lots of things we like about this tunnel-style tent, but where the Lichfield Eagle really stands out from the family tent crowd is in its easy pitching, its airy living quarters and its reliable weatherproofing. Despite being a large and heavy model, this tent can be pitched in ten minutes flat, which is far quicker and less of a headache than traditional poled family tents that don’t use 'air' beams. While the Lichfield will sleep six at a push, there are only two bedrooms separated by one flimsy divider, so we’d recommend this design for a family of four who value roomy living space, storage space and good head height over big, versatile bedrooms.