Battle of the Camping Sofas: Outwell v Outdoor Revolution Review – Updated for 2021
Editor Lisa Baker couldn’t choose between the sofa brands, so made the ultimate sacrifice, bought one of each and tested them in her garden for an overnight stay in the small but beautifully formed Texel 400.
When it comes to camping sofas, forget an old plastic inflatable sofa that goes down in five minutes flat and on average lasts a few trips – and yes, we’ve all had them.
These days, Outwell and Outdoor Revolution are redefining inflatable camping furniture, taking it to a smart new level, with classy fabric covers and fantastic performance, even in hot weather. Looks wise, there isn’t a lot to choose between them, although the Campese set now features Outdoor Revolution logos.
Here’s the stats for each – as you can see, they are pretty similar, and both come in an attractive shade of grey with only a minor variant in colour -something even less noticeable in the flesh. If they aren’t touching you could mistake them as being part of the same set.
Check out the specs:
OUTWELL LAKE SUPERIOR SOFA
Fabric: 100% polyester
Frame: inflatable PVC
Size: 170 x 83 x 74 cm (WxDxH)
Max load: 250 kg
Seat Height: 37 cm
Weight: 10 kg
Price: £199 (Newquay Camping)
OUTDOOR REVOLUTION CAMPESE
Fabric: 420-Denier Polyester Cover
Frame: inflatable PVC
SIZE: 160 x 85 x 75 (WxDxH)
Max Load: 240kg
Seat Height: 38 cm
Weight: 7.3 kg
Price: £99 (Newquay Camping)
Cosy Sofa Looks and Style
Even when sat together, there isn’t a whole lot to choose between these two, other than the Campese logo which defines one from the other. Weight wise the only difference is the pump – Outwell comes with a built in pump, whereas the Outdoor Revolution Campese requires an air pump. Spec wise, that’s really the only major difference.
We also bought the matching footstools, where there is a difference – the Outwell footstool is considerably bigger, however, inflating the footstool requires connecting it to the sofa, which is fiddly and while it’s not too onerous in the garden, would really wind me up if we were in the outdoors.
Lounging and Home Comforts – which is the comfiest?
When inflated, the Outwell has a much smoother look than the Campese, which reveals the tell tale shape of ribbed air beams – but these make the Campese slightly comfier to sit on. However, we initially had the Outwell set on firm.
Switching to plush setting on the Outwell gave comparable comfort – word of warning, Outwell’s firm setting is not that comfy!
The Overnight Test
Both sofas were left up over 2 days and nights in temperatures of thirty degrees. Neither sofa went down, although the Outwell footstool went down a little bit. To be honest I was very pleasantly impressed by both and seeing as I own both, I would buy both again!!!
The Verdict – which sofa should I buy?
Well – if you were hoping to have your mind made up for you, I’m sorry because there isn’t a clear winner, both of these are star performers and I’d be happy to sit on either.
We have 2 Campese sofas and one Outwell, so Outwell is our short haul set up and Campese is now long haul…. but to be honest, if we are going in the Bergen with extension and vestibule, we will probably take all 3, because that’s the tent we take when our friends are all camping and we want plenty of space to sit indoors.
If you are on a budget, even if you have to buy a pump (ours was £11.99 in Tesco), you definitely won’t be disappointed with the Outdoor Revolution Campese and it doesn’t feel at all like the poor relation, they are a comparable product.
As for Outwell – if you are an Outwell fan (and hands up, I am!) and have patience, I got mine in Winter for about £150 after discount in the Camping World sale last September. Whichever of these super-comfy sofas you buy, you won’t be disappointed.
The test of time – 2021 update
We’ve owned both of these for over a year now and they have been tested out in the field, in the lounge at home in between sofas, in hurried pitching conditions when we over-inflated one of the sofas, and both have been climbed over by the dog and cat when pitched in our event shelter.
We are not small people, and are probably described as the wrong side of pleasantly plump, so if they can survive us, they are doing well!
One blip – because the Outwell one has a built in pump, it doesn’t over inflate, whereas with the Outdoor Revolution, my better half left the air pump wedged in and went off to inflate the bed. Unfortunately, the now-too-big-sofa slightly ripped through the back of the fabric cover. Thankfully it’s at the back and it’s not noticeable.
It’s fair to say both sofas have had a reasonable amount of use, it’s been pot luck which has been thrown into the car on our camping trips and it’s the first one that gets pulled out for the garden from one of our storage cupboards which are not in any particular order.
After a year of use, (longer for the Outwell as we’ve had it longer), after not terribly careful winter storage, indoor and outdoor use, mixed temperatures and climbed on by animals in the garden, all three of our camping sofas still look great (minus the unfortunate rip which you can’t see anyway) and I would gladly buy them again. So a year later, I still don’t feel able to name a winner – but am delighted with both!