As a camper van owner looking for a drive away awning, you are undoubtedly struggling for space in the van. Whilst any awning will give you a bit of extra space, the Olpro Cocoon Breeze inflatable drive away campervan awning takes it to another level. Not only is it vastly spacious, the awning includes a bedroom inner that sleeps up to 5. On the outside of this is an incredibly useful storage system. As a family, the Olpro Cocoon Breeze transformed our camping setup. Having waited all summer to try it out due to lockdown, we put our inflatable awning to the test last week in Dunbar, Scotland. As usual, the British weather wasn’t shy in providing us with wind, rain and even the odd bit of sunshine to put the drive away awning through its paces.
Olpro Cocoon Breeze dimensions
Our first worry with this drive away awning was that it may not be tall enough for our van. We have a Mazda Bongo with a high top, so it is 2.4 metres tall at the top of the roof. We were surprised to hear that the dimensions actually fit our van easily. I will list all dimensions below for ease.
Height: Fits all campervans between 190cm and 250cm high. The height of the awning itself is 210cm.
Footprint: Length 455cm, Width 350cm.
Bag size: When packed up, the awning is 82cm long by 43cm high and 43cm wide. More information on putting it away is below but we were delighted that it fitted quite easily into the bag!
Groundsheet: Integrated into the awning.
Poles: Inflatable air poles are integrated into the awning. There are two ordinary poles for putting up the canopy porch.
Doors and windows: There are 3 doors and 3 windows in the Olpro Cocooon Breeze inflatable drive away awning.
Inner tent: An inner tent is included in the awning. This is divided into two rooms, sleeping up to five people in total.
Pump and pegs: Included with the awning.
Can you stand up in the Olpro Cocoon Breeze? Yes, there is plenty of space to stand up.
Colour: Orange and Black or Blue and Grey, or Sage Green and Chalk.
Pitching time: The website says this can be done in 15 minutes. I would say this was realistic with some practice, it took us a little longer but probably only about 20 minutes.
Putting up the Olpro Cocoon Breeze drive away awning
As mentioned above, Olpro anticipate being able to put up this awning within 15 minutes. I would say this was realistic after a little practice but we have only managed to use it once so far due to lockdown. It took my husband and I about 20 minutes to put the awning up.
Olpro have a great video on their website to explain how to put up the Cocoon Breeze. However, we didn’t think to look at them before putting ours up and just got on with it. We laid the awning out roughly where we wanted it. Next, we found all the poles and made sure the valves were closed so the air wouldn’t go straight out as we pumped them up.
Then it was time to pump up the poles. I held them up while my husband pumped them. Once it was up, we pegged the awning down where we wanted it and I hooked the inner room into the inside of the awning. This was incredibly simple and quickly transformed the awning from one big space to three distinct areas that we could easily organise as we wanted them.
Once the inflatable awning was pegged down, we put the van in place by the door and put the straps over the van. Olpro advise attaching the awning using beading on the tunnel, which can be threaded onto your guttering or awning rail if you have one. We don’t have either of those, so we used the straps included that go across the top of the van. If you have a pop-up roof, the straps can go either side of it. The straps then need to be pegged down on the opposite side of the van.
How we used the space in the Olpro Cocoon Breeze awning
We did have an inflatable awning before the Cocoon Breeze, but it was about half the size and didn’t have an inner bedroom setup. I have to admit this was my fault. I’d really love to just take less stuff with us when we travel so we don’t need an awning. I hate arriving late and having to set it up. I hate spending hours taking it down on the last day so we end up setting off late and getting home late. So, we went for a small awning as a compromise. It was the wrong decision.
This Olpro awning was quicker to put up and take down than our old one. And when it was up, the extra space it gave us was a game changer. For the first time ever, the children decided to sleep in the awning rather than in the roof of the van. They chose the smaller bedroom and slept in there on their double inflatable roll mat, complete with duvets and pillows. We used the other bedroom for storing all the clothes and food. In the rest of the awning there was plenty of space to put in our fold out table and washing line when it rained.
This meant that on our last day, we were able to pack up everything into the roof of the van after the children had gone to sleep. So in the morning, we just packed up the duvets and the awning itself and we were away before 9am. It was a complete game changer. The ease of putting up and taking down the awning, along with the extra space and the children wanting to sleep in it really did make all the difference.
How does the Cocoon Breeze awning cope with wind and rain?
We tested out the awning at Belhaven Bay caravan park in Dunbar during August. As is often the case when camping, the weather threw up all possible scenarios. Gale force winds, torrential rain and even a bit of sunshine.
So firstly, the wind. The awning coped brilliantly with this. There was no suggestion of it shifting or swaying and when it was blowing a gale at night, the children slept straight through it.
When it came to rain, we were equally impressed with the Cocoon Breeze. It remained totally waterproof and didn’t leak. There was plenty of mud but we made sure shoes were taken off outside and the dog’s claws didn’t pierce the groundsheet and let the mud and water in. This happened on our old awning and it was a nightmare. That said, I think it is possible with any awning that a dog’s claws could cause scratches and holes. It is possible to buy a carpet for the Cocoon Breeze and I would consider this in future as an extra layer of protection for the groundsheet. I would imagine it’s great to have for comfort on cold winter camping trips too.
We did have one small issue where the awning had gathered water in the centre. When my husband opened the door, the water ran down the awning and a lot of it came through the door and inside. We think this was because we’d hung a lamp in the centre of the awning. This pulled down the canvas and caused the pooling. We have since realised that we didn’t use the extra inflatable poles that are provided for increased rigidity. With those up, we wouldn’t have had this issue.
Staying dry inside an air awning
The Olpro Cocoon Breeze is made from waterproof fabric with a very high specification. Therefore the fabric itself won’t leak. Seams are heat treated to avoid water coming in and they even provide a seam treatment kit with every awning in case you do have any concerns about the seams. We certainly had no problems with leaks other than the one we caused ourselves by completely failing to put up some quite important poles. However, Olpro do mention that air awnings are prone to condensation.
Tents in general can collect condensation inside. However with an air awning, the moisture tends to collect around the air beams and can then end up pooling around the base of the beam. If you are suffering from condensation inside your drive away awning, Olpro have a comprehensive page about avoiding condensation in your tent.
To summarise, they advise keeping the tent well ventilated and making sure any wet items are stored outside. If condensation does collect in the awning, it can be wiped away with a towel and anything wet should be moved outside. This avoids circulating the moisture back into the air.
Taking down and putting away the awning
I don’t mind admitting that I hate packing an awning up to go home. It always takes an inordinate amount of time, it’s inevitably raining and we’re usually facing a long day of driving once it’s done. When we switched from our smaller awning to the Olpro Cocoon Breeze, I thought it was going to get worse. This awning is huge, it was bound to be a nightmare to take down and get in the bag.
Fortunately, I was completely wrong. As I mentioned above, we packed everything but the awning and bedding away the night before. When it came to taking down the Olpro Cocoon Breeze, it was incredibly straightforward. The inner tent can be left clipped in. Deflating each air beam takes a matter of seconds using the valve. An Olpro peg puller makes light work of pulling up the pegs and then it’s a case of getting the awning into the bag.
Two of us folded up the awning and put it into the bag. Surprisingly, putting it into the bag and zipping it up was relatively straightforward and very quick. There are straps on the outside of the bag to tighten it, slightly reducing the amount of space it takes up in the van.
Extra parts available for the Olpro Cocoon Breeze
It is possible to buy several extras for the Olpro Cocoon Breeze. A footprint groundsheet, carpet, porch extension and extra door are all available to buy and there is also an extension bundle deal. I am considering investing in the carpet before we next go away. It would be great to have for winter and would offer a bit of extra protection from the dog’s claws on the floor.
Olpro Cocoon Breeze campervan awning review: The verdict
The Olpro Cocoon Breeze has changed my view on awnings completely. Whilst I still like the freedom of travelling just with the van on its own, the extra space offered by such a large drive away awning is incredibly useful. It is easy and quick to put up and put down. There’s room for a picnic table, plenty of storage and still people can sleep in there.
When we first got an awning, I insisted on a relatively small one. I didn’t want the hassle of putting up and taking down a large awning. However, since trying out the Cocoon Breeze, I would now take the opposite approach. The large awning is much easier. Both in terms of construction and ease of use when it’s up. The Olpro Cocoon Breeze comes with a two year warranty. I am sure it will last us for many years to come. The awning is available to buy from the Olpro website.