Isabella Cirrus 400 review | Meet the Trudgians

Isabella Cirrus 400 review

Posted by on Oct 12, 2022 in Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

Isabella Cirrus 400 review

The long-awaited feedback on the Isabella Cirrus Air 400 awning has taken me slightly longer than I anticipated, and I can only apologise for that. The truth is I simply became overwhelmed with what I wanted to discuss and document. In fact, because I wanted to compare it with our other awnings and be completely fair to this awning, I decided to not just create a video but a companion blog that goes into far greater detail.

So, after the holiday, Angela and sat down and made a list of all the awnings that we could compare against this Isabella. It would be so easy for me to say, this awning is the best awning ever, until the next one and so on. Instead, we have formed a list on areas that are important to us and rated each one of our awnings against this list. The awnings in question are:

  • Kampa Rally Pro 390
  • Westfalia Quest Rollaway 400
  • Vango Varkala Connect
  • Ventura Trinus
  • Isabella Magnum
  • Isabella Cirrus Air

Now, I know that there will be many fans of some of these awnings and I want to qualify that I’m well aware that many of the faults or issues I have raised have now been fixed in later revisions. Specifically, the issue we had in the Kampa has largely been resolved.

For each awning we rated them from 0 being Not applicable or extremely bad, to 5 being excellent. To see how each awning faired scroll to the bottom of the article to see a full comparison score sheet.

For the first two categories, this is based purely on fact and not our feelings or experience. This is the price and weight. So, the cheapest and lightest awning would receive the maximum points. After these 2 categories, we assigned values based upon our feelings and experience.


The cheape

st awning was the Westfailia, so that gets 5. The most expensive is the Isabella Cirrus, this therefor gets the 0.


we judged this on the lightest being the best, to the heaviest being the worst. In this case, the lightest awning was the Kampa, at 23.3Kg so naturally it scores 5. The heaviest awning unsurprisingly is the Cirrus. It scores zero.

So lets have a look at the scores, before we carry on. With 8 points, the Kampa, Vango and Quest Leisure are all neck and neck. The Trinus is 2nd with 4 points, and the Isabella Magnum has 2 points, and plum last is the Cirrus.

So, that’s the facts, lets move onto how we found this awning, and our thoughts. I’ll start with putting up the awning.

Setting up

This Cirrus is the heaviest awning and weighs in at just under 36Kg including all the accessories. Both Angela and I were dreading putting this awning up, specifically feeding it through the rail, because of its weight.

I didn’t record the putting up or down, simply because it was way too hot and we just wanted to get it done. But what I can say, is the awning did go up quite easy.

I did spray some AquaTex into the awning rail, this gave the awning some lubrication and made the rail more slippery and therefore easier to run the awning bead through. We fed it from the rear, so avoiding the front marker light and the awning light above the door, which air awnings love to get caught on for some reason.

Inflating was quite easy, it’s a single point inflation, but there are 3 valves to choose from. We chose the middle and I will add that screwing the pump onto the awning really helped to stop those annoying pump pop offs, that we have suffered from in the past.

To be honest, we all took it in turns because it was so warm, and after my small contribution, the awning was up and secure. We only added 7psi into the tubes, and they were rock hard.

So if we look at the comparison so far, I rated the Vango as bad, which may be seen as unfair, however compared to the rest it was the worst. That was because of its multi-inflation points and separate tubes. The rest I rated as OK except for the Magnum and Cirrus, which were both really simple to feed into the rail, put up and peg out. Obviously, the magnum is a pole awning, but that is quite a simple build and one that is surprisingly easy to do, However what all the awnings share is pegging the awning out.

Pegging out

This awning has the same style of pegging points as the Magnum, as such it can be secured in place in a very similar manor. In terms of which was best and worst, well the Trinus has the most pegging points, whereas the Vango had the least. However, it’s not about which has the most, it is about does the pegging points create a sturdy and tight awning construction. And after a long chat with Mrs T, we have scored them like this. From our experience, we found the Kampa, and the Trinus to be the worst. The Kampa because it never went up the same way twice, and was always a difficult awning to get tight. The Trinus because the vast number of points and constant adjustment of the awning sides.

All the others we scored as OK, nothing stood out as amazing, perhaps the Magnum was fractionally better, but on reflection, it was about the same as the Cirrus. Both of which were able to create a flat, taught awning side without the need for guy lines.


Each porch awning will face the challenge of fitting against the side of the caravan. Every manufacturer has a different way of approaching this issue. Some will have a pole that will provide extra stiffness against the caravan, some have inflatable bladders, some come with foam wedges.

To date, the best fitting awning and caravan combination, was the Vango Varkala and the Lunar caravan. The bailey is slightly worse, because of its moulding at the bottom that kicks out the edge of the awning. To this effect, the best fitting awning on the Bailey is the Trinus, and Cirrus. Everything else, that uses a pole, simply cannot get close to the caravan side, so a gap is always present. But that’s not all, fitment at the top can be an issue too.

Air awnings have bigger tubes than their poled counterparts, and that can cause an issue specifically on this caravan as the awning light shroud kicks the awning to the left, but the EHU point pushes it to the right, with very little room between for a wide awning panel, such as those found on air awnings.

The only air awning that has fitted well in the space is the Vango Varkala Connect and that is because of its smaller tubes. But all the poled awnings including the Magnum and the Roll away did not suffer this problem.

So taking into account the fitment of the sides, and the fitment at the roof line, here is how I have scored it.

The Cirrus and Trinus, get score well because of the air bladder. The Vango gets a better score because of its thin tubes, the awnings that use poles, get a worse rating, as they don’t fit as well on this caravan.

No matter the awning you are looking at, do check the gap between your door and window, check for locker alignment and any EHU or sockets getting in the way.


I never really thought this was a thing until we had the Trinus. The ability of removing the curtains. In fact, looking back the roll up integral blinds found on the Kampa, the Vango and the Quest Rollaway, I never really liked them, but tolerated them as that was what we had. Nowadays Kampa or Dometic, and Vango offer awnings with removable curtains, and this is something I love. It means you can clean the curtains separately and store them away from a potential damp or mucky awning. In fact, the Magnum curtains lived in the wardrobe of the caravan, safe and dry. Adding the curtains into the Cirrus is easy once you’ve set them up. Simply slot the curtain into the clip.

These are a better design than those found in the Trinus but are the same found in other Isabella awnings. Tie backs and elastic straps are also included to keep the curtains tide when either open or closed.

I rated the awnings like this, those found with roll away blinds that I couldn’t remove I rated as bad, the Trinus was Ok, but the design of the magnum and the Cirrus is better. I rated the magnum as good, as the design of these make adding and removing them a breeze. One small detail I really liked about the Cirrus, is all the curtains are the same size which meant I rated the Cirrus as Excellent.

Fly Screens

Another feature that we made good use of on this holiday was the inbuilt fly screens and Veranda. Not all awnings have built in fly screens, I specifically recall the Vango and Trinus had none, and the Kampa had fly screens built into the door, but the clear winner here is the quest rollaway and the 2 Isabella’s that had roll up windows at each end, revealing inbuilt fly screens. I will admit that these were a life saver in the extreme heat, having these open both ends did allow hot air to escape, cool air in and the very occasional breeze to waft through, all the while keeping the bugs at bay. Another area we liked was these unzippable panels in the corner to allow more ventilation in the awning. Ideal for letting any condensation out of the awning and allowing the structure to breathe inside.


We made use of the included veranda pole, that allows the window to be opened half way and opens the awning to the elements even more. To be honest, I would have liked another beam to do the exact same thing on the other panel, but only 1 is supplied with the awning. I guess you can buy more, but for the price – this could easily been thrown in with the awning.

Adding extra annexes to this awning makes this a really versatile area, where you can in essence double the space inside. We are thinking a future test would be to use on of these as a bedroom, perfect for Chloe or if Tom wants to spend some time with us.

I scored the awnings like this. The Kampa, gets a 1 because there were at the time no additional annexes were available, the Quest gets a 5 because of the nature it could be a canopy, an awning or half and half. The Vango also gets a 4 because of the annex additions, the Trinus gets a 4 because the optional canopy, and the Magnum also receives a 4 because of the annex porch, canopy and many other additions to configure the space. Finally, the Cirrus get a 4 because of the annex additions


Keeping tree sap, bird lime, food, mud and anything else off an awning is possibly the most important aspect of protecting your investment. As this isn’t our awning, I was super keen to make sure the fabric is in tip top condition, but I need not worry. It’s the same fabric as our Air Arc canopy and a wipe over with a damp cloth removes any dirt or debris. For more stubborn stains we used the tried and tested IsaClean that have used ever since the Trinus.

And this is where Isabella’s really do take a huge leap into the lead. Nothing cleans like an Isabella awning, I really mean that. The Kampa was awful at cleaning, it always looked grubby, and I did try hard to keep it tip top, but that’s why it only received a 1. The Vango was never much better – because of its lightweight fabric, it stained easy and showed up massively.1 point goes to this awning, that also in the end turned pink! The Quest was easier to clean, but the heavy PVC roof panel, would go mouldy really quickly although easy to clean it was a constant battle, hence it only gets a 2. The Trinus was a breath of fresh air when we received it, and I recorded a very quick simple video showing how easy it was to clean, it gets a 4, only because the Magnum and Cirrus must have a 5 for the sheer ease that these can be kept in great condition.


All the awnings have some degree of accessories, either additional roof panels to reduce condensation, flooring, carpets, or tie down kits. In fact the only awning we had that didn’t have any accessories was the Quest leisure Roll away, hence why it scored a low 1 point. The Kampa and the Trinus scored a 3 because although accessories were available, at the time there were not a great selection of additions to be had. One notable accessory is the new flooring that you can install into the Cirrus. This velcros into the awning creating a water and weather tight seal around the base of the awning. This would be a great addition in wet or cold weather and will allow us to still use a slightly too small carpet we currently have.

Putting away

Ok, the last thing was how easy the awning was to put away. Im sure you have owned an awning that when brand new fitted perfectly in the bag, yet after the very first use it simply could not be returned into the storage bag. We had this very issue with the Vango and the Kampa. In fact the vango could only be returned half way in the bag, it simply wouldn’t go any further.

All the Isabella awnings and the Quest Rollaway did return to their storage bags, and this is due in part to having more than one bag to hold the entire awning. The Poled awnings clearly have a pole bag and a fabric bag, but the Cirrus holds accessories, including curtains, pump and the veranda tube inside. Meaning the fabric bulk of the awing can fit quite nicely in one of the standard bags, with plenty of room.

The ease of putting away is another topic, remove the insides, unpeg and collapse into the bags. For this ease of putting away I scored the Kampa as a 4, The quest as a 3 – due its complex nature of removing the sides, removing the poles then rolling the roof away. Athe Trinus was complex in its construction so took a lot longer to put down, hence it scored a 3. And to be fair, the Magnum needs to be put away neatly in order for it to go up again without a hitch. So we scored this as OK, ergo 3 points. We also scored the Vango as a 3, because of the removal of the separate poles, and it not quite fitting back in the bag.


So, how did we feel about the Isabella Cirrus?
It was a lovely space to live in during the holiday, sure it was very hot weather and we didn’t stay in the awning as much as we usually do, but in the early mornings and late evenings it was great.

Is this the best awning we have ever had?
I don think so, my personal pick of the rest is the Magnum, but this Cirrus does perform just like an Isabella poled awning, which is kind of odd.

Would we buy one?
Upon a lot of reflection, we would buy it if it was the same price of the Magnum. The flexibility makes this a great addition to the caravan, especially if we were to purchase the annex additions as well. The only stumbling block for us is the price, but that being said you do pay for what you get and I’m sure you will have noticed Isabella awnings on site that always look in great shape and a few years old too.

The final scores ( Click to enlarge )

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