Recently, I learned about tree tents. I suspected that they were nothing more than a fad, and I was concerned that they weren’t very comfortable. So, I poked around a bit to see what others had to say. I wanted to answer these specific questions: Are Tentsile tree tents comfortable? And, can I get a good night’s sleep in a Tentsile tree tent? Here is what I found:
Yes, Tentsile tree tents provide a comfortable sleeping compartment. They offer a warm, bug-free, dry, and unique tenting experience. Besides, tree tents have gained popularity over the last few years, especially in wet climates.
While everything looks good at first glance, let’s see how Tentsile tree tents stack up in the different characteristics of comfort: warmth, weather, bugs, and getting in and out of the tent?
If you are interested in checking out the original Tentsile tree tents you can find them by clicking here.
Temperature: More specifically, can I keep warm in a Tentsile tree tent?
That is a good question. To understand how to stay warm in a tree tent, you must consider several things. Does the tent bottom radiate heat away from the tent, leaving the tent bottom cold? Many accounts note that during cool windy days, the bottom of tree tents loses heat.
However, many manufacturers have created nifty ways to keep the heat in. For example, the Tentsile tree tents come with a double-walled floor where you can slide a sleeping pad. This provides extra warmth protection via heat conduction returning body heat to the camper.
So what is the verdict? Tree tents do well during the spring, summer, and fall months however, cold and windy conditions might prove their downfall.
Bad weather – How well do Tentsile tree tents keep the weather out?
Just like standard lightweight tents, tree tents have waterproof rainflys. The rainflys from Tentsile have a 2500 mm hydrostatic head rating. Hydrostatic head is the measurement at which water droplets penetrate a fabric. The rating of 2500 mm is a good solid rating and in the waterproof range.
The tent is completely enclosed when the rainfly is set up properly. Also, the rainfly on Tentsile tents extends past the tent providing a larger dry area below the tent. A dry area beneath the tent is good for storing gear.
A bonus: After a rainy night, the tent can dry quickly in the tree before dismantling it and putting it back in your pack.
How well do Tentsile tree tents keep out critters and bugs?
The mesh on tree tents is that of traditional tents. This “no-see-um mesh” protects you from biting and stinging insects while you sleep. And, the bottom of the tent is too thick for mosquitos to penetrate as well.
Other animals, such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders won’t get into your tent. For the most part, they will not even know you are perched in a tent above them as they snoop around at night.
In conclusion, tree tents do a good job keeping out pesky insects, snakes, and other small varmints just like a traditional tent. A plus for sure.
Is it easy to get into a Tentsile tree tent?
For the most part, yes. The standard for setting up a tree tent is 4 feet from the ground. Most of us can get into the tent just like when we hop onto the kitchen counter at home. But it is even easier than that. Because, as you push down on the tent, the tent lowers down to you. Then it is just a small hop onto the tent. Easy Peasy. Once you are sitting in your tent just lean back, bring up your knees, and swing around to lay down.
Here is a demonstration by Tentsile, LTD:
One nice thing about tree tents is that each side has fully opening windows. Meaning, you don’t have to crawl over your bunkmate to get to your spot in the tent. Even better, some tents have an opening in the center of the tent. So, entering the middle of the tent is possible. Picture entering your tree fort with the hatch at the bottom of the fort.
Sometimes tree tents are a bit higher and more difficult to get in. If you car camp, then you can bring along a small stool or use the cooler to step on to help you get into the tent easier.
And finally, some tents have add-ons like rope ladders that attach to the tent so you can climb in.
Are Tentsile tree tents easy to set up? Do I need to learn knots?
Every time that I think of tying knots, I think of a friend who once said, “if you can’t tie knots, then tie lots!” Fortunately, for you, tree tents come with industrial-grade ratchet tensioners.
Finding the right situation for your tree tent is paramount to getting a good night’s sleep. We recommend that you find trees that are about 15 feet apart and 10 inches in diameter. These specifications provide the easiest and safest setup.
Also, keeping the tent 4 to 5 feet from the ground is optimal. If you choose to raise your tent higher, think of this saying from my rockclimbing days. It goes something like this: only climb without a rope to the height that you are willing to fall. The same holds for tree tents. Only raise your tent to the height you are willing to fall or jump.
Many people raise their tents super high into the trees. While this is fun, raising your tents higher than 5 feet is dangerous. As you know, tree trunks thin in diameter the higher they go. These thin trunks lose strength and stability. Also, trees are more flexible the higher you ascend, meaning it is more difficult to tension your straps correctly. It is your decision.
Here is a brief video from Tentsile showing the proper set up for one of their tree tents. Check it out.
What do others have to say about Tentsile tree tents?
Here are testimonials that I have found from some sources directly related to tree tent comfort.
“The Stingray is the most comfortable and cozy tent I’ve ever slept in. Even comfier than my own bed. 10/10 would recommend.”
“Ultimately satisfying and wonderful tool to entice anyone outside to enjoy the wonders of nature.”
“Used it once so far for a 4-day camping trip. Held up really well in the rain. Definitely get a pad to sleep on as all the air underneath does get to you really fast. The first setup can be confusing but really easy once setup and breakdown time is super fast.”
Drawbacks to sleeping in a Tentsile tree tent
It appears that the tree tents are as comfortable, if maybe, in the right circumstances a bit more comfortable than traditional tents.
But there are some drawbacks. First, the bottom of the tent tends to cool off at night. As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to use a sleeping pad to reduce heat loss.
Second, you need trees and open space. Many places in the Northeast where I live are so full of trees and ground cover that it might be difficult to find an open enough spot. Also, finding the proper diameter trees might pose a problem.
Third, weight. Because of the industrial-grade ratchets, these tents get a bit heavy. So, while great for car camping, not so good if hauling on a week-long adventure.
Fourth, the set-up has a lengthy learning curve. Many testimonials noted they took a while learning how to set up the tent properly. One person noted that he had to readjust the tensioning straps again in the morning.
I find that because of their unique design, tree tents provide an awesome sleeping experience. While they have their drawbacks, people seem to like them.
Thinking of buying a Tentsile tree tent? Try before you buy!
We recommend that you try them out first. There are a few gear outfitters who are renting them out. And Airbnb has places set up to try them out. So, enjoy a weekend camping in the great outdoors trying a new experience.
Here is a link to an AirBnB tree tenting experience.
Or if you are less than 25 miles from their shop in Stillwater, Minnesota, you can rent a tree tent from Diro Outdoors.
Take a test drive on a tree tent and see how it goes. Maybe you will become a believer!