Review: Camping with the Tentsile tree tent

Photo by Risto Kuulasmaa

[featured photo by Risto Kuulasmaa – CC BY-NC 2.0]

Hi everyone,
it has always been my dream to go camping with one of the Tentsile tree tents, I mean look at all those incredible Instagrams! So earlier this year, we finally planned a camping trip to Yosemite National Park and I was lucky enough to find a Tentsile on Airbnb that we could pick up on our way! Isn’t it great that you can even rent camping equipment on that site now? The rental included all kinds of useful camping gear too, so we didn’t have to buy anything extra (the mister has quite a collection of gear, too).

tentsile instagrams
Photos by @tentsile

Anyhow, this is not supposed to turn into a recollection of the trip but a review of the tent. We had the original Stingray version of the tree tent. On the tensile website, it is described as suitable for 3 adults and their gear or 2 adults and 2 children. The Airbnb ad advertised it as a 6 person tent. And this is where our problems started: It was too big for two people going backpacking and way too heavy. Our packs for those three days of backpacking were ginormous. Especially the ratchets used to secure the tent in the trees are very heavy. I’m not saying this is in anyway the company’s fault, they do have all the specifications on their website. However, I come to think that this tent is completely inappropriate for backpacking and now look at their Instagrams. You can’t tell me you honestly believe all of these awesome locations were reached by car.
tentsile tree tent
We definitely failed to tighten all the ropes
So we started hiking with our heavy packs and finally reach our destination for the first night, unpack our tent and now start to realize how big this tent actually is. In fact, it is anything but easy to find trees that are far away from each other (with no other trees in the middle) to set up the tent correctly. That alone took a while and again was kind of a sign that the tent was better used on a campground with exactly three trees around. Now, onto the biggest problem: securing the three ropes around the trees with the heavy ratchets! WE. COULD. NOT. FIGURE. IT. OUT. I know, it sounds ridiculous. The video made it sound incredibly simple and the little instruction sheet that came with the tent was barely any help. We tried it so many times in so many different ways. Either we couldn’t get the ropes secured or we got them stuck inside the ratchets and had to use tools and fingernails to get them out. We ended up not being able to get the ropes tight for an even tent. It ended up being more like a hammock. Also, there was no way we would hike further with this tent. We ended up staying in the same location and going on day hikes. Taking down the tent on the last day was a pain and took about an hour.
But there were a bunch of positive sides! I have never slept so comfortably in a tent before. There was no need for sleeping pads and no hip, back, or knee pain the next day. It was truly dreamy. We also had plenty of space in the tent (it was big, remember?) and there were loops to hang lamps and what not. I was a bit of a climb into the tent but that was probably because we didn’t manage to tighten the ropes fully. I also felt like it was actually warmer than sleeping on the ground. We used this tent in April and it got still very cold overnight.
The instructions were rather useless
The quality of the tent is great and the design is genius. I love that it is possible to create stacks of them for bigger families and there are all kinds of accessories available. I am sure with the right amount of experience and the perfect spot, camping with a Tentsile tree tent makes for an amazing experience.
View from the tent

Bottom line:

  • It’s too big and too heavy for backpacking
  • Setting up the tent can be tricky. One should be very familiar with the ratchets and not every camp site will work. However, I just learned that there is a Tentsile community that shares the best camping spots.
  • It is super comfy and cozy and warm enough for a variety of temperatures.
  • The tent seems very family-friendly. You can also combine several tents to accomodate a bigger family or group of friends.
  • I still think the idea, the quality and the design of the is amazing.
  • I definitely want to try camping with a Tentsile tent again under different circumstances (car camping!!) and with more preparation.
Review: Tentsile tree tent (photo by Risto Kuulasmaa) -
Happy pinning!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Yours, Juliet

** This review was not sponsored. This post contains no affiliate links.

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