Suspended tree tents take camping to another level, literally and figuratively. Camping in the trees (sans tree house) means you can escape cold, hard or damp surfaces. You’ll also avoid bugs, rodents and the fear of bears too. In 2010, treehouse architect Shirley-Smith worked alongside partner Kirk Kirchev to create a portable treehouse that could be quickly assembled just about anywhere, from backyards to remote forests. The result was the Tentsile, which is now available in several models and price points. Needless to say, it’s quickly gaining popularity. Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of floating tents and that’s what brought you to this page in the first place.
What do you need to set up a hanging tent?
It’s easier than you might assume to take your next camping trip off the ground. You’ll need…
- A Tentsile tree tent
- Ratchet straps
- 3 anchoring points (trees, boulders, truck, etc.)
What if trees or anchoring points are misaligned or are not in a perfect triangular figuration? There are ways to adjust ratchet straps so that the tent still hangs safely suspended from the trees. It should take around 10 minutes to set up the tent using 3 tree straps, 2 poles, and one fly sheet. It takes even less time to take the tent down and clean up.
Different suspended tree tents are available. You can mix and match tents and hammocks to create a suspended base camp for 6+ people. For example, the Connect Tree Tent ($450) is designed for 2 people, while the Stingray Tent ($650) can hold up to four 200-pound campers.
How Much Weight Can Tensile Tree Tents Hold?
The Stingray tent, the largest model, can support up to 880 pounds. The maximum recommended set up height is 4-feet off the ground. Do you need more space? You can create a floating multi-story camping solution by hanging one or more Trilliums beneath a Stingray tent. The Trillium is a 3-person hammock that can be outfitted with a roof and used to hold people or extra camping gear.
Spiders Helped Create Suspended Tree Tents
Tentsile hanging tents were inspired by spiders and their magical webs. It took 11 prototypes to get the design just right. “The whole thing is sort of taken from spider’s web technology or you know, what exists in nature,” Kirsten Dirksen writes on YouTube. “A spider always uses three anchoring points and the web finds its own position in space that’s a circle in between any of those 3 points. So as long as you’ve got 3 anchoring points this tent will find its own central position to create its own shape inside that triangle.”
The Right Ratchet Straps for Suspended Tree Tents
While you are chillin’ suspended in the trees you are virtually relying on 3 ratchet straps to hold you up. Clearly, you need dependable straps or else you could run into an issue—and a rather painful one at that! Vault Cargo’s 15-foot Ratchet Tie Down Straps are made to the highest industry standards with 500 lbs. load capacity and 1,500-pound break strength.
Vault Cargo also makes a 3” x 8” Tree Saver Tow Strap that can be used in conjunction with ratchet straps to help suspend tents and to recover vehicles—all without damaging trees. Tying a cable around a tree can lead to damage due to excess pressure. The Tree Saver Tow Strap is designed to take pressure off trees—helping you enjoy nature without harming its splendors.
Benefits to Suspended Tree Tents
- You’ll enjoy an all-new view from the comfort of your tent.
- No trees? No problem! You can use boulders, trucks or other strong anchor points to secure Tentsile tents using ratchet straps.
- The tent is made with a rip-resistant private mesh roof and comes with a rain fly you can remove to reveal even better views.
- You can use the tent as a makeshift table by standing up through the specially designed zipper hole on the bottom of each tree tent.
- The tent keeps you suspended above ground away from damp, bugs, snakes, animals, and hard/rocky terrain.
- The creators hope to build on this idea in the future, creating portable villages that leave little impact on forest floors.
Have you tried camping in the trees?
We’d love to hear about your personal experiences in the comments below!