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If you’re considering a Tentsile hammock-tent hybrid, the Connect Tree Tent is a sure bet. (And if you’re ready to buy one, scroll down for a discount code offering 10% off!) It’s a real life adult (and/or kids) treehouse that will stun any fellow campers with its triangle shape suspended in mid-air.
When Tentsile first came on the scene a handful of years ago, I immediately ordered one. I’ve taken it camping several times and have a lot to say about this one-of-a-kind product that nearly every passerby undoubtedly comments on, dumbstruck at the sight of this UFO-looking tent.
I love innovative companies that try to “disrupt” an industry. What Tentsile offers is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the camping hammock-tent game. What truly matters, though, is how this relatively new, very cool looking product performs out in its natural habitat.
Is a Tentsile tree tent comfortable? Is it easy to get in and out of? Does it sag and slouch in the night, leaving you on the cold, wet ground? Will you roll into your neighbor? …Is it worth the price tag?
Introducing Tentsile Tree Tents
Tentsile offers a range of tree tents: the Connect (for two people, the one we own), Una (single person), Flite (two person), Safari (two or three people), Stingray (three people), Universe (five people), and the mac daddy Trilogy, which can sleep up to SIX PEOPLE. And, Tentsile offers traditional two-strap hammocks and several larger hammocks using its signature tri-point hanging system that fit anywhere from two to six people. Whatever you need, Tentsile’s got it.
Looking solely at the two-person tents available, there are three options. We own the middle-range, the Connect, but here’s a quick look at how they differ:
- Flite 2-Person Tree Tent ($399) can hold up to 485 lbs and weighs a respectable 8.4 lbs
- Connect 2-Person Tree Tent ($499) can hold up to 880 lbs and is more suitable for three-season camping with a durable rainfly, weighing 20.8 lbs
- Safari Connect 2-Person Tree Tent ($799) can also hold up to 880 lbs with a more heavy-duty rainfly and durable floor fabric and weighs 24.7 lbs
How to hang the Tentsile Connect Tree Tent
First things first, once you get your fancy new hammock tree tent in the mail, you should practice setting it up in the yard or a park before you go out camping.
Like nearly all Tentsile products, the Connect Tree Tent uses a three-point anchor system, meaning you need three trees to hang from. If you’re camping somewhere with plenty of trees, finding suitable anchors within a suitable distance/angle from one other shouldn’t be a problem. But it’s worth noting this is rather important for the tent to properly function and to ensure it’s taut enough to sleep in. If you aren’t sure what your campsite will be like, go ahead and bring a regular tent just in case.
On the flip side, the beauty of a hanging hammock tent is that you don’t rely on flat, clear ground to camp. You can set up the Tentsile anywhere with trees and enjoy floating while you sleep, rather than suffering through rocks and sticks which can miraculously make their presence known through your footprint, tent, and possibly even sleeping pad.
Choosing the right trees is important. First off, just like anytime you’re hanging a hammock or anything from a tree, make sure they are healthy (read: alive) and large enough to support the weight. Tentsile suggests finding trees with a 15″ diameter.
The three trees should be roughly (or less than) 90 degrees from each other for optimal (read: easiest) setup. This is not always possible. If you find yourself with misaligned trees, one of the tent sides may be much looser and you will not be able to comfortably lie or sleep. It must be taut on all sides for that. There are tricks to outsmart this. You can attach a spare strap and ratchet to another nearby tree that can help pull it into alignment. I highly suggest getting extra straps, as this will speed up your setup time and enable you to hang from more tree options rather than searching for perfectly spaced out ones, possibly to never find them.
The farthest apart the trees can be is the length of the tent side (13′ x’ 13′ x 8.4′) + the straps, which are 19 feet. The minimum space you need is the length of the tent, plus about 20 inches, enough length to secure the strap, loop, and ratchet. Once you find the best three trees, lay the tent out on the ground to get ready to hang.
No lies—the ratchet system can be tricky the first time you attempt it. Don’t get frustrated. It’ll take a bit of patience and practice. Tentsile has a video explaining exactly how to hang the tent, and I highly suggest watching it—at least once. Again, having taut straps is paramount if you want to sleep comfortably in the tent.
It’s also important to make sure the straps don’t twisted as you’re hanging, which they will tend to want to do. This will quickly cause a mess in the ratchet. The tent comes with three ratchets, each connected to a strap, and two aluminum tent poles to keep the tent erect. It also comes with a rainfly and four screw pegs to secure in the ground, 3 WaterGates (one for each strap in case it’s raining), bungee cords, and spare hooks.
Getting in and out of the Tree Tent
Tentsile suggests hanging the tent about 4 feet off the ground for a safe entry and exit, though you can hang it as high as you’d like, so long as you can get in. Tentsile also sells webbed ladders to help with that. Just like any hammock, you’ll basically tricep dip your way in. Scoot your rear up to the tent and lift yourself in.
Is the Tentsile comfortable?
For as much effort as it takes to hang this beast, the answer to this question is a whole-hearted, enthusiastic, resounding YES. You may be questioning everything after the first attempt to hang it, but it will be well worth it. If hung properly, it’s extremely comfortable for back, side, or stomach sleepers. It’s nice and taut, so you can sleep in any position you like. In my experience, it does not sag at all. We’ve camped up to two nights and didn’t have to re-tighten it, but by the time it’s hung, it’s an easy task if you have to do it.
Another perk of sleeping above ground and in the trees is the built-in shade that’s provided. You won’t wake up to the glaring, hot sun forcing you out of your tent sooner than you like. And—another nice perk—is that you’re elevated and away from bugs and critters.
While I did not use a sleeping pad, it has always been pretty warm in Southern California when I’ve camped with the Tentsile Connect Tree Tent. If it will be chilly or downright cold wherever you’re going, a sleeping pad for extra warmth is not a bad idea. Though you don’t need it for comfort at all, the bottom is not insulated, so the chill can easily creep in.
Do you roll on top of each other while you’re sleeping?
Valid question. If you’ve shared a regular hammock with someone, you know personal space doesn’t exist. However, the answer here is no, not if you hang it properly. The Connect Tree Tent has an anti-roll strap built in underneath, which you can adjust to ensure the tent floor is nice and taut. The strap creates a ridge between the two people so you won’t roll into the each other during the night. Genius, and necessary. You can also adjust the strap based on the weight distribution for the people sleeping inside. In case one side will be heavier than the other, this helps everyone hang evenly and flat.
How big is the Tentsile 2-Person Connect Tree Tent?
Rated up to 880 lbs, the Tentsile Connect Tree Tent comfortably fits two adults and their gear (and/or dogs). My friend’s pup, Murphy, loved his time in the Tentsile. I’ve shared it with another adult with no problems at all. It’s spacious, well made, and as sturdy as it promises to be.
Inside, you have a three-foot head clearance and 52 square feet of floor space (13′ x 13′ x 8.4′) . It’s quite roomy—even for tall folks! Underneath the tent, with the rainfly staked out, there’s a covered porch area of about 62 square feet that will keep you and your gear dry and protected.
The tent isn’t exactly light, but I would say it’s pretty portable—perfect for car camping trips. The Connect 2-Person Tree Tent clocks in at 20.8 lbs and fits into its own medium-size duffle bag to keep all components together for easy transport. Like most tents, good luck getting it all back in! Kidding, it’s totally doable, just takes a bit of patience. There’s even a video on how to pack it back up.
Protection from the elements
The tree tent is completely enclosed, so you’re protected from rain, wind, and bugs. The waterproof rainfly is made of durable 70D PU-coated nylon fabric. It extends larger than the actual tent, so you have a large, dry area underneath to hang out if there’s rain and store excess gear. And, with the rainfly extending beyond the edge of the tent, it allows for plenty of ventilation through the night.
If you want to open it all the way up, several zippers open four separate doors, allowing you to literally sleep under the stars with minimal obstruction. If you like the view but hate the bugs, zip up under the tent’s no-see-um insect-safe mesh. There will still be amazing views on all sides.
Other fun additions
- Storage – There are two internal storage pockets for small gadgets like headlamps and phones, and below are two underfloor storage nets for extra gear.
- WaterGates – When it rains, water can easily follow the downward path of the straps and come right into your cozy hammock home. WaterGates are created to add a block between the strap and the tent, diverting the water down to the ground and not into your sleeping bag. Note: I haven’t used it in the rain, but I’ve heard the straps sag more when they get wet, so make sure it’s ratcheted as tight as you can manage if you’re expecting a drizzle and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t hold as well as in dry conditions.
- Tentsile makes some other fun accessories that are compatible with its Tree Tents, including a webbing ladder if you want to hang higher, inflatable mattress, tree protector straps, and more.
- They also plant 20 trees for every tree tent sold.
While definitely an investment, this is a piece of gear that is well built and will last a lifetime if properly used and cared for.
The setup takes some practice—and the right-ish trees—but you will get the hang of it and be a pro in no time. Fifteen minutes later, you’ll forget any troubles and won’t believe how comfortable and secure this hanging hammock tree tent really is.
Sleeping on the ground will never be the same.
Dos and don’ts
- Do bring a regular ol’ tent along if you’re camping and don’t know for sure you will have trees to hang from
- Do practice the setup in the sunlight before you get to the campground
- Do bring a sleeping pad if it’ll be cold—just like any other tent or hammock, the bottom isn’t insulated
- Don’t let the price tag scare you—this is the most fun, most badass tent you will ever own
- Don’t take our expert opinion on it, the Connect 2-Person Tree Tent has 4.3 stars on Amazon
- Do enjoy a great night’s sleep in your awesome new tree tent