We’ve been really, really fortunate to receive a Tentsile Stingray tree tent to review. It looks amazing – everyone we meet asks about it when we’re using it – and it’s great fun, comfortable and versatile too.
Who are Tentsile?
Tentsile are a company formed in 2012, so not really all that old. They make a range of completely wonderful tree tents and provide campers, backpackers and adventurers with an off-the-ground alternative to a regular tent.
Through passion and determination, and armed of course with an excellent product, founder Alex Shirley-Smith took his innovative plans for a tensioned tree structure and launched the Tentsile Giant. From there he partnered up with Kirk Kirchev and they created the more commercial, lighter, easier to produce Tentsile Stingray. Read the full Tentsile story here.
What is a tree tent?
A hammock with a roof, a portable tree house, a tent in a tree… these are some of the ways I’ve heard tentsile tree tents being described. You can think of it however you like but however you see it, you’ll certainly never forget it!
Since launching the Stingray, Tentsile have gone on to release a whole range of tree tents, so there’s one suitable for whatever kind of adventure you’re embarking upon. They have a really useful comparison guide on their website so you can suss out which one would suit you best. Have a look at the guide here.
These were a couple of the responses I got on twitter when I shared a photo earlier in the week.
Confession – this was more of an overnight wild camp but still, a wonderfully peaceful (very) short break pic.twitter.com/0lBY1XhVhB
— Karen Hannah (@LancsKaren) July 17, 2018
Wow! Never seen one of these before! #FamilyTravelHour
— Little Explorer Adventures (@esther_and_noah) July 17, 2018
Size and weight
The Tentsile Stingray weights around 9kgs or 20lbs and comfortably sleeps three adults. With this in mind, Tentsile don’t suggest that the Stingray is suitable for ultra light hiking – but they do have tree tents perfect for that! Because it’s that bit bulkier though, the Tentsile Stingray can comfortably hold as much as 400kgs or 880lbs when in use. That’s a lot of weight for three tension straps!
As far as comfort for users goes, my husband is 6′ 2″ tall and has no problem fitting comfortably on one sleeping area. In fact, my two eldest children can fit in one space together – though only for fun of course because I don’t think sleeping there would be very comfortable!
The Tentsile Stingray is unlike any regular tent you’ve seen.
It has two entry points. One triangular shaped, hatch-style entry point underneath and one larger doorway at the front.
The tension straps are secured by looping them around three trees and securing them with ratchets. It feels incredibly secure when the ratchets are in place which is reassuring when you’re about to put your whole body weight on them!
My favourite thing about the Tentsile Stingray has to be the optional use of the cover. You can see in the photos here that it is fully detachable, giving you an impressive view of the forest from your tree tent without the inconvenience of midges or any other bitey little creatures (toddlers notwithstanding). The rip-resistant durable micro-mesh gifts you the best views from your elevated, protected position.
The photo above was taken during set up so the tent isn’t quite level, but you can see the detail on the cover. The cover can be anchored to the ground using guy ropes (included) or simply hooked onto the Stingray, keeping everything off the ground.
There is space inside the Tentsile Stingray for some of your gear too, including elasticated straps and a very handy little zip compartment in the hatch style entry point of the Stingray.
Ease of use
Putting the Tentsile stingray up is child’s play, as long as the child is very tall. My husband and seven year old son put ours up in just over 12 minutes. After that there was some tweaking but essentially it was reasy to use after the 12, so I’d say 15 minutes all in and it was done.
The children think the Tentsile Stingray is pretty amazing (apart from the baby – he is terrified!) and have asked if they can have a sleepover in it with their friends. I’m guessing my husband and I would be relegated to the pop up and the boys would have the tree tent though!
All in all I think it’s safe to say that the Tentsile Stingray is a hit with us and with our children too. It is going to be perfect for weekend boys’ trips or overnight wild camps, and I can see my husband in particular getting a lot of use out of it.
Thanks so much to Tentsile for allowing us to give the Stingray a try. I’m certain it’s a very useful tent to have, and is perfect for adventurers.
Tentsile Stingray tents are available online from their website – please, please make sure you’re buying a genuine Tentsile as there are some rip-off versions out there and I would have for anyone to buy off the back of this review and end up in a dangerous tent.
To get your hands on a Tentsile Stingray of your own, head on over to their website at www.tentsile.com.
Thanks again to Tentsile for sending us the Stingray. It’s going to change the way we explore the great outdoors!