Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent Review

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83 Responses

  1. Jason Coyne says:

    “Only multiperson” seems wrong, Clark has 2 of em. Maybe you meant only 3+? Good review tho.

  2. Great review Derek! You mention the best sleeping position you found but how is the actual comfort for a full nights sleep?

    • Derek says:

      The biggest challenge, like any hammock, is staying warm underneath, particularly when it is cold outside. Using a thick foam pad helps a lot. In many respects, it does remind me of sleeping on a trampoline since the bed chambers are so taut. They aren’t as ergonomic as a traditional hammock, but you also aren’t sleeping on the ground. As Alex said below, you can easily sleep on your side, back, or stomach.

      • Michel van Hartingsveldt says:

        Maybe a huge underquilt would be an option 😉 I personally think it’s not a “real” hammock, but still it’s a very cool way of spending the night. also, throw in a couple of pillows, a groundblanket, some lanterns and something to use as a table, and you’ll have a great “mini-home” in which you can entertain yourself, for example when it’s raining. this would be impossible to do in a hammock 😉

        • Cyberdactyl says:

          I have used a military type hammock tent for 20 years and I used a movers blanket folded up three times as my base under my sleeping bag. Since you are highly compressing anything you sleep on, you need to have double the layers.

  3. Jari Perho says:

    It’s definitely a cool shelter, no doubt about that, but practicality takes quite a hit, I think. Pushing in at 9 kilos, I wonder what’s the heaviest part in the setup?

    I think we would have all loved to have something like this as kids in our backyard, or somewhere near as a personal little escape room.

    • Derek says:

      The ratchet straps certainly add to the hardware, but are essential to the set-up. The material is also very robust, which is needed to withstand the tensile forces. This is more of a car camping tent than something you would slug over your shoulder for any long distance.

  4. Thanks for the review, Derek! Many new features have been added since 2013 and especially since we opened our own factory in August. Useful updates:
    1) D-rings at each corner are 2.5 ton rated so hammocks slung beneath the Stingray can all be slept in. That is 6 people!
    2) rain fly now all extent out so no need for hammock tarps for protection. These extended flaps can also come together under the tent for a full weather seal, wind break to your back and thermal buffer zone.
    3) Excellent for back, front or side sleepers.
    4) A lot of weight, we understand that and we know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. As an ex hammock user, I have made my choice and have never looked back.
    5) Now comes with the ability to add spare floors, we had a 12 person rig set up last weekend and it was sweet!!!

    • Brandon Rammell says:

      I watched the videos on the stingray with my six year old daughter and she wants one so bad. I’ve been hammock camping a lot and my Wife refuses to go because of an incident we had with a hormonal raccoon that tried to get into our tent while we were sleeping. I think this will make it possible to take my little family camping in a very fun way. I want to add a vista floor when they are available. I placed an order which should arrive shortly and very excited. Great review

      • Daivid says:

        I have not used the Tentsile but looks exciting. I do have experience with raccoons though. I think that if you were to add a cone protector at each strap and pull up the ladder you would be well protected from racoons, mice and chipmunks.

        • Derek says:

          Interesting thought! It is true that small critters could climb across the hammock suspension, but only if there was something to entice them. If you keep all food and smellable items out of the hammock (or tent) you shouldn’t have any issues with critters crossing the suspension.

    • Tyson says:

      Alex Shirley-Smith,

      What is “the ability to add spare floors”? Do you mean set up one on top of the other?

    • Mike Grim says:

      Is it possible to purchase a used model or perhaps a demo model – the price is a bit restrictive for my family but my kids will not give me a break . Thanks for any information possible . Mike Grim
      CodeBlueTech01@yahoo.com

      • Derek says:

        You’ll have to contact the manufacturer. I purchased my Tentsile during a sale event. Prices have come down since then.

      • Keith says:

        REI and Backcountry have a sale going on right now with 20% a single item. That certainly helps. I ordered one and expect to receive it in a few days.

  5. Jacob D says:

    This is awesome. I saw a photo of one once and wondered WHAT IS THAT?! … now I know. As my kids have just declared “well, the good news is that we want one!” Thanks for sharing the review 🙂

  6. Taylor B says:

    Great review, I just bought myself one and am loving all of the positive feedback from customers.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kevin says:

    I like your pictures D.J.

  8. caroline rowley says:

    I love the concept of these and want to purchase but it goes against everything I’ve been taught about camping out under trees and falling branches. Has anyone been concerned about that?

    • Derek says:

      Are you talking about ‘widow makers’? It is a rather rare phenomenon but I understand your concern. Large dead branches overhead are indeed a risk to watch for, but that is true for any kind of outdoor camping, tent or hammock, unless you only camp in large open fields. In my book I talk at more length about the importance of site selection and looking for things like widow makers and avoiding them. With care, you can minimize this risk.

  9. Greg Boothe says:

    What is the size of the center opening?

    • fputnam says:

      Without measuring (mine is packed), I’d say that the central opening is a 15-18″ equilateral triangle. Since the edges flex slightly, so the functional opening is about another 1″ on each side. (The “front door” is huge for a tent.)

  10. jeremy says:

    Dear Derek,

    I’m so close to get the actual offers who’s the combo deal stingray.
    I’m almost 2m height and wondering if the sleeping space will be long enough, without having to fold up.
    Moreover, have you got any advice to give on the trillium hammock?

    Thanks

    Jeremy (France)

    • Derek says:

      Jeremy, I think the Tentsile hammocks will fit you fine, but you will be at the limit of the sleeping space. Using a good pad will limit some of the issues you may experience. Each sleeping “pod” is a section of a triangle, so if you angle your body towards the edge of the triangle instead of hanging over the line, you should be fine.

      I haven’t tested the Trillium version, but it looks like the basic design as all their offerings, with more or less the same structure (plus or minus certain features).

  11. fputnam says:

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for the review.

    I just got my Stingray (via the 20% off sale at REI) and cannot wait to use it.

    One thing that concerns me is finding the right trio of trees. That extra set of straps is a great idea–where did you get yours?

    Thanks!

    fred

  12. Thank you for this great review!

  13. Ron says:

    Wow – awesome review! This seems to be exactly what I have been looking for, but I do have a question: can a ladder be used with the Connect? Where would you attach it?

    I know the website says the Connect is only meant to be used at a height of 4 feet. However, the place a plan to use this the most is extremely rugged, hilly, and with thick, low underbrush and smaller trees everywhere – meaning there are literally no ‘clearings’ and I need to go higher. And the Stingray is really too big for my needs.

    I plan to ask the good folks at Tentsile, but thought I’d pick the brains here, first.

    Thanks!

    • Derek says:

      I don’t have hands on knowledge of the Connect, unfortunately. It seems like it would meet your needs. I can only guess it has connections for a ladder, but you could always rig something. Tentsile often shows hanging higher; its your comfort and safety level 🙂

  14. missgeorgieo says:

    Thanks for reviewing this, it’s swayed me into getting a pre-loved Tentsile connect for camping adventures with my little lad as he grows up. Looks so much fun & adding a new dimension to camping in terms of seeking out suitable spots will be great.
    I assume that tree protectors will be needed for this? The ones on their website seemed pretty pricey so if they’re needed I’ll have to get creative. And Im looking forward to making my own rope ladder too…. never thought I’d be doing that in my life.

    • Derek says:

      The webbing straps are essential. It should come with straps and ratchets as well. If all you have is the tent, I’d recommend matching what Tentsile offers because you’ll need the weight capacity.

      • missgeorgieo says:

        It does have the straps and ratchets, I was just wondering about the additional tree protectors that you can buy. I’ve seen some that you can get for slacklines though which has given me an idea about making some.

  15. Kandles says:

    So glad I found this review! Thanks for taking the time to write it (and the great photos!) My primary question had to do with the difficulty of finding the right tree configuration, which you address here. We camp in Wisconsin state forest campgrounds and while there are a lot of big trees in the places we’ve camped, I wondered how much latitude you have with the straps in the event the spacing of three perfectly-positioned trees is far apart. In your pics, it looks like the orange straps are pretty long. Did you mean that you have had to connect an extra set of straps to get the required strap length?

    The other question I had which the good folks at REI weren’t really able to answer is if we could fit three REI Camp Bed pads in the three sleeping pods? The pads are perfect rectangles and I’m guessing mummy-shaped pads or custom cut foam pads would be a better fit, right? We car camp so Princess (me) can have all her necessary comforts.

    And on a final note, that hormonal raccoon story plays heavy in the “buy”/”not buy” deliberation for me now. I can’t un-read that.

    Thanks!

  16. Chris says:

    Hi. Do you have any experience of using this in winter? Is it rated as 3 season? I live in Sweden and plan to embrace all 4 seasons!

    • Derek says:

      All hammocks, including the Tentsile,can be used in the winter. I used this hammock in the winter, you just need to insulate with good warm sleeping bags

  17. John says:

    In your Flite review you mention replacing some of the straps (not around trees) with Dyneema. Do you think the Stingray benefit from this too?

  18. MLWilcox says:

    I too have had the Stingray since it was first released and love it. I also have the Tentsile Connect. My only complaint is the one I have with tents as well. The rain fly when installed takes away the view and restricts ventilation needed in the warm summer months. I keep trying to figure out if there is a fly I could buy for use in the summer months to keep the dew out. Help!

    • Derek says:

      You’d have to pitch a big tarp over the top instead of connected directly.

    • FREDERIC PUTNAM says:

      I found that pitching the corners of the fly more out than down created a sizeable gap between the bottom of the fly and the floor, which allowed plenty of air circulation. (I also leave the mesh access hatch uncovered.)

  19. JC says:

    When properly tensioned what angle from the tree does this hang? I’m wanting to calculate the load for setting up a stand for an event. I’ve been considering a tensegrity with individual hammocks but then seeing this makes me want to change the set up.
    Thanks

  20. Tina Sand says:

    Which one of the Product from tensile would you recommend for 2 persons?

    • Derek says:

      The Flite.

    • MLWilcox says:

      It depends. If you plan on hiking in to your campsite, then the Flite. If you are a car camper like me, then definitely the Connect. You will have much more room with the Connect for yourselves, your stuff, and your dog (we have an Aussie). The campsite we use the most is about a quarter mile from the car.

  21. Christopher says:

    Could a small labrador dog, 30 kilo and two adults fit the Flite? We are going to hike for a couple of weeks, so water is already heavy enough to carry with us to some extent… What would you suggest? Or is there any other hammock that could suit us better?

  22. John Ho says:

    Has the Stingray been field tested in a tropical rain forest?

    Thanks

  23. Scott says:

    If no trees to be found, could you not stake the corners on the ground and use it as a conventional tent in a pinch?
    Just curious
    Thanks

  24. Patrick Westöö says:

    Hi! Great review! I just tried mine in Sweden and after it had been raining for a night the tent leaked, badly. Puddles inside the tent. Has this ever happened to you? Any advice on how to use it in heavy rain?

    Patrick

    • Derek says:

      I haven’t tried the new tarps for the stingray to compare, but I did notice that the corners flatten out and puddle. Try to pull the corners out further if possible. I may need to contact the manufacturer to check.

    • fputnam says:

      I had the same problem; there are two potential reasons that I know: (1) not having the fly attached properly to the rings leads water into the Stingray from the corners; (2) a fly that was not properly treated. The latter happened to me; I emailed Tentsile and received a new (waterproof!) fly wtihin two weeks. Good luck!

  25. Patrick Westöö says:

    Hi! Thanks for your reply. I find the corner quite difficult and I have tightened them properly trying to stretches them so that the water will run off. The problem is the fly, training right through so most likely its faulty. I have had it out for one night and the fly was completely saturated by the top of the entrance. I have emailed them so I hope to get another one!

    Patrick

  26. Patrick Westöö says:

    Hi! Just wanted to update this thread as I spoke with Tentsile and apparently my fly was a part of a bad batch. They imideately said they would send me a new one, no questions asked. Great experience so far :)!

    Patrick

  27. fputnam says:

    Hi, Patrick. That was my experience too-great folks to work with (and a fabulous product!).

  28. marian says:

    I’m wondering about sleeping in either the Connect or the Stingray as a couple. It looks like all of the tents kind of force people into separate compartments/”hammocks.” Is it possible to sleep together as a couple without being divided by a nylon strap?

    • Derek says:

      Both use separate beds and will have a strap separating them. If you really want to sleep together, but don’t want to be scrunched up together, you’re best off with a tent 🙁 Hammocks “capture” your body weight. Ever slept on a a trampoline with a bunch of friends? If so, you’ll recall how everyone sags together in the middle. This is not cozy. Having separate “beds” for a hammock is ideal.

  1. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  2. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  3. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he's otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  4. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  5. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  6. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  7. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  8. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  9. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

  10. March 15, 2015

    […] Stingray tent from Tentsile, said that while he’s otherwise had no problems with his tent. His son did once fall out because he had forgotten to properly close one of the straps when setting up. He also had some […]

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