I sometimes get free camping-related gear to review from The Dyrt. This time I got to review the Tentsile UNA (2.0) tree tent.
I had great hopes for this unique tent. When Tentsile first started making tents I was always intrigued. It looks like a great concept and solves some of the problems of a traditional hammock for people who can’t sleep well in a hammock position. In practice, however, the Tentsile UNA is very limited in it’s use, it is too heavy for backpacking, and cumbersome to setup. It is relatively comfortable, but as a 6’5″ man, it was somewhat cramped.
The setup requires three tree of roughly equal angles and distances. You’d think this wouldn’t be easy to find, but honestly it wasn’t. I tend to camp at Wisconsin State Parks for car camping, and was only able to find one spot that worked for this tent, and it wasn’t on my campsite. If you are backpacking in the woods, you will probably have better luck, but the risk that it won’t work would prevent me from bringing it backpacking. Once you find those trees, you have to adjust the three straps (one ratchet strap, one “web-lock”, and one cow hitch knot) to align the alignment tags. It took me 45 minutes or more on my second time setting it up and the process was tedious, even with the full color photo setup guide.
One could argue if the setup requires such a detailed photo-heavy guide, it might be too complicated…
It was comfortable. I wasn’t able to sleep a full night in it, so I can’t comment on that, but it was fine. I wish it had more space, but for an average or small sized person, it would be fine. I like to move around a bit in my sleep and sleep in different positions, but this would limit your position to primarily back-only sleeping.
As one of the smallest Tentsile tents, it is still 7 pounds. My solo backpacking tent packs up smaller than this and weights less than 3 pounds.
The UNA looks and feels well made. I don’t question the quality or workmanship.
Currently priced at $200, it’s more than I would spend on something like this, that only works with a specific configuration of trees.
I don’t recommend this or any Tentsile tent. They are too cumbersome to setup and only work in very specific settings. They are a unique concept, but are not that practical. Stick with a standard tent.