The Tree Tent

Posted: December 27, 2012
The Tree Tent
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I wish it didn't look like the wasp nest I fell on as a result of being clumsy when I was kid, but other than that the Tree Tent seems pretty cool. An environmentally-friendly suspended abode that can comfortably accommodate up to two adults, the spherical tent emerges from years of Luminair Creative Engineering research in sustainable shelter systems, fabric structures, and Tarzan-style living. The end result, lightweight, efficient, and made from recycled/recyclable materials, is now available for consumer purchase and professional installation. A small community of hanging globes also populate two Tree Tent campsites--and anticipated rugged hotels--in Powys, Wales and East Sussex, England.

The Breakdown. At the 9.8'-diameter Tree Tent's curved core is a series of steam-bent green ash laths. By eliminating straight lines from its design, the TT team feels the tent better blends into and balances with its surroundings. This wood frame also evenly distributes tent loading, and absorbs the impact of occupant movement. Covering the ash laths is an aluminum sub-frame. Though Luminair admits this material isn't typically considered eco-friendly, they chose it for its lightness, resistance to corrosion, and 100% recyclability.

Tree Tent frames are swathed in densely woven, 100% cotton canvases, water repellent and proofed for mold and mildew. For winter camping, 100% wool thermal liners, as well as a wood-burning stove, are available as add-ons. Standard sphere frames, canvas covers, and rigging start at nearly $13,000. That doesn't include shipping and basic installation fees which, if handled by the seller, start at around $500 per day. In addition to thermal liners and a stove, buyers can fit their redefined global housing with any of the following, all for associated fees as outlined here:

  • Bed roll
  • Table
  • Seat/bed combo
  • Underfloor storage hatch
  • Mess unit, including a sink, single gas burner, water pump & tap kit
  • Side desk
  • Solar electric kit
  • LED lighting kit
  • Fresh & waste water storage kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Tree Tent wool blankets

Like the idea of chilling in a hamster ball, but not so much the part that requires mounting, dismounting, and dangling from a tree branch to do it? For the slightly less outstanding price of $10,500, Tree Tents are also available as stand-alone, ground-mounted structures. For a more modest $3,000, so is the Cocoon 1.

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