Sylvan Bear’s road trip to Germany and Czech Republic to test the tree tents.
Sylvan Adventures had just taken delivery of some Tentsile (http://www.tentsile.com/) tree tents and as I was off hiking and camping in eastern Europe I swung by Sylvan Adventures to collect a three man tree tent and the bear himself. if you are going to test some kit why not do it 1250 miles away!? We were that confident we didn’t pack any spare tents, just bivvi kit.
We drove in a 20 year old Suzuki Vitara to the centre of The Czech Republic taking in various sites along the way. The total trip was 2500 miles (for reference Moscow is only 2000 miles away). It was glorious weather (over 30 degrees) and the little Vitara didn’t have air conditioning and if you opened the windows too far they would rattle and deafen you.
Hopefully you will enjoy the photographs of the little bear enjoying quaint German towns, https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g635851-Lohr_am_Main_Lower_Franconia_Franconia_Bavaria-Vacations.html touring car racing at the Nurburgring http://www.nuerburgring.de/en/home.html, amazing Czech rock formations http://www.czechtourism.com/c/adrspach-teplice-rocks/as well relaxing in the tree tent. We also took the time to explore some of the military history of the area but we left Sylvan Bear relaxing at the campsite that day.
We tested the tent in glorious sun as well as short but heavy rain showers and it did amazingly well. It drew lots of attention from the other campers who all wanted to check it out.
It was quick and easy to put up although finding three good trees the right width apart was the hardest job. It went up quicker than a normal tent (non pop up) and its pack size was good, comparable to a three man tent, lighter if you only taken one tensioning set (rather than all three). The weight is even better considering you probably don’t need roll mats or camp / air beds and the floor of the tent is more than comfy enough. We did find we had to tighten up one of the straps each day to ensure we didn’t start creeping towards the floor but it takes seconds and you only need to do one.
Getting in and out took some getting used but it wasn’t difficult even though we placed it at the maximum height recommended. The novelty off being in a tree tent didn’t wear off, especially on warm days when you could remove the fly sheet and watch the sky.
With two people in a three man tent we did find we occasionally ended up playing footsie as we gently slid towards each other. We considered using our kit to provide a counter balance but didn’t need to as it wasn’t really a problem.
With the rain cover and optional walls on we and our kit stayed dry and the tent still felt roomy and secure. The walls do however make the tree tent look less cool almost like a normal tent.
If you camp a lot in places with trees we strongly recommend these tents as they are comfortable, easy to carry and cool as heck. Do consider where your equipment will go and where you will cook but as experienced campers that shouldn’t be a problem.
Sylvan Bear gives it two paws up!