Luminair Tree Tents offer pod-shaped luxury
Providing the obvious safety concerns can be addressed, suspending a tent off-ground seems a good idea: less creepy-crawlies and no need for dry, flat ground, for starters. It’s understandable then, that we've seen a few examples of the concept, with the Tensile, Cocoon Tree Pod, and even an entire resort dedicated to off-ground camping appearing in recent years. Luminair is the latest company to take a stab at it, producing a design which looks elegant, and even luxurious.
The Tree Tent is the product of three years' research and features a hybrid aluminum and steam-bent green ash frame, with a waterproof cotton canvas skin, which is available in natural, red, and olive green, serving to keep out the elements. The tent measures three meters (ten feet) in diameter, which Luminaire reckons is ample for two adults to live in comfort.
While we’re on the subject of comfort, the interior of the Tree Tent can include up to two side benches which fold to become single beds, and a thermal liner made from 100 percent wool is also offered for chillier climes. Beyond this, it can be further tricked out with options like an underfloor water storage tank and pump, an underfloor battery pack and solar charger, and a bio-fuel stove for heating, cooking, and boiling water.
The Tree Tent tent is rigged with Marlow Dyneema rope, and may be suspended from one large overhanging branch, or attached to up to four trees. The placement height appears to be dependent on preference and situation, but if the Tree Tent is placed up in the trees, it can be accessed via ladder.
Pod-shaped paradise doesn’t come cheap however, and a standard Tree Tent with rigging begins at £8,000 (almost US$13,000) plus taxes, with stove and solar-powered battery system coming to almost £1,000 ($1,600) extra, when combined.
Build time is estimated at around four to six weeks and if desired, the company will come and build your Tree Tent, for an additional fee.
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How is this low impact when you have to scope out a site? You mean trim off branches, transport (on the back of a truck, spend 4-6weeks trampling around the site, to set this Horrible Monstrosity atop a pole (intentionally not shown) and balance it amongst several trees. With the battery pack & water tank, presumably supported by the central post, which is hollow so that the “ fold down toilet” has somewhere to send it’s bio degradable human compost.
Oh! wait is there a fridge, or even food storage, …..so you only eat boiled berries & fried nuts for the night….
Just sleep in the limo….
And even with a stabilizing pole and ropes attached it seems to me that you would run the risk of sloping your reconstituted lentil soup in windy weather. Let’s not mention motion sickness as you will probably be too busy topping nearby trees and trimming branches to allow the sunlight to reach your solar charger, never mind, they will probably grow back, eventually.
Now what about the dangers of this thing? Well missing the first step when exiting could be painful. A bio-fuel stove in a cotton bag can’t be good and if a Fire Ranger sees the smoke from your stove coming out of the tree tops… after the fire crews arrive you will have some explaining to do. Then there’s the risk of being shot at by someone who thinks that your glowing lights at night are an alien space craft hovering in the woods, or worse still, they might want to make first contact. What if there is a logging operation nearby, after paying out over 13k you could run the risk of having your luxury pod cut from under your feet.
Oh and I almost forgot about the threat from wildlife, remember that bears can climb trees and like berries! Even your nuts wouldn't be safe from hungry marauding squirrels who also live in the trees.
With all of the above said I think a suspended short term habitat is a great idea and has a lot going for it but maybe this “Luminair” is not the best option for ecologically minded people.