Tentsile streamlines tree camping with Stingray Lite suspended tent
For over a decade, tree tent innovator Tentsile has been growing its lineup of hanging and floating tents, hammocks and shelters. Its original Stingray tent remains its flagship and now it's welcomed a sleeker, more affordable "Lite" variant. The three-person Stingray Lite isn't exactly ready to stuff into a backpack for a weeklong expedition on foot, but it saves weight and cost using lighter and fewer materials while offering the same amount of sleeping space above the cold, bumpy ground.
The Stingray Lite still offers the exact same 78 square feet of (7.3 sq m) of floor space and 880-lb (400-kg) weight capacity as the original Stingray, but its lighter weight materials and simplified design leave over 4 lb (1.8 kg) of weight behind for a nice, round total of 20 lb (9.1 kg). The triangular floor plan is sized for three adults or two adults and two children. Like the original Stingray, the Stingray Lite features a breezy full-mesh body with separately attachable full-size rainfly. The rainfly's 3,000-mm waterproofing falls slightly short of the Stingray's 5,000-mm rating but is still designed to shed weather and keep campers dry.
The Stingray Lite hangs via three 19-ft (6-m) ratchet straps, relying on a tensioned underfloor strap system to provide anti-roll stability for a level sleeping surface. Tentsile says the new tent takes about 15 minutes to set up. Two aluminum poles pitch the 4-ft-high (1.2-m) roof. Those who want to use the tent on the ground can do so by purchasing Tentsile's ground conversion kit – a critical component in places where trees are either scarce or off limits for hanging hammocks and tents.
One major piece of streamlining comes at the entry points. Instead of three individual entry doors like the original Stingray, the Stingray Lite relies on a single large, zippered side door for entry and exit, along with a central floor hatch. This means that Stingray Lite campers might have to crawl over each other when entering or exiting the tent at different times, unlike on the original Stingray, which gives each of the three campers their own dedicated door.
Beyond the loss of individual doors, it doesn't appear that Stingray Lite buyers will lose all that much performance, but they do gain a few hundred dollars via the significantly lower price point. The Stingray Lite prices in at US$599, making it Tentsile's most affordable three-person tent. The original Stingray, meanwhile, retails for $849.
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