5 Non-Traditional Tents You’ll Want To Bring Camping

Pitching your tent just got way more interesting. From aerial treehouse dwellings to transparent igloos, these high-tech tent designs will completely change the way you go camping.

Bubble Tent1If privacy’s your thing, then the Bubble Tent will certainly not be. The completely see-through, inflatable tent promises uninterrupted, “360-degree” views of whatever vista it finds itself in. The Bubble Tent comes in a few different variations, including a tree-suspension and beach-friendly option so you could, theoretically, park your larger-than-life fish tank right in the surf. The tent remains inflated via a continuously running (silent) pump, and the basic design includes portable wardrobes, sofas, roll-out sofa beds and the option for electricity. Yep, this one gets the glamp stamp, guys.

I’m not exactly sold on how practical it is, but it will surely catch the eye of spendy exhibitionists and would probably be a pretty fun option for a backyard party or tame camping excursions—although the website does say it is suitable for harsh elements and all four seasons. Regardless, it would make for some pretty amazing photographs with the right backdrop.

Tree | Tents2The TT: Tree | Tents, built by UK-based company Luminar, kind of give you the feeling they could house a couple of Ewoks from Star Wars’ Endor tree village. The 9-foot diameter spherical structures were built for tree dwelling and designed with lightweight aircraft engineering in mind using aluminium, wood, as well as rot and waterproof cotton canvas. The Tree Tents’ concept was developed over the course of three years with the idea that they’d be created in a way that was sustainable so you can live in the trees and feel eco-friendly at the same time. Double win.

Luminair’s Tree Tents can comfortably accommodate two adults and up to ten times its load specifications, so if secured and assembled correctly, they’re extremely sturdy. Their wool winter thermal liners and optional wood stove and electric options make them fit to camp in year round and Luminair has even designed its “Garnier Limb” bolt system for those who want to more permanently install this branch bungalow. They can also be ordered as a stand-alone ground structure for those who aren’t keen on heights.

Tentsile Tents3Tentsile’s Stingray, Connect and Triology Super Tree Tents are a few other pretty amazing tree-camping options. These triangular-shaped pods use techy science (like tensile force and such, thus the clever “tentsile” trademark) for secure suspension between three points. A couple of the options, like the Connect and Triology Super Tree, allow you to combine multiple pods for a group experience, or in the case of the Super Tree, even include a central canopy for creating the ultimate, 6-person tree community. However, if building an aerial village is not on your radar, the Stingray model alone will camp three people and includes a hatched bottom and the option to create a “tiered” set-up with the inclusion of Tentsile’s hammocks.

Mavericks4The tents from Heimplanet have this high-tech, geometric insect-like design going for them that are really pretty awesome; however, it’s not just for looks. The geodesic structures serve as an inflatable framework for the tent, which eliminates nearly all set-up time. The Mavericks model was designed for extreme conditions and to be used as a base camp or group tent. It has an interior diameter of a little over 13 feet, an overall height of 7 feet and 142 square feet of ground area that sleeps up to ten people. That’s a lot of people, or at least a lot of room for a couple people and a sizable amount of gear, and for all that space it only weighs 55 pounds, which is considerably light. But if all that space seems unnecessary, Heimplanet also makes smaller options including the 1-2 person “Fistral,” 2-person “Wedge,” and the 2-3 person “Cave,” all utilizing the same geodesic inflatable technology.

Reef Surf Tent5Okay, so here’s an advanced apology for being a bit of a tease, as the Reef Surf Tent is technically still just a concept by LifeStyleDesign (for Reef), but honestly, this thing combines all that is outdoors and good: surfing + camping + a built-in ice chest. It was born for coastal living, catching waves and drinking beer. The two-part setup includes the inflatable sleep pod and adjustable canopy, which packs down into a container that can also be used as a cooler. It’s easily inflated via foot pump and is designed with waterproof and puncture resistant materials. The tent’s canopy is secured with cinched connection ropes and provides protection from wind, rain or harsh sun, while the mesh siding creates a well-ventilated place to store boards, suits and other gear. It’s not currently for sale, but word on the street is it’s being prepped for production, so beach bums and surf gypsies stay tuned.

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