Hi folks. Today on the blog we’ll be taking a look at the Skysurf Tree Tent from Ali Express. It’s a comfortable hammock-tent that literally hangs from the trees. It’s just what you need if you don’t enjoy sleeping on rocky terrain – or if you’re hiking in an area where nasties are nesting on the ground! Curious? Let’s dive in and take a look!
The unique Skysurf Tree Tent has been around since 2016. It’s sometimes referred to as the Flying Fish, due to its triangular base and three-dimensional profile resembling a tropical sea creature. Each of the three points of the base has to be attached to trees within reach in order to secure the tent properly. According to Skysurf, a triangular design provides an improved level of stability, balance, and suspension when compared to a square or rectangle.
With a tree tent, you can climb up off of the ground. Some may find that the comfort level is a huge improvement on sometimes stony, rough patches of woodland. The tree tent is advertised as four-season, but in cold weather, it might feel chilly if the wind is blowing beneath your hammock. Lining the inside of the base with a thick blanket should make the tent a little cozier.
The base is topped by an aerodynamic inner shell that’s held up by a curved overhead pole that runs above the central length of the tent. The outer fly is available in a range of subdued colors such as green, grey, white and blue. On both sides, there is a large, circular zipped doorway. One unique selling point of a tree tent is certainly the difference in view that you can have compared to a traditional ground tent. It’s great looking out at magnificent views while elevated up off the ground!
The fabric of this tent needs to be strong to make you feel confident about using it. After all, it has got to support the pressurised tension of the straps and the combined weight of two people. Luckily, the Skysurf is made of high-quality Oxford cloth that has a traditional double thread weave that increases its strength and provides additional aeration. The base has a density of 40 denier and it also has an inbuilt frame of 25mm wide polyester webbing – similar to the straps of a car seat belt.
The outer skin has a thicker 70 denier texture and a superior hydrostatic head of 3000mm to keep you snug and dry in wet weather. It also has a PU coating to prevent deterioration as a result of sunlight exposure. The inner skin is a layer of polyester mesh that is reliably resistant to ripping and protects you against bugs and other nasties.
Size and Weight
For a lightweight two-berth, the tree tent should feel almost gigantic. The two long sides of the triangular base both measure 3 meters, or 10.5 feet. The length between them is 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). The interior height is 70 centimeters (2.3 feet). So it should be comfortable for lounging, but probably not too good for sitting bolt upright! When collapsed and rolled, the tent fits into a very compact pack 45cm x 15cm x 15cm. The total weight is 3 kilograms. Although that’s a little heavier than some of the other two-berth tents I’ve reviewed, it may be worth it if you’re just that into the idea of an elevated tent.
So, here’s where you should really be able to have some fun! Apparently, you can pitch the tent in just ten minutes, but I think we’ll need a bit of practice to reach that sort of speed. The first thing you need to do is locate three trees that will provide an imaginary intersection just inside the wide end of the base. The accompanying manual has plenty of advice and diagrams to help you figure out the right type of location. You can also attach the base to four trees, where the projected intersection cuts across both ends of the tent.
Once you’ve got your trees sorted, wrap the straps around them and secure them with the supplied D-rings. There’s a ratchet included to help you tighten the straps effectively. The curved pole is made in sections from lightweight anodised aluminium. Simply thread it through the overhead channel of the inner tent and secure it in the appropriate plastic sockets at either end. Cover with the outer shell, secure the guy and wind ropes and your hanging tent is complete.
Space and Storage
The tent is surprisingly spacious with an inner floor that measures 3.75 square meters or 40 square feet. There is plenty of space to stretch out for a comfortable night’s rest. You may be able to store some of your gear inside the pointed end of the tent too. However, it’s worth noting that the natural tendency of the tent to depress in the middle – due to your bodyweight – might make storing gear inside tricky. Any extra equipment can go beneath the tent though, and should still be protected from the rain.
So… about the price. We’ve certainly seen cheaper – and lighter – two-berth tents out there. Just check out the blog-favorite Lanshan 2 as a prime example. So, you’re definitely paying a bit of a premium for the Skysurf. Having said that, it’s a tent that has a very clearly defined market, who likely won’t mind that extra expense. Basically, if you’re absolutely dead set on having a tent that’s suspended in the air – maybe the terrain dictates it, or maybe you just really hate bugs – you’re gonna end up paying a little more for the privilege. And, relatively speaking, the Skysurf is a very cheap and capable option in this arena.
Skysurf Tree Tent: The Verdict
So, is the Skysurf Tree Tent a gimmick? Well, maybe a little. I think you can argue it either way. But even if you see it as a gimmick, I’d argue that it’s one that has some clear advantages! It keeps a good distance between you and the damp ground, provides inbuilt suspension for comfort, and it has a pretty generous amount of interior space.
Although pitching the tent might be a little confusing at first, I reckon after a few practices it should become instinctive. And for such a generous size, the tent also packs up pretty nicely. The unique design makes this a tent well worth investigating.
Well, folks, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this Skysurf Tree Tent review! Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks, and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time!