July 03, 2019
By Chelsie Walters
Let me start this review of the Flite 2-Person Tree Tent by Tentsile by painting you a little picture … It’s a late spring day in mid-June 2019. I drive west of Denver to a tucked-away dispersed camping spot in Leadville, close to Turquoise Lake. I set up my old but loved 2-person REI tent that I’ve had for quite a few years and head to the lake.
The area is excellent for fishing various species of trout and I had a fairly successful first day from the shore. I arrive back to my campsite around 4pm and was weary about dark clouds rolling my way. After some dinner, I settled in for the evening, unzipped the tent door and went to bed.
It was not the thunder that awoke me, but the wet rainwater seeping in from the tent floor. The wrinkles from the ground tarp had collected the precipitation and were intruding on my night’s sleep. In addition, the worn fly and tent fabric was no match for the weather as rain water dripped in from above. I resorted to my car for the evening and knew an updated, new and improved tent was on the horizon.
As I browsed the world wide web for a new outdoor shelter, I came across Tentsile’s Flite 2-Person Tree Tent. The idea of a tree tent had yet to occur to me, but all of a sudden it sounded optimal. The easy-setup demonstration video and wanderlust photos of the tent had me anxious to call one my own. Less than a week later it had arrived at my doorstep.
Before even removing it from its sack, the size and weight was attractive. It weighs just under 9 pounds and is compact enough to strap to a pack and hike it to your campsite.
I put it to the test a few weeks later when my boyfriend and I headed to Winter Park for a weekend of trout fishing on the Fraser River, a tributary of the Colorado River. We returned to one of our favorite dispersed sites, heavily populated with lush, strong trees. Obviously wide open spaces are no friend to the tree tent. After spending 5 minutes scouting out the perfect spot, I removed the Flite from the bag, rolled it out and laid out the contents: 1 ratchet and strap, a bag with tent poles and smaller straps, a fly sheet and the tent.
Set up took the two of us approximately 25 minutes our first time but half that the following tries. To begin, tie each strap around a tree, then lay out your tent, making sure to point the three corners in the direction of your selected trees.
Attach the other end of two of the straps to the D-rings on the tent corners. The knot you should be making is a cow hitch, frequently used in fishing to tie a rope to a ring or pole. It’s also essentially a neck tie knot, so ladies - if you are not familiar with how to do that, you will be soon!
Once you have made your two cow hitch knots, you can then attach the ratchet to the final tent d-ring. One of the awesome things about the Flite is that there are two alignment reference tags on the tent. Utilize those tags to make sure your tent is positioned correctly prior to tightening the ratchet to avoid having to reverse any progress you’ve made due to a misaligned tent.
Next, tighten the ratchet, insert the long poles then the short poles and raise the structure by placing the pole ends into the tent sockets. Your final step is to fit the rain fly to the tent and peg it out using the bungees and pegs provided.
One mistake I made when setting up the tent the first time was not giving myself enough distance between the ratcheted corner and its assigned tree. Your life will be easier if you give yourself plenty of slack between these two points. Another mistake I made was placing the straps too high on the tree before tightening the ratchet. You will be amazed how the tent raises up like bread in an oven! We managed to find a rock and use it as a stepping stool to leverage ourselves into the tent.
- Size: 11’ x 11’ x 9’
- Pack down size: 17” x 8” x 8”
- Floor area: 40 sq. Ft
- Dry porch area on ground level: 54 sq. ft
- Doors: 2
- Interior height - loaded: 3 ft
- Weight: 8.8 lbs
- Load Capacity: 485 lbs (2 adults and their gear)
- Color Options: Forest Green, Fresh Green, Orange, Dark Grey, Camo, Predator
Once inside, the Flite was much more comfortable than I expected. I am 5 foot 3 inches, about 125 pounds, and my boyfriend Adam is 6 feet at 175 pounds. Neither of us felt cramped or claustrophobic lying side by side. With no rain in the forecast, we left the fly off for the evening for some more fresh air and star gazing.
Overall, the Tentsile Flite 2-Person Tree Tent is an excellent two-person tent for camping. It’s refreshing and space-saving to ditch the sleeping pad and not have to worry about a rocky, cold ground.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to set a hammock up at your tent site, I think you’d find that the Flite could double as your hammock as long as you leave the door unzipped and tucked atop the roof. Reading a book in the Flite is peaceful and cozy.
If you’re not setting up camp in open fields or sandy shores often, I’d recommend trying out a tree tent, and I can assure you the Flite is a quality one.
The Flite 2-Person Tree Tent retails for $350 and can be purchased at Tentsile.com.