Sleep like a log in 5 different types of tent that practically float in mid air!


Did you know that tents don’t have to touch the ground?

For a long time, I sure as hell didn’t. 

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that, to me, touching the ground was the defining characteristic of a tent.

A squarish tarp, pegged into the dirt at each corner, with barely enough room to sit up inside without scraping your head against the polyester roof. That’s a tent right? 




If you want to choose a conventional tent, well, you’ve come to the wrong article. For those, check out James’ recent guide to buying hiking tents

Instead, here are some weird-ass tent set-ups you didn’t ask for but are obviously mildly intrigued by.


If you’re still a bit unsure about the whole ‘tent’s don’t have to touch the ground’ thing, then here’s an entry level tent for the concept.

Tent-cots are exactly what they sound like. A tent with legs.

A mixture between elevated stretcher and standard tent, I’ve never seen one in real life and they kind of remind me of the house outta the movie, Howl’s Moving Castle. 

That said, you won’t have to worry about diligently removing all the rocks and sticks from under your ground sheet with one of these bad boys — you’ll just worry about it potentially running away in the middle of the night.



Editor Tim guarantees you’ll sleep like a baby in a tent cot… | @Earthworm/Flickr

Hammock Tent

A few nights in a tent-cot and you might be ready to take the above-ground training wheels off. For this, we’d recommend a hammock tent

Two very familiar items, the combination of tent and hammock is like peanut butter and jelly, or vegemite and avo. It shouldn’t work, but it sure as hell does.



While they might sound fancy, they can actually be an incredibly lightweight option for hiking and bikepacking and we’ve written about how to camp in a hammock in the past.


Something like the DD SuperLight Jungle Hammock weighs just 1.5kg and comes with a fully waterproof layer.

DD SuperLight Jungle Hammock

There’s hammock tents like the No-See-Um No More Hammock Bliss Tent that weighs just 800g and costs under $100.

The benefit of hammock tents is you’re not also forced to bring a sleeping mat with you, meaning you can save space and weight in your pack. However, mats can become necessary when the temperature drops and you have one of the more lightweight hammocks. We’d recommend a sleeping mat or under quilt if you expect the temps to drop below 21℃.

The DD Jungle Hammock has both a detachable mosquito net and detachable extra waterproof layer, meaning you can mod your sleeping set-up depending on the environment for an even lighter package.



Downsides of the hammock tent include a reliance on trees. However, it’s often easier to find a few trees to hang a hammock between in the Aussie bush than it is to clear a flat section of ground.

We would also remind you to hammock responsibly! To hammock camp ethically please remember to:

  • Check if hanging hammocks from trees is restricted where you’re planning to camp.
  • Check tree size, strength, and bark quality to avoid damage.
  • Use straps made of webbing and/or use tree protection (rope will damage trees).
  • Take your hammock down when not in use and as always leave no trace.


Tree Tent

A tree tent is a hammock tent on steroids. Or, perhaps, it’s on fertilizer. In any case, these things are for those who are really looking to reconnect with their branch-dwelling ancestors.

Unfortunately, they tend to be about 5-times the price of the hammock tent option, and perhaps just as critically, weigh about 5-times as much too.


Tree Tent


The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Tree Tent is one of the most popular models on the market.

It weighs in at 11.1kg and will lighten your own pockets by about a thousand bucks.

Tree Tent


These tents come with built in underfloor storage nets and internal storage pockets to keep gear safe and secure. Nothing worse than climbing out of the trees to collect a lowly coffee mug on the ground right?

The Stingray’s older brother, the Tentsile Safari Stingray 3-Person Tree Tent is a few hundred dollars more as it’s made from extra heavy-duty, ripstop 450D material and heavy- duty tear-resistant, grade 4, insect mesh.  That means it comes with a five year guarantee and can be left up for months at a time. 

That means these are best suited for semi-permanent backyard hangs and for those really looking for, ‘increased separation from insects & ground animals’.


Tree Tent

Rooftop Tent

Rooftop tents are all the rage at the moment. But, instead of needing a few trees to support a good night’s sleep in one of these, you’re actually going to need to BYO car. 



If that’s not an issue, then you’re off to a flying start, although the tents themselves aren’t cheap.

We’ve previously compared roof top tents and swags to see which is best.

However, as noted by Angela in that article, ‘Roof top tents are far more expensive than swags.’

The Darche Panorama 1400 is a popular touring model and comes in at $1900.  

‘For an aluminium/hard shell roof top tent like the one I use,’ said Angela. ‘You’re looking at anywhere between $2,295 for the cheapest version, to $4,500+ for the higher quality ones. If you’re after an all canvas roof top tent, they start at around $590.’


Floating Tent

When I said ‘tents don’t have to touch the ground’, I never said they couldn’t touch the water! 

That’s right. There’s a tent that floats.


Tensile Universe 4-season floating family hammock tent


The Tensile Universe 4-season floating family hammock tent, is probably the one tent to rule them all and It’s got the price tag to match too. It’s RRP is a not insignificant $3,200. Or the value of 80 entry level DD hammocks

However, there’s only a few left on Wild Earth at the moment, and you can snap one up for just $1,495.95. 

It weighs 50.3kg with a floor space of 9.5m² but will pack down into a top loading trolley bag.

Tensile Universe 4-season floating family hammock tent



In fact, Tensile even advertise it as their ‘most groundbreaking model yet’ which plays right into my hands given the name of this article.

However, if so inclined you can modify the base’s air pressure and still set it up on the ground to luxuriously sleep five adults, or take it to the trees and sleep three adults comfortably.

They make a point of saying it’s not for sleeping out on the water, but if you feel like dropping a line but don’t want to leave your tent, you just take the whole thing with you.


So, there you have it.

Tents don’t have to touch the ground and you too can escape the monotony and stress of sleeping on terra firma during your next overnighter.

You’ll just have to decide whether you want 80 hammock tents, or one literal floating tent.


Cover Image by @seehighcountry