Sleeping in Trees

It’s hard to describe a night spent high in a tree. You could call it "magical," but "otherworldly" is better. You will hear sounds you have never heard before. When the wind comes up, the tree will speak to you in another language as it waves its arms in the breeze. Something happens to you after a night in the trees. It is hard to describe.

There are two types of sleeping platforms to choose from if you want to snooze or spend a night in the treetops. One is called a Treeboat, the other is generically known as a Portaledge.

  • Treeboat. This is a moderately priced, lightweight, comfortable hammock that will last for years of hard use. New Tribe designed this hammock especially for spending time in a tree. It requires from two to four points of contact to stretch the durable canvas tight. The Treeboat can accommodate two people. You can buy a number of accessories to adapt to weather (rain fly), hungry insects (netting), and personal item storage (side bags). It can accommodate two people.
  • Portaledge. This hammock was first designed for rock climbers who spent nights on big rock walls. These hammocks need only one point of attachment. The adjustable platform base is tightly strung on aluminum aircraft tubing so there is no swag; it’s like sleeping on a cot. A rainfly is available. Portaledges are heavy (twice the weight of a Treeboat) and very expensive.

String or thin fabric hammocks can be used for lounging for short periods of time. They are very small. Some can even be rolled up in a ball and stored in a pocket. But they do not give you firm back support. They swag in the middle. You’ll wake up with the worst back pain if you spend the night in one of these.  

See "Gear Rater" reviews for Treeboats and Portaledges

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