The Issue of Quality
When we spend our hard-earned cash on an expensive product we expect it to be top-notch, right? We work hard, we save hard, and we think very carefully about what we spend our money on. Yet, when the thing you want to invest in is a new invention, a new concept, something that pushes the boundaries of progress when that something is an innovation that adds to our human experience, sometimes we need to show patience and trust, and nurture these ideas, and give them time to develop and grow.
At Tentsile, we have been incredibly lucky, because for the past two years our customers have done exactly this. You have been patient and forgiving. Certainly, it is true we brought the Stingray out before it was perfect – yes, we did! We had no choice. With no backers, no help, no advice, all avenues were blocked to us when we started; no one thought this idea would get 'off the ground'; no one took the chance. So we did it ourselves. With your help.
Not really knowing much about the tent industry (as we came from treehouse and product design backgrounds ), our early supporters understood that they were buying into a dream that still needed refining, and many of them have acted as our product testers from those early days. And for their support, encouragement and feedback, we still send them upgrades each year as a thank you for believing in us and sticking through the bad stitching days....
Last August, we were finally strong enough to open our own factory and take control of quality and production for ourselves. It took a few months for our new workers to learn how to make top quality tents, but with regular testing, assessment and inspection, we now feel that we are nearly at the top of that mountain.
But it has not been a simple task, as this is not just about immaculate stitching. Many of you are used to buying gear from perfect, top-end brand names, who not only have honed their production processes over decades, but who use automated precision machinery to mass-produce their products. Our tents, however, cannot be made like that. Firstly, we couldn't afford those machines, and secondly, our tents are structural; they need to be safe enough to carry you and your children! Crucially, this means our workers need to feel the fabric layers by hand, ensuring the stitching reaches deep into the hidden layers that you cannot see. And these are the bits that do all the work. Every part of our tents is made by hand and put together by a trained team, whose skills are vital for both the safety and the weatherproofing of all our tents. And by the very nature of this tailor-made process, there is sometimes the need to include an asymmetrical stitch (shock horror!) because that is what is required for that particular strap on that particular tent.
At Tentsile, we do not see ourselves as a top-end brand. We are not trying to be exclusive. On the contrary, we see ourselves as a small start-up, trying to create new ways for more of your you guys to enjoy the outdoors! We are trying to be inclusive. We are trying to unite in a common goal of getting you up and out, enjoying the world around you. We are not lightweight (yet) or immaculate (yet), but we do aspire to be. And we hope that you can forgive us the growing pains and sit back and enjoy the view that our tree tents can offer, both alone and with friends! So, thank you for continued support. And let’s make a quality camping experience together.
Jenny Gibbs said:
First off, I have to say I love the concept. I’ve had my Stingray for a few years now, and I get so many questions and comments from passers by every time I set it up. I have mostly used it at music festivals with woodsy camping, because let’s be honest, not an ultralight product, and I have a ton of bedding and sundry gear that goes in and around the Stingray when it gets used. It’s basically car camping with a wow factor. So I’m firmly on the side of favoring this tent. Although a little fiddly to set up in terms of finding the right trees, getting it level, and ratcheted to an appropriate height that balances ease of entry against bumping the ground, it’s really comfortable…most of the time.
In dry, somewhat breezy conditions, this thing is a dream. The slackness of the fly and the flexibility of the bungy attachement points means that breezes can kind of billow in and create airflow. This is a MAJOR Achilles heel in wet weather though. Because the fly – material, cut, or bungy anchors combined – can’t really be made super-taut, it leaks like a sieve in windy rain. Water pools in it and leaks through where it sucks against the mesh of the tent body. Additionally, condensation builds up on the underside of the fly, and because it isn’t taut, instead of rolling down the inside of the fly and dripping off the bottom edge, it sticks to the top of the tent mesh and drips through. It seems this issue could be addressed by making the fly attachments less elastic, altering the cut and tautness of the fly itself, and more crucially, altering the way the fly sits on the tent by EXTERNALIZING the pole sleeves that hold up the mesh body of the tent. Having the tent poles on the inside has meant a couple things for me.
One, I have to be SUPER careful pitching the tent poles once the floor is taut, because poles don’t seat themselves readily on the back end, and can poke through the mesh there, as mine did the very first time I used the Stingray.
Second, because poles are inside, there’s no structure that keeps the fly from lying directly on top of the mesh. so the two fabrics can sucker together during wet weather, and cause leaks. If pole sleeves and poles were externalized, the physical space between the fly and the mesh would be increased, due to the mesh being suspended below the poles instead of on top of them. Breathing space between fly and mesh means better condensation flow, and a more waterproof external barrier in case of rain.
I don’t know if you’ve addressed these issues in later models of the Stingray, but meanwhile, I’ve got a houseful of wet tent parts spread over all my furniture from what turned into a very damp camping experience. It would be nice to attend my next festival with the knowledge that weather is a non-issue because the design flaws have been addressed and the Stingray can handle whatever nature throws at it.
J Haley said:
Thank you for this page. I get it. I have no trouble purchasing a product that is from a manufacturer that is not considered high end. I think the manufacturer has two options: go cheap or go value. If you guys stand behind your stuff there is incredible value with these tents. They look like they really enhance the camping experience. I would love it if you offered a repair replacement for a truly non-functional item or error. I love that your design is evolving. Keep up the good work.
David Guerin said:
Ive just recently discovered your amazing products.and im wondering on the durability of your product.i live in Canada where it can get very wet,cold,windy,etc.im an avid outdoorsman and i need a tent that leaves a very small footprint.but yet something i can rely on when the weather gets really nasty.i just the other day had a tent get destroyed due to the elements.made for a pretty nasty weekend.so heres my question….how many seasons can you use your product for in a year?.how durable is the rainfly?and do you have a warranty?
Beatriz Moreno said:
felicitaciones por ese maravilloso y sencillo invento quiero saber su nacionalidad
crork seo said:
t1O02L You made some clear points there. I did a search on the topic and found most individuals will agree with your website.
Sean green said:
I absolutely love this brand and everything it stands for. I seen a photo somewhere on social media last year and thought owning one of these creations was a pipe dream.
Today I made that a reality and bought my first one.
I have bought many high-end tents and countless hammocks, yet I have never ever been so excited to try out a product in my life!
So thank you tentsile.