Review: Haven Tents

Review: Haven Tents | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

For years, my wife has loved hammock camping, and she suggests using hammocks on nearly every trip we go on. However, we almost always end up packing the tent because I have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep in a hammock. No matter how much I adjust and fiddle, I can never get comfortable.

Specifically, the hammocks I’ve used tend to compress my shoulders and hyperextend my knees when I’m on my back. Then, when I try to sleep on my stomach, I feel as if I’ve been packaged incorrectly, with my back held in an Upward Facing Dog pose all night. The Haven Tents Haven XL boasts a lay-flat design and promises to alleviate the exact issues I’ve experienced.

Haven Tents launched its first product, the Haven Tent via a Kickstarter campaign and has since been successful enough to release a larger variant, the Haven XL. As I’m an XL sort of guy, I was eager to try it out as an alternative to other suspended sleeping. The Haven XL is quite feature-rich considering the price. For $335 you get the tent, a rain fly, tie-down cables, an integrated removable bug fly, and an air mattress with a storage bag that doubles as a pump—a clever idea, although I found it easier to just blow the mattress up manually. Small and affordable battery-powered pumps are available to make setup even easier.

It all fits back into the well-designed storage bags easily and without the need to learn some secret tent origami. The construction is robust and there is plenty of storage inside with six pockets. The cord that runs along the top can also be used for hanging stuff. The only minor quarrel I have is the lack of an included patch kit for the mattress—but most of us camper types have some laying around anyway.

The Haven XL goes up without a hassle and is easy to get in and out of. All the Haven tents use two spreader bars on each end of the tent and, once assembled with the sleeping pad installed, the tent hangs with a concave arch to the bottom. When I lay in it, it held me nearly level. As with any sort of suspended sleeping device, there’s the process of figuring out how to hang it exactly to your liking. Once you get it down, I’ve got to tell you, it’s exceptionally comfortable. In fact, Haven XL gave me the best hammock sleep I’ve ever had.

Many hammock systems are rendered useless without trees but the Haven tents can be used as a bivy tent when you can’t find suitable trees. Haven Tents suggests using two trekking poles to erect it, but a motorcycle and a stick driven into the ground could work just as well. Although perfect systems don’t exist, the Haven XL has got to be close to an ideal hammock sleeping solution. It’s easy to set up, versatile, light-weight, and—most importantly—exceptionally comfortable.

Haven Tents Haven XL
Colors: Forest Camo, Forest Green, Sky Blue