SHIFTPOD Insulated Tent at Burning ManWe just spent nine days in the hot (and cold), extremely windy, dusty, inhospitable Black Rock Desert…and we loved every minute of it. Burning Man is sheer beauty, love, art, and magic (read our travelogue on the experience, here) but you need to be prepared to fully enjoy yourself. Wondering how we survived 50-degree daily temperature swings, 40mph dust storms, and a nine-day cultural phenomenon? The SHIFTPOD insulated tent!

SHIFTPOD asked us to experience their new SHIFTPOD2 at this year’s Burning Man. So, we told them we would try out their tent, but only write a review if we truly loved it…and guess what? The thing was freaking amazing!

 

WHAT’S A SHIFTPOD?

SHIFTPOD Interior Burning ManDesigned by Burning Man veterans that camped in every possible configuration on the “Playa” for over two decades, Christian Weber and his team came up with the ultimate shelter. Made of a high-tech seven-layer fabric that insulates from heat/cold/wind/dust/rain/sun, this spacious pole-free tent is super easy to set up; plus, it’s portable and stylish enough for even the most discerning Burner.

 

SPECS

  • SHIFTPOD2
  • In Transit: 6 feet tall x 1 foot wide; 64 lbs
  • In Use: 12 feet x 12 feet x 6.5 feet tall
  • Features: 2 doors, 6 portal windows, 2 ceiling vents, 2 AC duct vents, 2 power cord pass-throughs
  • SHIFTPOD Mini *currently $200 off
  • In Transit: 6 feet tall x 1 foot wide; 64 lbs
  • In Use: 6 feet x 6 feet x 4.7 feet tall
  • SHIFTPOD XL *currently $500 off
  • In Transit: 6 feet tall x 1 foot wide; 64 lbs
  • In Use: 14 feet x 14 feet x 7 feet tall

 

SETUP

After one practice run in my brother’s SF apartment (though his living room was too small for the full expansion of this nomadic palace), I was able to set it up in a mere 29 seconds, see our IG highlights for this setup and other BRC gems to prove it! When you include zipping in the floor and hammering in the stakes it takes around three minutes for one person to FULLY set up the SHIFTPOD2. Imagine spending 30 minutes trying to put together a massive tent or taping together a hexayurt in a blinding dust-storm/torrential downpour on your next camping trip and you’ll understand why a quick set up is so valuable. There are NO tent poles to fumble with and we didn’t use a single rope during our nine days on the Playa. It comes with stainless steel stakes (they won’t rust out or bend) that can be pounded nearly flush to the ground so people won’t trip on them in the dark. Plus, they have a nice hole at the top for tying off guylines and easy removal with the back of your hammer.
PRO TIP: Before you lay out the floor on the dusty ground, be sure it’s shiny side up so you can start clean!

 

COMFORT & STYLE


After visiting numerous different structures, no camping setup made as much sense as the SHIFTPOD. Sure, there were some amazing artistic structures and $200,000 RVs but for the amount of time and money, none were as effortlessly stylish and inviting. Having a 12×12 structure that you can stand up in, gives you the space to settle in and decorate. To get ourselves started, we ordered two SHIFTPOD cots that come with quilted sleeping pads and blankets. These were super comfy and nestled together nicely to make a double bed. We added a table and chair and still had plenty of room for our bags and storage shelves. Plus, the tent comes with a bunch of hanging pockets to help you organize your bits and bobs.
PRO TIP: Hook bungee cords between the built-in tent poles and you’ll create clothes rack for your wardrobe.

 

KEEP WARM

The Black Rock Desert can get extremely cold at night. The SHIFTPOD2 insulated tent is dialed in for sub-zero temps:

  • The multi-layer walls create less condensation than single or even double-wall tents
  • Center pole to support the ceiling when you are camping in snow zones
  • Ceiling vents for a heater’s CO and even your own CO2. A camper from the Overland Bound Community recounted a recent camping trip, “The weather service reported a range of -2 to 9 degrees F, not including windchill. With my SHIFTPOD and a Buddy Heater, we stayed around 60 degrees all night, even as the cold sunk into the valley.”

 

KEEP COOL (Day Sleeps for the Night Burners)

Shade structure for SHIFTPOD
In addition to the NASA-inspired fabric that can handle massive temperature swings, this insulated tent comes with a free “Blast Shield,” a shade structure to keep you even cooler. A friend who has owned both models said his SHIFTPOD2 with the blast shield was between 15-20 degrees cooler than his original SHIFTPOD. Having attended Burning Man 2018 with a SHIFTPOD2 I can say that we did NOT need an AC to sleep at night–we could snooze until around 10am before the sun or a DJ woke us up. That said, we did bring a floor AC unit that we got on Craigslist for $80 and it was SUPER nice when we did stay up all night and needed to sleep during the heat of the day. The SHIFTPOD2 has two vents that have drawstrings to accommodate various size AC ducts.
PRO TIP: Try to find an AC with two vents (air out and in). If you have a one-vent AC just leave a portal cracked so you don’t create a vacuum that will collapse your tent.
SUPER PRO TIP: If you don’t want to buy an AC and a generator, build your own swamp cooler for under $30, which can be run on solar.

 

COMBAT WIND

Burning Man can be freaking windy. One minute it will be bluebird skies and you’re sipping a piña colada someone just gifted you…and the next minute it’s a complete dust whiteout and someone’s Walmart Tent (boo) is soaring through the sky like a kite. SHIFTPODs have been tested in 100mph winds and stood strong.

 

BLOCK DUST

All doors, windows and the floor are equipped with water and dust-proof zippers. The floor can also be unzipped from the structure which is great for cleaning. Plus, they have ventilation ports with dust filters so you can catch a bit of breeze without the grit.
PRO TIP: Put a heavy doormat outside for your shoes and a carpet inside to collect remaining dirt.

 

BAND TOGETHER

View of Burning Man from a plane
Going to Burning Man with a crew? Want to make your own camp? You can use the tunnel system to connect up to five SHIFTPODs. The tunnel doorway also provides a nice foyer to remove dusty/dirty clothes and keep shoes and backpacks out of the rain.

 

GET POWER

There are two sealable power-cord holes, one on either side of the pod, to run electricity without creating gaps in the structure.
PRO TIP: Grab one of these solar + battery setups and you can power your lights, charge a phone, and run the fan on your swamp cooler without a noisy and fossil-fueled generator.

 

TRAVEL PLANS

  • The SHIFTPOD2 is airline compliant
  • Fits inside any car and/or can easily strap to the roof.
  • Unlike a rooftop tent, you can leave your SHIFTPOD set up while you go explore in your vehicle or run errands
  • It can be loaned to family and friends, or swapped between your own vehicles (unlike a rooftop tent)

 

MISC PERKS

SHIFTPOD swag

  • Swag: A MOOP bag (to support Burning Man’s leave no trace initiative), eye masks, earplugs, and two combination locks for doors.
  • Giving Back: SHIFTPOD donates one shelter to a community in need for every 20 they sell.
  • Self-reliance: While RVs sound convenient, their water and electricity are prone to problems on the Playa. A SHIFTPOD is glamping without the fuss.
  • Resale Value: Not sure if you will love it as much as we did? No worries, these insulated tents retain their value and sell like hotcakes every spring/summer/pre-Burning Man.

 

BUY A SHIFTPOD INSULATED TENT

Burning Man crew
The SHIFTPOD2 is currently on sale for $1HERE and you get a $129 Blast Shield for free. Compared to the other Burning Man alternatives of renting an RV for around $3,000, or renting a similar sized HexaYurt for around $1,000, the SHIFTPOD is well worth the money…and you can use it for decades to come. Some reviews say the size and weight are cons, but when compared to a HexaYurt (the most similar option) the SHIFTPOD2 is smaller (for transport and home storage), more durable, simpler to set up, lighter, and much easier to fit into your ride (important if you are carpooling or driving a rental car with no roof-rack.)

 

SATISFACTION

Heading into Burning Man we were pretty concerned about finding a shelter comfortable and tough enough for nine days in the extreme desert. As I think you can tell from the review above, we could not have been happier with our SHIFTPOD, and highly recommend it to anyone who’s into festivals, car camping, or just looking for a little more comfort than a traditional tent.

 

WANT ONE?

You can grab a SHIFTPOD2 over HERE, or a SHIFTPOD XL HERE, or a SHIFTPOD Mini HERE!

note: If last year is any indication this sale won’t be up much longer as they start to get low on stock as the concert season rolls on. Also of note, if you buy via that link HoneyTrek gets a small commission that helps us to keep running this site…but our reader’s trust is of paramount importance to us, and we would
never have written this post if we didn’t absolutely love our SHIFTPOD experience and think you will too!

 

QUESTIONS

Leave a comment below with any questions; we reply to every single comment.

30 thoughts on “Gear Review: SHIFTPOD Insulated Tent

  • October 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm
    Permalink

    The Shiftpod looks great. I am not generally one for camping, but I like how modern and spacious the tent looks. Insulation is also great, especially if you’re going to a festival like Burning Man with the freezing nights. Love that this tent can stand up in wind as well. It’s never nice when your whole tent collapses from a small gust.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2018 at 6:25 pm
    Permalink

    Wow this takes camping to another level. And it only takes 29 seconds to put up. This would be perfect for Burning Man.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 12:45 am
    Permalink

    I like how roomy this tent is, and it sure would have come in handy the nights we camped at Zion National Park in November. It was beautiful during the day but got below freezing at night! For all the features it offers, is it really considered more of a luxury tent? I’m sure you pay for those features!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 5:42 am
    Permalink

    Looks so spacious and I like the fact you can stand up. I can’t believe how quickly you can set them up either. So handy!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 8:06 pm
    Permalink

    Looks like they’ve really thought of everything! I could definitely see this coming in handy when camping. I especially love that there is a tunnel system so you can connect it with friends’ tents. And I think they price is definitely right for what you get, especially compared to other alternatives.

    Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 10:17 am
    Permalink

    I watched the video and I thought the Shiftpod outside looks small but when you got inside wow it really is spacious! With all its modern features and the fact that it takes seconds to set up is amazing! It looks comfortable and stylish too.

    Reply
    • October 8, 2018 at 11:47 am
      Permalink

      Carissa, you hit the nail right on the head. From the outside it is unassuming, but on the inside, WOW, talk about swanky! And you can decorate it however you like. We saw some others where people hung sarongs on all the walls, was quite beautiful.

      Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 8:36 pm
    Permalink

    I am in love with this tent. We have tried camping in the Florida summers and it just gets way to hot. I could see this extending the season a lot. Having a tunnel system of 5 Shiftpods seems like a Burning Man party waiting to happen.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 3:39 am
    Permalink

    What a fab idea! We used to camp a lot when I was a kid – and I hated how it was always way too hot or way too cold. The tunnel system idea would work brilliantly for families too – and I am guessing the robust material would be a lot more resilient to small hands.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm
    Permalink

    This is hilarious. It was so big you couldn’t even set it up in your brother’s living room, and you can connect it to other tents with tunnels? It sounds like such a parody of a part of the Burning Man experience that I wouldn’t even believe it if you didn’t have pictures.

    Reply
    • October 11, 2018 at 12:23 am
      Permalink

      Yeah, the thing was huge…which we were SO thankful for when living in it for 9 full days on The Playa. Yeah, it was pretty comical. Thanks for the love Carrie…and maybe we will see you at Burning Man next year!?!

      Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 11:54 pm
    Permalink

    The shift pod looks pretty amazing! It’s insulated from the heat and the cold alike, and that’s probably the best part about it. I can imagine how staying in a tent in the hot summers can be a pain and this looks like the perfect solution. Superb!

    Reply
    • October 11, 2018 at 12:32 am
      Permalink

      Yeah, it kept us cool in the day, and warm at night. But it got pretty toasty during the day, so having an AC inside the tent was pretty clutch. Nights were no problem at all. Thanks for checking out our blog Medha!

      Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 10:23 pm
    Permalink

    Hello all. I’m Christian’s mom. (Shiftpod’s designer/originator.) I couldn’t be prouder. Christian and Kristen pour so much of their lives into this product. It now has the interest of firefighters and stations. Many firefighters have purchased their own for long use at forest fires as we’ve had this year in CA. Christian and his team donated an assortment of products to various firefighting camps to bring some comfort to their long hot days.

    I am very pleased reading your review, it made me smile. I’ve also read your other blog posts and really enjoyed them. Thank you for the look at all the places I need to visit!

    I am excited to have been with the kids at two Burning Mans. What a sight to behold! I love to see so many pods in recent pictures. Camp in comfort! May just meet you there in 2020!! Cordially, Barbara

    Reply
    • January 2, 2019 at 4:42 pm
      Permalink

      Barbara, you deserve to be proud. We love that your kids not only created a sleek, functional, and all-around fabulous design but that they are using it for good! That’s great to hear about their work with the fire department and disaster relief around the world! Thanks so much for checking out HoneyTrek and we hope to see you at Burning Man!

      Reply
  • December 31, 2018 at 6:24 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for the review, after reading it – I purchased a shiftpod2!

    Reply
    • January 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm
      Permalink

      Dude, you are going to absolutely LOVE your Shiftpod. It’s by far the easiest setup of any tent I have ever owned, and also the best insulated. Throw a cot in there, or an aerobed and you have an instant palace in the woods (or the desert). Looking forward to hearing how you like it.

      Reply
  • January 29, 2019 at 5:02 pm
    Permalink

    I bought my Shiftpod 2 towards the end of last fire season and let me tell you, it is awesome to come back to after a long shift! It’s so easy to set up and so spacious! Totally love mine! Even took it for a week up on the Six Rivers in October for camping and was the envy of my friends. Couldn’t be happier. And great review!

    Reply
    • February 1, 2019 at 9:36 am
      Permalink

      So happy to hear that. Makes camping so much more enjoyable!

      Reply
  • February 21, 2019 at 7:03 pm
    Permalink

    Can I ask how you managed showering – or did you just skip it for the duration of Burning Man? My friends and I have been considering purchasing one for this year!

    Reply
    • February 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm
      Permalink

      Amy, thanks for reading our blog, and asking! We were part of a theme camp (basically a group that pools their resources to get various things). Our camp had porta potties (locking), big shade structures, and also a camp shower. If I went myself with just my SHIFTPOD, I would bring a big basin (something like this: https://amzn.to/2T7opHt), and you can use a few nalgenes of water and wash off. But to be honest most people who aren’t part of a camp just use baby wipes, or befriend someone in a camp with a shower.

      As for the SHIFTPOD, as you can probably tell from our review, we freaking LOVED the thing. If you have any questions about it, just ask. And if you want to support our blog, we’d be honored if you used our link to buy it when you do: https://www.HoneyTrek.com/shiftpod And I hope you have the most amazing time at Burning Man…it will very likely change your life in ways you couldn’t imagine 🙂

      Reply
      • February 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm
        Permalink

        P.S. I just saw the SHIFTPOD regular is on sale for $200 off via our link. It was $1499 for many months after Burning Man, and $1,299 is the cheapest I have ever seen it. And I think they are coming with a blast sheild as well these days!

        Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm
    Permalink

    I see that it keeps you warm at night. I have the opposite problem. The nights in Tennessee summers are hot. Does this have good ventilation even in the rain without an AC to keep you cool? Cross ventilation is important but the window design looks as if you can’t open windows in the rain. Can you tell me about that?

    Reply
    • July 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm
      Permalink

      It comes with a rain fly so you can keep the window’s open for a nice cross breeze!

      Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 5:31 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there, thank you for your article, very useful! I just got my shiftpod and were wondering which length is the best for the hook bungee cords between the built-in tent poles? Thank you very much

    Reply
    • July 14, 2019 at 12:13 am
      Permalink

      Julie, SO awesome you grabbed a SHIFTPOD, you are gonna freaking love it! I forget the exact length of the bungee we used, but I think they were about 12 inches (unstretched). That said, there are lots of poles, so if you got one that was shorter or longer you could make it work. But definitely do a dry run in your back yard or a park, before you head to a festival or burning man, or wherever. Speaking of, where do you plan to use your SHIFTPOD?

      Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 11:17 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for your reply! We are going to Burning Man! So excited to be on Playa with this wonderful SHIFTPOD. We haven’t practice yet, will do. Any advice?

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 7:09 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been learning a lot about tents recently and especially the toxicity profile most have….which is not good. Flame retardants such as TCEP (carcinogenic) are ubiquitous in most all USA made tents and even canvas ones like Kodiac which sport no chemical flame retardants have a huge PVC floor (google PVC toxic and read all about it).

    I am wondering if anyone here can comment on the specific materials the Shiftpod is made out of, especially the interior which is a trapped air space and of greatest concern. I scoured the website but found nothing.

    Thx for anything you can share!

    Walt.

    Reply
    • August 2, 2019 at 3:02 am
      Permalink

      Walt, you pose a very important and serious question…of which I admittedly do not know the answer to. But I DO know some people at Shiftpod, so I will reach out to them with your question and see if I can get them to come reply to your question here. Thank you SO much for your question and concern!

      Reply
      • August 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm
        Permalink

        Hi Walt,

        Our products are made with PE (Polyester) fabrics and have several coatings made of nanotech minerals, our fire protection is made from sink oxide and our final coating is PU (polyurethane).

        Hope that helps!

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.