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 phoenomenin? The ShiftPod insulated tent!

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

 

WHAT’S A SHIFTPOD?

SHIFTPOD Interior Burning ManDesigned by Burning Man veterans that camped on the “Playa” for over two decades in every imaginable camping configuration, 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

  • 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

 

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 new SHIFTPOD 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 PLAN

The SHIFTPOD2 is airline compliant and fits inside nearly any car or will easily strap to the roof. Unlike a car/truck roof tent, you can leave your SHIFTPOD set up while you explore in your vehicle and when not in use, it can be loaned to family and friends.

 

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 costs $1,499. While that sounds a bit pricey, it’s totally worth it, not to mention it’s on sale at this link (HoneyTrek affiliate), knocking off $200 and adding in a $129 Blast Shield for free…so basically a $329 discount. Compared to the other Burning Man alternatives of renting an RV for around $3,000, or renting a HexaYurt for $500-$1,500, 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 SHIFTPOD2, and highly recommend it to anyone who’s into festivals, car camping, or just looking for a little more comfort and cool-factor than a traditional tent.

 

QUESTIONS

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

13 thoughts on “Gear Review: Shiftpod Insulated Tent

  • October 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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!

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  • October 7, 2018 at 8:06 pm
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    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
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    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
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      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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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      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
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    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
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      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

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