Written by Stephanie Rosa
Camping has never been my favorite. After hitting my first camping festival (Bonnaroo, in 2008) and waking up to 95 degree stuffy Tennessee heat, I swore there must be a better way to live through 3 (sometimes 4) days at a music festival. For years I’ve suffered through the sweltering heat at festivals in the morning, and shivered my way through the evenings while I attempted to sleep.
I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator, so the idea of renting an RV never really worked out. Instead, I suffered year after year after year. Last year for Burning Man, I was offered a spot on a yurt. It took some time to set up on the Playa, but boy was it the most incredible structure I had ever slept in. Sad news though, we basically had to toss the structure after its use (due to the incredibly stiff material we used to build it). There was just no convenient way to pack it up.
Fast forward to February, and I had stumbled across this amazing invention called SHIFTPODS. SHIFTPODS basically look like the same yurt I had stayed in from Burning Man, just beamed straight to the U.S. by an alien mother ship (due to its super silvery reflective material). To my complete amazement, SHIFTPODS can be set up and packed up in LESS THAN TWO MINUTES. After much research and talking to the designer, Christian, I was able to get my hands on one of these bad boys. After two stays in my shiny spaceship-like tent, I am ready to provide you all with a full review of a SHIFTPOD.
- REGULATED TEMPERATURE – My SHIFTPOD was present both at Coachella as well as Further Future. Both festivals were hot during the day and cold at night, so I really got a chance to see if my SHIFTPOD could end my suffering all these years. The answer? YES. I slept comfortably under the sun in Indio, California until 10am. And the heat didn’t wake me up, it was people walking by. Likewise, at night, I was comfortable with a blanket and my pillow. The 6 windows allow for great ventilation and the reflective material on the outside is perfect for strong rays.
- SIZE (ASSEMBLED)– This thing is legit the size of a small room. It can easily fit a queen sized blow up mattress if you’re looking to glamp, or it can easily fit you and three of your best friends (plus all your belongings/food) if you don’t need the entire SHIFTPOD to yourself.
- EASY TO SET UP – I can set up my SHIFTPOD by myself in 60 seconds. And I can take it down in 60 seconds. Don’t believe me? Watch my videos below. What takes more time is actually staking it into the ground.
- WATERPROOF – Believe it or not, it rained like crazy at Further Future back in April. And when I say rained like crazy, I mean an absolute downpour. And not just once. MULTIPLE TIMES. What didn’t get wet? My friend Liisa and I, and all of our things. We half zipped our windows for air to come through, and sat comfortably in our SHIFTPOD while the storm passed. Even with the flooding that took place in the mud outside of our tent, zero water came into the SHIFTPOD. The material is sturdy and the zip-in floor kept us dry and comfortable.
- WINDPROOF – Talk about experiencing everything mother nature has to offer. At one festival I was faced with some serious rain and at another, some SERIOUS wind. The wind at Coachella was so serious they released multiple advisories over the weekend, warning campers about what the wind could do to their tents. As my friend Zach and I walked back to the SHIFTPOD late at night, we noticed collapsed tents and covers EVERYWHERE. And what stood loud and proud? The SHIFTPOD. Completely unaffected by any windstorm. Unbelievable.
- WEIGHT – Nothing in life is perfect, even a sleeping structure as awesome as my SHIFTPOD. When the SHIFTPOD is all packed up in its carrying case with its stakes, you’re looking at lugging around 58 lbs. Its not the most ideal thing to carry around if you’re by yourself, but splitting the weight with your camping buddy isn’t so bad. And if you have car camping available, taking it out of the car is a piece of cake.
- SIZE (DISSASEMBLED) – When your SHIFTPOD is sitting in its carrying case, its about 6 feet long. What does it look like? A body bag. How do I know? Because carrying it through the casino before Further Future, I had a lot of people ask what it was… “A dead body?” This obviously makes it a bit of a challenge to fly with, etc. so make sure to plan accordingly if you’re boarding a plane. Most airlines do have special guidelines for outdoor gear, etc. and its not really any bigger than a surfboard and people fly with those all the time.
Is it expensive?
Well, they’re not cheap. But expensive is a relative term. And expensive to me is glamping for $1000/person at a festival and not getting to keep anything. If you want exact pricing on the SHIFTPOD, click HERE. To me, if you’re planning to hit a few camping festivals this season and you want to be comfortable, then SHIFTPODS are made for you. Likewise, if you’re going to hit Burning Man, you definitely want one of these. Is it expensive? No. Its an investment.
Side note: Some tents of the same size sell for $800+. And they don’t have all the benefits listed above.
So, overall is it worth it?
ABSOLUTELY, 100%. I could not get over how wildly awesome my SHIFTPOD was, especially after having it survive through both massive windstorms and thunderstorms. I’m pretty much in love with my SHIFTPOD and I can’t wait to camp in it in two weekends at Lightning In Bottle.
Wanna see it in person, for yourself? Maybe have a little tour?
Of course you do! And I’m here for you. I will be having tours at LiB of my SHIFTPOD every day of the festival starting on Friday. You can come and see it for yourself, and ask all the questions you’d like.
FESTPODS vs. SHIFTPODS.
I’ve seen some comments being posted from Further Future about SHIFTPODS leaking, etc. This is NOT TRUE. The owner of SHIFTPODS created a less expensive version of SHIFTPODS, called FESTPODS for mass rentals at festivals. Further Future offered these as a way to “glamp” for the weekend. I heard that some of these FESTPODS had experienced a few issues, none of which are experienced by an actual SHIFTPOD.
- More reflective
- Have 6 windows
- Overall use more durable material