The Space Acacia XL Tent launched today and is basically a mini yurt. The tent is a hexagon with two short sides opposite each other for the two doors and four long sides for the walls. The 6-foot vertical walls and pyramidal top make this a standing-height tent and it has lots of windows for great ventilation and storm flaps for inclement weather. It has an optional inflatable base which can eliminate the need for sleeping pads, and it can float.
Getting it There
First and foremost, this tent is crazy heavy. My full kit weighs 140 pounds. That’s about 50 pounds for the tent itself, then the optional accessories, the base and the XL canopy weigh about 70 and 20 pounds respectively. You will want to park very close to where you want to set the tent up or have some sort of waggon to help roll the components into place. The other limiting factor of transporting this tent in your vehicle is the tent body stowed in its bag is nearly five feet long. That will fit in my midsize SUV, but only if I put one of the rear seats down… which means I can’t take one of my kids with me. Or, I have to lift the 50-pound tent into a roof box that is at least five feet long.
Once the tent components are in place, setup is relatively easy. The most arduous process is inflating the optional base. With a hand pump it takes 15-20 minutes depending on how hard you want to work. I had an electric pump (not included with the kit) and that still took nearly 10 minutes, but I didn’t have to do anything. Arguably, the electric pump takes up less room than the hand pump, so that’s another advantage for my vehicle space constraints.
Once the floor is inflated—remember, as evening sets in and if the air cools, the pressure of the floor will go down—it’s time to add the tent. The tent has a removable floor connected with Velcro. To be honest, I did not bother with removing the floor. The base, which has a separately inflated barrier that matches the footprint of the tent, also has Velcro on a sleeve where the two can connect. The advantage I can think of for this is to better secure the tent to the base for stability in high winds. Otherwise, the raised rim on the top of the base gives me high confidence in keeping water out from seeping under the tent.
The tent body is the easiest part of the setup thanks to the pop-out walls. The tent unrolls and unfolds to a very awkward and gangly heap. But once I pulled on the large straps in the middle of each of the four large panels, the walls popped right in place. No feeding of poles through sleeves, or attaching clips. Then, once positioning the bottom of the tent to match the base, step inside and pop the roof up and into place. Then pop in the four vertical stays to give a little more structure to the sides of the doors and the basic structure of the tent is done.
The Space Acacia XL tent comes with a modest canopy that just covers the top. If it’s very hot and rain is very unlikely, the roof of the tent has large mesh windows to allow for casual (through mesh, remember) stargazing and to allow heat to escape the fastest. The included canopy uses a toggle and ring system to attach to the tent and has four short stays to create a very small eve over each of the doors. For horizontal rain conditions, each of the walls have large storm flaps that cover all of the windows.
The optional Canopy XL really takes the weather protection of the tent up a notch. It has massive wings that nearly reach the ground on each side of the tent for exceptional protection from precipitation and they also offer lots of shade. At each of the doors, the canopy can be configured with the four included adjustable poles to create a large awning, which seem like in low to medium wind circumstances, will offer great rain and sun protection as well. There’s enough room to set up a camp chair or two and stay protected (again, depending on the wind).
Four Season Use
The Space Acacia XL is ready to be used all year. The numerous wall and roof windows and two doors offer excellent airflow for warm days and protection from bugs. The Space Acacia XL also has a sleeved ventilation port where a climate control unit can pump in cold air for hot environments or warm air when it’s cold out. The inner walls and ceiling are have a reflective surface to help retain heat and the Canopy XL can be collapsed and wrapped around the entire tent for extra protection. Presumably (and not offered from Acacia as far as I know), one could stuff some insulation between the Canopy XL and the Space Acacia XL to increase the insulation value. There’s also a cord retention system along one of the corners and up the ceiling to provide power to a light.
Taking everything down was also very easy. Both of the canopies simply slide off of the tent and go back in their respective bags. Then pull down the ceiling from the inside, get out and push in the walls and the tent collapses into that awkward heap again. It’s easy to align the poles along each other and the included buckle straps wrap around and cinch it all together and it easily fits back in its bag along with the included smaller canopy.
Not surprisingly, the deflating the base is the most time consuming part of the process (remember, it’s optional). It took my electric air pump about the same amount of time to suck all the air out as it did to inflate it and once empty, it folds and rolls easily. It has a buckle strap to keep it rolled up and it’s a little tricky to get back in the bag, but the team at Acacia says they’re going to make the bag a little bigger to make it easy. The floor also comes with a repair kit, but the PVC fabric is like a river raft and it would take significant pressure or something very sharp to cause a puncture.
The Space Acacia XL is a very cool concept for camping. I would consider this for a long-term camp and I think it would be great for camping on very rough surfaces when using the inflatable base. While I did not get a chance to expose the tent to windy or heavy snow conditions, it seems like it will be able to handle those circumstances without a problem. There are plenty of guy-out points available to ensure the Space Acacia XL does not go flying away. The only marks against it are its weight and the 5-foot long packed size of the tent for those of us with smaller vehicles—it wouldn’t be a problem in the back of a truck.
Are you game? The Space Acacia XL is $349 for the 2-person version and $519 for the XL for only the tent itself with the standard canopy. Adding on the XL Canopy and inflatable floor will more than double the price. Buy on Amazon