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Space Acacia Review: A Space

Aug 16, 2023

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The Space Acacia promises to be the ultimate basecamp anywhere you set it up. Here's what we think of the new tent.

Close your eyes and picture a scene. It's summer. You're camping by a lake. The water is cool and comfortable, but things on the shore ... they're a little warmer. That breeze that felt so good when you were kayaking on the water doesn't seem to be reaching you here on land.

But now, imagine this: what if your tent could float? What if there was a world in which you could camp aquatically, enjoying the soothing sensations of floating on water while falling alseep. Sounds like fantasy, right?

Well, it would have been just a fantasy ... until now. Camping by land or sea is no longer a fantasy for those of us that don't own a houseboat, thanks to a new brand on the block: Acacia Outdoors, which officially launched this spring and has just rolled out its first product, the Space Acacia 3-in-1 modern outdoor dwelling system, which is launching on Indiegogo today. The Space Acacia comes in two sizes: the Space Acacia 2-person tent, and the Space Acacia XL, which sleeps 4-6, including dogs and kids.

The "3-in-1" refers to the structure of the unit, which includes a glamping-ready tent, an inflatable floor and a temperature-adjusting canopy. And after having a chance to try it out firsthand, I can say that all three come together to form a unique campsite experience that isn't quite like any other tent I've used before.

If you've got the means, the space and the time to set up a giant tent, the Space Acacia will provide a luxury-minded camping experience that is hard to replace. Sure, the set-up is a bit convoluted the first go around; and yes, this thing is definitely heavier than the brand will have you believe; and fine, it's expensive (the two-person model, which I tested, comes in at $1,236). But, it's also very comfortable — and it floats!

With this system, you won't have to pack air mattresses or sleeping pads, and you can anchor it to shore or another boat and make it a water bed. I can't say this tent is easier to set up or more convenient than others I've tested — quite the opposite. But it's unique, fun once it's up and makes for a solid backcountry home base for car campers.

Although it follows the visual language and design of many tents (think: tent structure, ground cover, rain fly) the Space Acacia has some notable differences that set it apart from the crowd. The first is the pop-up design of the tent itself; it's not anything new, but it still feels novel, and when I used it, I was impressed with how easily one person could set up a tent with seven feet of head room inside. I set up the Space Acacia by myself, but strongly suggest setting up with at least two people if you want it to take less than half an hour.

The second, and arguably coolest thing (in my experience) is the Space Acacia's inflatable waterproof floor. Made from the same durable materials as inflatable SUPs (think PVC coatings, a strong base fabric and space yarn), the spacious floor of this tent can be filled with air — meaning the tent itself can float.

I didn't have access to a lake, but my partner and I did hoist the tent into our pool with great success. Standing inside the floating tent, I couldn't help but be reminded of Meredith Blake's floating lake moment in The Parent Trap (although I didn't have any birds inside the tent with me). I can imagine that floating this thing down a river or anchoring it on the shore of a calm lake would be nothing short of idyllic.

The base can be inflated one of two ways: with a hand pump or an electric one. I tried both, and found that the electric pump was great for getting the base 80 percent full, but that the finishing work was best done with a hand pump. Electric pumps can be loud, and if you're getting to camp late and setting this up while others are sleeping, it's important to be mindful of how much noise you're generating.

Photos from Acacia Outdoors' website show campers carrying the Space Acacia over their shoulders, with a beaming smile on their face. I did not have the same experience: the tent itself is not much heavier than other well-equipped models I've used in the past (like the Gazelle in this guide) but the inflatable base is extremely heavy — more than 50 pounds of dead weight. (The entire set-up for the 2-Person Tent is 82 pounds.)

If you've got back issues, I would caution you to enlist a friend or get some sort of wheeled cart to move this thing around. The sample I tested was difficult to pack back into its carrying case, but Acacia has made improvements to the carrying cases so that packing up is less of a struggle.

Thanks to its temperature-regulating design and additional outer layer, the Space Acacia could theoretically be used for four season camping — but in all honesty, I can't imagine setting this thing up in the dead of winter, let alone in inclement weather. The tent portion of the Space Acacia has double walled construction, with strategic vents placed around the walls and in the roof. This allows for maximum airflow, which I experienced whilst floating atop my pool. The unit also comes with a temperature-regulating outer canopy, which can be closed down during cold days to keep things nice and cozy. Acacia says the outer layer can help keep things 10º Fahrenheit warmer than outside, and the tent itself is suitable for temperatures ranging between 23℉–95℉, but I'm a little skeptical.

No, I haven't set this thing up and camped in the snow ... yet. But I did set this up on a gorgeous spring day and had my own struggles, so I can't really imagine how well things would go in 30-degree temps. Yes, the Space Acacia can be used in extreme temperatures, but is it likely it will be? For now, it looks like only time will tell.

The Space Acacia launches today on Indiegogo, with the 2-Person with canopy, tent, air floor and accessories starting at $999 for the launch sale (the tent will run $1,236.00 after launch), and the Space Acacia XL starting at $1,349 at launch.