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  1. #1
    Dublinlin's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Tensa 4 Hammock Stand

    Yesterday I got to meet up with one of my favorite camping buddies. She was so excited over her new Tensa 4 that had just arrived in the mail the day before. Those elegant telescoping legs gleamed in the Autumn sun as she unzipped the bag. We are planning a camping trip in the Mark Twain National Forest later this month, but it's always good practice (and just plain fun) to test out all your equipment ahead of time. So, we practiced setting up and tearing down her Tensa 4 hammock stand. I am impressed with how portable and user-friendly these stands are. I ran my own through the paces all summer long and love it more and more the longer I have it. Originally I bought it as a “fall back”, to bring along on those car camping trips to unfamiliar destinations--insurance against the worry of “what if there aren’t a pair of suitable trees?”. Little did I know then that this hammock stand would become the first string in my gear rather than the back-up. As the summer wore on, I found that again and again I used my Tensa 4 stand even when there were plenty of suitable trees. I just love the ability to place my hammock EXACTLY where I want it rather than settling for where ever the best set of trees are rooted.

    Although it wouldn’t be reasonable to back pack with the Tensa 4 Stand, for car camping it is amazingly compact and light. Assembling it the first time “out of the box” was a bit fidgety (took maybe an extra five minutes) as I had to learn how far apart to set the base and how long to set the ridgeline, but once the base cord and ridgeline were set at the proper lengths for my particular hammock, from that day forward it has always been a fidget-free set-up. The optimal base width and ridgeline length depends on which hammock I am using. I started out using my then current favorite hammock (my Trail Lair) but being a very stretchy hammock, it did not lend itself as well to the Tensa as my old favorite (not as stretchy) hammock, my Blackbird XLC. So, now I have a dedicated “hang from the trees” hammock (the Trail Lair) and a dedicated “only for my Tensa” hammock (the XLC). My "old" favorite, the XLC, is the only one I’ve slept in all summer, because the Tensa has always won out over the trees!

    My friend and I plan to get together again soon so I can show her how to use the tarp extender with her Tensa. For now, though, we just had fun hanging our hammocks in that huge, beautiful city park. As I relaxed there, I found myself reflecting back on how just a few years ago on such a lovely day, there would have been dozens and dozens of brightly colored hammocks gently swaying among those trees...but yesterday, there were only the two muted XLCs. I daresay, they are probably the first hammocks to be seen in that park in the years since the city passed an ordinance against hanging hammocks from trees in public spaces. No ordinances against hanging hammocks from Tensa 4 stands, though!


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    Last edited by Dublinlin; 10-11-2021 at 12:41.

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Bend, OR
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    What an inspiring review! Thank you. What dimension did you settle on of width and foot or head height?
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3
    WolfPackOne's Avatar
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    Jul 2021
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    I'm waiting at my mailbox for mine to arrive. Kinda giddy but as I'm a new hanger I will feel more confident when traveling with them.
    YouTube Channel: WolfPackOne

  4. #4
    Black's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Location
    North Central MA
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    The TENSA 4 fits in the bottom of my saddle bag leaving enough room to put my helinox sunset chair. The tarp extensions are a must.
    20210815_191809.jpg
    "When the power of Love overcomes the Love of power. The world will know peace." ~ Jimi Hendrix
    "No matter where you go, there you are." ~ Buckaroo Banzai

  5. #5
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    What an inspiring review! Thank you. .................
    Ditto! Very useful review! I have sort of felt the same about mine since I got it just before flying up tp NY to meet friends for a 4 night camp in the Adirondacks. If I had not taken that stand with me, I would not have been hanging. My friend was counting on using the trees, but he ended up sleeping on a cot. Every one else was in tents, which took up most of the camp site, leaving no opportunity between the many trees. But even if my fellow hanger and myself had had the campsite to ourselves, there would not have been good opportunities for trees the right distance apart for even one of us, certainly not 2.



    Quote Originally Posted by WolfPackOne View Post
    I'm waiting at my mailbox for mine to arrive. Kinda giddy but as I'm a new hanger I will feel more confident when traveling with them.
    My only concern about mine is that some of the locking "buttons" don't stick out very far at all, not near as far as some of the other buttons. Causing me concern that they might not hold, that one segment of the poles might collapse. But, the Tensa folks indicated that they were OK, they stuck out enough, and I have had no actual problems so far. So this has been great for camp grounds, back yard and indoors. One thing I have discovered for indoors that is proving really handy: I have been tethering the foot end by attaching to about 80 lbs of dumbbells right under the foot end apex. I have run a back up cord to a closet door, but so far the weights have held me just fine, not even putting any force on the line to the door.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    My only concern about mine is that some of the locking "buttons" don't stick out very far at all, not near as far as some of the other buttons. Causing me concern that they might not hold, that one segment of the poles might collapse. But, the Tensa folks indicated that they were OK, they stuck out enough, and I have had no actual problems so far. So this has been great for camp grounds, back yard and indoors. One thing I have discovered for indoors that is proving really handy: I have been tethering the foot end by attaching to about 80 lbs of dumbbells right under the foot end apex. I have run a back up cord to a closet door, but so far the weights have held me just fine, not even putting any force on the line to the door.
    Re the buttons not sticking out far, in recent production we have increased the number of internal spacers to prevent a problem with the buttons getting dislodged with rough handling, as in shipping. The problem was more acute with the Solo configuration. But a side effect of this fix is that some of the buttons don't stick out far enough to reassure all. If it bothers you, you can remove the internal spacers. This will also lighten the stand a bit. Maybe hold onto them in case you change your mind later, especially if you have or may yet get the Solo conversion kit.

    Re the weights instead of a fixed anchor, that works great. Some use collapsible water vessels for the same purpose, as more portable. I wish more people understood that Tensa4's anchoring requirement is a lot more modest than you might think. Not that you should, but if you reduce the stand tilt to near the tipping point, you can use a very light anchor indeed. At one point I was going to get a helper and tie off to a can of soda on video, and breathe VERY CAREFULLY.
    --
    Tensa Outdoor, LLC, maker of the Tensa4, Tensa Solo, and Tensa Trekking Treez hammock stands: http://tensaoutdoor.com/

  7. #7
    Crazytown3's Avatar
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    May 2016
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    Tooele County, UT, USA
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    Great report! I share in the love for the Tensa4 stand. It goes with me on every single motorcycle trip, and a good bunch of backyard trips as well.

  8. #8
    Dublinlin's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    What an inspiring review! Thank you. What dimension did you settle on of width and foot or head height?
    Thanks, Cougarmeat! I haven't ever measured my base cord or ridgeline. As I mentioned, it would be different depending on which hammock I used. With my stretchier Trail Lair, I have to adjust the stand differently to keep my bottom from brushing the ground. Next time I put the stand up (possibly tonight), I will measure the cords and let you know what I length I like best with my XLC. I'm pretty short, though (4'11") so what is perfect for me might not be perfect for you even if you also have an XLC.



    Quote Originally Posted by WolfPackOne View Post
    I'm waiting at my mailbox for mine to arrive. Kinda giddy but as I'm a new hanger I will feel more confident when traveling with them.
    WolfPackOne, you'll have to post a follow up here and let us know when yours arrive and what you think of it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Black View Post
    The TENSA 4 fits in the bottom of my saddle bag leaving enough room to put my helinox sunset chair. The tarp extensions are a must.
    I know, Black! It still amazes me how light and compact the stand is when it is folded up into it's carry bag! The size is perfect when you are trying to load a vehicle with way too much gear, multiple kids and multiple large dogs! It's nice that it doesn't take up much real estate when torn down. ...The tarp extensions are sweet!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Ditto! Very useful review! I have sort of felt the same about mine since I got it just before flying up tp NY to meet friends for a 4 night camp in the Adirondacks. If I had not taken that stand with me, I would not have been hanging. My friend was counting on using the trees, but he ended up sleeping on a cot. Every one else was in tents, which took up most of the camp site, leaving no opportunity between the many trees. But even if my fellow hanger and myself had had the campsite to ourselves, there would not have been good opportunities for trees the right distance apart for even one of us, certainly not 2.

    My only concern about mine is that some of the locking "buttons" don't stick out very far at all, not near as far as some of the other buttons. Causing me concern that they might not hold, that one segment of the poles might collapse. But, the Tensa folks indicated that they were OK, they stuck out enough, and I have had no actual problems so far. So this has been great for camp grounds, back yard and indoors. One thing I have discovered for indoors that is proving really handy: I have been tethering the foot end by attaching to about 80 lbs of dumbbells right under the foot end apex. I have run a back up cord to a closet door, but so far the weights have held me just fine, not even putting any force on the line to the door.
    Thanks, Billy Bob! My little sister from St. Louis frequently invites me to "glamp" with her but, having an adorable little tear drop camper herself, she never thinks ahead of time when reserving our site to make sure it even HAS trees(!), so my Tensa stand is a godsend! Having a Tensa 4 does take the pressure off those of us who camp often with friends who march to a different drummer.

    I haven't had any button concerns with my own Tensa 4, but I've seen first-hand that Latherdome and Raftingtigger are really easy to reach and quick to respond to questions/concerns. As to anchoring the Tensa to a weight...I really like that idea a lot! I haven't put mine up indoors yet...have a husband that would not appreciate a hammock hung in the house (I'm already pushing the limit having my German Shepherds inside!)...but I am seriously considering putting it up on our oversized, covered front porch. Weighting one end to anchor it would make that a lot simpler!


    Quote Originally Posted by Latherdome View Post
    Re the buttons not sticking out far, in recent production we have increased the number of internal spacers to prevent a problem with the buttons getting dislodged with rough handling, as in shipping. The problem was more acute with the Solo configuration. But a side effect of this fix is that some of the buttons don't stick out far enough to reassure all. If it bothers you, you can remove the internal spacers. This will also lighten the stand a bit. Maybe hold onto them in case you change your mind later, especially if you have or may yet get the Solo conversion kit.

    Re the weights instead of a fixed anchor, that works great. Some use collapsible water vessels for the same purpose, as more portable. I wish more people understood that Tensa4's anchoring requirement is a lot more modest than you might think. Not that you should, but if you reduce the stand tilt to near the tipping point, you can use a very light anchor indeed. At one point I was going to get a helper and tie off to a can of soda on video, and breathe VERY CAREFULLY.
    LOL! Latherdome, I REALLY want to see a video of you single anchoring to a can of soda! That would be cool! I DO like the idea of using a large, collapsible jug of water to use as an anchor (SECOND anchor). Truly, worst case scenario is I get "mouse-trapped" by it...and having already done that to myself when using only one anchor and getting forgetful about which side of the mid-line to get in and out on, getting mouse-trapped only hurts my ego and amuses any and all bystanders, so I'm game for trying a water jug on one end, with a fixed anchor on the other! I don't think I'd hazard a can of soda as my SINGLE anchor, though!!! You could pull it off and I bet Shug could pull it off, but I know I'd only end up on the ground in a hurry!
    Last edited by Dublinlin; 10-11-2021 at 14:30.

  9. #9
    Dublinlin's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazytown3 View Post
    Great report! I share in the love for the Tensa4 stand. It goes with me on every single motorcycle trip, and a good bunch of backyard trips as well.
    Thanks Crazytown3! Then Tensa4 really IS awesome! The longer I have that thing, the more I love it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for this thread. I am getting one soon. Cant wait to use it car camping and boat camping.

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