Inflatable Exod air-ground tent slims down for solo camping missions

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Categories: Hike & Camp

Back in 2020, French startup Exod debuted one of the more striking tents of modern times. The Ark married an inflatable exoskeleton with carbon fiber poles and strap-based suspension for a one-of-a-kind shelter that sets up easily on the ground or in the air. As intriguing as it was, an 18-lb, US$2,240 tent kit wasn’t a viable solution for many wilderness lovers. Exod strikes back in 2022 with the Monolith, a smaller, lighter breed of inflatable-exoskeleton ground/tree tent that’s just as easy on the eyes and easier on the wallet.

The Ark was billed as a one- to two-person tent, which usually indicates a tent that’s most comfortable and practical for a single person, perhaps a cozy couple. But even for those who purchased only the 10-lb (4.5-kg) $940 ground tent without the tree straps and poles, it was a lot of weight and price tag for just one person to shoulder.

Exod went back to work and created a true single-person shelter with a weight that maxes out at 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) for the ground kit and 10.1 lb (4.6 kg) for the full ground/air combo. That’s certainly not fast and light backpacking-level lightweight, but it’s a significant drop from the original poundage, making the Monolith a potentially interesting option for light vehicle camping, such as canoe or (e)bikepacking, as well as traditional car camping or overlanding.

The Monolith features a narrow, 9.1-ft-long (2.8-m) design that pitches on the ground via high-strength polyester TPU air tubes, offering its individual dweller a sleeping floor measuring 79 x 34 in (200 x 87 cm). It promises simple inflatable set up and a comfortable night of sleep ensured by a breathable, double-wall design with polyester mesh tent body and 10K/5K waterproof-breathable 30D ripstop nylon fly.

Should hard, cold rock, slithering or scurrying critters, or other outdoorsy surprises chase the camper off the ground, they can set the tent up in the air using the Monolith’s tree-mounting accessories. The carbon fiber stretcher poles create a flat, supportive floor, and cam straps secure it to trees, rocks or other sturdy objects, clipping to the poles via climbing-style carabiners.

The basic ground tent kit weighs 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) and includes the tent and fly, stakes, guy lines, a pack sack and repair kit, but not the pump. It packs down to a portable size of 16 x 13 x 9 inches (40 x 32 x 23 cm). The stretcher poles telescope down to 27.5 x 1.4 x 2.8-in (70 x 3.5 x 7-cm) package and weigh roughly 1.8 lb (800 g), while the straps pack down to 4 x 4 x 7 in (10 x 10 x 18 cm) and weigh 2 lb (900 kg). By splitting the components and specs up in such a way, Exod makes it easier for owners to take what they need and identify how much weight they’re carrying and leaving behind.

Exod put the Monolith up for reservations this month and plans to begin production once it fills 100 reservation spots. Interested buyers can reserve a spot for a refundable €100 (US$113) deposit on the €850 (US$960) price tag. Exod will ship to North America and other worldwide destinations, along with European Union countries, but buyers outside the EU will be responsible for their own duties and taxes. So far, 66 out of 100 reservations are filled.