Review: Shiftpod Mini

Review: Shiftpod Mini


If you read our Trona Pinnacles Shakedown Report, you’ll recall that a night out in our 25 year old Mountain Hardwear tent left us hankering for something newer and bigger. We did a bunch of research and even purchased a newer Mountain Hardwear tent which we ultimately returned in favor of the Shiftpod Mini. After setting up the Shiftpod in the yard a couple of times, we were thoroughly impressed by the ease of setup and tear-down — literally a couple of minutes to do either. And the Mini seemed like a perfect size for the two of us and a small pup. So naturally, we were excited to take the Shiftpod on an inaugural outing which we expected to be the first of many.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon period wore off quickly. It was HOT in Big Bear last weekend, and when we set up the Shiftpod we were expecting it to live up to its promise of reflecting the mid-day heat. Instead, what we got was a silver sauna that soaked up the sun’s rays and turned the interior into an EZ-Bake oven. The ventilation provided by the small, single door and the four circular port holes were no match for a daytime high in the upper 80’s, making the tent a no-go zone and utterly useless as a shade provider.

The setup process revealed a couple of other notable issues… On of the corner stakes ends up directly outside the front door, creating a tripping hazard. And because the door is widest at the mid-height of the tent, tapering at the top and bottom, it’s quite difficult to use. I’m a proponent of the “no shoes in the tent” rule, which generally necessitates plopping your butt through the door to sit in the tent while hanging your feet outside to remove shoes. This is next to impossible due to the shape of the door on the Shiftpod.

And while, generally, setup is a breeze, the removable floor is extremely difficult to zip in place. The areas where the zipper turns the corners are tough to navigate and didn’t give me a ton of confidence in the long-term durability of said zipper in the corners.


Once the temperatures dropped for the evening, it did provide a comfortable and cozy place to sack out for the night. The white interior is nicely reflective, making a single LED lamp enough to light the interior. And don’t get me wrong, for someone like me who’s a fan of all things space related, it feels pretty cool to be sleeping in what looks like a lunar landing module.

But the bad outweighed the good for me in a tangible manner, and I have to admit (looking back on it) that I fell for the instagram-worthy hype. We sold the Shiftpod as soon as we got home with just one night of use under our belts. Hopefully the new owner is happier with it than we were.

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