Note: this article is originally dated July 2007. Please see the update below for links to user reports about this product and concerns about its effectiveness and the potential effects of bed isolation.
Can you act as “bait” and not get bitten by bed bugs?
Lou Sorkin said the holes (800 per square inch according to my inquiry) were indeed small enough to keep out bed bugs. You’d have to make sure you did not bring them into the tent on your body or clothing, and you’d need to ensure you did not lean on the mesh sides, since they can possibly bite through the mesh if you are leaning on it. But the solid sides do creep up to allow a certain amount of leaning.
I do not think this is a viable long-term solution; treating bed bugs and getting rid of them is necessary for all. Desperate bed bugs might linger at the opening, or bite you when you sit elsewhere during the day. But it’s not a bad concept, and could possibly be helpful in the short-term, as home treatment progresses. It might give peace of mind to travelers who must use a lot of hotels, or for home use.
I have written to them to ask for a sample we could review. Anybody tried this tent? (Note: we can tell genuine comments from those planted by manufacturers masquerading as users.)
To my knowledge, two people have so far reported using this product.
Dolma, in the comments below, found bed bugs harboring inside it.
More recently, in the forums, rangichangi writes of using the Travel Tent,
It is the only way I can sleep knowing that there are bbs in the room – I know that unless they hitched a ride on my sleeping clothes or sheets(which has happened) they cannot get to me. If they do come inside the tent they are easy to spot and kill.
Although we cited Lou’s comments on the fabric pore-size reported by the manufacturer, this alone is not enough to know without a doubt that the Travel Tent design keeps bed bugs out if used carefully. It’s possible there may be gaps in the structure which allow them in.
Moreover, it may be impossible to climb into any kind of structure “carefully” enough to prevent tracking bed bugs in 100% of the time.
I would therefore caution anyone against rushing out to buy this product. We don’t know that it works as claimed. We don’t have independent testing data that shows the design keeps bed bugs out — even if the consumer is able to keep bed bugs from being tracked in, which seems like a big “if”, and which may have been the problem in these two cases.
All of that leaves aside concerns about bed isolation causing bed bugs to spread. “Isolating” beds is controversial due to the likelihood that bed bugs will spread in the home (they will, of course, do everything they can to continue to find ways to bite you if you cut off the nighttime feeding). More on that in the bed FAQ.
Click to see Bedbugger Forums threads tagged “Travel Tent”.
last updated 12/10/2010