Does anyone actually use altitude tents?

So I am interested to know if anyone has tried an altitude tent and if so how did you get on with it?

Seems like they make more sense for working athletes. Who can’t get the time off work to go on actual altitude training camps but also have disposable income to spend.

The main high-profile pro using one I can think of was Campenaerts around covid lockdowns in 2020.
Just not sure if they just don’t post about using them but are
Get the same benefit from actually going to altitude so never need to use one
They are not very effective and are just marketing.

For example in my situation. I race Elite, pro long distance triathlon while working a 37.5hr week. I live alone but with work & having a dog can’t go on long training camps abroad. So I am almost the perfect use case for a tent but should I commit to the spend?

I’m interested in this as well - now have a spare room now that I could utilise.

the places I looked at briefly do a hire option so was thinking a 2-3 month period into the season would be worth trying without the commitment of buying all the kit.

1 Like

They don’t work. The “dose” of hypoxia apparently isn’t sufficient to induce significant erythropoiesis, at least in most people. You would need to either 1) further lower the O2 concentration, and/or 2) increase the daily exposure to more than 8-10 h, neither of which is compatible/practical with normal sleep.

I speculated that this might be the case when I bought one 20 y ago, and science eventually caught up and showed it to be true. The best uses I have since found for mine have been to 1) do hypoxic and hyperoxic training sessions (both of which can be effective), and 2) as teaching tool in our undergrad ex fizz lab (I’m always surprised by how many of the students have never been to elevation).

Now if you’ve got a spare room that you can flood with hypoxic gas and spend 16 h/d in, that is likely to increase your hematocrit. As I have always told coaches who have inquired about altitude tents (or high elevation training camps), though, it’s important to realize that you’re introducing an additional physiological stressor, and you have to be careful not to push someone over the edge.


The answer is, it depends. Part of the problem in measuring “do they work” is that people’s response to altitude varies wildly. This also applies to regular altitude camps.

I am a person that gets destroyed by altitude. If I go from seal level to 8000’+ I’m puking and struggling to get out of bed for 3-4 days. An altitude tent/generator has been a game changer for me in that I can now drive out to the mountains and not want to die. It’s still tough to breath but I’m not puking, no splitting headache, no cases of Hape…

With that being said, I don’t know if I’m getting any gains at sea level from the altitude tent.


Yes, pre-acclimatization is one application. As a flatlander, I used to combine sleeping in the tent with hypoxic workouts when preparing for races at elevation. It was sufficiently effective to place me on Dave Bassett’s “unacclimatized” curve, versus normally falling below it. But, that wasn’t the OP’s question, so…

1 Like

I think this topic is getting too… intense


Anecdotal n=1, I used one years ago for a few weeks before a high altitude race because a friend had one and let me borrow it. Any potential gains were offset by the terrible sleep I got in it. It was hot and stuffy inside and the generator was obnoxiously loud.

0/10 would not recommend

1 Like