Published: October 18, 2012

By Susan DeFreitas

image via Inhabitat / Cocoon

Dream of a stay in one of those Free Spirit Tree Spheres in the treetops of Vancouver, B.C., but lacking in time to travel? Consider the Cocoon Tree, a lightweight, waterproof treehouse pod you can install yourself in your own backyard (which comes to us via Inhabitat). Designed by Berni Du Payrat of France, these appealing structures offer homeowners the chance to “sleep in the trees (dormir dans les arbres).”

Basically, a Cocoon Tree pod is a spherical aluminum structure wrapped in a waterproof outer skin that weighs, all told, around 130 pounds. That lightweight profile makes it easy to rig up yourself, via a system of ropes and nets, in around two hours — or, if you prefer, you can have the installation performed by an experienced team of arborists/climbers working under the direction of Coccoon Tree. A total of 12 locking points secure both the suspension of the structure and its lateral stability, ensuring you that won’t get seasick while spending some quality time with your trees.

Choose to include a large mattress and a custom made duvet in your Cocoon Tree purchase, and you’ll be able to accommodate two people, or even a couple with two small children. You can even go so far as to include a bathroom on the ground below your tree pod, complete with a dry toilet. Climate control is handled by the pod’s waterproof outer skin, as well as a fan for air-conditioning. Mosquito screens pull down over the openings — so if you’ve got some adventurous summertime house guests, this might be the ideal guest house.

What we’ve described here is just one model of the Coccoon pod family: the Cocoon Tree is a treehouse, Cocoon Beach is a model for beachgoers and Cocoon Jungle, which is coated with a synthetic fiber that looks like bamboo, is more sturdy, offering full protection from the elements. All three models can be placed on the ground with adaptable feet, attached to a floating ring on a lake, suspended in a tree or floated on a platform.