Gear

It's Now Quite Feasible for You to Buy a Personal Sensory Deprivation Chamber

What Better Way to Reduce Stress These Days Than to Float in a Pitch-Black Tank?

By Sam Eichner ·
4250c907e1ae56c85ef58d1879d95341
Zen Float Co.

You and Steph Curry don’t have much in common.

He’s an NBA superstar; you’re a person. He makes dropping three-pointers from nearly half court look easy; you made a jump shot once. He has his own production company; you’ve watched Netflix before. You see where we’re going with this...

Or maybe you don’t. Because, sometime in the very near future, you may well have something cool in common with Steph Curry after all—a proclivity for floating in a pitch-black sensory deprivation tank filled with close to 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt.   

It’s all thanks to Zen Float Co., which bills itself—rightfully so—as the world’s only accessible home floating company. Meaning: they’ll sell you a float tank—or “float tent,” as they call theirs, given the pyramidal shape—at a reasonable price, thereby making it possible for you to float at home, the way you might, say, run on a treadmill in your master bedroom, or not use that Bowflex languishing in your basement.

At this point, you might be wondering: why the hell would I want to float in a tank for an hour? Well, new research has found that floating reduces stress and muscle tension. If you work out, floating has been shown to speed up recovery, and boosts energy and physical endurance (hence, its appeal to Curry and other athletes, like Mr. Tom Brady). It also increases blood circulation and endorphins, and the meditative aspect—i.e., having your senses completely deprived for a stretch of time—can naturally clear the mind for optimal performance, in whatever it is you’re performing. You can read more about this in the co-founder Shane Stott’s best-selling book, The Float Tank Cure (or wait for his documentary on the subject to come out in Netflix, sometime this fall, apparently). Former Fear Factor host and psychedelics proselytizer, Joe Rogan, also has some trippy/insightful things to say on the matter.

Zen Float Co.

Zen Float Co. came out with their first home float tent a few years ago, but just recently launched an innovative new model; on Kickstarter, it achieved its $200,000 funding goal in less than two weeks. They’ll start shipping out in October, just in time for winter, which one may logically assume is optimal floating season.

Compared to the previous model, which was made from a stainless steel poles and a vinyl cover, this one’s completely inflatable and constructed using drop-stitch technology. Basically, this means it combines tens of thousands of finely woven threads connecting two pieces of polyester fabric, with each thread evenly spaced, therein locking the unit into place. It’s the same technique incorporated in the finest inflatable kayaks and paddleboards, to create as sturdy and durable a product as possible; for the float tent, it also improves insulation, thus keeping the space warmer for longer and saving energy.

The new float tent, with a volume of 99 cubic feet, is also 28% bigger than the old one. You’ll fill it with approximately 10 inches of standing water, heated to 93.5 degrees, and saturate it with 800 pounds of Epsom salt. When you enter, you’ll feel completely weightless. You might even lose your sense of self—but, like, in a good way.

You can purchase the entire package—the tent, the filtration system, the temperature controller and a year’s worth of Epsom salt—for under $3,000 now via Kickstarter (and later, on their website). By comparison, a commercial tank will generally run you anywhere from $6,000 to $16,000, without shipping, salt or maintenance. And if you want to enjoy a session at a fancy float center, it’ll likely cost you around $60.

To be clear: we can’t guarantee that you’ll experience the kind of groundbreaking ego dissolution Joe Rogan espouses, or that you’ll emerge from the tank in the physical and mental state necessary to win an NBA Championship like Steph Curry. But it will be, at the very least, a new and different way to relax. Because, really: what could be more relaxing in today’s day and age than floating in a tank where you literally can’t see anything, hear anything or check Twitter? 

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Gear