iKamper Skycamp expandable rooftop tent goes inflatable…

iKamper Skycamp expandable rooftop tent goes inflatable…

The original Skycamp from iKamper was a true innovator in a now-overcrowded rooftop tent (RTT) market. IKamper has built out the Skycamp brand over the years, adding smaller, lighter models and improving upon existing designs. It is now spinning off the Skycamp DLX sub-line. That reads Skycamp “Deluxe” to our eyes, and the upgraded models integrate creature comforts like LED lighting, cork flooring and inflatable mattresses, bringing along a premium price to match.

Way back in the ancient days of 2015, a young iKamper came to market with an interesting and unique idea: a hardshell rooftop tent that popped open to reveal an expandable floor fit for the entire family. Its original slide-out Hardtop One gave way to the fold-out Skycamp, and a new category of RTT was born, marrying the aerodynamic, quick-setup advantages of a hardshell RTT with the increased space usually reserved for fold-out softshells. Fast-forward a few years and virtually every rooftop tent brand has a very similar three- or four-person fold-out hardshell (like this one) – a design too smart not to copy.

Those other brands will have to stay on their toes if they want to keep up with iKamper, though. The company introduced the Skycamp DLX this month as a premium hardshell folder that offers conveniences most RTTs lack, regardless if they’re hardshell, softshell or a little of both. The new package starts with integrated bicolor USB-powered LED lighting on both the exterior base of the tent near the ladder and inside. Dimmable controls make for precise adjustment.

The DLX LEDs include warm and cool tints

iKamper

The interior of each DLX comes with a new natural cork floor atop its honeycomb base, designed to provide better thermal and acoustic insulation. The cork also prevents the condensation you can get with a metallic floor.

Atop that cork stretches a new self-inflating 4-in-thick (10-cm) foam mattress meant to improve comfort and insulation versus the traditional non-inflating foam mattress. By deflating with the included pump/deflator, it also packs flatter to better accommodate blankets and pillows in the closed tent.

The upgraded inflatable foam mattress is meant to add comfort and save packed space
The upgraded inflatable foam mattress is meant to add comfort and save packed space

iKamper

IKamper says the inspiration for the new modifications came from its user base, which it refers to fondly as iKamper Nation.

The DLX trim comes in both full-size four-sleeper Skycamp 3.0 and two-sleeper Skycamp Mini sizes. Beyond the new additions, they include tried-and-true features like poly-cotton tent canvas, a fiber-reinforced plastic hardshell with quilted liner, and an integrated skylight. The Skycamp DLX packs on 25 lb (11 kg) compared to the Skycamp 3.0, weighing in at 190 lb (86 kg), while the Skycamp DLX Mini adds 15 lb (7 kg) and rides at 140 lb (64 kg).

While the DLX additions do add about 25 lb of weight, they don't add to the 13.5-in packed height of the Skycamp, according to iKamper's listed specs
While the DLX additions do add about 25 lb of weight, they don’t add to the 13.5-in packed height of the Skycamp, according to iKamper’s listed specs

iKamper

IKamper has moved a long way from its original US$2,000 Skycamp Kickstarter pricing, and the DLX line gives it a swift kick farther up the line. The full-size Skycamp DLX starts at $5,150, while the Skycamp DLX Mini starts at $4,450.

We’re not sure we’d pay nearly $1,000 extra over the base Skycamp 3.0’s $4,199 price for a few LED strips, some cork and an inflatable mattress, but it seems the same industry that convinced a generation of campers to spend 10 times the price of a ground tent to sleep on a car roof is trying to carve itself out a premium niche, loosening a little space between the traditional RTT and a cheap camping trailer or van conversion.

And why not? If Porsche can get people to spend $6,000 on an RTT just by slapping its name on it, what do you have to lose trying your luck at some LED strips and nice flooring? Perhaps the premium RTT niche won’t climb all the way to $20,000 (that’s just ridiculous), but the DLX follows the near-$5,000 ARB Altitude too closely not to hint at some kind of upmarket trend.

iKamper reveals the new Skycamp DLX lineup
iKamper reveals the new Skycamp DLX lineup

iKamper

Has the age of the rooftop glamping tent (RTGT) arrived? We’ll keep an eye out at next month’s Overland Expo West show to see if we can spot any more fancy, high-priced rooftop tents.

Source: iKamper

from newatlas.com Source link

[2024-04-30 06:22:24

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