There’s also a new rooftop awning.
While there are plenty of elevated sleeping options for camping—hammocks, cots, a bed of soft fir branches for all you Alone fans—most aren't that comfortable. They also still keep you at eye level with curious predators. This is why the world of rooftop tents has exploded in popularity and hundreds are now on the market ranging from expansive 5-person units to smaller 2-person ones. And new rooftop tents are being introduced regularly, with the latest coming from one of The Drive's favorite expedition companies, iKamper. Meet the Blue Dot Voyagers. Car Roof Tent
Named for Carl Sagan's iconic "pale blue dot" expression, iKamper is introducing two different rooftop tents: the Blue Dot Duo built for two and Blue Dot Solo built for adventuring by yourself or very, very closely with another. The wedge-style rooftop tents are similar to Go Fast Camper's Platform RTT, as well as a host of other wedgey rooftop tents, in that it's a clamshell opening mechanism with a rigid roof. The two tents are just 7-inches high when stowed, minimizing the potential for any garage clearance issues. Each also can be optimized for your vehicle with ladder locations possibly on each side or the rear. The two tents also have accessory rails on the side and top for added utility, as well as solar panel installation for power even in the backcountry.
Both are also 4-season tents, which means even when it starts snowing in the West or raining cats and dogs in the PNW, you'll be safe and warm inside iKamper's tents. Each also ships with a "high-density foam" mattress, too, so there's no need for purchasing one separately. They open to a full 55-inches tall to become fairly spacious in terms of wedge-type tents, too.
As for footprint, the Blue Dot Voyager Duo is 56-inches wide by 90-inches long, or the entirety of your rooftop. The Solo, however, takes up just 40-inches wide by 90-inches long, which allows you to attach further camping/exploration items like bicycles, kayaks, and more to your vehicle's roof rack. They both also carry solid payload ratings, with the Duo capable of supporting up to 600 pounds, with the Solo offering 400 pounds. And the tents' struts can even lift up to 100 pounds of gear if you don't want to pull down everything.
Both can be purchased pre-assembled and ready for installation or you can get a DIY kit to put it together and save a little green. As for price, they aren't inexpensive per se, but on par with many of its competitors. The assembled Blue Dot Voyager Duo will set you back $3,399.00 ($2,999.00 DIY), while the Solo comes in at $2,899.00 ($2,499.00 DIY). That's not cheap, but the quality of iKamper is certainly a selling point.
Additionally, iKamper launched a new 270-degree awning (ExoShell 270) that further expands the livability of the backcountry and gives you more living room when pitched up in the woods or desert. Designed to be rough and tumble, just like the rooftop tents above, the ExoShell 270 awning is built to withstand the forces of nature and will set you back $1,750.00.
I don't know about y'all, but whenever I read about new camping or overlanding gear, I desperately want to close my laptop and head off into the wilderness. As is happening right now, though my Can-Am Maverick X3 is currently in the shop for a normal service. But what do you think of these two? Let us know if you want us to maybe test them in the near future.
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