After showing the Hardtop One roof-top tent and Room in Room indoor bed tent, South Korea's iKamper is back with yet another innovation in canvas-walled sheltering. Much like the Hardtop One, the new Skycamp is an expandable hard-shell rooftop tent. Its unique design allows it to set up and drop into place ready to sleep a family of four in under 60 seconds. Effectively combining the aerodynamic and toughness advantages of the hard-shell roof-top tent with the added space of a fold-out tent, it provides a clear view of the sky to boot.
Before going any further, we need to make a confession. When we first reported on the Hardtop One, we misunderstood the expansion mechanism it used to increase its floor size, mistakenly believing it used a folding mechanism. But as we learned when we got a firsthand look at Overland Expo West 2016, that model actually uses a slide-out floor panel to increase in size.
The Skycamp, which we also saw previewed at Overland Expo, is the iKamper model that uses a fold-out expansion. Both expansion mechanisms look smooth and easy to use, and both tents' hard shell cases are designed to improve aerodynamics and durability during the ride, while offering super-easy set-up and takedown at camp. iKamper is now making an official Skycamp introduction on Kickstarter.
The problem with hard-shell roof-top tents in general is that their floor space is typically limited to what can fit between the sides of the vehicle, whereas fabric fold-out tents expand at camp. With the Skycamp's expansion system, iKamper gets around this hard-shell tent limitation, offering a rugged, aerodynamic box that folds out into a family-size tent for three adults, or two adults and two children.
iKamper says the tent takes less than a minute to set up. You start by unlatching it and popping the clamshell top open, before pulling the telescoping ladder out and dropping the fold-out extension down. Then, well, that's it. You can get to relaxing around the campsite.
The Skycamp features a clamshell design in which the hard roof folds to the side and acts as a tent wall. This differs from the Hardtop One's top, which pops straight up and serves as a roof. The Skycamp's configuration allows for a bonus feature: a transparent "skyview" panel in the roof canvas, providing a view of the stars as you lie in bed.
The Skycamp has a fiber-reinforced plastic shell and aluminum honeycomb floor, while the integrated 82.6 x 74.8-in (210 x 190-cm) king size mattress is made from 1.2-in-thick (3-cm-thick) high-density memory foam. The tent weighs an estimated 152 lb (69 kg).
Buyers can choose from two wind/waterproof tent materials: 250D poly is lighter in weight and offers easier maintenance, while poly-cotton canvas offers better breathability and insulation and makes less noise in the wind. Both fabrics come with a rainfly. IKamper has tested the Skycamper in winds of 44 mph (70 km/h) and says it holds strong (though it doesn't recommend spending the night in that type of wind).
iKamper's super-early bird pricing of US$1,950 for the poly version and $2,150 for the canvas version has proven quite popular on Kickstarter, catapulting iKamper's campaign right over US$1 million in less than a day (on a $100,000 goal). The company offers free pickup at its LA warehouses or shipping to your doorstep in the continental US ($380 flat rate) or to select cities internationally (costs vary). Retail pricing is estimated at US$2,950 for the poly version and $3,500 for the canvas model.
Super early bird pricing is still available as of publishing but will expire within a matter of hours, making way for early bird pricing, which itself will only be available for 48 hours. After that, iKamper will be running additional campaign specials. Accessories available through the campaign include an awning, annex room and wind deflector.
The first video below provides an introduction of the Skycamp and shows it out and about, and the quick second clip shows it getting pummeled during wind testing.