iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Mini Review
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iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Mini
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|Pros||Incredibly easy to install, cushy mattress, locking latches||Effortless conversion, no assembly, tons of cargo space||Roomy, great stargazing, rack locks, easy to remove||Aerodynamic design, effortless setup, lots of included accessories and options||Wide and sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spacious|
|Cons||Harder to convert than pop-up hardshells, not the most spacious||Big while in travel mode, expensive||No cover storage while camping, mildly frustrating rain fly||No room for ladder or additional bedding while in transport mode, expensive, considerable weight||Ladder may require drilling, velcro cover not the most efficient cover system, heavy|
|Bottom Line||A fine blend of a hardshell traveler and a fold-out softshell that is likely the right model for a certain person||A high-end hardshell rooftop tent that is comfy, spacious, and incredibly easy to install and set up||A top-tier softshell fold-out model with ample interior room and huge windows||The best option for those that want a top-tier rooftop tent with minimal wind drag||With a durable design and many handy features, this model competes with the top models while costing significantly less|
|Rating Categories||iKamper Skycamp 3.0...||Roofnest Sparrow EYE||Thule Approach M||Roofnest Falcon 2||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Space and Comfort (30%)|
|Ease of Conversion (20%)|
|Ease of Assembly and Installation (15%)|
|Cover Convenience (10%)|
|Specs||iKamper Skycamp 3.0...||Roofnest Sparrow EYE||Thule Approach M||Roofnest Falcon 2||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Weight||125 lbs||130 lbs||128 lbs||160 lbs||144 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||48 in||44 in||40 in||60 in||51 in|
|Pockets||2||1 detachable||2||2 detachable, gear grid with 5 pockets||5|
|Windows||2 side||2 side||4||2 side||3 side, 2 roof|
|Floor Dimensions||52 in x 83 in||83 in x 49 in||95 in x 56 in||86 in x 48 in||56 in x 96 in|
|Floor Area||29.9 sq ft||28 sq ft||38 sq ft||29 sq ft||38 sq ft|
|Vestibule Area Dimensions||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Packed Size||15in x 60 in x 62 in||6 in x 50 in x 88 in||11 in x 49 in x 56 in||11 in x 50 in x 85 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in|
|Floor Materials||Insulating honeycomb aluminum panels||Fiberglass-reinforced ASA/ABS||Aluminum||Honeycomb aluminum||Aluminum|
|Main Tent Materials||300g poly-cotton canvas||Polyurethane-coated polyester and cotton blend||600 D polyester ripstop||320g poly-cotton||420 D|
|Rainfly Materials||75 D Ripstop polyester||n/a||TPU-coated nylon||n/a||600 D|
|Number of Poles||6||2||4||2||8|
|Pole Material||Aluminum/nickel-plated steel||Aluminum/spring steel||Aluminum/spring steel||Aluminum/spring steel||Aluminum/spring steel|
|Pole Diameter||1/8 in||1/4 in||1/8 in||1/4 in||1/4 in|
|Extras||Mounting Brackets 3.0, iKamper Allen wrench, ladder, 2 keys, hard shell wax (Gloss Black), tension poles, 4 rail end caps||Mattress, LED light, privacy tent, ground mat, anti-condensation mat||Dual-layer foam mattress, removable rain cover, lockable mounting bracket||Mattress, 8.5' ladder, anti-condensation mat, dual detachable pockets, privacy tent, and LED lights||Interior LED, extension cords, boot bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Mini is unique because it is both a hardshell and a fold-out. This design means that the shell offers rugged durability and security while the tent is in travel mode while maintaining the footprint of a traditional softshell fold-out.
Space and Comfort
The Skycamp 3.0 Mini did reasonably well in this portion of our review. First and foremost, the mattress is on par with the best of the best. It's cushy and warm. There's also insulation on the underside of the shell, making those cold nights seem cozy. We also like the large main door that almost creates a front deck on the fold-out.
However, it lost a few points when it came to spaciousness. The ends of the tent encroach on headspace, even if you sleep with your head toward the door. This may not be a deal breaker for you, especially if you're used to sleeping in a small traditional tent on the ground. But compared to the most spacious models we've tested, this one feels a bit cramped.
Regarding physical fortitude, the Skycamp faired decently in our assessment. While in travel mode, the tent is protected by the thick fiber-reinforced plastic shell that can take all of the pinecones and highway pebbles you can throw at it. It has the gnarliest latch system that we've seen, complete with steel, cables, and locks. The canopy material is where the Skycamp lost some points for this metric. Made with a 320G polyester/cotton blend, it is just weaker than some of the 600D ripstop that we've come across in our years of testing.
Ease of Conversion
Like most hardshell pop-ups, internal hydraulic pistons assist with opening the tent. For the initial portion of the conversion process, you only need to open the latches and let the mechanical components lift the shell into the "open" position. However, at that point, you have to extend the ladder and unfold the floor in a similar fashion to a softshell fold-out rooftop tent.
When it comes time to break it down, you fold the floor back into the tent and collapse the ladder. This is where it gets a bit more difficult than most hardshell pop-ups — to get the canopy back into the shell, you have to grab three straps and use your body weight to bring the cover down. This process is relatively straightforward, but the canopy tends to bunch up in some strange places, and takes an extra bit of time to cram all of the folds back into the shell.
Our team uncovered a flaw with the design of the latch system of the Skycamp. To remove the key from the lock, it must be in the "lock" position. This means that without the key, you can't close the latch. We'd prefer a system that allows you to close the tent first and lock it if you want.
Ease of Assembly and Installation
The Skycamp 3.0 is one of the easiest tents we've ever seen when it comes to unboxing and installing. It comes in a sandwich-style box that makes getting it out of the box a no-brainer. All you have to do is cut a few nylon straps and lift the lid off. Next, lift it out of the box and onto your rack. The only thing left to do is slide the mounting brackets into the track, lean the tent to get them into position on your rack, and tighten them down with the included tools.
Like the other hardshell models, we gave the Skycamp 3.0 Mini a perfect score for this metric because it doesn't have a tent cover. It does, however, come with a bonus fabric cover that slips over the whole shell to protect it during shipping that can also be used in the off-season.
Should You Buy the iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Mini?
The Skycamp 3.0 is the way to go if you like the idea of a fold-out model with a small travel footprint but want the travel mode protection of a hardshell. It's easy to unbox and install and has a super comfy mattress. It's not quite as roomy as certain models, and we wish the canopy was a little thicker, but overall it's one of the better rooftop tents that we've tested.
What Other Rooftop Tents Should You Consider?
This model isn't exactly affordable. If you're shopping for a rooftop tent on a budget, check out the Smittybilt Overlander, which offers a lot of the comfort and space of many models at a fraction of the price. For those looking for a model that offers a ton of cubic footage and views of the stars, we recommend the Thule Approach M. If you have the roof space and want something that converts from travel to sleep mode in less time than it took you to read this paragraph, the Roofnest Sparrow EYE is the way to go.
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