23Zero and iKamper Roof Top Tent Comparison
23Zero and iKamper are both well-known brands in the roof top tent market, offering products that cater to outdoor enthusiasts looking to elevate their camping experience. I’m going to run down a handful of quick comparisons to give you an idea of what two of the best roof top tent offerings out there are.
Being a fly fishing angler and getting up there in age (47) a comfortable tent can make a trip seem a lot more convenient. I also love it for those longer drives because I know if I'm tired, I can always just pull over and set up. Winter has also become a unique change for me and a roof top tent has allowed me to expand my range of winter waters knowing I can have a worm heaven to relax in.
Product Range: 23Zero typically offers a variety of roof top tents, including both soft-shell and hard-shell models. They are an all-around manufacturer and have done a great job of improving various characteristics that are often overlooked from a comfort standpoint.
Construction: They often use durable materials such as polycotton canvas for the tent fabric, providing good breathability and water resistance. They now have Light Suppression Technology and eco-friendly ECO13B Fabric as options on both tents and awnings.
Seasonality: Their roof top tents are generally designed for all-season use, featuring a full-coverage rainfly and weatherproof coatings.
Sleeping Capacity: They offer different sizes to accommodate different numbers of campers, from solo travelers to families.
Features: Many 23Zero roof top tents include features such as sky panels for stargazing, annexes for additional space, and thick mattresses for comfort. They also offer several hard shell builds and some that will allow you to add an additional roof rack on top for lighter items but extended storage. Lastly, they have the capacity to allow you to leave sleeping materials like pillows and sleeping bags in the tent saving precious room in your vehicle cargo space.
Price Point: They are usually competitively priced, offering a balance of quality and value.
Stand Outs: 23Zero is one of the better all-around manufacturers and I like how they take learning experiences from each model into consideration when re-designing. For example, the new fabrics are much improved, cut designs are slightly altered and the hinging technology is some of the best in the industry. In particular, the Armadillo X2 is off the charts in beautiful and reliable technology. Lastly, they make all the other ancillary items like awnings, trash haulers, etc. These guys live and breath overlanding.
Product Range: iKamper is known for its innovative designs, primarily offering hard-shell roof top tents that prioritize ease of setup and aerodynamics.
Construction: They use high-quality materials such as fiberglass or ABS for the hard shells and breathable, water-resistant fabrics for the tent itself. Fabrics are waterproofed poly cotton canvas and they have insulation wall blankets for winter camping, etc. They really pay attention to quality details.
Seasonality: iKamper roof top tents are designed to be versatile, suitable for various weather conditions, and often have insulation options. The insulation blankets help keep you warm and cut down on condensation.
Sleeping Capacity: iKamper roof top tents are typically spacious, with some models accommodating up to four people, making them a good choice for families or groups.
Features: Unique features such as the expandable hard-shell design and integrated mattresses are common in iKamper roof top tents. Some models also have accessories like awnings or annex rooms. Mattresses, in particular, have been upgraded from what was available in the past.
Price Point: iKamper roof top tents are generally at a higher price point, reflecting their premium build and innovative features.
Stand Outs: iKamper does and excellent job of creating kits. Everything seems to be purpose built and ready with details for each mode. I feel the designs are good and that is why they haven't really changed but there are adjustments and innovations that have occurred since their base models that affect the core structure and should come out in the next round of models. They have excellent marketing and have become well known for quality and that is certainly a plus.
Design Philosophy: iKamper tends to focus on innovative and quick-setup hard-shell roof top tents, while 23Zero offers both traditional soft-shell designs and hard-shell options. I have seen far more improvements in design from 23zero recently and feel they are easily now on equal playing fields allowing for advantages with both manufacturers.
Aesthetics: iKamper's sleek design is quite distinct and can be a deciding factor for those concerned with the look and aerodynamics of the tent on their vehicle. 23Zero has a more utilitarian look about them but are sleek as well. Both have good reviews but I’m a proponent of never having a field issue because I don’t want to have to deal with the hassle so 23Zero is my pick.
Ease of Use: Both are very easy to use. Hardshells are a bit easier and typically allows for quicker setup and takedown times compared to traditional soft-shell roof top tents.
Customization and Accessories: Both brands offer various accessories, but the type and range of accessories might differ, affecting the level of customization you can achieve. iKamper is a bit more kit related to specific models whereas 23Zero is more all-around overlanding-related.
Comfort Features: Mattress quality, ventilation options, and internal storage solutions may vary between the two brands. However, the differences are minimal and the comfort levels in the roof top tents these manufacturers offer are far better than the majority of brands out there. Be wary of roof top tent manufacturers that are new and knocking off other brands. They come and go like bad colds and these two companies have been built to last.
Brand Reputation and Community: Both brands have their own following and brand loyalty, which can sometimes be a factor for customers who are looking for community-tested products. You really can’t go wrong with either of these so it is typically down to personal preferences.
As mentioned, when comparing roof top tents from 23Zero and iKamper, it's important to consider personal needs such as the type of vehicle you have, how many people you'll be camping with, the environments you plan to camp in, and your budget. Reviews from other users, availability, warranty, and customer service should also be taken into account to make an informed decision. It's advisable to check the latest models and reviews for any updates on features and to see how these roof top tents perform in real-world conditions. I can’t imagine you’ll find any major concerns as both have performed very well when tested.
Long story made short… make sure it fits your vehicle, fits in the garage and can fit all the right people in it. With that in mind you should be able to find a roof top tent that is going to make you reconsider ever sleeping on the ground again and open your horizons to fun winter camping options.
By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast