There are an enormous amount of reasons the iKamper Skycamp was the most successful tent in Kickstarter history, raising over 2.3 million dollars.
From the start, it should be noted I am not selling roof top tents. This is an independent review of the iKamper Skycamp: Rocky Black Edition.
So if you’re looking for a family-friendly roof top tent, then look no further. The ease of use, quality of build, and details that make the iKamper Skycamp what it is will blow your mind. If you’re into overlanding, or getting into it, then consider this unit.
Spoiler alert: the iKamper Skycamp is incredible. It’s everything we hoped for in a roof top tent, and more. If you’re one of those people who just wants to get to the bottom of it quickly…go out and get one. You won’t regret it.
We purchased our Rocky Black Edition iKamper Skycamp through Lee Hoffman at Altitude Industries on Sept. 18, 2018. Since that time, we’ve traveled all over the U.S. and even deep into the interior of Mexico.
I wanted to wait until we had sufficient use of our iKamper Skycamp to offer a thoughtful review. Please don’t hesitate to comment at the end of the article with any questions you have.
Why We Chose the iKamper Skycamp
We’re a family of three traveling full-time. Yes, the plan is to live out of our Jeep and RV and do a ton of overlanding around the world for an indefinite period of time. We’re currently researching shipping the Jeep to Europe.
Call us crazy. Go ahead.
Since we knew we wanted a family-friendly roof top tent that would be used frequently, we sat down and came up with a list of requirements. Here’s what we came up with:
- Fast deployment time
- Fast stowage time
- Sleeping capacity for at least three
- Reasonable price
- Extended durability
- Suitability for off-roading
- High level of comfort
- Available accessories
- Shipping and installation
We looked at a myriad of roof top tents online and quite a few in person as we narrowed down our decision. Though the iKamper Skycamp wasn’t the best across all our requirements, it was the clear stand-out that scored highest overall.
So we pulled the trigger, and are we ever glad that we did.
Note: If you’re still in the process of searching for a tent, I’d highly recommend you read this article I wrote on How to Choose an Overlanding Roof Top Tent Setup. If you’re just interested in the iKamper Skycamp, then read on.
What to Expect: Specs
The Rocky Black edition iKamper Skycamp is one of the best, if not the best, family-friendly roof top tents currently on the market.
The Rocky Black Edition iKamper Skycamp:
- Deploys in 45 seconds – This is unreal, but true.
- Stows in under two minutes – Also incredible, but true.
- Sleeps up to four people – three adults comfortably, or two adults and two children.
- Features a king-sized mattress.
- Has a protective texture-lined hardshell designed for overlanding.
- Locks for security.
- Has four openings (main, two windows, Skyview window).
- Openings feature a canvas cover, vinyl cover, and mesh cover.
Unless you’ve done it already, buyers often don’t realize the importance of setup and breakdown times. Believe me when I tell you this consideration is critical to a fun overall camping experience.
More practically, it’s important for those times when you need to run into town for something. Because your tent is on your vehicle, the ability to move your vehicle when needed is something to be cognizant of as you make your decision on which roof top tent is right for your family.
Also note that the entire iKamper Skycamp can be set up and stowed by one person. This is critical in case of an emergency. Both my wife and I have deployed and stowed our tent by ourselves before.
More interesting facts about the iKamper Skycamp:
- It will fit on most vehicles (see note below).
- The normal iKamper Skycamp weighs in at 160 pounds (72 kg). Our Rocky Black Edition adds an additional 10-15 pounds (4.5-6.8 kg). However, the newer versions of the Rocky Black now weigh the same as the gloss tents at 160 pounds (72 kg). The newer version skips the fiberglass gelcoat and applies the bedliner straight to the fiberglass. So they basically trade the weight of the gelcoat for the liner coating, which in effect allows you to have your cake and eat it, too.
- The rain fly can be rolled up when not in use, which allows for extra ventilation. This also makes the Skyview window wide open, perfect for stargazing.
- The hardshell is made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and has a double layer which gives it extra insulation and strength. (Most roof top tents only have one layer on their shell.) Not only that, but the double layer has about 1-inch of air between the shells. This means you get insulation value built right in. Also, less heat will build up while driving with the tent on, with nearly no chance of condensation on the inside of the shell. This is why the iKamper doesn’t need a ventilation fan like so many other competitors on the market. They pretty much thought of everything in the design.
- The iKamper Skycamp floor is made of honeycomb aluminum, giving it extra strength and durability while keeping the weight of the tent down.
- The tent portion itself is made of breathable water-resistant poly-cotton canvas. In English that means it’s more breathable, and will keep you warmer and dry. And because it’s thick, it’ll be quieter in general.
- The tent “skin” is detachable. This is important because if you are a hardcore camper like us, you can replace just the skin after a few years of abuse on the trails. Or it can be removed, serviced, and put back on. No need to get a new roof top tent. Read: thousands in savings.
- Okay, a note on “It will fit on most vehicles.” The truth is, it will. However, you’ll want to double-check before you place your order. It is more about the rack than the vehicle. This is where Lee Hoffman at Altitude Industries comes in. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He’s installed these tents on practically every type of vehicle they can be installed on. If you have a question, just call him. He’s not salesy and he’ll shoot you straight. He can be reached at 303-847-1109 via talk/text or via email at email@example.com.
Lee is the one we went through for our purchase. He was so good that we drove to Colorado just to have him install our tent and roof rack.
➡️ Keep reading: Neverending Story: Our Overlanding Jeep Build
From the mountains of Colorado, to the bayous of Louisiana, to canyons deep in the interior of Mexico, we’ve put our iKamper Skycamp to the test–and then some.
We’ve scratched it on off-road trails, scraped it on tree branches, bumped it over huge boulders and rocky terrain, and let it bake in the scorching sun.
We’ve seriously abused it.
When it comes to weather, we’ve enjoyed sublime days, as well as endured high winds, rains, and sub-freezing temperatures.
The iKamper has not let us down. Not once.
Coming in at around $4,000 the iKamper Skycamp Rocky Black Edition was a significant investment in our overlanding arsenal. But it’s one of those purchases we look back and smile about, knowing we made the right call.
When we arrive at a campsite or some off-grid location, we’re completely set up with our iKamper Skycamp in 45 seconds. If we’re using our Rhino-Rack Batwing awning, then we’re completely set up in 2.5 minutes. If we’re going full bore with our iKamper Skycamp, Rhino-Rack Batwing awning, and iKamper Skycamp Annex, we’re still fully set in less than 12 minutes.
Think about your current adventures and how long it takes you to set up and break down camp.
To give you an idea, at Overland Expo East 2018, we arrived with 38 other overlanding vehicles at the campground. We were set up in about 2.5 minutes. Others who had high-end overlanding set ups were still taking the covers off the tent when we were finished, sitting in our chairs. And we set up while wrangling a one-year-old.
We opted for a few accessories, some exclusive to Altitude Industries. But we’re extremely pleased with all the items we ended up with.
We chose the following accessories:
- iKamper Skycamp annex: It only takes 6 minutes to set up, on average. Attaches to the iKamper Skycamp with the use of a zipper, poles, and guy ropes ($690).
- iKamper vinyl rain canopy: Allows us to keep the front of the tent open for views and ventilation when it is raining, while keeping the interior of the tent dry ($59).
- iKamper shoe rack: Allows for the storage of shoes on your way up the ladder to the tent. This way you aren’t tracking dirt and mud into the tent on days when the weather isn’t cooperating ($59).
- Anti-theft mounting brackets: Keeps your iKamper Skycamp locked onto your roof rack ($110).
- Altitude Industries exclusive bedding net kit: Allows you to store your bedding and pillows in the iKamper Skycamp when you are closing your tent. Yep, you don’t need to store those in the vehicle. We keep two sleeping bags (double and single) in our iKamper Skycamp at all times ($60).
- Altitude Industries exclusive LED lighting and power kit: A simple cord plugs into a 12V outlet in your vehicle and allows you to have LED lighting on the inside and outside of the iKamper Skycamp. It provides USB power as well as 12V power inside the tent ($125).
We’ve used every one of these accessories and they’ve all held up well to the abuse we throw at our equipment. Remember, we travel full-time. So this isn’t weekend camping we’re talking about. This is constant use and abuse.
Final Thoughts on the iKamper Skycamp
As you can tell, we love our iKamper Skycamp. We’ve enjoyed many nights in it with astounding views, in locations all over North America.
The iKamper Skycamp is comfortable and spacious. I’m a side sleeper and the mattress pad has never given me any pain. As a matter of fact, some of my best nights of sleep ever have been in this tent.
I mentioned this earlier, but if you’re seriously considering picking up one of these units, then do yourself a favor and contact Lee at Altitude Industries. It’s worth the drive to Colorado to have your equipment installed by someone who knows what they’re doing. Also, it’s a great part of the country to test it out after you have it installed.
Adventure awaits! We know; we live this life on the daily.
It’s refreshing to be able to recommend a product without any “cons.” Some people might say that yes, there are “cons.” The price and the storing of the tent are the two we’ve heard most from others who’ve considered the iKamper Skycamp.
But my belief is the following:
1. You get what you pay for. Buy once, cry once. Yes, it’s more expensive than other roof top tents on the market. But find me a hardshell roof top tent that does everything the iKamper Skycamp does at a more affordable price, with the same quality build, and we’ll talk.
2. Storing isn’t an issue for us, as it’s never left the roof of our Jeep since it was installed. Having said that, I can see this would be a consideration for those not intending to leave their tent on the vehicle. In this case, it still weighs in at under 175 pounds (80kg), and can be moved on and off the vehicle fairly easily. With that said, if you don’t want to offload the tent, then you don’t really need to.
We highly recommend this tent for your consideration without reservation. Let us know if you end up getting one!If this article was helpful to you it would be awesome if you’d consider becoming a Jeepsies supporter. If everyone just gave $1, we could do these articles full time and that is our dream. There are some fun options in the drop-down below. Your support allows us more free time to create high quality content regularly. You can say a quick thanks here: Even if you aren’t ready to support Jeepsies financially, please do comment on the articles, ask questions and let us know that you are here and hopefully we can meet up sometime on the trail! And if you haven’t followed the Jeepsies Facebook page you can do so here. Also, we’re on Twitter and Instagram if you use those platforms. Please give us a follow, we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down. ~ Eric, Brittany, and #LittleNomad