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July 19, 2023
The iKamper Skycamp 4x and the Darche Panorama 2 are rooftop tents for camping and outdoor adventures. Both tents are very different but have similar features, such as waterproof fabrics and a comfortable sleeping area. However, some differences in their design and specifications may make one more suitable for your needs than the other.
The iKamper Skycamp 4x is a premium larger tent with a sleeping capacity of up to four people. We are a family of three, and we have plenty of room to spread out in there. It has premium 300gsm breathable poly-cotton canvas material provides good insulation and protection from the elements. The 75D ripstop nylon rain cover protects when sitting out longer storms (which we have done) and it also provides some sun protection to the canvas fabric. As well as our 4 person Skycamp 4x tent, iKamper also make two person tents and smaller folding tents.
The Skycamp 4x has a side opening clamshell design that allows for easy setup and takedown in minutes. A side opening rooftop tent also allows for a 270 degree awning without interfering with the ladder.
Built-in (not fixed) insulated foam mattress for added comfort are ok for a few days of camping however, we've replaced these with our Exped inflatable Mega Mats for more comfort and insulation. These mats allow us to put our dirty shoes next to the bed as they dont have a king size footprint.
We've also mounted a Redarc 150-watt solar panel on ours to charge up our second battery while at camp. We look at weights more now, and knowing that the tent and solar panel are around 87 kg combined weight, thats as high as we'd like to go. We'd love to load the canoe on the roof for canoe trips, so need an aftermarket roof rack system might need to be fabricated.
Above: King size bed up top for a family of four.
Above: Looks a bit saggy because I hadn't tightened the internal straps. Bruny Island Camping.
Above: A room with a view in Outback Australia
Above: iKamper's slim profile and clean design lines. Mounted here on our roof and Mike & Gen's camper trailer.
On the other hand, the Darche Panorama 2 is a smaller tent with a sleeping capacity of up to two people. It has a 320gsm poly-cotton ripstop canvas material provides good durability and protection from the elements. The Panorama 2 also has a panoramic window design with excellent views and ventilation. We used the Darche Panorama 2 for our trip around Australia and at the time as a young family it was perfect.
As this tent has a soft vinyl cover that needs to be removed before setup, there are no mounting options for solar. However, you can carry other gear strapped on top, like kayaks, surfboards or a canoe. Only using about half the roof allows for other items to be stored up top. We had surfboards, firewood, an esky and a waterproof gear bag stacked like a Tetris puzzle which was great but very unsafe with this much weight up high.
We also used some bungee cord and carabiners connected on the inside to pull fabric inwards during pack down, so there was no need to walk around tucking in bits of fabric poking out. This minor inventive upgrade meant one of us could pack away without the other person lifting and pushing to tidy up the folded tent before the cover went on.
Above: Overnight fishing setup on a remote Australian beach.
Above: Far north Queensland beach camping.
Above: Working from the road in the early days of Campers Pantry.
Ultimately, the choice of rooftop tent will depend on your specific needs, preferences and budget. If you need a larger tent for a family or group camping trip, the Skycamp 4x may be an option. However, if you prefer a smaller tent for two with excellent views and ventilation, the Panorama 2 may be the way to go. Either way take your time looking at all the models available on the market now as they have all come along way and there definitely is lower quality cost effective options too.
See you in the outdoors! AJ
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