Originally designed as a way for people to protect themselves from predators, rooftop tents have enjoyed a massive boost in popularity of late — but not necessarily because of its intended use. Though people camping in America have less to worry about than anyone overlanding in Australia or Africa, these vehicle-mounted tents have begun popping up at every campground and RV park across the country.
Yet for everything they get right, rooftop tents have a few glaring weaknesses, notably their inability to accommodate roof racks and the fact they require a cumbersome cover.
To fix these issues, the upstart outdoor equipment company iKamper designed and built an innovative new RTT called the XCover. Thanks to its inverted design, the XCover features two integrated cross bars that allow for the installation of roof racks capable of hauling surfboards, bikes, kayaks and other outdoor gear. iKamper said the cross bars are even compatible with almost any after-market accessory.
Rack issues aside, many rooftop tent users tend to find RTTs and their covers difficult to install and remove. With the XCover, however, this feature has been scrapped entirely as it’s the first to employ a soft-shell tent, dramatically improving the efficiency and ease of setup and breakdown. The brand says the tent is capable of being camp ready in as few as two to three minutes.
Once pitched, the interior features a king-size mattress and pop-out awnings offering more than enough space for two adults and two children, or even three (cozy) adults. iKamper also designed the XCover with a “skyview” window, which allows extra light to pour in during the day or for comfortable stargazing at night.
As of now, the XCover is only in its beginning stages of coming to market. Similar to iKamper’s other rooftop tent, the Skycamp, the XCover will initially launch via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Judging by how popular the Skycamp was when it launched — more than $2.3 million raised — and the fact it’s unlike anything else on the market, it’s likely the XCover enjoys a fair share of crowdfunding success on its own.
Pricing details are scarce, though iKamper told Trucks.com that the XCover ceiling is $3,000, with Kickstarter pricing starting much lower. According to the XCover landing page, iKamper is hoping for a late-2018, early 2019 release. For additional information on the XCover, and to be one of the first to know when it hits Kickstarter, head over to the iKamper website.