Sometimes the great outdoors aren’t so great. Whether it’s the unrelenting sun beating down on your sunburned neck or a sudden unexpected burst of bad weather, there are times you just need to find a comfortable place to wait it out. This is when having a proper shelter in your kit is paramount. Arguably, one of the best tools to restore a little humanity to the elements is a sturdy awning. One major drawback to awning use is the requisite set up and break down which always requires more time than we’d like and sometimes requires a second set of hands. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Take the BunduAwn by Bundutec for example.
Bundutec is a South African company that has expanded their reach to the United States and Canada. They offer a full line of shelters to suit the unique and varying needs of the overlander as well as the weekend camper. Their line up includes four different hardshell truck campers (BunduCamp/ BushCamp/ Exp6/ Exp2), an aluminum clamshell roof tent (BunduFlip), a pop-up style self-erecting electric roof tent (BunduTop), and a self supported three sided awning (BunduAwn). Let’s talk awnings.
In a break from the prerequisite, and somewhat inefficient, square shape in which the majority of awnings appear, the BunduAwn offers an additional 90° of coverage. This is accomplished via its wing like shape which extends beyond the windscreen and rear hatch of the vehicle. In the interest of keeping weight to a minimum, all framework is constructed of lightweight aluminum tubing.
One particularly interesting feature is the “aluminized” Ripstop fabric. This reflective material serves to reduce heat soak by reflecting the sun’s rays rather then absorbing them. The aluminum scaffolding is also angled upward toward the center to promote the movement of heat up and away from the user. This angle and a flap near the top also helps to safely disperse sudden gusts of wind. All of these engineered details provide a much improved cooling effect versus traditional awning designs. Setup is as well thought out as the choice of materials.
Deployment is fairly straightforward, simply unzip the protective cover, loosen three retaining straps, and walk the scaffolding around the vehicle via the convenient nylon tether. The remaining scaffolds follow along, expanding and pulling the fabric tight as you travel around the vehicle. The tether attaches to the roof rack on the opposite side of the vehicle with a tensioner buckle. Repeat this step at the rear and you are done. That’s it. There are no poles to erect, guy ropes to attach and stake, nothing to unroll, you’re finished. The entire process takes approximately 30 seconds to complete. Packing up is equally simple. To be fair, you will have to roll up a small section of canvas material in order to return it to the bag, but it is far easier than most awnings and only takes seconds to accomplish.
The BunduAwn is available in either 96” or 118” lengths allowing them to fit most vehicle and camper applications. Both awnings offer a massive 270° of coverage. Like most things, there are trade-offs. For example, in order to fit all of the geometric pieces necessary to allow the awning to extend past the typical 180°, the packaged footprint is nearly twice that of the standard awning. This means that taller rigs may have difficulty fitting into some garages, but this is a somewhat small inconvenience considering the added benefits. Starting at 40 lbs, it’s also slightly heavier than your average say …ARB awning.
Overall, the BunduAwn appears to be a well thought out piece of kit. The lack of support poles and guy ropes is impressive and the reduced setup time also means you will spend less time setting up and more time enjoying yourself. In the proverbial sea of awnings surrounding campfires out there, it’s become increasingly difficult to stand out. I think Bundutec has done just that.
Price: $1050 USD
Available sizes: 96”, 118”
Approximate total weight: 40-50 lbs
Construction: Aluminum framework, aluminized Ripstop shade
Mounting method: 10” extruded aluminum plate
Rated for 60 kmh winds (~37mph)