We here at Expedition Portal have a comprehensive “Field Tested” review of the new iKamper Blue Dot Voyager wedge-style rooftop tent and the ExoShell 270 Awning heading your way within the next two weeks. That does not mean we can’t spoil you with a preview of two new iKamper products launched on 5 October 2022. iKamper is a relative newcomer to the overland scene but has steadily grown a solid reputation for innovative and creative products.
The Blue Dot Voyager (BDV) rooftop tent is offered as either a “Solo” or a “Duo,” and either may be purchased in an assembled or DIY kit form, with associated cost savings. The DIY option may well become a trend as manufacturers adjust to remain competitive in a market with many players and consumers who are known to know their way around a toolbox.
The BDV is a low-profile, lightweight wedge tent that opens with the assistance of two gas struts. These gas struts allow the storage of 100 pounds of gear on top of the tent, which has a convenient accessory rail system. A weakness of the wedge tent configuration is that strong winds may force the tent to close with occupants inside; for this reason, it is advised that loads be stowed forward, closer to the hinge. The accessory rail system allows the mounting of axes, traction boards, spades, and awnings. The accessory rail also allows for the installation of the stand-alone ladder on three sides of the tent, as needed. iKamper has designed a full line of compatible accessories, including solar panels, storage boxes, axes, and more, to be released in 2023.
The spacious tent features large windows with bug netting, an incorporated rear awning, and a high-density poly foam mattress. Now to decide if solo or duo is the way to go.
The second product to be launched is the ExoShell 270 Awning which is touted as the first of its kind. The freestanding ExoShell 270 awning features a hard shell anodized aluminum case, which offers durability. The aluminum case is further equipped with an accessory rail to conveniently store kit bags or lights when the awning is deployed. Having ripped more than a few awning bags on thorn trees, we see the appeal of a hard case.
The ExoShell 270 is constructed of a ripstop blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton and is treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. Unlike soft shell awnings with zippers, the ExoShell 270 simply folds up and latches closed.
While the awning is freestanding, it does feature built-in drop-down legs and guide ropes which allow the awning to be secured during inclement weather. It remains to be seen whether iKamper will launch a wall set.
BDV Duo – $2999 unassembled; $3399 assembled
BDV Solo – $2499 unassembled; $2899 assembled
ExoShell 270 awning – $1750
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