$20,000. That is the elephant in the room, so we might as well throw a mouse at it first. That’s a lot of greenbacks; I bought my entire Defender in excellent working condition for less than half of that 13 years ago. Twenty thousand dollars (the unconfirmed price for the Skyloft) is the equivalent of 10 months of living well on the road or eight soft-shell roof tents and a case of the good champagne. How is that price tag possibly justified?
Well, it might make perfect sense for the right, well-heeled buyer, and it helps to avoid comparing apples with iPhones. A soft-shell canvas roof tent is excellent at many things but does have a few drawbacks, particularly in cold environments. And the Skycamp will come into its own in the ice cold of winter. This hard-sided carbon fiber wedge tent is as solid as a frozen woolly mammoth, and the insulated shell is complemented by dual-pane windows and an integrated diesel heater. There is even an access panel on the floor to allow a Canada Goose-clad Arctic explorer the ability to climb into the tent from inside the vehicle once the tent has been deployed. Deploying and closing the tent should take less than a cold minute, and there is space for the bedding to be left inside, which is always handy.
The Skyloft is designed to be weatherproof and sturdy, insulated from heat and sound, as well as the cold. No more lying there listening to Mitch explain to Bob in the next campsite how and why the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids were, in fact, built by the same people, fascinating though that may be at 2:00 a.m. And, in the absence of canvas, the wind can huff and puff but cannot ruffle your feathers or loudly flap the rain fly all night long. A heavy downpour or snowfall should simply slide off the wedge while you sleep soundly on the plush mattress against upholstered walls, and there will be no morning hours spent waiting for the canvas to dry before you can pack up and break camp.
The integrated solar panels deliver 380 watts of solar power to the companion 60 amp hour lithium battery bank, which will power dimmable interior LED lighting, USB and 110 outlets, and a large high-flow fan. Recessed Baja Designs’ exterior LED lighting is located on the rear and each side of the Skyloft and provides illumination of the perimeter. These features are all controlled via a smart-looking integrated control panel. The Skyloft is intended to be energy independent from the host vehicle; however, you might have to parasite power from the vehicle in the colder months when the sun does not shine too brightly. While the solar panels cover the entire roof, you are able to mount tools such as an axe, spade, and recovery boards to the side channels.
The manufacturers claim that the Skyloft is a four-season tent, and I have no doubt that you could snooze in there comfortably all year, but for the summer months, you would need to sleep with the fan on, windows wide open, and mosquito netting deployed. Adding curtains for privacy or a window tint might be a good idea.
Weighing in at 330 pounds, this tent is not lightweight, but it reminds us of a comfortable and angular Scandinavian A-frame cabin. It looks cozy and safe, modern, and unique, unlike anything else out there. It appears to be designed by a gifted engineer to be mounted via integrated load mounts to the first Cybertuck to reach Tuktoyaktuk in winter. We think it looks amazing on the roof of a classic Defender.
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