Vehicle rooftop tents of all varieties are popping up everywhere — literally. The convenience is certainly a plus, though the concept falters a bit if you’re inside the vehicle and it’s raining like crazy. Put plainly, you’re likely going to get soaked while making the transition from vehicle to tent with most designs. Enter the South-African based Alu-Cab who not only designed a rooftop tent users enter without ever leaving the vehicle.
Its main reason why designing it? To avoid prowling lions — seriously. Though it sounds outrageous, the threat of wandering lions was an important factor when they designed the Icarus Rooftop Conversion for Land Rover Defenders.
The Defender 110 Icarus kit sleeps two overhead. Once one end of the top of the kit is flipped up, you don’t have to go outside to access it. Instead, you simply go through the vehicle’s roof to get to it and once there, you close the vehicle roof, crawl under the covers, and all’s good.
Another clear benefit for an Icarus-equipped Defender is its headroom. When you’re in the back of the Defender getting dressed or just standing around, you won’t need to bend over. Opening the panel in the sleeper compartment allows anyone (except, perhaps, Shaquille O’Neal) to stand up straight.
The Icarus aerodynamic design doesn’t take a great toll on fuel consumption, according to Alu-Cab, because it minimizes wind resistance. The aluminum conversion box is available in black, white, or custom colors. Two-layer roof insulation in the rooftop box is made of polyethylene closed-cell foam and black insulating quilt. The side fabric is made of 400-gram UV-resistant rib-lock waterproof canvas with sealed seams.
Icarus features six lights including two stork-type reading lights and four diffused LEDs. Furthermore, the mattress is 7.9 feet long, 4.3 feet wide, and 2.76 inches thick. Alu-Cab also has other options which can combine with the Icarus Rooftop Conversion on Defender 110s, including roof-racks and load bars. You can also add a 270-degree awning to the side and back of the vehicle for protection from rain and the sun. The awning won’t help with lions, however.