Eezi-Awn Gear Review

Since its inception over 20 years ago, Eezi-Awn has become one of the premier manufacturers of high-quality roof top tents. The Eezi-Awn name has become synonymous with top-of-the-line roof top tents by providing high-quality materials with superior craftsmanship, all the while striving to bring innovations to the field of overland travel. Eezi-Awn Roof tents are available in a number of different sizes and user customizable configurations to meet the vastly different needs of expedition enthusiasts and 4×4 adventurers. The Eezi-Awn product line includes a number of creative and useful accessories such as drop-curtain tents, shower enclosures, a unique compact ladder design as well as an innovative mounting system which allows it to be mounted to virtually any vehicle available.

Eezi-Awn Roof Top Tent Overview

Eezi-Awn tents are manufactured from high quality 380g wax impregnated rip-stop cotton canvas— a highly durable material that is waterproof, yet breathable. The floor is made of a marine-grade plywood, which is reinforced with aluminum supports – this combination of materials yields superior strength and insulation properties ensuring a warm, reliable tent regardless of weather conditions.

All of the Eezi-Awn tents feature doors on opposite ends, along with a pair of zippered windows on each side. Two additional closable air vents are located at the top of the tent, allowing a high level of flexibility with regards to moderating temperature and air circulation at night. Other features include four handy gear storage pockets, side-tensioning straps to aid in tent closure, and separate zipable mosquito netting for each of the tent openings. Each tent comes with a standard ground length aluminum ladder. Unlike a number of other tent designs, the Eezi-Awn ladder is designed to telescope out, allowing for easy adjustment and storage when the tent is closed.

Each roof top tent comes with a heavy duty, removable 700g PVC travel cover to ensure that your tent and its contents will stay dry during transit, even in the most torrential downpour. The PVC cover also has an innovative ratchet strap tie-down and side straps which together minimize “ballooning” when traveling at high speeds.

1200 Roof Top Tent

Although the Eezi-Awn 1200 roof top tent is the smallest of the Eezi-Awn tents available, it is still a spacious and full featured tent.It is built to the same specifications as its larger 1400 and 1600 siblings, the only difference is its slightly smaller footprint. Its closed size of 48″x 48″ (1.2 meters x 1.2 meters) makes it compact enough to fit on many commercially available roof racks. Yet its open size of 4’x 8′ provides plenty of space for two adults to sleep comfortably on its removable high-density mattress. These tents are available with either a bull bar mounting kit or a ground ladder mounting kit for added versatility.

Closed Size: 1.2m (48″)w x 1.2m (48″)l

Open Size: 1.2m (48″)w x 2.4m (96″)l

1400 Roof Top Tent

The 1400 rooftop tent shares the same features and high-quality construction as the other Eezi-Awn roof top tents, but gives you a little more added room. The tent is .2 meters, or about 8″ wider than the standard 1200 roof top tent.

When closed, the tent has a 56″ x 48″ footprint. When open, it provides a spacious 56″ x 96″ sleeping surface with a comfortable, removable high-density mattress.

Closed Size: 1.4m (56″)w x 1.2m (48″)l

Open Size: 1.4m (56″)w x 2.4m (96″)l

1600 Roof Top Tent

The Eezi-Awn 1600 is the largest of the three standard roof top tents available. The best way to describe the size of the 1600 is cavernous. While it maintains an unfolded length of 48″ (1.2 meters), the same as it’s smaller brethren, the 1600 tent is 8″ wider than the 1400, and a full 16″ wider than the 1200. This translates into a sleeping surface that is 64″ wide, or about the width of a queen-size bed.

The drawback to this extra width is that the tent is too wide to be run off of the front or back of most common vehicles, except of course the Hummer H1. The sides of the tent would extend considerably beyond the edge of the vehicle, increasing drag on the highway and snagging more branches on the trail. However, because the tent is only 48″ long when closed, it can easily be adapted to nearly any vehicle if it is installed to open up to the side. In this configuration, when the tent is open, it doubles as an excellent awning.

Closed Size: 1.6m (64″)w x 1.2m (48″)l

Open Size: 1.6m (64″)w x 2.4m (96″)l

T-top roof top Tent

The T-top roof top tent is an excellent solution for family safari-style camping. The T-top tent is available in both the 1.4 meter and 1.6 meter size widths. The upstairs (roof top tent) portion features a standard roof top tent sleeping area while the ladder descent is fully enclosed by a waterproof canvas drop curtain. This enclosure extends out beyond the normal foot print of a roof top tent, providing an additional ground level sleeping area of 80″ in length by 64″ wide (the 1.4 meter T-top is 56″ wide). This area is large enough for two more people to sleep, making comfortable accommodations for a family of four or more.

The T-top roof top tent has the same innovative features as the rest of the Eezi-Awn lineup, including 380g waterproof ripstop cotton canvas, built-in rainfly, four internal storage compartments and a high density foam mattress.The T-top tent has an identical closed foot print to its roof top tent sized counter part (1400 – 56″ x 48″, 1600 – 64″ x 48″)

Closed Size: 1.6m (64″)w x 1.2m (48″)l

Open Size: 1.6m (64″)w x 2.4m (96″)l

Eezi-Awn Shower Skirt

Many people associate extended trips into the backcountry with being covered with dirt and grime until their return to civilization. Eezi-Awn shower skirts offer a solution to this dilemma. Designed to mount quickly and easily to the bottom of the roof top tent, this 3-sided shower skirt is made of the same high-quality waterproof ripstop canvas as the rest of the roof top tent. This thick canvas provides the privacy and insulation that you need for keeping clean “in the rough.” All you need is a water dispensing system such as a solar shower or propane-heated shower and you can have a warm, comfortable and private shower just like back home, wherever your travels take you.

The Eezi-Awn shower skirt is available in three different sizes, and in two different lengths. Select the size that corresponds to the tent that you have, and a length that most closely matches the distance from the floor of your roof top tent, to the ground.

Available sizes: 1200, 1400, 1600

Eezi-Awn Gutterless Mounting System

If you want to fit a roof top tent to your vehicle, but don’t want the added expense or weight of a full roof rack, an Eezi-Awn mounting system may be the solution for you. These kits are designed specifically for use with Eezi-Awn roof top tents.

The Gutterless Mounting Kit is universal. It is designed to mount to an existing roof rail system, or it can be mounted directly to the roof of a vehicle not previously equipped with a roof rail or rain gutter.

Eezi-Awn Rain Gutter Mounting System

If you want to fit a roof top tent to your vehicle, but don’t want the added expense or weight of a full roof rack, an Eezi-Awn mounting system may be the solution for you. These kits are designed specifically for use with Eezi-Awn roof top tents, and offer excellent versatility.

The Rain Gutter Mounting Kit is designed to mount to an existing vehicle rain gutter, such as those commonly found on Land Rover Discovery I and II, Defender and Toyota Land Cruiser 80 series.

Eezi-Awn vs. other Roof top tents, What’s the difference?

On a casual aesthetic approach, there appears to be a number of common design elements among roof top tents. Most South African roof top tents utilize a similar design, where the tent itself opens up in a self-erecting clamshell style. Most feature waterproof canvas, removable rainflys and aluminum support bows. However, the similarities end there. You will find significant variations in terms of specific materials used, craftsmanship and subtle design features that benefit the every day use and convenience of these roof top tents.

It is largely because of this attention to detail and creature comforts that amongst most overland veterans, Eezi-Awn rooftop tents are widely regarded the superior choice. Their use of high quality craftsmanship and materials places them among the preeminent safari camping companies.

Most roof top tents are designed to be mounted to a matching roof rack system. While the Eezi-Awn roof top tent can be mounted to any one of a number of roof racks available, they also make a roof top tent mounting system which allows the tent to be mounted directly to the vehicle, saving the need for an expensive roof rack. This in turn significantly lowers the cost needed to outfit a vehicle with a roof top tent for those who do not already own a roof rack.

Another main advantage of the Eezi-Awn roof top tent is their unique and proprietary mounting system. Most roof tents are mounted by drilling holes through the floor of the tent and fastening the tent to the floor of a roof rack by using a simple bolt and washers. While this set up is very secure, it is very permanent and destructive to the tent.

By contrast, Eezi -Awn tents feature four extruded aluminum slides fastened securely near the outside perimeter of the bottom of the tent. The tent is then held in place by the use of a bolt which is held captive by a slide plate. This innovative solution allows for easy installation and removal of the roof top tent (a huge advantage for those who camp seasonally in colder climates).

This mounting system also allows for the tent to be easily moved from one vehicle to another without the need to drill additional holes. Furthermore, the slide plate system allows for much more versatility in mounting the tent for your particular application. In order to mount the tent, all you really need is four flat contact points that fall within the perimeter of the slide channel system.

So whether you want to mount the tent to a roof rack, directly to the roof via a mounting system, or to the bed of a truck, the options for mounting are virtually limitless.

Besides a roof top, a nother excellent location to mount a roof top tent is on top of a military style off-road trailer, such as Tim Stinson’s ex-Canadian military 101 CDN trailer pictured to the left. This type of mounting location allows you to unhitch the trailer at your campsite, leaving the tent pitched and your campsite “claimed”, while your 4×4 is free to explore nearby trails.

A unique variation to the standard Eezi-Awn roof top tent is the AluTop tent. This tent has all of the same features and creature comforts of the standard Roof Top Tent product line, with a handful of enhancements. Instead of the traditional wood flooring and PVC travel cover, the Alutop features a full aluminum enclosure which opens up much like a clam shell.

Although this innovative tent has consistently been in high demand from North American consumers, due to the rising cost in raw materials, Eezi-Awn has decided to temporarily suspend the manufacture of the AluTop tent.

Eezi-Awn tents are the preferred roof top tent by overland travelers in sub-Saharan Africa. On a continent where reliable, quality gear is essential, those who are in the know trust Eezi-Awn.

Pictured to the left is a dual Eezi-Awn roof top tent set up fitted to a land Rover Defender 130 rental vehicle based in Zambia. Despite the constant abuse that rental gear undergoes, these tents continue to stand the test of time and perform like new.

Eezi-Awn Roof Top Tent Features

All Eezi-Awn roof top tents, regardless of size or style share many of the same high-quality features. At the heart of every Eezi-Awn tent is a heavy-duty rip stop wax impregnated canvas. This fabric is waterproof, yet breathable. Combined with the quality double stitched construction throughout the tent, it makes for an extremely tough and durable, expedition-quality roof top tent.

The heavy-duty canvas is stretched across a support structure of aluminum bows, which are in turn fixed to a weatherproof polyurethane coated marine-ply flooring. This flooring, along with the anodized aluminum support structure beneath provides excellent strength and rigidity for the tent.

To maximize comfort, each tent comes with a high-density, fabric covered foam mattress. This mattress provides an extremely comfortable sleeping surface for “roughing it” out in the wild.

The flooring and support poles are attached to the roof top tent using top quality aluminum and stainless steel hardware where appropriate.

Additionally, each tent has a unique internal bungee mechanism. When clipped together, these bungees draw the sides of the tent in, aiding in closing the rooftop tent.

Eezi-Awn roof top tents also come with numerous user-friendly features such as large internal storage pockets. These four pockets are handy for storing items such as headlamps, vehicle keys, flashlights, eyeglasses, or any other items you might need to access easily in the middle of the night.

Each side of the tent features zip open windows. Both the window and the mosquito netting can be zipped down individually allowing extra ventilation control or the ability to create a clear opening for wildlife viewing and photography as the situation warrants.

Eezi-Awn tents also come with a pair of built-in air vents. Located at the top on either side of the tent, these vents are covered with mosquito netting to prevent any unwanted “guests” in the night. When used in conjunction with the two large doors at either end of the tent, as well as the two side windows, the user has the ultimate control of temperature and ventilation within the tent.

Studies have shown that most traditional backpacking tents, with their thin nylon walls are only capable of warming the inside of a tent to about 10 degrees above ambient temperature in cold weather. The thicker canvas found on Eezi Awn roof top tents provides far superior insulative properties, allowing for a much warmer night’s sleep for those cold nights in the mountains.

The Eezi-Awn 1200, 1400 and 1600 tents come with a waterproof PVC cover which protects the roof top tent while in transit. This heavy duty cover effectively seals out the elements, while also keeping potentially harmful tree branches and overhangs at bay on the trail.

Closure of the PVC travel cover is a simple yet elegant design. The system features a first of its kind, a quick-release, ratchet assist closing mechanism. Operation of this system is quick and easy. You can have the travel cover installed in less than half the time of some of the other cumbersome zippered systems.

Additionally, the cover features a pair of side tensioning straps, which combined with the closing mechanism, help to minimize the “ballooning” effect of the cover when driven at highway speeds.

For ease of installation, each tent comes with an innovative Eezi-Awn tent fastening system pre-installed. This system consists of a series of four anodized aluminum slide rails.

To install the tent, you simply take the provided mounting hardware, slide it into position along the rail, drill through your roof rack or load bar, and attach the included M8 nylock nut from the underside using a 13mm socket or wrench (ratcheting wrenches work very well for this). All hardware is a combination of stainless steel and anodized aluminum.

With the combination of user-friendly features, quality materials and workmanship, tent durability, and ease of use it is easy to see why the Eezi-Awn rooftop tent has become the tent of choice for overland travelers and adventurers the world over.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Tags: , , , , , , ,