A great summer has just about passed us by and I have to say, I have been blown away by the number of people asking me about the Burmis roof top tent on my truck. People are always impressed about how easy it is to set up and love the idea of camping above the dirt, bugs and bears!
Burmis offer three different sizes of tent. The Crowsnest (sleeps 2 adults), the Kootenay (sleeps 2-3) and the Highwood (sleeps 3-4). Both the Kootenay and Highwood tents are available as either a Sport or Guides model. So what's the difference between these two models? I tested out both the Highwood Sport and the Kootenay Guides this summer and here's what I found:
This tent is extremely roomy! It is slightly larger than a king-size bed and has lots of room for night-time storytelling, card games or rainy-day stories with the kids. This 3-4 person tent might be tight for four adults but would work fine for three adults or for parents with two smaller kids. There is one sky light which lets in a lot of light but can also be closed up to keep the tent from overheating. The window awnings stop rain from getting in the tent, however there is no cover on the ladder so you do get wet as you leave the tent. The mattress on the Sport model is comfortable and if you are a user that likely won’t go out to exposed windy plains, the pole strength is fine. The Sport model offers great value and is a massive step up from camping on the ground.
1. The tent fabric on the Sport model is 280g rip-stop, poly-cotton, PU coated, waterproof canvas, which is mold and UV resistant. The rainfly on both models is 420D polyester which is also PU coated. The tent fabric on the Guides model is 320g rip-stop so is much more durable than the Sport model and will ensure greater longevity of your tent.
2. The poles are significantly upgraded, making the Guides tent more suitable in windy environments or when the tent may be loaded by snow.
3. Metal hinge joints for the poles vs the tough plastic of the Sport tents.
4. Condensation proof wrapping for the poles, making it great for cold-weather use.
5. Two starlight windows which add lots of light and night viewing options.
6. Thicker foam sleeping pad.
7. Condensation mat underneath the sleeping pad, which is great for added comfort in cool weather.
8. Extended awning over the ladder meaning that you can enter and exit the tent without getting wet when it is raining - a common occurrence on the wet West Coast!
9. Shoe bags are attached to the top of the ladder, so as you enter into the tent you can store your footwear in a dry area and have them easily accessible when you leave the tent.
10. Checker plate base plates.
We used this tent driving across the country this summer. It weathered huge downpours, big winds and provided us with easy accommodations as we travelled. When we did stop at campgrounds for a shower, we always got lots of attention from the RV crowd. A number of times I had great conversations with the good ol' boys that had the massive 5th wheel trailers with microwaves, dishwashers and satellite dishes. They all loved the adventure possibilities of the Roof Top Tent and I think in their own beer swillin', golf cart drivin' sort of way they were jealous.
The only suggestions for improvement that I would offer would be to work on the bug proofing of the hinge joint and to potentially add one centimetre to the travel cover of the Guide model.