The 23Zero Armadillo A2 is a premium rooftop tent with features that augment the camping experience. With its durable aluminum hard-shell enclosure, it can withstand heavy weather and brush off low hanging branches with ease. The A2 is intended for 2, but could easily fit the additional dog or child. Its compact size makes it easy to deploy and it’s middle-weight heft has little effect on off-road handling.
23Zero offers the A2 in right and left side deployment and the trail-hardened finish of the fully welded aluminum shell offers great protection from weather and road grime. After several nights in the A2, I can appreciate 23Zero’s Light Suppression Technology fabric, making the RTT nearly opaque and allowing me to regulate light with either side window or the skylight in the roof of the tent. The fabric is made with a UV treatment with an advanced polyurethane coating that offers darkness until you decide it’s time to get up. The effect is wonderful and I’ve had some very long, deep sleeps in this comfy cocoon.
The mattress has a premium feel, wrapped in a quilted breathable topper in a nice olive color. The quilted cover continues up and under the aluminum shell, acting as a very comforting and warm headliner. The 2” memory foam mattress is comfortable, but some might wish for a little cushier, especially side sleepers.
Deploying is easy and quick, requiring only a few minutes for a complete setup. The spring rods are sturdy and they hold up nicely in strong winds. The interior boasts several pockets for small items and an LED light bar (rechargeable battery required).
Outside, the rainfly does a fantastic job of keeping out the drips, and it certainly boosts the interior warmth on chilly nights. There are also some ingenious little storage pouches that hang off each side of the ladder for wet shoes and the like. While 23Zero says you can keep bedding in the closed RTT, I found I could only fit a light blanket and small pillows kept me from closing the lid.
The Armadillo A2 is a quality product and the construction reflects 23Zero’s commitment to durability. At approximately 195 lbs., it has little to no effect on the road manners of my stock Tacoma. I lost a couple of mpg’s, but that’s to be expected with the weight of the RTT and bed rack combined. It sits atop the sturdy new Kuat Ibex bed rack, which offers the option to ride mid-height for better aerodynamics and lower center of gravity. I’m running it in the high position and it still behaves nicely off-road. I also prefer to retain my view out the rear view mirror.
The Armadillo A2 retails for $3795 and the build quality reflects the premium price tag. If you have the opportunity to visit any of the overland expos, I suggest taking a firsthand look at the A2 and its competitors before committing to a purchase.
I’ve had the opportunity to sleep in the A2 comfortably in heavy rain, strong winds, and chilly nights. It has made my outside adventures far more comfortable and leaving me wanting more. I look forward to experiencing a Winter night in the Armadillo A2 to see if it meets the high expectations generated by 23Zero’s design. I’m confident it will perform as expected.
To Learn More About The 23ZERO Armadillo A2 CLICK HERE
To Learn More About The KUAT Ibex Bed Rack Shown CLICK HERE
In-Field Contributor: Bill Freeman – 2017 SR5 Tacoma 4×4
Bill is a native Californian and has been shooting outdoor activities for over 30 years. Spending most weekends climbing in Joshua Tree in the 80’s, he began his photo career shooting the classic environment that only J-Tree has to offer. Expanding his subject matter into skiing and mountain biking, the camera was brought on most every adventure. Bill and his dog, Leica, now live in Southwest Colorado to take advantage of the epic outdoor adventures… on two wheels or four.