23Zero Walkabout Rooftop Tent

   09.15.22

23Zero Walkabout Rooftop Tent

After running an AluCab Expedition tent (and canopy) for several years, I decided to reconfigure a little bit to do some desert running. This meant losing everything above the bed of the truck to manage the center of gravity better, and since I would still need a sleep system, it meant either carrying a tent (not going to happen) or getting a new rooftop tent. I could not repurpose my AluCab because of the overhang–it was too much and would interfere with the rear-mounted tire.

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Specifications

  • 3+ Person Sleeping Capacity
  • Queen Bed – 62” x 96” Sleeping Area
  • Fits any mid-size vehicle with the appropriate roof rack
  • High-quality 280GSM Ripstop polycotton canvas
  • 3” Thick Sleep Comfort Rebound Mattress with a cotton top and waterproof base to provide maximum sleeping comfort, insulate the tent from the cold and eliminate the need for a condensation mat
  • Skyview panels allow you to control the light that comes in and stargaze at night
  • Built for quick and easy setup and pack down
  • All metal moving parts deliver strength and durability while keeping weight down
  • 2 Year Warranty

Installation

I was running the Rhino-Rack Reconn Deck in my bed, and installing the tent was simple. We just lifted the tent up on the rack, centered it, slid the T-bolt hardware in the channels on the bottom of the tent, and bolted in place around the cross bars on the rack. It seriously took less than 15 minutes to mount it.

Mounting is super easy. 8 bolts, and you are done.  You can see the bolts and straps locking the tent down.

Deploying the Walkabout 62

Once you unzip the cover and unbuckle the anchoring straps, all you do is grab the ladder, extend it a little bit, and use the body of the ladder to lever the deck over.

From there, the tent stands up on its own, and the mattress settles in place. An awning drops over you, and you need to extend a couple of poles (and clip in a middle support bar) to tighten the fabric.

The deck of the tent provides a little bit of quick shelter as you set it up.

Some spring steel rods are in the kit for the side awnings and the non-door side. And that is it. Add your bedding, and you are ready to sleep.

Be aware that the tent is exceptionally dark inside, so you will need a light or open some panels.

Enjoying the tent

The mattress is super comfortable, and the “Light Suppression Technology” blocks pretty much all of the light. It is dark enough inside that you can sleep in the middle of the day.

You can open up inside panels for light. This thing is dark inside.

It does not get super hot inside, either. The tent repels a decent amount of heat, though we never took it out during the day near Phoenix, so YMMV.

There is a nice large awning over the rear window.

We picked up the winter liner (another add-on) for use during cold weather. During the spring, testing it made the inside very, very warm. It is basically a fitted, quilted blanket that clips on the inside of the tent. I am sure it will make the tent cozy in the colder months.

Entering into the winter liner is like crawling into a pillow.
The winter liner adds a crazy amount of insulation.

The Annex

One of the great add-ons is the annex. It adds a fully contained room under the tent deck. The room has a “bathtub” floor, so you are fully sealed from the elements.

We got this upgrade mainly for our dogs. They would lose their minds if we left them in the truck to sleep, and at 80-pounds each, we are not doing a hoist operation to get them in and out of a tent. If you don’t have dogs, it makes a great room for changing clothes or any other private activities you might want to conduct.

The Annex adds a huge amount of space to the tent’s living space.

It also creates a nice way to exit the tent before getting out in the elements–the ladder is inside the annex.

The Annex contains the ladder, allowing you access to the tent without being exposed to the elements.

Setting it up is super easy. Basically, unfold it and feed the backside into the sail channel, then zipper the other three sides to the bottom of the tent fabric. Stake it down, and you are done. You get an extra 62″ x 96″ contained floor space.

You can get some optional shoe bags to give you a place to stow your muddy footware, rather than tracking into the tent. It also keeps your shoes off the ground which means you are less likely to find a stinging or biting surprise in the morning.

23Zero makes two different-sized annexes for each Walkabout–a short (up to 62″) and a tall (up to 78″). You can check out the annexes at: https://23zero.com/product/annexes-walkabout-roof-top-tent/

My only issues…

I had two main issues, and I’m mostly confident they are a problem with my setup. First, when putting the tent away, I had a hell of a time zipping up the cover. The zipper is super strong. And so is the fabric. It is easy to get some of the fabric pinched in the zipper along the side of the cover against the rear of the truck’s cab. And boy, is that a challenge to release. Like several minutes of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I learned very quickly that I needed to ensure that my finger was behind the zipper (to the inside), making sure none of the fabric decided to leap into the teeth. That seemed to do the trick.

The other issue was with my overall packing strategy. I’d never had to remove bedding from the AluCab, and running a Tacoma with little extra cab space meant that I needed to account for packing a pillow and some kind of blanket–there is not enough room to leave those things inside the tent when folding it up. I have reached a point of snooty elitist “overlander” that I require the sleep system to stow the bedding. Most definitely first-world problems and not a defect in the product.

Final thoughts…

The 23Zero Walkabout is a great tent. The mattress was amazingly plush, and the tent kept the interior cool despite the harsh NM sun. The light suppression fabric is the real standout–it was amazing that it could be so dark inside at full sun.

Aside from my two complaints, everything about this tent was great. This tent is a clear standout for the price ($1999 by itself–the annex and winter liner will add a few hundred on), ease of installation, and sheer roominess. And if the queen-size mattress is not quite enough for you, they make a giant 87-inch version (and a California king).

You can learn more about the Walkabout 62 on the 23Zero site at: https://23zero.com/product/walkabout-62-bundaberg-queen-bed/

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Avatar Author ID 94 - 1588815478

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Before that, he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie,” and assaults 14er in his sandals, and engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming copious water. To fund these adventures, he writes all manner of content (having also held editor positions at several publications) and teaches wilderness medicine and off-road skills. He hopes that his posts will help you find the gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it (and the training to use it). Learn from his mistakes--he is known (in certain circles) for his curse...ahem, ability...to find the breaking point of anything. You can follow him at https://linktr.ee/docrader.

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