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JeepUniq

ARB Simpson III vs James Baroud Horizon Vision RTT

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Hopefully someone will find this informative:

 

I'm one of those people that perennially are searching for the right tent. It seems that I finally found it ... for now.

 

I didn't go with the "classic" hard top JB due to its significant weight. I use my Jeep for moderate rock crawling at times, and don't need my off camber to be any more hair raising.

 

Instead I went with one of their Horizon Vision Soft Rooftop Tent. I had the ARB before so here's my quick comparison:

 

JB:

+ Much, much lighter than the ARB. Still needs two persons to put on top, but it's not a hernia inducement exercise anymore. Approx. 90 lbs. (I estimate).

+ Significantly lower profile (8.5")

+ Detachable ladder, super light and easy to use to set-up the tent.

+ Ladder can pe carried separately, thus reduces weight and tent profile.

+ Super easy setting it up but ...

+ Super easy to fold (pack), as long as the windows are not closed all the way (to allow air to escape)

+ Nice fabric and no need for a separate rain fly.

+ Gorgeous interior - lots of ventilation, and light due to its 6 windows.

+ Made in Europe (Portugal) - It seems much higher build quality.

+ Comes with a removable roof insulation. Stays put - no need to take out unless explicitly desired. Perfect for cold nights or Arizona sun.

- Cost - twice that of the ARB

- Pain to put the cover on (at least on by FrontRunner rack). It has an elastic cord that needs to be pushed behind some buttons which are a bit hard to reach.

- Shorter mattress (and shorter overall length) than the ARB.

- No interior net pockets

- Needs leg extensions inserted for support. Not a biggy, but worth noting

- No annex available in the US

- Entry might allow for some water in if opened when raining

 

 

ARB:

 

+ Cost / Quality / Value ratio

+ Cost / Quality / Value compared with its competitors (IMHO)

+ Roomier than the JB due to its covered entry design.

+ Can get an annex which doubles as another tent. I had two cots in it w/ plenty of space. However, note that annex for new model lacks a floor, so it needs a tarp (if desired).

+ Has some interior net pockets

+ In an emergency can sleep 2 adults and 2 kids (both me and my wife are not tall)

- Heavier than the JB. Approx. 140 lbs. (I estimate)

- Taller profile (14" in the middle over the ladder, otherwise 12")

- More time consuming to set-up (need to put in the wire supports for the rainfly, take out the elastic cords, etc)

- A bit of a pain to fold, with lots of coercion needed for the fabric to clear the zipper.

- Made in China (or Taiwan - depending on who's answering)

- A bit darker inside - nothing claustrophobic, but has smaller and fewer (4 vs 6) windows than the JB.

 

Bottom line, for pure value, ARB wins, but for me JB is a better choice (weight/profile/ease-of-use).

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It's a good write up. I'm sure someone who is shopping for a RTT will appreciate the information.

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Good comparison, Dan. Thank you for writing it up!

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Thanks for the info. Super useful.

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nice comparison Dan, thanks for posting!

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