Integrated, Compact, Inflatable Camping Swag
Let me tell you a tale of an inflatable shelter that's one step away from being your mobile castle. This tale is about the Pico FTC by Dometic, a Swedish brand that's been heavily influenced by the Aussie bushmen’s swags. Picture this: a mobile sleeping solution designed for the off-road traveller that offers a quick setup and rolls everything you need into one neat package.
Let's put it simply: swags are like your grandpa's bivvy sack but on steroids. They're beefier, tougher, and even come with their own mattress built right in. The modern versions might lean a bit too much on the hefty side for the average backpacker, but for those of us who prefer to take our homes on the road, they're an absolute game-changer.
You'll get the sense that the Pico FTC was mainly built with car camping in mind. But if you're feeling adventurous, it's also versatile enough to be taken a little farther afield from your vehicle. Maybe it's not your first pick for a trek to the summit of a mountain, but it's perfect for those spur-of-the-moment escapes into the wilderness that often accompany a road trip.
What about the setup, you ask? Well, it’s as easy as it gets, thanks to the single-valve inflatable design. It still maintains that spirit of the traditional swag with an integrated inflatable mattress. If you're feeling like a king or queen and want to create a protected veranda to overlook your temporary kingdom, just use the included alloy poles to secure the main door flap in an awning position.
The Pico's whole ensemble is made from a poly-cotton Weathershield fabric that's built to endure harsh weather conditions, yet it still provides a balanced interior climate. The full mesh door and adjustable ventilation panels further enhance airflow while keeping out any unwanted, buzzing guests.
There's no denying that this is a cozy haven, with its simple inflatable setup and compact size. But here's the catch: you might find the 18.7 lb (8.5 kg) weight tag and the AU$799 (about US$530) price tag a bit heavy for a solo shelter. The two-person version, the FTC 2, is heftier at 22 lb (10 kg) and pricier at AU$899 (US$600). On the bright side, both versions come with a pump and repair kit, which might help you justify the expense.
While the Pico FTC might not be for everyone, it offers an alluring proposition for those with a strong affinity for vehicle touring, overlanding, or the occasional wander away from the car. It encapsulates the spirit of the Australian outback with a touch of Scandinavian innovation, embodying an allure that has already found its way into the hearts of Australian and European campers alike. The question remains: are you ready to embark on your next adventure with the Pico FTC?
- Integrated Convenience: The Pico FTC merges multiple functionalities into one. It offers an inflatable frame, air mattress, and shelter, making it an all-in-one camping swag.
- Fast Setup: With its single-valve inflatable construction, setting up the Pico FTC is a breeze.
- Durable Material: Made from a poly-cotton Weathershield fabric, the tent is designed to resist harsh weather conditions while regulating the interior temperature.
- Ventilation: The large mesh door and adjustable ventilation panels allow airflow while keeping out bugs.
- Portable: Despite its robust structure, the Pico FTC is relatively easy to carry around, with a strapped carry bag that allows for portability.
- Weight: With a weight of 18.7 lb (8.5 kg) for the one-person model and 22 lb (10 kg) for the two-person version, it may be too heavy for foot travel.
- Price: Priced at AU$799 (approx. US$530) for the one-person version and AU$899 (approx. US$600) for the two-person version, the Pico FTC may be out of range for budget-conscious campers.
- Size: The Pico FTC is compact but might be too snug for some, especially if they're claustrophobic or prefer a more spacious sleeping setup.
- Not Ideal for Backpacking: The weight and size of the Pico FTC make it unsuitable for long hiking or backpacking trips. It's mainly designed for car camping or short walks away from a vehicle.