ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent Annex – Review

The Annex for the ARB Simpson III Rooftop tent is a fantastic addition. It provides an area under the tent platform that is protected from both the bugs and the elements. I’ll let the photos do most of the talking for this review.

The Annex setup in the field

The ARB Simpson II Annex setup for the review

The annex is mounted to the tent platform by sliding the edges into a channel in the platform edge for the back and both sides.  The section under the awning by the ladder zips in with a large durable zipper.

Shows the Annex fitting into the channel in the tent platform

 

Closeup of the center platform joint with the annex to the left

Showing where the annex continues under the awning with the zipper

Annex installed with the tent fly fabric pulled into place over the zipper

Showing the annex connected to the platform from the inside

The Simpson III Annex does not have a floor which I like. This is an area that will have lots of traffic and the floor would be hard to keep clean. The blue flaps can be folded in or out at the base. Camping in one location with high wind I have the flaps folded out and staked down which helps keep wind out of the annex. We use our rear FJ rubber mat as a floor mat under the ladder.

The heavy duty blue flaps can be turned in or out

The ladder just inside the door

The annex mounting system provides a system that is very durable and allows the sides to be drawn tight by the stakes.

The back corner looks very clean from the inside

 

If the tent is mounted so it folds off the back of an SUV there is a zipper opening in the back that allows access to the truck. For us it provides access to the trailer. I am considering setting up this area of the trailer as a kitchen.

Access to the trailer through the back of the annex

Dry access to the tent in a driving rain storm is the one of the best benefits of the ARB annex design with the ladder being inside.

Looking up into the awning over the ladder

ARB Again has given thought to the construction details.

Corner tie-down strap

Showing the back corner - 2 straps so the side can be unzipped

Grommets in the flap are reinforced

Shows the double stitching and reinforcement at the bas of the zipper

 

Summary:

  • The annex does not take up much additional storage space and when setup provides a large usable space under the tent.
  • After a few practice runs the annex can be setup in under 10 minutes.
  •  The construction is high quality and should last for years.
  • I did find the t-straps that hold the door open when rolled up to be a little short and a struggle to use. With gloved hands they would be close to impossible.
  • The stuff sack could be about 2 inches bigger. From the factory the annex fits fine but in the field it is a challenge to roll it up small enough to fit back in the bag.
  • As with the tent, the annex is really sized for two people and will get crowded with any more.

If you get the ARB Simpson III rooftop tent the annex is well work the additional $260.00.

ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent Installation
ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent Setup
ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent Detailed Review

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tomas

Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 

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  2 comments for “ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent Annex – Review

  1. April 30, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    An excellent article.You have just made up my mind for me as to which rooftop tent I shall be purchasing.Thankyou.

  2. Justin
    February 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    I pack the annex up with my tent so I don’t have to worry about installing it every time, It works out great. I would like to ask you some questions about your trailer build.

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