Planning on getting a Darche RTT but wondering whether it’s worth the hefty price tag? Well, in this Darche Panorama roof top tent review, I break down the pros and cons, features, specs and most importantly, whether I think the tent is a good buy or not.
Let’s jump straight into the review!
Pros & Cons
With the main pros and cons of the tent out of the way, let’s take a deeper look at the tent.
Being a soft shell roof top tent, the Darche Panorama folds out and therefore has a larger sleeping area than hard shell tents. However, it isn’t quite as wide as some other soft shell RTTs, such as the Adventure Kings roof top tent.
Set up, it has a sleeping area that is 140cm wide and 240cm long, which is quite long (good for tall guys) and wide enough for a couple. For 2 friends, it is a bit of a tight squeeze in terms of width (140cm is about the width of a standard double bed), but do-able for short trips.
The internal ceiling is a bit low at only 120cm, indeed lower than the Kings model which has a 135cm ceiling. This makes it hard for tall people to sit up comfortably in the tent, however for most people, this won’t be a problem.
The benefit of the low ceiling on the Darche is that it packs up to a smaller volume than other brands.
Packed, the tent is 143.5cm long and 121.5cm wide. Including the telescopic ladder, it is 29cm high which is lower than many other brands and means that you will get less drag, especially at highway speeds. Expect the Darche Panorama to have a lower impact on fuel consumption than other RTTs.
Being only 140cm wide also means that there is extra space left on the roof for you to load other camping gear, which can be very handy for longer trips.
This roof top tent clocks in at 63.6kg, which is on the lighter end for soft shell roof top tents. Purchasing the annex will add an extra 7kg or so, bringing the total up to ~70kg.
The tent itself doesn’t have a rating for how much weight it can hold, the limiting factor is actually the load bearing capacity of your roof racks and vehicle.
Find out more about calculating the load ratings for your vehicle and roof racks in this guide from ProRack.
Roof Rack Compatibility
Speaking of roof racks, make sure that yours are compatible with the Darche Panorama before locking in a purchase.
The mounting plates that come with the tent are suitable for roof racks that are up to 85mm wide and 45mm high.
Check out the installation manual from Darche to find out exactly how the tent attaches to your roof racks.
The Darche Panorama is made from 340GSM canvas and handles a wide variety of weather conditions without any leakage. It comes with a 1,500mm waterproof rating.
Many people have commented on how well their Darche Panorama has performed in heavy wind and rain.
As with all canvas tents, make sure that you season it properly before you use it for the first time. This makes sure that the cotton canvas fabric has a chance to swell and close off any needle point gaps that are left over from when the fabric was sewn together during manufacturing.
Check out this guide on how to season your tent for more information.
There are also plenty of windows and other ventilation points on the tent to help keep you cool in summer and prevent buildup of condensation overnight.
When the weather is good, you can open up the windows on the ceiling and let cool air in while enjoying the clouds, stars or whatever else is above you.
This is a really nice feature, and it allows you to get back in touch with nature while relaxing in your RTT.
As with all tents, don’t expect the Darche Panorama to keep you warm on cold winter nights. That is the job of your sleeping bag(s), so make sure you invest in some decent sleeping gear before setting off on a trip with cool overnight temperatures.
The Darche Panorama comes with a 50mm open cell foam mattress that covers the entire sleeping area. It is encased in a removable waterproof cover.
Unfortunately, many people have commented that this mattress is quite thin and not particularly comfortable. If you are going away for the weekend, it isn’t a problem, but for longer trips, it is definitely worth investing in some extra bedding to ratchet the comfort up a notch or two.
Darche do actually sell a self-inflating 80mm thick replacement mattress, suitable for any 1,400mm wide roof top tent, including the Panorama. You can pick it up for $280 from Snowys.
Setup of the Darche Panorama is pretty straight forward, and you can expect it to take about 5 or so minutes with 2 people and maybe 10 minutes by yourself.
It will definitely take you longer than this the first couple of times you do it, so think about doing a practice run at home to save time when you are out on your trip.
The video below shows you how the setup process works.
Build Quality & Warranty
Darche are known for producing high quality equipment that won’t let you down. The Panorama roof top tent is no exception to this, being much loved for its excellent build quality and tough, rugged construction that is designed for the Australian bush.
The original Adventure Kings roof top tent MKI was plagued with quality issues (they have now released a new and improved MKII - check out my review here) but the Darche Panorama has been rock solid from Day 1.
Many consider the Darche Panorama to be the best option out there.
Should you run into any issues, it comes with a solid 2 year warranty. Want more info? Read up on the Darche warranty terms.
The Darche Panorama used to be sold with the annex included. They have now moved to selling the annexes separately to the main RTT. Not everyone needs or wants an annex, so this is a welcome change.
The prices on the buttons below are current and reflect the latest offers from Snowys for the 1,400 model. You can also access prices for the 1,600 model.
Click through to access these deals and read more reviews from other users of the Darche Panorama.
Darche Roof Top Tent FAQ
How much weight can a Darche roof top tent hold?
There’s no actual rating for how much the tent itself can hold, the limit is related to the maximum load rating for your vehicle.
Check the load rating with your vehicle manufacturer.
Where are Darche roof top tents made?
All Darche roof top tents are manufactured in China.
How do you pack a Darche roof top tent?
To begin with, remove any guy ropes that you have set up and close any open windows. Close the telescopic ladder and use this to fold the tent back up.
Finally, put the cover back on and do up all of the straps that secure the tent in place when it is not in use.
Is Darche a good brand?
Darche is a decent brand that manufactures relatively good quality gear at mid-range prices. They have been in business since 1991 and their continued popularity to this day shows that they have stood the test of time.
How do you set up an annex on the Darche roof top tent?
There is a zip that runs along the underside of the Darche roof top tent (on the ladder side that hangs off the edge of your vehicle’s roof). This zip is used to attach the annex to the tent and fix them in place.
Peg out the corners of the base of the annex, then let the base of the ladder rest on top of the floor of the annex.
Conclusion - Darche Panorama 2 Roof Top Tent Review
The Darche Panorama is a very high quality roof top tent that is designed specifically for Australian conditions.
Thick 340GSM canvas means solid waterproofing and great overall protection from the elements.
There are windows on virtually all sides of the tent, which is great for ventilation and getting a great view of your surroundings. I particularly like the star gazing window on the ceiling.
The only real downside (and this is a common problem for RTTs), is that the mattress is too thin and not comfortable for longer trips. The Panorama is already a fairly expensive tent, so having to pay for an extra mattress is a bit rough when you are already shelling out so much for the base tent.
Other than this, it is a fantastic tent. The build quality is rock solid and the 2 year warranty gives you peace of mind, which is important when making a big purchase like this.
I highly recommend this tent.
I hope that this Darche Panorama roof top tent review has helped you make a decision! If you are still not sure, check out my list of the best roof top tents in Australia!
Still have questions? Leave them below and I’ll do my best to help you out.
Review Date: 2021-04-07
Reviewed Item: Darche Panorama 2 Rooftop Tent
Author Rating: 4.5/5
Product Name: Darche Panorama 2 Rooftop Tent
Price: AUD $2080
Product Availability: Available in Stock
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