Check out this article that Offroadtents.com did about Odin Designs:
Discovering Odin Designs – The Story Behind The Rooftop Tent Company
If you are a fan of Roof Top Tents you must have heard about Odin Designs. The Colorado based company has been making RTT’s since 2015, and in the past year has started gaining some well deserved momentum.
If you aren’t really that much of a fan, but you still like camping or overlanding you might be interested in getting to know one of the most interesting Roof Top Tent companies in America.
At Off Road Tents we like to mix things up a bit, and instead of the traditional reviews or articles about “where to go overlanding in 2017”, we wanted something better. That’s why we called Reuben Davison, the founder and owner of Odin and set up an interview. It turned out to be pure quality.
It’s time for the fans to learn a bit more, and for the “not-so-fans” to start learning, so that when you think of a rooftop tent you will remember the name: Odin Designs.
Interviewing Reuben, Owner Of Odin Designs
We started off with the basics, when was Odin Designs founded, how it all started and why. Turns out that Reuben’s story is pretty radical. Odin Designs was born in the spring of 2015, but why?
“I had just gotten back from traveling the east coast of Australia in an old TigerzII RTT that I was probably the 4th or 5th owner of. The whole 6 months I was in it, I kept telling myself I could make this better. I got back to the States and wanted one for camping here and decided if I got one it was going to be exactly what I wanted”, said Reuben.
And so Odin Designs was born. From the land of the kangaroos and the koalas, where surf mixes with desert and large insects, a lifetime trip gave birth to an idea that turned into a great brand.
Our next question had to be about what it was like living in an RTT for 6 months. And we asked for those of you who are thinking of trying it out!
“Interesting to say the least. At times there were four people in a tent meant for 2+ people. Some times we would wake up with insects that were 5 times the normal size. Other times due to downpours we would have to stop at a rest stop in the middle of the day just to dry out the tent, but you can’t beat a RTT when you know your sleeping somewhere that has been known to have salt water crocs”.
Now everyone knows that living in a rooftop tent for 6 months can be done and it isn’t that bad. Especially knowing that if the owner of Odin did it, he helped by making an improved design.
The name is something that catches everyone’s eye. Reuben’s answer was simple: “Norse Mythology”. The name comes from Odin, the Norse god of war, the sky, and wisdom.
But it wasn’t just because of Odin. “I have always been intrigued by the stories of Vikings and the way that they were always exploring and pushing the boundaries of what they knew. Sailing into uncharted ocean to explore must have taken some guts”.
Past, Present and Future of Odin Designs
Certainly Reuben started sailing uncharted waters in the beginning, as he himself said it, after Australia he got back to the States “and no one knew what they were”. So it wasn’t easy, it still isn’t, as there are challenges he still has to face, like shows. “Shows are the biggest challenge, I would much rather be out using the gear and really showing how it works, than having to talk about it in a parking lot”. Fair enough.
He’s learnt his trade quite well though, making 2 different models of tents, the Type E (BUY HERE) and the Type S (BUY HERE). In fact, both are pushing some boundaries, going for something that no one else has at the moment: Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Then you have a few of the extra specs that as Reuben says “We design as we see fit”, such as the 420D fabric that holds up to all elements but weighs only 260 grams, or the diamond plate base that is used after they saw another base damaged by a hail storm.
The plans are not to stop there though. When we asked about any future projects he said they are partnering with a local teardrop manufacturer, Altitude Teardrops, and they will be working on increasing their product range for a wider range of overlanding gear.
And what about a Hardshell?
“We may have a hardshell hybrid in the works”, he said dropping a hint.
We can’t wait to see what happens with that.
What About The Roof Top Tent Industry?
As to the overall view that Odin and Reuben have about the Roof Top Tent industry, he had some interesting things to share.
When asked about “competition” or other brands he might admire, he said:
“I really admire anyone who pushes for innovation. Alu-Cab with their all aluminum “hardshells” is awesome, along with FSRand their use of non-standard designs. Some of the larger companies, whom I know have large budgets, have been doing the same thing with only minor tweaks which I don’t understand. You have got the money, use it!”
Honestly we are pretty thrilled to know that a player in the industry cares and admires innovation, wants to push forward, like the Vikings.
Where does he see the industry in five years? Well, he says it’s hard to say, but he thinks there will be two tiers of RTTs, a budget friendly, no frills tier, and a more expensive “all the bells and whistles, border lining RV tier”.
Just before finalizing the interview, we wanted to get to know some cool facts about Reuben, some wrap up but interesting questions. Here’s what we asked.
Any funny story you may have from an overlanding or camping trip?
“I used to have a 02 Xterra that was supercharged and a 5 speed so it was kinda rare, once called “a well ridden unicorn”. I had decided to give it a body lift just using pucks and everything was great until I was on the backside of Argentine Pass and went over a bump and my intake hose split in half. Because the intake was mounted to the body and the engine to the frame, when I gave the Xterra the body lift the angle between the two had put too much stress on the 200k mile hose. Duct tape wouldn’t hold because the engine heat would make it lose all adhesive properties. I ended up wrapping a grocery bag around the split and was able to limp back home”.
We bet more than one can relate to that.
How about excites you the most about your decision of joining this business?
“There is nothing like getting a photo from a friend or relative who has driven past one of your products 1000 miles away from where you’re at”.
Any message you may have to potential customers, RTT enthusiasts or overlanders?
“Yeah, no matter what gear you have, explore like never before”.