EDITOR’S NOTE: For Thanksgiving weekend 2020, my brother showed up to the creek house with his Roam Vagabond XL on his Tundra. Three of our kids stayed in that tent each night and none of them ever ventured inside to crowd our beds. Although I didn’t sleep in it myself, I did lounge in it for a bit and there’s absolutely no way to make tent camping more comfortable than that. – J. Vincent (FE Editor)
In three short years, Roam Adventure Company Adventure has gone from start-up to the premier outfitter for overlanding and outdoor expeditions. The company’s rooftop tents, rugged travel cases, coolers, and awnings are highly sought after, made to be used, and built to last. I spoke with Roam Adventure Company Adventure Officer Jon Sackett about the company and its products.
How did Roam Adventure Company come about?
Nick Mizzanti founded the company about three years ago. He’s an engineer by trade and has worked for a lot of different aftermarket companies. He loves the outdoors and designing products for use in it.
And tents were the first product ROAM produced?
Tents were the first product, and with his background, Nick’s the one that deals with coming up with all the new versions of the products and sourcing all the materials and production and everything like that.
What’s the most popular of these?
Our standard Vagabond is the most popular. I mean that fits anything from a Subaru Crosstrek up to full-sized trucks. We have three different sizes of tents and the difference is basically just the size of the mattress.
The cases followed as your next product?
Yeah, the Rugged Cases. And then that’s where it really started standing out as more than just another rooftop tent company but coming out with products that the industry just didn’t have.
There’s not been anything like it on the market. There are some products that are Australian based but they’re very expensive. That company isn’t established in the U.S., so you might find very small dealers that import them but they’re really expensive and hard to get…
And those don’t have bottle openers, drains, struts, MOLLE inserts…
From the original first-generation of the cases, we kept making tweaks, adding the bottle opener, redesigning the way the case looked, and the strength of it. We started off having optional gas struts that you could buy and install yourself and then realizing how beneficial the gas struts are that we should just include them with it, so then all the cases started shifting with pre-installed from the factory. And then we wanted to have, we would have the case and you’d have a bunch of gear in there, but then maybe you’d have a flashlight in there, then you’d have to be digging in there, trying to find where your flashlight is, so we’re like, “Well, we got this reset space in the lid that never gets used because you’re storing everything on the bottom. Let’s put a MOLLE panel up there so that way we can attach our first aid kits and little quick fists to mount a hatchet or a flashlight.”
Coolers came afterward?
We added the coolers this year and they’re doing great. Since the rest of our product line is geared towards camping and adventures, naturally nearly everyone needs something to store their food/drinks in. So, we put some of our own tweaks on the high-end coolers that are available in the market, and like the rest of our products we offer, released them at a fair price with the highest quality and a bunch of accessories and features standard such as a cutting board and wire basket tray for the larger models. The coolers continue our vision of giving customers a one-stop brand for all their high-quality adventure gear at fair prices.
What would you say is the craziest use or craziest story you’ve got in terms of your product?
We’ve done a lot of just testing ourselves on our products, so especially with the Rugged Cases, and you can pull up videos on our YouTube channel or Instagram on this, but I mean, we’ve taken our cases and throw them off the side of a mountain and went down and got them, we’ve put them up on a roof rack, not secured and then drove off with it and let it fall off the back with gear in it. We’ve tied it to the end of a recovery strap and went out full speed in the middle of the desert, dragging it behind, it tumbling around.
What about customer stories? Roam gets a ton of customer feedback.
One of our friends took one of our cases and then they had one of those PLANO boxes…and he has a Ram 1500 Power Wagon. And it lifted the rear tire up with a forklift, and then put one of the PLANO boxes underneath it and then lowered it onto the PLANO box, and it just completely crushed it and shattered it all the way down to the ground. And then they did it again and they put one of our rugged cases behind it, under it, and the rugged case supported the full weight of the Power Wagon, and then they took it off and then showed like, “Hey, you can still open this up. There’s no deformities. There’s no cracks. This is still usable even under the weight of a full-sized truck.”
Learn more about just how indestructible Roam Adventure Company products are at roamadventureco.com.