While we were checking out Dometic’s recent TRT 140 Air inflatable roof tent for the US market, we stumbled upon another new tent with an inflatable skeleton. The Pico FTC is the brand’s most compact tent yet, and the Swedish gear maker took some inspiration from the other side of the world. The Pico is an Australian-inspired inflatable crib with an integrated air cushion for fast, seamless set-up and all-in-one comfort. The tent is further ventilated through large mesh doors and an awning, providing a comfortable, minimalist sleeping shelter for one or two people.
It’s no surprise that Dometic first launched the Pico FTC in Australia, where the swag has been used for generations as a compact, portable bedroll for bush trips. Today’s booties look somewhat similar to the camping bags common in Europe and North America, but are heavier, sturdier, and come with a built-in mattress that all rolls up into a single or double overnight shelter. Modern day booties all seem to be too heavy for walking touring and used more for car camping and overland/travelling.
Dometic made it clear that the Pico is primarily aimed at car campers and car travelers, but said it’s lightweight and compact enough to leave the car for an overnight stay further afield. So it’s definitely not a full-on backpacking option, but convenient enough to leave the campsite for a little while or an afternoon and then do a makeshift backcountry camp when the mood strikes. Its backpack-style strap carry bag helps with that.
The Pico features a single-valve inflatable construction for easy installation. It also maintains the swag bedroll spirit with a built-in air mattress. Those looking to create a protected front porch can use the included alloy rod to secure the main door flap in place of the awning. A full mesh door below the poly cotton door keeps bugs out while letting in ventilation. The tent also has adjustable ventilation panels built into the head and foot walls and has a protective awning on top secured by guy wires.
The main body of the Pico, as well as the weatherproof doors, flaps and awning are made from polycotton windscreen fabric for durability, weather resistance and internal temperature regulation.
The Pico FTC looks like a cozy little cocoon tent, with simple inflators and a relatively compact pack size, but we’re not sure if it can carry 18.7 pounds (8.5 kilograms) and cost AU$799 (~US$530) Purchase a separate shelter. The two-person FTC 2 brings those figures up to 22 lbs (10 kg) and AU$899 (US$600). Includes pump and repair kit.
After launching in Australia last October, the Pico FTC 1 and 2 join Dometic’s European line-up for the 2023 camping season. The European Pico models retail for €500 and €600, respectively.
Dometic has been expanding its US camp lineup, as we saw when it unveiled the TRT 140 Air at Overland Expo West back in May, but we weren’t sure if this one would be a good fit. The US puts the most emphasis on tents and light shelters, not swag.