Industry Spotlight: 23Zero

Photo By: 23Zero

In 1995, Justin Dowey was working for a tire store in Queensland, Australia, when he was invited to be a member of the course setup team in the Australian Safari Rally. This was once the most extreme and off-road stage race held at that time, covering thousands of kilometers across outback Australia. It departed from Alice Springs, took over seven days, required self-sufficiency and remote camping through parts of the Tamimi Track, through Kilkarindji, Karthrine, and eventually finished in Darwin. He had no idea the impact this trip would have in shaping his career and how it highlighted the need for gear and equipment that was easy to set up, was made from materials that would survive the toughest environments and conditions, and not let you down. That, for Justin, led to a love of adventure and was the catalyst to start a career in the 4×4 and camping industry.

Photo by 23Zero

Photo by 23Zero

Photo by 23Zero

Moving forward to 2017, after a 12-year career working in manufacturing, retail, and wholesale in the 4×4 and camping market, 23Zero was born. In conjunction, Justin, and a handful of industry stalwarts, lead the way in the newly named overland market for both the USA and Australia. The mission for 23Zero is to adapt a sensible use of new technology and combine it with solid manufacturing principles to make products that offer the best bang for your buck.

READ MORE: REVIEW: 23Zero Bandit 1400 Swag

2018 brought research around light and sleep patterns – the importance of the absence of light to ensure good circadian rhythms and how the color and temperature of light affect how we feel. It was a common camping complaint, the way tents filled with light waking the occupants at sunrise, the light tinted whatever color the tent fabric was, and how tents heated up like saunas. So, 23Zero looked for ways to improve the quality of sleeping in rooftop tents. Would a black tent work? That would only accelerate the speed at which the tent would heat up and dramatically increase the internal temperature of the tent. The question of how to diminish light and decrease heat transference remained.

Then, in 2019, ‘LST’ (Light Suppression Technology) was born! It involves a leading-edge application of UV treatment and an advanced polyurethane coating applied to the existing green fabric. With that, 23Zero was able to reduce the light inside the tent, and initial tests showed significant heat reduction. This led to the use of LST fabric across the entire 23Zero product line of rooftop tents and awnings. 23Zero RTTs are up to 15% cooler and remain in darkness (almost zero light penetration) until windows are opened, providing a more comfortable camping experience.

Photo by 23Zero

In 2023, 23Zero introduced their new sustainable ECO13B fabric, which is 100% certified recycled 900D Polyester Oxford. It looks and feels the same, but it’s produced using recycled PET bottles – 13 PET bottles are used in one square meter of fabric. This results in huge energy savings as well as significantly less petroleum and chemical use during fiber production. And as the cotton element was eliminated, it further reduced the amount of freshwater needed to produce when compared to virgin polyester. This reduces waste and CO2 emissions, allowing 23Zero to bring sustainability to the overlanding industry. ECO13B is just the start of 23Zero’s efforts to offer environmental gains by producing a smaller environmental footprint in the manufacturing of its products. 23Zero also offers Upcycled products where waste materials are repurposed to create new products. 23Zero says, “We know that this alone does not save the planet, but if we all do a little, it makes a big difference.”

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