SheltaPod was created in 2015 by Founder, Julie Ritson who had been a keen camper for many years but couldn’t find an awning that was quick and easy to put up single-handed for one or two overnight stays. She found the market was full of bulky awnings that blocked the light and views from inside the van and although they claimed to be ‘quick erect’ actually took a lot longer to put up in reality. They also took up too much storage space in her small van so she decided to take to her sewing machine and make her own!
In August 2016 Julie launched a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign and raised £44,197, an incredible achievement but it unfortunately didn’t quite reach the funding goal and was therefore unsuccessful. In October 2016 another crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo reached the target and by mid 2017 the campaign had raised over $130,000!
Production started in 2017 and the first shipment arrived in the UK in May 2017 and by August stock had completely sold out.
Since then SheltaPod has gone from strength to strength, new colours have been introduced and added extras have been included in the bag such as the privacy panels, curtain shades and groundsheet. The blackout canopy was also released and proved to be a popular accessory with customers. Every step of the way Julie listened to early adopters and customer feedback and design features have been tweaked and improved.
In early 2019 SheltaPod joined forces with Tentsile Ltd as part of their 'Leave No Trace' portfolio for low impact shelter start-ups, with the aim of enhancing customer experience of the great outdoors while minimising ecological impact. SheltaPod manufacture has moved to a new factory and is now made with new and improved high quality, durable materials.
Tentsile Ltd looks to support and incubate start-up companies with a passion for the outdoors and its long term conservation. SheltaPod is the perfect fit for Tentsile’s ambitions to lead the way in responsive environmental design. Where Tentsile Tree Tents can’t go, SheltaPod can.
Photo by Kristina Cyr