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#VanLife: Take Shelter in TAXA Outdoors Updated Mantis & Cricket Campers

TAXA Outdoors Mantis Outside
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Camper trailers have come a long way, even from just a decade ago. TAXA Outdoors is one of the companies pushing the development of compact, light weight mobile adventure platforms. For 2021 they’ve made updates to their Mantis and Cricket habitats to offer more storage space, improved A/C performance, trash management and more…

Mantis 2021

Taxa outdoors mantis driving

TAXA Mantis Layout

The Mantis is a 19′ trailer sized to fit 4+ adults. It weighs in at 2,972lbs and has a tongue weight of 435lbs. Thanks to its pop-top, the compressed habitat will fit in most 7′ tall garages. Outside dimensions include 7’6″ wide, 6’10” high closed 10′ open and 1′ of ground clearance. Inside it’s 4’7 high closed 5’11 – 7’10” open and 6’10” wide.

One of the best design features is the fact that the pop up roof is only on the front 2/3rds of the camper. That leaves the back third open for a roof top cargo storage area with included Thule Probar Evo 175 load bars and a cargo capacity of 1,028lbs. You can then mount storage for bikes with roof top racks, or even add accessories like a roof top tent, cargo box, or other things to increase your adventure-readiness.

TAXA Mantis interior organize

TAXA Outdoors Mantis Inside

TAXA Mantis AC unit
photo c. TAXA Outdoors

Inside, the Mantis is equipped with AC and furnace units, cooler platform (fridge/freezer upgrade available), 2 burner stove, wet bath toilet/shower and a sink. Its freshwater tank is 20gal and its grey water tank is 22gal. A 12V electrical system keeps lights on and outlets going, and it’s prewired for solar panels. Optional upgrades include a folding couch/bunk bed system, the wet bath shower and cassette toilet, 15″ spare tire, and Thule/Tepui 3 person rooftop tent for even more sleeping room.

Updates for the 2021 Mantis include the 8,000 BTU AC, lockable sliding base, optimized AC placement, additional storage, a 16gal trash can and a new backsplash kitchen panel. Price for the 2021 Mantis is $46,200.

Cricket 2021

taxa outdoors outside pop uptaxa outdoors cricket

The Cricket is their 15′ trailer that sleeps 2 adults and 2 children. Its dry weight is 1,800lbs and a tongue weight of 205+lbs. Its dimensions are 6’7″ wide, exterior height of 6’11” closed 9’2″ open, interior height of 4’2″ closed 6’10” open, 1′ ground clearance and an interior width of 5’3″.

Taxa outdoors cricket cookingtaxa cricket living spacetaxa cricket dinning

Amenities include a 2 burner stove, sink, cooler/fridge upgrade space, a portable toilet, AC unit and rooftop storage space.

On this model, the roof top storage racks (again with included Thule Probar Evo 175 bars) move with the roof. But it still offers a 700lb cargo capacity which should be plenty for all your bikes or other gear.

Additionally, there’s a 15gal freshwater tank, an exterior hot and cold shower, furnace and water heater system and prewired solar panel input. There’s a battery compartment to supply power to the interior and exterior outlets. Upgrades include a 5000 BTU window AC unit, kid’s berths, portable toilet, soft good package, Thule adjustable bars and a 15″ spare tire.

Similar to the Mantis, the 2021 Cricket gains storage space, an added rear window and an aerodynamic a/c placement. The Cricket is priced at $31,800.


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3 years ago

For 31k you are almost to an airstream bambi. This thing is ridiculously over priced. Also if you have your awning open how do you pop the top up? I would much rather buy an R-Pod hood river edition for like 23k and have all the amenities inside and re day to go. Then spent the remaining 8k on bikes and trips.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

I think you’re missing the point. @ 1900 lbs dry weight and ~205 lbs tongue weight, the Cricket can be towed by a lot of compact SUVs and minivans that couldn’t pull a Bambi or R-Pod. It’s an alternative to a traditional pop-up camper, not a small travel trailer. I’ll grant you that it’s comparatively expensive, but as a traditional pop-up owner who’s seen a Cricket in person, I can attest that the materials and construction quality differences are dramatic. It’s like an S-Works vs a Walmart Schwinn. And, FWIW, the base price on a new Bambi 16 is $50k these days.

3 years ago

The cost is crazy high and the water tank capacity is tiny……..no thanks.

3 years ago

How about using that NASA engineering expertise at producing a new version of the Toyota Chinook Pop-top camper? My 1977 version was a perfect weekend warrior camper. It was under-powered with the 20R engine and the camper body was fiberglass with a puny 1 inch internal steel framework. Not very robust. But it was the neatest, most efficient camper design I have seen or used. With today’s advanced materials grafted onto a 4×4 Toyota Tacoma… It would rule the pop-top/off-road capable camper universe.


3 years ago

I have a standard 19ft Travel Trailer, full bath/shower, Kitchen, Bunks and Queen bed, all under 4000lbs.Sure it doesn’t have off-road tires or the suspension to take it on slickrock, but for 95% of the time all it good. Oh and sub $20k price.

The Taxa is a fine import, but if I’m spending money, the Opus OP15 is better. The outside kitchen is 1000% better and keeps the food smells out of your living space.

Do a review on that, still a bit over priced, but way better than any “Van life”

2 years ago
Reply to  ShaneK

An Opus OP15 is 3 times the weight of the Taxa. The reason the Taxa costs what it does is because of the class of trailers it is in. It’s an ultralightweight trailer that has features that compete with much larger trailers. The fact that people in this thread even compare it to an Airstream Bambi is exactly the point. You can’t pull 99% of the 19′ trailers out there with a Rav4 or a Subaru Outback. And you most certainly can’t take them offroad. But you can with a Taxa. Most small SUVs can only pull tiny teardrops which is basically like pulling a glorified bed around on wheels.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
3 years ago

Still trying to stop LOLing at that price!

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