Gear Junkie – The Best Rooftop Tents of 2022 – Yakima SkyRise HD

From GearJunkie.com By Berne Broudy

For overland adventures, life on the road, or just an elevated and more comfortable campout experience, here are our picks for the best rooftop tents.

If you’ve never slept in a rooftop tent, it’s hard to imagine how different it is from sleeping in a traditional tent. In general, we’ve found that rooftop tent (RTT) sleeping feels safer and more secure than sleeping in a tent on the ground.

Plus, RTTs offer a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, airflow that’s unheard of in a ground tent, protection (and peace of mind), and generally superior comfort for sleeping.

The drawbacks: Unlike a ground tent or a tow-behind camper, when your tent is on your roof, you have to break camp before you drive away. And, for those who make nighttime visits to the loo, there’s a ladder to negotiate between you and relief (unless you’re willing to get creative).

Also, if your dog gets to share the human bed, practice your one-handed ladder climb before you attempt to hoist them up. Multiply that effort if you have more than one dog.

Not every rooftop tent fits every vehicle or every budget. But some tents work for almost every car or truck. Rooftop tents are all pricier than even the plushest backpacking tent, but if you’re able to invest, you won’t regret it.

Best 3-Person Rooftop Tent: Yakima SkyRise HD

Two of the biggest barriers to entry for campers considering a rooftop tent are weight and price. Yakima’s SkyRise HD ($2,399) is not only relatively light, but it’s also competitively priced for a three-person tent. And it’s the most similar to backpacking and car camping tents that many backcountry enthusiasts are already familiar with.

The SkyRise is made from the same stuff as most tents you’d pitch on the ground. The 600D nylon tent body is light and breathable, with mesh ventilation panels that double as windows into the Milky Way. All the windows and the two skylights have solid and mesh panels that zip open for ventilation and views.

Much like a standard ground tent, the SkyRise’s waterproof fly is polyurethane-coated, and the tent can be set up with the fly on or off. Aluminum poles give the tent structure. They’re strong, pre-set, and easy to engage once you manually flip this tent open.

Consider a three-person tent if you’ll be sleeping with a child. This is also a good option if you’re a dog owner whose dog climbs ladders, or if you’re willing to shuttle your pooch into your rooftop nest. Everyone will appreciate the plush, 2.5-inch-thick, wall-to-wall mattress.

And after this tent gets some use, you’ll also appreciate that the mattress has a removable cover for easy cleaning. The SkyRise M is one of the easiest tents to mount on a roof rack. It goes on and comes off tool-free. It also locks to your roof with the same system used in all Yakima bars and mounts, SKS lock cores, which are included with the tent.

Specs:
  • Dimensions open: 58″ x 96″ x 48″
  • Dimensions closed: 58″ x 48″ x 17″
  • Sleeping footprint: 58″ x 96″
  • Peak internal height: 48″
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Static weight capacity: 600 lbs
  • Minimum bar spread: 26″
Pros:
  • Super easy to mount
  • Locks to your roof
Cons:
  • Lighter fabrics flap more on windy nights

For the rest of the GearJunkie’s top RTTs of 2022 CLICK HERE

Basecamp in a box: New Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen connects to your bike rack

From BikeRumor.com by Jordan Villella

Want to live the #vanlife without actually buying a van? Or maybe you just want to have a pro cooking station at your next outdoor event? Whatever the reason, Yakima’s newest EXO accessory turned a lot of heads at the Sea Otter Classic. That standout piece at the Yakima booth was the new EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen — a full kitchen that works with the Yakima EXO modular hitch system.

Essentially a basecamp in a box, the new Open Range Camp Kitchen comes in two main options with many accessories available for purchase. The US-made toto-molded box is designed to be mounted to an EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf rack setup using the EXO cleat system. If you don’t have an EXO rack, you can also just store the box in your trunk or truck bed.

If you’re using the EXO TopShelf mount, the box will already be at the right height and you can just open the front of the sealed box, fold out the accessory side tables, and get to cooking.

If you’re using the lower SwingBase position (we believe this should allow you to use the TopShelf position for two bikes), you’ll need to remove the box from the rack and mount it to the accessory four-leg stand. This is also how you would use the system without an EXO rack.

The OpenRange Leg Kit is available separately for $199.99 and the telescoping legs adjust the height from 20-33″.

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen models

The Yakima Open Range Camp Kitchen comes in a base model, including the OpenRange Camp box with a lantern hook and organizing shelf (pictured inside) for $750.

For those looking for the whole experience, the Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen is also available in a deluxe version. The deluxe version comes with a wood side table with cutting board, collapsible wash basin with drain hose, metal cook side table with flexible fuel hose, a hanging fuel canister pouch, and the CookOut 2-Burner stove.

The whole Open Range Camp Kitchen Deluxe experience comes in at $1,199 — excluding stemware, plates, and cutlery. If you don’t go for the Deluxe version, many of the accessories can still be purchased separately with the OpenRange Wood and Metal Side Tables and CookOut Camp stove going for $149 each.

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen pricing

  • Yakima Open Range Kitchen Base: $749
  • Yakima Open Range Kitchen Deluxe: $1,199
  • Bamboo table: $149
  • Metal table: $149
  • Double burner stove: $149

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen details

  • Connects to the EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf in seconds using the included EXO cleat system
  • A durable roto-molded enclosure with a rubber door seal keeps your gear fully protected from weather, dust, and critters
  • Fold-down front door allows easy access to your gear and can be used as a prep surface
  • Internal shelf and integrated utensil drawer help to organize your cooking and camp gear
  • 85 liters (90 quarts) of internal storage space
  • Includes SKS locking latches to secure your gear
  • Tool-free, locking SpeedKnobs attach and lock EXO OpenRange to EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf
  • Includes a lantern hook, backboard organizer, and handheld bottle opener
  • Full suite of accessories available to expand your EXO OpenRange
  • EXO SwingBase and EXO TopShelf are recommended but not required for transport
  • Made in the USA with a 2-year warranty

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen availability

Though the actual release date is uncertain, Yakima assured us it would be available for your late spring camping and cookout adventures. One thing is for sure, after laying hands on the new Yakima Open Range Camp Kitchen were excited to put it through the family camping gauntlet and long mountain bike race trips — hopefully we can get one in for a full review.

Rack It Up: Yakima Shows Up with Latest Products for Adventure-Seekers

From TractionLife.com By Graham Heeps

Yakima’s Ford Ranger project truck for the 2019 SEMA Show had the LockNLoad platform rack and HangOver bike rack. Photo: Graham Heeps

Few More Reasons To Hit The Outdoors

Yakima brought a bunch of new gear transport solutions to the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas. 

In the spring of 2019, the Portland, Oregon based company introduced a range of truck racks that have proved to be a huge hit with pickup owners. All three are designed for use with the company’s new HD bars.

The racks are available in three heights. Bedrock HD mounts flush to the top of the bed – ideal for transporting bikes, cargo boxes or a rooftop tent, with up to 300 lb on-road carrying capacity.

The fixed-position, mid-height Outpost HD is great for overlanding, when you want to keep a lower centre of gravity, but still want to carry up to 300 lb of gear – or up to 500 lb on-road.

OverHaul HD for the pickup fans

OverHaul HD truck racks are height-adjustable.

The third option, OverHaul HD, carries as much as Outpost but is fully adjustable to support loads up to and beyond the cab height. Yakima says that multiple tie-down points and the ability to fit most truck beds – plus compatibility with Retrax XR tonneau covers – contribute to Overhaul’s outstanding functionality.

And as with Bedrock and Outpost, once the bases are fixed in place, the rack can be unlocked and removed when not required, without needing to reattach the bases for every use.

The versatility of the LockNLoad Platform

The LockNLoad platform rack can be customized with all manner of accessories.
Photo: Graham Heeps

Another star of the SEMA booth was the LockNLoad platform rack we featured here, which was introduced in late-September after a couple of years in development with Yakima’s team in Australia.

Tested on backroads in the Outback, the low-profile rack is said to major on versatility and comes in six sizes to suit all types of vehicles, from a Subaru Crosstrek to a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. 

Yakima’s familiar T-slots – in the frame and in the slats – make it easy to install accessories like a perimeter rail kit, spare wheel holder or light bar brackets, or the platform can be customized with a kayak or bike rack.

Yakima’s new GrandTour Cargo Boxes adds new streamlined products to the lineup

Sleek and modern, the GrandTour is a premium addition to Yakim’s Cargo Box Collection.

Finally, Yakima provided a sneak peek of the new line of GrandTour Cargo Boxes, which will be available from February 2020. Featuring a sleeker, more streamlined design, they’ll be available in 16 and 18-cu.ft. capacities. There’s dual-sided opening for easy access and a torque-limiting wrench to avoid stripping the fixings during installation.

Hit up Yakima’s website to learn more.

For more from TractionLife

For more from Graham Heeps

New Yakima LockNLoad™ Roof Rack Platform – Available Now!

MADE TO BRAVE THE BACKLANDS

Combining smart looks with smart engineering, the new LockNLoad Platform Rack is built for sport, utility, and off-road adventures. An Australian backroad-tested addition to our Rugged Outdoor Collection, LockNLoad safely hauls everything from rooftop tents to jerry cans with low-profile ease.

HEAVY-DUTY PLATFORM ROOF RACK

Build-out your vehicle to be a true adventure rig—whether to get to the local trailhead or miles from civilization. Designed and thoroughly tested, the LockNLoad roof rack platform is a blank slate, ready for you to customize to your needs. Integrated T-slots throughout allow quick and easy attachment of our new LockNLoad accessories. Horizontal slats are designed to attach bike, kayak, surf, ski mounts, or even one of our SkyRise™ rooftop tents. It’s available in 6 sizes to ensure the best platform fit for your vehicle.

Designed and Tested in Australia

The toughest gear has to be proven in the toughest environments. That’s why we designed and tested the LockNLoad roof rack platform in Australia’s unforgiving Outback. Adapted to suit the expansive terrains of the U.S., the LockNLoad has the backbone to haul your valuable gear from Baja to New England.

Innovative side-to-side slats act as crossbars, to easily install most Yakima mounts.

Attaches either directly to your roof rack crossbars or to Yakima SkyLineTM or TimberLineTM towers.

Built to withstand the backroads with a Yakima Off-Road Rating of 165–440 lbs.

*Depending on vehicle roof weight limit

Available In 6 sizes for the perfect fit

For more check out: Yakima.com/LockNLoad and stop in to your local Yakima dealer. LockNLoad platforms are shipping now!

Andy Best – Dometic CFX-40

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For most people, the idea of bringing your seven-month-old daughter on a three-day overlanding trip through the remote Utah desert would be unthinkable. For photographer Andy Best, it’s just another Friday.

“Our daughter is amazing,” says Andy. “We’re lucky. We’ve been able to travel since she was three days old. It’s amazing for me to be able to take our daughter to these places and really see them through her eyes.”

After seven years working in commercial filmmaking, Andy decided he and his wife would sell everything and live full time on the road. During that time, he learned about what gear was essential to live mobile; what consistently worked, and what didn’t. But over all that time, going through all that gear, Andy never got around to installing what he now considers an essential part of his rig: a Dometic CFX 40.

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“On the road, I have to be efficient to function,” says Andy. “When I lived out of an ice cooler, I’d always lose food because the ice would melt. I can’t tell you the amount of food I’ve ruined in coolers – from running out of ice or getting things soggy and wet. It’s crazy.” The Dometic CFX has helped Andy do more than he ever imagined.

“As an outdoor filmmaker and photographer, I really need to stay out for long periods of time, to study, look at angles, look at the sun, or see when the moon is rising. If I don’t have the right gear I can’t stay out and get the work done. The Dometic CFX has been a huge game-changer for me.”

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Staying out longer helps Andy professionally – but most importantly, it helps his family stay together while he’s working. “When you’re living out of an ice cooler in the desert, it really limits the food you can bring,” says Andy. “One of our favorite things now is to make a big meal and save the leftovers. Then we can move fast, get lost and work for a few days, and have the leftovers whenever we want. That feels like cheating, it’s so easy.”

“With the right gear, you can be out a long time, even with a young child,” says Andy. “I’m hoping that these trips build a foundation where she wants to come out and enjoy these places and maybe someday, pass that forward to her own family… Someday. Not soon.”

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If you want to keep following Andy and his family, check out instagram.com/andy_best and andy.best.

Find out more about: Dometic Mobile Coolers and the CFX-40W

Yakima Is Taking Camping to New Heights With the SkyRise

From The Manual 

yakima-skyrise-feature-1200x450-cEvery outdoor junkie wants a camper van — we get it. They’re the epitome of portability and convenience, even if they’re not quite as capable or luxurious as a dedicated RV. Nonetheless, they rarely come cheap. Perhaps that’s why rooftop tents — you know, the pop-up tents you strap to the top of your Jeep Cherokee before hitting the road  — are becoming more popular among outdoor enthusiasts with each passing year. Expedience, it seems, is always in demand.

Yakima, a renowned rack-manufacturing stalwart, is just the latest company looking to elevate your sleeping quarters. The forthcoming SkyRise Rooftop Tent ($1,000+) comes in two sizes — one that accommodates three adults and one designed to comfortably sleep two — and requires no tools to install. The modern, lightweight tents utilize 210D ripstop nylon and are made to resist all types of weather thanks to their rugged DRW coating, ensuring you’ll stay dry regardless of where you wander. The medium and small models also weigh 120 and 95 pounds, respectively, meaning they’re up to 40 pounds lighter than the competition.

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Inside, you’ll find a built-in, 2.5-inch foam mattress and overhead ventilation panels that help with airflow and provide elevated views of the surrounding region. It doesn’t take much to enjoy said views either, given the SkyRise’s entire setup process takes about a minute. Simply remove the weather-resistant cover, unfold the tent, and drop the affixed aluminum ladder. When in transit, the unit folds into itself, allowing for a low-profile when on the road. Just don’t forget to fill the tank.

Learn more