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This Wild Pop-Up Rooftop Camper Is Basically a Super-Light, Nearly-Indestructible Tent


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According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, an adult male grizzly bear can stand more than 10 feet tall when rearing up on its hind legs. We bring this up as a preemptory rebuttal to the question we know is coming: “Why on earth would anyone need a hard-shelled carbon fiber roof tent with impact-resistant windows?”

Admittedly, unless you’re planning on overlanding out into the Kodiak Archipelago, you’re not likely to come across any such honker specimens of Ursus arctos while car camping. But the Redtail Overland rooftop camper has plenty to offer even if you’re not taking on big bears.

While it lies flat as a rooftop tent when in transit mode, once stopped, the aluminum-bracketed carbon fiber box pops up into a secure, hard-sided shelter that can take on the worst that the wind and weather have to throw at it. A small diesel heater and a large fan help keep the interior comfortable — though you can also open hatches along the sides for maximum airflow when the weather is nice. (Don’t worry, there are screens.) A brace of solar panels provide up to 330 watts for the lithium battery, which feeds into USB ports and 110-volt outlets. There’s even dimmable LED lighting that’s controlled via an app.

Now, if you’re thinking that a rooftop tent that sounds like it was built by McLaren sounds expensive, well, it is. The smaller Redtail 90 that fits two adults costs $20,000, while the Redtail 110 that can fit two adults and two kids goes for $25,000. (Both are made to order, and available for pre-order now.) Still…can you really put a price on bear-proofing?

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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