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Yakima SkyRise raises the roof on car-top tent camping, gets shady for tailgating

yakima skyrise vehicle roof top tent camper
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Coming next spring to a campsite near you is the new Yakima SkyRise roof-top tent. Available in two sizes, the SkyRise will sleep up to three people on the included foam mattress. Underneath the water shedding rain fly are large mesh panels, making cloudless nights cool, breezy and perfect for star gazing.

It installs without tools onto their Base Rack system, and locks into place using their standard key cores, so you can match them to the rest of your Yakima equipment and use a single key…

yakima skyrise vehicle roof top tent camper

Both sizes use a lightweight, breathable 210D nylon tent body that’s certified fire-resistant and a 210D nylon rainfly with waterproof PU coating. It pops open, then is raised using spring steel rainfly poles. Inside is a 2.5-inch high-density foam mattress with waterproof bottom. They install tool-free onto any cross bar system, Yakima or otherwise. We’ll get more details about it’s operation at Interbike next week, but here’s the specs:

SkyRise Medium

  • Dimensions: 56” x 96” x 48” H (expanded); 56” x 48” x 12” (folded)
  • Weight: 90 lbs.
  • Sleeps 3 adults
  • MSRP: $1,349
  • Available: Spring 2017

SkyRise Small

  • Dimensions: 48” x 84” x 42” H (expanded); 48” x 42” x 12” (folded)
  • Weight: 75 lbs.
  • Sleeps 2 adults
  • MSRP: $999
  • Available: Spring 2017

Yakima Slim Shady vehicle roof-mounted roll out shade awning

If you’re just looking to sit out in the open and have a little shade (or rain blockage), the new Slim Shady is a roof-mounted, roll out awning. It’s thin, mounting to the very edge of the base rack so as not to take up space for roof boxes, bikes, etc. Rolled out it provides 36 square feet of coverage (6.5′ x 6.5′), supported by two collapsible prop poles and guy-lines. It, too, has tool free installation and can use Yakima’s locking mounts. Retail is $269, weight is 20lbs, available Spring 2017.

Yakima.com

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36 Comments
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anonymous
anonymous
6 years ago

That’s neat but what does it have to do with bikes?

Jesse R
Jesse R
6 years ago
Reply to  anonymous

Bikes and camping go together!

Scotty
Scotty
6 years ago
Reply to  Jesse R

Except it leaves no room for your bike trays.

Ck
Ck
6 years ago
Reply to  Scotty

They make these fantastic things called trailer hitches, and at some point, some crazy person thought “Hey, why don’t I make a bike rack for that thingy?!” And the rest was history.

Scotty
Scotty
6 years ago

isn’t this just a Tepui Tent?

Mike Bechanic
Mike Bechanic
6 years ago
Reply to  Scotty

No one is claiming this is a BOLD NEW INVENTION. Look at price comparisons between the two brands and you’ll figure out what’s newsworthy about this.

bearcol
bearcol
6 years ago
Reply to  Scotty

I owned a TJM. I was told be the guy I bought it from that most if not all RTT’s are coming out of the same factory in China. What you pay for is the specific design you like and the brand name, other than that, they are all the same.

elvis
elvis
6 years ago

I’m kinda naive about these sort of things but does this impact the amount of stuff you’re allowed to have on your roof? Ex. my subbie has a limit of 60 or 75# (I think) but maybe that’s really for traveling at highway speeds vs. parked.

D Kidd
D Kidd
6 years ago
Reply to  elvis

This is accurate, it is a driving weight vs parked. Most of the roof top tents are fine to drive with weight wise unless you have a super small car

Skirepguy
Skirepguy
6 years ago
Reply to  D Kidd

So not using the factory bars, and upgrading to yakima bars: Sky Box21 w 15-18 or of skis in it, needless to say, I wouldn’t worry about the weight of the tent. But I would be sure to upgrades to the yakima bars and adapters for the Outback factory rails.

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

Can someone tell me what the point of these is? How are they better than a much less expensive tent on the ground?

Kimberly
Kimberly
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

No insects or dangerous animals to start.

Frank
Frank
6 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly

Every tent has screens to keep insects out. And what dangerous animals? So this is exclusively for use in Alaska, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Or maybe for next time I drive to the Serengeti of Africa?

Timothy M.
Timothy M.
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Ever camp for several days in the rain? The ground is a real bummer when its wet.

postophetero
postophetero
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

“…for next time I drive to the Serengeti…” That Frank, was awesome lol!

David
David
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

They are not on the ground.

DJ
DJ
6 years ago

That tent will turn a nature break into a true adventure in the middle of the night.

Artisart
Artisart
6 years ago

Everyone knows adventures only happen when you’re a few feet off the ground. Same with camping… or, err, Enduro-to-car-Afixed-gear… (wait for it) Air-o camping.

The new new

RC Speed
RC Speed
6 years ago

one thing no one mentions with these is you will need to buy a rack that can hold the weight of 2 adults which most standard bars do not…I wonder if Yakima offers a heavy duty bar?

Scott
Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  RC Speed

So what you are saying is that Yakima would release a product, design it to be used with its own base rack, yet not actually test it to ensure it can hold the weight of 2-3 adults?

DRC
DRC
6 years ago
Reply to  RC Speed

That’s always been my main question with these. I thought the roof racks were only made to carry maybe 200 lbs. How many cross bars do I need to support a 90 lb tent and 350 lbs of humans??

SOBO
SOBO
6 years ago

The tent is cool and I have been intrigued by these roof topper tents but really a traditional tent would be more convenient and practical. The “Slim Shady” on the other hand is FANTASTIC and perfect for getting out of the sun/elements at the trailhead. I have had a hard time finding one that is not specific to SUV/Jeep/Trucks. I will order one immediately when they become available!

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

I was told by a Yakima tech rep that the max weight listed for your vehicle in your owners manual or in Yakima’s fit guide is your max “dynamic load” for roof/ bar. So long as your vehicles max “dynamic load” isn’t exceeded, in this case 75-90lbs. while driving, you should be fine when you’re camping with the weight at a much higher “static load”. Also its true you can’t have this and a bike tray up on the roof but that’s what hitch mounts are for.

Jason
Jason
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Well dug a little deeper on Yakima’s website. Hopefully a Yakima rep can shine some light on these questions. http://yakima.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/344

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago

Oztent.

End of story.

Rako
Rako
6 years ago

SlimShady for TT warm ups. FTW

Phil_UK
Phil_UK
6 years ago

For those all-too familiar times when you pull up to camp for the night and have enough room for your car and half your tent but not enough room for your car and a whole tent. How have we managed without this till now?

silverlining
silverlining
6 years ago

Biggest drawback to a rtt is wind. Staking down a traditional tent can be a chore, but a properly anchored ground tent is pretty sturdy. Rooftop tents are more exposed to wind forces and not all of them handle buffeting equally. Another factor is where you park. Not having a very level spot for your vehicle can make for a poor sleeping experience too. I like rtt, but you do have a whole different set of pros/cons to consider. Kudos though to Yakima for jumping in to a niche that is currently a bit pricey for what you get and offering a cheaper alternative.

kt
kt
6 years ago

For what it’s worth, I’ve camped in my Tepui in 60+ mph winds without any problems. Yeah, finding even ground so the tent is level is another factor to consider, but so is finding flat/non-rocky ground for ground tents. Everything has it’s perks and drawbacks.

I’ve taken my RTT to MTB races far and wide, and I can honestly say it’s one of the better investments I’ve made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a backpacker who likes to count grams, but if I have the ability to take it all with me, why sacrifice comfort? If I sleep well, I’ll perform well. And you’re damn right I’m taking it to Grinduro.

Above all, kudos to Yakima for adding credibility to the roof top tent category. Face it, it’s no longer just an overlanding thing and it’s here to stay.

Spangley
Spangley
6 years ago

Meh, car camping is the lamest camping. This seems more suited to the outdoorsman who looks to have a lot of cool stuff with them at all times

Matt
Matt
6 years ago
Reply to  Spangley

What’s lame about doing a multi-day road trip with a RTT? Less time setting up and taking down a tent means more time riding.

Austen Bickford
6 years ago

I run a Tepui Ayer on my truck topper using standard Yakima towers and load bars with no issue at all! Holds 2 humans and 2 70 lb dogs without issue!

pants and jacket
6 years ago

I bought a used cartoptent.com (now tepui) and it was the best $500 I have ever spent on camping. Better mattress, better breeze, and it stays darker inside longer.

Yes, taking a piss is an adventure, however, it’s the same way in a normal tent too, in that you have to get up and go outside.

To that end, I don’t even need to go outside…I made what amounts to something that looks like beer bong (but it’s for my beer piss) that sticks outside the little flap that Velcros over the folding/hinge area, and everything is aces. I didn’t even need to get out of my sleeping bag last trip.

Do it, you wont regret it. Haters just don’t know.

Mike Wilcox
6 years ago

for those that believe these tents belong in the seregenti. I camp in Ga. It’s great looking down from my rtt at moma bear. a ground based tent I would have looking up at her.

Mike Wilcox
6 years ago

my facebook photo probably isn’t coming thru. if it does you’ll see a RTT mounted on a thule rack system on top of a military surplus trailer. This tent held my wife and one dog quite well. my only about my setup was not with the tent but rather the pivot point of the trailer axle. I have yakima rack system mounted on top of my 240D.

Kevin Foley
5 years ago

I agree with the anti-Hater’s sentiment. Let’s be clear on providing purposeful, critical reviews, please. To me this item appears to be:
* not a hard-core camping tent…..it’s not pretending to be and I dig it
* not a very spacious solution to car-camping….it isn’t, the rtt is for sleeping
* it is, however, a very good solution to specific sports/activities and scenarios like an
* overnight stay at a trail-head or rally point like a:
* long, tough mountain-bike event where a hotel/motel is either $$ or impractical
* long-distance cyclocross, road bike (randonneuring) or a ton of others (?surfing?kayaking?)

I’m a long-distance cyclist and have to start rides from places where the only other option is a motel, hotel or driving a long distance to the early a.m. or sometimes early evening start which may end very late at night 40 or 96 hours later, notably when I’m super-exhausted and shouldn’t be driving afterwards and also can’t stand the thought of being uncomfortable sleeping in my vehicle and also need all the space I can get in order to store my gear.

I love this rtt concept, and sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to unpack/cram all my damp camping junk when the real event is not true “camping”. That being said, I’ve camped in places where the raccoons outnumber the humans and I’ve dealt with it but would’ve liked to have had this system in the more congested campgrounds and my focus was on the hikes and campfire and not the tent. Also, I like the idea of camping in a beachside locale and listening to the ocean and not worrying about pitching my tent after a long drive. I like this solution. The rtt seems pricey, but so is a really nice tent! It’s just a solution, not a requirement! I think this is great for the camping cyclist. Can anyone provide any other solutions? Also, would anyone not recommend putting bikes or other gear on top (e.g. a kayak)? I will definitely be looking into the load distribution tests or acceptable configurations that Yakima may have as I don’t want to buckle the roof or warp/damage the rails. I would like to know if the Yakima after-market solution rail systems are stronger than the stock rails for specific cars, like a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV; Yakima seems to have done their initial testing on these compact SUVs, and I’m definitely thinking of the RAV-Yakima RTT and tail-hitch bike rack combination for my obsessions!
Thank you

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