Hanging bed turns 2-door Jeep Wrangler into a no-limits micro RV
The classic two-door Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most capable, nimble off-road vehicles on the planet, but it's not generally comfortable for overnighters in the wild. Colorado company Oryx Platform solves that problem in the simplest, most direct way possible. Its sleeper platform hangs off the Wrangler's roll cage and turns the 4x4 into a tiny but cozy bunk-room for driver and passenger. And it costs well less than a hardshell rooftop tent.
The two-door Wrangler remains the crown jewel of the Jeep lineup for hardcore off-road enthusiasts and Jeep traditionalists. But the same small wheelbase that makes it an excellent off-roader means less interior space and not enough room for most in-vehicle camping solutions.
Almost all the Jeep camper solutions we've covered over the years — from the Austrian-designed chassis-mount Action Camper, to the body-extending American Safari JXL, to the RoverKing topper — are designed for either the four-door Wrangler Unlimited or the Gladiator pickup, which is only offered as a four-door. Even pop-up sleeper roofs like the Ursa Minor J30 and Hatchet are built for the Unlimited, not the two-door. The only other camper system we can recall being advertised as compatible with the two-door Wrangler is the Egoe Nestbox.
Oryx Platform has its own idea of how a two-door Wrangler can become a proper tiny sleeper RV. Not to be confused with Germany's Oryx Solutions, a broader vehicle-camping gear company that offers in-vehicle Wrangler camper solutions of its own (for the Unlimited), Oryx Platform was founded on the idea that you can sleep inside a two-door.
Oryx's design is as simple an in-vehicle camping solution as you'll find. With the rear seats removed, the dual-panel platform stores over the rear load area, leaving cargo space below. A pulley cord with stirrup serves as an assisted lift mechanism, raising the entire assembly up so the user can hold it there with a foot while folding the front seats back with two hands. This turns a two-person task into a single-person task. With the seats dropped out of the way, the combination of swing linkages and rail slides moves the Oryx top panel smoothly into place in front of the rear base panel.
With a few clips of carabiners, the platform hangs comfortably off the Wrangler's roll cage after roughly a minute of setup time. The two-piece 3-in foam mattress deploys into place at the same time as the platform, but campers could also use the platform with their own sleeping pads or sleeping bags.
The Oryx bed is about as far from glamping luxury as you can get and space is at a premium. The bed stretches clean from the rear window to the dashboard to achieve 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) of length to go along with enough width for two friendly campers. That's just over the average US adult male height of 5 feet 9 in (175 cm) and will be quite cozy for most men, requiring some to contort or hang their head off the end of the bed a little bit.
If Oryx were to add bed length by raising the platform over the steering wheel and extending it all the way to the windshield, it would really take a bite out of the 18 inches (45.7 cm) of headroom that the company admits isn't exactly a whole lot. It does say it's enough to sleep, roll over, stretch and maybe even "get creative" with a significant other — though the remote campsite that said SOs were able to track down in their Wrangler will probably be more conducive to "creative" possibilities.
Campers can sleep under the stars with the roof off, adding the protection of the roof when things get cold, windy or rainy. To make getting up onto the bed easy with or without the roof, Oryx adds a strut-assisted hatch entry over the driver's seat. Campers can lift half the sleeping platform to the side and use the seat to climb up onto the bed. They can also use the seat to put shoes on or sit and have a drink without having to break the whole bed down.
An Oryx-equipped Jeep won't be the comfiest 4x4 micro-RV out there, but it will very likely be the most capable multi-day adventure vehicle around. Not only does it maintain the two-door Wrangler's prized short wheelbase, it adds minimal weight and keeps the roof and load floor open for carrying camping gear, luggage and sports equipment. It doesn't entail the top-heavy center-of-gravity lift that comes with a rooftop tent (RTT) and deploys more quickly than many RTTs.
The Oryx Premium with all the features described plus flannel sheets is available for $1,299 for 2007 to 2017 JK Wrangler models. Oryx also advertises simpler $650 Base and $1,099 Plus models, but those currently show up as "out of stock" on its web store. The Plus model includes the fully functioning platform without the mattresses and sheets, while the Base model is just a simple two-panel platform without features like the driver-seat hatch, lift-assist mechanism or rail-based deployment.
Next up, Oryx has a JL Wrangler Unlimited model in beta testing and additional Wrangler models in its sights for further down the line.
The video runs quickly through the Oryx Platform setup and shows how it can double as a breezy near-rooftop chaise lounge.
Source: Oryx Platform