Post Up tent clings to hatch, turning Subaru into Pontiac Aztek
A fast solution for turning an SUV or wagon into a cozy camper van, the new Post Up tent from American startup 2nd Elmnt puts a spin on an idea we've seen before. Part Pontiac Aztek camper package, part pickup truck tent, the Post Up lets campers, road-trippers and drivers easily pull off the dirt or paved road, pitch up and get a comfortable night of sleep before getting back behind the wheel and continuing onward in the morning. It keeps them off the ground and (partially) out of the wind.
Many tent campers-turned-RVers have had the epiphany at some point, often during or after a particularly rough night of sleep disrupted by wind, sheeting rain, blowing sand, bumpy ground or myriad other problems common with tent camping. Why spend extra time setting up a shaky, flimsy tent on the cold, rocky ground when you just traveled to camp in a perfectly lovely, spacious motor vehicle just begging to transform into a hard-sided overnight shelter?
Such questions often lead tent campers to the RV market, but for 2nd Elmnt founder Bob Case they led instead to a solution that combines in-vehicle and tent camping into one above-ground experience. After realizing that ground tent camping wasn't all it was cracked up to be, Case looked first at buying a roof-top tent but ultimately decided to create his own lighter, more affordable vehicle tent that's also quicker to set up and break down – at least when you factor in mounting/dismounting a roof-top tent from the roof rack.
What Case has come up with isn't entirely original, as truck and SUV tents from companies like Napier and Rightline prove, but it does add a twist that ties into the late, great Aztek. Instead of extending the hatchback tent fabric right back down to the cold, rocky ground, the way other SUV tent makers do, 2nd Elmnt adds an extension platform out the hatchback. This platform allows modern hatchbacks to support the above-ground tent and sleeping area like the Aztek did with the drop-down half of its split tailgate. Useful as a drop-down or slide-out tailgate can be, not many hatchbacks offer such a feature (there's always the Rolls-Royce Cullinan), so 2nd Element creates its own to make its tent a level extension of the vehicle interior.
The Post Up platform is a three-segment plastic folder with telescoping legs that can adjust to reach the ground below. Pull the tent fabric back, and the platform becomes a table for cooking, preparing food or simply holding gear. It also provides some weather coverage over top the gear you'll likely have to remove from the car to make room for sleeping.
The first Post Up has been designed around the dimensions of the Subaru Outback. While you could just sleep in the Outback itself (this single-person micro-camper kit from Solid Word Worx is a particularly cool way to do so), the Post Up adds length for taller campers and improves ventilation while keeping a layer of no-see-um between the people sleeping inside and the blood-hungry pests outside trying desperately to feast on their flesh.
The tent itself is made from waterproofed 210-denier Oxford fabric and features taped double-hemmed seams. With the vehicle and platform serving as structural elements, the design eliminates the need for poles, helping with ease of setup. The platform/table folds into its own compact carry case, and the tent folds into a duffel bag for easy transport.
The Post Up is still in the prototype stages, and it definitely looks the part. The bungee cords on the rear wheels holding the fabric against the vehicle sides feels like a particularly unpolished solution. We'd definitely wait for 2nd Elmnt to iron out the wrinkles and show the production version before throwing money down, but those in a hurry can find the Post Up on Kickstarter for pledge levels starting at US$395, which 2nd Elmnt describes as $100 off the planned retail price.
The company says the initial version will work with the Outback, while a more universal model in the works will work for a wider variety of SUVs and crossovers.
Source: 2nd Elmnt