Thule Purchases Tepui Outdoors, US-Based Roof Top Tent Company

Dec 21, 2018 at 10:04
by Mike Kazimer  
Thule are best known for their roof and hitch racks, and they've now added another company to their portfolio to complement those offerings – Tepui Outdoors Inc., whose product lineup is focused around roof top tents. The cost to acquire Tepui is reported to have been $9.5 million.

According to a press release, Tepui Outdoors Inc. has approximately 20 employees, with net sales for 2018 expected to be approximately $6.5 million USD. Evan Currid, one of the founders of Tepui, will now manage the roof top tent category for Thule.

“The overlanding category has been growing steadily over the last few years and we are very pleased to add this great assortment of high-quality roof top tents and accessories to our broad portfolio of products that cater to consumers who enjoy living an active life. When combined with the mutual philosophies on high quality, smart engineering and great design, as well as a shared passion for the outdoors, Tepui is a natural fit to our portfolio,” said Magnus Welander, CEO and President of the Thule group.


Photo: Tepui Outdoors



163 Comments

  • + 295
 My hater opinion of roof top tents: drive around 99% of the time not using this gigantic, heavy and non-aerodynamic tent on your roof. Spend an extra 30 min setting this tent up compared to any other regular camp setup, after you find a level piece of land to park your vehicle. Want to leave camp with your vehicle? Well, make sure you pack away all your bedding and fold up the entire tent again, even if you're just running to town quickly. If it rains, you better have some spare time, because you're leaving your vehicle parked somewhere with the tent all set up so it can dry out. Where is the convenience or even benefit over a $250 REI tent? At least you look super cool driving to your office job everyday with your rad tent on your roof....
  • + 39
 Haha I feel the same way about all your points
  • + 30
 This times a million. These things are so dumb.
  • + 10
 I also don't see the point of rooftop tents.
  • - 1
 Pinkbike being a cycling specific website.... I just ride my bike to do my running around once camp is setup.
  • + 29
 Roof top tents are fun when paired with overland trailers...with my set up i can leave and go to town anytime i want and leave all my gear ready to rock...that being said, yes i agree with all your points
  • + 5
 THIS so hard! Also i would bet the MPG loss over a couple years would offset any decent tent cost or even pay for airbnb's. Parking lot warriors for sure.
  • + 62
 Some counter points:
Never have to worry about sleeping on hard ground, your bedding is always ready to go folded up with the tent, they breathe much better and dont get all nasty wet inside, it feels secure being up high, and it's just plain fun! If you need to justify the purchase, then it's not for you! Just like mountain bikes!! LOL. I use both types of tents depending on the trip, both have their advantages. And as far as economy goes, well it's all about smiles per gallon! Plus its not like our 7k lb rigs with 33" stickies are getting good mileage anyways lol.

This message was brought to you by the RTT Gang
  • - 15
 @luke-miller: There's a green arrow you can use to say that using ten fewer words!
  • - 22
flag vikb (Dec 21, 2018 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 RTT - the dumbest idea I've heard off right after e-bikes.
  • + 19
 @Trouterspace: The point is broadcasting how cool your weekends are to everyone sitting in traffic with you.
  • + 2
 @cyrways: if MPG is your concern then it isn't for you! Like running is a more affordable way to stay in shape but not nearly as fun as our $5,000 mtbs I'd argue. Also nothing makes sense money wise when you're wheeling a $50,000 rig and beating the crap out of it lol. I can say my rtt has never been parked in a lot, but literally spends days on end camping in places where you dont see anyone the whole trip.
  • + 25
 yes, but this tent has a ladder
  • + 10
 @polarflux: the point is to go camping. Which you don't need a RTT for. You also dont need an expensive MTB to go ride but yet here we are.
  • + 36
 I have a different brand of roof tent, but: My roof tent is ready to sleep in as quick as i can walk around my truck once undoing 4 lashes and pull out a telescoping ladder. It tears down and is ready to drive away in 3 minutes. I’ve timed myself. Its never been too wet inside to pack it up even in sideways rain. My bedding and pillows stay put. I have some $30 leveling blocks that stack like legos and a tiny level inside my truck to level it. Its the easiest camping setup ive ever owned.
  • + 30
 Three words for the haters: ground-dwelling predators
  • + 4
 LOL! I concur... but I'm also a hypocrite because I ended up buying one of those roof awnings that I NEVER use. LOL@
  • + 1
 For awhile I thought they could be an interesting setup but then I saw them flapping around in the wind just like ordinary ground tents = no sleep. For the money, passssss
  • + 3
 Let's not forgot that you lose the ability to have a cargo box on top.
  • + 19
 These tents are almost as dumb as the people who complain about what others spend their money on!
  • - 3
 PREACH my man!
  • + 4
 @TerrapinBen: lol like all the grizzly we see in the lower 48...also- anything with limbs can easily climb the ladder/car/truck/whatever to much on you.
  • + 10
 Where do you get the idea that these take half an hour to set up? Its takes at least half as much time to set up and tear down as a regular tent. And they ate waaaaay more comfortable to sleep in than tents that go on the ground.
  • + 4
 Looks good for sleeping bear country
  • + 1
 @eriknasby: Well, I ride, camp, and hunt in grizzly country, so i guess I don't fully understand your comment? That being said, I do think the whole rooftop tent phenomenon is kinda strange, and I was really just giving a shoutout to PT and my internet friends I don't know if real life. Tipsy fuddled boozy groggy elevated prime did edit her.
  • + 5
 "At least you look super cool driving to your office job everyday with your rad tent on your roof...."

akshually...
  • + 4
 I’ve wanted one forever. Still want one.
  • + 2
 @bsedola: Got panniers or do you just buy a six pack.
  • + 9
 @TerrapinBen: And this whole time I thought bears and cats could climb shit.
  • + 3
 @CGalbreath: so true. a trailer makes all the difference. RTT and conventional tents are like comparing a tacoma to a Raptor. sure the tacoma can do the same stuff for the most part,.... but if you have the $, see the value, don't want to sleep on the ground then RTT all day every day
  • + 4
 @CGalbreath: these are cool if you have a trailer. However, why consider cost and practicality when you could just buy a sprinter? Freakin' poor people being practical and considering the cost-benefit analysis of their choices. Am I right?!
  • + 7
 I bought a Tepui tent in early November for a 3 week trip from LA to Bellingham and back down the coast to LA. Of course I took my bike and rode everywhere possible, I also did around 160km of hiking.

My ground tent is a Big Agnes Copper Spur that is super easy to setup and take down but I don't think the Tepui takes any more or less time to set up if you include inflating your air mattress. I generally don't use payed camp grounds if possible. I disperse camp in National Forest, BLM, any little secluded pullouts I can find, so having a RTT is WAY easier to find a spot than a ground tent. It is way warmer than a ground tent and way more comfortable to sleep in. I take my tent off when not using it, with two people it takes 5-10min.

I'm also an Australian living in LA that right now is back in Aus for xmas and I see about 20x more RTT on cars here than anywhere I have been in the States and no one in Aus calls them dumb or posers.

I do agree on the instagram wankery of most "overlanders" with more accessories than their car is worth only ever doing super easy fireroads.
  • + 2
 @lake-st: Fatbike with bikepacking bags. Pack works too. Six pack, is there any other way to ride?
  • + 2
 How else can people tell that you're into the outdoors tho?
  • + 3
 Gotta put it on your Tacoma.. I guess its kinda bear-proof. IMO A truck camper is the way to go. Bathroom, insulated walls, and drop jacks and you have a shuttle truck. Slides in in 10 minutes.
  • + 0
 @jarrod801: tacoma would blow a junk raptor away anytime
  • + 20
 @Jaguar83: These things are the ultimate Taco accessory. Deck yourself out in Arcteryx and you're literally the ultimate Sea to Sky mantwat.
  • + 1
 @riiz: Their easier to shoot from above
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: in what dept? resale value? Everything else, including MPG raptor ftw.
  • + 1
 @CGalbreath:
Stop with all the LOLs after every counter. It's not a big deal. Wrong crowd.
  • + 3
 @Mntneer: my Trooper costs $1500 and has taken me all over the place. A sprinter van wont go anywhere I want it to and at that point might as well buy a small RV lol
  • + 0
 @TerrapinBen: are you referring to bears or the haters?
  • + 3
 They could always partner with Bangbus.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: you're such a hater aren't you.
  • + 2
 @TerrapinBen: bears can climb! I prefer my pickup’s rigid camper shell
  • + 1
 @mkotowski1: you do know bears can climb trees ?
  • + 1
 @owlie: i prefer the camper shell on my Taco. Bears can climb and break car windows. Nowhere is safe.
  • + 1
 @farfednugen: you sir for the win. The trailer seems like the golden ticket or this whole operation seems ridiculous without it. You probably get better fuel mileage pulling a trailer than having this thing on your roof anyways at the end of the day. I've always thought this idea was neat but the idea of being stuck there with your tent and not being able to use your vehicle sure does seem lame.
  • + 5
 I ended up with a hard shell rooftop tent after looking at slide in campers. RTT was cheaper and easier to take off ( I have a block and tackle that lifts the thing off my roof and stores it on the roof of my garage). At camp it takes one minute to setup, and then you don’t have to inflate a mattress and pull out sleeping bags because it’s ready to go stored up there. You don’t need a level site because your truck straddles uneven ground and a couple of rocks or a log is all you need to level your truck better than trying to find a level tent site. My setup is like a two bedroom condo: wife and kid sleep in the tent and I sleep with the dog in the camper shell with an IKEA foam queen mattress. My complete setup time is 5 minutes for both sleeping areas and 15 minutes pack down time including all camping and biking gear. Hate on it all you want, but I’ve been able to do two week camping road trips with my family and dog with minimal fuss and better sleeping than any tent pad. I’ve spent enough time sleeping on the ground as a wildland firefighter to know the benefits of this setup.
  • + 5
 Many props to the founders, who just sold the company for the equivalent of decades of net earnings.
  • + 1
 @codypup: I believe this is the main goal of most products in this industry. Get something someone else is interested in and sell out. Seems this whole outdoor industry it's just one sell out to the next guy with the biggest stack of cash anymore. Anybody want to buy my pinkbike account I think this site has had its run. For sale LOL. Looks like today they can't even get people to sign up for a PB account for free
  • + 1
 tent has a ladder, conversation over
  • + 3
 @Trouterspace: Hyenas. It's got to be for protection from hyenas.
  • + 1
 @TerrapinBen: What, like a bear? Your car can't protect you from a bear, you think a tent on top of it will?
  • + 4
 Who the hell wants to climb down a ladder in the middle of the night to take a piss? It's bad enough getting out of a tent that's ground level.
  • + 8
 @AdustytrunkMonkey: why climb down? Open the zipper, pound your chest, yell like Tarzan, and do your thing. I think I want one now. . .
  • + 1
 @stinkbikelies: Absolutely, many well known outdoor companies started in my hometown, including Yakima. Only one of them is still independent and manufacturing here.
  • + 3
 @TOU93: Tried a tepui rtt on a 2 week road trip over the summer. Had it mounted low on the pickup bed so top of the rtt packed up was flush with the top of the cab, zero affect on gas mileage. Enjoyed the concept and obvious benefits compared to a ground tent, but was severely disappointed in tepui's product quality to the point we returned it after our trip.. Spend $1500 on a tent you shouldn't have to deal with a rock hard "mattress" covered in metal shavings from the factory, then find taped seems and stitching falling apart after 2 weeks of use... thinking of trying a GFC camper (or building my own). Combining a pickup canopy and hard shell rtt into one unit sounds pretty ideal.
  • + 3
 @Trouterspace: It's because you're safer from all the bears way up there! They would surely kill you if you slept on the ground!
  • + 2
 @loganskis: Don't use the new iPad PRO to level it, lol
  • + 1
 @RoverDover: better to be caught in a tree or on top of your car than the ground, give that bear a slug to the face when he pops up that ladder
  • + 0
 @TerrapinBen: YUP. It's always funny how people think predators are an irrational fear, then someone gets killed by a cougar in the same state and suddenly every camper is carrying a gun.
  • + 0
 @rrolly: I wouldn't do that because I want to get it from my gf in the morning! That kind of monkey business would cause problems...
  • + 1
 @stinkbikelies: you are aware that businesses do business... For money?
  • + 0
 Also useless if you have a 100 lb dog
  • + 0
 @jclnv: guilty... I have RTT on the Taco. Bikes mounted to the side. And the Atom is the best jacket ever made, no contest!
  • + 0
 @Mntneer: depends on how off-road you're going. You can put a lot of stress on a van driving over water bars as the vehicle twists. Logging companies use pick ups because they can flex a lot without destroying the body of the vehicle.
  • + 1
 @bsedola: sure I LOVE leaving my 5000$ bike locked unattended while I'm shopping or exploring a new town what can go wrong.
  • + 1
 @ssteve: I've never heard of such a thing
  • + 1
 @CGalbreath: just get a temt bug enough to fit a cot air air mattress..but being off ground is nice
  • + 61
 One of the founders was a former co-worker. When he told me he was leaving to start this gig, I thought, "Good luck slangin' $3000 tents, dude". Well, back to my TPS reports.
  • + 16
 "Yeah... I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday..."
  • + 12
 @aarontherider: guaranteed the tent guy worked Saturday’s and Sunday’s to get his shit up and running
  • + 3
 @mkotowski1: that went over your head like
  • + 0
 @makripper: yeah it’s a movie reference that doesn’t make sense
  • + 36
 Thule releases rooftop tents... 1 year later 1up usa releases a tiny home that nicer and cheaper.
  • + 1
 Sucks ass that the 1up hitch bike-rack is not legal in Europe....1up maybe find a way?
  • + 28
 in many ways, "overlanding" has become the third installment of the Broseidon Trilogy franchise:

episode 1 (late 90's, early 2000's): the honda rice burners

episode 2 (2005-2016): then turned vaping subaru kids & drifters

and finally

episode 3 (2016-present): now roof top tenting and trasheroos on residential streets, overlanding for instagram. Instalanding, if you will.
  • + 10
 instalanding. SHOTS FIRED
  • + 3
 @kmg0: i love seeing built 4runners and Tacomas that haven’t got a scratch on them
  • + 1
 @kmg0: what does that even mean
  • + 2
 @RoverDover: there's a guy near here that has a Lexus SUV all bro-dozered out. Thing is probably AWD. LOLLLLLLL
  • + 1
 @mkotowski1: I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir
  • + 1
 @RoverDover: If you don't have those desert pin stripes, you're not doing it right!
  • + 27
 This news is pretty in tents.
  • + 3
 Like a circus fire?
  • + 2
 That's how punk rockers camp...
  • + 2
 Had to go there eh bud?
  • + 24
 Wait so they acquired the whole company for the same price as like 5 tents?
  • + 1
 good joke
  • + 23
 You’d have to be a Thule to buy one of these tents.
  • + 13
 Truck canopies are still the way to go. No one knows you are inside, you have a roof rack, can store plenty of gear and still sleep comfortable and is better protection from predators and crazies when camping at wally's. Also you don't look like a goon on your way to Costco..
  • + 13
 Don't forgot, when you're too drunk to navigate that ladder to pee overnight and you urinate out the door, you get to walk down into your own piss puddle in the morning.
  • + 14
 These tents just got 15% more expensive with that logo on it...
  • + 56
 You have to be a tentist to afford one.
  • + 6
 @number44: I wish I'd thought of this.
  • + 13
 Pro tip: Bears can climb ladders. RTTs aren’t any safer than a conventional tent.
  • + 1
 This is such a lame justification for a RTT... If anything now you're just stuck with a more difficult escape. Pro tip #2: Look up a site called FITHOPS that sells perimeter alarms. It's a 126dB or 172dB bang that'll scare away bears before you even know they're there.
  • + 3
 @nuttypoolog: or just don’t eat in your tent
  • + 6
 Rooftop tents are not the solution for weekend warriors.

-Takes time to set up (I can't be f*cked)
-You can't stealth camp. "No officer, we're tenting..not camping.."

Vans, trucks and regular tents for the win!
  • + 7
 Buy a pickup with either a 6 foot or an 8 foot bed and put a shell on it and camp inside. Set up time zero!
  • + 6
 Good news for me because I could never figure out how to pronounce Tepui, but I can definitely pronounce Thool.
  • + 13
 You mean Tooly?
  • + 3
 TOOL-eh
  • + 2
 It's not pronounced "Thu-lay"?

Well don't i feel like a dumbass...
  • + 3
 I'm pretty sure these have been around for years mainly in the 4x4 offroading scene and safaris etc. I live in a city where 80% of land rover defenders have roof tents but I could guarantee they have never been used ????
  • + 5
 Full size Truck bed with a air mattress in the back. Chaching money in the bank.
  • + 5
 Funny thing is they just paid for the name as the same tents can be ordered from China directly with any name you choose.
  • + 1
 HA so very true.. Goes to show you want a good website and branding can do...
  • + 1
 Unfortunately, this.
  • + 2
 I don't understand why there is so much hate on these things. The price is most definitely absurd, but these tents provide a different type of experience. These are honestly not any more ridiculous than the Tentsile hammock tents, but the idea is cool. I personally use both hammocks and ground tents but I don't have any hate towards the RTT.
  • + 2
 So Tent gets wet,,, cause your camping, you pack it up and drive home.. 2 months later you open it to camp again and it is one giant brick of wet moldy tent.. Awesome unless ya got an airplane hanger at home to open it and dry it out..
  • + 2
 ...or just pop the tent out in your driveway for an hour to let it dry out
  • + 1
 @LukeBurgie: unless you live where it rains all winter...
  • + 3
 i have something far superior to a roof top tent. Its similar but you can set it up anywhere, don't have to take it down when you need to use your vehicle, and its costs about 10x less. it's called a tent!
  • + 2
 Got mine for $700. Memory foam mattress folds up with the tent, literally takes like 3 minutes to set up. Much faster setup than my ground tent I use for backpacking. The sides are completely water proof unless the windows are unzipped so I’ve Never had a single issue with water getting in.

Did I mention, faster setup, and infinitely more comfortable than ground tent?

Another bonus, because it’s so thick, it’s actually mildly insulated, so I can run a small heater from my solar panel in the tent and winter camp in total comfort.

Win win, win.
  • + 2
 There’s this hum and haw with items out of one’s perceived worth of cost. A RTT was one of those. Fantastic idea, as I have spent many nights in the cruiser over heated, freezing, baked by the mornig sun or wet with due. I have always enjoyed tenting on the ground, but the set up and ability to move to the next has superseded all. My wife and I purchased a rtt last summer, a hard top. This thing has a vent, and tough exterior. My upkeep is minimal, the materials are robust and I don’t have to do any extensive take down or set up while on the road. Even if I end up using this thing once a year after purchase, I know that I have a reliable RTT that will be ready to go. Biking and camping, I would rather spend the energy riding and having the best camp site than setting up camp. Setting up camp is a logistical event that occurs at home before the adventure begins. What’s the goal? What’s easy for you and what fits? RTT’s are becoming a luxury must have. What if we didn’t have social media. Would this RTT item be creating such a dollar buzz? Or would people organigically search them out. I love ours, it’s not the brand in the article but the concept can be made great.

Concepts are to each our own,

Nate
  • + 2
 I've owned 4 Thule products over the years. Two of them used. By far the best items were the older, used items (because they were better and obviously cheaper). Not a fan of Thule customer service or assistance, and if I hadn't gotten a ridiculous deal on my hitch rack I wouldn't buy it. Too many other comparable/better options for the pricing they give. Thought the haters make a couple of points to consider, I want a rtt at some point simply because it seems to make sense for me (and hopefully my wife) and what I'd like to do, but it won't be a Thule-pui.

That said, good for Tepui to cash in.
  • + 2
 The big thing I remember about Thule is them telling me they were sending parts and never sending them. Fuck you Thule.
  • + 1
 We always laugh when we see an overpriced, underpowered, Taco that already gets horrible mileage all "overland ready" running around town. Our Dodge has an eight foot camper, pulls a twelve foot cargo trailer, no lack of power, and still gets almost 20 mpg. Don't buy an RTT, buy a real truck!
  • + 1
 Camp at 12 hour at Sebring in Florida for INSA motorsports, lol.... Better yet, race the USA BMX Carolina Nationals in the Spring, lol... The fire ants & sand flies olny in his region is NO joke to deal with if your're seriously about racing.....
  • + 5
 Thule product are not what they used to be.
  • + 1
 im not in then market for one of these at all, but I was impressed with Thules build quality when my brother in law snapped a plastic catch on their Thule pushchair when he didn't release it properly... i thought it would be a goner because it was plastic, but it was just a small part that could be replaced and was screwed back in no problem
  • + 5
 Thule is headed the right way. Awesome tents.
  • + 4
 Mercedes sprinter conversion and forget it stand tall !!!
  • + 3
 $3k for tent or $80k+ for a Sprinter. Hmmmm.
  • + 4
 For people with more money than brains
  • + 1
 If you're going to sleep off the ground, a hammock is where it's at. Costs $30, sets up in 2 minutes, weighs 8 ounces, always level.
  • + 2
 How mouldy do these things get when you drive around with them on your truck all winter and not using them?
  • + 2
 Takes two people 5 minutes to take it off. But even if you did leave it on. No moisture gets in with the cover on.
  • + 1
 I’m down if they reduce the price,cause its overpriced for what you get. I’d like one to stay off wet ground and up above the larger animals.
  • + 1
 I got my Yakima Skyrise at REI garage sale for $700. Keep your eyes open.
  • + 1
 Yeah, then they sell company when they don't produce the profit, forecasted. I've been there done that under the Thule group umbrella.
  • + 1
 Van. Nobody knows whats in there, and you look like a total creep rapist. Wait hold on a second
  • + 1
 I personally think they are corny AF but then again, I still ride a 26" so what do I know?
  • + 2
 Can someone tell me how you pronounce "Thule?"
  • + 9
 tool-e
  • + 2
 @glynnondale: Thanks that's what I hear most often, but have heard every imaginable option lol
  • + 2
 doesn't rhyme with drool
  • + 1
 TOOL-eh
  • + 1
 @nohyphens: I've also heard many. I work at a Thule dealer, and that's how the rep pronounces it. I'm not saying he can't be wrong, but I trust his pronunciation.
  • + 2
 Are we still going to get Tippie's review on these at Sea Otter?
  • + 1
 Expensive purchase!!! Only reason they purchased this was to compete again Yakima lol
  • + 2
 Tacoma Bros be warned.
  • + 1
 If u got nothing nice to say don't say it at all u weeners
  • + 2
 Weeners, like ppl who like the band Ween?
  • + 3
 @lightsgetdimmer: Bonafide weener. I type this sitting here in my "taste the waste" shirt.
  • + 1
 Why not just sleeping in a car if it is big enough for it?
  • + 1
 I’d rather sleep in my Sprinter van!
  • + 1
 Wish I could afford one. Have to be the 4x4 version though.
  • + 1
 zachary blows
  • + 1
 So 'lifestyle' bro.
  • + 1
 Good luck to them both
  • - 1
 RTT are dumb. Loss of mpg can pay for a new mtb every 2 years with the driving done.
  • - 2
 The worst thing you could put on your car! Rooftop boxes, 2nd!
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