Why spend hours popping a tent in the wilderness when you can just drive one there?
That’s the question that BMW and The North Face have teamed up to answer. As part of a special collaboration that blends the German automaker’s vehicular know-how with the outdoor company’s passion for camping, the two behemoths have created a new kind of camping hybrid—the tent on wheels. The co-branded concept debuted at CES, according to Jalopnik, and was crafted to showcase a new textile called FutureLight, which is both waterproof and breathable, making it a competitor (or, some might say, replacement) to the longtime industry go-to Gore-Tex.
“Right now, the expectation from a waterproof product is something loud, crunchy, muggy, and unpackable. With FutureLight we can theoretically use the technology to make anything breathable, waterproof, and, for the first time, comfortable,” said Scott Mellin, global general manager of mountain sports at The North Face, in a release.
If the new material lives up to that promise, FutureLight seems well-suited for the camping life. The lightweight tent sits atop two airless tires and can easily be carted behind most vehicles up a mountain, down to the beach, or wherever you like to sleep under the stars. The FutureLight fabric, which stretches over the tent’s carbon skeleton, is woven in a way that allows heat and humidity (your breath and body heat) to exit while simultaneously repelling rain. The tent provides enough interior room to accommodate a two-person bed and features a window for gazing at nature. The spheroid design is elegant, outdoorsy and, overall, pretty damn cool.
“We combined both physical and digital worlds to showcase this material, ensuring the holistic vision of the brand was clearly communicated, while giving people a real ‘hands-on’ experience,” Laura Robin, the LA studio director of BMW’s Designworks, said in the release.
Of course, that “hands-on” experience is as far as it goes for the to-go tent—at least for now. BMW and The North Face have no current plans to bring the concept to market. So if you find yourself yearning for a good old-fashioned camper experience, you might just have to settle for a hard top: The Romotow Trailer’s swiveling outdoor patio not only makes campers cool again—it will also be available in 2020.