Tepui Tents headquarters tour

Meeting the Roof Top Tent experts from Santa Cruz, CA

Company Spotlight Gear
Team Tepui

It’s a small team of energetic folks who love mountain biking.

Roof Top Tents are all the rage these days with 4WD enthusiasts as they can go 4-wheelin’ all day, park and set up camp in minutes. It seems to be the perfect marriage between this old discipline of roaming the Serengeti and sleeping on the roof tent to stay away from wild animals.

Modern day adventurers, aka ‘overlanders’ roam the backroads and scenic landscapes, set up camp, play, tell stories, roam, rinse, repeat.

Tepui Tents Headquarters Tour

They pulled out a tent from inventory for Mtbr to play with.

It’s not cheap and it’s certainly not for everyone but it is intriguing. Yakima is entering the category with a couple new tents this spring so we felt it our duty to educate ourselves in the subject. We started by visiting the Tepui Tents headquarters in Santa Cruz, CA and getting the lowdown on the crew and the products they sell.

Setting up a Tepui Tent

John Griffith demonstrated how easy it was to setup and pack up a Tepui tent.

Our first question was: What’s the advantage of a Roof Top Tent over a conventional tent? Marketing Manager John Griffith gave a few starting points:

  • Fast and easy to set up.
  • For gadget freaks, it’s a new toy.
  • Better wind and rain protection than a conventional tent.
  • You are off the ground and away from any dangerous animals such as snakes and spiders.
  • Great for 4WD vehicles.
  • Better view and ventilation than camping on the ground.
  • Your tent will not collect as much dirt or sand as a conventional ground tent.
  • You do not need a flat spot to set up your tent. Rocks and mud are no longer a problem.
  • No extra cost for an air mattress, this tent comes with a high density foam mattress.
  • Less expensive than a caravan, trailer or motorhome and takes up less space!
  • You can leave the Tepui Roof Top tent on all year long so you will always have a campsite wherever and whenever you need one
  • Extra shade and/or privacy area with the annex or awning.
  • For kids, it’s a treehouse!
Setting up a Tepui Tent

Then the magic really happens when a folding ladder is pulled out and down to reveal a pop-up tent, similar to the way a pop-up book works.

We went home with a Kukenam SKY and we’ll be playing with it all season long and comparing it to the competition. But first we need to get it mounted to our trusty Tacoma.

Setting up a Tepui Tent

For curb appeal, the awning can be propped up with included wire supports. Not difficult but access is tough depending on how high the tent is mounted.

Setting up a Tepui Tent

The cover can be left hanging down, resting on the car or rolled up for better appearance.

Setting up a Tepui Tent

The trickiest part of packing up the tent is closing the zipper without catching any of the lining or rain shield.

Kukenam SKY

The 3-man Kukenam SKY Roof Top Tent comes with quick release clips on the rain fly and 2 operational SKY panels in the roof. Both panels are made from the same quality 260g ventilate coated canvas as the standard Kukenam, including no-see-um mosquito netting and fully waterproof YKK zippers in case you need to close the hatch for an unexpected rain storm.

Tepui Tents Headquarters Tour

We went home with a Kukenam SKY to play with.

Kukenam SKY Specifications
  • Price: $1395
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3
  • Seasons: 4-season
  • Size (Closed): 56″ x 48″ x 12″ (WxLxH)
  • Size (Open): 56″ x 96″ x 52″ (WxLxH)
  • Sleeping Footprint: 56″ x 96″ (WxL)
  • Canopy Fabric: 260 g Polyester Cotton; 600D ripstop fabric with waterproof ventilate coating; UV and mold resistant
  • Mattress: High Density 2-1/2″ foam with cotton cover
  • Travel Cover Material: 1000g Heavy Duty PVC
  • Weight: 130 lbs
  • Internal Frame: 5/8″ aluminum tube
  • Base Construction: Aluminum with insulated fiberglass sheet
  • Ladder Construction: 8ft-6in Telescoping Aluminum Ladder
Tepui Tents Headquarters Tour

Tepui owners get together once a year in Hollister, CA for a few days of wheelin, music, beer, and good food.

It’s an interesting category of products now that may be relevant to mountain biking and accessing the landscape. Certainly it fits the lifestyle of those mountain bikers who love to camp and explore the land as much as they love to ride.

For more information, visit tepuitents.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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