Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent puts glam in glamping

Comfortable, light weight, lower cost lodging for your car or truck

Gear Interbike

Interbike Mtbr

A Toyota Rav4 is the sample vehicle used. Yakima believes in modular size where a smaller, expandable vehicle is used to fit life's adventures instead of a massive SUV for everyday use.

Rather than a massive SUV, Yakima used a mid-size Toyota Rav4 as the demo vehicle to show Mtbr why it believes a smaller, “expandable” vehicle is the optimum way to handle life’s adventures.

Rooftop tents have captured the attention of mountain bikers. They allow adventurers access to far away trails, and establish a base of riding operations quickly. Securely attached to a rack that is positioned on the roof of a truck or car, these tents are space and time efficient. Set up is quick. Basically just unfold, lower the ladder, and climb in.

You’ll also be sleeping off the cold, rough ground, with less dirt, bugs, and whatever else climbing into your tent. You’ll also likely get a better view of your surroundings thanks to the top-of-car perch.

Imagine the panoramic views that await you. Even a Vegas convention hall looks good from up here.

Imagine the panoramic views that await. Even a Las Vegas convention hall looks good from up here.

The fact that Yakima has entered this category, validates its growth and relevance to a wider audience. But instead of just copying what others have done, the company took some risks by putting their own spin on the product. They chose to go lighter and more affordable, with two systems that retain the camping tent look. They also utilized their knowledge of roof systems with better integration and locking.

Other notable features include a rugged 210d nylon tent body that is certified fire-resistant and breathable, a mesh panel that improves ventilation and your views, and a waterproof rain-fly with PU coating supported by spring steel poles. There’s also a 2.5” high-density mattress with waterproof bottom that provides space-efficient comfort. Tool-free installation with and SKS (Single Key System) lock core integration are designed in as well.

The SkyRise is displayed here all folded up on a Toyota pickup. It can be left up on the roof or taken down with the 2-person tent weighing in at only 70 lbs.

The SkyRise is displayed here in folded up form. It can be left on the roof or taken down, with the 2-person tent weighing a claimed 95 pounds.

SkyRise Medium
  • Dimensions: 56” x 96” x 48” H (expanded); 56” x 48” x 12” (folded)
  • Weight: 105 pounds
  • Sleeps 3 adults
  • Price: $1349
  • Available: Spring 2017
Secure, tool-free installation is key integration feature of the SkyRise.

Secure, tool-free installation is a key integration feature of the SkyRise.

SkyRise Small
  • Dimensions: 48” x 84” x 42” H (expanded); 48” x 42” x 12” (folded)
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Sleeps 2 adults
  • Price: $999
  • Available: Spring 2017

Will mountain bikers adopt the rooftop tent lifestyle? Based on our early queries, the answer is yes. It is more financially accessible then the Sprinter van life, yet still makes for a highly comfortable glamping experience.

If you are new to this category, a good summary of popular options has been compiled by Popular Mechanics.

This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2016 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.

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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  • Steve says:

    I agree with the previous comment. If you have to pack up your rooftop tent to leave the campsite each day, it isnt very useful. Im also wondering about the rooftop load limits for most vehicles? If the tent weighs 75-100lbs, and you add two to three people +some gear (another at least 300-500lbs) im pretty sure your roof rails/roof arent going to like it too much. Most rooftop rail ratings are in the 150lb range (unless you have some aftermarket rails designed for heavier loads)

  • Rob says:

    This is perfect for those far away races where you have to spend a nite. RTT solves the problem of no camping at race site, as you are still allowed to sleep in car, RV, in the parking lot. This is much cheaper than an RV, and much more comfortable than sleeping in the car.

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