BMW Designworks and North Face design a rugged, lightweight camper

9 January 2019 - Autoblog

BMW Designworks and North Face design a rugged, lightweight camper

It uses waterproof fabric that also lets air through

In the midst of endless CES news about autonomy, connectivity and infotainment, it's refreshing to get news that has nothing to do with any of that. Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW, and North Face designed a nifty new camper. Forget screens and networks, the focus of this trailer is a a new, breathable, waterproof fabric from North Face called Futurelight. It's similar to standbys such as Gore-tex, but the company claims that it's offers better breathability and water resistance thanks to nano-sized openings. These openings come from the "Nanospinning" process used to create the fabric's fibers.

BMW says the camper design team drew inspiration from the BMW  GINA concept of 2008 that had a body made of fabric stretched over a frame. In the case of this camper, the Futurelight fabric is stretched across a geodesic dome frame. Looking like a tent on wheels, it's not quite as stunning as that curvaceous convertible concept. But it does have a chunky, rugged look that should be appealing to outdoorsy folks. The fabric construction should make it very lightweight, too, meaning almost any car could tow it. Plus, that airy fabric would make it comfortable in warm climates. Something more insulated would probably be preferred for cold locations, though, which leaves us wondering why it's pictured surrounded by snow.

You won't be able to take this camper to any sort of climate anytime soon, though. It's purely a design concept. But the Futurelight fabric it's made of will be introduced on new North Face gear this year. The company didn't say specifically which products, but the company does make tents, so you might be able to get a wheel-free facsimile of this in the near future.

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