BMW’s New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure
Somebody please tell BMW to build this thing!by Kirby Garlitos, on
BMW’s Designworks division is showcasing its latest project at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Developed together with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept is called the Futurelight Camper, and it’s essentially a futuristic camping tent that traces its roots to the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model Concept that the German automaker unveiled in 2008. If anything, the Futurelight Camper Concept proves that just because camping doesn’t necessarily extend to being a high-tech affair, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the comfort of a camping tent that comes with a geodesic-dome frame made from carbon fiber and a high-tech fabric that comes from a process called Nanospinning technology. Unfortunately, it looks like the Futurelight Camper Concept is going to remain a concept for the time being.
2019 BMW Camperlight Concept
Somewhere between getting awed at the concept and wondering whether it could hit production, it struck me how there aren’t that many high-tech camp tents around. It would seem like the perfect space for technology to flourish, especially in a time where materials like carbon fiber have become prevalent in so many sectors of consumerism.
The BMW Futurelight Camper Concept hopes to address that, or at least I hope it addresses it. BMW Designworks has always come up aces with its creations, and even if this isn’t the most audacious concept it’s done, it speaks to the kind of talent and ingenuity these people have.
The Futurelight Camper is, for all intents and purposes, a mobile camp house that’s propped up on a carbon fiber frame with two enormous wheels on each side.
The concept’s layout suggests that it could be towed by a car or an SUV — perhaps something like the BMW X5 or X6? — and then set up to serve as an outdoors living area. It’s like a high-tech tent on wheels that features materials that have never been used in this space before.
This is where The North Face comes in. See, the outdoor clothing company has a material called Futurelight fabric that’s created using Nanospinning technology. Without sounding like someone spitting out corporate jargon, the process of nanospinning involves creating Nano-sized holes in fabric. These holes are so small that you probably won’t even see them with a magnifying glass. But these holes, at least according to The North Face, creates unrivaled porosity while still maintaining complete waterproof qualities. In other words, air can move through the material but water can’t. Pretty cool, right?
The exterior of the Futurelight Camper Concept is wrapped in this high-tech material.
Sure, there’s a geodesic-dome frame that’s responsible for the physical makeup of the concept, but that frame is wrapped in The North Face’s patented material, stretched out to cover the entire frame.
Step inside the concept, and you’ll be greeted by a well-appointed living quarter that includes a bench bed that stretches the length of the frame and a small desk on the opposite corner. A pair of triangular windows are located on the rear section of the concept, just above the two massive set of snow tires. It’s unclear what kind of material was used on the floor of the Futurelight Camper, but it looks like there’s enough space to accommodate a roll-up insulated cot. All told, the concept has enough space for at least two people, though more people could fit in there if need be.
It’s unclear if BMW — or The North Face, for that matter — has any plans of actually putting the Futurelight Camper into production. It’s not like the concept needs a material that hasn’t been invented yet. The North Face has said that it plans to use the material on its products in time for its Fall 2019 line. Granted, I understand the difference between using it on shirts and jackets as opposed to campers; I think there’s a future where we can see the Futurelight Camper become a real thing. When that future is going to be is the big question. For now, though, the BMW Futurelight Camper Concept takes its rightful place at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Here’s to hoping that it eventually finds its way into actual campsites in the near future.
Read our full review on the 2008 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model.