Las Vegas, NV – With its many similarities and connections to the off-roading scene, overlanding equipment has long been common to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the world’s biggest event for automotive aftermarket products. This year, a dedicated area brought together new vehicles and products for overlanding, reflecting the growing popularity in North America of the adventure travel lifestyle.
The Overland Experience was also a focus for seminars, keynote speeches and panel discussions on trends, business opportunities and challenges in the rapidly developing overlanding market.
“There’s tremendous growth in the manufacturing of products for overlanding,” said Mark Edmondson, director of sales for Taxa Outdoors, which was displaying its lightweight, low-impact Woolly Bear mobile habitat in the Overland Experience. “As more people are educated as to what is available to them for an overland experience, there is an increase in the activity. There are still a lot of people out there who have no idea that rooftop tents exist, so it’s important to get the message out there that the vehicle you currently own – whether it’s a pickup truck, a Jeep or a smaller SUV – is available for you to use as an outdoor sleeping environment or habitat.”
Taxa has teamed up with Thule on complementary products and as part of the SEMA display, a 2020 Woolly Bear was paired with a 1994 Land Cruiser boasting Thule’s ProBar Evos, 8.5ft Hideaway Rack Mount and Tepui Autana 4 rooftop tent. Thule adjustable load bars are an option on the Woolly Bear.
Meanwhile Napier Outdoors was showing the new Model 20560 rooftop tent that’ll hit the market in spring of 2020. Also displayed on a Toyota – this time a modified 4Runner – this tent sleeps two. A claimed one hour is required for initial setup, after which it should take only five minutes to ready it for each use. Inside is a thick, wall-to-wall foam mattress and outside there’s a rainfly for weather protection.
Elsewhere among the vehicles in the Overland Experience were four-season truck campers from Kelowna, BC-based Northern Lite. New at SEMA was a black and red ‘Black Diamond’ leatherette upholstery finish with ‘Greystokes’ white oak wood, rather than the usual Sandstone and Sapele.
“I think there are more and more people wanting to go to this style of camping, to get further and further off the grid,” commented Warren Darbyson, Canadian sales representative at Northern Lite.
Take a look at our Overland Experience gallery for more from the SEMA Show.