Gear that can sustain the elements is critical when camping. Call me a skeptic (because I usually am), but I get cross-eyed when manufacturers make bold claims about their product lines. These days, every supplier resorts to the same marketing spiel: top-grade raw materials, superior construction, highest-quality product at the best price, easy setup and tear down, blah, blah, blah. I’m quick to pick apart such claims and call BS but with Rightline Gear, I simply can’t.
Up to the Challenge
We camp in Florida during all four seasons but particularly enjoy the height of summer. Surprising, I know, since it’s a time when Mother Nature appears to be raging with PMS. But poisonous reptiles, mounds of fire ants, an endless supply of mosquitoes, extreme temperatures, forceful winds, heavy afternoon thunderstorms, and year after year of predictably active hurricane seasons haven’t deterred us yet. In large part because of our versatile Rightline setup.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Rightline Gear is well-situated to tackle outdoor adventure gear. And with a self-proclaimed, blue-collar work ethic and all-hands-on-deck attitude, this company isn’t afraid to get a little dirty testing and improving that gear.
What kinda gear are we talking?
Manufacturing car top carriers since 1997, Rightline has had plenty of time to innovate on a classic item—and innovate it has. With luggage carriers that attach both on top of and at the rear of the vehicle, customers can choose a size and design that fits their lifestyle best.
Better yet, every single luggage carrier offered by Rightline can be used with or without a roof rack, making gear transport a breeze for both seasoned and uncommon travelers.
In 2003, Rightline entered the truck tent game, helping to push the trend of next-level camping forward. Stylish, safe, and incredibly easy to set up, Rightline Truck Tents turn any spot into a comfortable camping site. Featuring a floorless design, Rightline’s truck bed tent completely covers the tailgate of the truck, allowing you to use every inch of available space. And complementing the tent is the company’s Truck Bed Air Mattress, which sits snugly between the wheel wells and fits all size bed lengths by utilizing tailgate space on shorter truck models.
No truck? No problem. Like we said, Rightline Gear is interested in innovating, so they weren’t about to exclude a huge chunk of the auto market—SUVs and crossovers. The Rightline Gear SUV Tent connects to the back of any vehicle that sports a rear hatch or barn doors. Providing 64 sq ft of space, the SUV Tent also allows easy access to the rear of the vehicle. Fold those seats down and you’ve nearly doubled your sleeping area.
For those camping without a utility vehicle of any kind, Rightline Gear provides water-resistant pop-up tents that setup in one minute’s time with no poles and no hassle. Sleeping two adults, the tent folds down to a 25” diameter circle that’s small enough to toss in the car kit and keep on hand.
Let me provide some colorful perspective. A couple years ago, we were stuck in a freak torrential downpour near Fernadina Beach, Florida. Two stressed adults, a very unhappy 18-month-old toddler, and one really wet dog were stuck within the confines of a Rightline Gear tent for nearly 36 consecutive hours. (I know, I just cringed at the memory.) In fact, on multiple occasions I thought, “Who needs waterboarding? Just recreate this scene and let nature take its course—They’ll t-a-l-k. Guaranteed.”
Caption: Photos taken at Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach, Florida because, really, who can take any pics in 36 hours of torrential rain??
But my point is two-fold. First, if the tent didn’t flood out during that experience, then it’s considered reliable in my book. Second, having the Rightline tent as an extension off the back of our Jeep not only created an extra play and sleep space, but also kept tempers in check and a smelly dog at arm’s length.
Speaking of Jeeps…
The Jeep Wrangler is notoriously capable when it comes to off-road adventure, but not so great on cargo space. Thankfully, Rightline got seriously creative and found a way to use nearly every inch of seemingly-unusable space on the Wrangler. The company’s line of weatherproof storage bags provides unique cargo space over the rear wheel wells and on roll bars. The trunk bag is angled perfectly to fit snugly behind the rear seat and features several sleeves and compartments, perfect for storing recovery gear and safety supplies. And all of the items can be used with the hard top or soft top, whether it’s on or off.
The company has thought of everything, as it even offers a weatherproof storage bag for soft top windows. Storing the windows inside individual pockets of a neoprene sleeve, the unit is rolled up, buckled tight, slid into a bag, and then strapped to one of several locations on your Jeep.
With no intentions of slowing down, Rightline Gear has also innovated several other useful products over the years, including weatherproof cargo nets, hitch rack dry bags, non-skid roof pads, and a unique little item due to arrive in January, the Moki Door Step. Universal to all vehicles, the Moki Door Step hooks into a vehicle’s u-shaped door latch, providing a safe and secure platform for both feet while gear is attached or removed to the roof.
You better believe that as we prepare for a week-long road trip along the East Coast in coming months— hitting up different auto events along the way—our Rightline Gear will be packed right alongside other essentials.