Concept Cars

BMW, The North Face bring a lightweight camper concept to CES 2019

The clever new Futurelight material is waterproof yet allows air ventilation.

BMW Futurelight Camper concept

The wild-looking camper uses a new type of exterior fabric.

BMW Designworks

Camping might not seem like a high-tech endeavor, but BMW's Designworks subsidiary has found a way to use futuristic materials for a pop-up camper. In partnership with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept was designed to imagine "the future of protection from the elements," BMW says.

The camper uses a new type of fabric developed by The North Face called Futurelight. Though details are scant, the material uses what the company calls Nanospinning technology. Tiny holes allow for air ventilation throughout the material, yet it remains fully waterproof to keep occupants comfortable within the camper. The Futurelight fabric stretches over a geodesic-dome frame that was co-designed by BMW and The North Face.

BMW Futurelight Camper concept
BMW Designworks

The material recalls BMW's use of a fabric outer skin on the 2008 GINA concept car, which could adjust its shape by moving the fabric surface. BMW says the Futurelight fabric allows "more venting than ever before" despite its impermeability. The camper concept was intended to show that the fabric could be used for things other than clothing, the automaker says.

BMW Designworks has a bountiful back catalog of stylish and forward-looking design concepts. The company builds gorgeous electric-car chargers for Ionity, for instance, and has styled sleek-looking hydrogen filling stations for Shell. Designworks also worked with Virgin Hyperloop One to come up with a luxurious interior for the proposed windowless Hyperloop transportation capsule.

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