thule acquires tepui

Car Rack Giant Thule Buys Tepui, Bets Big on Rooftop Tents

Thule Group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automotive racks, expanded its portfolio of automotive products with the acquisition of Tepui Outdoors Inc. Thule announced the acquisition on Monday.

Based in Sweden, Thule is a dominant manufacturer of car racks and accessories. Drive to a trailhead with biking or skiing, and chances are you’ll see the Thule logo.

So it’s not surprising that the brand would angle in on the related rooftop tent industry.

In recent years, rooftop tents have boomed in the United States. From a curiosity a few years ago, they’ve recently become fairly common fixtures on Subarus and kitted-out Tacomas. Pull into a campground in 2018, and you will likely see a tent on a roof.

And a big player in that category growth is Tepui. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Tepui is the dominant brand for rooftop tents in the U.S. While the product category is mature in many parts of the world, Tepui was largely responsible for its nascent roots in North America.

The acquisition makes sense from a consumer perspective. Rooftop tents require high-quality racks for mounting. The merger gives Thule a strong lever to integrate rack and tent design, marketing, and sales in the future.

Thule said the acquisition marks the brand’s commitment to the “active lifestyle.”

“The overlanding category has been growing steadily over the last few years,” said Magnus Welander, president and CEO of the Thule Group. “We are very pleased to add this great assortment of high-quality Roof Top Tents and accessories to our broad portfolio of products that cater to consumers who enjoy living an active life.”

Thule Acquires Tepui

Welander said Tepui is a natural fit for Thule’s portfolio, as both brands focus on high-quality construction, smart engineering, and great design.

Tepui tents certainly aren’t cheap, but the price comes with revered and durable build quality. In one of our reviews, a Tepui tent completely changed the way one of our editors camped.

While Thule Group has been around since 1942, Evan and Gabriela Currid established Tepui in 2010. Thule Group has steadily acquired automotive accessory brands since 2004. It has acquired bike carrier, snow chain, and child carrier brands.

Evan Currid will continue to operate as president of Tepui, with its headquarters in Santa Cruz, Calif.

“When the Thule Group approached us, the connection between the mindset, product portfolios, and the two brands was obvious,” Currid said. “We knew we had found the perfect partner to continue to grow this great product category.”

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.