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Unracked: SkyRise Tent Tips & Tricks

Ian Betteridge : Product Integrity Lead

No one has spent more time with our SkyRise rooftop tent than Ian.

Ironing out bugs and refining new products – it’s a reality of a business, and Ian is the guy to do it. “I’m basically a problem solver, he says. Adding, with a laugh, “I am The Wolf. Like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction – ‘It takes thirty minutes to get there in traffic? I’ll be there in ten.’ When we are met with challenges from dealers or consumers, they come to me as the first attempt to find a solution.”

He cites the SkyRise as an example. ““We take feedback from the market – if there’s a way we need to improve something, we’re gonna do it. For example, we had a customer, lives up here. He got caught in a torrential downpour, high winds – it was the day there was a tornado just up in Vancouver. It was the perfect storm. His tent got wet. So, we took it in and found the issue – seam tape – and have fixed it going forward. Now we inspect 100% of our tents. It’s a big task – we open every tent, deploy it, and go over it bit by bit.”

SkyRise Camping in the Pacific Northwest


  1. Use the Velcro loops on the side of the SkyRise tent to hang a hot dog stick for an awesome towel hanger.
  2. Always carry a small roll of Paracord (great strength to weight ratio and handy for so many applications).
  3. Mark the routes you’ve travelled. Keep a state gazetteer – the book with maps and atlas – and a highlighter in your vehicle.
  4. Two words – Peanut Butter.  High calorie snack and delicious on crackers.  Pups love it too.
  5. You know that if you use your SkyRise in the rain, you need to dry it before you store it to prevent mildew.  But also do this: before folding your tent back up, pop the rubber feet off your ladder to drain any rain water that might have accumulated.


The Right Gear

An avid truck camper, Ian knows how to rack a rig. So how does he rack out his trusty Toyota Tacoma?

“I love the tent. And I use the SlimShady . And since a lot of my adventures are not just camping, but also mountain biking, I have a HoldUp on the back of my truck.”

And his set-up shows he’s a sucker for the classics. “I’ve got tracks on the cap, so I have Landing Pads, Control Towers and the good old RoundBars. It’s great – utilitarian – I can put anything up there. I like to kick it old school, I guess – old school bar with my new school tent.” 

As far as non-Yakima stuff he loves, it’s hard to choose just one favorite. “Yeah, a lot of different things, but my mind keeps coming back to my Hydro Flask tumbler – I always love having it on my trips. At camp, après set-up, it usually holds bourbon and coke, but l drink hot chocolate out of it, too.

“Oh – and Tecnu. In case of poison oak contact I use Tecnu. And always overapply.”

And (per tip #1) he always brings an extra hotdog stick.

SkyRise Medium and SlimShady on RoundBars mounted to Tracks (Truck Cap Install)

On the Road

Camping is a multi-day thing, so when Ian is limited to just a few free hours after sneaking out of work on a nice weekday afternoon, he loads up his bike. His super special place?

“Gonna say the Syncline Mountain Bike Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s just an hour away. The views of the gorge are stunning. It’s one of the most scenic…

“Wait. Maybe I shouldn’t share this…Uh, I like to go to downtown Portland, hang out at the waterfront.”

Tell the truth, Ian.

“Okay. It’s Syncline. Especially with the yellow and orange balsamroot flowers. Stunning. It’s like being in a Van Gogh painting.”


Ian is one of those people that didn’t grow up with outdoor adventure. His love for it evolved during his time at the University of Oregon. In the years since, there have been some memorable moments – including being up above Base Camp at Everest – but there is one thing that really sticks in his memory.

“We were canoeing whitewater in the Mackenzie River in early spring – that was one of the moments that let me know I could dare to adventure, even when we swamped the canoe in 39-degree water. I survived. I was thrilled. And it was certainly exhilarating.”

More Unracked

Ians’s not our only awesome employee. Checkout our entire Unracked series to see who else here at Yakima is getting outdoors, how they have their car racked out, tips and tricks, and their favorite Pacific Northwest adventure spots.


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