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Rugged outdoor adventures and aerospace technology aren’t two things that you naturally associate together. But Super Pacific’s recently-launched Switchback X1 camper brings aerospace materials and manufacturing processes to the overlanding scene. And it's neat as hell.
Both niches need extremely durable and adaptable hardware, so the Switchback X1’s construction makes a lot of sense. So here's how they did it.
The camper is manufactured in Portland, Oregon, and comes in two sizes. The Switchback X1 is made from laser-cut sheet aluminum and held together by solid aircraft rivets. This combination is nothing new in the aerospace industry, and it should enable the canopy to withstand the extreme stresses and vibrations that are part and parcel of offroading.
The clamshell that mounts to the canopy is made from a combination of the company’s custom parts machined from 6061 billet aluminum. And this is just where the link to aerospace construction begins.
Composite panels make up the floor and ceiling of the clamshell. The exterior layers of the panels consist of fiberglass over a honeycomb polypropylene core. This is intended to give a good strength-to-weight ratio and maintain transparency for radio signals. Again, these composite panels are commonplace in the aerospace and transportation industries. The sheet metal parts are powder coated, and all machined parts are anodized with a UV-stable formula, which was developed to survive UV sterilization in a medical setting.
The all-weather tent is hand-sewn in Oregon with a marine-grade material called Top Gun 9. The polyester textile material is impregnated with an acrylic treatment to provide a durable weatherproof finish. So you should be able to embrace any storms with confidence.
If it’s more likely that you need to endure extreme heat on your next adventure, the Switchback X1 has you covered. It features Super Pacific’s Free Flow vent system, which is designed to give you control over cabin temperature and condensation. Above every door is a screened vent that you can open for ventilation or close to retain heat. Each vent has a rain fly that you can open with a fiberglass batten from the interior.
The ventilation system is just the start of the creature comforts in the Switchback X1. An XL sleeping loft houses the bed platform, which is purposely designed around the Exped Megamat Duo LW+ Mattress. Once you’ve put your head down, it’s time to take in the scenery through the three no-see-um grade screened doors and 270-degree views. When it’s time to get ready for the day ahead, simply transform the truck bed into a full standing height space, known as Living Room Mode.
The comfort and practicality levels rise further thanks to the inclusion of and universal t-slots and modular Molle Panels for gadgets. The t-slots are there to hang whatever you need: awnings, cross bars, solar panels, etc.
This camper is based on a modular platform, which is intended to let you adapt your gear setup to your ever-changing needs. There’s a built-in mobile gear locker, which provides secure storage while you’re out exploring the terrain. And you can access it fully from all sides using one hand, just like the canopy. So loading and unloading everything you need to make the most of your adventure should be a sinch.
The customization of this camper doesn’t end at how you decide to set up its modular platform. There are six powder-coated aluminum colors to choose from: black, white, gray, OD, green, tan, and blue. You’ll also get a choice of two tent fabric colors: gray or tan. Finally, you can opt for either a tailgate acrylic window or solid tailgate door.
The mid-size model costs $12,995, while the larger version comes in at $13,495. Both options come with a 2-year limited warranty, and it’s worth noting that when purchasing and installing in Portland, Oregon, the installation is free, and there’s no sales tax.
But what do you think? This latest camper float your boat? Let us know in the comments section below.