How do you highlight the latest Mini SUV’s go-anywhere capabilities: By offering it with a roof-top tent.

The AirTop tent will be familiar to anyone who is seriously into heading off the beaten track. It’s been an ingenious solution to on-the-fly overnight accommodation within the SUV fraternity for 50 years.

The version Mini is offering was co-developed with Italian firm Autohome with help from Mini’s own design team to ensure that it perfectly fits the Countryman’s external specifications and locates exactly with its roof mountings. When folded flat, the tent, offered in either black or white to match the car’s standard contrasting roof colors, it looks like a standard hard plastic roof-mounted luggage case.

When extended upwards, it offers space for two to sleep – the tent measures 2.1m x 1.3m internally – but not to stand; due to the fact it only extends upwards by 94cm. And Mini is only able to offer this much space due to the fact that the new Countryman is the biggest car ever to carry the Mini badge.

However, they should be comfortable thanks to an integrated high-density mattress, sound and heat insulation, integrated mosquito netting, and two windows and two doors.

There’s a battery-powered light, a selection of pockets and nets for storing small items and to make getting up to and down from the tent easier, it comes with a collapsible aluminium ladder as standard.

Likewise, users won’t face the frustrations inherent with standard tents, such as trying to thread fibreglass poles through material loops or hammer in tent pegs. The tent raises and drops via four gas pressure springs. Just undo the tent case’s clasps and the tent will automatically pop up. – AFP Relaxnews