SuperLite Update

Why We’re Killing the SuperLite

(And why it will eventually live again)

When the SuperLite RTT went on sale, we sold a lot of them—and quickly. It was well-received; by all accounts it’s a great product. So why are we killing it off?

That’s a good question. But to answer it, first, it’s worth exploring what the SuperLite is and why we made it in the first place.

The SuperLite RTT was born as a challenge of sorts: How could we build a hard-shell RTT that was as cheap and as light as possible? Our goal was to make a tent that would open up the roof-top camping experience to the world’s dirtbags (we use this as a term of endearment.) We were originally going to call it the “Crashpad,” in honor of all of our dirty bouldering friends, but that name was taken by another tent company, so SuperLite it was.

Anyway, the point is, the Superlite was an exercise in extremes. An endeavor to create an absolutely no-frills RTT that was optimized entirely for weight and cost. If you wanted a place to crash after a long day of getting dirty, the SuperLite was for you. In effect, it was an even more stripped-down version of our Platform RTTs and campers. Yes, even more minimalist than our minimalist flagships.

We did a pretty damn good job of meeting those goals thanks to the SuperLite’s “Panel-in-Bag” design concept. However, in order to go from concept to production, we had to make a decision that we’d eventually come to regret: We outsourced production of the fabric components overseas.

This was exactly what the experts insisted; and we were new to the whole process of manufacturing, so we gave it a shot. Even though we handled the SuperLite’s final assembly in our Belgrade, Montana factory; and even though it used a fair portion of US-made components, the decision to have the fabric parts constructed in China never sat well with us.

Essentially, it was an experiment of sorts. What we learned, having given it a go, is that outsourcing any production of our products just isn’t the way we want to do things at GFC.

The reason overseas production isn’t for us is primarily because, at our core, we are a company that designs and manufactures stuff. We’re interested (philosophically and practically) in the challenge of doing both. Outsourcing the fabric production was a necessary choice at the time because we didn’t have the production capacity or technical knowledge to make the SuperLite entirely on our own. What we discovered though, is that outsourcing doesn’t really lessen the work, it just changes it into a different kind of work.

Instead of working with the excitement of rapid product iteration, refinement of design elements, and tool optimization, you’re dealing with the nuances of transport logistics, customs minutia, and procurement scheduling.

Ultimately, what we confirmed is that outsourcing overseas is by no means the easy way out. While we could continue to spend our limited time and resources getting better and better at it, we decided that’s not how we want to move forward. We’d rather work toward building up our own fabric production capacity so that the next time we want to make a tent for dirtbags, we can do so by getting our own hands dirty in the process.

What does this mean for the future of the SuperLite product line? It means that we still believe there’s a need for an RTT that’s ruthlessly optimized for weight and cost. We recognize that the Platform Camper and RTT are out of many people’s price range, so we’re committed to finding a way to produce SuperLites entirely in-house. We want to own that process from start to finish, so that we can solve all of the problems that come with it.

However, that’s a goal that will take time to achieve. We’ve made a lot of gains this year around our Platform camper production system and those gains translate well into an eventual release of a SuperLite V2. We can’t say exactly when that would happen, because so much of it depends on the wild roller-coaster that is the supply chain environment right now.

What we can say is this: the SuperLite will live again. When it does, we will be the ones manufacturing it. While it’s always a difficult decision to part ways with a successful product, we believe that by doing so, it will help us get to where we eventually want to be, much faster. So that’s what we’re going to do.


I really appreciate this post. I was pretty upset when you guys pulled it from the website, but after seeing why and the potential to having a newer version that is built entirely in the US is even more exciting. I actually called yesterday to ask about it, but this post helps clear it up a lot. Hopefully we can see a new superlite soon!


You can’t be who you want to be in the long term if you aren’t living it in the short term.

Kudos to sticking to your values and staying focused on the long term vision of what kind of company you want to be.


Glad you guys are sticking to your values. I always thought it was funny the Super Lite was partially manufactured overseas, glad it will be eventually completely built here in Montana. Keep up the great work guys!


Thanks for “the rest of the story”. I assumed that you dropped the Super Lite to stay focused on your core products. They have a natural efficiency since the RTT is simply a component of the Platform RTT. This will also free-up some space and other resources now available to support production of the Platform RTT and RTT. Smart.

It has been fun to learn about GFC’s journey. You are in an enviable position for a young company…to have demand challenge your production capabilities. Steady as she goes and don’t compromise quality.

See you next week to pick up my RTT.


Much respect. Big reason I went with you guys for my camper is because the pride you guys take in building them here and the bigger goal of making American manufacturing make more sense. You guys are proof that companies can make an excellent product in the USA for a reasonable price. :us::us::us:


@WileyDavis Quick question for you about accessories for the Superlite during the meantime. I was lucky enough to get my order for my Superlite in early, and snagged a set of the quick release mounts to go with it. However the locking system for them sold out before I could get some, and last I heard from the support team (as well as on the website) was that it was going to be few months until those would be restocked. In light of this news, will you guys still be sourcing and producing another run of the locks? I am really hoping so as I have really enjoyed using the mounts so far, and they weren’t exactly cheap, however I don’t feel comfortable leaving my Superlite on top of my rig unsecured. It would be a real kick in the gut to have spent nearly $300 on a set of mounts, only to have them be essentially become worthless for practical use 2.5 months later.

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@esbe Thanks for your patience, and sorry to hear you’ve been waiting on these! We’re still in the process of sourcing a few key components to get those built and on hand for customers, but it looks like early 2022 is the best ETA we can share at the moment. Soon as we’re able to put them back to stock, an email will be sent out to SL customers. :call_me_hand:


Hey Thayne – thanks for the quick response on this!

That is really great to hear that they are still in the production pipeline. I can deal with taking the SL on/off a few times over the coming months when needed, as long as the long term security solution is coming down the line. I’ll keep my eye out for the re-stock notice. Will it be a direct email specially to anyone who bought an SL, or just the general GFC newsletter?

@esbe No problem, dude. We’ll likely send some sort of email blast, but more to come there. In the meantime, you can always check the local hardware store for an anti-theft head screw and have it sized according to the current setup.

Without having to get to much into detail, could you explain why outsourcing here in the USA was not an option when planning the Superlite production?

Hey, Just checking back in on the quick release mount locks that were said to be potentially going to be back in stock the beginning of 2022. It’s camping season and I know many of us would love to get the elusive locks for our quick release mounts. Cheers

I’m still patiently waiting as well @Bendsurfer – hoping its coming soon :crossed_fingers:t4: . Been refreshing the page diligently just in case I see some in stock.

Hoping they even just make 2 packs available as I imagine if you lock opposite corners that should be pretty secure and would allow for more people to hopefully get their hands on some level of security before the summer camping season.

I think a good refresh to the superlite is to see if its possible to expand the angle, so you get more foot room. So replace the fabric and probably add another support bar or two or three. Then you could sell the fabric to current superlite owners, reducing waste/want/envy. Im thinking like the roofnest falcon pro’s design.


I’ve been hearing a rumor that there is a V2 release in the near future… Can anyone confirm?



They said it was axed on their IG post a few days ago.

Well that’s disappointing. Guess I’m going with a Lone Peak camper.

I can’t find the comment? I emailed them a week or so ago and just asked if they could confirm it was still in the works and they told me yes. It has been forever with no real updates tho…

Here it is. But I have heard a different story since….seems like the superlite may not be dead after all.