Creating quality gear that outlasts the buyer has been a passion of Dean Gurney and his family for many years. The Bush Company, and in particular the AX27™ rooftop tent, is the culmination of years of manufacturing experience, combined with a desire to create quality and reliable products for the offroad industry.
Growing up in South Africa, Dean spent a lot of time on Safari in the bush, exploring many parts of the African continent that most people will never see. As he got older, he took that same passion he had for his homeland and started exploring Australia, The United States, and many other parts of the world. He migrated to Australia in 2015.
The first step into the offroad manufacturing space was in 2007. Dean began producing freestanding 270-degree awnings, which were innovative for their time. The awning was strong enough to stand without poles until the wind gusted over 20mph, and then it was time to pack it away.
In 2012, Dean created the first edition of The Bush Company’s Roof Top Tent. A simple and robust hard-shelled tent made from folded alloy, steel, and heavy-duty canvas. At this point, rooftop tents were in their infancy, and most “hard” ones were fiberglass, lightweight, and predominantly suited to European climates. They needed a product that could withstand the harshest deserts and the most rugged conditions of Africa and Australia. Dean took his knowledge of manufacturing and his extensive travel experience and combined them to create the first tent. This tent has been tested and used on six of the World’s seven continents and is still sold today as the “Classic” Roof Top Tent.
It was time to step it up a notch, and the AX27™ was developed. The AX27™ Roof Top Tent was essentially the second generation of tents for The Bush Company. Testing was started in 2015 before finally being released to the market in 2018. Dean was focused on setting his tent apart from the competition by providing solutions to common problems faced by long-term overlanders and dedicated explorers.
The problem with adding a rooftop tent to most vehicles is a reduction in roof storage space. Traditionally, a roof rack would hold items like recovery boards, solar panels, and other gear, which is no longer possible with many rooftop tents. Another issue was finding a true four-season tent that felt spacious, considering some people used it as their only bedroom for months at a time.
Dean and The Bush Company team were able to combat all of these problems with the AX27™. First, they increased the opening angle, offering a 1.7m internal height at the tallest point. This helped the tent feel larger when staying in it for extended periods. The second innovation was in the canvas. They created a dual-layered canvas tent and added numerous air vents, which offered better ventilation reducing condensation. It also provided additional insulation and protection from water ingress.
Another major innovation of the AX27™ was The Bush Company’s ‘Ezi-slot’™ system. With the creation of a custom alloy extrusion, Dean and the team allowed for the simplistic addition of accessories around and on top of the tent. This allowed for items like recovery boards, high-lift jacks, shovels, lights, solar panels, and so much more to be effortlessly bolted to the tent.
The AX27™, along with its big brother, the TX27™ dual folding tent, and all the other gear from The Bush Company, are still made and manufactured in South Africa from primarily South African material. Dean, his family, and the whole team are proud of their quality-driven workmanship that provides the gear to last in the most unexplored places on earth.
Disclaimer: This paid story was produced in partnership with The Bush Company.