Carport attached to 1996 Subaru draws a small crowd in Mad River Glen parking lot

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
WAITSFIELD, VERMONT (October 26, 2005) – After a week of New England rain prompted widespread flooding and an unusually deep commitment to cable television, a Kelty Carport set up in the Mad River Glen parking lot created a welcome bright spot for some very soggy locals returning from a nature hike.

“Worthy,” said “Bill,” a 23-year-old University of Vermont sophomore. “I definitely could’ve used one of those things at Coventry.”

With a tent-like wing that arcs off the roof or tailgate, the Kelty Carport is more than a mere conversation piece. The versatile shelter securely and gently attaches to any vehicle with a standard roof rack, as well as the occasional fence, tree, freestanding shelter or innocent bystander.

The polyester taffeta wall works essentially like a three-sided tent, with two large side entrances and abundant protected headroom. The lightweight, durable and weather-resistant shelter easily blocks out harsh sun (unlikely), daily rainstorms (very likely) and the prying eyes of neighboring tailgaters (always an issue).

“Boy, what a trick. Wicked sharp. How much?” said a bearded gentleman wearing a “Vermont Secession” t-shirt.

The Kelty Carport is simple to set up, with two supporting poles connecting to a lightweight but strong horizontal pole. The horizontal pole is laid across any fixed horizontal pole — like a roof rack -- then attached with a simple strap system. Anchor loops at the base of the support poles are designed to clasp stones, sandbags or cases of Magic Hat beer, helping secure the Carport in blustery conditions.

Because a little extra room goes a long way, the Carport is available in medium, large and deluxe sizes. The medium Carport is an ideal extension of a station wagon tailgate, with a ceiling high enough to allow the hatchback to open, and a coverage area of 83 square feet ($200).

The large Kelty Carport covers 113 square feet and is tall enough to fit on trucks, vans & SUVs. The large also features roll-down side panels for privacy ($250).

And if a mini-Phish fest is more your speed, the deluxe is definitely the ticket, with six-foot tall stake poles that literally raise the roof to create a full-size awning. ($300)

Kelty’s legendary lifetime guarantee applies to the materials and workmanship of the Carport.

Unfortunately, the weather is not covered.

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