A rugged pop-up camper truck that looks like it stayed in the dryer just a little too long, the Mini Pop Bee Active Gear from Japanese camper manufacturer Mystic punches well above its weight class. Despite its absolutely tiny kei car footprint, the Active Gear manages to transport and comfortably accommodate four travelers with help from a pop-up roof, cabin that transforms into a wall-to-wall mattress, and the tiniest corner RV kitchenette we’ve ever seen. With available 4WD and a few rugged enhancements, the micro-truck is built to brave terrain that’ll give lesser kei campers pause.
The Mishima Quokka isn’t the only incredible, little Daihatsu Hijet-based micro-camper lighting up the floors of Japanese camping car shows. Based on the truck variant of the Hijet, the Mystic Mini Pop Bee Active Gear is a thoroughly downsized version of a pickup truck with bed-top pop-up camper. The Active Gear’s 134-in (340-cm) total length is a full 6.5 feet (2 m) shorter than a Toyota Tacoma with pop-up you might see roaming the American desert or high country. And that’s the shortest Tacoma.
It’s delightfully tiny and maneuverable, but that doesn’t mean the Active Gear is ill-prepared for an extended road trip. The bed-top camper sleeps up to three adults and one child on an expandable pop-up roof bed and multi-cushion convertible cabin bed. The latter changes over to a central dinette area during the day and includes a single seatbelt on each side bench to accommodate two rear passengers on the drive.
The Mini Pop Bee design lacks full cooking amenities, but the compact kitchen block in the corner includes a sink fed by a 16-L fresh water canister and a flip-up worktop. Buyers can add an optional Engel fridge or just bring their own cooler and portable stove. The placement of the block in the rear corner of the camper cuts down the length of the driver’s side of the bed, and Mystic recommends sleeping one adult and one child on this bed, with the two adults (or adult and taller child) taking the upper bed.
Unlike the typical pickup truck with bed-top pop-up camper, the Mini Pop Bee features a more integrated design with a full pass-through between camper and driver cab. The camper cabin can also be accessed via a rear door with step.
The Active Gear package includes a few performance and cosmetic upgrades to separate it from the basic Mini Pop Bee. Mods like the front bull bar, Toyo Open Country rough-terrain tires and contrast over-fenders give the micro-camper truck a bit more all-terrain capability and rugged off-road looks to go with it. Four-wheel drive is on offer, as are suspension upgrades.
Mystic has finished off the Mini Pop Bee Active Gear camper package with a 105-Ah leisure battery, external power hookup, LED lighting and side windows with screens. It offers the package on the Suzuki Carry and Toyota Pixis kei trucks in addition to the Daihatsu Hijet. Prices start at ¥3,732,400 (approx. US$31,550) for the 2WD model and ¥3,885,300 (US$32,850) for the 4WD. Options include a camping heater, fan, second battery and solar panel.
Source: Mystic (Japanese)