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From Idea to Prototype

A man stands with both feet on the SkyHeia prototype and gives the thumbs up in affirmation.
Robert tests an early prototype of the SkyHeia.

When we had the idea to build a real comfortable bed for sleeping outdoors in April 2017, the first question that came up was the right material. Above all, the bed had to be weatherproof, and it quickly became clear that aluminium could do the job - it doesn't rust and is relatively light.

 

The Question of Materials

Phew, aluminium, the metal with the bad CO2 footprint, we thought, but fortunately it is also available in much more environmentally friendly forms, such as recycled and produced with energy from hydropower. So we first got ourselves some commercially available hollow aluminium profiles for the prototype construction and got started in the workshop of a very good friend and gifted craftsman Robert in Swisttal.

So a frame made of high, stable profiles and feet made of rather slender hollow profiles came into being quite quickly. The bed frame was to be 90 x 200 cm - and not as narrow as a sleeping mat - so that there was room for a standard mattress. The slatted frame was also quickly designed, initially as a rolling slatted frame, also made of hollow aluminium profiles.

 

We constantly have new stories and information about sleeping outside for you. We won't send you emails with trivia, we promise.

 

Aluminium also has the advantage of being quite light and thus fulfils another requirement for the bed: it should also be easy to transport. This includes lightness, of course, but also ease of assembly and disassembly - ideally without any tools or loose small parts such as screws.

 

The First Prototype

So we came up with the idea of connecting the individual components of the bed with tension locks. One tension lock at each corner of the bed. The biggest challenge, however, remained: how do we manage to construct the 2m long side rails of the bed in two parts and still join them together stably and hold them together with clamps. Solving this problem alone took months and in the end it became a wedge connection made of solid aluminium, which is stuck in the hollow profiles - an idea with our precision mechanic Felix, who always helped us with precise milling work.

 

Ein Mann liegt in der SkyHeia, damals noch in der Farbe rot. Er ist zugedeckt mit einer grauen Bettdecke.
Thorsten Czart, owner of the Oberprether Mühle campsite in the Eifel, tests the SkyHeia prototype, which was still red at the time.

And so the prototype was finally completed at the end of 2018, even though from then on there were still more than 2 years of optimisation work to be done. And - what we celebrated very much - we had even invented something new..

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The Newsletter for Sleepyheads

Wir haben ständig neue Geschichten und Infos rund ums Draußen Schlafen für Dich parat. Wir senden Dir keine Emails mit Belanglosigkeiten, versprochen.

By clicking on "Subscribe", you agree to our privacy policy. zu. Ich stelle meine Kontaktdaten zur Verfügung, damit SkyHeia mich über Produkte und Neuigkeiten informieren kann. Ich weiß, dass ich SkyHeia jederzeit darum bitten kann, die Kommunikation mit mir einzustellen.

Here you can buy the SkyHeia at the introductory price of 1,785 euros including VAT. The price includes the bed with slatted frame, packed in two transport bags. A mattress is not included in the scope of delivery.

If you have any questions, please write to us and we will be happy to call you back. By the way, you can find answers to many questions in our FAQ.

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The Newsletter for Sleepyheads

We constantly have new stories and information about sleeping outside for you. We won't send you emails with trivia, we promise.

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