The Best Rooftop Tents for Far-Out (and Closer-to-Home) Adventures
Overland travellers who desired a method to stay off the ground and away from predators while exploring the Australian Outback were the first to use rooftop tents as a means of survival. However, because of their portability and ease of setup, campers all over the world are envious. Simply connect a tent to the roof rack of your car, and you may deploy it very instantaneously by unfolding and extending the ladder on the side of the tent. Camping at trailheads, permanent or dispersed campsites, and just about wherever else you may park is a snap as a result of these improvements.
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images The market has reacted in kind.
Take a look at the brief facts below on five of the finest rooftop tents, then continue reading for advice on how to choose the best model for you, as well as in-depth assessments of these and other alternatives.
Design that is one of a kind Crua Outdoors is a company that specializes in outdoor activities.
- It goes without saying that one of the best things about rooftop tents is that you can set up camp almost anyplace.
- What if the gravel at your trailhead parking lot is huge and sharp bits of rock?
- A few properly placed planks of wood beneath your tires might also help to level your vehicle and tent if the terrain is uneven.
- Almost like being in a tree fort complete with soft foam mattress and a waterproof roof, if that makes any sense.
Overland travellers who desired a method to remain off the ground and away from predators while exploring the Australian Outback were the first to adopt rooftop tents as a kind of accommodation. Camping enthusiasts throughout the world, however, are envious of their portability and ease of setup. Simply connect a tent to the roof rack of your car, and you may deploy it practically instantaneously by unfolding and extending the ladder on the side of the structure. Camping at trailheads, established or dispersed campsites, and just about wherever else you may park is a breeze as a result of this arrangement.
- The Getty Images collection contains a variety of images that are available for licensing.
- Read on for fast information on five of the finest rooftop tents, then continue reading for advice on how to choose the best model for you, as well as in-depth assessments of these and other alternatives from the experts.
- Aercruaoutdoors.com $2,839.00 Obtain the Most for Your Dollar Intense Overlanding with the Tough Stuff Rangers rooftopoverland.com $1,799.99 a 2-person household on a limited budget Runner Roof Top Tent is an excellent choice for a variety of outdoor occasions.
- The ground is soft and muddy, isn’t it.
- There is no need to be concerned because you are well up in the sky.
As an added bonus, you’ll be elevated above any curious creatures (big and tiny) that might pass by your tent in the middle of the night. Almost like being in a tree fort complete with soft foam mattress and a waterproof roof, if that makes sense. So far, so good!
Hardshell vs. Softshell
A soft shell tent will be similar in appearance to a more traditional tent, with a canvas roof and walls. This helps to keep the cost and weight of the device low. Though heavier than soft shell tents, hard shell tents provide greater protection against the elements, both for the tent during transit and for you when exposed to adverse weather such as sleet or thunderstorms. Soft tops are simple to unfurl, but hard shells might be even simpler to open, blasting open with the force of a rocket.
Where to Mount
We brought in several tents and put them through their paces in every way you could imagine using a rooftop tent, including mounting them on our cars, deploying and collapsing them, and sleeping in them. Throughout the process, we evaluated them based on their simplicity of use, how comfortable (or not) they were to sleep in, and how much they impacted our fuel economy and wind noise on top of our rigs. We also considered the materials used in the construction of the tents, as well as whether or not the tents left enough space on the roof for additional features like as gear racks or a storage box.
The Total Expert Score was calculated by combining the ratings from reputable sources such as Gear We Are, HiConsumption, andGear Junkie and translating them to a 100-point scale.
You’ll also see our Consumer Score associated with each of those reviews, which represents the percentage of people who purchased the product and gave it at least four out of five stars on retail sites such as Amazon, REI, and” data-vars-ga-product-id=”f3689919-f6de-40b2-b19c-066d5901e17d” data-vars-ga-product-id=”f3689919-f6de-40b2-b19c ” data-vars-ga-product-price=”0.00″ data-vars-ga-product-sem3-name=”” data-vars-ga-product-sem3-category=”” data-vars-ga-product-sem3-id=”” data-affiliate-network=””>Backcountry.
| Closed dimensions (width, length, height): 50 by 90 by 6 inches; open dimensions (width, length, height): 50 by 90 by 60 inches. | Total weight: 140 pounds | Material: aluminum shell, polyurethane-coated polyester-cotton mix. walls FalconRoofnestroofnest.com $3,495.00
- It is simple to set up
- It is lightweight, so it has no influence on fuel economy or noise levels.
Rooftop tents, such as the Falcon, are known for their ease and utility. With its thin, sub-seven-inch profile on top of a car, this aluminum hardshell reduces fuel consumption by as much as half compared to the softshell variant. We also didn’t notice any significant boost in the volume of the music when we were driving. It also makes setup simple; after we got at the campground, all we had to do was snap the two latches and put the lid up to allow the pistons to take over, following which we threw the tent poles into the awning and called it a day.
We slept in it during the middle of summer and didn’t feel too hot on the inside.
We had to apply a lot of pressure to the tent in order for the latches to catch, which required two persons to complete since one person applied the pressure while the other worked the latch.
If you do this, you’ll have plenty of space.
Another feature that our 6-foot-2 tester found useful was the cushioned ceiling. Although there is plenty of headroom in this space, it is beneficial to have a buffer when sitting up in the dark.
A total of 108 lb is required for the canopy and rainfly when closed. The canopy measures 24 by 83 by 9.25 inches when closed, and 47 inches by 84 inches when open. The rainfly measures 24 by 83.5 inches when closed. Tent at the foot of the Tepui Mountains
- Deployment is simple (though not quick)
- Well-constructed and dependable
Thule was able to strike a good balance with the Foothill. Unlike other hardshell tents, which may support gear racks on top of them, this softshell tent only takes up half of the space on the roof of the vehicle. That frees up space for additional equipment such as a bicycle, a kayak, or a thinrocketbox. The interior, according to our tester, is comfortable, with cushioning, total darkness when the windows are closed (if that’s your thing), and temperature retention similar to that of a ground tent during his sub-freezing journey, among other features.
- According to our tester, “you set up the ladder, pop three poles inside the tent, and then attach eight poles for the rain fly,” he explained.
- It will be much faster the second time, but there are still a lot of processes to complete the setup.” In addition, the fact that you must store the ladder inside your vehicle, taking up valuable trunk room, was not a selling feature.
- With its rather high location on the roof, the Foothill reduced his fuel economy by around three miles per gallon and generated a significant amount of noise in crosswinds.
- Overall, it’s a well-built and well-designed piece of equipment.
143 lb | Closed dimensions (WxL): 51 x 45 in. | Open dimensions (WxLxH): 51 x 89 x 47 in. | Material: Ripstop polyurethane-coated poly-oxford outer fly, ripstop poly-cotton inner fly, aluminum frame | Dimensions (WxL): 51 x 45 in. Crua Outdoors Aer (Crua Outdoors Aer) $2,839.00 cruaoutdoors.com
- Setup is simple and does not require any tools. The tent body may be removed from the foundation and used directly on the ground.
- If you have a tall vehicle, you’ll need a stool to open and close the doors.
If you have a tall vehicle, you’ll need a stool to deploy and close it.
Other Great Options
If you have a tall vehicle, you’ll need a stool to open and close the trunk. If you have a tall automobile, you’ll need a stool to open and close the doors.
Expert Rating: 94 out of 100. |Consumer Satisfaction Rating: 100 percent Give it four or more stars if possible. A water-resistant cotton-polyester tent body is used for the body of the tent, which measures 53 by 49 by 8 inches when closed. When open, the tent measures 53 by 134 by 55 inches. Total weight is 93 pounds. Roof Top TentFront Runnerok4wd.com Roof Top TentFront Runnerok4wd.com $1,146.00 Because it weighs less than 100 pounds, this Front Runner tent may be the best option if you’re concerned about fuel efficiency or having to place a hefty tent on the top of your car’s roof.
Interior storage, Velcro light hooks on the ceiling, and a mesh window in the roof for stargazing are all included, as well as other useful features.
The Front Runner, according to one reviewer on the brand’s website, was chosen because it was “one of the lightest that I saw and it features a quick-release mechanism.” “It is quite simple to put on and take off this tent.”
If you’re concerned about fuel efficiency or having to place a hefty tent on the roof of your car, this one from Front Runner could be the best option for you because it weighs less than 100 pounds. The Oxford tent fabric, on the other hand, is watertight, robust, and breathable even in the rain. Interior storage, Velcro light hooks on the ceiling, and a mesh window in the roof for stargazing are all included, as are several other useful features. The Front Runner, according to one reviewer on the company’s website, was chosen because it is “one of the lightest that I have seen and it features a quick-release mechanism.” There is nothing complicated about setting up and taking down this tent.
In order to keep the outside world out, the tent that comes out of the hardshell is made of a waterproof and sturdy polyester-canvas combination.
It also comes with locks already attached, as well as an insulated bottom to keep you warm when it’s cold outside.
Mountain One of the most impressive aspects of the SkyCamp, according to the reviewer, was how easily it could be transported to the roof—”Its vast design and relatively simple installation are the highlight qualities of the iKamper Skycamp”—and the spacious inside.
Total Expert Rating: 87 out of 100 |Consumer Satisfaction Rating: 100 percent Give it four or more stars if possible. Series III ripstop canvas | Closed dimensions (WxLxH): 57 x 49 x 15 inches | Open dimensions: 55 x 94.4 x 51 inches | Total weight: 171 pounds | Material: polyester-cotton ripstop canvasSeries III ripstop canvas SimpsonARBoffroadtents.com $1,537.00 The Simpson III offers plenty of ventilation, making it an excellent choice for hotter regions. Its mesh windows and door allow for plenty of circulation.
Outback Review, which is based in Australia (which also happens to be the home of ARB), stated that the Simpson was relatively simple to put up for a single person because of the “easy access straps and zips tied to a rope to assist with opening.” However, a customer review on Amazon stated that while the directions for initial setup were easy, they would have preferred more specific instructions on how to set up the rain fly.
N/A for the total expert score |Consumer Satisfaction Rating: | Total weight: 200 lb | Material: polyester and fiberglass | Closed dimensions (width x length x height): 55 78 13.2 inches | Open dimensions (width x height): 55 78 40 inches Explorer Rhinoadventuregear.com is owned and operated by James Baroud. $4,349.95 Despite the fact that there aren’t many consumer evaluations for the Explorer, several publications have given it positive ratings without assigning it a number or letter grade.
Every side of the tent is lined with mesh windows, the polyester walls are somewhat breathable, and a solar-panel-powered fan is housed in the ceiling of the tent.
Furthermore, because the Explorer pops up straight up (automatically) when deployed, rather than folding open to twice the available space, the bedding only extends around six feet in length for taller persons.
In addition, the Explorer is storage-friendly, with a net to hang stuff in on the ceiling and the ability to carry a limited quantity of strapped-down equipment on the roof of the vehicle.
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The 71 Best Tools for the Year 2021 This list contains the 40 best pieces of outdoor gear for the year 2021. How to Begin Your Van Life Adventure How to Convert a School Bus into a Recreational Vehicle The most stylish campers available in a variety of sizes and prices. James Lynch is a Field Editor at the Associated Press. James Lynch is the Field Editor for Popular Mechanics, and he is hunting for stories all around the United States. Will Egensteiner is a writer and editor based in New York City.
He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.
10 Best Rooftop Tents in 2022
As a reader-supported publication, Road Affair has the potential to receive a profit from purchases made via links in this post. Camping is a popular pastime for many people. Even while many individuals like the opportunity to spend the night in the outdoors, sleeping on the ground is not something that they are enthusiastic about. Tenting your car on top of your vehicle is a convenient method to camp off the ground while still having your vehicle ready for storage.
The use of a rooftop tent is pleasant and handy, but it is not a low-cost option. This article will show you the best rooftop tents that are currently available on the market and explain precisely what you should look for in a nice rooftop tent.
Quick Answer: Best Rooftop Tents
- Thile Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 is the best softshell. The best hardshell is iKamper Skycamp 2.0. The best for small cars is iKamper Skycamp Mini. The best for families is Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4. The best budget is Smittybilt Overlander.
What to Look for in a Good Rooftop Tent
Because of the pressure a roof top tent might place on your vehicle, make certain you understand all of the specifics before making a purchase. The following are the most crucial factors to keep in mind:
1. Hard-Shell vs. Soft-Shell Tents
Rooftop car tents are available with either a hard or a soft shell, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Make your decision based on the sort of trip you intend to undertake and which one you are most comfortable with.
- Tents with a Hard Shell: These tents are often constructed of an aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass shell that is surrounded by a cloth canopy. There are several advantages, including a longer lifespan, improved protection when inside, and a rapid set-up and take-down procedure. Hard-shell tents are more water-resistant, more aerodynamic, and more wind-resistant than soft-shell tents. Because the shell is durable, you may store items such as bicycles, stand-up paddle boards, and solar panels on top of it. These tents are also noted for having more headroom and a more comfortable mattress than other types of tents. The ease of a hard-shell tent will be appreciated if you’re in the habit of packing up and relocating every day. Weaknesses include the weight, the price, and the smaller floor plan
- Disadvantages include
- When it comes to finding a low-cost roof tent, you’ll have to settle with a soft-shell option. The pricing of this style of tent is the most significant benefit. In comparison to soft-shell tents, hard-shell tents can be two to three times more costly. The fact that the floor layout is bigger is another plus. Soft-shell rooftop camping tents are designed to extend beyond the roof of your car and may accept accessories such as awnings. They are available in a range of configurations. However, they are susceptible to moisture buildup and mildew, which results in a shorter lifespan. Additionally, when the wind blows, they tend to create more noise than other types of trees. Aside from that, although hard-shell tents are simple to erect, erecting a soft-shell tent is comparable to erecting a camping tent.
Even the heaviest and most imposing roof tents are heavy and cumbersome. Some may weigh less than 100 pounds, while others may weigh as much as 300 pounds or more. Before purchasing a tent, ensure that your vehicle is capable of supporting the weight and that the tent is suitable with your vehicle to avoid damaging it. The dynamic and static load ratings on your vehicle tell you how heavy the tent can be, and these are provided by the manufacturer. The greater the weight of the tent, the worse the gas mileage you will achieve.
While you’re not camping and your rooftop tent is too heavy, you might be tempted to leave it on your car when you’re not using it.
3. Space / Capacity
Some tents are designed to accommodate two people, while others may accommodate five or more. The floor space, peak height, and mattress size are more relevant considerations than the number of people the business claims the tent can accommodate. Understanding these figures can assist you in determining whether or not you will be comfortable.
Designed to endure bad weather, the finest car top tents are extremely durable. If you think severe weather could be a problem, make sure your awning provides complete coverage so that air can move freely without rain coming in. Depending on whether you’ll be camping in the colder months or at higher elevations, you may want to choose a tent that allows you to add additional insulation if necessary.
5. Ease of Installation
The most, if not all, of the vehicle tents are heavy and require at least two persons to transport and setup. Some are really user-friendly, while others are a little more involved and may need a few trips to the hardware shop to complete them. If you’re concerned about the installation procedure, you may be able to locate folks at a gear or hardware shop that are ready to assist you with the installation process. If you’ll be loading and unloading the tent on and off of your vehicle on a regular basis, it’s ideal to make the installation process as simple as possible.
While some people enjoy sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground, when you get a rooftop tent, you will no longer have to worry about that because the tent will come with a mattress. The thickness of the integrated mattress will have a significant impact on the level of comfort it provides. Mattresses with a gel or memory foam topper are available in higher-priced versions. It is possible to purchase an after-market mattress if you fall in love with a tent but find that the mattress does not meet your demands.
If the mattress does not come with a mattress cover and an anti-condensation pad, you will need to purchase these separately.
Waterproof, breathable, and easily washable are all requirements for the cover. Remember to allow your mattress to breathe between travels, even if you are using an anti-condensation mat.
Adding an annex to your camping site will provide you more room while also sheltering you from the weather and giving you with more solitude. Annexes are attached to the tent’s enlarged platform, and many of them completely enclose the ladder at the top. Your camping stove, portable toilet, or additional living area will fit well in one of these places. Pro tip: If you want to purchase an annex, make sure you get a tent that is large enough to accommodate it. You can’t use an annex in conjunction with a pop-up tent that doesn’t extend beyond the footprint of your car since they are incompatible.
8. External Storage
A tent that is particularly designed to accommodate extra stuff is recommended for travelers who will be hauling about a lot of belongings. Some include connection points, while others are capable of accommodating racks.
Best Rooftop Tent Reviews
Having learned what to look for, here are some of the best rooftop tents available on the market today.
Best Softshell Rooftop Tent
Floor space: 37.3 square feet 52 inches is the maximum height. Weight: 131 pounds Capacities:3 In the Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 three-person tent, a 260g polyester/cotton mix and a coated 600D ripstop fabric with a water-resistant coating are used to make the tent. 96 × 56 inches are the floor measurements, 37.33 square feet of floor area is available, and the ceiling height is 52 inches at the highest point. There are four huge pockets on the inside for keeping your accessories and gear, and the mesh panels allow you plenty of ventilation while you’re working.
The Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 is one of the greatest roof tent alternatives available on the market for those looking for a tent that can endure the weather in any season.
Best Hardshell Rooftop Tent
Floor space: 43.2 square feet 45 inches is the maximum height. 160 lbs. is the maximum weight. Capacity:4 The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 has regularly been rated as one of the best roof top tents on the market. Only one minute and you may be lying down on the king-size mattress in complete relaxation. The tent, which weighs 160 pounds, has enough room for three adults or two adults and two children. The polyester/cotton canvas tent body is lightweight and breathable, and it keeps up well in the rain and other elements.
A total of 49ft 2of floor area is provided by the honeycomb aluminum floor, which measures 85.8″ x 82.6″.
The vehicle may be packed down to 85.8″ x 54.3″ x 12.5″ when it is time to go.
Check for the most recent pricing information.
Best Rooftop Tent for Small Cars
Floor space: 28 square feet 45 inches is the maximum height. Weight: 125 pounds Capacities:2 Just because you have a little automobile doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of rooftop camping altogether. In its compressed state, this tent measures 57.1″ x 54.3″ x 12.5″ and is ideal for tiny cars, provided the crossbars are at least 30″ apart. The iKamper Skycamp Mini is a two-person three-season tent that can accommodate up to three people. It is made of a rigid shell with fiber reinforcement and quilted insulation.
Even though it weighs just 125 pounds, it has a weight limit of 900 pounds.
A 150D polyester rainfly, mesh netting to keep mosquitoes at bay, and two internal pockets round out the tent’s features.
The iKamper Skycamp Mini can be set up in less than a minute and is an excellent choice for a smaller car or the bed of a pickup truck. Check for the most recent pricing information.
Best Rooftop Tent for Families
Floor space: 48 square feet Peak height is 56 inches. Weight: 190 pounds Capacities:4 The Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4 is a vehicle rooftop tent that can accommodate up to four people and is ideal for family road vacations. It is made of a 600D polyester/cotton mix that is designed to endure the weather. Mold and ultraviolet radiation are also resistant to the tent fabric. The Thule Tepui Explorer is equipped with an enlarged canopy entry as well as a retractable annex that provides more storage space.
It has 48 square feet of floor space, floor measurements of 96 by 72 inches, and a maximum height of 56 inches.
If you want a lot of room, the Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4 is an excellent choice.
Best Budget Rooftop Tent
Floor space: 36.9 square feet 51 inches is the maximum height. Weight: 117 pounds Capabilities: 2+, 3+, 4+ The Smittybilt Overlander rooftop tent is the finest value for money when it comes to rooftop tents. When fully loaded, this 117-pound tent can support a total weight of 661 pounds and accommodate up to three people on a double/full mattress. This tent is simple to set up and take down, and it comes with a PVC cover that keeps moisture and UV damage to a minimum while not in use. It includes side windows as well as a sunroof and can be opened up to 95″ x 56″ x 51″.
The Smittybilt Overlander is the ideal budget-friendly tent for traveling in a car without sacrificing quality.
Best of Rest
Floor space: 28 square feet 42 inches is the maximum height. 101 lbs. is the maximum weight. Capacities:2 This two-person tent is a reliable transportable base camp for any occasion, no matter what the season. A combination of 600D ripstop polyester fabric, a 3,000mm waterproof PU coating on the outside, and 210D ripstop polyester rainfly provide four-season protection for the Yakima SkyRise HD 2. Because of the extra-large windows and doors, you’ll have plenty of fresh air, and the guylines and D-rings make it simple to secure your belongings.
84″ x 48″ in size, with a floor surface of 28ft 2 underfoot, the abrasion-resistant tent floor provides a lot of space.
If you want to be able to go camping on the spur of the moment at any time of year, the Yakima SkyRise HD 2 is a great option.
7.Tepui Tents HyBox
Floor space: 28.7 square feet Height at the apex: 37 in. Weight: 177 pounds Capacity:2 The HyBox by Tepui Tents is a pop-up roof top tent that functions as a hybrid system. It includes a zip that allows you to quickly transition from cargo box to tent. Because of its aerodynamic design, it is both fuel-efficient and silent on the road. A total area of 28.7ft2 is covered by the tent, which has a peak height of 37″. The floor measurements of the tent are 81″ x 51″, the area covered by the tent is 28.7ft2, and the peak height of the tent is 37″.
The canopy has a waterproof rating of 3,000mm and is equipped with netting to keep pests out of the apertures on all four sides.
A three-season hybrid system such as the Tepui Tents HyBox can be the best option for you if you’re seeking for something unique. Check for the most recent pricing information.
8.Front Runner Roof Top Tent
287 square feet of floor space Approximately 37 in. tall at the peak. the following is my weight: 177 pounds Capacity:2 It is possible to use a hybrid system with Tepui Tents HyBox, a pop-up roof top tent. Because of the zip, you can quickly transition from cargo box to tent. Aerated, silent, and fuel-efficient, its aerodynamic shell provides a comfortable and fuel-efficient ride. A total area of 28.7ft2 is covered by the tent, which has a peak height of 37″. The floor measurements of the tent are 81″ x 51″, and it has a floor area of 28.7ft2.
The canopy has a waterproof rating of 3,000mm and features mesh in all four holes to keep pests out.
A three-season hybrid system such as the Tepui Tents HyBox may be the best option for you if you’re seeking for something unique.
9.Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland
Floor space: 37.3 square feet 52 inches is the maximum height. 154 lbs. is the maximum weight. Capacity:3 The Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland was created to give you with the highest level of comfort, ease, and convenience when camping on the open road or in the wilderness. In the main tent (96″ x 56″ x 52″), there is accommodation for two persons, while the annex room has space for a queen mattress. The tent weighs 116 pounds and has a carrying capacity of 685 pounds. It can be set up in minutes without the use of any equipment.
The rainfly is a great addition to any outdoor gear collection.
The Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland may be mounted to any other vehicle with cross bars if you don’t have a Jeep or SUV.
Check for the most recent pricing information.
Floor space: 46.9 square feet Peak height is 46 inches. 120 lbs. is the maximum weight. Capacity:3 If you don’t like the look of bulky PVC coverings, the iKamper X-Cover is a good option. This soft-shell, low-profile design is easy to put up and takes only three minutes, allowing you to spend more time appreciating nature. A hardtop cover is included into the design to provide convenient shelter and freight transportation. The tent body is composed of a polyester/cotton canvas, while the rainfly is made of 150D polyester/cotton.
The king mattress is 2.5 inches thick and may accommodate three adults or two adults and two children.
The iKamper X-Cover is a low-profile solution for three-season camping that provides excellent protection from the elements.
Rooftop camping is far more convenient for certain people than traditional camping, so it’s unsurprising that it’s becoming more popular.
Camping with a rooftop tent provides an extra degree of comfort, convenience, and security to your camping experience. In this guide, you’ll almost certainly be able to identify the best solution for you and your car.
The Best Rooftop Tents You Can Buy
Camping. Before it seemed macho in John Wayne westerns, American society glorified it as a symbol of masculinity. Camping on the ground with a thin pad is not for everyone; it can be unpleasant, and the set up and deconstruction are almost always more time-consuming than anticipated. Consequently, rooftop tents — boxes that live above the car and can be quickly and easily deployed to create a dwelling that you enter via a folding ladder — are becoming a more popular solution for many would-be, kinda-sorta semi-into-nature types (i.e., your significant other who isn’t as into pine-scented goodness as you are).
Even if you acquire one, they will set you back many thousand dollars — but they will serve as your own AirBnb at all times.
Because shorter-roofed compact vehicles cannot distribute the weight of a large, 100-pound shelter as far as the rails of a longer SUV, you’ll want to make sure you choose the correct tent for your vehicle.
Furthermore, while softshell tents are often lighter and more economical, they also require a cover when being transported — as well as, in many cases, a rainfly in case of inclement weather.
The Best Rooftop Tents On Sale:
Backcountry.com courtesy of Thule x Tepui Low-Pro 3backcountry.com Price:$1,899.95
Best All-Around Rooftop Tent
The Low-Pro rooftop tent has a closed height of about 8.5 inches, making it one of the most low-profile options available in the rooftop tent market. This allows you to save money on petrol while also reducing the lift-off effect that a rooftop tent may have on a compact car traveling down the highway. With a weight of only 105 pounds, the Tepui tent is comparable to Yakima’s Skyrise in terms of portability. It also employs the same process to convert from its clamshell shape to a fully deployed shelter: you pry it open with the telescopic ladder.
Condorroofnest.com is a service provided by CourtesyRoofnest. Price:$3,095.00
Best Upgrade Rooftop Tent
The way the Condor deploys its “wings” is a particularly deft piece of engineering. It opens with a pop-up mechanism, like other hardshell designs, but the lid serves as one of the walls (very much like the iKamper Skycamp Mini). The tent unfolds like a soft clamshell form when viewed from this angle. As a result, the Condor and Condor XL are enormous inside, measuring more than seven feet across when fully open. The interior height is similarly limited to 50 inches, and the weight is also reasonable: 135 pounds for the smaller unit and 160 pounds for the larger one.
There’s also a skylight that may be opened for stargazing. Another advantage is a hardshell lid that allows you to store other equipment on top, such as kayaks, bicycles, and orskis.
Yakima Skyrise HD
Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tentbackcountry.com is credited with this image. Price:$1,599.00
Best Affordable Rooftop Tent
The two-person Yakima Skyrise HD weighs only 101 pounds, making it one of the lightest rooftop units in our list. It also has the most “tentlike” form of any rooftop unit in this guide, meaning it has a domed shape that allows you to sit up comfortably while inside. The innovative opening method — in which you use the ladder as a gigantic pry bar to unroll and set up the unit — is the same as that used by numerous other clamshell designs featured in this book. It is a minor hassle to anchor the rainfly, but it is not very difficult in the end.
Front Runner Roof Top Tent
Price: $1,146.00 Courtesy of Front Runner Roof Top Tent, courtesy of Front Runner Outfitters In addition to making some of the greatest roof racks available, Front Runner Outfitters also manufactures cargo solutions for a broad range of SUVs and trucks, ranging from the new Land Rover Defender to the Toyota Land Cruiser to, well, the old Land Rover Defender. Roof racks, on the other hand, serve as an excellent base for the brand’s rooftop tent. In its folded-up travel configuration, the tent is only 13 inches high, but when it’s time to sleep, it expands to over eight feet wide, despite its light weight of 95 pounds.
And if you want to be able to quickly remove it so that you can use your roof rack for other purposes, they also provide a rapid release tent mounting kit.
iKamper Skycamp Mini
Skycamp Miniikamper.com is a courtesy ofiKamper Skycamp Miniikamper.com Price:$3,499.00 Since its inception, iKamper has produced four-person hardshell tents; but, this shrunken Mini variant fits better in smaller cars—and at 125 pounds, it isn’t significantly heavier than softshell tents (though it is more expensive). The advantages include a sleeker design and rapid setup, as well as more remaining roof real estate than comparable hardshell versions if you’re not driving it on a tiny car. Furthermore, a clamshell aperture provides for a larger peak roof height of 45 inches due to the clamshell design.
Thule x Tepui Ruggedized Autana 3 + Annex
Thule x Tepui Ruggedized Autana 3 + Annexbackcountry.com courtesy of Thule x Tepui. Price:$2,799.95 Even the largest rooftop tent may not be large enough to accommodate all of the activities you wish to undertake in privacy when camping. The Tepui is an excellent choice for those conditions because of its durability and annex. All of the fabrics used in the tent and annex, as well as the telescopic ladder, are durable, weatherproof 600D ripstop blends, which ensure that you have a comfortable, wind- and water-resistant place to get dressed, prepare meals and use the restroom when you need it.
CourtesyRoofnest Falconroofnest.com CourtesyRoofnest Price:$3,495.00 During a weekend camping trip with the Falcon(read our review here), we realized that this clamshell tent is a fantastic way to spend time in the great outdoors. Setting it up and taking it down both take only a few seconds, and the sturdy design ensures it can withstand whatever the weather throws at it. Furthermore, not only does it include accessory channels on all four sides, allowing you to add features such as awnings, but it can also hold a pair of cross bars, ensuring that you don’t lose the usefulness of your roof rack when the tent is connected.
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7 Best Rooftop Tents Car Campers Must Buy for 2022
The best of the best As a result of its distinctive and handy design, rooftop tents have grown increasingly common. If you can’t afford ultra-light travel trailers yet don’t want to buy and use standard tents, they are the most intelligent and pleasant option available. Rooftop tents are very simple to put together. They attach to the roof of your vehicle (rooftop tents require a factory or aftermarket roof rack). Simply fold your tent open and go to your bed. Store your sleeping bag, close the tent, and start the motor when it’s time to meet the bright sun and travel to your next destination on your road trip.
However, there are several budget-friendly choices that are just as tough and weather-resistant as their high-end counterparts while being far less expensive.
If this is your first time purchasing a rooftop tent, be sure to read our no-nonsense guide to purchasing a rooftop tent before making a decision.
- Tent Buying Guide for Adventurers
- Roof Racks for Your Vehicle
- Tent Buying Guide for Families
Smittybilt Overlander (2783) Rooftop Tent
Rooftop tents are excellent for overlanding and camping with friends, but their high cost may deter some individuals from purchasing one. Good camping tents may be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars. A rooftop tent such as the Smittybilt Overlander 2783 is not exactly affordable, but at roughly $1,000, it is an excellent value. 2.3-inch foam mattress, a two-piece sliding ladder, cigarette lighter USB extension cords, and an LED light strip are all included in the package price. Each window is covered with no-see-um mesh on the inside, with canvas coverings on the exterior that may be pinned up with the spring poles that are provided.
- Dimensions when closed: 49 inches by 58 inches by 13 inches Dimensions when open: 95 inches by 56 inches by 51 inches
- 116 pounds in weight
Read more:Overlanding in America
The iKamper Skycamp 2.0, with its large, 1.8-inch-thick king-size foam mattress, is one of the finest compact rooftop tents for campers who like having extra sleeping space for up to four people on a budget. You won’t have to worry with attaching a separate waterproof cover because of the innovative design that unfolds from the hardshell on the interior. When camping in the rain, the top hardshell is double-layered to provide additional insulation from the elements. Integrated gas struts lift the lid of the big hardshell with minimum assistance during setup to aid with raising the huge hardshell.
The layers are as follows: solid fabric, clear waterproof vinyl, and no-see-um mesh.
When closed, the sleek hardshell measures just 12 inches in height and is equipped with secure stainless steel clip closures.
- Dimensions when closed: 85.8 inches x 54.3 inches x 12.5 inches Dimensions when opened: 85.8 inches by 82.6 inches by 43.3 inches
- Weight: 160 pounds
- Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Freespirit Recreation Adventure Premium Rooftop Tent
The Adventure Series tents from Freespirit Recreation are some of the best rooftop tents available for camping in tough circumstances. The Adventure Series GS 55-inch Premium is the middle child of the Adventure Series GS series, achieving a good balance between size, price, and features. The interior’s improved tri-layer design guarantees that it maintains heat in cold weather while being cool in hot situations. During the day, the almost 360-degree views provided by the panoramic windows are breathtaking.
Once the sun has set, the integrated LED lighting creates a pleasant environment while still providing ample light for reading. In addition, gas struts that are included into the design make setup simple. Simply unfasten the tie-down strap and this rooftop tent will automatically open.
- Dimensions when closed: 85 inches by 60 inches by 9 inches
- Dimensions when open: 80 inches by 55 inches by 47 inches
- 118 pounds in weight
Roofnest Sparrow Eye Rooftop Tent
Roofnest manufactures some of the most durable hard rooftop tents available on the market. The Sparrow Eye is a one-of-a-kind, freshly developed product that is the smallest in the company’s range and one of the most compact products available at any time. With a width of under 50 inches, it can be mounted to practically any car with a roof rack, ranging from a modest sedan to a full-size SUV or pickup truck. The fiberglass-reinforced ABS shell provides a snug but comfortable environment for two persons to sleep.
A 7.5-foot ladder, an anti-condensation pad, a mesh gear loft, and a removable pocket are among the other prominent features.
- Dimensions when closed: 85 inches by 50 inches by 11.5 inches Dimensions when open: 83 inches by 49 inches by 44 inches
- Weight: 130 pounds
- Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent
Thule’s Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 is an excellent choice for recreational camping, and it comes highly recommended. This softshell rooftop tent is far less expensive than the majority of its competitors. It’s also adaptable enough to fit on the roof racks of most automobiles and other vehicles. The mesh panels on the tent’s walls provide additional ventilation and circulation, allowing it to comfortably accommodate three people. You will receive a rooftop tent with a 600-denier ripstop body fabric that is UV and mildew resistant as well as a rain fly.
In terms of value for money, this Tepui tent is a good option to take into consideration.
- Dimensions when closed: 48 inches by 56 inches by 12 inches
- Dimensions when open: 96 inches by 56 inches by 52 inches
- Body weight: 131 pound
Yakima SkyRise HD 3 Tent
Yakima is a well-known company in the automotive industry for producing high-quality roof racks and automobile accessories. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the Yakima SkyRise HD 3 Tent is one of our top recommendations for this roundup. Because of its robust PU-coated materials, which keep you protected from the elements, this tent is ideal for both all-season and winter camping. It also has wide windows that provide a panoramic view of the mountains, as well as a thick sleeping mat that makes it more pleasant to sleep in the great outdoors.
Maximum of three people can be accommodated in this spacious and well-ventilated rooftop tent.
- Dimensions when closed: 56 inches x 48 inches x 16.5 inches Dimensions when open: 96 inches by 56 inches by 48 inches
- 114 pounds in weight
Rightline Gear Truck Tent
This truck tent, while it is not strictly a rooftop tent, is an excellent alternative if you own a pickup truck and don’t want to sleep on the floor. With this truck tent, you can quickly convert your vehicle by fitting the canvas over the tailgate of your truck, connecting and tightening the straps around your truck, and then erecting the tent with the poles included.
- Closed Dimensions: 23.3 inches x 14.2 inches x 14.2 inches
- 23.3 inches x 14.2 inches
- Dimensions when open: 77 inches by 71.25 inches by 58 inches
- 8.96 pounds in weight
- These are the 7 best hand warmers to keep your fingers toasty during the winter. There are seven best air mattresses for camping in comfort, and they are as follows: A list of the 11 best headlamps for all types of adventures for the year 2021
- Tent Purchasing Guide: How to Select the Most Appropriate Tent for Your Trip
- The Top 10 Best Camping Lanterns to Use in 2022 to Illuminate Your Path
Best Roof Top Tents for Cars & Overlanding
“The Roofnest Falcon is a fantastic investment for anyone who wants to get serious about camping with their vehicle,” says the author. “The Falcon is an excellent tent for frequent campers who are looking for efficiency and ease.” “The Roofnest Sparrow is one of the most attractive rooftop tents we’ve ever seen,” says the reviewer. “Getting in position with the Roofnest Sparrow is simple, and it has a lot of wow value,” says the author. It’s the next best thing to sleeping in an actual RV, according to the Sparrow XL’s owner.
“It’s becoming simpler to live off the grid.
It simplifies the process of automobile camping.” “Pitching a tent atop your car gives you the freedom to travel anywhere on the open road while always knowing where you’ll be sleeping.” ‘Roofnest has spent the better part of a decade establishing itself as one of the most prominent participants in the off-road and Overlanding rooftop tent industry, introducing whole new models or updated variations of current offers on a frequent basis.’ “Our Favorite Rooftop Tent,” says the author.
“Roofnest manufactures a high-quality product that is simple and easy to use, and it is built to withstand all types of weather.” I’ve set up a few tents over the years, but the Falcon Rooftop tent is the quickest.”
On all of the vehicles
In Less Than a Minute
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Our hard shell roof top tents are perfect for everyone from families to lone explorers. They fit on any vehicle.
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The date is July 19, 2021.
During the height of the Covid outbreak, our Sparrow provided us with the ability to securely travel the country. From New Jersey to Colorado, we’ve got you covered. We crossed in luxury, with the option to halt at any moment and from any location. Simple to assemble and disassemble. Thank you to Roofnest for enabling this to be accomplished. Now we’re looking forward to some wonderful, adventurous vacation time.
Challenging install but enjoying the tent
RoofNest is in desperate need of female employees! Is there anyone who can help me? Every single individual I spoke with over the course of my home-buying transaction was a gentleman. Aside from that, I am 5’4″ and will require the use of a stool to open and shut my tent. anything that was not explicitly stated in any of the documents I read Although it was not a deal breaker, it would have been wonderful if someone had addressed the problem of height. Furthermore, taking down the tent is more time-consuming when you are camping alone than when you have a second person to assist you in tucking the fabric along the sides.
- I had to spend three hours attaching the hardware to the stock roof rack on my 2006 Hyundai Tucson because of the factory roof rack.
- With the use of duct tape and a stick, we were able to hold the bracket against the Condor’s mounting plate while using the ratchet that came with it.
- I wish that I had been informed about this before to receiving my tent, and I even provided images to customer support, who did not respond in a helpful manner.
- It is fussy, and you must become accustomed to it!
- Customer care replied immediately, and I was able to sort it out shortly after our conversation.
- I imagine it to be like a mobile tree home flying in the sky.
- In addition, the air flow, many windows, and skylight are a pleasure to see.
The date is June 8, 2021.
Love the tent, it did have a defect, overall fantastic
This tent has served me well throughout the course of 169 miles on the Mojave route and across Death Valley. The mattress, in my opinion, is perfectly adequate; I have exped megamats and do not need to use them in conjunction with the mattress. It is just the right thickness, however I am sure there may be some who would prefer a little more cushioning. I’ve used it in the snow, and when all of the windows are closed because of the freezing weather, it does have the effect of accumulating moisture inside the vehicle from exhaling.
- This is especially true in dry weather.
- Fault, there was a defect in the tent from the manufacturer, which, in my opinion, is not a significant concern at all.
- Mine are located on opposite ends of the tent, one for the outside on the left side of the tent and one for the interior on the right side of the tent.
- Roofnest did offer me with a second controller as well as some other goodies, which made up for this tiny inconvenience, which, in my opinion, does not have an impact on the overall use of the tent’s features.
- We can all fit comfortably inside the tent.
- We normally just sleep all upright and alternate one kid’s and one adult’s heads directed towards the hard side of the tent and the other two heads pointed towards the entrance to ensure that we have just enough area for everyone.
The most restful night’s sleep I’ve ever experienced outside. I’m looking forward to taking it on my next vacation.
The date is June 8, 2021.
Best in the business
on the 8th of June in the year 2021.
Love this tent. Great customer service.
We’ve been in love with this tent ever since we put it up. It is quite long-lasting. There was a difficulty with the shipment, and the staff at RoofNest were outstanding in their handling of the situation. I am quite pleased with my buy.
Don’t Wait for Your Next Adventure
Purchase a Roofnest today and pay for it over time. As a result of our partnership with PayPal and Bread, we are able to provide a quick and simple way to obtain finance. As low as 0% APR for 6 months*, simple terms, and no hidden fees.
You belong outside.
Bringing the companionship, wonder, and adventure of the great outdoors closer to each and every client is part of our mission statement. In order to meet this need, we have created hard shell roof top tents that are both durable and simple to assemble, making outdoor camping accessible, pleasant, and handy for campers of all skill levels.
Meet the Founder
Tim Nickles, the founder of Roofnest, has lived in Boulder for 25 years and was practically reared in the great outdoors. With hiking boots on his feet and camping gear on his back, he spent his infancy traveling the Alaskan wilderness, and he first put on a pair of skis when he was only three years old. At an early age, Tim recognized the importance of being immersed in nature in shaping who we are and inspiring who we aspire to become. After growing older and venturing further afield, Tim discovered the value of his camping gear, which he used to access the outdoor lifestyle he’d grown up loving.
- It was then that he began his lifetime quest of adapting, developing, and manufacturing outdoor camping equipment that made packing up and sleeping beneath the stars easier and more pleasant than ever before.
- The roof tent offered him with a night’s sleep that was as comfortable as his own bedroom, only to wake up to fresh mountain air and views of awe-inspiring alpine mountains when he opened his window.
- Tim understood right then and there that rooftop tents would be a lifetime fascination of his.
- He was successful.
Check out our Roofnest owner community for more information.