Why Get A Roof Top Tent

What’s the Deal With Rooftop Tents?

“Seriously, though, these things are a little silly, don’t you think? Are there any genuine advantages to sleeping on a mattress instead on the ground?” It was I who did this. A few years back, I remarked this out loud to a Yakima representative while standing in front of a rooftop tent (RTT) fastened on a pickup truck that was studded with overlanding gear and parked next to a lovely faux camp setup. To be quite honest, I don’t even remember his answer, other than a bewildered chuckle in my direction.

I was completely mistaken.

Not too long after that embarrassing encounter with the Yakima representative, I was camping with a buddy in Big Sur, and my perspective began to alter dramatically.

I immediately went to investigate.

  1. She then got back into her car and nodded with pleasure.
  2. It took her only a few steps to hop onto the car’s floor, reach up for the RTT’s ladder, step down, and walk back around 10 feet until the tent was triumphantly unfurled and ready to be transported.
  3. With her feet dangling six feet above the ground and a cool drink in her palm, she was ready to go in five minutes.
  4. The next morning, as I shook out my groundcloth and flipped my tent upside down to shake the dirt and tiny sticks out of it, I observed her pack up her tent with the same ease and drive away from the campsite.
  5. Suddenly, everything made sense, and I was desperate for a copy.
  6. In the intervening years, I’ve experimented with two other brands: one from Yakima and one from Thule (Thule bought Tepui tents a couple years ago, and their RTT division is now Thule Tepui, confusingly).
  7. Both tents have proven to be excellent investments, and I’ve become a convert to RTT camping.

They’re practically comparable in terms of functionality.

The ladder serves as the unfolding mechanism for both tents, and once the ladder is in the proper position, the tents are properly built.

When the tent is folded up for driving, it is protected by a waterproof cover, and both the Yakima and Thule coverings operate in the same way, using a zipper and velcro system.

Yakima Skyrise HD 3 is a high-definition camera.

The Yakima’s pad is somewhat thicker, measuring 2.5 inches in thickness as opposed to the Thule’s 2-inch cushion.

In fact, it is exactly what you get when you use an RTT.

When compared to ground camping, you just cannot beat the level of comfort provided by one of these RVs.

If you leave your shoes at the door, you won’t drag dirt inside your tent, which is a welcome relief after a few days of camping in the wilderness.

These poles are responsible for supporting the roof.

If I’m going to be traveling for a while, I’ll leave my sleeping bag or blankets in the RTT, and they’ll fold up with the tent when it’s closed.

Furthermore, camping availability varies on a regular basis.

If your car can fit on a spot of ground, you’ve got yourself a wonderful campground, regardless of whether or not the land is rough, uneven, or infested with bugs.

There’s simply something about sitting well up off the ground with your legs swinging freely while using an RTT that appeals to me.

There are, however, certain disadvantages.


The Yakima Skyrise HD weighs around 115 pounds, while the Thule weighs approximately 120 pounds.

In addition, you’ll need a place to keep the tent while it’s not in use.


When I install an RTT in my 2016 Subaru Outback, I see at least a 4mpg reduction in fuel economy, depending on the wind, height, and other factors.

They are prohibitively pricey.

Additionally, if you do not already have heavy-duty roof racks, it will cost you an additional $300 to $500.5.

I can set mine up in less than 10 minutes and take it down in less than five minutes, but that’s something to keep in mind while planning.

I have a place to keep one when it is not in use, as well as a companion who can assist me in putting it on and taking it off.

Even if I had the same circumstance, I’m not sure I’d prescribe an RTT to someone who didn’t have it.

So, who are these intended for?

RTTs, on the other hand, are increasingly being seen on wagons, compact SUVs, and even Priuses on occasion.

The original purpose of these tents, I believe, was to be used for extreme overlanding, when people would be driving far out into the desert and would be unable to forecast ground surface conditions.

If you spend a lot of time traveling deep into BLM territory, you’re probably already in possession of one of them.

Oh, that’s right, it’s my fave.

I and my wife (both of us are over six feet tall) and our two-year-old daughter can comfortably fit on the 95 by 58-inch floorspace, which is more than adequate for the three of us.

When packed closed, the maximum height is 10 inches, with the height on the non-hinged side tapering down to around 7 inches.

Even when there’s a lot of wind, you feel as solid as a rock up on the ridge.

Because it requires the use of nuts and bolts to secure it in place, the Thule system is somewhat more difficult to install than the Yakima system, which clamps on with no tools necessary.

There are, of course, hard-sided RTTs available as well, but they lack the roominess of the fabric RTTs I’ve tested, and they are thus not suitable for my requirements.

I never expected that I would fall in love with RTTs, and now I can’t image ever wanting to be without them. BUYThule Tepui Low-Pro 3 Yakima Skyrise HD 3 Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3

Other RTTs and accessories

Despite the fact that it has less frills than the Yakima or Thule, theSmittybuilt Overlander 2can be found for as low as $1,200 and has a respectable reputation. The Roofnest Sparrow EYE is a clam shell tent with a hard-sided roof. It’s long-lasting and can accommodate solar panels, but it costs $3,000 to purchase. The Yakima Sidekickattaches to the rail of an RTT and provides shoe storage. Because both Thule and Yakima utilize the same attachment method, this should work for both companies. Thule manufactures fitted sheets for its RTTs, which are excellent for keeping your mattress clean and free of stains.

That particular model is no longer available, but the Camp Chef Portable Fire Ring does the same thing without the metal ring that serves as a footrest.


Are Rooftop Tents Worth It?

Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of a rooftop tent if you’re from the United States. This is comprehensible given the fact that they initially gained popularity in the country of Australia. When it comes to creepy crawlies, Australia is famous for them, and a rooftop tent will keep you off the ground and far away from any four-legged visitors to your campsite. The use of these products has risen in popularity in other nations with high insect populations over the past couple of decades, and they’re finally making an appearance in the United States as well.

We’re going to speak about the advantages of owning a rooftop tent in a moment.

Where Are You Camping?

A rooftop tent gives you more flexibility in terms of placement than a standard tent. You may use it in places where a standard set would be problematic or simply prohibited due to the fact that it is mounted on your automobile. For example, a Walmart parking lot, an RV parking lot, or a highway rest stop are all examples of parking lots. After all, why pay to stay at a campground when you can sleep anywhere you want, whenever you want? Rooftop tents, on the other hand, are quite heavy. All but the smallest alternatives weigh roughly 100 pounds, which is almost 90 pounds more than even the heaviest camping tents on the market.

What Kind of Camping Are You Doing?

A rooftop tent offers you more flexibility in terms of placement than a standard tent. You may use it in places where a regular set would be problematic or simply prohibited due to the fact that it is mounted on your vehicle. For instance, a Walmart parking lot, an RV parking lot, or a highway rest stop are all examples of parking lots. Why pay for a campground when you may sleep anywhere you want, whenever you want, without paying a thing? However, rooftop tents are cumbersome and difficult to move around.

All but the smallest alternatives weigh roughly 100 pounds, which is almost 90 pounds more than even the heaviest camping tents on the market. With one of these giants on your back, you’re not going to be trekking the Appalachian Trail, or even walking a mile, for the rest of the day.

What Kind of Vehicle Do You Own?

Rooftop tents of varying sizes and shapes will be accepted by different sorts of vehicles. For example, a large SUV or pickup truck with a bed lid may easily store a very large tent in the trunk. When traveling by vehicle, the carrying capacity is likely to be reduced, yet even a tiny car can often accommodate a two-person tent. There are also some interesting solutions available for pickup truck beds, some of which may even make use of the space above the cab to serve as a loft. Another significant factor to consider is the weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof.

That being said, it is essential to be safe, so check your vehicle’s cargo capacity and ensure that it is sufficient to handle the rack system, the tent, however many people will be sleeping inside, and all of your camping gear.

More information may be found by clicking on the image.

What’s Your Budget?

Tents made of traditional materials are reasonably priced. And yes, we are aware that some versions can be found for as much as $700, $800, or even more on the secondary market. There are a plethora of alternatives available, each with a slew of bells and whistles. The reality is that you can get inside a usable tent for less than $300. Rooftop tents require sturdy bottoms that provide a lot of support. They also feature ladders, which must be foldable and safe to drive with in the vehicle. As a result, they are a little on the expensive side.

With that much, you could purchase some of the most opulent hiking tents on the globe.


So, are rooftop tents a good investment? It all depends on what you’re searching for in the first place. There are better choices available if you want to camp in the woods or keep your tent set up while you travel about in your car to other destinations. They’re also not a good fit for automobiles that aren’t capable of supporting a roof rack. The contrary is true in that rooftop tents are less difficult to set up than regular tents. They keep you off the ground and away from pests, and they let you to camp in unusual places without being bothered by them.

We included one in our gift recommendations a few years ago, and we have to tell, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

More information may be found by clicking on the image.

A Car-Top Tent Changed The Way I Camp

A relatively new category of camping equipment in North America, car-top tents are a very new concept. They are simply tents that can be set up on top of a vehicle and folded down when not in use. In the course of a month on the road in a Tepui model, I’ve grown to appreciate the manner of camping in certain circumstances. Rooftop tents are a useful new tool for campers to have at their disposal. These new-fangled camping arrangements, whether they’re referred to as rooftop tents, car-top tents, or pop-ups, are causing quite a stir in the media.

  • A tent on the roof of your car or truck may look a little out of the ordinary.
  • After travelling from Colorado to Alaska with a Tepui Kukenam Ruggedized rooftop tent put on the camper top of my Ford Ranger, I’m a firm believer in the product’s effectiveness.
  • It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is the best new tool I’ve discovered in years for getting a good night’s sleep whether camping or hiking.
  • We’ll keep this article up to date as necessary to remain on top of the latest developments in the genre.

Check out our page on theTepui Kukenam Ruggedizedrooftop tent for a review of this product. And no, I’m not giving up my hiking tent anytime soon. However, if I’m vehicle camping, there’s a strong likelihood that I’ll be opening and closing the top on a frequent basis for the foreseeable future.

Rooftop Tents: A Primer

Car-top tents are a relatively new phenomenon in North America. They were popular in Australia, as well as other countries with more terrible pests and vermin on the ground, many years ago. However, they are still considered original in this area, and you will attract attention when you are setting up this contraption. However, the interest is well-founded; it appears to be completely insane, and others will marvel how it does not fall off your truck. In order to do so, you’ll need a very sturdy roof rack, and at least the Tepui type that I tested is built to last a lifetime.

  1. Setting up the Tepui (and most rooftop tents) is really simple, which is one of the tent’s many advantages.
  2. It features a built-in memory foam mattress that is more comfortable than any sleeping pad I’ve ever used.
  3. In many aspects, it is quite similar to a standard, heavy canvas camp tent, except that it is mounted on a flat steel platform on top of your car instead of the ground.
  4. This affords a very unique view on campsites when the windows are open.Rooftop campers reside at a strange crossroads of RVs and tents, and you’ll find yourself wondering if you should pay an RV fee or a tent rate while visiting campgrounds.
  5. However, the configuration offers some of the advantages of RVs, like the flexibility to camp in locations where you would never want to pitch a tent.
See also:  How Much To Tent A 2200 Square Foot Home For Termites

A Night In The Walmart Parking Lot

My wife and I were driving the ALCAN from Colorado to Alaska late one night when we stopped at a Tim Hortons to get some WiFi and a doughnut for the road. I asked one of the officers for recommendations for a suitable area to camp for the night when a group of cops strolled in (I’m not exaggerating). What was his response? “There’s a Walmart just a few minutes down the road.” Set up beside the other RVs and wait for it to be ready.” Walmart has a nice peculiarity in that many of their stores allow you to sleep in the parking lot.

  1. Although the nearest campground was an hour away, it was likely to be closed due to the fact that it was still early May and most amenities were still closed for the winter.
  2. We were zonked out in the Walmart in Grand Prairie, Alberta, after only a few minutes of setting up shop.
  3. This has occurred on a number of occasions since the rooftop tent was installed.
  4. In addition to giving seclusion and at least the illusion of more security than sleeping in a light tent on the ground is the Tepui’s thick cloth, which is dark and robust.

This design also elevates you over obstacles such as pebbles, uneven terrain, pine cones, and other obstacles because the surface is always the same level surface, even if you’re on a paved parking lot.

Rooftop Tent ProsCons

Aspects I liked: The Tepui I tested is quite comfy, simple to put up, robust, and weather-resistant. It provides a smooth platform for sleeping, and I wake up feeling refreshed. In general, I believe I sleep better in a ground tent than I do in a conventional tent. I can’t speak for all roof-top tents, but the heavier fabrics allow for substantial beds as well as excellent weather protection in certain cases. We set up the tent such that it could be opened over the tailgate for weather protection.

  • Given that you are driving your normal car rather than a land yacht, it is also far less difficult to drive.
  • However, my wife and I do bring along a huge water cube, a two-burner stove, and a YETI cooler just in case.
  • Because no one will be sleeping there, you may stuff it to capacity.
  • Similarly, and especially in bear country, you may store your belongings within the topper while it is not in use or during the nighttime hours of operation.
  • The topper no longer serves as a bedroom, but rather as a gear storage and kitchen, with the bedroom located on the upper level.
  • When this is parked in a parking lot, everyone will notice it.
  • The disadvantage is that you cannot just put up your tent and drive away.
  • If you want to set up a camp for a week and then use your car to go on excursions, you’ll have to take down the tent every time you want to go anywhere.
  • It’s important to note that you will not be removing the tent from your vehicle in order to set it up on the ground for a short period of time.
Rooftop Camping: Tepui Kukenam Ruggedized Tent Review

When you drive your car or truck with the Tepui Kukenam Ruggedized rooftop tent, your vehicle becomes a mobile palace. For this review, we took it all the way up the Alaska Highway. More information may be found here. Another disadvantage is that the tent reduces fuel efficiency to a certain extent and can impair the performance of your vehicle. I haven’t noticed any significant changes in my Ford Ranger, but I believe it is costing me about a half-mile per gallon more. There appears to be no difference in handling, although I’m sure it would have an impact on high-speed cornering, which is something I’d never even consider in a pickup truck with an attached topper anyway.

However, if you’re getting weird, rock crawling on sketchy trails, you probably already knew that.

Rooftop tents are not inexpensive (prices range from approximately $1,000 to $2,000 or more, with a rack system adding several hundred dollars to the total cost).

Even when the rooftop system is compared to a high-quality tent and sleeping pad package, the price difference becomes less significant, but the rooftop system is still significantly more expensive.

Car-Top Tent Types

A roof-top tent is classified into three categories: those that open like a book and have a hefty canvas body and roof, literal “pop-ups” with a hard top and canvas body, and roof-top tents that are built into the vehicle as an after-market modification (think VW pop-tops). Hard-top rooftop tents are easy to set up since they can be rolled out of the car. The Tepui I tested was the fully-fabric version, which is what I recommend. Depending on the type of vehicle and the arrangement requested, they can be configured to fold to the side or to the back of the car.

Hard-top tents are known for being extremely quick to set up since they either pop straight up or tilt up from one side.

Car-Top Camper Installation

Rooftop tents are heavy and require a sturdy roof rack to transport them. They weigh well over 100 pounds, so be sure the rack you want to use has the capacity to accommodate them. I utilized a Yakima system with Core Bars and Skyline Towers in conjunction with my Tepui system, and it has proven to be excellent, especially because the towers can be removed with the flick of a lever, enabling the entire rig to be raised off the ground pretty quickly and effortlessly. Immediately following installationThe first installation of the Tepui on my vehicle was rather straightforward, and it was completed in about an hour by three individuals.

In the Tepui Kukenam review, I go into further depth regarding the installation process.

Rooftop, Or Ground?

A rooftop tent will be quite useful for people who are traveling for a lengthy period of time and will be on the move a lot. In addition to being ideal for the Alaska Highway, it would also be ideal for camping and severe weather conditions. It’s especially useful if you plan to spend a significant amount of time in your vehicle. Those who spend weeks or months at a time on the road or at campsites would much appreciate the additional comfort provided by this arrangement. Those on a tight budget or who only camp for a few days a week would be better served by a classic tent, which is more affordable.

– Have questions about car-top camping?

Please post your questions in the comments section and we will respond as soon as we can.

What is the Point of a Roof Top Tent?

Roof top tents (RTTs) are growing increasingly popular in the United States with each passing season, and in this article, we’ll examine why this is happening. The chances are that you’ve seen trucks driving about with what appears to be an odd-shaped storage bag on top, but they are actually tents that can be folded out to create lovely off-the-ground oasis when needed.

If this list doesn’t persuade you that you need one in your life, nothing else will either. What is the purpose of a roof top tent, exactly? Here are ten of the benefits:

1. Sleeping off ground level

We’ll look at the reasons why roof top tents (RTTs) are getting more popular in the United States with each passing season in this piece. The chances are that you’ve seen vehicles driving about with what appears to be an odd-shaped storage bag on top, but they are actually tents that can be folded out to create delightful off-the-ground retreats when needed. If this list doesn’t persuade you that you need one in your life, nothing else will! A roof top tent serves what purpose exactly? As an example, consider these ten benefits:

2. It’s more secure

This is an additional benefit of being above ground, but it ought to be mentioned on its own. Animals are less likely to get access to your tent if it is elevated above the ground, and this is especially true if you remove the ladder while you aren’t in the tent, preventing squirrels and other small animals from climbing up. It will also be much more difficult for creepy crawlies such as spiders, scorpions, and snakes to gain entry inside your tent as a result of this. RTTs have long been popular in Australia and Africa, where there are a variety of dangerous animals on the ground, but they have only just gained popularity in the United States, where they are becoming more common.

A tent set up on the ground may be dismantled and transported in a couple of minutes.

Some ardent offroaders sleep in their truck beds with a truck topper over them, but this means that all of their gear must be kept somewhere else while they are sleeping.

3. Comfortable sleeping platform/pad

Even if you have the most luxurious ground tent and air mattress ever created, this may not be the case for you; but, in general, rooftop tents are equipped with high-density memory foam mattresses, which are far more comfortable than air mattresses. Especially if your spouse or significant other is accompanying you on your camping trip, the prospect of being nearly thrown off your air mattress every time the other person moves at all becomes tedious quickly. Rooftop tents also have a hard bottom (often made of fiberglass, steel, aluminum, or something similar) that is absolutely smooth, in contrast to the roughness of the ground below them.

See also:  States Where You Can Live In A Tent

If you ask me, the fable of the Princess and the Pea wasn’t really all that overblown in the first place.

4. Durability

In the event that you’ve ever spent the night in a ground tent during a wind/rain/hail/snowstorm, you’re probably aware that you’ll be kept awake all night by the flapping of the tent material, that you’ll most likely wake up in a pool of cold water the next morning, and that your tent may even be damaged beyond repair. Particularly horrifying is if you manage to fall asleep only to be startled by the damaged side of your tent being blown so flat to the ground that it is suffocating you from the inside of the tent.

A rooftop tent, on the other hand, does not have any of these difficulties to worry about.

When it comes to canvas sides, most RTTs have them, but they are far more robust than they were in the past, and many of them have mechanisms that allow you to tighten the canvas even more if it is really windy.

Because your vehicle will be bearing all of the weight, most ground tents are designed to be lightweight and movable, but RTTS are designed to be sturdy and long-lasting.

RTTs are frequently made of steel or aluminum, and the canvas used to cover them is far more durable than the lightweight material used to cover ground tents. A RTT with a fold-out type bed more than doubles your sleeping area.

5. Convenient and quick to set up

To put up most RTTs, you just park your car in a sufficiently level location, unlock the locks or latches, and your tent will either spring up on its own or may be swiftly folded open. Because there are no poles to connect or stakes to drive into the ground, RTTs are often faster and easier to set up than ground tents. However, some RTTs feature annexes that need a few additional minutes of setup time. As an added bonus, you can leave your bedding in place even while the tent is packed down, ensuring that everything is ready to go the moment you open the tent.

6. Super mobile

Most RTTs are really simple to put up: you simply park your car in a sufficiently level location, unlock the locks or latches, and your tent will either spring up on its own or you may rapidly fold it up to accommodate your needs. The addition of annexes can add a few minutes to the set-up time, but in general, RTTs are faster and easier to erect than traditional ground tents since there are no poles to assemble or stakes to drive into ground. As an added bonus, you can leave your bedding in place even while the tent is packed down, ensuring that everything is ready to go the moment the tent door is opened.

7. Cheaper than RVs

A hardshell RTT may be purchased for between $2,500 and $5,000, which is still much less expensive than even the most rudimentary RV. Even though an RTT will not give you with the amenities of an RV such as a bathroom, running water, or cooking facilities, it will provide you with some of the conveniences and mobility that an RV would provide, especially when compared to a ground tent setup. Camping with an RTT is similar to camping with an RV in that it can be done in all weather and on any terrain, but ground tents are really only pleasant and practicable in very mild weather and on flat ground, similar to camping with an RV.

In addition, because RTTs have a minimal influence on your gas mileage (around half a mile per gallon), driving your ordinary car with an RTT may save you a significant amount of money when compared to driving an RV or pulling a trailer, saving money is important.

8. Save space inside your vehicle

Due to the fact that you will not be using the truck bed area for sleeping, as I said in the security section, you can keep all of your pricey stuff locked away in your car even while you are sleeping. You won’t have to reorganize your entire car every time you want to sleep this way, though.

Aside from that, you won’t have to worry about having to stow a tent, sleeping bags, and air mattresses in your car because everything you need to sleep on is already prepared and ready to go up top in your RTT. This allows you to have more space in your car for additional supplies and toys.

9. Additional storage on top

Due to the fact that you will not be using the truck bed area for sleeping, as I said in the security section, you can keep all of your valuable equipment locked away in your vehicle even while you are sleeping. You won’t have to reorganize your entire car every time you want to sleep this way either. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about keeping a tent, sleeping bags, and air mattresses in your car because everything you need to sleep on is fully prepared and ready to be transported to the top of your RTT vehicle.

10. Easy year-round use

Due to the fact that you will not be using the truck bed area for sleeping, as I said in the security section, you can keep all of your valuable equipment locked away in your car even while you are sleeping. You won’t have to reorganize your entire car every time you want to sleep this way! Additionally, you won’t have to worry about keeping a tent, sleeping bags, and air mattresses in your car because everything you need to sleep on is fully prepared and ready to be transported to the top of your RTT.

Roof top Tent FAQs

Do you require a roof rack in order to use a rooftop tent? It is true that you will require a roof rack or crossbars that have a dynamic weight capacity (DWC) that is at least equal to or more than the weight of the tent. Because the DWC specifies the maximum amount of weight that the rack can support while the vehicle is in motion, you only need to consider the weight of the tent itself, not the weight of you and anybody else who will be sleeping in the tent, because the vehicle will not be in motion at that time.

  • Most roof racks will work with an RTT.
  • What is the maximum amount of weight that can be placed on the top of a car?
  • This implies that, while your vehicle is in motion, you should never go beyond the speed limit set for it.
  • Make careful to verify the weight capacity of your RTT before hauling all of your pals up into the tent, or you might wind up causing serious damage to the top of your car.
  • If you’re towing a large object, such as a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, make sure you attach cam straps and guy lines to the front and rear tow hooks on your vehicle to secure your cargo and avoid turning your car into a convertible.

I’m wondering how much it would cost to convert a Sprinter van. Purchasing Our School Bus for Skoolie Conversion ($5K Budget Is Enough for This?) Under $7,500 was spent on an overland vehicle on a tight budget.

Dear Wirecutter: Should I Buy a Rooftop Tent?

This summer, I’m planning to go camping a lot, and I’ve been seeing photographs of rooftop tents on social media that have piqued my interest. They appear to be of high quality, but they are also somewhat pricey. Is it worthwhile to purchase one? When it comes to structure and function, rooftop tents are similar in appearance to regular tents, but that’s where the similarities end. Roof tents, which have become more popular on social media, have prompted big outdoor firms such as Yakima to begin extending their product lines into the roof-tent market in response to the demand.

  1. In general, soft-top tents open out to the side, whereas hard-shell tents pop up like the top of an old Volkswagen camper.
  2. When we first started looking for a rooftop tent guide, we ran into a few problems straight from the bat: Typically, rooftop tents are excessively costly for the majority of individuals, costing anything from $1,000 to $5,000 per tent.
  3. The conclusion we reached was that rooftop tents have minimal advantages over conventional tents when it comes to improving your car-camping experience, and we recommend that you avoid them if possible.
  4. A rooftop tent’s historical roots may be traced back to the African wilderness and the Australian Outback, where they provided people with a secure haven in which to sleep in order to escape encounters with a variety of predators, from lions and tigers to deadly snakes and spiders.
  5. Most national parks in the United States have few large predators, and if you’re a frequent camper, you’re undoubtedly familiar with how to keep yourself safe from bears.
  6. Soft-top roof tents are more similar in appearance to a standard tent, having an interior pole system and a triangular form, but they are often constructed of a considerably thicker canvas than standard tents.
  7. These tents are manufactured by firms such as ARB, Cascadia Vehicle Tents, Eezi-Awn, and Tepui, among others.

Hard-shell roof tents, which are largely supplied by AutoHome and James Baroud, are typically constructed of fiberglass and covered with synthetic material.

All of the models we looked at featured shredded memory-foam mattresses on the interior as well.

First and foremost, most rooftop tents are too costly.

The expense of getting started with an inexpensive soft-shell tent and a simple roof-rack system, on the other hand, is likely to be at least $1,500.

For example, a less costly hard-top tent with a roof rack will set you back around $2,800 upfront.

Alternatively, you might spend some substantial money on some very great camping equipment.

For the second time, in order to effectively utilize a rooftop tent, you must have a third party roof-rack system installed on your vehicle (some popular ones include models from Rhino-Rack, Thule, or Yakima).

For example, roof tents weigh around 150 pounds, and most preinstalled roof bars are rated to support exactly 150 pounds, not more.

Even if you have a solid third-party rack put on your car, the weight of the tent can have a variety of negative consequences, the most obvious of which is a significant reduction in mileage (because of the added weight and increased drag).

Finally, a roof tent will boost the center of gravity of your vehicle, making it less safe and more susceptible to potentially toppling over.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the time it will take to install the system.

According to the model, clips and bolts are required for both installation and removal of a rooftop tent; as a result, once the tent is mounted to your vehicle, you probably won’t want to take it off for several months.

Driving your closed-up roof tent all around town on a daily basis, aside from making you look ridiculous, might also reduce your overall mileage.

Before you begin setting up camp, you must park your car on a fully level area, since driving on uneven terrain might result in a terrible night’s sleep for you and your family.

Aside from that, folks who own pets have told us that getting their dogs inside the tent can be difficult, especially if the dog is not used to climbing ladders or other obstacles.

See also:  How To Secure A Tent Without Stakes

Yes, that is true for some people: Rooftop tents allow you to sleep anywhere you want—in parking lots and on the side of the road, for example—while functioning more like RVs than tents in terms of functionality.

However, we recommend that you contact a reputable vendor in your region who can assist you in customizing your setup and providing some suggestions on an acceptable tent.

If you’re not an overlander but would like to experiment with a rooftop tent, we recommend spending a bit less than the list price on Yakima’s newest roof tentmodel, which is available for less than list price.

Although we haven’t heard many positive reviews for this one yet, it is the most cheap and entry-level rooftop tent choice available right now.

For the time being, heed Wes Siler’s words of wisdom: Instead of a rooftop tent, save money by purchasing a big tent that includes a luxurious air mattress.

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The Best Gear for Your Road Trips

  • Contributed by Kit Dillon and the Wirecutter staff The following items are the result of 120 hours of study and 1,500 miles behind the wheel
  • We have narrowed down the list to the items that are definitely necessary for your next road trip.

Getting Work Done on an iPad

  • Submitted byHaley Perry With the correct equipment, you can accomplish a surprising amount of work on an iPad. These are the finest iPad accessories for converting your tablet computer into a mobile workstation.

Gear for Car Camping

  • Kit Dillon contributed to this article. In order to avoid hiking and lugging gear into the woods, the Wirecutter outdoor crew prefers to go automobile camping. This is the equipment they bring with them.

5 Reasons to Ditch Your Tent and Get a Rooftop One Instead

Consider the following scenario: You choose your camping location, erect your tent, and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. You crawl into the house and nestle into your sleeping bag, only to discover that the ground is bumpy and uneven everywhere. You’ve already entered the building and it’s too late to leave, so you decide to deal with the situation. In the middle of the night, you are awoken by a pool of water in your tent, which causes you to fall asleep again. Your rainfly was in place, but you chose a shady site to camp, and now you’re wet to the bone.

  • Rooftop tents are portable structures that can be attached to the roof of your car or to a trailer, and they have completely transformed the concept of “car camping.” Here are five compelling arguments for why you should give one a go.
  • This is possibly the most crucial and instantly obvious component of camping in a rooftop tent.
  • Whether or not you have an unreasonable fear of animals attacking you in your tent on the ground, camping in a rooftop tent provides a sense of security that you would not otherwise experience.
  • The majority of rooftop tents are equipped with built-in beds.
  • The design allows you to move about and roll around without fear of slipping off your mattress or becoming injured.
  • There is no need to battle with the poles and the tent body when putting it all together.
  • Set the height of the ladder and then forget about it.
  • According to what was stated in the opening, selecting the appropriate campground may make all the difference.
  • 5Whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, you’ll likely have more space than you would in a two-person tent.
  • It’s sort of like the backwoods equivalent of a California monarch in appearance.

Our Favorite Rooftop Tents

Purchasing Guidelines to Get You Started Is Kukenam XL Ruggedized for Use? Skyby Tepui Tents are $2,250, while White Lightning Hard Shellby Tepui Tents are $2,250. More information may be found here.

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How to Choose a Roof-Top Tent

With 279 customer reviews, the average rating is 4.5 stars. Given that camping has been around since Homo erectus came down from the trees, it would appear that we don’t have many new advancements in the art of sleeping beneath the stars to share with the rest of the world. As a result of their elevated positions, roof-top tents are drawing the attention of many campers who like to stay on the ground during their camping excursions. You should be aware of the following things if you are considering purchasing a roof-top tent:

  • Roof-top tents have their advantages and disadvantages. The trade-off between a quick setup and a higher cost is critical
  • How to determine which tent is compatible with your vehicle: Before you buy a tent, vehicle, or rack, double-check the specifications. They are attached to your car in the following ways: Because the floor is bolted to your roof rack, make sure you have a sturdy mounting system.

Roof-top tents have both advantages and disadvantages. Crucial factors include the time it takes to set up vs the higher expense. Find out which tent is compatible with your car by reading the following. Before you buy a tent, vehicle, or rack, double-check the specifications of each item. Attachment to your car is accomplished in the following ways: You must ensure that your roof rack is properly installed before installing the floor; otherwise, you may damage the floor.

The Appeal of a Roof-Top Tent

Although roof-top tents have grown increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, they have been around for decades, originally garnering favor in locations such as Australia, where camping beyond the reach of creepy crawlies was immediately recognized as a brilliant concept. Several roof-top tent owners have expressed how having a lofty view point resonated with them on a primitive level in recent years. Perhaps it’s a throwback to our youth and a fondness for treehouses—or even further back in our psyches, to a time when humans slept in trees so that we could monitor our surroundings from a secure vantage point before falling off to sleep in a tree.

Pros of a Roof-Top Tent

  • Pitching comfort: It is designed to be simple to set up. Once you’ve arrived at camp, you just untie a few straps, pop the tent open, and set up the poles and ladder
  • A sturdy construction: Generally speaking, the floor, tent fabric, and pole materials are all very durable and capable of withstanding inclement weather conditions. Most come with a super-plush foam mattress
  • However, some do not. Anywhere is a good place to camp: Set up camp anywhere: at a campground, a parking lot, a rural gravel road, or somewhere else. When you camp above the ground, you can avoid rainfall runoff, crawling critters, pebbles and sticks from getting into your tent floor. Stay level when camping: Placing strategically placed bricks or boulders beneath your tires might help you maintain a level surface.

Cons of a Roof-Top Tent(yes, there are a few)

  • Cost: Significantly more expensive than a camping tent (albeit less expensive than an RV)
  • Driving at a high rate increases aerodynamic drag, which has an adverse effect on your gas consumption and battery life. The initial rooftop connection is time-consuming: Furthermore, you must consider whether or not you want to go to the hassle of removing it between camping excursions. Day travels become more complicated: You can’t leave it set up while driving away from your long-term camp in your automobile.

Fitting a Roof-Top Tent to Your Vehicle

Due to the fact that the majority of roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, you’ll want to be certain that your rack is equal to the work. If you don’t already have a roof rack, you’ll want to keep the weight of your tent in mind while you hunt for a rack to act as the foundation for your vehicle. Because the specifications you want are not always readily available, you may have to contact both your vehicle’s manufacturer and the rack manufacturer directly in order to obtain the information you require.

  • Most roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, so you’ll want to be sure that your roof rack is adequate to the duty of supporting the weight. It is important to consider the weight of your tent while shopping for a roof rack that will act as its base if you do not already have one. Due to the difficulty in obtaining the specifications you want, you may have to contact both your vehicle’s manufacturer and its rack manufacturer for the information you require. You can use the following information to determine whether or not a roof-top tent will work on your vehicle:

Attaching the Tent to Your Roof Rack

Although the initial procedure of fastening the tent to the roof rack will take some time, after you have driven your car into camp, the rest of the process will be quite quick. Read and carefully follow all of the installation instructions that have been supplied. A strong companion will also be required because you will require assistance in lifting the tent onto the roof rack of your vehicle.

Additional Shopping Considerations

The first step of fastening the tent to the roof rack will take some time, even though it is a simple task once you have driven your car into camp.

Ensure that you thoroughly read and follow all of the installation instructions that have been supplied. A strong companion will also be required because you will require assistance in lifting the tent onto the roof rack of your car.

  • Awnings and annexes: Some tent types have additional living space or covered areas, and some tents allow you to install one later on. Levels of durability: While all roof-top tents are quite durable, certain manufacturers produce really tough variants that are meant for lengthy excursions in harsh environments. Some manufacturers also provide all-mesh canopies as an alternative
  • However, they are more expensive. Hardtops: Fabric variants are significantly less expensive. In the car, hardtops provide greater protection for your belongings. Costs of shipping: Purchases made in-store are the most convenient option, while some models may only be available for purchase online. Because it is a large item that will be expensive to transport to your house, check for alternatives such as REI’s ability to ship to a store for no additional charge. Before you buy, give it a shot: Finding a facility that hires roof-top tents may need some investigation, but it will be worthwhile in the long run—because the most crucial aspect is determining whether this elevated form of van living is right for you.

Other Tents That Attach to Your Vehicle

As a result of advancements in the field of tents that attach to the roof of your car, businesses are also developing alternatives that attach to other elements of a vehicle, such as the tailgate of an SUV or the bed of a pickup truck. The advantage of some of these configurations is that they allow you to put up the tent and then drive away in the car for day outings or overnight stays. Roof-Top Tents are available for purchase.

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John Griffith worked as the Director of Marketing for Tepui Tents before Thule acquired the company, and he went on to develop Hitchfire Grills in the process. His roof-top tent expeditions span from weekend family camping vacations to lengthy surf trips in Baja California, among other destinations.

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