Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by Tent Reviewer
If you are a camping enthusiast, you need not necessarily go out in the park or wilderness. Indeed, it is still possible for you to enjoy the benefits of the wild without really having to travel too far.
To be able to attain this feat though, you must acquire and make do with a tent that is appropriately suited for the role. This is where the best rooftop tents come in.
They are tents that are designed to mount on a rooftop rather than on the ground as is the norm with the ordinary varieties. Other than that, the tents are also compact enough and require not too much space.
Our Top Picks of Best Rooftop Tents
What Kind of Car Can Use a Rooftop Tent?
Sedans and hatchbacks will often have enough room for adding a rooftop tent at the expense of cargo space, and they will often provide additional amenities such as heated seats and a larger trunk.
The choice depends on what you are looking for, and it’s a good idea to discuss your needs with a car salesman before making any purchases.
If you don’t want to sacrifice room in your car, but you still want the added convenience of a rooftop tent, there are some options that may work for you.
If you prefer to keep cargo space while adding a rooftop tent, there is an option: after-market parts. After-market parts for your car can add space to the cabin, or they can add more space to the trunk. The choice depends on what is important to you.
What to Look for in Best Roof Top Tents?
1. Material Construction
The materials which constitute the tents should be your topmost priority. Indeed, the materials that make the tents up determine many other vital aspects of the tent altogether. Chief among these are
The longevity of the tent;
Degree of reliability the tents exude;
The ease of repairs and maintenance.
Though many materials exist, some have been noted to be longer-lasting and more reliable. Examples of these are polyester, cotton, and canvas.
It is noteworthy that each of these best materials has some further added distinctions. The canvas is the strongest, cotton the warmest, and polyester the most breathable, and so on. It is yet again necessary that you narrow your interests further down.
Needless to say, the size of the tent also has to come in handy. You have to know just how many people you intend to house and the number of gears you plan to carry along. These two will determine to a greater extent the size of the tent which may come to your rescue.
This parameter is determined by the square feet. As you go on your shopping spree, be careful to look for that tent that bears the square feet rating that you desire.
A good tent for one person, for instance, measures 18-20 square feet, and so on. You should also be mindful of the storage and transportation requirements.
3. Ease of Setup & Conversion
Before you can enjoy the benefits that the tents bring about, you have to set them up and convert them. It is only fair hence that you choose a tent that is as simple to set up and convert as is possible. Look out for the parameters that define setup and conversion.
Among these are the footprints, the rainfly, and the zippers. They should be easy to access and respond promptly to your efforts and inputs.
This consideration is more important when you have to operate on a schedule that is too squeezed. You do not want to take too long to have your way at all, do you?
It may not always be that the tent alone is sufficient for your time outdoors. Indeed, you will often have to attach other accessories for the sake of making your tent more functional and highly beneficial to you. With regard to this, you have to choose a tent that accepts and pairs with many other accessories.
The tent has to be highly versatile and designed in such a way as to accept many other like-minded gadgets and extensions. Among these are straps, sun blockers, vestibules, and storage compartments.
While at this stage, you should be mindful that the tent you have in mind is compatible with the gears as well.
It is common knowledge that you have to transport a tent to the desired location before you can derive any use or meaning from it. It is for this reason that you have to consider the weight of the tent as well. A good tent, needless to say, has to be as light as can possibly be the case.
If possible, it should also fold to compress in size and fit the least storage and mounting spaces possible. It is only in this way that you will be able to enjoy the benefit of ease of transportation if and when the circumstances do call for it.
6. Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell
A softshell is pliable and easier to engage. Nonetheless, it does not last long and is as such prone to all manner of frays, tears, and damages.
The opposite applies to the hard shell. It is more durable and strong enough to ward off any frays, damages, and tears. Nonetheless, this kind of shell is too rigid to handle with ease.
You will really have to put in much of your effort to be able to make any meaningful headways. Make your choice appropriately and with much wisdom.
7. Cover Convenience
For added support and protection, the tent you have in mind has to be able to work with and bear a cover.
For this reason, it has to possess or be able to exude the convenience of coverage. Covers play diverse roles and tasks. These are not limited to water cover, wind cover, or smell cover, and so on.
While searching for the right cover, you have to be sure that you pick and settle for that which is relevant to your own needs.
Pick a waterproof cover for your water protection, a windproof cover for protection against adverse winds, and an odor-proof cover for an effective shield from strange smells.
Reviews of the Best Roof Top Tents for Travels & Camping
Top Rated – Smittybilt Overlander Car Roof Tent
Weight: 116.5 pounds
Capacity Upper Limit: 661 lbs.
Do you plan to set out camping in an area that experiences heavy rains? You have to similarly choose a tent that is strong enough to ward off the percolation of moisture and excess precipitation. This Smittybilt Overlander tent is a nice one to try out as a matter of priority.
It boats of the 600D heavy-duty waterproof material. It is this that makes it able to endure the harshest rainy conditions.
Then comes a rainfly, some side windows, and a set of side windows. They play the roles of making you more comfortable by reason of furnishing excess warmth and proper ventilation.
Tuff Stuff Roof Top Jeep Tent with Annex Room
Weight Capacity: 685 lbs.
Sleeping Size: 56″ x 96″
Material: Cotton/poly fabric & steel
Have many gears to carry around? Choose this spacious Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland rooftop tent to sort yourself out. It does come along with an annex room which allows for safeguarding and carrying your extras. Apart from the spacious interior, the tent also mounts to any bed or roof rack.
Some universal mounting brackets also come along this tent. With these brackets, you will easily mount the tent to whichever surface you might have to. Thanks to the brackets, you will not really have to spend too much of your time to get started out. This definitely leads to better experiences on the whole.
Easy Setup – Pop up Truck Roof Top Tent
Weight: 166 pounds
Pack Dimensions: 87 x 52 x 14 inches
Material: Polyester canvas & Oxford PU
Are you constantly on the go? If you are, the tent you choose similarly has to be optimized for matters of mobile lifestyles. We welcome you to this TMB pop Up roof tent. It is mobile in the sense that it mounts on and is useful across numerous cars.
The SUVs, trucks, and cars which generally manage mobile camping travels. Over and above mobility, these tents also bring in some added comfort regardless of the routes you ply. For your added safety, the tent closes by use of some snap straps. These straps seal out all insects and harmful rodents.
4 Season – Best Tepui 3 Person Roofnest Tent
Open Footprint: 56″ x 96″
Setup Duration: 5-10 mins
Do you spend much of your time outdoors? If you do, the kind of tent to pick and choose definitely has to be capable of yielding the comfort needed for four seasons. This Tepui Explorer Kukenam rooftop tent is built to withstand the harsh elements of any season or climate.
It is hence in your best interest to find and make do with it hence. The tent also has the ability to hold three persons intact. Further, it comprises a high-quality 600D ripstop and a further 260g of poly-cotton blend fabric. These two shields you from the harshest winds and heaviest rains.
Best Affordable – Smittybilt 4 Person Hardware Roof Top Family Tent
Weight Limit: 770 lbs.
Open Size: 122″ x 76″ x 51″
Material: Polyester & aluminum
As the name of this Smittybilt 2883 Overland Tent suggests, this one is great for use over the land or in areas that are closer to the land than the remote ones.
Its outer cover is the coyote tan which is truly breathtaking to behold. This complements the heavy-duty 600D ripstop polyester fabric makeup.
On the whole, the tent is also waterproof and blocks the seepage of water into the interior segments altogether. At its base is the 60 mm high-density foam mattress. This one gives you the comfort you need while at the same time possesses a removable cover for easy maintenance.
Best Yakima Roof Top Tent for FJ Cruiser
Weight: 115 pounds
Material: Nylon & PU
Simplicity! Simplicity! Are you a starter in the fields of camping and outdoors? This Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent is the one to place your bet on. It does comprise the bare minimum set of features that may be needed in a perfect tent. You hence have to make it a priority indeed.
All factors considered, this tent is suitable for use in the three seasons, accommodates three persons, comes in one awesome color, and is generally a good medium. With it in your hands, you will truly start out well in the field of camping and work your way to perfection.
What Is the Advantage of a Roof Top Tent?
- Highly Mobile. These tents are highly mobile and will expedite your transportation to and from the desired camping site.
- Quite Portable. They are also light enough to carry around and deploy to a remote location with the utmost ease.
- Compact Size. To add to the above, the sizes of these tents are smaller and more compact. They subsequently take up limited space and are also easier to retrieve when the time to do so comes.
- Faster Responses. Compared to their other peers, these tents respond faster to the various prompts. You will hence expend limited effort to be able to make good use of it.
Is a Rooftop Tent Fit for My Dog?
Some dogs can be quite active and have a fear of heights. Putting them in a rooftop tent may not be the best option.
In this case, it might be better to try out some other form of dog tent such as one they can climb into themselves.
Some dogs may be wary about the new surroundings, but after a few adventures in the rooftop tent, they will likely start to enjoy it.
There are some dog-friendly roofs available that will allow dogs to enjoy the outdoors while taking a nap. There are also rooftop tents that have perches available for dogs.
Can I Use a Rooftop Tent in Cold Weather?
Rooftop tents can be used in cold weather if you account for the environment.
Some rooftop tents have insulated walls, ceilings, and flooring that will help keep the tent warm. These tents are also designed to reduce drafts that can enter through any opening.
While these tents are not insulated on the outside, they can be layered with blankets to help fight the cold. It is also a good idea to check the weather before setting out so that you’re prepared for whatever conditions come your way.
FAQs of the Best Rooftop Tents
1. Can You Put a Roof Tent on Any Car?
Not really! Tents come in precise shapes and sizes. It cannot be that the tent you choose at random may be able to fit the size and shapes of the roof of SUVs or trucks. This means you have to gauge the dimensions of your car’s roof before setting out on finding the right tent for the job.
2. How Much Does a Roof Top Tent Weigh?
We have already explained that tents are available in many shapes, sizes, and configurations. It is hence impossible to state with absolute certainty the exact weights and measures of the tents. Nonetheless, a good rooftop tent weighs 100-220 pounds. Be mindful of this as you choose yours.
3. How Much Does a Roof Top Tent Cost?
Just like the weight, the actual cost of a rooftop tent varies with the brand, size, shape, and other relevant parameters. Yet again, we cannot state exactly how much a tent ought to or costs. This notwithstanding, many good tents do go for $1,500-$3,000. You may also get some as low as $900.
4. Do Roof Rack for Roof Top Tent Damage Your Car?
Not necessarily! When properly fixed in place, it is highly unlikely that the roof racks may pose some damages to your car. All you have to do is find one which blends well with the size of your roof and is more likely to blend well with the other vital parts and components of your car.
5. How to Care and Maintain the Rooftop Tent?
Like any other tent, you have to wash this one after each use, dry it thoroughly before storing it in a place where cockroaches and other insects may not access, and chew it up. From time to time, get the tent out in the open to enjoy the gentle breezes which have the effect of prolonging its lifespan.
6. What Is A Vehicle Tent?
A vehicle tent is a special tent that pops out of the roof of a vehicle. It is smaller, more compact in size, and easily deploys in the most remote locations. This kind of tent is useful for those camping escapades which require prompt responses and operate within strict timelines.
Well, we are now pretty confident that you have received the insight you need to move on and pick the best rooftop tent for your choice and working environment.
With these insights, we have no otherwise but to ask you to move with haste. Dragging your feet for too long will only let you miss the benefits that these tents bring along for your whole family camping.
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