While camping has gained quite a lot of popularity and traction over the past decade, it has also greatly evolved to meet the needs of the campers. With the introduction of the best rooftop tents, long gone are the days where one spent several hours setting up a tent or even had to be confined to a specific camp location. It is now possible to set up your campsite at any location of your choosing with minimal effort from your part.
Rooftop tents are best suited for situations where the journey itself is more advantageous to the traveler than the destination. Rooftop tents also offer a sense of security thanks to the elevation that accompanies their usage. There is a large variety of tents, all of which are dependent on your type of vehicle. Below is a review of the best roof top tents and a handy guide to make your decision a little less strenuous.
Best Roof Top Tents Reviews in 2022
1. Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent
This is a budget-friendly roof top tent option packed with luxurious features that are the best fit for Jeep owners.
It is a standard size tent that sleeping space up to 3 occupants with a high-density foam mattress and a maximum load of 66 pounds. As it is constructed with a 600D heavy-duty top that is rainproof and comes with a rain fly. It comes with extra gear to help you.
It also has the added advantage of a sunroof, mosquito netting, tent frame poles that are made of anodized aluminum for durability, a telescopic sturdy ladder, shoe storage bags, and interior LED strips. This one is quite easy to assemble and dismantle and comes with heavy-duty PVC covers that help protect the tent from the elements when it is not in use and during transit. The quick setup time is inclusive of mounting brackets.
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2. Smittybilt 2883 Overland Tent Weather Protection
This Coyote tab car tent from Smittybilt is impressive, to say the least. It is an enlarged premium model of the Overlander tent with an impressive 3-4-person capacity making it one of the larger roof top tents that you can find on the market. This one is however meant for trailer use only at least according to the specifications of the manufacturer.
It has a weight capacity of 770 pounds ensuring that it can support at least three full-grown adults. This one is made of heavy-duty ripstop polyester material providing it with a rugged and robust defense against the effects of weathering. It makes use of the anodized aluminum framework ensuring that it remains the lightest tent.
The stainless-steel hinges ensure that the folds, weak points, and cornering of the car tent are all fully reinforced for increased durability while also making them waterproof. It comes with a 60mm heavy density memory foam mattress and removable soft cover that is accompanied by a mosquito screen, mounting brackets, and 7.5 foot telescoping ladder.
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3. Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room
This Ranger model from Tuff Stuff is one of the best roof top tents as it is highly functional. Coming from a company that ensures its products are fully compatible with all vehicles that have a roof rack, this car tent can be used for a variety of vehicles. It is a three-person tent and comes with an attachable annex. It can fit a queen mattress.
The connected annex is itself fully enclosed and has a large zippered door. You will see it has USB ports. So even if you are in a remote location, you can be safe. It is also meshed and has the ability to be rolled up in case one needs access to their vehicle. It has a solid base with the same material used for the main roof tent. The PVC base anti-condensation mat has the added advantage of preventing the formation of condensation or rising dampness.
The framework of the tuff stuff ranger overland rooftop tent is made of aluminum and all the other parts that are vulnerable to wear and tear are made from stainless steel, reinforcing the whole car tent and making it more durable. Winter tent camping is exciting and the tent is made of cotton and polyester material and can properly handle strong winds and heavy rain. It is also fitted with a polyester waterproof rainfly. The tent has three integrated screened windows each with an awning to increase ventilation.
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4. Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Roof top Camping Tent
If your aim is to camp and explores all year round, uninterrupted by snow or sun, then this is one of the best tepui kukenam 3 tents that you can go for. It is a four-season tent that is built to withstand any weather changes that accompany any of the 4 climatic seasons. This one has an impressive carry capacity and can accommodate a party with up to 3 persons.
It is designed with a 600D high-quality ripstop and 260-gram cotton fabric. This enables it to offer protection from the heaviest rain as well as some pretty strong winds. The tent fabric itself is resistant to both UV rays and mold ensuring that it can persevere through any season.
The tepui tent is designed with mesh window panels to improve the ventilation within and ensure that the tent remains cool and full of fresh air. This one is 24 cubic feet of storage and it has 4, large, internal pockets that are useful for string camping accessories as well as camping gear.
The additional canopies can easily be swapped out depending on the needs of the prevailing season. The extra canopies, however, have to be bought separately. If need be, a privacy annex can be purchased separately and installed for added space and comfort, and protection from the elements.
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5. TMB Green Pop Up Roof Overland Car Tent Universal for Cars
This is one of the best rooftop tents that finds a lot of preference among hikers and campers thanks to its excellent design. It features a sort of universal design that makes it fit most larger vehicles that come equipped with roof rails and cross bars.
The design also features snap traps that help ease the closing and opening of the tent. The car tent has a bungee net roof storage fitted with side pouches and inner and outer zippers for easy closure of the tent when inside.
This rooftop tent for families is constructed using a durable, sturdy, and waterproof material that keeps all weather elements at bay, ensuring that you are both comfortable and protected during extended periods of time.
The car tent is easy to open and has shock-assisted arms and a pre-installed memory foam wall mattress. It also stays securely open once it has been fully extended.
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6. ARB 804100 Simpson III Brown Roof-top Tent Annex/Changing Room With Extra Space
If extra space is your top priority, then this is the best roof top tent for you. This excellent product from ARB is designed with one specific season in mind, summer. It is designed to ensure that you remain comfortable through the heat, humidity and generally sticky conditions that accompany humidity. This one is also designed with the aim of providing maximum ventilation during summer as the inside remains cool, dry and comfortable.
It is lightweight and quite easy to set up and dismantle. It comes with an inbuilt single-layer foam comfortable mattress that provides comfort through the night. This one is also has awnings angles away from the large windows increasing the overall airflow of the tent. It has enough rooms to keep lots of gear.
The tent is designed with an extended flysheet, protecting the user during prolonged rain spells. The windows can also be fully sealed to keep the water out. It is a car tent that comes with additional living space without the hustle of logging around increased weight.
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7. Front Runner Roof Top Tent
As far as the best roof top tents go, this one takes lightweight to a whole new level. This 2-person model from Front Runner is quite spacious and has an aerodynamic and low profile enabling it to reduce wind resistance when in transit, something that helps save fuel economy and maximizes travel time.
The design has 3 integrated windows, all fitted with privacy panels and separate entrance awning well as mesh. The tent is made of 400D heavy-duty poly-cotton fabric increasing the protection factor of the tent as well as its durability. It has a PVC coating that offers protection from mold, water, and fire. The fabric still remains breathable despite all these heavy features.
The lightweight rooftop tent comes with a free flysheet that can be attached when its sunny to provide improved shade while lowering the temperatures inside the tent. This interchangeable canopies are easy to change. It has double pockets for added storage space as well as a Velcro attachment for hanging a lantern so that you can keep here your camping equipment.
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9. YAKIMA Skyrise Roof top Tent – 2-Person
Hot on the heels of its predecessor, this car tent from Yakima does not disappoint. It is a product that has attracted a number of campers due to its spectacular quality and impressive durability. This is the perfect tent for couples as it comfortably fits 2 persons. Once installed on your vehicle’s roof, it sits there comfortably like a bird on a branch.
This car tent is designed with lightweight aluminum and can be installed without any tools or hustle in about 15 minutes. Its extra insulation system makes it easy for you to use.The simplicity of its design makes it quite breathable and comfortable while maintaining its lightweight factor. It comes with a pre-installed mattress that goes from wall to wall and a removable cover, making it easy to keep it clean at all times. This tent floor is enough square feet to keep your necessary piece of equipment.
The foam mattress offers ultimate comfort through the night. The car tent design also features a mesh panel zipper that opens to allow increased airflow and better ventilation.
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10. Thule Tepui HyBox 2-Person Roof top Tent & Cargo Box
This is the best hard shell roof top tent by TEPUI. It features a versatile design that converts it into a rooftop two person tent that can accommodate two people into a rather spacious cargo carrier. This one is easy to transition from the cargo carrier to the car tent thanks to the Patented Zipper Gimp that is integrated into the tent’s design.
It is easy and simple to use as all have to do is release both ends and let the carrier convert into a car tent or open one end and access their sored ger within the box. The interior is lined with reinforced additional insulation in an effort to help control the temperature on the inside of the tent while at the same time reducing the noise outside. You can keep here a solar panel if you need it.
The lower shell integrates aluminum and ABS with felt-lined, honeycomb aluminum floor panels for added reinforcement. The canopy is a combination of a 3000mm waterproof polyester and a 250g breathable cotton as well as a mesh netting. The car tent includes a telescopic ladder and an awning to protect the tent opening from the weather elements. It also comes with an integrated high-density mattress with a removable cotton cover for easy cleaning.
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Best Roof Top Tents Buying Guide
When it comes to purchasing the best roof top tents, there are a number of factors that should go into consideration to better inform your decision and ensure that you end up with a tent that will be fully beneficial to you. Here are some of the considerations you should use to inform your choice of the best and high-quality rooftop tents.
This is the most important consideration since it is where the tent will be set up before use. What vehicle you intend to use for your road trip should determine the packed size and make of a tent that you should go for. This means that you also need to select a vehicle that can accommodate a rooftop tent. Outdoor vehicles like SUVs, Pickup trucks, and Jeeps are most advisable as they are reliable, can weather tough terrain, and are robust enough to accommodate a hard shell roof top tent.
This is the second most important consideration when choosing which roof top tent to purchase. You need to ensure that your vehicle is compatible with the roof rack that comes with your tent of choice. It is, however, a good market for buyers as many companies have gone out of their way to manufacture versatile and customizable roof racks which are adaptable to a number of vehicles. They are however not a one-fits-all solution and as such, should be selected with some semblance of care.
This covers both the weight of the tent, the allowed occupancy weight and the weight capacity that your vehicle can maintain. Roof top tents are limited in the amount of weight they can adequately support. They are also not weightless. The combination of these two weights should not exceed the carrying capacity of your vehicle as this will damage the vehicle to some extent.
The more weight you add the less fuel efficiency you will get. Even though outdoor vehicles come with a considerably high capacity, it never hurts to double-check and ensure that you’re within the stipulated limit. So read the closed dimensions of the product.
Most tents are built to handle the weather elements. Only a select few are, however, designed for use in all 4 seasons. This is usually proof of their superior quality. It is thus advisable to look for tents that have been approved for all seasons either by the manufacturer or by the rooftop tent reviews. If you are however certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will not be encountering snowfall, then a 3-season tent should suffice adequately for that specific camping scenario.
When you are going on a camping trip, you also need to make sure to know about the internal height dimensions and floor dimensions. A proper height can give you enough space to keep your things. Also know the peak heights and packed height. It will help you to know that how many things you can keep in your roof top tents. Some also come with an electric charger cord that you can use with your electric cigarette lighter. It should have enough floor space to keep a king-size mattress. Some also comes with camping stoves space to make you cook food.
Materials and Base
The best rooftop tents should feature a canvass with a poly/cotton combination. The same should also be used for the sidewalls. The base should be made of polyurethane. In some instances, this is mixed with steel or aluminum for increased durability and functionality.
The frame of most roof top tents is made out of aluminum. For high-quality roof top tents, anodized aluminum is used. A hard shell roof top tent, on the other hand, features a fiberglass shell that enables it to not only be a lighter fabric tent canopy, but also more aerodynamic. Steel hinges, in combination with an aluminum framework, work together to improve the durability and longevity of the roof top tent.
Ease of SetUp
When you are getting your favorite model tent, make sure it has a quick setup feature. Because no one wants to work hard after a long day in camping. The less time it takes, the better it will be for you to use. Make sure you can connect with the gear patrol with your tent.
Once pitched, almost all tents can protect themselves from the effects of weather elements. What distinguishes on great tent from another is the tent cover when it is packed. How protective is the covering? Is the waterproof cover heavy duty? What you need is a tent whose cover is also made to withstand the elements, preferably from PVC material.
Windows and Doors
The best rooftop tents are usually designed to be rugged and durable. This is the first concern for most manufacturers. As a result, the breathability of the tents is sacrificed and not accorded the right attention. The best way around this is the doors and windows on the tent. Always go for a rooftop tent that has at least one window awnings and one door. If either or both have meshed, then this tent should be able to provide you with ultimate protection.
Your best roof top tents should be able to endure all the inclement weather conditions without any problems. As you are going for camping to do some adventure, you have to make sure to get something with non-see-um mesh. They will make sure you can feel comfortable.
Hard-Shell tents Vs Soft Shell Tents
Hardshell models are much more durable and will ensure you can use them for a long time without any problems. These are heavy and perfect for you to use in harsher climates. These have plastic, aluminum, or fiber as shells. This type of tent is also expensive.
Soft shell tents have nylon or canvas fabric. They have a larger floor and will ensure you can sleep here comfortably. Most of these are waterproof. You will get them at an affordable price. But you cant use them for a longer time.
Why Are Rooftop Tents So Expensive tent?
Roof top tents have high-quality materials that will let you use them for a longer time. And most importantly they are durable and tolerable in a harsher climate.
What Is the Benefit of a Rooftop Tent?
Roof top tents are convenient and durable to use. You can use them anywhere you want to. Moreover, you can get an aftermarket mattress to make you feel comfortable.
When it comes to the best roof tor tents, what you get is a unique off-road camping experience that is rivaled by no other. Though it may be a daunting task to arrive at a rooftop tent that best meets your specifications, what you get will ultimately be worth it if you stick to the aforementioned considerations. There are a good number of products out there, the cream of the crop being the ones mentioned in our rooftop tent reviews. The choice is ultimately yours. All we hope is that this guide helps you find the best roof top tents for all your outdoor camping needs.