Rooftop tents grew to prominence amongst Australian adventurers camping in the outback who wanted to keep out of the way of predators. However, their quick setup, improved comfort, and great protection from the elements soon caught the eye of the everyday camper. This means there are now numerous great options available at affordable prices. But what should you look for when buying a rooftop tent? Are they any good? And which rooftop tents are the best?
In this post, we look at the answers to these questions and more to give you everything you need to know about buying a rooftop tent. We will also give you the low down on 5 of our favorite rooftop tents for different needs and budgets to help get you started.
Table of Contents
- What are the best rooftop tents?
- What to look out for when purchasing Best rooftop Tents
- Top 5 Best rooftop Tents reviews
- #1 Best rooftop tent for Jeep Wrangler: Smittybilt Overlander Tent
- #2 Best rooftop tents for Tacoma: Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop tent
- #3 Best rooftop tents with a hard shell: TMB Motorsports’ Sand Pop UP Roof Tent
- #4 Best rooftop tent for family: Hasika All-Weather Car Batwing Awning Side Rooftop Tent Sun Shelter
- #5 Best clamshell rooftop tent: Raptor Series’s Voyager Jeep Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent
Our Top Picks
Best rooftop tent for Jeep Wrangler: Smittybilt Overlander Tent
For a rooftop tent that is ideal for Jeeps in all shapes and sizes, this is far and away best rooftop tent for the money, easy to set up, and comes with everything you need for a good night’s sleep.
Best rooftop tents for Tacoma: Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop tent
For a spacious rooftop tent ideal for a Tacoma, this high-quality tent is hard to beat and built to keep you protected come rain or shine. If you love camping all year round, this is also the best rooftop tent for winter camping.
Best rooftop tents with a hard shell: TMB Motorsports’ Sand Pop UP Roof Tent
For a top of the range, hard-shell tent with incredible insulation, this impressively comfortable unit is easy to put up and down and can cope with anything the weather throw at it.
Best rooftop tent for family: Hasika All-Weather Car Batwing Awning Side Rooftop Tent Sun Shelter
For a budget rooftop tent that offers equivalent quality to many of the more expensive models on the market, this great tent is ideal for family camping trips.
Best clamshell rooftop tent: Raptor Series’s Voyager Jeep Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent
For a rooftop tent that is super-quick to set up and put down and great for people who love camping on the spur of the moment, this 2-person clamshell is reasonably priced and offers impressive comfort and protection from the elements.
What are the best rooftop tents?
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The best rooftop tents will vary depending on your car type and what you intend to use them for. If you plan on heading out on an expedition in extreme temperatures, then you are going to need to splash the cash. However, for traditional camping, you will find plenty of reasonably priced options that do a great job. Just make sure to look out for the 5 key considerations outlined above (size, weight, setup ease, hard vs soft, and material quality) and you will find what’s right for you.
What to look out for when purchasing Best rooftop Tents
Perhaps the bets think about rooftop tents is the flexibility they give you. No more do you have to worry about how muddy, hard, or stony the ground is. Rooftop tents will also come with everything you need for a good night’s sleep bar your sleeping bag. Here, we outline 5 other key things to consider when buying a rooftop tent:
#1 Tent Size
Before you pick your tent, you need to consider how many people you need it to sleep. Typically, rooftop tents are for one or 2 campers, although you can find some ingenious designs that are suitable for 3 or 4 that are suitable for a family. However, if you are looking for a tent to sleep 8, you won’t find that in the rooftop tent range.
#2 Tent Weight
One of the reasons rooftop tents don’t go up to huge sizes is because they are already pretty heavy. Indeed, many tents weigh upwards of 100 pounds. Be sure to check you choose the best roof rack for rooftop tents that are suitable for your car. Remember you will need different tents and roof racks for rooftop tents for trucks, rooftop tents for camping SUV, rooftop tents for jeeps, etc.
#3 Ease of assembly
Whilst all rooftop tents are generally easier to set up than ground tents, some are simpler than others. If you are someone who might be put off from heading out camping by a challenging setup, make sure you pick a model that is super easy and pretty much pops up. Hard-sided rooftop tents are usually the easiest to set up and can be up in under 5 minutes. Soft-side tents are still fast to assemble but they will be more like 10 minutes set up time for the hardest.
#4 Hard or softsided?
As well as being quick to set up hard shells are often more durable. However, they tend to be more expensive and even heavier than soft-sided options. As such, you may get more bang for your buck with a soft-tent. Your choice may also be determined by the type of car you have as a small car will not be suitable for most hard-shell options.
#5 Construction quality
Whilst price is important, be sure to check that the quality of the materials used hasn’t been sacrificed. A thickness of 600D is a good level to look out for when it comes to the tent material. This just refers to how thick the yarn used was so the higher number should reflect greater durability. If you buy a cheaper one, you may find you need to buy a new one in just a couple of years whereas an expensive one will last you for much longer and save you money in the long run.
Top 5 Best rooftop Tents reviews
So now you know a bit more about rooftop tents and what you need to look out for, let’s take a look at some of our favorites. Here, we pick 5 top rooftop tents for different needs and budgets so there is something for everyone to help get them started.
#1 Best rooftop tent for Jeep Wrangler: Smittybilt Overlander Tent
If you own a Jeep and are looking for the best rooftop tents under 1000, then these guys have got what you have been searching for. This tent is made from a heavy-duty 600D waterproof and rip-proof polyester that will keep you warm and dry on cold and rainy nights. It also comes complete with a 2-inch thick foam mattress, ladder, mosquito net, a power adaptor for the Jeep’s cigarette port, and a handy travel bag. With this rooftop tent, you get everything you need in one go for an affordable price.
Other pros of this tent that make it stand out as one of the best rooftop tents for Jeeps are that: it is strong and warm enough for heavy rain, bucket loads of rain, and cold nights; it is ideal for the Jeep Wrangler; it is easy to set up and take down; it has strong but lightweight aluminum poles, and; the ladder has a decent weight rating of up to 265lbs. The downside of this tent is it is not an expedition quality so it will not be suitable for the coldest or harshest of weather conditions.
#Rooftop_Tent #Jeep #Jeep_Tent #Jeep_Rooftop_Tent #Camping_In_My_Jeep
#2 Best rooftop tents for Tacoma: Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop tent
If you’re on the hunt for the best rooftop tent for Tacoma, then you’re in look with this fantastic piece of kit. You’ll love the comfort provided by the included foam cushioned bottom of this tent. This tent is also able to stand up to properly cold conditions and will even keep you warm in the snow (although you’ll still need a sleeping bag of course!). It also has great ventilation for those more likely summer trips into the great outdoors, wherever you fancy pitching up.
Other great things about this rooftop tent suitable for Tacomas are that: it is also suitable for most roof-racks thanks to the universal brackets that come included; it comes with a protective travel container; the fabric is 600D ripstop polyurethane and 260g rated cotton and mold resistant; it can hold up to 3 people easily; it is super comfy, and; it closes down to just 48 by 56-inches whilst opening to 56X96-inches. The downside of this tent is that it is slightly challenging to put up and is pricey.
#Tacoma #Rooftop_Tents #Tacoma_Rooftop_Tent #Rooftop_Tent_For_Tacoma #Spacious_Rooftop_Tent
#3 Best rooftop tents with a hard shell: TMB Motorsports’ Sand Pop UP Roof Tent
This great hard shell tent is ideal for those who want the benefits of rooftop tents without the faff. Easy to pop up and put away, this tent also has impressive insulation thanks to the hard shell making it ideal for those who really feel the cold when they go camping. You’ll find the mattress in this tent incredibly comfy too as it is super thick. In this hard shell tent you will definitely get a great night’s sleep that gives you the benefits of camping without the discomfort.
Other pluses about this hard shell rooftop tent are that: it lasts for years and years thanks to its rugged construction; it is quieter than soft shell tents to sleep in so you can keep out the noise from unruly campers;
it is easy to remove the mattress for cleaning; it comes with a ladder and handy extra storage bad which can be stored on the roof of the hard shell, and; it has a reasonable 6-month warranty. The downside of this tent is the cost as it is definitely not a budget option.
#Hard_Shell_Tent #Hard_Shell_Rooftop_Tent #Pop_Up_Rooftop_Tent #Tents #Durable_Rooftop_Tents
#4 Best rooftop tent for family: Hasika All-Weather Car Batwing Awning Side Rooftop Tent Sun Shelter
If you are a family that doesn’t mind snuggling up together, are looking for a rooftop tent, but don’t have much to spend, then this is the best budget rooftop tent by far. With high-quality 600D rip-proof polyurethane material, you don’t lose out on quality materials even with the much cheaper price of this tent. The additional space offered by the awning makes this ideal for camping trips with the family too. For a rooftop tent at a fraction of the price of other tents on this list, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Other pros about this family rooftop tent are that: it has UV protection to 90%, helping to keep temperatures down even when under the hot sun, and; it is impressively simple to put up, especially given its great value; it genuinely outperforms a lot of higher cost tents and as it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can effectively try it for yourself for free. The downside of this tent is that it is not huge, so you will all have to snuggle up (or you could just relegate the kids to a ground tent and enjoy the secluded quiet!).
#Family_Tent #Family_Rooftop_Tent #Budget_Tent #Value_Tent #Budget_Rooftop_Tent
#5 Best clamshell rooftop tent: Raptor Series’s Voyager Jeep Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent
If you are looking for rooftop tents for cars and like the look of the clamshell design, then you’ll love this warm and cozy tent. With easy setup thanks to a unique design, you can have this up and down in just seconds. This clamshell tent is truly ideal for those who love a spur of the moment camping trip and has everything you need ready to go and at your fingertips. From the adder to get in, to handy storage pockets for your clothes and camping supplies, this nifty tent is the top clamshell tent we’ve seen on the market.
Other things that impress us about this rooftop clamshell tent are that: it comes complete with a comfy mattress big enough for 2 people to enjoy the great outdoors together; the tent has a whopping 750lb load; it is designed to withstand high winds and intense rain keeping you cozy and dry whatever the conditions, and; it has handy air-vents to keep everything nicely ventilated during the day or on warm evenings. The downside of this clamshell tent is that it is heavy so you will need to check your car and roof-rack can cope with it.
# Clamshell_Tent #Clamshell_Rooftop_Tent #Clamshell #Clamshell_Camping #Care_Tents
Here, we outline some frequently asked questions about rooftop tents that people always ask when looking to buy.
How much does a rooftop tent affect gas mileage?
When driving at higher speeds rooftop tents can cause some noise and changes in handling which will affect your gas mileage. However, this is not much, around 1-2 mpg. It is also reduced with hard-sided tents which are more aerodynamic.
Are rooftop tents waterproof?
Rooftop tents are just as waterproof as standard tents. They rely on an outer layer for this to ensure that the tent stays ventilated.
What is warmer between rooftop tents and ground tents?
Rooftop tents are marginally warmer than ground tents as the ground is typically where a lot of cold gets into your tent. You also have a built-in mattress in most rooftop tents which add an extra layer of insulation. However, the majority of rooftop tents will not be warm enough for winter warming unless they state otherwise or you have top-notch sleeping equipment for inside your tent.
Are rooftop tents safe from bears?
The idea of bears walking around your campsite can be terrifying. Fortunately, rooftop tents give you added security from predators due to being above the ground. However, you still need to be careful as bears can reach higher than sorts of predators rooftop tents were designed to defend against (lions, hyenas, wolves, etc.). As such, you should not keep any food in or near your tent at night if you are in an area with bears.
What is the cheapest rooftop tent?
You are not going to find the best rooftop tents Australia has to offer if you solely focus on budget. However, you may not need to pay the cost of the best rooftop tents South Africa might require if you don’t have many predators to avoid. The key thing to think about whether you are looking for the best rooftop tents NZ or the best rooftop tents Canada or anywhere else offers is to check material quality. If you buy a cheap tent that breaks within a couple of years, in the long run it will cost you more and the cheapest rooftop tents are usually a false economy.
Are rooftop tents worth it?
Rooftop tents are expensive but if you love camping they make it a whole lot comfier and easier. They also offer numerous benefits over ground tents, from easier to set up to warmer nights and more wild adventures.
Rooftop tents have come a long way from just being for adventurers who needed to stay out of the way of hungry predators. Indeed, they are a great way for anyone who loves camping to get out and enjoy it even more often in ever wilder locations. Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to find the tent that is right for you.