Hey, are you a regular camper or a caravanner? Are you looking for the best rooftop tents? Well, then you have just landed on the right place. Today I will be discussing and reviewing 7 top rated roof top tents. But first, what exactly is a rooftop tent?
A rooftop tent is nothing but a regular tent which mounts easily on your vehicle’s rack system. However, unlike ground tents, rooftop tents are quite safe as they are mounted at a height. To sum it all, rooftop tents can greatly improve your complete camping experience. Within a moment, you can convert your car, SUV or even trailer into a comfortable mobile bootcamp.
Besides the comfort, safety and convenience, rooftop tents offer certain benefits that a regular tent does not offer. Let’s have a look at them.
1. They offer safety: Because of the height, rooftop tents tend to be a hell of a lot safer than normal tents. Also, they have the capability to keep you safe from all kinds of harsh weather conditions and animals.
2. Setup is quite convenient: Due to their easy installation, it is quite convenient to set up a rooftop tent almost anywhere. All you need is to park your vehicle in a beautiful location, and pop-up the tent on the car rack.
3. Airy and Comfy: Although rooftop tents might seem small, they are a lot more spacious and comfier than they appear. Some tents even contain ventilation as well as built-in memory foam mattresses that help you get a good night sleep!
Well, now enough of the blabbering about the advantages of rooftop tents. Let’s have a look at the best ones and their pros and cons.
My 7 Suggested Top Rated Roof Top Tents:
1. Smittybilt Overlander Tent:
The Smittybilt Overlander rooftop tent is an excellent choice. When compared to the other tents in our review, this one performs equally well or better in various categories. Smittybilt has given attention to even the tiniest details when designing this product, as seen by the addition of extras like a hanging boot bag for filthy footwear and an ingenious LED light strip.
The mattress is quite comfortable, and the canopy is built to endure even the most powerful storms. If you want a long-lasting rooftop tent but don’t want to spend a bunch, this Best Buy winner is worth considering.
One area that you may find bothersome is the cover system! To reattach the cover, you must use Velcro on all four corners of the cover, which sticks unevenly when you try to stuff the canopy inside. Furthermore, reattaching the cover when it is completely removed rather than only dangling from one side is a little more challenging. They are not deal breakers, but they are worth mentioning.
- The tent can accommodate 2-3 people and is equipped with a double foam full-sized mattress.
- There is a 600D rugged waterproof top along with rain fly, windows, mosquito netting, LED strips, etc.
- The tent is extremely convenient and hence easy to install and fold. Moreover, the PVC material keeps it dry and protects it from UV rays.
- You can get an XL variant if you are intending to house 3-4 people.
- It is extremely spacious.
- The 600D polyurethane makes this tent extremely durable and rugged to withstand even extreme weather conditions.
- Highly convenient to set up and fold.
- It is extremely valuable for the money as it is one of the cheapest options available.
- It isn’t the lightest option available!
2. Thule Tepui Foothill Low-Profile Rooftop Tent
The Thule Tepui Foothill introduces new levels of creativity to the rooftop tent market, which we greatly enjoy. We anticipate that it will appeal to numerous customers who want to install a rooftop tent without sacrificing all of their rooftop space. Because it folds like a “hot dog bun” rather than a “hamburger bun”, there’s plenty of room on the rack for toys like a narrow cargo box, bike, kayak, or whatever else you can think of.
When the weather turns bad, it has a primary canopy composed of extra-durable 600-denier material, as well as a secondary 600-denier retractable rainfly for added protection. This is the best option if you’re traveling alone or with only one other person and need more storage space on the rack for your luggage.
- The tent features a highly symmetrical design which allows it to be set up on either side of your vehicle.
- The frame poles are telescopic. This allows an easier installation and fold down.
- Some features include a large entry, a massive rear window and sky-lighting feature which gives an enhanced stargazing experience.
- Comes with pre-installed mounting rails which increases its convenience even more!
- Extremely spacious and comfortable with a dual foam mattress.
- Exceptionally durable due to the 600D polyurethane material. Moreover, it can even withstand extreme weather and temperature conditions.
- Easy to install as it comes pre-installed with mounting rails.
- It offers a great value for the money when it comes to durability and comfort.
- Due to the slim design, the Tepui ladder cannot be permanently fixed in place!
3. Campoint 2-3 Person Sunroof Rooftop Tent
The Campoint is the third model on our list; they are based in the United States and imports products from other countries. They specialize in camping equipment for those of us who are new to camping or are already big fans of the great outdoors. The Campoint 2-3 Person Sunroof Rooftop Tent with skyline rainfly and a ladder, is a low-cost choice for someone who wishes to try out roof top camping without completely draining their financial resources.
These tents are made of a non-rip polyester fabric that is both waterproof and strong. For those hot summer nights in the woods, they also come with a rainfly and mosquito netting. A built-in net sunroof lets you sleep peacefully under the stars while enjoying watching the sky.
The tent poles and the ladder are made of aluminum tubing, resulting in a strong and lightweight frame that is easy to assemble and disassemble in a matter of minutes. This simple tent sleeps three people and is ideal for couples or a small family wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
- Features rooming capacity of up to 2-3 persons. The tent also has a double foam full-sized mattress that can withstand a max. load of 661lb.
- The 600D polyurethane cover is exceptionally durable and rugged. Due to this, it can withstand even the harshest weather and temperature conditions.
- The tent is extremely ventilated due to the side windows, sunroof, and dual entrance (both front and back).
- Other features include a telescopic aluminum ladder and a PVC rooftop weatherproof cover.
- It is extremely valuable for the money as it is among the most affordable tents available on Amazon or anywhere else.
- It is extremely easy to set up and fold down. The rooftop cover is also easy to install.
- This tent also comes with rain fly’s and mosquito screens.
- Contacting customer support might be a bit challenging as they are based through Amazon.
4. Raptor Series Offgrid Voyager Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent
One of the most soothing things you can do is get into your vehicle and drive away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday life. The Raptor Series wants you to have some of your home comforts while enjoying the great outdoors, and their new Roof Top Tent can make your outdoor excursion even more enjoyable.
The Raptor Series Tent is designed to be quickly and simply installed on a conventional roof rack system or an aftermarket rack/crossbar system. It comes in two sizes: small and large. For its size and weight category, it is the lightest manual roof top tent on the market. It only takes a few seconds to set up and close. The interior is spacious, with a large living area, built-in pockets, and plenty of hooks to keep your possessions secure.
Its door opens from the top down, allowing fresh air to flow in while protecting you from the elements. A natural panoramic view from the comfort of your tent is provided by an integrated awning, allowing you to take in all of your favorite camping spots from the comfort of your tent. This Roof Top Tent is a terrific addition to your vehicle because it is designed to be quickly and easily installed on your existing roof rack system or on an aftermarket rack/crossbar system.
- This rooftop tent features a high-density foam that can withstand a maximum of 750 lb load.
- Setting up the tent is extremely easy and convenient. Moreover, it comes with an 8 foot aluminum ladder.
- The tent is engineered in such a way that it can withstand extreme weather and temperature conditions. Plus, there are shoe storage pockets, air vents, gear storage space and a mosquito netting.
- The transparent screen of the door allows you to gaze at the beautiful scenic view!
- Easy to install due to telescopic frame.
- High value for the money.
- Although the tent footprint is small, it can accommodate a lot of luggage.
- Comes with a large screen door which lets you enjoy the scenic views.
- Can only accommodate a maximum of 2 people.
5. Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended Rooftop Tent
With the Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended Roof Top Tent, you won’t have to worry about getting a hotel room or sleeping on the ground on your next offloading expedition. For ultimate strength and durability, this roof top tent is made of 600D rip-stop waterproof cotton canvas material. This insulated tent foundation is made to last with a welded one-piece structure frame and stainless-steel hinges.
The 3″ high density foam mattress that comes with the set is large enough to comfortably accommodate three people. The mattress comes with a machine-washable cover, so all you need to be comfortable, all you need is a sleeping bag. The built-in skylight provides natural light, and all windows are built with 110g fadeless breathable mesh that are easily opened and closed.
Keep your muddy trail shoes on the outside of the tent with the shoe storage bag that comes with the tent and easily connects to the tent’s frame. Most aftermarket racks will easily accommodate this tent. In the event of bad weather condition, a 420D polyester oxford waterproof rain fly will keep you dry. This tent is easy to collapse and store in the accompanying heavy-duty 1000G PVC travel cover until you’re ready to go again.
- It features a marine grade 600D polyester canvas body that is extremely durable and rugged, and the rain fly is built with waterproof 420D polyester material.
- The tent has a lot of features which include high-density foam mattress with quilt cotton cover, 1Kg transportation cover, telescopic aluminum ladder, storage pockets, emergency LED lights, LED Velcro strips and a bonus pack.
- The bonus pack includes memory foam pillows, lap table and cleaning equipment like a broom and a dustpan.
- The tent installation requires no drilling and can be installed on any roof rack!
- Has ample space to accommodate 3 people.
- Comes with many convenient features and options.
- Fits almost any type of roof rack.
- Features an easy setup and fold down with a complete weatherproof body.
- Optional storage and utility features are also available.
- It is a bit on the expensive side (although completely value for money based on the features it provides).
6. Body Armor SKY RIDGE PIKE 2-Person Tent
The Body Armor Sky Ridge Pike 2 Person Tent will give you the comfort and style you need to tackle that overland adventure! Most crossbar roof racks can be attached with moderate simplicity. This two-person rooftop tent can be erected in minutes and set up in a moment without the use of any tools. The lavish internal accommodations are 28 square feet in size and include a 2.4-inch-thick high density foam mattress with a removable and washable cover.
You can adjust the quantity of seclusion, natural light, and air circulation with the covered doorway. This unit includes a skylight and three broad windows with mosquito netting, external awnings, and inside zip-up closures. This allows you to remain calm while admiring the outside.
When installing this tent on your vehicle, you will need to utilize a roof rack or bed rack. The Tent Annex and Awning can be purchased separately.
- Can easily accommodate up to 2 people.
- The base of the tent is extremely sturdy and is built of aluminum to withstand heavy loads.
- It comes with a heavy-duty telescopic aluminum ladder with can extend up to 90,5 inches.
- The tent is entirely built from corrosion-resistant materials along with an aircraft grade 6061 aluminum framing.
- Built from extremely durable and waterproof materials with an aircraft-grade aluminum frame
- The tent is exceptionally durable due to its architectural design. Hence, it can withstand a lot of loads.
- Easy set-up and install
- Can accommodate 2 people comfortably
- This tent is more compact!
7. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent
If you know you’ll be camping in hotter conditions, the Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 rooftop tent may be the ideal choice. Even when the doors and windows are entirely closed, the tent includes a breathable polyester-cotton blend canopy that allows a moderate amount of airflow.
It comes with a separate durable 600-denier ripstop rainfly in case Mother Nature decides to wreak havoc on you. This model, which is made for two people, is also extremely lightweight, making it much easier to load and unload from your vehicle than its larger and beefier cousins.
- Can easily accommodate up to 2 people
- It is built out of 600D polyurethane with a 260g cotton blend that makes it withstand extreme weather and temperature conditions.
- The fabric of the tent repels UV rays. Moreover, the mesh panels help proper ventilation and creates an airy feeling.
- Large storage pockets for storing gears and camping stuff
- Comes with a high-density foam mattress which adds to the comfort
- Offers utmost comfort with high-density memory foam mattress and ventilated mesh
- Highly durable due to the 600D polyurethane construction
- Easy install and fold down
- Comes with a rubber tent cover that is very convenient to install
- Provides high value for the money
- Can accommodate only 2 people!
Starting from precise parameters is essential in the purchase of a roof tent because you risk to quickly get lost in the panoply of choices that exist on the market. Fortunately, we have gathered the necessary criteria to guide you and advise you in acquiring the most suitable model for you.
How to choose a roof tent?
Criterion 1: Size
Well before embarking on the quest for the best roof tent, I advise you to define the ideal dimensions for your need. Some models are wider and intended to accommodate more than two people. On the other hand, many rooftop tents are designed to be narrow in order to meet the expectations of the eternal solitaries.
Also, do not forget to consider the surface available on the roof of your vehicle. In other words, to be comfortable, your future equipment will have to be able to meet your capacity, width, and height needs.
Criterion 2: Weight
According to manufacturing standards, the maximum permissible weight of a roof tent is close to 75 kg, whether the car is stationary or in motion. This weight includes the bedding and the accessories that you will add to it to enjoy maximum comfort.
But know first that the roof tent has to be attached to the roof bars or rack to be perfectly stable. Thus, you will absolutely have to make sure your rack is compatible with the tent and total weight it will support to guarantee its stability. You also have to know that a roof tent that is too light is likely to be damaged by the wind. Therefore, make sure it is well attached to the rack.
Criterion 3: The manufacturing material
The manufacturing materials of the roof tents have a guarantee of resistance and durability. Usually, these tents have brackets made out of stainless steel. Canvas can be made of polyester, polyamide, or nylon, while others are made of PVC. Of course, seasoned campers will look for high-quality material to ensure the effectiveness of the roof tent over the long term.
People who do not go camping often may be less demanding regarding the quality of the material, but in order to benefit from excellent manufacturing quality, pay particular attention to:
- The thickness and finishes of the fabric.
- The waterproofness and permeability of the fabric.
- The firmness and resistance of the seams.
- The ventilation of the canvas.
- The thermal protection of the cover.
Criterion 4: Comfort
A rooftop tent is not meant to compete with a hotel room. This criterion naturally depends on the available space and the ease of installation, but it is also possible to increase the level of comfort by adding a few accessories such as:
- LED lighting (lamp, ceiling light, etc.).
- A mosquito net.
- A telescopic ladder.
- Storage pockets.
- A storage bag or tarpaulin to facilitate its storage.
- A remote control if it is a hardtop tent.
- A solar panel to take advantage of a source of energy.
- Sleeping bags.
- A mattress.
- BBQ…. Etc…
Criterion 5: The guarantee
A manufacturer’s warranty (often between 12 months to 5 years) is a guarantee of the quality of the roof tent. It reflects its robustness and durability. The longer it will be, the more you will be sure to have reliable equipment. You can always exercise your warranty (replacement or refund) in the event of a defective model.
How to install a soft roof tent?
To install your soft roof tent in the standards, start by choosing the right location. During the rainy seasons, the wisest thing would be to park in a corner sheltered from bad weather and lightning. If the weather is capricious and the sun is out, choose shady places. Finally, avoid exposing yourself to the wind to ensure the constant stability of your roof tent.
Once the location has been chosen, unpack all the equipment while equipping yourself with the tools you may need during assembly (screwdriver, gloves, etc.). Distinguish the different surfaces of the tent starting with the bottom of the tent, then the ceiling and finally the supports. Then prepare the roof bars and make all the necessary fixings, following the instructions. Finally, check the stability of the structure and adjust it according to your preferences.
The different types of rooftop tents
To finalize your choice, it is important to know how to distinguish between the 2 major existing models of roof tents. Indeed, you will find soft roof tents and rigid shell models on the market.
1. Soft top or wallet tent
Available at an affordable price and spacious to boot, the soft top tent is the most popular these days. It is also appreciated for its resistance, because even if it is generally made of fabric, its full-proof firmness is there. Light and flexible, this traditional equipment corresponds to any type of vehicle. Only downside: its installation is not as easy as it looks, because it is completely manual and requires some time to adapt.
If your requirements are above all about lightness and space in the choice of a roof tent, we advise you to turn mainly to the soft versions. These are also the models most appreciated by professional campers who wish to practice in the assembly and disassembly of the equipment.
2. Rigid roof tent or vertical deployment
The rigid roof tent is a trendy model par excellence. It is synonymous with ease of installation and practicality, because equipped with a crank or a remote control, installation is done quickly and smoothly. It is also a sturdy rooftop tent that can cope with all weather conditions. That said, it has disadvantages compared to the soft model, namely: its higher price, its heavier structure, and its much smaller space.
If you want to favor ease of installation and robustness in the face of any test, rigid roof tents remain the most appropriate choice. Those who camp with family or friends prefer these models to save time and enjoy the outdoor activities!
So, now that you know of the 7 best roof top tents available, choosing the perfect one that suits your need would be a far easy task now! Moreover, if you are still confused about which one to choose, just go with anyone on the list. Believe me, these models have gotten the best reviews on Amazon and all of them have proved their mettle time and again.
Also, the durability and features of all of these tents are more or less the same. However, if you are running on a tighter budget, you can opt for the Campoint or the Smittybilt one. Be Safe and Happy camping!