Health and Fitness

The 7 Best Rooftop Tents 2022

best rooftop tents

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On Instagram, within the overlanding group, and amongst abnormal automotive campers, rooftop tents (RTTs) are all the fashion proper now. They’re a near-perfect shelter resolution, offering safety from the wind, rain, and different parts on an elevated platform away from critters and different creepy-crawlies. The greatest rooftop tent fashions function a light-weight, low-profile design that units up quick and packs down small to reduce wind resistance and highway noise. Some even provide built-in mattresses, separate floor room annexes, and skylights for stargazing—the record goes on.

The lengthy record of potential options makes looking for the correct rooftop tent difficult. You need to know whether or not your car can assist a rooftop tent and, if that’s the case, will the tent you’re even suit your car’s roof? How straightforward is it to put in, and is it straightforward to take away when not in use? What’s the long-term sturdiness like? Will it sleep you and your co-campers comfortably? We’ve performed the exhausting work by rounding up our picks for the very best rooftop tents of 2022.

Read More: Best Camping Essentials

Best Softshell Rooftop Tent

Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent

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Best Hardshell Rooftop Tent

Condor Rooftop Tent

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Best Lightweight Rooftop Tent

Roof Top Tent
Front Runner

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Best Budget-Friendly Rooftop Tent

GEN2 Overlander Tent XL – 2683

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Best Rooftop Tent for the Whole Family

Pioneer Series Denali Extended Fly

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Best Softshell Rooftop Tent

Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent

  • Roomy 52-inch inner top
  • All-season building
  • Versatile design
  • Durable cover
  • Easy conversion
  • Comfortable mattress
  • Lots of inner storage

For years, Thule’s Tepui line has been a mainstay of the rooftop tent world. The Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3, particularly, has develop into one thing of an business normal, and it’s our decide for the very best softshell rooftop tent with a steadiness of weight, conversion (how lengthy to arrange and breakdown), worth, and general livability. The tent’s watertight design is second to none, and we admire how comfy the mattress is. At 119 kilos, it’s lighter than most of its competitors, making putting in and uninstalling simpler than most. The high-quality building is strong throughout, with above-average sturdiness. Even priced at practically $2,000, we expect it’s properly definitely worth the cash. A ruggedized model provides off-road-centric options and sky panels for stargazing.

  • Category: Softshell
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Dimensions (open): 96 x 56 inches
  • Peak inner top: 52 inches
  • Weight: 119 kilos

Best Hardshell Rooftop Tent

Condor Rooftop Tent

  • Fits even the smallest car roofs
  • ABS hardshell is among the many most sturdy available on the market
  • Easy setup and breakdown
  • Expandable with optionally available equipment
  • Premium price ticket
  • Can’t retailer thick bedding

Hardshell rooftop tents are higher than their softshell counterparts in each manner (extra on that under). They’re extra sturdy, extra weatherproof, and infinitely simpler to arrange and break down. If cash isn’t any object and also you’re prepared to leap all-in on a premium rooftop tent, Roofnest’s Condor is the best way to go. It’s the corporate’s most compact mannequin, with a 60-by-48-inch footprint designed to suit nearly any car. Once transformed, it sleeps two adults and a child (or canine) comfortably. Out of the field, it’s able to go together with nice-to-have options like a privateness tent and a removable inside LED mild. Plus, it’s expandable with Roofnest’s personal equipment, together with the Condor Annex, Condor Awning, and a mountable photo voltaic panel. For just a little extra room, take a look at the spacious Condor XL.

  • Category: Hardshell
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Dimensions (open): 83 x 60 inches
  • Peak inner top: 50 inches
  • Weight: 135 kilos

Best Lightweight Rooftop Tent

Roof Top Tent

  • Among the lightest rooftop tents available on the market
  • Low-profile design minimizes wind resistance
  • Easy to put in
  • Affordable
  • Roomy 55” inside top
  • Thin mattress
  • Limited inside storage

As superior as they’re, rooftop tents are heavy. That makes them cumbersome to put in, and so they can critically impression your car’s fuel mileage. Front Runner solves that downside with its merely named Roof Top Tent. The featherweight design “tips the scales” at a paltry 93 kilos, that means it’s practically mild sufficient for one individual to put in by themselves. Coupled with a common design, it’ll mount safely to nearly any car roof, even smaller vehicles and vans. Once put in, the 330mm-tall, low-profile design helps cut back highway noise and wind resistance. Inside, it’s lots roomy for a pair and even a small canine, and the included rainfly and a couple of.25-inch thick foam mattress present a dry, moderately comfy sleep house. We’ve seen whispers of quality-control points because of the lighter-weight supplies and materials, however in our expertise, Front Runner stands squarely behind its merchandise.

  • Category: Softshell
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Dimensions (open): 131 x 90 x 52.4 inches
  • Peak inner top: 51 inches
  • Weight: 93 kilos

Best Budget-Friendly Rooftop Tent

GEN2 Overlander Tent XL – 2683

  • Affordable relative to comparable alternate options
  • Massive dimension with loads of inside house to unfold out
  • Requires extra upfront meeting
  • Budget supplies aren’t as sturdy because the competitors
  • Rainfly requires absolutely staking out
  • Only appropriate for bigger autos and SUVs

From restoration gear to rooftop tents, Smittybuilt makes among the greatest bang-for-your-buck tools for campers and overlanders. Its GEN2 Overlander Tent XL is a superb choice for anybody new to the rooftop tent sport. With a large, king-sized footprint, it’s spacious sufficient to sleep a household of 4 or a pair with a pack of canines in tow. What really units it aside is the roughly $1,500 price ticket that makes it extremely reasonably priced relative to different comparably sized choices. The budget-friendly worth is thanks largely to finances supplies, nevertheless. While it appears sturdy sufficient, some prospects complain of long-term high quality points. Setup and breakdown are additionally extra difficult than extra premium rooftop tents. Still, few tents available on the market ship this a lot for thus little.

  • Category: Softshell
  • Sleeps: 3-4
  • Dimensions (open): 122 x 76 inches
  • Peak inner top: 51 inches
  • Weight: 148 kilos

Best Rooftop Tent for the Whole Family

Pioneer Series Denali Extended Fly

  • Massive footprint with loads of house for 4
  • Dual ladders and a room divider add privateness
  • Annex provides versatility
  • Available “hybrid” design provides hardshell performance

For households and campers who like a ton of house, CVT’s jumbo-sized Pioneer Series Denali is about as massive because it will get. This large rooftop tent setup boasts practically 60 sq. toes of flooring house, together with two double-sized mattresses to sleep two adults and two (probably three) children. There’s additionally a room divider, twin entrances with separate ladders, and a spacious four-door annex. The draw back of all that house is that this 225-pound behemoth requires a big car and just a little further setup time. At greater than $3,000, it’s additionally dear. Still, for outdoor-loving households wanting so as to add a rooftop tent to their gear closet, it doesn’t get a lot better than this.

  • Category: Softshell
  • Sleeps: 4+
  • Dimensions (open): 87 x 96 inches
  • Peak inner top: 50 inches
  • Weight: 225 kilos

Best Easy-install Rooftop Tent

SkyRise HD – 2-Person 4-Season

  • Tool-free set up
  • Excellent headroom
  • Screened rooftop window
  • Double-wall design appropriate for all-season tenting
  • Limited mounting system incompatible with some autos

Yakima brings its appreciable vehicle-rooftop experience to bear on the implausible Skyrise collection of rooftop tents. The two-person Skyrise HD Small squarely competes with Thule’s Tepui Kukenam collection (though we give a slight edge to Thule). The Skyrise is a double-walled, four-season tent designed for year-round use. With a protracted record of options—together with sturdy PU-coated materials, guylines and D-rings to safe the whole lot in inclement climate, and a screened vinyl “skylight”—it’s an amazing rooftop tent general. The most important promoting level, nevertheless, is the tool-free set up. No different tent we’ve examined installs and uninstalls as rapidly because the Skyrise. For a roomier various, contemplate the three-person Skyrise HD 3-Person choice.

  • Category: Softshell
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Dimensions (open): 48 x 42 inches
  • Peak inner top: 42 inches
  • Weight: 101 kilos

Best Premium Rooftop Tent

Skycamp Mini

  • Lighting quick conversion
  • Extremely sturdy building
  • Compact design matches nearly any car
  • Premium high quality with nice consideration to element
  • Blackout canvas inside
  • Wind-resistant design
  • Premium price ticket
  • Foam mattress could be too agency for some

We’ve lengthy been followers of South Korea-based iKamper ever because it basically invented the fold-out hardshell tent design that’s so common right this moment. The model’s ultra-compact Skycamp Mini could be our favourite rooftop tent ever if cash was no object. At greater than $3,500, it’s a premium tent, for positive, however generally you get what you pay for. In this case, meaning a high-end RTT that matches nearly any automotive (together with a Mini Cooper!), units up in only one minute, and sleeps two comfortably. The agency, high-density foam mattress is surprisingly comfortable (for a rooftop tent), and a full-enclosure, breathable blackout canvas ensures a implausible evening’s sleep within the backcountry. We particularly love the overhead skyview window, coupled with tri-layer cover home windows throughout for glorious visibility, versatility, and airflow. For overlanders and hardcore explorers, the matte end coating can be sturdy and scratch-resistant.

  • Category: Hardshell
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Dimensions (open): 83 x 51 inches
  • Peak inner top: 48 inches
  • Weight: 125 kilos

Understanding the Weight of Rooftop Tents

Weight is the only most vital consideration when looking for rooftop tents. It’s essential to know whether or not your car can bodily assist the load and dimension of the tent you’re shopping for (Pro Tip: The load restrict of most automotive and SUV roofs max out round 160 kilos). If not, nothing else issues. The solely method to know for positive is to seek the advice of your proprietor’s guide or contact your car’s producer straight.

Weight additionally issues for set up. Most light-weight rooftop tents (beneath 100 kilos) might be put in safely by two individuals. Anything heavier will seemingly require a few buddies to assist. Likewise, the heavier the tent, the much less seemingly you’re to uninstall it when not in use. In our expertise, most rooftop tent house owners merely depart theirs on on a regular basis out of comfort. But, in the event you’re driving a household car or one the place you regularly want the roof house for different issues, you could need to contemplate how simply that new tent will come off.

Lastly, weight will increase drag and reduces gasoline financial system for any car. How a lot relies on the mannequin of your car, the scale of the rooftop tent, and lots of different components. Just remember the fact that having a 150-pound tent bolted to the roof of your car is like driving round with a everlasting further grownup passenger on board.

Softshell vs. Hardshell Rooftop Tents

After weight, the following step in shopping for a rooftop tent is deciding between softshell or hardshell. Each has its execs and cons. Many first-time patrons go for a softshell design as a result of they’re considerably cheaper with mid-range, two-person fashions priced between $1,000 and $2,000. They usually boast bigger flooring plans and simply accommodate add-ons like awnings and annex rooms.

As the identify implies, hardshell rooftop tents are designed with a rugged exterior (usually fiberglass, plastic, or aluminum) that’s extraordinarily sturdy. They’re constructed to resist years of abuse and extra hardcore off-road exploration. Conversion is usually a lot quicker than with a softshell. In most instances, it’s merely a matter of popping a number of latches and pushing the clamshell open or closed. The greatest hardshell rooftop tents convert in only one to 2 minutes. The solely actual draw back is the associated fee with respectable two-person hardshell tents operating north of $3,000.

Conversion (Setup and Teardown)

One final consideration when shopping for a rooftop tent is conversion time (how lengthy it takes to completely arrange or tear down). Many on-line movies—particularly on Instagram and people offered by the producers—make setup and teardown appear to be a 60-second affair. This is seldom the case, particularly when shopping for a softshell mannequin. Aside from high-end fashions just like the iKamper, conversion usually takes not less than 10 minutes or extra, even after you’ve gotten the dangle of it.

If your tenting fashion includes transferring regularly, we suggest taking conversion time into consideration. For a mid-range tent with a reasonable conversion time, it’s going to take 20-Half-hour each time you progress your car (10-Quarter-hour to interrupt it down and one other 10-Quarter-hour to arrange once more later). Factor in having to stage your car on uneven floor, windy circumstances, organising at nighttime, working alone—the record goes on—and that point might improve significantly.

We field-tested dozens of rooftop tents over the previous few years to uncover the very best of the very best. From upstate New York to the Smoky Mountains to the remotest reaches of Texas, we put each tent via its paces in quite a lot of terrain, climate, elevation, and tenting conditions. We examined zippers, flaps, straps, guylines, home windows, mounting {hardware}, and the whole lot in-between for each mannequin to search out what may break and what, in some instances, finally did break. No matter what kind of rooftop tent you’re looking for, we’re assured one in every of these will fit your tenting fashion.

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