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Home » Best Reasons To Buy A Rooftop Tent

Best Reasons To Buy A Rooftop Tent

The process of purchasing a product that is as costly and as sophisticated as a rooftop tent can be a daunting task. There’s a lengthy list of considerations to make when purchasing the tents and a lot of people do not pay attention to some crucial factors. If you rush to make a purchase, you might end up with one that isn’t suitable for you as well as a rack that doesn’t work with your vehicle and a tent that won’t fit on your rack, or any of the above. The tents are delivered to your doorstep in massive freight trucks that have hydraulic lift gates. Therefore, returning one is quite the hassle. After years of testing rooftop tents we’ve certainly learned this adage the hard way. It’s imperative to conduct the proper research prior to purchasing a rooftop tent so that you don’t end up opening an expensive and lengthy pot of worms. Keep reading to find an in-depth look at the steps to take to find the perfect rooftop tent to keep yourself from wasting money or time.

Initial Ideas

The first thing you should consider is the logistics of owning an rooftop tent because they’re not ideal for everyone. Keep in mind that you have to climb up and down a ladder before you take a nap or wake up at the end or late at night. Everything that goes inside your tent must be handed up to someone else or carried on the climb. For people with disabilities, injuries, or large pets, a rooftop tent can be difficult or impossible to use. Also, be prepared to be leaning, crawling, and walking all over your vehicle often as there’s no other way to avoid it. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll cause damage to your vehicle by installing an over-the-top tent however, it’s essential to be cautious. Remember they require assembly before you even contemplate installation. You’ll need the assistance of a friend for the installation process. Some of the assembly is more straightforward with two hands. some models need power tools and all weigh at minimum 90 pounds. The more heavy models we’ve tested have a weight of 160 pounds. Sometimes, it might be best to install the tent professionally.

I’m In. What’s Next?

If you’ve decided to purchase a roof tent but that doesn’t mean you’re in the right place to purchase one. The majority of vehicles aren’t designed to support that weight on the roof. You must know if your vehicle is built to withstand the weight you are likely to have. It’s not just the weight of your tent, but also the bedding, equipment, people, and pets that you need to consider. If you are able to over-load your rooftop, then you could possibly damage your vehicle or hurt yourself or someone else.

The Rack

A rack that is old and worn out is not suited for a rooftop tent Most racks aren’t rated to handle the weight. The crossbars that come stock on a variety of vehicles, trucks, and SUVs are only rated to around 100 pounds. There is no way to use racks that are made by an aftermarket manufacturer and grab onto the vehicle in between the car door along with the roofing. These racks put every weight onto four roof points, and can likely cause damage to your car by their weight. rooftop tent. To safely mount a rooftop tent above the cab of your vehicle, it is necessary to install a track system that distributes the weight across all the way down the roof, including towers that are strong, and crossbars with the correct weight. If you’re planning on putting your tent on bed racks of a truck or on a trailer, again, be sure to check the specs of the products you are considering to ensure that they have a good enough rating for this type of weight.

What is the best way to choose a particular Model

If you’ve made the decision that you’re looking for a roof-top tent, that your vehicle can manage it, and you’ve found the perfect rack, you can start looking at tent specs. Rooftop tents come in many sizes and shapes. They also come with a wide range of features and prices.

Fold-out vs. Pop-up

There are two kinds of rooftop tents including hardshells and softshells. Softshell tents are less bulky for travel, and they have thick Rubber or Cordura covers for when they’re not in use. They fold either on the side or rear of your vehicle and they generally take more time to switch from camping mode to travel mode and back. If you are planning to use the awnings, annexes or rain fly to cover this kind of tent, be prepared to take an additional couple of minutes for camp setup and tear down. Based on our experience, softshells typically require assembly from the box that usually involves attaching the mounting tracks to the bottom of the tent, and mounting the ladder. Most of the time softshells are a lot cheaper than hardshells.

Pop-up tents made of hardshell look like enormous fiberglass cargo containers even when not in use and extend vertically or at an angle when it’s time to camp. The ones that we’ve tested have been assembled from the factory and only need one wrench to be attached to your rack. Once it’s time to change this type of tent from a travel mode into camping mode, most of the work is performed by hydraulic pistons that open the tent as if it were it would open the back of a modern-day hatchback. When you fold it up, the weight of the roof along with some of your own body weight and gravity make the process of breaking down a breeze as well. The whole process of conversion takes only a moment or two to set up or teardown. The upper half of the shell also serves as the tent’s roof thus eliminating the requirement for a rainfly. The majority of hardshells cover a much larger area over your vehicle than softshells do during transport, but that footprint does not grow as you camp. This feature can be extremely helpful if you’re camping in a tight forest or the campground is packed. They are more expensive than their soft-topped counterparts.


The weight of the tent can be a big deal for smaller cars; for people with larger vehicles, this is likely less of a factor. It’s also important to consider that at some point you’ll need to carry the tent onto or off of your vehicle. If this is something you’re likely to do regularly and often, the extra 20 or 30 pounds could be a significant deciding factor. However, with added weight usually comes more toughness. When your camper is likely to be getting a lot of use, whether it be on the road, during festivals, or just an endless number of road trips, it may be worth the extra weight to get more robust models.

It is important to consider the kind of weather you’ll be camping in. Somebody headed for Moab in July might not require the same kind of canopy as someone headed towards the Cascades in April. Breathability is key in high temps, so a thicker canopy may leave you feeling hot on hot days. If you’re looking to purchase a tent that can handle anything but still gives you plenty of ventilation, we’d recommend you select a 4-season model. All the tents made of softshell that we tried have a removable rainfly, but with waterproof seams and taped seams canopies, 4-season models don’t require one when there is less rain. The models made of hardshell don’t require a rainfly because the shell that encloses the tent when it’s in travelling mode is transformed into the tent’s roofing when in camping mode.


There are two kinds of ladders used for tents on rooftops including telescoping and sliding. Telescoping ladders are more adaptable, whereas sliding ladders are stronger. If you’re not afraid of drilling into the sliding ladder to provide yourself with a few more options for height, tents that come with this kind of ladder tend to be cheaper.

Security and Privacy

There aren’t many people with garages or garage, so it’s sometimes necessary to park your car at the trailhead or in a parking lot for extended time. If that’s the case you should consider a tent that locks to your rack is wise. Regarding privacy when you’re in a tent on the roof it is a little vulnerable to the eye of others in a variety of ways. But, some tents have large awnings as well as annexes, which provide an area to unwind to shower or relax at a busy campsite or festival.

Mounting System

The system for mounting that comes with your tent is crucial based on the vehicle you drive, your rack, and the kind of use you’re planning. If you’ll be taking the tent off of your vehicle often the tool-free option could be a better option. It’s important to keep in mind that the tool-free systems can be restricted as to the distance and width of the crossbars and racks they fit. If you want a longer-lasting, more customizable mounting system, we recommend that you choose a tent that has traditional track mounting.


If you’re camping in the car You want all the facilities available There are many different accessories for tents with roofs. There are shelves that can be built inside as well as LED lights, boot bags, mattresses with deluxe, and interchangeable canopies. If you’re the kind of person who likes to have all of the whistles, bells, and tones, it is best to select a tent that has all the choices. Be aware that certain tents include accessories, while others cost the user an arm and foot to get an upgraded.


For a lot of people, fashion is all that matters. In the end, it’s great to look stylish and be noticed. However most people don’t really care about what a tent’s style is so long as it does its job. Certain brands offer a multitude of designs and colors while others only provide a generic choice. If you don’t mind sacrificing some style to gain functionality, you can save yourself money by selecting one that is less popular or a more vibrant model.


Finding the ideal rooftop tent can determine the success or failure of your camping experience. It’s crucial to take your time reviewing every detail that you can so that you don’t come with a tent that doesn’t work for you or breaks down. Look back through our comprehensive review of the rooftop tent and individual product reviews to get a better understanding of what you want. Be sure to be careful and thoughtful when making your purchase to save yourself time, money, and frustration.