3 Best Rooftop Tents

Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best rooftop tents to sleep up high in this year. Rooftop tents are becoming a very popular option amongst campers for a number of reasons such as being an excellent way to camp off the ground as well as keeping your vehicle available for storing your other camping essentials.

As usual however there are quite a few factors to consider when looking for a good roof top tent so to help you out I have had a good look around and come up with three good options below.

Let’s check them out.

My three recommended rooftop tents

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Rooftop TentPriceGet it
best rooftop tents - Body Armor 20010 SKY RIDGE PIKE 2-Person Tent Body Armor 20010 SKY RIDGE PIKE 2-Person Tent$$CURRENT PRICE
best rooftop tents - Smittybilt Overlander TentSmittybilt Overlander Tent$$CURRENT PRICE
best rooftop tents - Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop TentThule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are rooftop tents?

Rooftop tents are an accessory that you can attach to the roof of your camping vehicle allowing the users to sleep in relative safety and comfort above the ground while leaving the internal load space-free. They can be set up on cars or trucks and are generally attached to crossbars, side rails, gutters, tracks or roofs with fixed points.

In terms of their manufacture, roof top tents share similar qualities that traditional on-the-ground tents however for obvious reasons are usually on the smaller side sleeping two people at most.

best rooftop tents - soft top tent

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be taken into account when looking for a good roof top tent.

  1. Shell type
  2. Size
  3. Ventilation
  4. Ease of setup
  5. Durability
  6. Additions

Shell type

Rooftop tent can be a hard or a soft shell as follows:

  1. Hard-shell tents: Roof tents of this type are typically constructed using aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass shell. Some of the upsides of hard shell tents are the following: a longer lifespan, better indoor protection, and quick installation. They also offer better aerodynamics and are more wind-resistant.
  2. Soft-shell tents: The second type of camping tent folds out beyond your vehicle’s roof, comes in various layouts, and can accommodate accessories such as awnings. Soft shell rooftop tents are less expensive than hard-shell rooftop tents.

Size

I recommend that you find the right balance of size and weight for your vehicle and family. Rooftop tents typically sleep two to five people and can accommodate a double to a king-size mattress. A rooftop tent with a spacious interior gives you enough room for a comfy sleep and even allows you to change clothes while sitting however, it should be noted that the larger the tent and bed, the heavier and more cumbersome the product.

Ventilation

Rooftop tents generally provide for good insulation because air flows beneath the tent’s body providing you with better ventilation than standard ground tents. Secondly, most models include large windows and mesh panels, many of which can be unzipped entirely or closed with just a bug net and are covered by waterproof awnings.

best rooftop tents - hard top tent

Ease of setup

Pitching a rooftop tent is far more convenient than setting up a standard ground tent. There are, however, some significant differences between the two models I mentioned above. Hard-shell rooftop tents are the quickest to assemble as you can usually just unclip the shell, engage the hinges, and let the product rise.

Soft-shell tents on the other hand require more installation time. Typically, you have to remove the soft cover and insert poles to prop up the fly and awnings.

Durability

Bestselling rooftop tents were designed to withstand inclement weather. They usually come with ultra-thick fabrics and robust zippers. If bad weather is a concern, make sure your awning provides full coverage so that air can flow without the rain getting in. Aside from this, the metal components are made to last for a long time and the floors are also expected to endure any weight.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Ladder: You would need this equipment to enter and leave the rooftop tent.
  2. Storage pockets: Consider a tent explicitly designed to carry extra storage pockets if you take a lot of gear.
  3. Mattress: Rooftop tents usually come with integrated beds that help you sleep quietly at night.

Motor vehicle specifications

And finally, before you start to look at a roof top tent, it is critical that you check the specifications and capabilities of the vehicle it will be attached to. For example, if you vehicle is set with a 100kg capacity limit on the roof racks, then you need to ensure that the car can carry the tent as well as those who will be sleeping within it.

This also means you will need to check the capacity limits of the roof racks as well.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Body Armor 20010 SKY RIDGE PIKE 2-Person Tent

My first recommended rooftop tent gives quality protection and comfort and is equipped with adjustable windows and awnings for improved privacy. The frames and hinges are made from corrosion-resistant materials that guarantee prolonged use as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Body Armor
  • Type: Soft-shell tent
  • Construction material: Reinforced polyester canvas
  • Capacity: 2-person rooftop tent
  • Weight: 117 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Telescopic ladder
  • Three large view windows
  • Mosquito netting
  • High-density foam mattress

Why have I chosen it?

The three large windows are made for excellent airflow within the tent and you can adjust the awnings and window cover for privacy purposes. The integrated foam mattress assists in a better sleeping experience and deploys with simple one person setup. With premium-grade fabrics and metals, this is a great option for those who like to travel light.


2. Smittybilt Overlander Tent

This second rooftop tent is another great option with an exceptionally comfortable mattress and the canopy designed to withstand even the most violent winds. It is fully netted for protection with a removable floor and a heavy-duty PVC cover as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Smittybilt
  • Type: Soft-shell tent
  • Construction material: 600 D polyurethane canopy
  • Capacity: 2-person rooftop tent
  • Weight: 144 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Telescopic ladder
  • Foam mattress
  • Anodized aluminum tent poles
  • Interior LED lights

Why have I chosen it?

The floor space of the rooftop tent offers ample space for you to sit and enjoy the view or even change your clothing with an integrated interior LED light strip should you be doing this at night. Furthermore, the external rubber boot bag helps store your muddy shoes and the wide, sturdy ladder gives you safe climbing as you move inside and outside the tent. This is another great option for camping in all conditions.


3. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent

This final rooftop tent comes from a manufacturer well-known for producing top-notch camping tents and gives you a breathable canopy allowing the required airflow even when the doors and windows are closed. This model is designed for two people and is incredibly lightweight making moving it on and off the vehicle more manageable than its larger, bulkier counterparts. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Thule
  • Type: Soft-shell tent
  • Construction material: Breathable polyester-cotton
  • Capacity: 2-person rooftop tent
  • Weight: 115 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Telescopic ladder
  • Travel cover
  • UV resistant tent fabrics

Why have I chosen it?

The memory foam mattress included in the tent provides maximum comfort and the rooftop tents fabric allows extra breathability, making it an ideal resting spot during your summer camps. Converting the tent from travel to camping mode is also simple requiring you to just undo the straps, remove the cover, extend the ladder, and straighten out the tent. This is another great high quality option for campers of all types.

Conclusion

There you have it, my three best rooftop tents for your relaxing outdoor sleep. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul