Guide in Buying The Best Rooftop Tents
Whether you’re spending a night, a week, or a whole season in the wilderness, chances are you’d like to spend your sleeping hours being comfortable, warm, protected, and dry. Setting up a tent can be a time-consuming chore on a good day, and typically leaves you on the cold damp ground with little protection from creatures who may snoop about your campsite once you’ve packed it in for the night. Hauling a tent with you for your adventure also requires sacrificing a healthy amount of cargo space in your vehicle.
For these reasons and others, the rooftop tent is a popular pick with adventurers around the globe. Most models mount to the roof of your truck or SUV where they stay permanently in place, providing a dry, elevated, and warm place to sleep. Even if it rains or snows, you won’t be waking up in a cold, damp puddle with a soggy, dirty tent to pack up when the trip ends.
Below, we’re taking a look at some rooftop tent options for your truck or 4×4. Each provides added comfort and convenience for your next adventure.
Editor’s Pick: TMB Motorsports White Shell Pop Up Roof Tent
This rooftop tent from TMB motorsports is a collection of some of the best attributes and functionalities available in rooftop tents today. With the TMB Motorsports White Shell Pop Up Roof Tent, shoppers benefit from compact sizing that’s compatible with a wide range of cars, trucks, vans, and SUV’s, and this product is built to fit most vehicles equipped with crossbars and roof rails. Aluminum construction helps reduce weight and a special coating resists degradation by the elements over time.
This tent collapses into a hard-shell pod when not in use, protecting and securing the fabric construction and providing added security while traveling with the tent closed. Shock-assisted lifts make opening this tent a snap, and built-in storage gives occupants a handy place to keep smaller items and clothing while they sleep. Also included are an extra storage bag, a flashlight, a ladder, and a pre-installed mattress.
The TMB Motorsports White Shell Pop Up Roof Tent is easy to use, easy to install and comes with everything you need—though, at $1,795, some shoppers may lean towards a more affordable option. Owner reviews are positive, with owners reporting this tent is easily installed in about 30 minutes, despite poorly-translated instructions.
Smittybilt Overlander Tent
The Smittybilt Overlander Tent is a conventional-looking camping tent, but attaches to the roof-rail system of your 4×4, and is accessed by climbing up an aluminum ladder. The standard-sized tent sleeps 2 to 3 occupants and can handle over 660 pounds. A larger model is also available for larger vehicles and can sleep 3 to 4 people. Pricing is highly reasonable, and the quality is rated well by owners after a more budget-friendly alternative.
The Smittybilt Overlander Tent also provides a heavy-duty top with rain-fly for added waterproofing and protection, and all windows feature fabric awnings to help block out sunlight and rain, as needed. This one’s a perfect fit for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as well as other similarly-sized adventure rides. Built-in LED lighting, a zippered sunroof, and a built-in shoe-storage bag add further convenience. Add a Tent Annex for a sheltered lobby/entryway to your Overlander tent, as needed.
A strong brand reputation and good owner reviews round out the package, though some owners have found difficulty in working the rain fly with the tent sitting 6 feet or higher from the ground.
Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room
After a rooftop tent to serve as your living quarters for a lengthy stay in the wilderness? Look no further than the Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room. Perfect for the pickup camper, this rooftop tent installs with relative ease, and all tools and hardware are included. The included Annex Room provides a sheltered entryway that zips to the rooftop tent, providing extra shelter, a dining area, or an additional covered sleeping area for a queen-sized mattress or cot.
This is a pricier option but provides plenty of value for the money. The Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room can be installed for entry from the side or rear of your truck and includes 3 screened windows with awnings, mold resistance treatment, and a built-in foam mattress. Installation takes a few hours, though on-site setup will see you up and covered in just a few minutes.
Like most rooftop tents, this one requires an adequate platform to be installed to your truck before installation. Owner reviews are the best on this list, with ease of use, quality for the money, and added functionalities being the most highly rated. Just note that this item comprises a large package, so special shipping arrangements may be required.
Note that Tuff Stuff makes a variety of purpose-built platforms for their tent products, which make installation and use even easier and safer.
Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent
The Guide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent is a no-nonsense, affordable, and easy to use a tent that provides ample protection, simple setup, and compact portability for the pickup driver. Priced at under $100, this well-reviewed product turns your truck into a camper, lickety-split. Deploying in minutes, it provides a fast and comfortable shelter that gets you off of the cold, yucky ground. Quality construction, good ventilation, and several adaptable options make this one an easy choice for campers on a budget.
Setup is a snap, with only four poles. A large door provides easy access, right from your pickup’s tailgate. Shock cords attach the tent securely to your truck, and a rain-fly provides total waterproof protection.
Many positive owner reviews report good quality and great functionality for the very low price, with many owners saying this one’s worth every penny. Easy setup and tear-down are also noted, though no instructions are included. If you want a handy, effective and easy-to-use tent on the cheap, the Guide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent is worth further investigation.
Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent
From a recognized leader in outdoor adventure products, the Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent is a premium product with a premium price-tag for the shopper who puts quality and functionality first. A camouflage finish lets this rooftop tent stand out while blending in, and Yakima designed this one to be light, strong and technically advanced. The Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent is built by a reputable brand using top-quality materials—including light and breathable 210D nylon for maximum protection and dryness. The weather-shedding coating on the included rain-fly keeps occupants dry even in severe weather.
The Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent is well rated, with owners indicating that it makes a fantastic upgrade from lower-end products. Expect quick and easy setup and pleasing design. If you’re ready to splurge and treat yourself to one of the best rooftop tents in the business, this is the one for you—though, at over $1,400, more affordable alternatives are numerous.
Freespirit Recreation Adventure Series Hard Top Tent
In exchange for this top-line rooftop tent’s lofty asking price, shoppers can expect a wide array of the very best features on offer in rooftop tents today. The Freespirit Recreation Adventure Series Hard Top Tent comfortably sleeps 1 to 2 occupants, includes ample supplemental storage for belongings, and comes with a solar-powered 12-volt battery pack to charge mobile accessories.
Perhaps most impressively, the Freespirit Recreation Adventure Series Hard Top Tent folds into a low-profile stored position, where it’s protected by the hard outer shell, which helps protect from the elements while adding durability. Once mounted, this rain-fly equipped tent opens up in a minute or so, and the entire side of the unit can be tipped open, forming a large window with built-in awning for protection from the sun and rain. This unique feature allows the tent to switch from private sleeping space to an open-sided lounge with a fantastic view, in just seconds. A ladder is included for easy access.
The Freespirit Recreation Adventure Series Hard Top Tent might have one of the most clever designs on our list, though its $2,350 asking price won’t work for many budgets.
Tuff Stuff Universal Roof Top Tent Bed Rack
This accessory from Tuff Stuff makes rooftop tenting a cinch. The Tuff Stuff Universal Roof Top Tent Bed Rack is designed for universal fitment on virtually pickup truck and is compatible with the factory cargo rail system with some additional hardware. Able to handle up to 400 pounds while the vehicle is in motion, custom pinch plates are included to help reduce the need for added drilling or complication in the installation process. This specialty track also uses a unique sliding center rail system, allowing easy adjustment of its width for a perfect fit.
With the Tuff Stuff Universal Roof Top Tent Bed Rack-mounted, you’ve got full access to your truck’s cargo, and a secure, sturdy and purpose-built platform above that’s made to accept your rooftop tent. This is an easy and handy way to integrate a rooftop tent with your pickup truck, though do your homework first—understanding how it needs to be mounted to your specific model. Also, note that the rack comes unfinished, and should to be painted or powder-coated before use to prevent rust.
Blog Source: Off-road.com | Buyers Guide: The Best Rooftop Tents