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What is the advantage of buying a rooftop tent?

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A purchase as expensive and complex as a roof tent can be an intimidating task. There’s an extensive list of considerations to make when purchasing these tents. Many people do not pay attention to some crucial aspects. If you make a hasty purchase, you might be left with the wrong tent for you, a rack that doesn’t fit in your car or a tent that does not match your rack or any of the above. The tents are delivered to your residence in huge freight trucks equipped with hydraulic lift gates, and returning one can be quite a trouble. After years of testing tents for rooftops, we’ve learned this lesson the hard way. It’s crucial to do the necessary research before buying a rooftop tent to ensure that you don’t end up opening the door to a costly and time-consuming pot of worms. Follow the link below for an in-depth overview of the steps to take to find the right rooftop tent to ensure that you don’t waste any time or money.

Initial Discussions

The first thing to consider is the practicalities of having the rooftop tent, as they’re not appropriate for all. Take into consideration that you must get up and down a ladder to rest or get up at the end in the evening. Everything you put inside your tent must be handed up to someone or moved down the stairs. For folks with injuries, disabilities or large animals roof tents can be difficult or unusable. Be ready to be leaning, crawling, and walking all over your vehicle frequently because there’s no other way to avoid it. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll wreck your vehicle by having a rooftop tent installed however, it’s essential to be careful. Be aware that these tents are heavy and that many models require assembly before you’re able to think about installation. You’ll require the help of a friend for the process of installation. Some parts of the installation is easier when you have two hands. However, certain models require power tools and they all weigh at least 90 pounds. The models that are heavier than what we’ve tried weigh more than 160 pounds. It is ideal to have the tent installed professionally.

I’m In. What’s Next?

The moment you decide to purchase an rooftop tent however doesn’t mean that you’re ready to buy one. Most vehicles are not designed to hold that much weight on the roof. It is important to know if your vehicle has the capacity to hold the amount of weight that you will encounter up there. It’s not just the weight of the tent, but also the bedding, gear, people and pets that need to consider. If you put too much weight on your roof, you may possibly damage your vehicle or cause injury to yourself or someone else.

The Rack

The rack you have isn’t suitable for roof tents The majority of racks aren’t rated to handle the weight. The crossbars you find on a variety of vehicles, trucks, and SUVs are only designed to support 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 door of the vehicle or roof. These racks put everything on just four roof points, and can probably damage your car due to an excess of weight from a rooftop tent. To be able to safely put a roof tent over the cab your car, you’ll need to install a track system that disperses the weight over all the way down the roof, including towers that are strong, and crossbars that are rated to the correct weight. If you’re going to mount your tent on truck bed racks or on a trailer ensure that you examine the specifications of your products to confirm that they are rated with a high enough rating for this much weight.

What is the best way to choose a particular Model

When you’ve decided you want an rooftop tent, that your vehicle can handle it, and you’ve got the proper rack, you can start looking at tent specs. Rooftop tents come in various sizes and shapes with various specifications and prices.

Fold-out vs Pop-up

There are two types of tents for rooftops: softshells and hardshells. Softshell tents are lighter while traveling and have large rubber or Cordura covers when they are not being used. They can be folded either on the side or back of your vehicle, and usually take more time to convert from camping mode to travel mode and back. If you decide to utilize the annexes, awnings, or rain fly for this kind of tent, you’ll need to put in another few minutes in camp setup and break down. In our experience, softshells tend to require some installation out of the box that typically involves securing the mounting tracks to the top of the tent, and fixing the ladder. Most of the time softshells are a lot more affordable than hardshells.

Pop-up hardshell tents resemble huge fiberglass cargo boxes when they are used and can be extended horizontally or at an angle in the event of a campout. The ones that we’ve tested came fully constructed from the factory, and require just one wrench to mount on the rack. Once it’s time to change the type of tent from a travel mode into camping mode, the majority of the work is performed by hydraulic pistons that allow you to open and close the tent just like the trunk of a modern car. For folding the tent, the weight of the roof and the slightest bit of your body weight and gravity makes the process of breaking down a breeze too. The whole conversion process will take less than a minute of setup time or teardown. The upper portion of the shell also doubles as the tent’s roof, so there is no requirement for a rainfly. The majority of hardshells occupy an area that is larger over your vehicle than softshells when in transport, however that footprint does not grow as you camp. This feature can be extremely beneficial if you’re camping within a tight forest or an area that is crowded. They are higher in price than their soft-topped counterparts.


The Tent’s weight could be a major issue in smaller cars; for people with larger trucks and SUVs it’s likely to be to be less of an issue. It’s also important to think about that at some point you will be lifting the tent off or onto the back of your automobile. If this is something you are likely to do frequently and often, the extra 20-30 pounds could be a major deciding aspect. However, with increased weight usually comes more durability. If your tent is expected to be getting a lot of use, whether off-road, in festivals, or just many road trips, then it might be worth the extra weight to purchase more robust models.

It is crucial to think about the weather conditions you’ll be camping in. Somebody headed for Moab in July may not require the same kind of canopy as someone heading toward the Cascades in April. In high temperatures, so a larger canopy could make you feel hot during hot days. If you’re looking to purchase a tent that can take on any type of weather, but provides adequate airflow, we’d advise you to select a 4-season model. The tents we’ve tested come with a removable rainfly. But with waterproof seams and taped seams canopies, the 4-season models don’t require a rainfly in light rain. The models made of hardshell don’t require a rainfly because the shell that surrounds the tent during traveling becomes the tent’s roof during camping mode.


There are two types of ladders suitable for roof tents including telescoping and sliding. Telescoping ladders are more versatile, but sliding ladders are more durable. If you’re comfortable drilling into a sliding ladder to provide yourself with a few more options for height and length, tents with the type of ladder you want are usually cheaper.

Security and Privacy

Not everybody has a garage in their home, and there are times when it’s essential to leave your car at the trailhead or in a parking lot for extended time. If that’s the case you should consider a tent that connects to your rack is an excellent idea. Regarding privacy, in an rooftop tent you’re open to scrutiny in various ways. But, some tents have large awnings as well as annexes that can give you a private place to change, shower, or relax at a busy campsite or festival.

Mounting System

The system for mounting that comes with your tent can be extremely important based on the vehicle you drive, your rack, and the kind of use you have planned. If you’ll be taking the tent off of your vehicle frequently, a tool-free system might be a good option. It’s important to keep in mind that the tool-free systems can be restricted to the distance and width of the crossbars and racks they fit. If you want a longer-lasting, more customizable mounting system we recommend you go with a tent using the normal trackmounts.


When you’re car camping it is important to have everything you need, and there are many different accessories for tents on rooftops. There are internal shelves with LED lighting, boots bags, mattresses with deluxe and canopies that are interchangeable. If you’re the kind of person who would like to have all the bells and whistles then you must choose an option that includes all of the choices. Remember that certain tents are equipped with equipment, while others charge the user an arm and arm to add an upgrade.


For a lot of people, style is all that matters. In the end, it’s great to look stylish and make a statement. However most people do not care about what the tent looks like as long as it’s doing its job. Certain brands have a range of styles and colors, and some offer a general model. If you don’t mind sacrificing some style to gain functionality, you can save money by going with the less well-known or more colorful model.


Choosing the best rooftop tent can change the course of your camping experience. It’s essential to take the time to research every aspect that you can so that you don’t end up with something that isn’t suitable for you or falls apart. Take a look at our extensive review of our rooftop tent as well as the individual reviews for each product to get a clearer idea of what you’re looking to purchase. Be sure to make a careful, thoughtful purchase to save yourself time, money, and stress.