Best Roof Top Tent

The Best Roof Top Tent For Car Camping

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Regardless of how perfect your ground tent is, you are not immune to several hazards, such as flooding sites and low-ground predators. It calls for an alternative solution to stay above ground during your camping session. Rooftop tents solve these challenges by giving you the option of setting the tent at the roof rack of your vehicle and access it by an instant telescopic or slide-in ladder.

In this article, we are going to review the best rooftop tents that we have carefully selected after considering their price and features.

Product Name

Price

​Feature

Rating

  • 3 campers
  • Size : 8 x 2 x 10 inches
  • Weight : 129.3 pounds

iKamper Skycamp 2.0

  • Item Weight: 138 pounds
  • 2 people +
  • Item Weight: 136 pounds
  • 3 people
  • ​Item Weight: 121 pounds
  • ​2 campers

Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent-S - Best Roof Top Tent Under $1000

  • ​2- People
  • ​Weight - 95 pounds
  • Size-48 x 42 x 12 inches
  • ​3 People
  • ​Weight - 115 pounds
  • Size- 56 x 48 x 12 inches

Reviews of The Best Rooftop Tents

1. Front Runner Roof Top Tent  - Best Roof Top Tent

Front Runner Roof Top Tent (Best Roof Top Tent)
4 Reviews
Front Runner Roof Top Tent (Best Roof Top Tent)
  • Lowest profile roof top tent on the market at 200mm (7.87") excluding ladder
  • A 1.3m (4.3') W x 2.4m (7.9') L when unfolded, it sleeps 2 people comfortably
  • Lightweight at 40kg (88.18lbs)
  • Mattress included
  • To mount any Roof Top Tent to your Front Runner Roof Rack you will need a Front Runner Tent mount kit

From an expert point of view, the Front Runner Roof Top Tent comes out as one of the best rooftop tent considering the price and several features such as the ability to withstand extreme weather elements.

It's very resistant to strong winds and has a very high-quality framework to withstand adverse weather during your outdoor camping trip. The canvas has an Oxford 400D fabric, which is quite durable and can prevent moisture from getting in as well as destructive mold.

Features

  • Very light construction materials

An outstanding feature in this tent is the overall lightweight construction. Other regular lookalike models will weigh over 200 lb while the Front Runner rooftop tent weight 88 pounds and below. This weight makes it easy for portability and storage, as well as giving room to load other camping gear.

  • Spacious Interiors and additional accessories

The Front Runner Rooftop tent comes with all the necessary features to make you feel safe and comfortable while sleeping out in the woods. It has an exceptional interior and a foam mattress that you can add your sleeping bag for a cozier restful night. It also has a retractable ladder made from aluminum material with footsteps that enables you to climb into the tent without slipping.

What we liked​​​​

  • ​The canvas material is very breathable, which is ideal for camping in areas with very humid weather conditions
  • ​Screened windows and the doors to keep bugs and insects out
  • ​The tent canvas has a polyester and a cotton layer with a PVC coating that makes it water-resistant
  • ​It's very light that makes it easy to carry and store
  • ​it has very spacious interiors

What we didn't like

  • ​It's a bit pricey when compared to other copycat models
  • ​You are required to buy the mounting rack separately. This rack is an essential accessory when mounting the tent, which increases the camping tent budget.

Verdict

Despite it being a bit pricey, it comes as one of the best rooftop tents if you're shopping for a simple rooftop set up less than 100 pounds.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 5
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Interiors: 5
  • Castomer Care: 5
  • Price/Value: 4.5
  • Overall: 4.9

2. iKamper Skycamp 2.0 - Premium 

iKamper Skycamp 2.0

The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 tent is the predecessor of Skycamp 4.0, which reigned as one of the best rooftop tents back in the year 2017. It is very compact and has a strong, durable shell fabric that can accommodate up to two campers comfortably.

It has a wedge design that lets you open it sideways for better view and access. If you like gazing at the stars and moon at the night sky without obstruction then, the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 premium should be among your top priority in your tent-shopping list.

It is famous as one of the fastest rooftop tent that can pitch in less than 60 seconds. It has a hard shell package that pops up immediately you loosen it, and a ladder that can securely fit on the floor panel using two straps.

The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 premium tent is also effortless to unpack from the camping site. It's advisable to let it completely dry before putting it back into the pack in case it was rained on.

Features

  • Very decent interiors

The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 interiors can accommodate at most two people comfortably in the sleeping area. It is, however, slightly smaller than a regular double size camping mattress.

  • Great exterior Design

The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 has a durable, lightweight aluminum honeycomb floor with a double-layered fiber tent. It tops as one of the lightest hard-shell rooftop tents. It has a poly-cotton material, which is a bit thicker than regular models, which makes it water-resistant and very breathable.

  • Very light aluminum ladder

​It comes with a featherweight aluminum access ladder for ease of access, storage, and portability.

What we liked

  • ​It can set up in less than 60 seconds
  • It's very light and waterproof tent
  • ​Excellent air circulation
  • ​Has a rain fly to protect you from a torrential downpour
  • ​You get the option to add an awning and an annex

What we didn't like

  • ​The zippers tend to be a bit flimsy on a regular use
  • ​Feel a bit unsafe on extreme winds
  • ​You need a zip sealant to prevent the stitching from occasional leaks on torrential downpour

Verdic​​​​t

The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 is one of the best rooftop tents that have a hard shell and a lot more features at a fraction of the price, as compared to most of the expensive models. Therefore, If you're going camping on areas that have no extreme weather conditions, the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Premium can serve you very well.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 5
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Interiors: 4
  • Castomer Care: 5
  • Price/Value: 4
  • Overall: 4.6

3. Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent - Best Value For Money

Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent
8 Reviews
Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent
  • Material: [canopy] 600D cotton/poly ripstop, DWR treatment, [rainfly] 420D polyester oxford, polyurethane coating, [travel cover] 1000D PVC, [base] aluminum]
  • Capacity: 3-person
  • Season: 4-season
  • Poles: aluminum
  • Seams: taped

The Tepui Explorer Kukenam rooftop tent is a product of an outdoor adventure company based in Santa Cruz called the Tepui. They have been in business since the year 2010. Tepui Explorer Kukenam is famously known as one of the best rooftops tents with a soft shell canvas and fast set up process.

Features

  • Lightweight tent package

With a Tepui Explorer Kukenam rooftop tent, you get a very light canvas design with an insulated 48 by 50-inch fiberglass weighing below 130 pounds. It measures about 12 inches tall enclosed with a distinct feature that helps to reduce fuel loss and keep the road noise at a minimum. It also comes with universal mounting brackets that can be installed on the rooftop of any vehicle regardless of size and shape. You will need at least one more person when setting up to help fix and tighten the mounting bolts.

  • Very easy to use

The standard setting up time is less than 10 minutes. It has a very straightforward installation guide. However, in case of any difficulties, feel free to watch this instructional video that will help you set up your rooftop tent in minutes.

  • Condensation proof mat

You get the option to buy an anti-condensation rug when placing your order. The tent package does not include this mat by default. Therefore, requesting it for inclusion when placing the order will cost you an extra $149.

What we liked about the tent

  • ​It has a lot of add-on features that you can utilize for extra functionality, such as the awning, and annexes, anti-condensation mart Insulations, and more
  • ​It's effortless to set up
  • ​Very spacious interiors with a high-density mattress
  • ​Light telescopic ladder for easy access to the tent
  • ​Excellent customer care service

What we didn't like

  • ​The steps of the telescopic ladder don't have rubber coating, which makes them a bit slippery when wet or muddy.
  • ​The leveling jack does not come with the package hence adding some cost to the camping budget.

Verdict

The Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent is a high-quality rooftop tent that you can get at a very affordable price. It comes with everything that you may need to make your camping accommodation enjoyable. From comfort, space, durability, and luxurious experience, you name it. It's one of the best rooftop tents if you want a product that has customizable features. You get a selection of colors and add-ons to fit your camping lifestyle and taste.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 4
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Interiors: 4.5
  • Castomer Care: 5
  • Price/Value: 4
  • Overall: 4.5

4. Tuff Stuff "Delta" Overland Rooftop Jeep & Truck Tent

The Tuff Stuff "Delta" Overland Rooftop Jeep & Truck tent models have a durable aluminum frame with warm floor insulation. It makes it to our list as one of the best rooftop tents for outside camping since you get a heavy-duty tent with 280G-cotton canvas exterior at a very affordable price.

Features

  • Rainfly extension

It comes with a rainfly that extrudes over the entrance door as well as the rear window to protect you from torrential downpour even with a fully open window view.

  • Warm and cozy mattress

Your package will include a 2.75-inch mattress with memory foam encased in a removable cover that makes it easy to wash. All you need is just some pillows and blankets to complement the bed for a very restful night.

  • Slide-in access ladder

The Tuff Stuff "Delta" Overland Rooftop Jeep & Truck Tent comes with a slide-in access ladder, which is a better design than a telescopic ladder that can clog with mud and sand, which disables its ability to close or open.

  • Ample storage

You get four storage pockets in the tent and a complimentary water-resistant shoe compartment in the tent outskirt. You also get the option to choose an additional annex room if you need a little bit of privacy from your tent mate. This annex can also act as storage, housing for kids during the night as well as a changing room. However, the additional add-on does not come with the package. You have to buy it as an accompaniment in case you need it.

What we liked

  • ​It's very cozy and warm inside
  • ​It has a front entry which makes it ideal for pickup truck bed and 4 X 4 trailers among other smaller crossover vehicles that have a roof rack below the head height
  • ​It has an ample storage space
  • ​A memory foam mattress has a protective, washable removable cover
  • ​It has excellent air circulation

What we don't like

  • ​It is a bit bulky and taking it down is that three man's job or more

Final verdict

The Tuff Stuff "Delta" Overland Rooftop Jeep & Truck tent is the best rooftop tent if you have a small family. Also, if you are looking for a shelter that will keep them safe from ground hazards, such as picky objects and a waterlogged ground, this tent is your best bet. If you top it up with the extra annex room, you have enough space for a little bit of privacy as well as accommodate your kids or pets.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Interiors: 4.5
  • Castomer Care: 5
  • Price/Value: 4.5
  • Overall: 4.5

5. Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-S - Best Rooftop Tent Under $1000

Sale
Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-S
1 Reviews
Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-S
  • Material: [tent body] 210D nylon, [rainfly] 210D nylon, PU coating
  • Capacity: 2 person
  • Season: 3 season
  • Wall Type: double
  • Freestanding: yes, fold-out design stands upright with ladder

The Yakima Skyrise rooftop tent-S is one of the best rooftop tents that will give you a hassle-free camping experience without breaking your bank account. It requires no bolts, which means you can get it up to the rooftop of your car and set up very quickly.

Features

  • Weather-shedding rainfly

It has a weather-shedding rainfly designed with a waterproof polyurethane layer that protects you from a torrential downpour. You have the option to leave the rain fly for fast setup and get a very wide-open view.

  • Light aluminum framework and firm tent skin

The Yakima Skyrise rooftop tent-S frame is designed using solid and light aluminum material that makes it easy to lift and set up.

The tent's fabric has a 2010B nylon material made using breathable mesh panels for proper air circulation. It is also very light, making it very portable and easy to store.

  • Free vehicle mount

The tent platform is mounted and fixed into place using aluminum poles to the roof rack using SKS lock cores for more stability and extra security.

What we liked

  • ​Very fast to set up
  • ​Light tent fabric
  • ​Utilizes SKS lock cores for added security
  • ​Has a 2.5-inch wall to wall cozy foam mattress
  • ​Wide-open stargazing top view
  • ​Lightweight aluminum pole
  • ​Very affordable

What we didn't like

  • ​​If not properly sealed the tent edges tend to leak
  • ​Not very suitable for a large team of campers

Verdict

Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent-S can accommodate up to two campers comfortably, making it the best rooftop tent for couples setting camp outdoors.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 4
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Interiors: 4
  • Castomer Care: 4
  • Price/Value: 4
  • Overall: 44

6. Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-M 

Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-M
2 Reviews
Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent-M
  • Medium 3 Person Capacity

The Yakima SkyRise is a flagship collaboration product between the Yakima and Poler tent manufacturers. It tops our list as one of the best rooftops tents since it has a durable design and easy setup process.

It also one of the best hard shell roof top tents carefully crafted to accommodate a wide selection of vehicle sizes and shapes.

Say goodbye to bugs and getting jabbed by rocks with a floor camping tent. With a Yakima SkyRise-M tent, you get the leverage of spacious interiors and a great view of the open sky from the rooftop of your car.

Features

  • Fast pitching with no extra tools

The Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent - M is easy to pitch, which gives you more time to focus on other camping activities and spend less time setting up the camp tent.

  • Extensive and unparalleled views

You get a big bedroom space with large roller windows on an elevated base on your vehicle's rooftop that gives you a closer look at the stars and moon. The skylight and the window have durable panels over a mesh that can be unzipped to facilitate air circulation. The meshed-panel also gives you a better view of the camping site from the tent window.

  • A lifestyle tent design

The Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent - M perches very well at the rooftop of your car. It enables you to convert any camping site into a perfect outdoor habitat. It comes customized to your specific needs, from different sizes and colors that suit your style and personality. Pitching the tent requires one or two people at most. It comes with an easy to install user manual. However, for a quick tutorial on how to fix this tent, check out this simple installation video.

What we liked

  • ​It's effortless install
  • ​It's very light
  • ​Comes with very spacious interiors
  • ​Installation hardware and ladder included in the package
  • ​It gives a broad view of the sky

What we didn't like

  • ​The rain fly could use a vent
  • ​Condensation forms at the top view of the rainfly, which becomes a little bit inconvenient

Verdict

The Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent - M is one of the best rooftop tents if you are looking for a camping shelter that is instant to set up and protect you from extreme outdoor weather.

Rating:

  • Exteriors: 5
  • Ease of Use: 3
  • Interiors: 44
  • Castomer Care: 5
  • Price/Value: 3
  • Overall: 4

Buying Guide

The outdoor camping industry has mutated from manufacturing mere camping gear to providing the ultimate experience during your outdoor adventure. Since the launch of the rooftop tent, campers are presented with a wide selection of products and brands to keep the camping accommodation exciting and stylish.

You will come across lightweight constructions and easy to set up vintage point products crafted with a variety of attractive designs and prices. You will have to make a lot of decisions to land a good deal.

In this buying guide, we are going to look at several factors you should consider before investing in a rooftop tent.

The size

Unlike the regular ground tents, rooftop tents come with bits of limitations regarding car sizes and the weight they can handle. That means, the number of people that a rooftop canvas can accommodate is limited to the type of car that the rooftop tent is set on. A standard rooftop tent can fit two people comfortably. Various tent iterations are designed to accommodate up to three people. However, this largely depends on the car rooftop space and the weight it can hold without messing with stability.

The construction material

Before you purchase any rooftop tent, you should consider the quality of the construction material. You should review the quality of the canvas, the interior design, the support framework, as well as the ladder, and the mattress.

You should also do a thorough check to ensure that the material used is comfortable enough and has a long lifespan. It's a good thing that most of the exterior construction integrates nylon materials that makes it weatherproof and able to withstand most of the natural elements.

Additionally, you should also consider the weight of the tent, and its accessories. The access ladder, the annex room, the packaging as well as the canvas, should be light enough to fit on the rooftop of the car.

Simple installation process

To pitch a rooftop tent should be a hassle-free process that does not require a lot of technicalities and workforce. The setup process also implies that taking the shelter down from the campsite should be easy.

Otherwise, there is no point in having an easy-to-set tent that takes a lot of time to unpack. The best rooftop tent enables you to set it up in a few minutes, allowing you to get back to your camping activities since it's not fun to stand on a ladder for hours taking down or setting up the tent.

Before you pick a tent, make sure you understand the installation guide and estimate how long it will take to set up and take it down. Additionally, it should be clear on the tools required to make the installation possible within the stipulated time.

The Weight

Weight is a vital factor when buying a rooftop tent. You should ensure that the average weight of the tent and the campers do not exceed the car. Excess weight can lead to technical problems to the vehicle as well as the stability of the shelter.

Advantages Of Owning A Rooftop Tent

  • ​You can store the tent at the roof of your car which comes very handy in case it's wet
  • ​It's effortless to set up
  • ​It's very comfortable with its inbuilt mattress
  • ​It's safer from low ground predators and crawling bugs
  • ​You can set it up even on a flooding campsite

Rooftop Tents Installation Tips

  • ​Start with loosening the cross straps on the tent bag, but be cautious about getting the bag stuck on the corners of the board.
  • ​Clamp the access ladder in place at full length and use it to lift the tent onto the roof of the car
  • ​To prevent the vacuum effect, you should make sure that the tent's window is fully open to allow airflow
  • ​Lastly, use the steel rods to secure the centerboard and the platform
  • ​To uninstall the tent, do the installation process but in reverse.

FAQs

How many people can a rooftop tent accommodate?

The number of people that a roof tent can accommodate depends on the design and the type of shelter. A standard tent is designed to fit at least two people. However, tents at the extreme size spectrum can accommodate up to four people.

What is the standard weight of a roof rack tent?

A standard rooftop tent can weigh up to 45 kg, but this also depends on the size.

What kind of weather can a rooftop tent withstand?

The type of weather that a rooftop tent can withstand largely depends on the quality and the brand that you order. Most manufacturers design the rooftop tent using weatherproof construction materials to protect the campers from extreme weather conditions.

What type of vehicle that can withstand a rooftop tent?

The best selection for rooftop tent cars is a sedan, SUV, trucks, and hatchback. It is advised to make sure that you take into consideration the weight limit of your vehicle. That said, you should never use a rooftop tent on a car with a load limit that is less than 165 lb.

Maintaining a rooftop tent

Apart from the quality and design of the rooftop tent, its life span also depends on how well you use it. You should ensure that regular vacuuming is done to get rid of dust and solid particles that can tear the surface of the tent.

For thorough cleaning, use a moist sponge soaked in a mixture of soap and clean water to wipe the canvas. You can add a little fragrance to the cleaning water for a better interior experience. Be cautious about using soap with chemicals that do not deteriorate the quality of the canvas. After cleaning, you should let the tent stay in the sun to dry completely before packing it up.

Conclusion

Our best rooftop tent pick goes to the Front Runner Roof Top Tent. It gives you value for your money, considering it is very light and solid enough to withstand extreme weather conditions. It comes with other benefits such as well ventilated canvas designed to resist moisture and mold.

It is an ideal tent if your camping site is prone to strong winds and torrential downpour. It is effortless to set up and has a feather-light construction material. The lightweight makes it easy to lift to the rooftop of your car and take it down when camping time is over.

However, it comes with a hefty price tag, but in case it does not fall within your budget, you should use it as a benchmark when shopping for alternative tents.

About the Author Tim Fox

Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here

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