From rugged hard top designs, to economical softshell designs, we reviewed this year’s best rooftop tents available. Rooftop tents are gaining in popularity for campers that like to travel light, and setup camp in an instant. Instead of having to break out the heavy and bulky family cabin tent that can take a long time to setup once you get to camp, with a rooftop tent it can take only minutes to setup camp. They are also very convenient for road trips where you can literally pull into a convenient spot to pull over for the night and have a comfortable bed to sleep in to continue on your journey the next day. Depending on the model tyou choose, the simple to setup rooftop designs pop up or fold out from the top of your vehicle. Most models also come equipped with a comfortable mattresses to sleep on to give you a great night’s sleep. Designs range from economical softshell rooftop tents, all the way up to the fancy hardshell and overlanding models that are built to last no matter what you put them through. Rooftop tents are nice because they get you up off of the ground, are very easy to setup, conveniently mounted on the top of your vehicle which free's up valuable cargo space. The higher end models are engineered and designed to be strong and durable to last the test of time. Rooftop tents can be thrown into three categories. The higher end hardshell rooftop tent, the mid level softshell rooftop tent, and the budget friendly economical rooftop tent.
Best Hardshell Rooftop Tent
Roofnest Condor XL Hardshell Rooftop Tent ($3,395) Category: Hardshell Floor area: 47.8 sq. ft. Peak height: 50 in. Capacity: 3 to 4 Person What we like: This tent is on the larger size of the hardshell rooftop style tents, giving you the extra space of a softshell tent with the strong durability of a hardshell rooftop tent, with easy setup. What we don’t like: Hardshell tents are quite a bit more expensive than softshell tents, but the extra expense does pay for itself with it’s durability and added convenience. Most of the hardshell rooftop tents feature a pop up or clamshell type design that keeps their floorplan over the rooftop of your car or truck, but the fold out styles double the sleeping area with an extended platform and sleeping mattress. Roofnest’s design offers similar quality and a better price in the high end of the quality and price spectrum. This Condor XL compactly packs into a durable, and aerodynamic hard shell and sets up very quickly and easily into a spacious tent for up to four sleepers. This tent has 47.8 square feet of floor space, and a nice 50 inch peak height that’s one of the tallest on the market. Every Condor tent comes with a built in, custom shaped 6 cm foam mattress with a waterproof cover for that extra comfort for a good night’s sleep. This isn’t your typical camping mattress. This mattress is very comfortable, like a real bed. It’s so comfortable, it feels like a real bed. It also comes with a detachable LED light, and a premium ladder. The Roofnest Condor XL is the ultimate package for serious rooftop campers.
Best Softshell Rooftop Tent
Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4 Softshell Rooftop Tent ($2,699) Category: Softshell Floor area: 48 sq. ft. Peak height: 56 in. Capacity: 4 Person What we like: This tent provides for a lower price than a hardshell tent, with great quailty, and extra space for your gear, or to get dressed. What we don’t: Hardshell tents provide better weather protection than the softshell tents, are easier and quicker to setup, and last longer. Thule has a large selection of different rooftop tent models, with affordably priced entry level models, to high end models that provide an extended canopy for added privacy with space to get dressed. Made with quality materials for added durability, and quick and easy to setup. Constructed from coated 600 denier and a 260g poly cotton blend that is made to withstand the elements of any season. The tent fabric is UV resistant, and mold resistant. The mesh panels offer extra ventilation. Has four large internal pockets to store your gear and camping accessories. It comes with a very comforable high density foam mattress for a better night’s sleep.
Cottages and Vacation Home Rentals For Your Next Outdoor
Looking for a vacation rental for any destination you wish to go? Vrbo has vacation homes, cabins, and cottages for many locations that would be great for your next family outdoor camping adventure.
Roost Explorer Hardshell Rooftop Tent
Roost Explorer ($2,998) Category: Hardshell Floor area: 36 sq. ft. Peak height: 59 in. Capacity: 3 Person What we like: Great quality tent, amazing vibrant color selection, even a camo version. What we don’t: Hardshell tents provide better weather protection than softshell tents, are easier and quicker to setup, and last longer. The Roost roof top tent (RTT) provides you with a new level of comfort and flexibility that makes it easy and convenient to enjoy your your outdoor recreational and entertainment activities. These tents can be used pretty much anywhere, and is designed to provide quick and easy shelter and a safe resting place. The Roost roof top tent was developed with a universal mounting system that will allow you to install this tent on the rack of an SUV, a pick up truck, a trailer, a boat and many other vehicles. These Roost tents give you the freedom to play, as it can be easily converted into a cargo carrier if you remove the foam mattress and tent fabric from the Velcro fastening strips. This will give you 13 inches of closed height in the rear the unit will easily carry ski equipment, small pieces of luggage, tools, and even lumber for your home repair project.
Smittybilt Overlander Gen 2 Softshell Rooftop Tent
Overlander Gen 2 XL ($1,599) Category: Softshell Floor area: 64 sq. ft. Peak height: 51 in. Capacity: 4 Person What we like: Nice looking tent, great quality, large size. Annex addon provides extra sleeping space at ground level, privacy area, or gear storage. What we don’t: This tent sits a little high on your rack in it’s folded closed position, though the reason is that the tent is built to be setup in an instant, which takes up a little extra space, along with the durable frame. The simplicity of the fold out design is worth the extra height of the tent in it’s folded position. The Overlander Gen2 softshell rooftop tents have been developed for tough and repetitive outdoor use. This tent is built tough, will stay dry, and provides for a quick, and simple, setup and tear down. It is designed to protect you from the elements, such as moisture, rain, airflow, insects, dirt and mud. It has been engineered for stength and durability using a thicker and larger frame design, and a super heavy duty 600D rip stop skin. It has an extended rainfly and awaterproof polyester canvas that provide superb moisture and rain protection. The new fast fold tent design makes this tent a little larger when fully folded in it’s closed position, but it makes for an instant, quick setup and teardown. It comes with a 2.4 inch high density foam mattress with a removable cover, and an interior LED light strip. It’s mesh screens protect you from bugs and misquito’s. It has a telescoping heavy duty ladder. For an upgrade, the Smittybilt Tent Annex can attach to the Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent to provide you with more room, additional sleeping at ground level, extra room for storing your gear, and added privacy when you need it. It easily attaches to the overlander tent in minutes using durable and rugged zippers. It is made from the same durable polyurethane impregnated polyester, so it will hold up even under tough conditions.
Sleeping Bag For Your Rooftop Tent
Sleep comfortably, even when it’s 0⁰ F outside, in the Coleman Big Game Big and Tall Sleeping Bag with cotton canvas cover and cozy cotton flannel liner. The full-cover construction locks in the heat by eliminating quilting cold spots, making it perfect for cold weather sleeping.
CVT Pioneer Rainier Series Softshell Rooftop Tent
Pioneer Rainier ($2,395) Category: Softshell Floor area: 48 sq. ft. Peak height: 50 in. Capacity: 3+ Person What we like: Really like the slick looking grey. The tent is tight, not sloppy like some of the other tents on the market. Quality craftsmanship, with durable materials. Annex addon provides extra sleeping space at ground level, privacy area, or gear storage. What we don’t: A little pricey, getting close to the hardshell tent costs, but you do get extra quality and attention to detail as you will notice the difference on how sharp and well put together that this tent looks. This CVT Pioneer Rainier rooftop tent is a great choice for those looking for a nicer quality look and feel that is more like the more expensive hardshell tents. Comes with a Telescopic Ladder, so you can climb with confidence. It also includes a three inch thick mattress protected by a washable Mattress Cover that can stay in your tent permanently. The tent body is made of 280 gram poly cotton rip stop fabric. The Rain Fly is permanently attached with integrated Stargazer Windows that let you enjoy the sky whatever the weather. Most models come with the annex included, which is an added cost on other brands. The annex gives you extra space for your camping gear, and additional privacy.
Camping Chairs Rooftop Tent Camping Trip
Good quality, and durable camping chairs are a nice thing to have when you are out camping with your new rooftop camping tent. Take a stroll down the virtual camping chair aisle and find the perfect chair for you.
iKamper SkyCamp 2.0 Hardshell Rooftop Tent
SkyCamp 2.0 ($3,899) Category: Hardshell Floor area: 44 sq. ft. Peak height: 48 in. Capacity: 4 Person What we like: Available in three appealing color styles. Extremely fast one minute setup for nearly instant tent setup. Locking feature to keep your tent locked when not in use during everyday driving. What we don’t: A little pricey, as with other RTT hardshell rooftop tent brands. Due to the Skycamp 2.0 rapid instant setup, this is one of the best rooftop tents out there. It can be setup in under a minute, and ready for use. A family of two adults and two small children can sleep comfortably in this rooftop tent. The hardshell tents are more aerodynamic when driving down the road with the tent in it’s folded up closed position. The locking feature, and hard shell, enable you to leave this tent on your car or truck year round, so you can be ready to spend the night in your tent at a moments notice. The floor of the tent is set with durable insulating honeycomb aluminum panels. The tent fabric is made from breathable 300gsm poly cotton canvas. The rain fly is a waterproof polyester 150D (PU 3000mm) material. It comes with a 1.8" high-density polyfoam comfortable mattress.
Ice Chest Cooler For Your Rooftop Tent Camping Trip
When it comes to storing your food, you definitely want to have a nice quality, large sized cooler ice chest to keep your food and drinks cold and fresh. The Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler has a heavy duty, blow molded construction, with an insulated lid to to keep your ice for up to 5 days in 90°F weather.
Camping Stove For Your Rooftop Tent Camping Trip
One of the best camping stoves on the market, with the latest technology, is the Camp Chef Expedition 3X Triple Burner Stove packed full of great features like three 30,000 BTU burners for massive cooking power to cook your food fast and completely even in high altitude. It has a 3 sided windscreen to keep the flames going and not blow out on those windy evenings. This camping stove also comes with a matchless ignition system for easy lighting of the cooking burners, and a professional style griddle ready to use right out of the box.
Portable Power For Your Rooftop Tent Camping Trip
The portable power generatorsare perfrect for Rooftop Tent camping. They are completely quiet, lightweight, and will provide you with plenty of power for your trip to power your electronic devices, or charge them up, while on your family camping trip. Whether it’s for when the power goes out, or when you are out on a road trip, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, or boating, this power station will keep your electronics and other devices charged and running.
Camping Gear Rental For Rooftop Tent Camping
Having your own camping gear is a great idea if you camp several times or more a year, but if you only go once in a while it is hard to make the large investment, especially when you have to store it and maintain it until your next trip. Submit your reservation for free today and you can change or cancel your order anytime before your order ships. Get what you need delivered anywhere in the contiguous United States. This process is so simple, every order includes a free return label to place items back in your box and adhere the label and drop off at any FedEx location to ship the gear back. Check out the camping gear rental options today!About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Rooftop Tent Camping Experience Awaits!