Take your camping adventures to the next level, for all far-out and closer-to-home adventures. Stay off the ground and away from unwanted animal visitors while sleeping under the stars in nature.
Rooftop tents could not be easier once fitted to your truck.
With a simple pop, your tent is ready in no time so you can kick back and enjoy the campfire sooner.
Relish the convenience of the simplicity of this must-have item for all adventurous campers.
Park up anywhere, be it trailheads or established campsites, and put your feet up knowing your gear has got your back.
Read on to learn more about rooftop tents and discover which is the best for you with our list of the best options available this 2020.
What is a rooftop tent?
A rooftop tent keeps the adventurers off the ground and safe from any predators, big or small, while exploring nature.
This gear is easily fitted to the roof of your truck and is accessed simply with the extendable folding ladder.
Practical and versatile, you will not be disappointed with your investment and will be the envy of other campers.
There is no need to ask the question, is the ground soft, muddy, or too rocky? You will be above it all.
Simply imagine a mobile tree fort that has the comfort of a watertight roof and a soft mattress.
Comfort in camping is here now!
How do they fit?
Installation could not be easier with a connection directly onto your vehicle’s rack system.
With an SUV this could be behind the cab of the truck, just beneath the roofline, to assist with maintaining fuel efficiency.
You won’t need much in the way of additional hardware when installing this product.
Even smaller estate cars can carry a rooftop tent with the proper rack in place. Just be sure to check the weight limit advised in the vehicle owner’s manual.
Some options are significantly heavier than others and could require modified racks.
Things to consider before taking the plunge
With a rooftop tent, you get the convenience but you do lose that storage space on the roof of your vehicle.
It is unlikely you can fit both the accommodation and cargo box for your trip on the top of the truck.
Some options do however have flexibility in their layouts, so you could in theory make use of the rear hitch to assist with bicycles or additional trunks.
You will also need to check your vehicle’s roof rack can carry the weight as some weigh over 100 pounds. If not, you will need to invest in a stronger aftermarket rack.
This is not a cheap piece of kit to add to your camping gear. And in addition to this, expect to see a decrease in fuel efficiency, affecting gas costs for your trip.
The different types: hard or soft?
There are two key differentiating types of rooftop tents to consider: hardshell or softshell.
A softshell style is more like your traditional tent with a canvas roof and walls. This is going to keep costs and weight down, so a good choice if you are on a budget. They are easy to install and range around $1,000 to $2,000 in price.
Whereas the hardshell options provide more protection against harsh weather conditions and general travel wear and tear. Super quick to put up as they pop open like a box rocket, but they do weigh a significant amount more. They tend to have a heftier price tag as well, between $2,000 to $5,000.
You can expect to get a decent lifespan out of these tents.
The Top 7 Best in 2020
Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland
For the best value option, choose this practical rooftop tent that comes standard with an extra room.
Stretch out in the bonus large awning space after you have easily set up and installed your sleeping quarters, taking no more than an hour or so.
Real customers on Amazon have noted that despite the budget price, the quality of the materials is still high and strong when compared to the upper-market options.
Some reviews note issues with the zipper, so keep that in mind when sealing up your tent for the night.
This versatile rooftop hybrid doubles us as a tent and a cargo box in one with its durable hardshell construction.
Enjoy this Tepui product in all seasons with its incredibly easy setup process.
The dual-purpose of this Hybox gives you 23 cubic feet of storage space when the foam mattress is removed, plenty of room to transport skis, snowboards, or tools.
Tent mode gives comfortable sleeping for two adults complete with two doors and mesh windows and three-inch foam mattress.
This option won a place in Gear Patrol’s ratings and is highly recommended. The only downside is the heavyweight that comes with it.
Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam
Another great option from Tepui. This well-built tent is made to withstand cross country travels in a permanent place on top of your truck.
A little harder to install than others, however incredibly durable.
Gather the troops for a camping trip with this one. They can help you out with fitting it to the roof and then can easily fit inside this spacious canopy.
The Ruggedized tent is 40% heavier than average due to the dual-stitched fabrics, robust frame and, diamond plate base.
All this quality does come with a bigger price tag but does that matter when you are the most envied explorer on the sites?
Front Runner Roof Top Tent
This is one of the lightest rooftop tents on the market, suitable for any solo adventures or a paired journey.
The lighter-weight materials will affect the durability and life span of this tent, but the materials used are still fully waterproof and breathable providing quality.
Featuring interior pockets, mesh windows for stargazing, and a quick-release mechanism, this product won’t disappoint.
Weighing in at just under 100 pounds, this option will keep your conscious clean with the environment and keep the fuel costs down.
The extendable staircase will take you to your own little piece of heaven to sleep among the stars on your adventures.
iKamper SkyCamp 2.0
For the best hardshell option, you have to consider this iKamper product. The longlasting hard-top pops and flips up to reveal the comfortable resting place.
You can stretch out and make use of the expandable platform that gives the lofty height of a tree fort. Enjoy with your buddies, or take the family for a weekend trip.
Security is covered with preinstalled locks along with a fully insulated bottom to help on those cooler nights.
This second design has a more solid latching mechanism, a stronger body, and refined fabrics on the interior.
This standout product is a winner in our eyes.
As the name suggests, this is a fantastic option to nest away and double up with storage for your gear when folded down.
Take in the views while lazing in the comfortable bed with the large windows on the walls.
Other features include hidden pockets to tuck away torches and shoes and a roof net for more storage space.
When folded down, the aerodynamics of the hard shell give a sleek and lighter finish while providing enough space inside to keep the bedding and other items of your gear.
While this is a light hardshell option, it appears they have sacrificed the insulation in the walls. So bear that in mind when taking a trip in the winter months.
Simpson III Tent
Our final product to mention is the soft Simpson III Tent.
This super lightweight roof tent includes a spacious annex to give you added privacy and allowing room for up to three adults. Great for a getaway to nature with some buddies!
As it is lightweight, this is better suited to the warmer months with its mesh windows and door giving a lot of airflow.
The price reflects the lightweight mesh and is more inviting than some of the hardshell options listing.
So, what will it be?
Hardshell or softshell is the question.
At the end of the day, it depends on what temperatures you will be camping in and how much weight your trusted truck can handle.
These rooftop tents are far superior to the regular ground options.
The lifespan will outweigh the high cost and serve you for more trips than you can imagine.
Comfort, style, experience.
Sleep with the stars above the ground and give your trip an added boost of adventure.