Building the ultimate offroader depends on your personal preferences, but one accessory worth consideration is the roof top awning. These awnings are a cover that attaches to your vehicle’s roof rack and extends to create shade and weather protection. When not in use, you roll the awning into a heavy-duty bag that sits atop your rack.

Top 3 Reasons You Need a Roof Top Awning

In the past, off-roaders would just string up a tarp for extra shade. As the off-roading market grows, new, high-quality options have sprung up, such as portable awnings. Do you need an awning for your rig? Hear us out and we think you might say yes.

1. Options for All Overlanders

Overlanders all have different personal tastes and lifestyles. Luckily, awning manufacturers design roof top awnings to benefit everyone, whether they drive an off-road van, a 4×4 SUV or a pickup truck.

You have various choices for features, including:

  • Awning type: Awnings can be self-supporting or mounted to the ground. Self-supporting awnings are quick to set up and take down, while mounted awnings are lighter and fit for smaller vehicles.
  • Dimensions: The dimensions you choose depend on your vehicle size and lifestyle. Larger awnings can shade the whole family, along with tables, lawn chairs and cooking supplies. Note that the width of the roof top awning should match the width along your rig.
  • Material type: Most awnings are made with canvas or polyester fabric. Your choice of fabric depends on the climate conditions where you normally travel and the length of your trip.
  • With or without walls: Some awnings have pre-attached walls, whereas others allow you to choose how many walls you want based on preference and circumstance.

2. Weather Protection for Rain and Shine

In a torrential downpour, no one wants to huddle together in the tent to wait for the rain to stop. Instead, you can pop up the awning and increase the dry outdoor space. For extra protection in wet weather, look for an awning with a waterproof finish.

In dry conditions, awnings serve as shade from the sun. The size and positioning of the walls can help you customize how much shade you want and where you want it to cover.

3. Easy and Convenient Setup

A roof top awning offers quick, easy shelter no matter where you park your rig.

Once installed on your vehicle, unzip and roll the awning out. Lift it to swing out the support poles. Fully extend the shelter before you drop the legs down and lock them into the desired height. Try to hold the awning in place as you properly lock the sidearms. Keep one hand under the awning, grab the sidearm, pull it to the leg, and lock it, then do the same with the next one.

Note that your awning’s setup may vary due to the different types of shelter available.

Protect Your Outdoors Adventures With a Roof Top Awning

At Nomadist, we understand your sense of adventure. Your journeys take you through a multitude of climates and terrains. With a roof top awning, you have protection that you can customize to your lifestyle. Check out more of our tips on how to improve your off-road and overlanding experiences.