Roof top tents have become insanely popular over the last 5 years and the secret to their success can be found in the advantages they offer to avid campers who value mobility. We feel it’s safe to argue that roof top tents wouldn’t have become so popular if they weren’t truly useful and it looks like they’re more than a passing camping trend. So, today it looks like roof top tents have earned their place in the list of shelter / sleep systems you can rely on while camping and overlanding.
With that in mind, if you’re considering buying a roof top tent and feel unsure about the investment you’re going to make (yes, it’s safe to say that a roof top tent from a reliable brand can be an investment when considering all factors) let’s go over the benefits of roof top tents, the advantages over other shelter options and then move on to their disadvantages and possible reasons why you shouldn’t buy one.
Our job isn’t to convince you that you should or shouldn’t buy a roof top tent – we just want you to be informed and be able to make the right decision. Your money, your adventures, your choice.
The Main Benefits of Roof Top Tents
#1. Awesome Vantage Point, Amazing Views
If you lose sightseeing and waking up to an awesome view makes your day better, a roof top tent might be the best choice for your next camping adventure.
#2. Comfortable Sleeping System
By default, roof top tents are built with comfort in mind and there are some considerable advantages in terms of sleeping in a roof top tent as opposed to a ground tent. First of all, consider that you’re always working with an even surface because all roof top tents have a solid baseboard designed to support the weight of multiple inhabitants and most of these RTTs feature high quality mattresses that will ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
#3. Pest Protection / Avoidance
Critters and pests will have a harder (if not impossible time) bothering you while you’re sleeping like a king a few feet above. Fortunately, most bugs, pests and critters won’t attempt climbing the ladder to bother you.
#4. Year Round Freedom
Be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, most premium roof top tents have sufficient insulation and some other neat climate protection features that allow you to camp anywhere, anytime, without having to compromise on comfort or buy a whole load of other accessories.
#5. Quick Setup
While this feature varies from RTT to RTT, most of them require a quick set of steps to be taken to be ready to use in under 5 minutes. While some models might be a bit more finnicky, once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate how much time it saves compared to putting up a classic ground tent, especially if you can’t find a good, even spot.
#6. Extra Storage Space
Depending on your vehicle, roof top tents can save you a lot of interior space you can use for other camping gear and essentials, instead of a (possibly) large ground tent system.
#7. Price. We’re serious.
Although they’re relatively expensive, there’s a good argument that roof top tents are indeed the more affordable and practical solution compared to caravans / motorhomes / camper vans for most consumers. If you already own a truck, Jeep or SUV, it might make a lot more sense to get a roof top tent than a separate vehicle you’re going to use occasionally. Of course, if price is the main deciding factor, we recommend sticking with a ground tent.
#8. Long(er) Lasting Investment
From our research, we’ve seen that roof top tents tend to keep more of their value when being resold than other habitats. While it’s hard to call it a true “investment”, if you end up not using it a year or two in a row and decide to sell it – you’re more likely to recover a decent portion of the money you’ve spent. Plus, roof top tents are built to last, as they have to account for a lot of wear and tear, plus be built properly enough for wind resistance and other factors.
#9. Easier Climate Control
Did we mention great insulation capabilities due to their premium build and materials? You can bet that there’s a lot more accessories that will help you efficiently manage heat / cold / humidity in your roof top tent and make you feel comfortable no matter where and when you’re camping.
#10. Safety & Security
Coupled with a couple flood lights, your roof top tent can basically become the watchtower of your campsite, giving you at least a sense of safety and potentially a 360 degree view on your surroundings. We don’t (yet) live in a post-apocalyptic world filled with raiders, but we’re getting there.
#11. Flood Proof
Suffice to say, roof top tents are high enough that you don’t have to worry about many inches of rain. Sometimes weather reports get it wrong and camping in a flooded tent is never fun, which won’t be the case with your roof top tent.
#12. Time Saving
Besides the quick setup factor we’ve mentioned above, roof top tents are designed to be easily closed, folder and even dismounted from your vehicle (some brands have cool quick release mechanisms for example) so you can store them if you don’t want them mounted on your vehicle year round (which is generally a bad idea since it does increase suspension wear and tear plus it comes with increase fuel consumption due to extra drag & weight). While it may amount to a few hours every season, wouldn’t you rather be spending those hours enjoying nature or…anything else to be honest?
#13. Increased Mobility
With a roof top tent, you arguable have increased mobility and can more quickly change camp sites or even pick camp sites you wouldn’t normally choose for a ground tent (uneven surface, lots of critters around etc.).
#14. Practical Vehicle Fit
Roof top tents are a practical solution for lots of vehicles that don’t have much storage room inside and you wouldn’t see them carrying all sorts of accessories on top of roof racks. That’s why many campers choose a roof top tent that’s compact / aerodynamical and store the rest of their camping accessories inside.
#15. Less Work
It’s not just less time, but also less work at the end of the day, to set up your roof top tent instead of trying to find the right spot for a ground tent, then clearing that spot and installing it. I’d rather be fishing than hammering tent stakes, to be perfectly honest.
#16. I Did It For The ‘Gram
We’re not here to judge, but a lot of people end up buying their roof top tents because they’re very into posting their adventures on Instagram and a roof top tent gives you A LOT of great photo / video opportunities your competi… ehm… follow… hmm… friends don’t have access to.
#17. It’s a Status Symbol
Due to their price and desirability (generated by the constant barrage of roof top tent adventure imagery on social media), roof top tents have been a clear status symbol for many Jeep & truck owners that are passionate about overlanding, camping and automotive adventure in general.
Advantages of Roof Top Tents (Compared to Alternatives)
To summarize before we get into comparisons, these would be your most realistic shelter options / sleep systems for overland camping:
- Camper Vans / RVs / Motorhomes
- Roof Top Tents (Multiple Types)
- Classic Ground Tents
- Truck Bed Tents
- Camping Hammocks
- Expedition Trailers
- Bivy Sacks / Sleeping Bags
Of course, there’s always the option of camping shelterless if you’re brave enough, but we strongly advise against it due to health risks. And, if all else fails or isn’t a good fit for you – there’s no shame in renting a cabin or whatever else you feel comfortable with.
Roof Top Tents vs. Truck Bed Tents
Whether you are camping out or just passing through, you may be considering getting a roof top tent or a truck bed tent. Both offer plenty of space, but they have a few differences that you need to consider.
Rooftop tents are typically mounted on expedition vehicles. They are also known as floorless tents. They can be rigged up using a hoist, winch, or lift system. This makes setup and breakdown a breeze. These tents also provide great ventilation and bug proofing.
Truck bed tents are similar to roof top tents in that they provide a flat sleeping area for your vehicle. However, they are not as durable as roof top tents, but they limit your mobility a bit and limit your storage space, depending on how your overlanding rig is set up.
Truck bed tents are also much more comfortable than ground tents. Most truck bed tents have a built-in mattress pad, so you won’t have to worry about having to bring a mattress. Also, they are not as vulnerable to bad weather as ground tents.
Roof Top Tents vs. Recreational Vehicles
Whether you’re considering getting a rooftop tent for your vehicle or a camper shell for your vehicle, it’s important to consider a number of things. The cost of a rooftop tent, the weight of the tent, and the gas mileage it’s going to have are all factors to consider. The weight of a rooftop tent can have a significant impact on gas mileage. Depending on the size and model of your vehicle, you may lose as much as 10 mpg with a rooftop tent installed.
The weight of a rooftop tent may also affect suspension sag, which can cause handling problems in your vehicle. Depending on the type of suspension you have, you may need to modify it. If you have a tall, lifted vehicle, you may also want to be extra careful on uneven terrain. Using a rooftop tent can also take up a lot of roof space. Depending on the type of tent, you may need to install an aftermarket roof rack and mount hardware. A roof rack can cost $200 to $400.
It’s safe to argue that RVs / motorhomes are the pinnacle of comfort when it comes to overlanding and camping, but these are mostly a question of budget and convenience: may campers simply can’t justify the investment in a fully decked RV and the costs associated with its maintenance.
Roof Top Tents vs. Camper Vans
Whether you’re thinking about using a rooftop tent or camper van for your next camping trip, there are a few things to consider. The pros and cons of both products should be taken into account before you make your decision.
The benefits of using a roof top tent include the convenience of not having to deal with organizing a camper van and customizing it to fit your needs. These tents also provide insulation and comfort. Compared to a camper van, you can also leave your bedding in place when you collapse the tent.
Rooftop tents also save you time when it comes to setting up and taking down your tent. They are quick and easy to set up, and you don’t have to worry about rolling sleeping mats and water flowing into your tent. You also don’t have to worry about puddles or rocks underneath the tent.
Roof Top Tents vs. Classic Ground Tents
Compared to classic ground tents, roof top tents offer many advantages. They are easy to set up and offer a cool and comfortable night’s sleep. They are great for overlanding, road trips, and off-road adventures. They are easy to store and take up little room. They also eliminate the hassle of rolling sleeping mats. They can be set up and collapsed without a footprint.
When choosing between rooftop tents and classic ground tents, you must consider your budget and type of vehicle. If you plan to camp often, choose a tent that can be quickly set up. A good hard-shell model can be set up in less than sixty seconds.
If you have pets, you may need a ramp to get them in and out of the tent. Some people with disabilities may have trouble climbing the ladder, so roof top tents might be a non-starter.
Ground tents can be accessed by a wide variety of animals. Poisonous scorpions and spiders can enter the tent and climb inside. Bears can also sniff around the tent.
Rooftop tents are a good choice for overlanders. They are a great way to get rid of the hassle of camping. They are made of sturdier poles, thicker zippers, and specialized fabrics. Some of them also provide insulation and come prepared for winter camping. Most premium builds are able to take years of use & abuse.
Roof Top Tents vs. Camping Hammocks
Whether you are looking for a tent or a hammock for your next camping trip, there are several things to consider. You want to select the best option based on your camping needs, budget, and style of camping.
In terms of size, hammocks are more compact than tents. They are usually one to two feet off the ground. This allows for a more comfortable night’s sleep, since you’re not pressed against the ground.
Hammocks are easier to setup than ground tents, but more of a nuisance than roof top tents. Most come with a sleep mat or underquilt to help keep the underside of the body warm. However, you will need to purchase a tarp to keep you and your gear dry.
While hammocks are more convenient and less expensive than tents, there are some drawbacks. You may not want to spend the money on a hammock if you plan on camping with a family or if you have pets. Also, the design is not aerodynamic and will cause wind drag.
Also, you might want to consider a hammock that has a built-in rain cover. This will keep you dry during horizontal rainstorms, which are a nuisance in a tent.
Roof Top Tents vs. Sleeping in Your Car
Compared to sleeping in your car, sleeping in a roof top tent is more convenient. It’s also more comfortable. The main advantage of a rooftop tent is that it offers a sheltered sleeping space. It can be ideal for a long expedition. It also protects you from the elements.
It also saves space in your vehicle. Most rooftop tents can fit on most Thule roof racks. RTTs can be converted to camping mode in less than 10 minutes. They are also durable.
The best roof top tents will provide maximum protection from the elements. They are usually insulated. This protects you from the heat, wind, and rain.
Roof top tents can be expensive though. They usually cost thousands of dollars. They’re also costly to ship home. So before you invest in one, think twice if you can justify the investment.
Another important factor is how easy it is to use. You’ll want a tent that’s easy to set up. Some rooftop tents have covers that can be completely removed. Others are attached with zippers, clips, or velcro. Some tents also have an awning or annexes which vastly increase usable space.
Why roof top tents are popular
Whether you are a seasoned camper or a first-timer, roof top tents are great for allowing you to camp in the comfort of your own vehicle. They can be set up with ease, allowing you to enjoy your trip while eliminating the stress of setting up ground tents.
There are two main types of rooftop tents – softshell and hardshell. Softshell tents are cheaper and lighter. Softshell tents can be folded out for additional space. Hardshell tents are more sturdy and are often aerodynamic. Hardshell tents also have better weatherproofing.
Rooftop tents are also faster to set up. Some models can be setup in less than one minute. Some models require stakes, while others can be set up with a winch or a hoist. They may also require some mounting hardware.
A roof top tent has an advantage over ground tents in that you don’t have to worry about stuffing sleeping mats or rolling them up. Also, you won’t have to worry about critters or insects invading your tent. You can even store your sleeping bags inside the tent while you are traveling.
Rooftop tents have a higher clearance than ground tents, allowing you to stand up comfortably. They also tend to be warmer. This is because they don’t have direct contact with the ground. The shape of the tent also has a major impact on its efficiency. You want to pick a model that can be set up and folded quickly. You also don’t want your rooftop tent to weigh more than 110 pounds.
Several roof top tent models have an annex or vestibule. An annex provides a shady spot to sit or cook. Several models also have a storage area. An annex or vestibule can add to the time it takes to set up your roof top tent. You may also need to attach a rainfly.
The shape of a rooftop tent also has an impact on its efficiency. A round or domed roof top tent can be easier to set up than a rectangular model. It also has a smaller profile.
Why do people like roof top tents?
Whether you’re a fan of overlanding or just looking to upgrade your camping experience, a roof top tent is a great choice. They are affordable and offer plenty of benefits. With the right model, you can enjoy the convenience of camping in a tent while still having the flexibility of driving to your destination.
Rooftop tents offer a safe place to sleep while camping in nature. They’re designed to put you away from predators and animals that could bite. They also provide a sense of separation from the campground.
Rooftop tents are available in hard shell and soft shell designs. Soft shell models are typically thicker, but they require milder cleaning solutions. Hard shell models have a higher profile, which means they take a bit longer to set up. They also tend to be more aerodynamic when broken down.
Hard top tents are usually more expensive than soft shell models. But they have more durability and are able to sleep more people. The higher end models may include features such as built-in lighting, USB outlets, and storage spaces. Some models also feature a gear hammock.
Roof top tents offer comfort features and are easy to use. You don’t have to worry about getting dirty or getting stuck in puddles. You can also sleep on solid surfaces without fear of water leaking into your camp. You can also bring full size pillows and standard sheets. If you’re camping in the woods or on a dirt road, you can sleep comfortably without worrying about getting caught in a rain storm.
Some roof top tents come with storage areas for sleeping bags and other gear. You can also add an awning to your tent. Some models include shoe racks, as well.
Roof top tents are also easy to setup. There’s a narrow ladder that can be used to get in and out of the tent. However, you may want to use a ramp if you have pets.
Roof top tents are also popular with overlanders, who are traveling across Africa. These tents have their origins in the Australian Outback. Their popularity has grown because of the visibility of the outdoor industry on social media.
Why buy a roof top tent
Having a roof top tent allows you to have a comfortable sleeping space while traveling. If you are going to purchase one, you will want to research your options first. There are several benefits and disadvantages to having a rooftop tent. These include safety and comfort features, as well as cost and ease of use.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a roof top tent is that you will have a better view of the scenery when camping. You will also have a lot more space to store your gear. A roof top tent is also a lot safer than sleeping on the ground. It’s also a lot less expensive than other tent options.
Roof top tents are available in hardtop or softtop. Hardtop models are more durable and easier to pitch. They also come with awnings. Soft top models are cheaper, but you will have to deal with a smaller accommodation.
The weight of the roof top tent is also an issue. This is a big deal for smaller cars, but it is less of a factor for larger vehicles. It will increase the drag on your vehicle and will also stress the suspension systems. This will also affect your gas mileage.
The other downside to rooftop tents is that they are not cheap. They can cost as much as a few thousand dollars. This may be the reason that many campers turn away from them. You should also consider the amount of shipping costs.
Choosing the best rooftop tent for your needs is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, such as how many people will be sleeping in your tent, the weather conditions you plan on camping in, and how much space you have to store your tent.
There are many types of rooftop tents, but the best option is usually a hardtop model. They will be more durable and will also be less expensive.
Featured Products: CRUA Outdoors Roof Top Tents (As Seen In Post Image)