Rooftop Tents Buying Guide

Rooftop tents are an essential piece of equipment in any camper's arsenal. They keep you dry and off of the ground from the elements such as snow, sand, mud, water and stop unwanted creepy crawlies from sneaking their way into your tent during the night while you are sound asleep. But what makes a good rooftop tent, what factors should you consider and what are the exact benefits that rooftops provide? Well keep reading our buying guide to learn everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision.

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What Is A Rooftop Tent?

As far back as the 1930s, rooftop tents have been an invaluable piece of camping gear. The 'mechanics' of a rooftop tent are relatively simple: it is a tent that is fitted on top of the roof of your car. They are commonly used in 4WD camping, where having a designated camping spot is not always easily accessible.

Will My Car Support Rooftop Tent?

Rooftop tents will fit most types of cars and vehicles, but it's important to consider a few factors first. For example, it is handy to know the dynamic weight capacity of your car, which is the total weight that the roof of your car can handle when driving. You will also need a roof rack installed for the rooftop tent to be fitted onto, and rooftop tents work which pretty much every type of roof rack.

How To Mount A Rooftop Tent

Although it may vary slightly depending on which type of tent you purchase and what type of roof racks you have, here is how to mount a rooftop tent onto the roof of your car:

Step 1

The first step is simple: unpack the tent from the box and have all the components clearly laid out.

Step 2

Using a bolt with a washer already through the holes of the tent's floor, attach the support rails to the bottom of the tent by placing the support rail over the area of the bolt that is sticking upwards. Now slide in a nylon locking nut and turn to make sure it is tight.

Step 3

Now it's time to install the ladder. Start by flipping the tent over and position both ladder brackets in place and insert two bolts (with washers) through each hole. Then insert another bolt and washer on top and begin tightening. Get the ladder into position and start threading the washers and bolts through each hole on the sides, then tighten.

Step 4

Prop the rooftop tent onto the roof racks temporarily to make sure everything is in place. Once you're happy, slide two bolts through the mounts. Now lift up the tent and place all the mounts for one side of the tent in and make sure that all the bolts line up. Once you're happy with everything, slowly lower the tent back down and tighten up the rest of the bolts.

Step 5

Place all the rubber caps on the ends of the support rail and put the tent cover on.

How To Stop Condensation In Rooftop Tent

A major factor in how to stop condensation from building up in your rooftop tent is to insert a 4WD mat on the floor. They work by reducing the temperature gradient of the floor while allowing all moisture to escape without building up. They are also great for increasing airflow inside the rooftop tent and giving the ground more padding for increased comfort when sleeping.

How Much Does A Rooftop Tent Weigh?

Depending on the specific type of rooftop tent you purchase, they can weigh on average anywhere from 45 kg to 100 kg. This is why it is important to first check the weight that both your car roof and roof racks can comfortably hold before buying a rooftop tent for your next outdoor camping adventure.

Top Benefits Of A Rooftop Tent

As any seasoned camping enthusiast will tell you, there are many benefits to having a rooftop tent. Here are the main benefits you can experience:


The first benefit is an obvious one and the main attraction to rooftop tents: the convenience of mobility. With a rooftop tent on top of your car or 4WD, you can literally camp anywhere without needing to first find a campsite and hope that it is nearby. The sheer freedom of being able to pull over, pop out the tent and enjoy a comfortable night's sleep anywhere is priceless.


Another obvious yet equally important benefit of a rooftop tent is that it keeps you off of the ground. This provides more security from bugs, insects and animals that might try to find their way into your tent at night while you are trying to sleep. There is also less of a risk of water getting in your tent due to flooding from heavy rain during the night.

Easy To Set Up

When you compare a rooftop tent to a regular camping tent, they are incredibly quick and easy to set up. Rather than set up the poles and everything else, you can instead simply take the cover off and pop up the tent into place. And when it's time to hit the road like Russell Coight, they can easily fold back down so you can get going in a flash.

Frees Up Storage Space

Having a tent fixed onto the roof of your car means that you don't have to sacrifice storage space for a tent and all the equipment that comes along with it, which is a major benefit for those who like to camp light.

What Is The Best Rooftop Tent?

As with many other products, finding the 'best one' will depend on your personal needs. For example, do you mainly camp during hot weather or cold weather? If cold weather, then you will want to look for a rooftop tent that has a thicker type of canvas that provides better insulation throughout the night. Another factor is the style. Do you want a tent that stands out and shows off your personality or blends in the surrounding area? Making sure that you first understand your requirements, needs and required space before making a purchase will ensure that you will always pick the right rooftop tent for you.



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