Besides SUV tents and truck tents, we have rooftop tents for your car. Rooftop tents let you create an elevated shelter on top of your car. This helps keep your sleeping area away from the ground, which helps prevent floods or snow from trickling into the tent. It also keeps you away from insects or small animals that are thinking of sneaking into your tent while you sleep.
What kind of rooftop tents can give you the most out of your outdoor trips? Let us answer that question by giving you the best rooftop tents you can find in the market. We will also show you the factors to consider when buying one.
List of the Best Rooftop Tents of 2020
#1. Tuff Stuff Ranger Rooftop Tent
The Tuff Stuff Ranger Rooftop Tent is incredibly easy to set up and put away with its fold-away mechanism. In just five minutes, you can unfold the tent from the top of your vehicle into a roomy shelter along with the ladder. In addition, you can leave your beddings and blanket within the tent without having to place it inside your vehicle. This gives you more storage for additional items.
The material of the tent is a combination of polyester and cotton ripstop fabric that is durable, breathable, and mold resistant. With the polyurethane coating, the tent can keep the indoor space dry during the rain. In addition, the space beneath the tent can be turned into a sheltered area with the additional annex room fabric. The fabric adds walls and a floor beneath the tent.
Conclusion: Nearly everything about the Tuff Ruff Ranger Rooftop Tent is what you need with its fold-away mechanism and weather resistant material. Unfortunately, the zippers of this tent are not as durable as its canvas. It can get stuck at certain times with the fabric. You can also check out our list of the best beach tents and shower tents.
#2. Front Runner Roof Top Tent
The Front Runner Feather-Lite Rooftop Tent also has a fold-away mechanism that lets you set up the tent or stores it away within minutes. The tent comes with a mattress installed so that all you will need is some pillows, blanket, and additional cushion when needed.
The tent uses a special Oxford fabric material. It is incredibly durable and resistant against mold. The fabric is also water resistant to keep the rain out but is breathable to allow air to circulate within the tent.
Conclusion: The Front Runner Rooftop tent gets a spot on the list for its easy installation mechanism and its durable material. However, this tent does not make use of YKK zippers. As expected, the zipper got stuck in the middle of the door upon using the tent for the ninth time.
#3. Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent
The Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent uses a 210D nylon material that is lightweight and durable against the elements. The material is also breathable enough to provide some air circulation within the tent. In addition, the rainfly cover has a PU coating that repels water away from the tent’s inner space during the rain.
The aluminum poles support the entire tent, which is accessible through a foldable ladder. The poles can hold up to 400 lbs of maximum weight. The tent also comes with a built-in mattress so that you do not have to bring additional sleeping bags on your trip.
Conclusion: the durable nylon material and aluminum metal are incredibly light for nearly any car to easily carry on its roof. Unfortunately, the max weight capacity of the tent might be too low for some people.
#4. Smittybilt Overlander Tent
The Smittybilt Overland Tent uses anodized aluminum poles to support the tent. This allows the tent to support two to three people or up to 661 lbs maximum weight load. The tent easily folds in or out from a folded state. This makes it easy for you to quickly set up or disassemble the tent with ease.
The walls and ceiling of the tent use a durable PVC polyester material that can withstand wearing and tearing. It can also resist UV rays on hot sunny says as well as prevent water from entering when it rains. In addition, the tent has a meshed sunroof you can open to let in more air and light into the inner space.
Conclusion: The Smittybilt Overland Tent’s polyester material makes it able to handle the rugged outdoors. Its foldable construction also makes it easy to pack and unpack the tent at any time. Unfortunately, the tent’s zipper tends to get stuck when you regularly open and close the door. This would not be a problem if it is using YKK zippers.
#5. Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent – Poler Edition
This Yakima tent is similar to the regular Skyrise Rooftop Tent. The difference with the Poler Edition is its sleek camouflage print that looks stylish for nearly any kind of camper. Even the indoor space has a matching dark green color to complement the tent’s design.
The Poler Edition also has the same specifications as the original rooftop tent. This includes the use of durable 210D nylon material with PU coating on the rainfly to keep water out when it rains. It also uses lightweight aluminum poles to support the tent.
Conclusion: Apart from the lightweight nylon material and weather resistant rainfly, the Poler Edition scores high with its attractive camo print design. Otherwise, it also has the same limited max weight capacity of only 400 lbs as the regular edition.
#6. Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent
The Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent utilizes a rugged polyester and cotton fabric material for its walls. This makes the tent resistant against tearing from physical damages such as falling branches or rocks. It can also keep moisture from seeping into the indoor space of the tent when it rains or snow. In addition, the fabric is breathable to allow a good amount of air circulation. With the meshed windows, you can keep the tent cool during hot summer days.
The foldable ladders that have an aluminum material support the tent. This allows up to three people to sleep inside the tent. The ladder and the tent easily fold onto itself so you can easily set up or store everything with ease.
Conclusion: The Tepui Kukenam Sky Tent’s weather resistant and heavy-duty material make this a great addition to the list. We also love the awning mesh windows that prevent the rain from coming in while still providing plenty of air to enter the tent. We also like how easy it is to have the tent up within a few minutes because of its foldable design. What is keeping the Sky Tent from getting a perfect score is the normal zippers that often fail to close sometimes.
#7. Tepui Autana Sky Tent
The Tepui Autana Sky Tent features a closable sunroof at the top. This lets you add more light or allow air to circulate within the inner space of the tent. You can also open the mesh part of the window so you can stand up to gain an elevated 360 view of your surroundings. This is great if you are in a picturesque area.
Just like the Kukenam tent, the Tepui Autana Sky Tent uses an Oxford polyester cotton fabric. This makes the tent strong enough to handle the force of small objects. The coating surrounding the fabric also prevents moisture from entering the tent. In addition, the Autana tent comes with an annex add-on. This lets you create an extra covered room beneath the tent.
Conclusion: Most of what we like about the Kukenam tent is also present in the Autana Sky Tent. The additional sunroof and annex add-ons are a plus as well. What we did not like about the tent is the built-in mattress, which felt harder than the ones in other rooftop tents.
#8. ARB3201 Series III Sand Rooftop Tent
The ARB3201 Series III Sand Rooftop Tent uses poly cotton fabric that is highly durable against physical damages. The fabric keeps the tent from tearing done by falling small objects like pebbles or branches. The material is also sturdy enough to prevent water from seeping in when it rains.
You can easily fold out the tent and have it ready to use in a few minutes. This includes the heavy-duty aluminum ladder that folds alongside the tent. The ARM3201 Series III Sand Rooftop Tent also comes with a built-in mattress that lets you leave behind your sleeping bag at home and create more space in your vehicle.
Conclusion: The ARB3201 tent has a durable tent fabric material we want for outdoor usage. The heavy-duty ladder also allows the tent to support up to three people. The problem we experienced with the tent is its inability to keep cold air from seeping into the tent. This makes the ARB3201 unsuitable for snowy or cold areas.
#9. TMB Motorsports Pop Up Roof Tent
The TMB Motorsports rooftop tent has a pop-up design that is similar to foldable boxes. The shock-assisted arms create the indoor space of the tent. In addition, the tent has a foam mattress built into it and comes with a foldable ladder.
The tent uses a polyester canvas material with Oxford PU coating to keep you dry during the rain. The aluminum frame protects the tent from falling hard objects.
Conclusion: The pop-up design makes this tent much easier to set up and store than foldable tents. Unfortunately, the headroom of the indoor space can be a cramp or small for some people.
#10. ARB 803804 Simpson Tent
Like the company’s Series III Sand rooftop tent, the Simpson Tent uses a polyester cotton canvas that is durable and water resistant. The mesh screen is fine enough to keep small insects or pests from entering the tent to bother anyone.
Another interesting feature of the tent is the additional annex add-on. This lets you create a covered area underneath the tent for different uses. The tent also comes with a foam mattress that is 2.5” thick.
Conclusion: The strong canvas material and built-in mattress give this tent an entry to the list. The additional annex room is simply icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the tent does not use sturdy zippers. You may experience some problems with the zippers being stuck midway to closing or opening the tent.
How to Choose the Right Rooftop Tent
In order to pick a good rooftop tent for your outdoor trips, it is important to choose one based on some factors. This includes the kind of material used on the tent, its design, and any useful additions it has to offer.
The material of the tent covers the ones used for the walls, ceilings, floors, and windows. Two of the common materials for rooftop tent includes nylon and polyester cotton fabric. You want to pick a tent that can withstand most kinds of physical bumps or scratches inflicted by falling objects. At the same time, the material should keep away moisture from entering the tent and still provide a good amount of air circulation.
Rooftop tent design covers the overall aesthetic of it’s exterior and its storability. A good example of this is a tent with a window awning that keeps water away from the mesh opening while letting air to enter the inner space. You also want a tent that is easy to set up and store in just a few minutes.
Certain tents may come with useful add-ons. One of which is annexes that creates a covered area underneath the tent.
Final Word: You now have some idea of what rooftop tent to get for your vehicle on your next outdoor trip. Out of every entry on the list, we have to give our vote to the Tuff Stuff Ranger Rooftop Tent for its sturdy material that is UV rays and mold resistant. The tent even comes with an annex add-on.