One of the biggest factors that come into play when considering buying a rooftop tent is the cost.
The majority of rooftop tents vary in pricing, and this is due to several reasons, but often the first question in our mind is how much they really cost.
This Is How Much Rooftop Tents Cost:
Broadly speaking, the average rooftop tent can range anywhere between $1,600 and $3,900. The prices of rooftop tents vary depending on your needs. Not all rooftop tents are made from the same materials, have the same sleeping capacity, or have the same accessories included.
What Is The Cheapest Rooftop Tent?
As previously mentioned, the price of rooftop tents is incredibly variable.
With so many brands and rooftop tent options available, it can be difficult determining which model is the cheapest.
It’s best to keep in mind that most low-cost rooftop tents have soft shells instead of a hardshell, affecting the overall durability.
That said, after some research, we have found two of the cheapest rooftop tents available to purchase in 2020:
1. Tuff Stuff Trailhead Rooftop Tent
Should you be on the market for a softshell rooftop tent with many excellent features that can compete with its hardshell competitors, then the Tuff Stuff Trailhead rooftop tent is worth having a look at.
This rooftop tent retails for roughly $1,229, but when on sale, you can expect to pay around $899.
The Tuff Stuf Trailhead rooftop tent has the capacity to sleep up to two people and can handle a combined weight of 800 pounds.
This two-person tent is very lightweight at only 110 pounds, and with the interior dimensions of 54 inches by 48 inches, there is enough space for you to be comfortable.
If you have a smaller car, this rooftop tent is ideal as it can fit most platform racks and crossbars. With the quick 2 to 3 minute installation time, you will be able to make camp and relax after a day of trying activities. For that added bit of comfort, the 2.5-inch foam mattress will likely provide you with a good night’s rest.
Additionally, this tent can be utilized in three seasons and is made with breathable 600D polyester with a waterproof rating of 3000mm, plus the material is also UV50+ protected. With a sturdy frame and honeycomb aluminum flooring, this tent is durable.
2. Thule X Tepui Low Pro 3 Rooftop Tent
Another great affordable softshell rooftop tent is made by the brand Thule.
This rooftop tent is ideal for those who want a tent that isn’t too big or too small. The Low Pro 3 retails for roughly $1,849.95 and can be utilized during all four seasons.
The Thule x Tepui Low Pro 3 has a low profile design, which means that your vehicle will save on gas mileage. The rooftop tent also minimizes drag for a better rooftop fit for most vehicles.
You might think that with its capacity to sleep three, the interior dimensions would be cramped, but this isn’t the case.
With a fairly spacious length of 95 inches by a width of 57 inches, you and your traveling companions will sleep comfortably while out on the road.
This rooftop tent comes with mesh screens for ventilation and breathability, and the canopy itself is made with 100% polyester at 3000mm. The material is mildew resistant and UV protected; no matter if your camping near the beach or in the mountains, your tent is likely to stand the test of time.
Additionally, this rooftop tent’s base is flame-retardant and made out of fiberglass, while the frame utilizes strong aluminum.
What Is The Most Expensive Roof Top Tents?
The answer to this question is fairly subjective. There are many different types of rooftop tents, such as soft shells and hard shells, and these two categories have differing prices.
The most expensive rooftop tents usually fall within the hardshell category.
However, this isn’t always the case, as evidenced by a recently released inflatable rooftop tent called the GT Skyloft, which can set you back roughly $5,000.
Below we will look at two examples of expensive rooftop tents that fall within the hardshell category.
1. Skycamp 2.0 Rooftop Tent
Currently, according to our research, one of the most expensive hardshell rooftop tents available for purchase is the Skycamp 2.0 by brand Ikamper at roughly $3,899.
Now you’re probably wondering why it’s so expensive, and the simple answer is, the new and improved model comes with a range of features that set it apart from other rooftop tents.
The redesigned ladder and mounting brackets make it easy for you to set up this rooftop tent. Expediating the setup process further is the 2.0 mounting brackets that aid the faster 1-minute installation process.
The hard shell locks are made from strong and durable stainless steel and provide safety to the tent users. Using 300gsm polycotton canvas, the Skycamp 2.0 is breathable and will enable you to stay cool in hotter climates.
With an interior length of 85.43 inches and a width of 54.82 inches, there is enough room to sleep the tent’s capacity of four people.
For those who like to customize their belongings, this rooftop tent comes in various colors, and there are numerous add-on accessories to choose from.
2. Falcon XL Rooftop Tent
This rooftop tent will set you back roughly $3,495. This hardshell tent can keep 2 to 3 people and is roomy with an interior length of 88 inches with a width of 58 inches.
The 2.75-inch built-in mattress will ensure the occupants of the tent are comfortable while camping away from home.
Many might think that the Falcon XL is large and cumbersome, but this rooftop tent folds down to less than 7 inches tall when you close it. This tent’s total weight is 160 pounds making it suitable for most cars such as SUVs and Trucks.
Some of the amazing features that the Falcon XL has included are; LED lights inside the interior and accessory channels on all four sides of the tent.
Additionally, you can opt to add on a set of crossbars, which will enable you to carry bikes, skis, and kayaks.
Furthermore, the tent is constructed out of honeycomb aluminum for the base, and the tent material is waterproof and allows for proper ventilation.
Are The Top Models Really Worth The Money?
With rooftop tents becoming more popular in the camping world, many ask themselves if the top models are really worth the money.
Only you can determine if you should buy one of the top rooftop tent models.
However, there are a few ways of deciding if a top model is worth the money:
- If your someone who travels frequently, then a hardshell room top tent is usually the best option.
- Many of the top model rooftop tents fall within the hardshell category as they are more durable.
- Buying a top model is worth it if you are concerned about rooftop tents’ safety.
- The more expensive it is, the more likely it is to have better safety features.
- Top model rooftop tents are more expensive, largely because of the quality materials used in their production.
- If you’re someone who wants a tent that will last you for many years, it’s often better to invest in one of the expensive top models.
How Much Should You Actually Spend On A Rooftop Tent?
When figuring out how much you should genuinely spend on a rooftop tent it will largely depend on your personal preferences and budget.
As previously mentioned, most rooftop tents are expensive and vary in price, with one setting you back anywhere from $1,600 to $3,900 on average. If you’re an avid camper and are looking for something in between a regular tent and an RV, then a rooftop tent could be your best bet.
Realistically it would be best if you looked at spending anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 for a quality entry-level rooftop tent.
Rooftop tents might be pricey, but they are convenient and comfortable, especially if you enjoy camping multiple times a year.
Why Are Rooftop Tents So Expensive?
As we have established, rooftop tents are much more expensive than their ground tent counterparts, but why is this the case?
There happen to be a few concrete reasons why rooftop tents are so expensive:
Rooftop tents use various quality materials in their construction, and these materials are usually expensive.
Unlike ground tents, rooftop tents use heavy canvas materials instead of lightweight nylon.
2. The Built-in Beds:
One of the biggest reasons rooftop tents are so expensive is that they come with built-in beds.
In addition to this, each brand uses its own type of bed with its own set of materials, and these materials are often pricey.
By having a bed, rooftop tents offer more comfort to users, and brands can mark up the price because of this.
3. The Rooftop Tent Baseboard:
You may not think that the baseboard that connects the tent to the roof rack of your car is expensive, but it is.
The baseboard is what your rooftop tent is going to rest on, and as such, it needs to be extremely durable.
As you can imagine, this puts the price up as the materials needed to construct the baseboard are not cheap.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.