There are so many options for buying a rooftop tent that can be difficult to decide on the right option.
Purchasing a rooftop tent will usually involve quite a sizable investment, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting a product that will fit your needs.
You’ll need to consider factors such as how many people will be sleeping in the tent, how often the tent will be used, and whether or not you’re going to need a tent that is suitable for all-season use.
Here’s the Rundown on Thule Rooftop Tents:
There are various Thule rooftop tents available, ranging from low profile tents that sleep 2 people to larger and more spacious models with room to sleep an entire family. Although you can expect to spend at least $1,600 on a Thule rooftop tent, this is quite affordable in the industry.
You can be sure that you’ll be purchasing a high-quality product that should be well worth the investment, especially if you like to camp regularly!
How Durable Are Thule Rooftop Tents?
As we’ve already mentioned, there are quite a few options for Thule rooftop tents, and some are marketed as tough and durable in all conditions.
To assess their durability, let’s take a look at a few different Thule models.
1. Thule x Tepui Ruggedized Autana 3+Annex
- Price: $2,749.95
- Sleeps: 3
The Ruggedized Autana 3+Annex is one of Thule’s most durable and weather-resistant rooftop tents and has been designed for those who like camping at any time of year and in the toughest of conditions.
If you’re a fan of off-road exploring, then this could be the rooftop tent for you. The Ruggedized Autana 3 features tougher fabric than that used in other models and a reinforced aluminum baseplate that has been designed to withstand constant use.
The tent material is a 600D ripstop blend fabric that is durable and weather resistant, and the seams are dual-stitched tape that won’t rip under stress. Plus, the tent is UV and mold-resistant so that it won’t degrade over time.
This 4 season rooftop tent has 4 mesh-covered side panels and 2 mesh-covered roof panels, all of which provide ventilation during warm weather. There’s also a built-in high-density foam mattress that customers love.
A really cool feature of the Ruggedized Autana 3 is the detachable annex that provides valuable extra space for wet clothes and muddy boots. However, it should be noted that quite a few customer reviews mention some downsides to the annex.
Some users have reported leakage issues with the annex and difficulty attaching it to the tent.
2. Thule x Tepui Explorer Ayer 2
- Price: $1,199.95
- Sleeps: 2
Weighing just 105 pounds, the Ayer 2 is an awesome lightweight option for solo campers or couples who want an easy and affordable rooftop tent for weekend adventures.
Although this rooftop tent has a small footprint, it’s far from flimsy. The coated cotton-polyester tent walls are tough and durable and will protect occupants from the worst weather conditions.
Like many Thule rooftop tents, the material is UV and mold-resistant, so the tent should last for a long time without becoming damaged.
The Explorer Ayer 2 features an internal aluminum pole design and is quick and easy to set up. Plus, there’s an amnestying internal gear loft with large storage pockets and a comfy, high-density foam mattress.
Although this rooftop tent’s internal height is only 38 inches, it’ll still provide a comfortable space for campers looking for a simple rooftop tent design that won’t take up too much space.
3. Thule x Tepui Low-Pro 3
- Price: 1,849.95
- Sleeps: 3
The Low-Pro 3 is another lightweight option from Thule that is perfect for smaller vehicles.
The aerodynamic design of this rooftop tent means you won’t be compromising your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and noise while driving will be kept to a minimum.
Not only is the Low-Pro 3 super easy to install, but it’s also a very convenient town take on and off. This makes it perfect for weekend warriors who like to escape the city whenever they can!
Although this rooftop tent is small and lightweight, it’s another example of a Thule product that’s tough and weather-resistant. The tent material is burly enough to withstand high winds, and the dome canopy is both UV and mold-resistant.
The thermoplastic base is warm and comfortable, plus its 100% recyclable. There are also zippered mesh-covered windows that provide ample airflow when needed.
The Low-Pro 3 is a popular model that gets rave reviews from customers who’ve decided to buy. The only somewhat common complaint is that the telescoping ladder can be somewhat difficult to use on uneven ground.
How Long Do Thule Rooftop Tents Last?
Thule rooftop tents are constructed to a high standard, and high-quality materials are used in all aspects of the design.
In reality, these rooftop tents should last for a really long time, as long as they are used properly.
As we mentioned earlier, misusing any rooftop tent can result in damage to the tent. You should always pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines when using the tent and mount the tent correctly on a vehicle that can withstand the correct amount of weight.
As long as you take good care of a Thule rooftop tent, it will definitely be one worth the investment, and you should be able to camp out in it for many years!
Are Rooftop Tents Generally Durable?
As we’ve already mentioned, there are many different options when it comes to rooftop tents, and some are definitely more durable than others, so you’ll have to shop carefully.
Both hard and soft shell rooftop tents are usually pretty durable, as the outer cover has been designed to withstand the elements.
Another factor worth bearing in mind is how a rooftop tent is used. If you’ve purchased a product designed for all-season camping, you can be confident that it won’t get damaged during bad weather.
If your tent isn’t properly weatherized, it could become irreparably damaged during a bad storm.
How Do They Compare to iKamper and Other Brands?
Although Thule rooftop tents are top-rated, they do have a lot of competition from other manufacturers.
Let’s look at a couple of other brands and see how they compare to the Thule rooftop tents we’ve already listed:
1. iKamper Skycamp 2X
- Price: $3,199.00
- Sleeps: 2-3
The iKamper Skycamp 2X is a hard shell rooftop tent that sleeps up to 3 people comfortably. Although this tent is quite a bit more expensive than the Thule products we’ve listed, it’s certainly no less durable.
iKamper customers love how quick and easy the Skycamp 2X is to set up and the aerodynamic and lightweight hardshell design. This rooftop tent shouldn’t have a detrimental effect on your vehicle’s fuel consumption, and drive with it installed should be fairly quiet.
The tent material is breathable cotton-polyester material, and the polyester rainfly has a waterproof rating of 3000mm, which makes this an excellent choice for camping during inclement weather conditions.
The floor is constructed from durable and insulating aluminum panels, and there’s a built-in high-density foam mattress.
Although most customer reviews for this rooftop tent are positive, some users have found the mattress to be too thin. Other customers have complained that the hard shell locks are difficult to use, and the shell can be hard to close.
2. Roofnest Sparrow
- Price: $2,895.00
- Sleeps: 2
The Roofnest Sparrow is another trendy rooftop tent with a hard shell. The Sparrow features a pop-up design that has been designed for weekend campers who want a durable product.
Although this rooftop tent can’t support crossbars for extra storage, customers love the fact that they can store their bedding in the tent when the shell is closed. This is definitely a cool feature that none of the Thule products on our list can match.
The Sparrow is another example of a hard shell with a cool, aerodynamic design that is only 11 inches high when closed.
The tent walls are made from tough, polyurethane-coated cotton-polyester material that keeps the interior warm and cozy. There are plenty of mesh-covered doors and windows during warm weather that provides ventilation to keep things cool.
The Sparrow comes with a telescoping ladder that can be mounted on any side of the tent, although some customers have complained that the ladder gets in the way of vehicle doors.
Although the sparrow is expensive, it’s still a tough and durable option and worth the investment in comparison to the Thule tents on our list.
Pros and Cons of Thule Rooftop Tents
Compared to other brands, Thule rooftop tents are an affordable option.
Thule rooftop tents are tough and durable and will last for many years if taken care of properly. There are a wide variety of models, so you’re sure to find a Thule product that will work for your needs.
Thule rooftop tents are easy to install and are quick and simple to set up when camping.
- Annexes can be hard to attach and can leak.
- Thule rooftop tents are soft-shell, which means they aren’t as aerodynamic as the hard shell tents that other brands offer.
- The ladders can be tricky to use on uneven ground.
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.