If you’ve ever been on Instagram or Pinterest, then you know just how popular rooftop tents have become.
Why are rooftop tents so popular?
Rooftop tents provide their owners with a quick and easy way to set up camp almost anywhere. This makes them great for people who like to camp in places where setting a traditional tent up might not be possible.
What’s So Great About Rooftop Tents?
As we mentioned earlier, rooftop tents can be set up almost anywhere.
You can set them up in areas where the ground is too tough to use tent stakes, you can set them up in areas where it is too wet to set up a tent, and you can even set them up in urban areas like driveways and parking lots.
This makes the rooftop tent a much more versatile tent to travel with.
On top of this advantage, a rooftop tent offers its owner a great vantage point for taking photos. People all over the world love to look at pictures taken from the inside of rooftop tents.
This makes social media users want to buy these tents so that they too can share great photos of their trips.
Rooftop tents are also incredibly easy to set up. A typical rooftop tent can easily be set up in less than five minutes.
In some cases, a well-made rooftop can be set up in less than one minute.
This is much different than some of the dome tents that can easily take ten minutes to fully erect and stakeout.
At the end of the day, this means people with rooftop tents get to spend less time setting up and more time enjoying their vacation.
Are Rooftop Tents Really Comfortable Enough?
In general, a rooftop tent is much more comfortable than a traditional tent.
There are many reasons for this.
The top reason for this is that you’re not sleeping on cold or wet ground. Instead, you’re up on an elevated platform with a nice bed built into it.
Some of the beds on these rooftop tents can be several inches thick. This is much thicker than your average camping pad and they’re usually made from foams that are of higher quality than the ones you’d find on a standard camping cot.
On top of this, you’ll also get much better airflow inside of a rooftop tent. The elevated tent will have airflow underneath of it and will have better cross-breezes going through it.
This means that hot summer camping is much more enjoyable in a rooftop tent when compared to a ground tent.
For some people, there is also an additional layer of comfort that comes with the peace of mind that rooftop tents can provide.
What I mean by this is that rooftop tent campers can go to sleep in their tent knowing that wolves, dingos, wild dogs, and other potentially aggressive animals can’t get to them while they sleep.
Are Rooftop Tents a New Invention?
To some, rooftop tents may seem like a new invention.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Rooftop tents have been around almost 100 years and harken all the way back to the 1930s. During this time, western Europeans used them on their expedition vehicles.
These days, rooftop tents are popular with more than just expedition vehicles and 4v4 adventure mobiles.
A rooftop tent can be fitted to almost any vehicle and many people are taking advantage of this fact.
What Are the Most Popular Rooftop Tent Models?
There are many different options when it comes to rooftop tents.
The most popular models come from the brands Thule and iKamper.
Here is a quick run-down on the most popular rooftop tent models made by these manufacturers.
The Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Tent
This rooftop tent is a 2-person, 4-season tent that weighs just 105 pounds.
It has a packed size of 48 x 42 x 11 inches and floor dimensions of 84 x 48 x 39 inches. This gives it a floor area of 28 square feet.
The tent fabric is made of a polyester/cotton blend that is coated with 600-denier ripstop fabric.
This makes it resistant to water, UV damage, and even mold. To complete this tent, a privacy annex can be added.
The Thule Tepui HyBox Tent
The Tepui HyBox tent is also a 2-person tent but it is built much differently than the Ayer.
It has a hard shell top that lifts to create a tent with a relatively flat roof.
This build offers a few advantages. For starters, the top of the tent is much more durable than tents made exclusively from fabric.
This top also makes it easier to move around when inside the tent as the ceiling has a consistent height all the way through.
Lastly, this type of tent tends to dry much quicker than the other rooftop tent styles.
The drawback to this tent is that it does cost more and the total weight of the tent is over 70 pounds heavier than the Ayer.
The iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Rooftop Tent
The iKamper is a unique tent in that it uses the hardshell top as one of the tent’s sides.
This helps reduce the amount of material needed in the creation of the tent and provides a solid wall that owners can point into the wind.
This tent can hold up to 4 people and it only weighs in at 160 pounds.
It is meant for 3-season camping but also includes a quilt to increase the warmth inside of the tent for night’s when it’s cold and windy.
The iKamper Skycamp Mini Rooftop Tent
The Skycamp Mini is a smaller version of the Skycamp 2.0.
It is also a 30season tent with the same design features but it only weighs in at 125 pounds.
The advantage of the Mini is that it is built to fit on smaller vehicles.
Rooftop tents have been around for a long time and they’ve really become popular over the last ten years.
With more and more manufacturers making them and more and more people buying them, expect to see more of them on the road with each passing year.
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.