Why Are Rooftop Tents So Expensive? (Explained)

Rooftop tents are much more complicated and full of features than a regular ground tent.

This adds to their cost.

As rooftop tents are placed well above the ground, it helps to avoid the entrance of ground-dwelling animals into your tent at night.

Within minutes, rooftop tents are set up to spare you the trouble of packing mattresses, sleeping bags, and pillows as bedding can be left inside when it is closed.

Here’s Why Rooftop Tents are so Expensive:

Rooftop tents are safe, comfortable, easy to set up, and durable. Their complicated construction, high-quality materials, and mounting brackets will add to the cost. Compared to a regular ground tent, rooftop tents are more convenient, which increases their value.

Online Roof-Top Tent Stores:

Here are some of the most popular online stores to buy roof-top tents:

StoresPrice rangeModelsVisit
iKamper$$-$$$4Visit here
Thule$-$$$7Visit here
CampSaver$-$$$24Visit here
RoofNest$$-$$$7Visit here

What Makes Roof Top Tents So Expensive?

Rooftop tents have recently burst onto the camping scene, and brands like iKamper, Thule, and Roofnest have grabbed the opportunity to become the market leaders.

A rooftop tent sticks to the top of the car and comes in soft and hard shell variants. Soft-top tents normally open vertically, while rough shells spring out like the top of a former VW vehicle.

Compared to inexpensive rooftop tents using a plastic material, more costly rooftop tents would use canvas material.

Manufacturing a rooftop tent is more labor-intensive relative to a standard tent. Rooftop tents require further sewing and connecting all the parts mentioned above.

This can ultimately add to the cost.

The seams on a rooftop tent most frequently ought to be stitched twice, or sometimes three times; regular tents are stitched once only. This provides more durability, which will increase the lifespan of rooftop tents.

Because of their complicated construction, overall design, and added accessories, rooftop tents are costly compared to a small, off-brand ground tent.

However, Rooftop tents are durable, high-quality, and should last you a long time.

Easy to Set Up & Durable:

Rooftop tents are easy to set up; even a beginner can ready one within minutes.

Compared with a rooftop tent, a conventional field tent is much more likely to suffer from rips and tears, especially during put up and take down. This is particularly valid if you are inclined to set up your camp just before dusk.

Field tents are always placed around sticks, rocks, and other sharp objects. Smoothing and cleaning out the campsite before putting up your tent is still a smart idea, but it’s not always an easy task.

Tents on the rooftop are never exposed to the ground and are less likely to be ripped or torn by something sharp.

Not only that, but they are always on a sturdy foundation, so during normal use, they are not likely to be broken or ripped.

Comfort & Safety:

Tents on the rooftop sound more like a cozy bedroom than a tent.

They are very comfortable, usually including an inches thick mattress pad in the bottom; with your favorite duvet and pillows, sleeping in a rooftop tent can be made much more comfortable!

Sleeping on the cold ground in a tent has the downside of the cold coming up into your sleeping bag through your mattress, leaving you cold, which is not a good feeling. Enjoying the sunset or the sunrise from the rooftop tent with a cup of coffee would be a much more wholesome experience.

A sky window comes with several rooftop tents, which helps you to look at the star while lying down in bed.

Finally, since rooftop tents are placed above the ground, it eliminates any attack from the animals who stay on the ground.

It is much safer than conventional tents, which are very low in terms of safety.

Here are the most popular rooftop tent brands today.

How Much Should You REALLY Pay for a Roof Top Tent?

Rooftops are generally easy to set up, are weather-proof, elegant, high-quality, and safer.

The average rooftop tent should cost you between $1,500-$4,000, depending on your needs. There are tents for more than that, but you shouldn’t need anything more expensive than a $2,500 tent.

However, there are cheaper alternatives available, which can be bought via eBay, or Amazon. Brands like Thule make cheap rooftop tents for as low as $1,700!

Keep in mind that those cheaper tents will not last as long. As a result, inexpensive tents become more costly than if you had purchased a premium rooftop tent.

Rooftop Tents can look pricey, particularly when compared with a tent.

However, if you look at all the requisite material and effort to build a rooftop shelter, it is no wonder why they cost so much.

What Is the Cheapest Model That Just Works?

There are several affordable options to choose your rooftops from, and we are discussing a few of them below:

1. Thule x Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3

This rooftop is one of the better budget models available at less than $2,000!

It comes with a high-quality tent, 600D ripstop, which will protect the tent against harsh climates.

The telescoping ladder increases the support and offers ease of entry.

Insulated fiberglass base reduces the weight and adds some warmth to help you sleep well at night.

Check out the Thule x Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 prices today!

2. Roofnest Sparrow

This is another option from Roofnest at less than $3,000; it is on the expensive side of the cheap models, but it comes with a Fiberglass shell, decreasing noise and improving gas mileage.

The inside of the shell is insulated, which helps to maintain the temperature.

The wall material uses a 280-gram polyurethane-coated polyester and cotton blend with a waterproof rating of 3000mm.

The ladder and mattress, which ships with the rooftop, is another bonus.

Roofnest Sparrows are a great option: check it out here!

3. iKampers X-Cover

iKamper’s X-cover is another great choice at a little over $3,000.

It comes with a patented design that eliminates the bulky PVC cover of other rooftop tents.

This camp can be set up in less than 3 minutes and is comfortable for a family of four.

It is lightweight, weighing just 55kg, and the Poly-cotton canvas fabric used makes the tent very breathable.

You can enjoy the view from the camp itself due to its open design. Things like stargazing at night would be achievable due to its open design.

Check out the iKamper X-Cover today!

Final Thoughts

If you are someone who is constantly going from place to place, rooftops are a perfect choice.

You are definitely better off buying a tent if you are someone who camps frequently and likes to see the open road as they do so!

It’s wise to weigh whether the gains are worth the pitfalls that rooftop tents have to bring before purchasing a rooftop tent.

Often, they are well worth the look!


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