A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Your Rooftop Tent


The Ultimate Rooftop Tent Buyer's Guide

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Your Rooftop Tent

Roof Top Tents (RTTs) have become increasingly popular among campers and outdoor enthusiasts in recent years. They offer a convenient and comfortable way to sleep while camping, without the need for traditional tents or RV's. If you're looking to buy a roof top tent, there are several important factors to consider before making your purchase. This guide will help you navigate the world of roof top tents and find the right one for you.

  1. Vehicle: Roof top tents come in various sizes and weights,most of them can be used on a wider range of vehicles. Certain type of RTTs are specifically designed to fit specific vehicle models, just be aware of. 

    Roof top Tent Dimension


  2. Size: RTTs come in different sizes, ranging from two-person tents to 5 Person RTT tents. Consider the number of people who will be using the tent and the amount of gear you'll need to store inside/outside. The more people you have, the larger the tent you'll need. Also, keep in mind that larger tents will take up more space on your roof and may affect the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.                        

  3. Style:On the current market, there are two main types of roof top tents (RTTs) - soft top and hard shell.                                                               The soft top RTT can be 180 degree fold out with or without an attached annex. Hard shell RTTs come in three styles - fold out, clam shell, and pop up. Regardless of the price, the main differences between the styles are capacity and setup/take down time. The most popular style of hard shell RTT is the fold out style, which is compact in size but can accommodate more people. Among the fold out RTTs, aluminum models are more versatile as they can carry more gear like bikes, kayaks, and snowboards, and have a longer lifespan compared to ABS models.                                The Clam Shell RTT offers the quickest setup and take down time, but with limited space and a sleeping capacity of only 2 to 3 people. On the other hand, the Popup RTT provides 360 degree views and similar space as the Clam Shell RTT, but with improved height from end to end.
  4. Weight: While the weight is an important factor, it's not the primary concern. Tents with a bit more weight tend to offer greater stability and durability. If the tent's weight is within the capacity of your vehicle, it will have minimal impact on fuel consumption. However, tents that are extremely light might be easy to transport but lack stability and insufficient insulation and protection, especially in inclement weather conditions like wind, rain, or cold. In these situations, adequate protection should be the top priority when making your selection. 

  5. Material:

    When selecting a tent, the material of the tent shell is an important aspect to consider. ABS plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum are the commonly used options for tent shells. However, ABS plastic and fiberglass tend to have a shorter lifespan due to aging and can deteriorate over time. On the other hand, aluminum is known for its strength and durability but can be more expensive.

    Regarding tent material, the two most prevalent choices are canvas and synthetic materials. Canvas tents are renowned for their toughness, insulation properties, and air flow, but they can be weighty and more costly, and they demand upkeep after camping in damp or humid environments since they consist of over 25% cotton. On the other hand, synthetic materials are lighter and more affordable, but is not provide adequate protection from the elements.

  6. Frequence of setting up and taking down :  It's important to take into account the type of camping you will be doing and the frequency of setting up and taking down the tent. For road trips that involve quick stops, a tent that is easy to set up and dismantle would be a better choice. In this case, a hardtop roof tent is the most suitable option. However, if you plan to camp at a site for more than three days, you have a wider range of options to choose from.

  7. Service accessibility :  When making a purchase, it is crucial to take into account the brand's reputation for customer service, particularly for mechanical products like roof tents. It is reassuring to know that the company in question has readily accessible customer service and that RTTs accessories can easily be purchased. Additionally, it is wise to consider the cost and timely availability of replacement parts in case of any damage or wear and tear over time.

  8. Price: The cost of soft-top roof tents can vary from $800 to $2,300, while the price of hard-top roof tents ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. Many clients question the significant difference in price, despite the similar appearance of roof top tents. However, I explain that opting for a low-priced option from overseas suppliers like Alibaba may result in an unreliable product with little to no support. The cost of raw materials for roof tents is comparable, but the key factor in determining which brand you want to buy from is the quality of service and timely delivery they offered. Some brands that take responsibility for their products and offer fair pricing are usually a better option, compared to those that charge high prices and place blame on the customer in case of any issues.
    Price differs among Roof top tent

In conclusion:

Vehicle support weight
How many people you'll be using
How often you set up and take down
Service/Part accessibility
Fair Price 

With a little research and careful consideration, you can find the perfect roof top tent for your next camping adventure.

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