The Best Rooftop Tents of 2021

If you’ve never slept in a rooftop tent, it’s hard to imagine how different it is from sleeping on the ground. Rooftop tent (RTT) sleeping feels safer and more secure than sleeping in a tent on the ground.

Plus, RTTs offer a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, airflow that’s unheard of in a traditional tent, protection (and peace of mind), and generally superior comfort for sleeping.

The drawbacks: Unlike a ground tent or a tow-behind camper, when your tent is on your roof, you have to break camp before you drive away. And, for those who make nighttime visits to the loo, there’s a ladder to negotiate between you and relief (unless you’re willing to get creative).

Rooftop tents are having a moment in 2021, and it’s easy to see why. Rather than having to meticulously stake out and assemble your tent and sleep system once you arrive at camp, rooftop designs pop up or fold out from the top of your vehicle and come equipped with comfortable mattresses for a good night’s sleep. Designs range from budget-friendly softshells to premium hardshell and overlanding models built to take a licking, but all of the rooftop tents below keep you off the ground, are relatively easy to set up and stow, have rugged builds, and free up valuable storage space in your vehicle. For more background information, see our rooftop tent comparison table and buying advice below the picks.

Some of the advantages that car shops offer us are:

  • Security and stability.
  • They are simple and fast to assemble as well as snapshots and practices.
  • They do not require much maintenance.
  • It provides comfort and rest without having to sleep badly on the floor.
  • It protects us from soil moisture and possible reptiles.

Best Budget Rooftop Tent

Rooftop tent Overlander : SmittyBilt

  • The roof shop of the renowned Overlander brand – Smittybilt is the most valued in the community, especially by customers from the United States and Canada where ” roof top tent ” are widely used.
  • It unfolds in a matter of seconds on the roof of your 4×4 SUV or your vehicle without stakes or ropes to resort to like typical tents, it is perfect to go glamping!
  • Manufactured with waterproof “rip stop” 600D polyester materials with high water resistance for the rainiest days. In addition, it has stainless steel hinges, anodized aluminum frame posts, an aluminum telescopic ladder and a hood. We can cover it with its own sun resistant travel bag when we are on the road.
  • Inside it includes a LED light strip, a 60mm high-density foam mattress and a removable 230x135cm cover. It also includes a mosquito net, a shoe pocket and a cigarette lighter adapter with its extension cable.
  • The size of the open roof tent is 240x142x130 cm and a weight of 64.4 kg.

Best Softshell Rooftop Tent

Front Runner Rooftop Tent

  • The cheapest rooftop store on the market on, remains the Front Runner ready to offer you when you decide to go camping with glamor a room in the attic of your car or jeep for two people comfortably with dimensions of 1.3m x 2.4 m and a light weight of 43 kg.
  • Manufactured with Oxford 600D, a special breathable, waterproof, mold and fire resistant fabric among others. Includes a consistent nylon cover while stowed or en route.
  • It incorporates a sliding aluminum ladder, a comfortable 6 cm foam mattress with its washable cover resistant to humidity, a mosquito net to avoid possible insects, 2 34×22 cm pockets to store personal items…
  • And you can also open the roof skylight window to let in fresh air, sunlight, or even starlight. Side windows close from bottom to top allowing adjustment to your privacy or weather needs.

Cascadia Vehicle Tents Mt. Denali Summit

Rooftop Tent Maggiolina

  • The XPHW 4×4 rooftop, van or car store features a box-shaped design different from those mentioned above, but likewise, it is also characterized by its simple installation.
  • It is perfect to rest on your glamping trip, avoid humidity, reptiles and other animals.
  • High quality in its manufacturing materials, among them, ABS material of maximum resistance, in addition to incorporating a waterproof Oxford canvas that is resistant to water, sun break, etc.
  • Ideal to enjoy at any time of the year.
  • The roof tent weighs 55 kg and has an open space of 216x127x115cm where it can perfectly accommodate 2 to 3 people comfortably.

Rooftop Tent : Tentbox

  • Sleep on top of your car – Fits most cars, including cars with built-in hatchback trunks.
  • Built in foam mattress module, space for 2 adults.
  • Ladder (to climb) and all fixing brackets included.
  • CE safety certificate. Designed in the UK.
  • Effortless camping.

Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tente

For a soft top tent, the Yakima SkyRise HD proves that some fabric tents can withstand harsh winter conditions. Constructed of bomber 600D ripstop nylon with a 3000mm waterproof PU coating and a weather resistant 210D poly rain fly, it can handle all kinds of weather, from wind to rain, sleet and snow. Oversized windows and doors provide expansive views and easy ventilation, along with roll-up ceiling panels for stargazing. 

Inside, you’ll get a 2.5-inch-thick foam mattress, a pre-configured aluminum frame for quick setup, and an abrasion-resistant floor with a textured finish. Also, there are lines to hang equipment or to tie everything when the winds become particularly strong. You also get an adjustable ladder, tool-free mounts for your vehicle, and a 58 x 48-inch tread (in the middle) that can comfortably accommodate three campers.

Roofnet Sparrow Rooftent

Optimal for smaller cars and SUVs, the Roofnest Sparrow store makes things simple: It’s essentially a low-profile, fiberglass-enclosed rectangular box. Get close to your night grounds, unzip the case and give the tent a push, and the gas struts open up the tent, making it one of the fastest models to launch. The store door and all four walls are made of waterproof polyurethane-coated cotton / polyester canvas, so it stands up to the elements, but doesn’t breathe as well as other stores with lighter fabrics.

Fortunately, two mesh windows (front and rear) and the mesh screen on the doors should help mitigate overheating. And you can also unzip each opening to allow entry from either side via the included telescopic ladder. Plus, you get a built-in three-inch foam mattress with the tent. Sparrow works with most roof rack systems, weighs 130 pounds and has a capacity of up to 650 pounds. Its 82 x 49-inch footprint provides space for two campers to sleep comfortably.

ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent

Large groups or families should consider the ARB Simpson III / Anex Combo, a specific shelter to collect that includes an additional annex shelter on the ground to transform their camp into a canvas palace. The walls of the store are made from high-end polyester / cotton fabrics with an Oxford polyester rain fly to keep the elements at bay, along with insect-protected windows and doors. 

Inside the main tent, you’ll find a 2.5-inch high-density foam mattress (with a removable cover) and aluminum posts. It takes a bit of work to put together the main tent, but a bungee cord system makes camping pretty quick and includes an anodized aluminum retractable ladder. The Anex then attaches to the tent platform, creating three walls that line up against the side of your truck so you can store things outside of your sleeping compartment. A large panel door provides easy access to the store system, while transparent panels on either side of the Anex allow light to enter. Its 55 x 94.5-inch footprint easily accommodates three campers, with a total height of 51 inches.

Raptor Series Voyager Rooftop Tente

Although the Raptor series rates Voyager large enough to accommodate up to three campers, it’s ideal for two with its 84 x 54-inch footprint, though the easy setup means lone campers can take it out for a spin, too. Unlike most models, Voyager’s canvas doors and mosquito nets slide down from the top. The store also includes an awning that serves as sunscreen, as well as small windows on either side of the walls that function as air vents with quick-fit control. 

A foam mattress is included, along with integrated storage pockets, equipment hanging loops, and two shoe pockets that can hang from the shelf to keep dirt out of the store. The streamlined design of the pitched tent helps prevent strong wind, while also featuring waterproof fabric. That said, the lack of a mesh opening means that stargazing is an incredible experience.

What are the advantages of car roof shops?

  • Once placed, they offer security and stability , since they are fastened thanks to the anchors. They are aerodynamic so they will not offer much resistance when you are driving
  • As they are already assembled you can take advantage of all the time to leisure with the family, just extend it, go down the stairs and sleep !.
  • They do not have the discomforts of sleeping on the floor as in the traditional tent, humidity and inopportune insects are always a nuisance, in addition, the interior will always be cleaner
  • As they are instant tents you can camp wherever you want as long as you can access with the vehicle
  • They are quick to assemble and do not require much maintenance, in fact having a rigid structure they are very stable when you are moving inside

Children will love it and once you have it mounted you can leave the bags and a good part of the camping material inside and thus free up space in the trunk or in the seats, in this way you will eliminate prying eyes.

What should you consider before buying a car roof store?

One of the important aspects of having a roof tent is the speed and comfort of assembling and disassembling the car roof tent.

The same is true for cyclists and motors that after a long day of travel it is hard to set up the tent especially if you are going to be driving for several days. Here are a few tips before buying yours

The First: What use are you going to give it?

If you are convinced that leading this lifestyle is your thing, it is worth it since the investment is important. In case you have doubts it is preferable that you rent the material and invest first in experiences and not fill the garage with objects that you have left forgotten

They are very versatile roof tents that you can use both in passenger cars, 4 × 4 and vans when you go on vacation to camping sites or do routes in areas away from mass tourism

Rigid fiber or fabric roof tent

There are three types of rooftop stores that you can buy from the Amazon online store:

  • The rigid ones : with a stable base and fiberglass that protect the heat from the cold. They are the classic Maggiolina style that come equipped with mattress and access ladder. Very heavy, about 80 to 90kg but they allow you to move the vehicle when you mount them
  • Fabric tents : They are more bulky and bulky that protrude from the ceiling and you can adapt and even add annexes. They are cheaper and do not even think about moving with them
  • Book type roof tents : They are very common and the easiest to set up since they only consist of raising the roof and voilà. Less heavy and cheaper than rigid ones but with the advantage that you can move with them

Capacity and size matter

Look to choose one that has capacity for 2/3 people but this option will be in proportion to the dimensions of the stores; The older they are the more difficult it will be to assemble and assemble.

On the other hand, there are traditional canvas tents that, by means of a rigid base and a stable structure, can be adapted to the type of vehicle, protruding from the side or the bottom of the car.

Buy one that adapts to the dimensions of the roof of your vehicle, which is long and large to have space to move, although there is the possibility of customizing them to your needs

Roof tent materials

They are roof tents made of fiberglass, canvas, PVC plastic and steel for anchoring to the ceiling. The roof rack tent cover is fully waterproof to protect you from rain, cold, heat and wind

Quick and easy assembly

One of the advantages of this type of store is that once you get the hang of it, they are easy to set up and take down without having to pick up pegs and clean the store. Your children will enjoy assembling and disassembling the roof tent

The weight of the store

Keep this in mind, since depending on the vehicle the roof will support an extra weight that will make driving difficult. Fortunately the design of these tents is very aerodynamic and corrects the resistance they offer to the wind, even so you will have to limit the speed

The heaviest are the rigid ones that depending on the model you may need extra help

The door and windows

See that it has enough windows to be ventilated to cool the temperature in summer and prevent condensation, in addition to that the windows include mosquito nets

Of course you have windows on both sides to gaze at the stars at night and see the sunrise


That the zipper closures are of quality and easy to open and close. For your maintenance we recommend that you pass paraffin oil so that they do not clog and cause problems

Don’t miss the ladder

The stair is designed to have the angle that facilitates access to the store. This has to be of quality, light but resistant.

Rooftop Tent Comparison Table

Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3$1,70037.3 sq. ft.52 in.131 lbs.3
iKamper Skycamp 2.0$3,89943.2 sq. ft.45 in.160 lbs.4
Smittybilt Overlander$1,03536.9 sq. ft.51 in.117 lbs.2+, 3+
CVT Mt. Denali$3,29558 sq. ft.50 in.247 lbs.2,2+,3+,4+
Tepui Low-Pro 2$1,50029.2 sq. ft.44 in.105 lbs.2, 3
Roofnest Falcon$3,39529.3 sq. ft.60 in.140 lbs.2, 2+
23ZERO Walkabout 56$1,49937.3 sq. ft.49 in.130 lbs.2+,3+,4+,5+
iKamper X-Cover$3,19946.9 sq. ft.46 in.120 lbs.3+
Roofnest Sparrow$2,89528.3 sq. ft.40 in.130 lbs.2, 2+
James Baroud Evasion$3,80029.8 sq. ft.41 in.145 lbs.2, 3
Maggiolina AirLand Plus$3,29927 sq. ft.36 in.132 lbs.2,2+,3,3+,4
Yakima SkyRise HD 2$1,74928 sq. ft.42 in.101 lbs.2, 3
Freespirit Recreation High Country 55″$2,39537.4 sq. ft.46 in.141 lbs.2+,3+,4+
Tuff Stuff Ranger 3$1,37937.3 sq. ft.52. in.154 lbs.3
Thule Tepui HyBox$3,00028.7 sq. ft.37 in.177 lbs.2
Front Runner Roof Top Tent$1,09934 sq. ft.46 in.93 lbs.2+

What Is the Benefit of a Rooftop Tent?

Rooftop tents get you off the ground, providing a great view. In most situations, they also provide more airflow than you’ll get when you’re sleeping in a tent on the ground.

When your tent is on the roof of your vehicle, you’re also out of the dirt and away from creepy crawly things on the ground. That makes a rooftop tent feel more secure.

Most rooftop tents are super quick and easy to set up. And when your tent is on your roof, it’s always with you, which can inspire some great impromptu adventures.

Rooftop tents often accommodate a mattress and bedding, not just sleeping pads and inflatable pads. And many let you leave the bedding inside the tent when you pack up.

Can You Put a Rooftop Tent on a Car?

Many rooftop tents are designed to be mounted on cars. But not every tent will fit every car. The size and weight of the tent need to match the size and carrying capacity of your car’s roof rack.

For best results, use aftermarket bars, not standard factory-installed racks. Also, check the car manufacturer’s and the roof rack manufacturer’s websites for compatibility.

Why Are Rooftop Tents So Expensive?

Rooftop tents are more expensive than most ground-staked tents because of the materials, engineering and design, and accessories. Rooftop tents flip over to create a platform with a tent on top of your car. That’s a whole lot more complicated than creating a structure with a fabric floor that gets placed on the ground.

Then, throw in a mattress, ladder, and a hardshell exterior, and you can see why rooftop tents are costly.

What Is the Cheapest Rooftop Tent?

You can buy a rooftop tent for under $1,000. It’s also possible to get a used one for well below the original price.

But remember that not every tent will fit every vehicle. And, for a few extra bucks, you may be able to get more space, more stability, a tent that’s quicker and easier to set up, and other benefits.


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