Overland expeditions have quickly become the extreme sport of choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Days of adventuring in customized vehicles built from blood, sweat, and passion ending around the campfire with your fellow adventurers.
After a long adrenaline pumping day, you are likely to want to cuddle up in that truck that you spend more time with than your girlfriend. Surely after what you’ve just put it through, your truck isn’t going to be the cleanest place to take a rest.
Bring in the rooftop tent. Attached to your roof rack and easily setup, you can sleep wherever you park your ‘baby.’ Tents and camping have come a long way. Rooftop tents are a great way to take up less space and keep you safer from predators.
We have gone ahead and compiled a list of the best rooftop tents available so you can save the hard work for the trails.
- Top 8 Best Roof Top Tents On The Market 2021 Reviews
- 1 Smittybilt Overlander Tent
- 2 Front Runner Roof Top Tent
- 3 TMB Green Pop Up Roof Tent Universal
- 4 ARB 804100 Simpson III Brown Rooftop Tent Annex/Changing Room
- 5 Tuff Stuff “Delta” Overland Roof Top Jeep & Truck Tent
- 6 Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent
- 7 Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent-S
- 8 Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent – 3-Person 3-Season
- Best Roof Top Tents Buying Guide
- So, What Are The Best Roof Top Tents?
Top 8 Best Roof Top Tents On The Market 2021 Reviews
1 Smittybilt Overlander Tent
The Smittybilt Overlander Tent is known as one of the best value rooftop tents; let’s discover why.
This rooftop tent comes with a few handy extras you may not have thought you needed. First, they offer a hanging rubber boot bag so you can keep the mud outside and not in your bed. It also comes with an LED light strip that illuminates the inside of your tent, keeping you safe from uninvited critters.
The ladder is strong enough to handle you climbing in and out as many times as you need to pee in the night. Once you’re in, you can guarantee the best night’s sleep on the supremely comfortable mattress.
The inside of the tent offers 38 square feet of space for you to move around in. It is tall enough at 51 inches to sit up, get dressed, and enjoy the sunrise without straining your neck. You can enjoy the sunset out of the two side windows and watch the stars from the two roof windows.
The polyurethane canopy is built to hold up to any challenge the weather throws at it. In case you didn’t check the weather channel before you lost internet signal. If you’re racing that storm coming in fear not, the Overlander is one of the easiest tents to convert.
While this is one of the more time consuming tents to install initially, the time you put in now pays off later. You will need some of your own tools in addition to the tools supplied. Taking the time to ensure it is installed correctly now will save you some serious hassle later on.
Release the two straps, and take off the cover, extend the sliding ladder, and move on. If you’re in a rush and just need the cover, you’re good to go, installing the extras take a bit more time.
You will need the few extra minutes to set up the window awning. Also, take the time to hang your boot bag and set up the LED light strip. When you’re ready to pack up and leave, the internal bungee system makes it easy to break down and return to travel mode.
The Smittybilt Overlander is one of the best value 2-3 person tents. It includes plenty of useful extras to make your camping trip a breeze.
Could all these great features make this the very best of the best roof top tents? Read on to find out…
- Included boot bag, LED strip.
- Sliding extra wide ladder.
- Easy to set up and take down.
- Comfortable mattress.
- May be difficult to install initially.
2 Front Runner Roof Top Tent
Front Runner brings us one of the lightest roof top tents on the market.
If you are new to rooftop tents and unsure if you will like this style of camping, then the Front Runner is a good tent to test the waters with. It is a lightweight tent that is probably best for just one person. If you don’t mind skimping on features to save money, let’s take a look at how this tent will work for you.
This 93 lbs tent is extremely easy to figure out and take on the go. While it has an inside height of 55 inches, the floor space takes the hit. So if you want to squeeze two people in, be prepared to snuggle. The mattress is included, but users have reported there are more comfortable mattresses available.
This tent is totally suitable to use outdoors, but it won’t last you terribly long. After too many uses, it has been reported that the stitching in the corners comes undone. This is bad news if you planned on trying to sleep in the rain or wind.
It is easy to use and convert into camping mode, though. The first installation doesn’t take much time, and you receive all of the necessary tools. Once you’re out on the go, it is simple enough to convert and break back down to travel mode.
The sliding ladder is made for one person at a time. Any unnecessary weight or rough housing on the ladder can cause it to bend under pressure.
The tent cover is made to be convenient, with access to the zipper inside and outside of the tent. You may, though, have to make your own fold back system as this one doesn’t include hooks to fold the cover back and secure.
The Front Runner rooftop tent is not our favorite, but it still holds some value. And it is the best beginners rooftop tent. If you decide to delve deeper, we would suggest making a better investment for the long term.
- Easy to install and setup.
- More standing room inside.
- Not the most durable.
- Weak ladder.
3 TMB Green Pop Up Roof Tent Universal
The Pop Up tent is 84 X 49 X 13 inches when compressed. When it pops open, it measures at 84 X 49 X 37 inches. It is designed to fit on any vehicle and even those with roof racks.
Install is easy, and conversion is even easier. Simply undo the snap straps and allow the tent to pop open. Inside are shock assisted arms that keep your tent open and lock in place, so you don’t feel the roof coming down on you.
The arms are even conveniently covered to blend in with the interior, and so you don’t catch your fingers in them.
Under your hardshell roof is a bungee system so you can store your clothes off the ground. Hanging side pockets make it convenient to keep track of your small items. A free flashlight is included so you can find your way up and down in the middle of the night.
Zip open your window and open the awnings on either side to enjoy the morning sun from either side of the bed. The included memory foam mattress offers the perfect night’s sleep for an adventurous pair.
The pop-up construction of this tent makes it by far the easiest to break down and take with you. The telescoping ladder folds down for travel and space saving convenience. The durability of a hard shell roof gives you peace of mind in any weather condition.
- Unique pop up design.
- Included ladder, mattress, flashlight, and carrying bag.
- Telescope ladder saves space.
- Memory foam mattress for maximum comfort.
- Easy to install and setup.
- Best for two people.
- Shorter inside height.
- Hardshell roof offers no wiggle room.
4 ARB 804100 Simpson III Brown Rooftop Tent Annex/Changing Room
While meant to be space saving, the ARB Simpson III offers an extra room that takes up more space than intended.
The Simpson III comes with a changing room so you can stand up and put your pants on. This is especially useful on humid days when it feels like you are trying to paint your jeans on. In case you wake up first, you can go downstairs and get ready for the day without disturbing your sleeping partner.
Maybe you brought a few extra people; you can even use the annex as a spare sleeping space, perfect for kids or pets.
The Simpson III is extremely lightweight and easy to install. The included mattress is a single layer of foam that breathes enough to give you a cool, comfortable night of sleep. Open the windows on all sides and let the cool night air in.
Each of the windows includes an awning to let the air in and keep the sun out. The rain cover and awnings keep you dry inside while allowing you to enjoy the storm.
This quality affordable tent is built to stand up to the weather and long-term use. It is easy to install as well as convert to camping mode. When it’s time to go home, a bungee system helps to keep everything secure and in place.
The Simpson III is best used on Jeeps or SUVs, and while it has an extra room, it still conveniently fits in the range of your parking space.
- Spare room included.
- Well ventilated.
- Windows are hard to see into.
- Awnings and rain cover for extra protection.
- Not too many extra features.
- Only a single layer mattress.
5 Tuff Stuff “Delta” Overland Roof Top Jeep & Truck Tent
Tuff Stuff is an overland gear company that really knows their stuff. This lightweight camping tent is built to last while keeping you safe and dry.
The Delta is perfect for mounting on truck beds, cars or SUVs that stand lower than head height. Measuring at 56 X 96 X 52 inches, this tent is ideal for two maybe three people max. An annex sold separately is perfect for creating an extra changing space or spare sleeping space.
The Delta only weighs in at 116 lbs and is easy enough for one person to lift and install on their own. Who needs help? The included instruction manual is easy to follow, and you are provided with all of the necessary tools to install this tent.
This tent is great to install in truck beds with its front entryway, getting in and out of a tent has never been easier. Just make sure you install it in the right direction. Installed on the rooftop, you can unroll the tent on either side of the vehicle or the back.
This tent is designed to withstand all seasons to keep you safe and dry wherever you lay your head. The cotton polyester blend is designed to avoid rips and tears. Just be careful of flying embers from your campfire, those will burn a hole in anything.
The windows feature a mesh that will keep even the tiniest of pests out. The pests stay out while the air comes in, allowing you to feel the breeze. The tents material is UV and mold resistant, so you can use your ten longer without it showing its age.
Air vents above allow some of that hot air to escape from inside. The included foam mattress features a cover you can take off and wash after a long week in the woods.
This is another of the best roof top tents, but could it be the winner? You’ll find out soon…
- Durable material.
- Easy to install and setup.
- Designed for summer use.
- Mesh windows.
- Best for two people.
- Annex sold separately.
6 Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent
The Explorer Kukenam from Tepui is a rooftop tent designed to withstand all weather seasons. With those options, you don’t have to watch the seasons to decide where to go on your next adventure.
Made from a top-quality polyester cotton blend, this tent is designed to stop rips and tears. Heavy winds and rain are no problem, and you can bunker down through the storm without the worry of it flying away. The tent itself and cover are UV and mold resistant, because nobody loves opening their tent to get hit with a waft of must.
The mesh windows let all of the air flow through and keep unwanted pests out. Perfect for the glamping couple or small outdoor family, this tent accommodates up to three people comfortably.
With room for three, or two and more room for your gear, there are also four large pockets to hold your small items, so you don’t lose anything. The high-density foam mattress will offer you a peaceful night’s sleep amongst nature.
Looking up, you’ll notice built-in air vents to let the steamy airflow out, reducing condensation inside.
This rooftop camping tent is easy to install on almost all roof racks. You have multiple mounting options giving you plenty of choice on how you want to configure your tent. With the mattress removed, it should only be a short matter of time before you’re ready to roll.
- Built for all seasons.
- Sleeps 3 comfortably.
- Easy to install.
- Breathable mesh and air vents.
- Great for three people.
- Not many bonus features included.
- Additional canopies and annex sold separately.
7 Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent-S
The double-wall SkyRise rooftop tent from Yakima is the perfect all-weather tent.
The nylon tent and rainfly are designed to stop rips and withstand any mood the weather decides to take on. Perfect for two to cuddle up and wait out the storm with a good book without getting wet. The heavy-duty zippers won’t snap off, leaving you stuck inside of the tent.
The interior height is just enough for you to sit up without hitting your head. You may not be able to stand up fully unless you are on the shorter side of things. You’ll have no problem rolling out of bed down the sturdy ladder.
Waking up from a perfect night’s sleep on your memory foam mattress is complete with the sky view that is revealed when you remove the rain cover. The windows are clear, so you get a 360-degree view wherever you lay your head.
The included instruction manual should be a cakewalk to read through. Tool free installation makes it the perfect tent for those who can’t find their way around an instruction manual. Simple Allen wrenches are all you need to tighten this tent in place.
Simply remove the cover, unlatch the hooks, extend the ladder, and your tent is almost ready. To put it away when it’s time to move on, use the internal bungee system to help everything stay in its compact place.
The covers on all windows can be rolled back and out of the way. All covers are attached with Velcro, but don’t let that put you off, that stuff has a tendency to annoy everyone.
At an affordable price, the SkyRise is the perfect stargazing tent built for two.
- Skylight for unobstructed views.
- Easily installed and set up.
- All covers roll out of the way.
- Perfect for two people.
- Crossbars may need to be readjusted.
8 Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent – 3-Person 3-Season
Yakima offers not just the two person SkyRise, but a three person as well.
Almost identical to the previous, the three person is another great value for those who are ready to upgrade from 2 to 3 people. Maybe you just want to bring your pet along for the ride; this medium tent has more room for you.
The double-wall tent is full of windows and awnings to keep you safe. The cover is built to withstand all weather. Once you’ve gotten the hang of removing it, you can uncover the almost clear windows for the most breathtaking mountain views.
If you feel that it’s just too short for you, you can purchase separate annex covers to create the perfect changing room. A size up from our last tent, this medium model offers enough room for all of your extra gear or one extra person.
Since Yakima likes to use Allen wrenches, this almost tool free system is one of the easiest to navigate. With a quick setup and conversion time, you have more time to spend outdoors enjoying your getaway. Included rack locks offer you a bit more peace of mind when climbing in, to sleep on the top of your car.
This is also helpful if you are removing and reinstalling your rooftop tent often. The telescoping ladder makes it a snap to go from travel mode to camping mode.
- Tool free installation.
- Three person capacity.
- Clear windows.
- Shorter inside height.
Best Roof Top Tents Buying Guide
Some people love rugged camping, and some prefer glamping. Whatever your preference, you have to make some compromises. So we have put together a guide to help you decide which is the best rooftop tent to purchase.
How Big Do You Want It?
Consider how many people you will take on your camping trips. You will want a tent to support not only your family but your gear as well. Since vehicle rooftops can only hold so much weight, you need to decide which is more important.
You can comfortably fit more people and leave your gear in the car. If you prefer to have your belongings within arm’s reach, you can leave the extra person out. There are also options to purchase an annex to attach to your tent.
You also want to think about once you’re inside. How much room do you need to either sit or stand up? Find a tent that has a high enough middle height.
Installation & Setup
If you’re a one-man show, you probably want a tent that has an easy to follow instruction manual. You should also consider the best roof top tents that require minimal tools to install. If you would rather expend the energy now for peace of mind, then you can spare the time with a complicated installation.
After a long day of exploring, you will want to take into account the amount of time it takes to convert to camping mode. Most tents require some simple unlatching, while others may take a bit longer. Either way, many of our tents have a quick or simple breakdown time.
Whether you are camping in the middle of a storm or in the desert, you want to be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you. Choose one of the best roof top tents that is durable enough to hold up to all. It’s best to consider an all-season tent.
Be wary of tents that tend to come unstitched at the slightest breeze. No one wants the roof to blow off in the middle of the night. Rip-stop materials tend to hold up to just about anything you can throw at them.
Again because cars can only hold so much up top, you want a tent that is light enough on its own so you can pile the people in. If you are doing literally everything on your own, you also want to be able to lift it up to the top of your vehicle and install it.
Since you’re spending the big bucks already on one of the best roof top tents, you want to get the most for your money. Purchase a tent that comes with enough extras to satisfy you. Some tents can be quite expensive on their own, but many will give you loads of accessories like a flashlight, mattress, or ladder.
Consider also the quality of the mattress and ladder. You want a mattress you can actually sleep on. Choose a ladder that isn’t a pain to relocate but also strong enough to handle any sized human moving up and down it freely.
You will also want a tent that has a rain canopy that is not only durable but easy to install as well maintain. Inside you may want extra light or storage space; there is a tent out there for you.
Most of our tents today have plenty of window space. Some even feature a sky view. Decide how much air you want in and how much you would like the option to see.
Not sure is roof top camping is for you? If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Canvas Tents, The Best Teepee Tents, the Best Tunnel Tents, the Best Inflatable Tents for camping, the Best Instant tents for camping or the Best Waterproof Tents.
So, What Are The Best Roof Top Tents?
We may have thrown a lot of information at you today, but don’t worry, we have chosen our favorite rooftop tent in case you’re still having trouble deciding. We love the…
With a load of extra features, that trust us, you will be grateful for, and the durable design this best rooftop tent can’t be beat.
The price is affordable, and the ease of use has us hurrying to press ‘order now.’ We just couldn’t resist the space and the extremely comfortable mattress in this well-built tent. The extra installation steps didn’t put us off either; we would rather have it done right the first time than worrying about something snapping later.