The best rooftop tents provide a great way to expand your trailer’s sleeping capacity while maintaining your privacy. They also allow you to go SUV RVing and overnight offroading exploring the backcountry, or you could install one for storage and benefit from valuable extra space in your camper.
If you’re wondering how to go about finding the best rooftop tent for your truck, trailer, or campervan, take a look through our rooftop tent reviews and buying guide for everything you need to know before you commit to purchasing.
Best Rooftop Tents
Here are nine of the very best rooftop tents on the market. We’ve included a good variety, so whatever your priorities are, you are sure to find your ideal model right here in our selections.
- Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Tepui HyBox Rooftop Tent & Cargo Box
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Tepui Explorer Ayer Rooftop Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Tepui Ruggedized Autana Rooftop Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Front Runner Roof Top Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- TMB Universal Pop Up Roof Tent for SUVs
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Raptor Series Camping Rooftop Tent
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room
Convenient and spacious, the Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent comes complete with a 90 foot by 90-foot annex room to house your gear, pets, or friends. As it can be mounted on any vehicle bed or rack capable of carrying up to 160lbs when driving, it is suitable for a wide variety of vehicles.
Thanks to its generously large sleeping area suitable for two full-sized adults and pre-installed with a 2.75-inch-thick high-density foam mattress, you’re sure to have a comfortable night’s sleep wherever you park up. The total interior space including the annex measures almost 100 square feet and the entire weight including the ladder and poles comes in at 132 pounds.
While installation takes a couple of hours, setting up the tent and packing it down takes just minutes, making it a highly practical choice. You can also store your bedding inside the closed tent to save space and keep it protected
Boasting a lightweight yet durable all-aluminum frame, rack mounts, and ladder, the tent is made from a heavy-duty 280g poly-cotton fabric. The 420D polyester Oxford rainfly keeps the weather securely out, while the upper air vents and three screened windows give excellent breathability. An extra-tough 1,000D zip on driving cover is included with your purchase.
Easy to use, highly durable, and great value for money, if you are looking for a rooftop tent for SUV RVing, you should definitely check this model out.
Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent
Designed specifically with JK Wrangler owners in mind, as long as you have a compatible roof rack, the Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop tent can be used with a variety of vehicles. It would even make a great rooftop tent for your camper.
Available in a standard tent size, this rooftop tent can comfortably sleep two thanks to its two-inch-thick full mattress complete with a removable cover. With an open size of 95 inches wide by 56 inches, measuring 51 inches at its highest point, there’s plenty of room, although you can also purchase an additional 84-inch by 60-inch annex. The entire weight for the tent and its fixtures is 116.5 pounds.
This model is easy to install provided you have the right support on your roof. Setting it up and packing it down is very easy, taking just minutes. When you’re not using it, the heavy-duty 600GSM 500D PVC cover keeps your tent securely protected, complete with UV-resistant straps and a zipper.
Made from 600D rip-stop polyester, this durable rooftop tent benefits from a waterproof 420D flysheet complete with spring steel tension rods and poles. You won’t need to worry about it leaking as this model is water-column tested at 1500mm to ensure it’s able to withstand heavy rain. The tent poles are made from lightweight, durable anodized aluminum and the aluminum telescoping ladder is a generous 18 inches wide and extends up to 6.5 feet.
Complete with an LED light strip and 12V power adapter, plus a sunroof window for stargazing, this rooftop tent makes an excellent choice. Its wide range of features and superior weather resistance make it a highly popular model.
Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent
If you are looking for a rooftop tent for occasional use, check out the Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent. Thanks to its tool-free vehicle mounts, it’s a cinch to detach from your tow vehicle or camper. This makes it ideal for summer vacation trips with the family when you need extra space.
At 56 inches wide by 96 inches long and 48 inches high, you’ll have all the space you need for two full-sized adults to comfortably stretch out. The 2.5-inch-thick foam mattress is wall-to-wall and comes complete with a removable cover for easy cleaning when your trip is over. The whole kit weighs in at 115 pounds and if you’re after extra space there’s a three-walled annex available as an extra.
Not only is this model easy to install, it’s also very easy to pitch, so you can be ready to settle down for the night in just a few minutes. For extra security when you’re off exploring or picking up supplies, this rooftop tent features SKS lock cores to ensure it stays securely locked to your rack. There is also a robust protective driving cover included.
Made from 210D nylon, this tent is designed to be lightweight and breathable, complete with a 210D nylon rainfly to keep you dry. All windows have both solid and mesh panels plus zippered openings for extra ventilation. The lightweight aluminum poles are extra sturdy and preset for an even faster setup.
With its unique Poler furry camo pattern in green, this rooftop tent blends in yet will certainly turn heads. A great addition to your RVing equipment for extra sleeping quarters or for a weekend off-roading.
Tepui HyBox 2-Person Rooftop Tent & Cargo Box
This ingenious rooftop system by Tepui converts from a cargo box to a rooftop tent, all contained in an easy-access hardshell. Ideal for transporting extra equipment on your winter camping trip, as well as when your travel trailer is at maximum capacity and you need extra sleeping space.
This rooftop tent can accommodate two adults. However, one of the drawbacks of its clever conversion system is that you do lose a little in size, with a sleeping footprint of 51 inches by 81 inches. For your comfort, a 40-pound 2.5-inch thick mattress with a removable cotton cover fills the entire base. Although you should bear in mind that this is one of the heavier options around, weighing in at a total of 177 pounds.
Given its extra weight, this model can be tricky to get on and off your vehicle, definitely requiring a couple of pairs of hands to help out. When you’re using it as a cargo box, you’ll need to remove the mattress to get the full 12 inches of height to fill, for a total of 23 cubic feet and a maximum of 70 pounds cargo weight. The extra-protective ABS hardshell is aerodynamic and mounts directly onto your rack or bars.
Made from 260g cotton and polyester with a waterproof rating of 3,000mm, this tent will keep you dry in all weathers. The four openings feature mesh screens for breathability and protection from insects. The telescoping ladder can be attached to either side and the canopy doors feature awnings for extra weather protection.
If you regularly need a cargo box and don’t mind a smaller, lower rooftop tent with a higher price tag, then this hybrid model could be just what you’re looking for.
Tepui Explorer Ayer Rooftop Tent
The Explorer Ayer Rooftop Tent by Tepui has been specially designed for year-round camping. A great choice for wilderness RVing with smaller SUVs or for use with your camper or tow vehicle, if you make frequent trips to the great outdoors throughout the year then this could be your best option.
Great for single person use or couples, it is less suitable for sharing with someone that you’re not in a close relationship with due to its compact sleeping footprint of 84 inches by 48 inches. Also, if you’re over 5 foot 11, you may find it a little short. The included high-density 2.5-inch foam mattress is comfortable and comes with a cotton cover. While its opened height of 39 inches is a little restrictive, it’s fine for just sleeping.
Weighing a total of 105 pounds, this is a lightweight model, for lower fuel costs and an easier installation. When closed it measures just 42 inches by 48 inches, with a low 11-inch profile for improved aerodynamics. It also comes with a highly durable 1,000g PVC travel cover for protection when you’re driving.
Thanks to its 600D ripstop fabric with a water, UV, and mold resistant coating, this tent will protect you in all weathers and still look good years down the line. The rainfly is a PU-coated, highly durable 420D polyester Oxford fabric to ensure you stay dry. Mesh panels provide good airflow, while keeping mosquitos firmly out. You can also switch out this rooftop tent’s canopy for a different one, available as an additional purchase.
If you are looking for a compact rooftop tent, the Adventurer makes a smart choice for year-round camping.
Tepui Ruggedized Autana Rooftop Tent
If you are looking for a rooftop tent specifically for off-roading and all of those backcountry places you can’t easily take your travel trailer to, then the Ruggedized Autana Rooftop Tent will be your top buy. Created for four-season camping with 4×4 trailers or off-road rigs, this tent is designed to withstand whatever the trail and the weather can throw at it.
With its private extended canopy entrance and removable annex, this rooftop tent is a good size and has plenty of space to store your gear. With a sleeping footprint of 96 inches by 56 inches, it is larger than most and comes complete with a high-density foam mattress. The included anti-condensation pad helps to prevent moisture build-up under your mattress.
For extra durability and protection, this model benefits from diamond plate base panels to keep the underside of your tent in good shape even in rough conditions. When it’s not in use, the 1,000D PVC travel cover keeps it safely stored and clean. Weighing a total of 192 pounds, as you would expect for an extra durable model, this one is much heavier than your average rooftop tent which can make installation a little more complicated.
Made from 600D ripstop fabric with a water-resistant ventile coating, the canopy is also UV and mold-resistant. The durable 420D polyester rainfly is PU-coated and features taped seams for extra reliability in wet weather. Screened sky panels make for great stargazing, while the large internal pockets and anchor points allow you to store and organize your gear.
Complete with a heavy gauge wrapped internal frame for extra durability, dual rainfly support rods, and tie-down anchor points, this all-season rooftop tent is ready for adventure.
Front Runner Rooftop Tent
One of the lightest rooftop tents around with an ultra-low folded profile for improved aerodynamics and handling, the Front Runner Rooftop Tent is a popular, surprisingly roomy model.
It can comfortably sleep two full-sized adults and has a generous 96-inch long by 51-inch wide interior, reaching a height of 46 inches at its peak. It comes with a 2.25-inch-thick high-density PU foam mattress complete with a washable polyester Oxford fabric cover.
At just 13-inches high when folded with a low total weight of 93 pounds, this low profile, lightweight rooftop tent is a good choice if you are going to be making a lot of long road trips with your tent. A heavy-duty PVC cover is included and once installed, the tent opens in one smooth motion for an almost instantaneous set up.
Made from a durable 600D ripstop poly-cotton fabric, the waterproof rainfly features handy side-release buckles for rapid deployment. Another great design feature is the durable aluminum base that is insulated with a dense foam core – ideal for keeping out the cold. Zippered skylight vent windows provide extra breathability when needed and two hanging pockets give you good storage space for your essentials.
If you want a low profile, lightweight rooftop tent for frequent camping trips with your trailer or tow vehicle, this aerodynamic model will cost you less in increased fuel consumption than other more bulky, heavier versions.
TMB Universal Pop Up Roof Tent for Cars Trucks SUVs
If you are looking for a hardshell model, then make sure you take a look at the Universal Pop Up Roof Tent by TMB. It’s designed to be compatible with most vehicles equipped with rails and crossbars. What’s more, it is also extremely easy and very fast to set up on arrival at your destination.
Suitable for up to two adults, this rooftop tent comes with a pre-installed two-inch-thick foam mattress. While it is not the largest internally at 82 inches by 47 inches, with just 34 inches in height, it is still large enough for a good night’s sleep.
As it’s a hardshell, you get superior protection when you’re on the road and better aerodynamics, especially so here, given its low 14-inch profile. Aside from less drag, improved fuel efficiency, and better handling, this rooftop tent is also very easy to set up. The assisted arms raise your tent in just seconds and you can even store your bedding inside, so you’ll be all set for a great night’s sleep.
At 180 pounds, this is a fairly heavy unit nonetheless which can make installation more difficult. Plus you’ll have to make sure that your vehicle or trailer can definitely take its full weight.
Made with a polyester canvas complete with an Oxford PU coating and a PU plastic shell, this model is effective in keeping out the rain. The frame is made with durable aluminum and all four openings feature mesh and solid panels complete with inner and outer zippers for easy closure.
While it is pretty heavy, this model is a good price for a hardshell rooftop tent and it is very easy to use.
Raptor Series Camping Rooftop Tent with Ladder
Looking for a budget-priced small rooftop tent for your camper? The Raptor Series Camping Rooftop Tent is an affordable model that fits all roof racks with a 160-pound-and-over weight rating. Definitely one to bear in mind if you want to increase your trailer’s sleeping capacity but are on a tight budget.
This rooftop tent sleeps up to two and comes with a high-density foam full mattress measuring 78 inches by 48 inches. As it’s a little on the small side, double-check that these measurements will work for you.
When opened, this tent has a maximum height at the doorway of 48.5 inches and externally measures 83.5 by 52 inches. It folds down to an impressively compact 11 inches, so it won’t affect your driving too much, with a minimal amount of drag. A heavy-duty cover is included to protect your tent when it’s not in use.
On the downside, it does weigh 159 pounds, so make sure that your rack is compatible and bear in mind that the frame is seven feet long, so you will have to consider any possible overhang. While it is not particularly difficult to fit, the instructions are very poor and not very well translated.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information on this tent’s specifics. Made with a waterproof fabric, it will keep the wet out, but you’ll have to take care that there is not too much pooling going on over the awning as it tends to sag in the middle when it rains. The built-in air vents help with humidity and the door can be rolled and tied up for extra airflow.
Complete with mounting fixtures and an eight-foot aluminum telescopic ladder, this handy rooftop tent makes a good budget buy to increase your trailer’s capacity or for trips off-roading without your travel trailer.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Rooftop Tent
There’s a lot to consider when buying a new rooftop tent. Here’s what you should be looking out for to make sure that you order the right model for your needs.
|Some more great RV Camping gear guides|
|Camper Screen Room|
Rooftop tents don’t come cheap. Even entry-level budget-priced models are still a lot more expensive than your standard ground tent, so don’t expect to find a great selection under $1,000. Most budget soft shell models will be priced between $1,000-$2,500. If you are looking for a luxury hard shell model, you can easily pay over $3,000.
Are rooftop tents worth it? It all depends on your needs and anticipated usage. If you really need the extra sleeping space and are adding one to your trailer, then yes, they are. Of course, they are much cheaper than buying a larger trailer. Plus, they allow you to maintain privacy with separate sleeping quarters. You can also attach one to your tow vehicle to explore the backcountry without your travel trailer, so they give you great flexibility.
Rooftop tents also tend to hold their value as they are such a useful, in-demand item. So, even if you decide to upgrade a year or two down the line, provided you’ve taken good care of your rooftop tent, you will probably be able to sell it on for a decent amount.
It is really important to check your vehicle compatibility before you order! You’ll need to know what your roof rack’s maximum load is, as well as your vehicle’s length, and whether you’ll need cross bars. Make sure your rack has a dynamic weight capacity equal to or above that of your tent.
If you are uncertain, we recommend reaching out to the manufacturer. They should get back to you with a definite answer. It is also a good way to test the water. A proactive customer service team based in the US will make things a lot easier should you have any issues with your rooftop tent. If they’re not going to return up your call, best to find that out now before you hit buy.
Attachment, Construction, and Ease of Installation
Your rooftop tent will come with attachments so you can fix it onto your rack. Some have universal attachment points that will work with all types of bars.
Others may have different types, so you can fit the best one accordingly. Depending on where you tend to drive, you may want to look out for a model with secure locking attachments to prevent theft.
While most models should fit fairly easily, often the main problem is getting your rooftop tent up where it needs to be. With some models weighing almost 200 lbs, given their large footprint, it can be a struggle getting them into place. So make sure you have help to hand.
Construction varies between different brands and models. Most utilize an aluminum frame on a fold out base or a pop-up style. Telescopic ladders collapse to a manageable size to store inside your folded up tent.
Fabric can vary a lot. Some manufacturers opt for a polyester tent fabric, while others go for a more durable but heavier cotton and polyester blend. For extra longevity, look out for modes that are mold and UV-resistant.
While your tent’s fabric will usually have some degree of water-resistance, you will want to put over the accompanying flysheet once the clouds start to roll in. To be certain that you’ll wake up warm and dry, especially if you tend to go winter camping, look out for models that are tested with a waterproof rating.
Even if your tent excels at keeping water out, it may also keep moisture in. When the warm air in your tent hits the cold fabric on a winter night it can condense and form droplets.
Make sure you have adequate ventilation and invest in an anti-condensation mat for your mattress, it will make your trip much more comfortable.
As with any big purchase, it is reassuring and highly advisable to buy from a big brand. While this can bump your price up more, you don’t want to end up with mediocre customer service and having to ship back your tent at your own expense.
Tepui is one of the biggest names in the rooftop tent market, as are iKamper, Tuff Stuff, and Smittybilt. Always check out any available warranties and what add-ons are available for purchase in case your needs change at a later date.
Size and Weight
You’ll need to consider your rooftop tent’s internal size, as well as its weight and stored measurements.
Check out your tent’s sleeping footprint, or the pre-installed mattress dimensions. This will give you the best figures for your sleeping quarters. Some manufacturers make it really easy by using standard-sized mattresses, usually doubles. If you are not going to be sleeping solo and aren’t sure if you’ll have enough space, measure out the dimensions at home and try them out for size.
If you would like more space for your gear, an extra person, or privacy for getting changed, then you could look at purchasing an annex for your rooftop tent. They usually simply zip on to the part that overhangs, giving you a compact vestibule area that’s great for dining in bad weather or just housing your gear.
Stored size is important too. Aside from fitting on your vehicle, you’ll also want to check out your rooftop tent’s profile and weight. These two factors can make a big difference to your fuel efficiency and how your drive handles with your tent on board. Low profile, lightweight models are the most desirable, reducing drag with little impairment to your handling and fuel efficiency.
Lightweight, low profile models will cost more, but you’ll save on fuel. Extra slim versions can be under 10 inches high, while anything under 100 pounds is considered lightweight.
Hardshell or Softshell
Hardshells are generally more desirable, but they are also a lot more expensive, often double the price of a budget softshell.
Hardshells provide better protection for your tent when you’re on the road. They also look better and are more aerodynamic. Setting up and folding away your rooftop tent is also much easier and faster with a hardshell.
However, despite all of these advantages, softshells still make a great purchase and while it’s true that putting the cover on when you’re ready to hit the road can take a while, they are very quick and easy to set up.
Seeing as you can get a lot more comfortable softshell models for less money, understandably, a lot of people choose to go with a softshell. Especially if it’s their first rooftop tent or they’re on a budget.
Here are some of the many extra features that you might like to keep an eye out for when choosing your rooftop tent:
Mattress & cover – check that your pre-installed mattress is thick enough, at least two inches, and that it has a washable cover so you can keep it clean. You may also want to want to treat yourself to a comforter, especially if you’re a side sleeper.
Anti-condensation pad – often an extra, but occasionally included, you’ll be surprised how effective these are at keeping your mattress free from excess humidity.
Storage – you will definitely want a few pockets, an external one for your footwear in particular, as well as a few internal ones for your essentials.
Lighting – while you will undoubtedly have your own lighting solutions, purchasing a rooftop tent with lighting makes it easy if you ever decide to take it for a trip without your travel trailer.
Ladder – if you are worried about getting up and down the ladder into your tent, then look for special wide versions. They make it much easier to get your feet on the rungs, which can make you feel more secure.
Ventilation – vents are a must unless you want to sleep with your windows open.
Windows – make sure your windows have mesh screens to protect you from mosquito bites. For privacy and a vacation lie in, you’ll want solid zippered panels too.
Skylights – there’s nothing quite like stargazing in the vast wilderness. Make the most of your time in the great outdoors and get a rooftop tent with a skylight for magical nights watching the heavens above.
There has never been a better time to treat yourself to a rooftop tent. With so many excellent models available on the market, you’re sure to find one that’s just right for your needs in our top-rated rooftop tent reviews.
If you’re struggling to make up your mind, why not take a second look at the Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent? With the included annex, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You also get a comfortably thick foam mattress and plenty of space for two to sleep comfortably. With three screen windows, upper air vents and a 1,000D driving cover, we can’t get over how good this deal is.
If you’d prefer a hardshell rooftop tent but don’t want to pay over the odds, you should definitely reconsider the TMB Universal Pop Up Rooftent. It sets up in seconds, features mesh and solid panels on all four openings, and comes complete with a foam mattress.
If you love adventure but don’t want to compromise on a large and comfortable bed, the Tepui Ruggedized Autana Rooftop Tent is pretty much unbeatable. It has a generous sleeping area complete with a high-density foam mattress and anti-condensation pad included. You’ll also have plenty of space for your gear or to house your pets with the removable annex and extended canopy entrance.
There are also zippered screen sky panels for late-night stargazing, large internal storage pockets, plus a robust base and tie-down anchor points. Everything you need for your next adventure.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Rooftop Tents
- 1.1 Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room
- 1.2 Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent
- 1.3 Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent
- 1.4 Tepui HyBox 2-Person Rooftop Tent & Cargo Box
- 1.5 Tepui Explorer Ayer Rooftop Tent
- 1.6 Tepui Ruggedized Autana Rooftop Tent
- 1.7 Front Runner Rooftop Tent
- 1.8 TMB Universal Pop Up Roof Tent for Cars Trucks SUVs
- 1.9 Raptor Series Camping Rooftop Tent with Ladder
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Rooftop Tent
- 3 Final Thoughts