A roof top tent is one of the best ways to enjoy life on the open road without having to look for a campsite at night. When you have a roof top tent, your car or truck is your campsite.
That being said, roof top tents are quite complex pieces of gear. There’s a lot of technology that goes into building a quality roof top tent. Plus, you need to be sure that you have a model that works well for your vehicle and your camping needs.
To help you find the right model for your needs, we put together this ultimate guide to the best roof top tents. In this article, we’ll give you recommendations for our top ten favorite roof top tents on the market today. Then, we’ll even offer some of our top tips for finding the right roof top tent for your next road trip adventure.
If you don't have time for the details, here are our picks for the best rated roof top tents:
- 1Best For The Money - Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent
- 2Best Automatic Roof Top Tent - TMB Motorsports Pop Up
- 3Best Large Roof Top Tent - Tepui Explorer Autana
- 4Best Roof Top Tent Hard Shell - Pittman Outdoors AirBedz
- 5Best For Winter - Tepui Explorer Kukenam
- 6Best For Cars - Tepui Explorer Ayer
- 7Best 2 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Low Pro
- 8Best 3 Person Roof Top Tent - Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3
- 9Best 4 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Ruggedized Autana
- 10Best Under $1000 - Smittybilt Overlander
Table of Contents
- Best Roof Top Tent on the Market Reviews
- 1. Best For The Money - Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent
- 2. Best Automatic Roof Top Tent - TMB Motorsports Pop Up
- 3. Best Large Roof Top Tent - Tepui Explorer Autana
- 4. Best Roof Top Tent Hard Shell - Pittman Outdoors AirBedz
- 5. Best For Winter - Tepui Explorer Kukenam
- 6. Best For Cars - Tepui Explorer Ayer
- 7. Best 2 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Low Pro
- 8. Best 3 Person Roof Top Tent - Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3
- 9. Best 4 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Ruggedized Autana
- 10. Best Under $1000 - Smittybilt Overlander
- Roof Top Tent Buyer’s Guide
- The Verdict
Best Roof Top Tent on the Market Reviews
Here are our reviews of the top ten roof top tents on the market today:
1. Best For The Money - Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent
One of the simplest, yet most functional roof top tents on the market today, the Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent is a solid option for nearly any mid-to-large size vehicle. The tent is built using 210D nylon rainfly for maximum durability as well as mesh paneling for added ventilation on hot days.
The Skyrise comes in two size options (2 or 3 person) and can be fit to trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Inside, the tent has a 2.5” inch foam mattress across the floor for maximum comfort. Plus, you can easily mount the Skyrise without tools and set it up in just minutes to maximize your fun outside.
2. Best Automatic Roof Top Tent - TMB Motorsports Pop Up
The TMB Motorsports Pop Up is a hard shell roof top tent that’s perfect for any adventure. The tent can fit most vehicles, including crossovers, so long as the vehicle has roof rails and crossbars.
The tent is made from a thick, waterproof polyester canvas and a hard-sided aluminum shell for maximum weather protection. Included with the tent is a memory foam mattress, which is perfect for getting a great night’s sleep. Oh, and the best part? The TMB Motorsports Pop Up tent can be set up in just seconds. All you need to do is open the latches and crawl in!
3. Best Large Roof Top Tent - Tepui Explorer Autana
Designed with extended adventures in mind, the Tepui Explorer Autana is a fully-featured roof top tent for a truck or SUV. The Explorer Autana has a private canopy entrance and a removable annex to maximize your interior living space.
The tent uses an A-frame design that is spacious enough to sit fully upright for comfort at night. Made from super-high quality 600D ripstop polyester fabric, the Explorer Autana is durable enough for year-round use. It also has large windows for plentiful ventilation and a telescoping ladder for easy access.
4. Best Roof Top Tent Hard Shell - Pittman Outdoors AirBedz
A great mix of both performance and comfort, the Pittman Outdoors AirBedz is a premium hard shell roof top tent. This tent is made with an insulated and durable aluminum base that can be mounted onto most SUVs and trucks.
Quick and easy to set up, the AirBedz provides a spacious interior for added livability. It even includes a high-density foam mattress that’s perfect for a good night’s sleep. The best part? The AirBedz tent packs down into a super sleek hard shell box that maximizes your vehicle’s fuel efficiency on the road. What’s not to love?
5. Best For Winter - Tepui Explorer Kukenam
Made to accompany you wherever life on the open road might take you, the Tepui Explorer Kukenam is a classic A-frame rooftop tent that works with most roof racks. The Explorer Kukenam is made with 600D ripstop polyester and cotton fabrics for exceptional durability and year-round performance.
Inside the tent, there are four large internal pockets for gear storage, as well as a 2.5” high-density foam mattress. The windows and the doors of the Explorer Kukenam also have no-see-um mesh netting for added comfort when camping during the summer months.
6. Best For Cars - Tepui Explorer Ayer
Crafted for smaller SUVs and crossovers, the Tepui Explorer Ayer is a roof top tent that’s built with the same great fabrics found in all of Tepui’s tents. The Ayer uses an A-frame design to shed rain and snow while providing ample interior living space and a comfy 2.5in foam mattress.
Thanks to the included telescoping ladder, the Ayer is easy to access, even if you need to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night. The tent’s large interior pockets make gear organization a breeze, while the no-see-um mesh netting around the tent helps keep creepy crawlies out during the summer months.
7. Best 2 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Low Pro
As the lowest profile soft shell rooftop tent available today, the Tepui Low Pro is a revolutionary roof top tent for any car-based adventure. The Low Pro is highly aerodynamic and gas efficient, thanks to its streamlined 10” profile.
Plus, the tent is built on a TEC composite base, which helps cut weight for use on smaller vehicles. Inside, the Low Pro continues Tepui’s great legacy, with a comfortable 2.5” foam mattress and mesh netting for ample ventilation. Like all Tepui tents, the Low Pro also has a telescoping ladder for your convenience.
8. Best 3 Person Roof Top Tent - Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3
Built with comfort at the forefront, the Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 is a large roof top tent for three people. The Nomadic 3 is made using marine grade 600D rip-stop canvas with waterproof treatment for maximum weather resistance and is mounted onto marine grade stainless steel for durability.
The interior of the Nomadic 3 is very spacious as it extends far off the side of your vehicle. Inside the tent is an included 3” thick high-density foam mattress with a quilted cotton cover to maximize your comfort as you sleep. The tent even includes a tubular telescoping ladder for easy access for the whole group.
9. Best 4 Person Roof Top Tent - Tepui Ruggedized Autana
One of the world’s premier soft shell roof top tents, the Tepui Ruggedized Autana is a do-anything shelter for the most exciting of road trips. The Ruggedized Autana is a spacious 4 person tent with a diamond plate base for added durability and robustness.
The tent is made from ultra-durable ripstop fabric throughout for added weather-resistance in foul conditions. The Ruggedized Autana is best used on a truck or 4x4 trailer. Plus, it even includes an extended canopy with a removable annex to maximize your comfort and living space on the road.
10. Best Under $1000 - Smittybilt Overlander
The perfect rooftop tent for campers on a budget, the Smittybilt Overlander is a quality shelter that doesn’t break the bank. The Overlander can fit 2 or 3 people on its full-size foam mattress and has a large sunroof for stargazing at night.
Built using 600D heavy-duty fabrics, the Overlander is waterproof for those summertime storms. Each side of the Overlander even has mesh mosquito net windows for added breathability. If all of that wasn’t good enough, the Overlander even has interior LED strips to add some ambient night while you relax at night. Plus, it can also be combined with an optional annex to double your living space.
Roof Top Tent Buyer’s Guide
A roof top tent is a complex piece of gear. So, when you’re shopping around, keep these key factors in mind:
When it comes to roof top tents, the weight of the tent is incredibly important. This is because every vehicle has a max load that can be mounted to its roof. Smaller vehicles, like sedans and crossovers, can hold significantly less weight than an SUV or a truck.
So, before you buy a roof top tent, check your vehicle’s specifications to see how much it can hold. Don’t forget that you need to factor in the weight of you and your gear in addition to the weight of your tent when doing your calculations.
A tent’s capacity is the number of people it can comfortably sleep. Most roof top tents will be built for 2-3 people, while a few models can accommodate up to 4 people. When buying a roof top tent, you need to consider how many people you normally camp with so you can get a tent that’s large enough to fit everyone.
Ease of Installation
Some rooftop tents can be easily mounted to a car’s roof rack system, while others are much more complex. If you’re not comfortable installing a rooftop tent yourself, you might be able to pay the manufacturer to do it for you at a substantial fee.
However, unless you plan on permanently keeping your roof top tent attached to your car, you should know how to install it yourself. Thus, choosing a tent that’s easy to install can be quite important.
Ease of Set-Up
Once you arrive at your campsite for the night, you’ll have to set up your roof top tent. For some models, this is as simple as opening up the hard shell and waiting for the tent to pop open. Others are much more involved.
If you really hate setting up tents, you might want to choose a hard shell model, instead. Hard shells tend to be easier to set up than soft shell models since they have fewer moving parts.
A roof top tent can be one of the best investments you make if you love to take road trips. With the right roof top tent, you can camp wherever the open road takes you.
However, with something as expensive as a roof top tent, you want to be sure that you’re choosing the right model before you buy. So, when buying the best roof top tent, don’t forget that you need to find the right tent for both you and your vehicle.