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What To Know Before Buying a Rooftop Tent

If you love to go camping, you may want to consider investing in a rooftop tent. These handy shelters attach to the top of your car, making them easy to transport and freeing up room in the trunk for other toys and supplies. If the idea of saving space with a rooftop tent interests you, read about these things you need to know before buying a rooftop tent, so you know what to look for if and when you shop.

Which Variant?

Be careful—not all rooftop tents will fit the roof of your car. Some tents are made for use with particular models or sizes, which makes it crucial to ensure the tent you’re interested in is compatible with your vehicle.

Soft Shell vs. Hard Shell

There are two types of tents to choose from: soft-shell and hard-shell. Soft-shell tents are a lightweight option made from traditional tent materials like nylon and polyester. They’re held up by an internal pole. Hard-shell tents have a hard, typically aluminum, shell. They’re more expensive and heavier than soft-shell tents, but also more durable and easier to set up. 

Both options have their pros and cons: soft-shell tends to be better for those working with a limited budget, while hard-shell tents are a fantastic long-term investment for avid campers.

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You Need a Rack

To mount your tent, you’ll need a roof rack for your vehicle. If your vehicle comes pre-made with one, you can typically use that, but if you don’t have one or are using a bulkier tent, you’ll need to purchase a new and sturdy one. Different rooftop tents require different rack distances, so be sure to confirm what your tent calls for before purchasing a rack.

You May Need Help To Install

Many rooftop tents are heavy, and we don’t recommend trying to lift and install one alone. To make installation as easy as possible, recruit a helper or two. Not only will they make the process safer, but those extra hands can also help you attach the tent to your car faster.

With these tips for buying a rooftop tent on hand, you can shop for your rooftop tent feeling more informed and confident.