It is easy to see why roof tents are the go-to for overlanders, campers and caravans of all types and sizes. But, maybe it’s summer or spring, and many outdoor activities are there.
The UK has no shortage of places you can park your car with that roof tent and experience the beautiful views or invigorating nature activities away from the bustle of city life.
The convenience and ease of setting up guides have made campers thirst after this age. Any vehicle that can fit a roof rack can instantly carry a roof tent that is deployable by unfolding and extending the ladder.
There are dozens of great car roof tents available, ranging from low cost to durable to innovative all-weather options. The greatest thing about the car rooftop tents is that you can park anywhere and be ready with your setup in minutes.
The only worry you will have is to park your car on even ground, which is not so bad compared to other forms of camping, which are tedious. However, as an adventurer, energy is costly and wasting it is a big no.
Considerations when choosing a car roof tent
The best roof tent provides safety, comfort, durability, accessibility and affordability. The basis of affordability is informed by the personal budget for any great tent. Therefore, it is important to find a roof tentmaker who consistently commits to producing high-quality tents.
When selecting the right car roof tent for your adventures, there are factors to consider. Here is what you need to know.
Consider how often you will be using the tent. The cornerstone of purchasing the tent is if you plan on using it regularly. Otherwise, it will not be of any monumental purpose. This is the reason why durability is key when getting a rooftop tent.
Which tent works with your vehicle. Before buying your rooftop tent, check which tent goes with your vehicle, the rack specs that combine with your kind of car and to some, the aesthetic value it adds to your car.
Consider how they attach to your vehicle. The roof rack you choose can make or break a wonderful adventure. The floor bolts attachment and agility. Can they hold the size and weight of whichever rooftop tent you have chosen for your car? If you can answer this question without hesitation, you are ready for your adventure.
Consider associated costs. A rooftop tent alone cannot work without a combination of elements. Any setup elements associated with buying the tent are not directly passed to you. Knowing which additional tools are needed to hoist a rooftop tent on your car is key.
The ultimate guide to car roof tents for sale!
The association of the roof tent experience to its owners can be traced back to the love of treehouses and the throwback of free-spirited childhood moments experiences. It is primal and deeper in our psyches than we care to imagine. Elevation keeps us safer, dryer, warmer and in control of our chances.
Let’s look at some of the car roof tents for sale and how they apply to the kind of car you have.
Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3
Dimensions (Open): 96 x 56 x 52 in | Dimensions (Closed):48 x 56 x 12 in | Weight: 119 lb. | Shell Material: Polyester Cotton; ripstop fabric with water resistant ventilate coating; UV and mold resistant
When you discover the Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3, you will realize the power of a well-crafted soft shell car roof tent. The 3 in the name represents the number of people that can sleep. Any overlander loves to have this for their durability, quality build, and ease of setting up.
Watch Setup Video!
This model is also easily available and reasonably priced. Many would go for the hard shells because of their superior durability and protection. Still, the Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 is right where they are, minus the higher cost and some accessories like the memory foam mattress.
The inside has extra pockets which hold your accessories when living in.
Thule Tepui Foothill
Closed dimensions (WxLxH): 24 x 83 x 9.5 in | Open dimensions (WxLxH): 47 x 84 x 38 in | Shell Material: Ripstop polyester canopy, ripstop nylon rainfly | Total weight: 108 lb.
While most roof tents with a hard shell take a lot of space on the roof, Thule Tepui Foothill parks are small and allow for the inclusion of other fun cargo like bicycles and other extra luggage.
It is a two-person design that, when folded, occupies a 24-inch area in width, thus leaving space for mounting. In addition, you have a nice padded interior and windows that close for complete darkness. This also comes in handy with temperature retention, especially if you are camping in areas prone to low temperatures at night.
The Thule Tepui Foothill is a fairly built-in height, but some compromises must be made to compensate for its space. Nevertheless, this roof tent is fairly easy to mount and set up. At 108 pounds, it can fit on any car, big or small, and be carried without strain on the vehicle.
Watch Setup Video!
The Thule Tepui Foothill may not be the biggest in accommodation, but you can always overlook it if you have a lot of gear to carry to your adventures.
XTLLY Hard Shell Roof Tent Roof Tent Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent with Ladder and Solar Emergency Light
Closed dimensions (WxLxH): 210 x 130 x 20cm | Open dimensions (WxLxH): 210 x 130 x 150cm | Weight: 78 kg | Shell Material: aluminum alloy
While most hard-shell roof tents are made from ABS material, it’s refreshing to have a roof tent made from aluminium alloy that prints on the tent’s quality. To add to its validity, the pop-up roof tent opens with the support of the two hydraulic rods on each side.
A reinforced aluminium at the base enhances its strength and holds the roof tent down when the weather is unfavourable. Safety is the most adequate word we can use for this roof tent. Choose your roof rack to accommodate the maximum number of people the tent can carry and add the tent’s weight too. This way, you will avoid overbearing on the car’s roof.
A solar energy lamp is an added advantage at night, plus the retractable ladder which is part of keeping you safe. The roof tent is padded with a high elastic sponge to maximize comfort.
Roofnest Condor XL
Closed dimensions: 55 x 74 in| Open dimensions: 74 x 93 in | Weight: 160 lbs. | Shell Material: ABS plastic
This large party roof tent can accommodate four adults or two adults and two children comfortably. Its clamshell design gives you a roomy feeling when you climb past the entrance.
The roof nest has been so deliberate in this design that the tent has two windows on the sides and a skylight above. The window covers are converted into an awning with the tension poles, while the rainfly over the entrance can be extended into a large awning.
Some addons will come in handy like the interior LED rechargeable light and the two detachable pockets. In a little as 2 minutes, you will have deployed this tent which is one of the quickest timelines for any roof tent.
By camping standards, getting a roof tent with a 6 cm foam mattress, which is waterproof too, is like sleeping in a king-size bed in a hotel. So if you have never experienced a good sleep while camping, you must get this roof tent.
XTLLY Hard Shell Roof Tent Big Space, Outdoor Waterproof Offroad Camping 2-3 Person Pop Up Vehicle
Open dimensions: 160 x 205 x 130cm | Closed dimensions: 175 x 130 x 37cm | Weight: 64.2kg/76.1kg | Shell Material: ABS
Capacity: Two adults, two children, or three adults
This is another model of the pop-up hard shell car roof tent. The difference is that it can accommodate three adults or a family of two adults and two children.
Such a model will require a bigger vehicle, especially if you have a large family. This is because you would like a vehicle and roof rack that can comfortably take the length and weight of this roof tent. Therefore, the SUV, truck or van are highly recommended.
Don’t worry about the shell falling back as it’s supported by aluminium rods and a solid base. The windows are covered with a mesh cloth to protect you from external insects and bugs as you increase airflow.
If you want to extend the cover beyond what you have for the roof tent, zippers and Velcro are attached to the tent to enable you to make more room as storage or change room while you enjoy your camping experience.
Car roof tents for sale Buyer’s guide: What to look for.
- The quality of construction
Well, a roof tent is an expensive leisure project to undertake. We seriously get it. But costing more does not mean you get tempted to spend less too. Many may look affordable but compromise on quality.
We have chosen the ones that will give you value from the list above. The frame and fabric should be strong, so be sure. Also, some weak points like zippers and ladders should be durable and stable, respectively.
- What type of tent do you want?
This will be guided by personal preference and the size and build of your car since Car tents are variable. However, if you are planning on buying one, the list we have provided above will boost your knowledge and assist you in choosing wisely.
- Ease of setup
This becomes a major factor when you are tired after a journey; all you can think about is rest. You don’t want a tent that takes thirty minutes to set up. Since we are not setting anything on the ground, a good five to ten minutes is good for any tent.
- The weight of the tent
The weight of the car roof tent is considerably important. It needs not upset the weight ratio of your car versus what It can safely load. Planning for a weekend gateway will come into play more than if you are going away for a while.
If your tent is heavy, loading and removing it will be dreadful. Also, the rack on your car needs to be stable enough to carry the tent when you are sleeping in it.
- Choosing a budget
Any good car roof tent will not come cheaper than1800 pounds. So you may have to break your budget to consider buying one. But if you really look forward to owning one, you can choose the one you will have for a while. Look at the different costs and decide which you can afford.
- Hard-sided or soft-sided
The number one thing you will notice about a car roof tent is its outward appearance before it is spread. Why? You will have a soft-sided and/or a hard-sided cover. The hard-shelled tent provides additional protection and dynamics, making them expensive.
The soft-shelled ones are lighter and cheaper, and as a result, they look flimsy and take longer to erect. But that does not mean they are low in quality, just that they will lose agility faster than the hard-shelled ones.
- Size of the tent
The tent you will buy will determine the sleeping area you will have. This consideration becomes handy when you think of the number of people to sleep in it. It is also important since the roof tent you will mount on must be proportionate to your car. The bigger the tent, the heavier and more space is needed for storage when not using it. Think about that too!
Aeration is important to avoid suffocation and keep those temperatures down, especially during those warm nights. We have reviewed car roof tents that have good ventilation.
Many people may be sceptical about buying a car roof tent at this stage, but let me summarize. If you want to be practical about your camping or overland tours, then the roof tent is a great solution.
In addition, they offer reliability and comfort at the strike of one. So, despite having to accessorize for a comfortable experience, your car roof tent will be an added advantage.
Despite acquiring the best roof tent for your car, it goes beyond owning one. Any tent comes with its pros and cons despite offering durability and dynamism. We advise you to pick one best suited for your needs practically and aesthetically!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much do car roof tents cost?
Tents vary in price because of their character. There are hard- and soft-shelled roof tents which differ in price mainly because of those shells. Depending on your budget, you will find a car roof tent from 900- 20,000 £.
Is a car Roof Tent Right for You?
When mounted on any vehicle, a car roof tent is the most comfortable and practical item. They turn any vehicle into a camper in the least time possible. Despite being expensive, consider how less of a hustle they are at any point when camping and hiking come to call.