Admit it, it looks a little strange. Precarious. The kind of thing that sounded like a good idea after a few beers one night but by the light of day you realize you’ve strapped a tent to your roof, 5 feet off the ground.
When the trend started to pick up steam a few years ago, we half expected it to be a passing fad, but the concept makes sense. It’s away from wild animals and in the summer you’ll experience 5-10 degree drop in temperature just by going above ground. The pop-up models are easier to set-up than a traditional tent and if you have kids, they’ll be thrilled to sleep “upstairs” in the “adventure zone” as we’ve started calling it in our family.
Here are some you should be paying attention to:
The Skycamp from iKamper just went through a massively suckicessful kickstarter, raising over $2 million on a $100,000 goal. They will be producing these tents in large numbers for the foreseeable future.
The Tentbox seems like one of the more straight forward tent to set up and break down, and fits on top of a smaller car.
The Wild Land brand is China based but has sales locations in the US. They put together a video showing the strength of the product under heavy wind, rain and cold that is worth a look.
Bundaberg Roof Top Tent:
They don’t just go small though, some of these tents can give you a lot of extra space with privacy, like this Bundaberg Rooftop Tent from 23Zero
And it’s great for kids! What child would not be incredibly psyched be able to climb a ladder up to their bed? Youtuber Mylo Fowler shows how easy it is to set up his truck’s Tepui tent with one hand while his kids look on.
The main drawback with these sorts of tents is that you remove the ability to place extra storage on top of your vehicle. Not a big deal on short trips, but on a longer road trip you will need to find alternative storage or travel light.
Most of these come with a mattress included, which is an improvement over the hard ground where you would normally be pitching your tent. James Baroud’s Explorer tent (pictured above) has a great breakdown of it’s features.