From GearJunkie.com By Berne Broudy
For overland adventures, life on the road, or just an elevated and more comfortable campout experience, here are our picks for the best rooftop tents.
If you’ve never slept in a rooftop tent, it’s hard to imagine how different it is from sleeping in a traditional tent. In general, we’ve found that rooftop tent (RTT) sleeping feels safer and more secure than sleeping in a tent on the ground.
Plus, RTTs offer a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, airflow that’s unheard of in a ground tent, protection (and peace of mind), and generally superior comfort for sleeping.
The drawbacks: Unlike a ground tent or a tow-behind camper, when your tent is on your roof, you have to break camp before you drive away. And, for those who make nighttime visits to the loo, there’s a ladder to negotiate between you and relief (unless you’re willing to get creative).
Also, if your dog gets to share the human bed, practice your one-handed ladder climb before you attempt to hoist them up. Multiply that effort if you have more than one dog.
Not every rooftop tent fits every vehicle or every budget. But some tents work for almost every car or truck. Rooftop tents are all pricier than even the plushest backpacking tent, but if you’re able to invest, you won’t regret it.
Best 3-Person Rooftop Tent: Yakima SkyRise HD
Two of the biggest barriers to entry for campers considering a rooftop tent are weight and price. Yakima’s SkyRise HD ($2,399) is not only relatively light, but it’s also competitively priced for a three-person tent. And it’s the most similar to backpacking and car camping tents that many backcountry enthusiasts are already familiar with.
The SkyRise is made from the same stuff as most tents you’d pitch on the ground. The 600D nylon tent body is light and breathable, with mesh ventilation panels that double as windows into the Milky Way. All the windows and the two skylights have solid and mesh panels that zip open for ventilation and views.
Much like a standard ground tent, the SkyRise’s waterproof fly is polyurethane-coated, and the tent can be set up with the fly on or off. Aluminum poles give the tent structure. They’re strong, pre-set, and easy to engage once you manually flip this tent open.
Consider a three-person tent if you’ll be sleeping with a child. This is also a good option if you’re a dog owner whose dog climbs ladders, or if you’re willing to shuttle your pooch into your rooftop nest. Everyone will appreciate the plush, 2.5-inch-thick, wall-to-wall mattress.
And after this tent gets some use, you’ll also appreciate that the mattress has a removable cover for easy cleaning. The SkyRise M is one of the easiest tents to mount on a roof rack. It goes on and comes off tool-free. It also locks to your roof with the same system used in all Yakima bars and mounts, SKS lock cores, which are included with the tent.
- Dimensions open: 58″ x 96″ x 48″
- Dimensions closed: 58″ x 48″ x 17″
- Sleeping footprint: 58″ x 96″
- Peak internal height: 48″
- Weight: 115 lbs.
- Static weight capacity: 600 lbs
- Minimum bar spread: 26″
- Super easy to mount
- Locks to your roof
- Lighter fabrics flap more on windy nights
For the rest of the GearJunkie’s top RTTs of 2022 CLICK HERE