Essential Buyers Guide 2021: Best Roof Top Tents

Camping is a popular summer activity for nearly 80 million people. With the convenience of rooftop tents, more people discover the joys associated with camping in the great outdoors.

Over the years, many innovations have been made in the camping industry. There are many options, from portable showers and RV levelers to outdoor TVs to small campers that can be towed by a motorcycle. Rooftop tents are one of the most innovative developments currently on the market.

Offroad Power Products stocks a wide range of accessories and rooftop tents. To ensure that we provide only the highest quality products to our customers, we take the time to thoroughly test them. We want our customers to find the best products for their lifestyles and needs.

We created this essential buying guide for roof-top tents. Continue reading to find out more about these amazing tents and how you can choose the right one for your next camping trip.

What is a Rooftop Tent?

Roof top tents, as you might guess based on their name, are tents that can be attached to the roof of a vehicle. They come in many sizes and styles, just like traditional tents. Some manufacturers, such as ARB, also come with optional accessories and add-on packages that can help take your camping trips to new heights.

Rooftop Tents: The Pros and the Cons

There are benefits and drawbacks to every product that you consider buying. Rooftop tents are no exception. Rooftop tents offer many benefits, but they also have some drawbacks.

Rooftop Tents: Benefits

Rooftop tents have many advantages. They keep you elevated from the ground, away from any unwanted invaders that might hinder your enjoyment of the trip. They could include coyotes, spiders, skunks and snakes depending on where you are camping and the local wildlife. There are other benefits as well.


Truck roof tents were designed with simplicity in mind. These tents are quick and easy to set up and take down. These tents don't require you to spend a lot of time or effort in preparing your campsite. Many tents have built-in features that make it easier to set up.

Many tents come with integrated mattresses or other amenities. This makes it easier to get a tent set up for its occupants. The more features that a roof tent has, the easier it is to pack, unpack and repack. Car top tents can also simplify camping.


A rooftop tent can transform any area into a great campsite. You can put up camp if you have enough space to park your car. The entire country is open to you, from designated campgrounds to remote forest areas and beyond. Camping in certain areas is subject to some rules and regulations.

High-quality rooftop tents are also made from stronger materials than the ground models. They will withstand the elements better than their ground counterparts. You can camp comfortably in these tents even on nights you don't want to be outside.

Some roof tents, including models offered by SMRT Tents, feature tough outer shells to protect them on the go. Because they are smaller in profile, they don't take up much space. You can easily camp in tight spots with them.

Stay Dry

You can also set up camp on your vehicle's roof to avoid flooding in low-lying regions. Summer storms can dump heavy rain and cause rivers and lakes to rise. This can happen in the middle night and leave you and your belongings inside a tent on the ground.

This could put a damper on your camping experience. However, a roof tent will not allow water to seep into the tent. It doesn't matter if the tent is washed away in the middle of the night. Roof tents are designed to block the rain and can be raised high enough that mild flooding will not affect them.

Thule Tepui Rooftop Tent Autana with Annex

Rooftop Tent Advantages

Rooftop tents have many advantages but they also have their flaws. There are also some disadvantages. These should also be considered.


The main problem with car roof tents is the high price. While you can get conventional tents as low as $40, rooftop tents are more expensive. This is due to the more durable materials and extra hardware that are required to make them functional and safe.

They stay on the vehicle

The downside to vehicle top tents is their insistence on being on top of your vehicle when you're not using them. This can reduce the vehicle's fuel economy and make it more difficult to drive in windy conditions. Although you can remove the tents and store them, it takes some time and energy. You'll need to put them back in place when you go camping again.

Rooftop tent owners consider the additional weight of the tent to be a fair compromise to the inconveniences of constantly changing and removing them. This is especially true if you consider all the benefits of having your truck top tent on the vehicle in case you feel the urge to go camping.

Installing a Rooftop Tent on Your Car or Truck

A tent that is meant to be placed on top of a vehicle is not the same as one that will stay on the ground. You only need to think about how many people will be sleeping in the tent and how much room you would like to have. Rack tents also require other figures.

Roof Rack

To be able to store a rack tent, you will need a roof rack. You may be able find an aftermarket roof rack if your vehicle doesn't have one. Before you look at all the options for roof top tents, make sure it is professionally mounted.

Dimensions of the Roof

Second, measure the size of the roof where the pop-up tent will be placed. The roof's length and width should be measured. To be certain you are getting the measurements right, take them several times. Next, make sure you match the dimensions of any pop-up tents that you are looking at.

There are many truck roof tents available in a variety of sizes and shapes so you can find the right one for your vehicle. A tent that covers the entire roof of a Suburban won't fit a Mini Cooper. A smaller tent for your Suburban or any other large vehicle would be a disadvantage.

There are extensions platforms that can give you more space than your roof would allow. An arrangement like this will not allow you to squeeze more space out of it. To determine which roof tent is best for you, consider the size of the tent, your roof size, and any extensions.

Capacity for Weight

It is important to determine the vehicle's weight capacity, or how heavy a load, before you purchase a roof rack. Your vehicle may have a factory roof rack, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it can carry the additional weight of an SUV top tent with bedding and occupants.

The sticker on the driver's side door or owner's manual may contain the maximum roof weight of the vehicle. You can also contact the manufacturer to determine how heavy a load it can support. This is important for all vehicles, but especially if you plan to mount a car roof camping tent or roof rack on a vehicle without one.

Your Camping Preferences

Include your camping needs in the mix. Consider how many people are usually in your camping group. If you camp alone or as a couple, a small tent like those available from Front Runner should suffice. You may need an extended tent if camping is a group activity. To accommodate your needs, you might need to upgrade to larger vehicles.

There are many options for car camper tents available. Brands like 23ZERO offer several sizes and designs. You're likely to find the right one for you, regardless of what vehicle you have or what your expectations are for camping trips.

Regular Tents vs. Roof Top Tents

While we've already discussed some of the advantages of roof top tents over regular ones, there are many differences between the two. Conventional tents weigh a lot less than truck roof tents. This is especially true for hard shell roof tents. These tents are meant to be transported by cars and not people. Tents that are mounted on top of cars are stronger and made from thicker materials. They must be attached to a roof rack.

A regular tent is the best option if your vehicle can't handle the extra weight of a rack tent with occupants. A standard tent is the best choice for those who intend to hike long distances along trails that vehicles cannot access and set up camp on those trails. A roof top tent is a good option if you don't intend to sleep far from your vehicle.

Truck-Trailer-RV Overlanding

Rooftop Tents vs. trailers

You can take your tent with you on any trip, whether it's a trailer or a roof top tent. Both can be set up as you need it on long trips. This is where the similarities end.

Larger pull-behind campers offer more space for you to move about. These campers also have more amenities. A tent of any kind cannot accommodate multiple bedrooms, plenty of cabinet space, a stove and refrigerator, as well as a dining area and full bathroom. A trailer is the best choice if you love camping but still want the comforts of home.

Let's take a look at campers from another angle. It can be challenging to attach them to a vehicle's back. It can be difficult to navigate them on narrow roads, through heavy traffic and around parking lots.

You're familiar with the time and effort it takes to get a camper and truck into a campsite. You also need to ensure that the camper is straightened and in close proximity to power and water hookups so you can tap into the utilities. This alone is a task that can take many attempts. Another challenge is to level the camper and get the stabilizers in the right places. When it comes time to return home, you will need to reverse all of that.

A roof top tent will take care of all the hassles. You can simply drive to the location you want to camp, set up your tent, and then enjoy yourself. You can add a portable shower, extension platform or awnings to make it more complicated. Camping with a truck roof tent can be much simpler and less stressful than camping in a camper.

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Rooftop Tents For Overlanding

It is an extraordinary experience to go overland. You can go as far as you want and visit places that the public won't know. This is one of those adventures where the journey is as important as the destination. This type of trip is best suited for SUV top tents.

You need to be prepared for Overlanding if this is the type you want to do. These trips can be very tiring for your vehicle and any equipment that is mounted to it. That means hard top rooftop tents, like those available from Tepui and certain other companies, are best suited for off-roading and Overlanding. They will withstand all the hazards and challenges of Overlanding.

Rooftop Tents For Camping

Overlanding is more dangerous than standard camping trips. Car top tents used for traditional camping don't have to be as durable and rugged as those used for exploring new worlds far from civilization.

All high-quality truck tents made by trusted brands will withstand more abuse than regular camping tents. It's best to get hard-shell tents if you intend on off-roading for prime camping spots.

FAQs about Roof Top Tents

You probably have many questions. Rack tents aren’t as common as the standard variety, and they function a little differently. These tents have additional features that you should consider. Before you buy the right tent for your camping trip, we are here to help.

Can Rooftop Tents be fitted on any car?

You can fit rooftop tents on almost all cars, provided that they have a roof rack or are capable of supporting one. You should also ensure that your roof can withstand the additional weight of the tent and the contents.

How do Roof Top Tents Attach to Each Other?

Rooftop tents attach using special hardware to roof racks. Some come with their own hardware while others require that you purchase it separately. Make sure you ask about the hardware when you purchase a rack tent.

Are Roof Top Tents Secure?

Roof top tents can be safely used. Roof top tents are strong enough to withstand wind and can be attached to your vehicle. They won't blow away during your sleep or fall off the truck's top at night.

Are Roof Top Tents Waterproof

Rooftop tents are waterproof. They are more resistant to rain than standard tents.

Are Rooftop Tents Warm?

Rooftop tents are naturally warmer that standard tents. They are also better at keeping out wind, rain, cold, and snow.

How do I heat my truck tent?

To keep warm in a vantop tent, you can use any tent-safe heater. You can plug them into the vehicle's auxiliary power outlets. On cold days, you can bring along a portable generator.

How do roof top tents stay warm?

Rooftop tents are warmer than standard tents because they are made from thicker materials. This keeps wind and cold out, while keeping heat in. For additional protection from the cold, you can purchase insulated weatherproof covers.

What Can a Rooftop Tent Hold?

The length, width and height of a roof tent will determine how much it can hold. One tent can hold only one or two people, while others can accommodate several people with their basic camping gear.

What Weight can a Rooftop Tent Support?

Truck roof tents can hold up to 200 pounds. Some can hold up to 900 pounds. It all depends on the tent you use and how much weight your roof can hold.

What does a roof top tent do to my vehicle's driving style?

The way that vehicles drive is not affected by roof top tents. Due to the increased weight and aerodynamics of the tent, you might notice a slight change in the vehicle's gas mileage or how it handles at high speeds or windy days.

Are Rooftop Tents Available with Lights?

Car top tents don't usually come with integrated lighting. There are many lighting options that can be used with your tent. These include battery-powered lanterns and strings of outdoor lights.

What is the Best Rooftop Tent?

There are many great brands and models on the market for car top tents. We carry the best. The best tent for you will depend on your camping preferences, vehicle, and other factors.

What is the Price of Roof Top Tents

Roof top tent prices vary depending on brand, type, size and other factors.

What is the cost of roof top tents?

Rack tents are typically more expensive than standard camping tents. These tents can be purchased for as little as a few hundred to as much in the thousands.

What do I need to have a roof rach in order to put up a roof top tent?

A roof rack is required for roof tents. The tents attach to the roof rack so you won't be able to mount them.

Where can you store a roof top tent?

When they aren't in use, most people leave their roof tents attached to their cars. You can remove it if you wish.

Enjoy the Best Camping Trips With Roof Top Tents

Roof tents can be an alternative to pull-behind campers and traditional tents. Offroad Power Products offers a wide range of truck-top tents and accessories that will help you make your camping trips more enjoyable. Check out our selection and see what interests you. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or for help with choosing the perfect rack tent to suit your camping needs.

List of the Best Rooftop Tents for 2021

These are the Roof Top Tentst we recommend. These truck tents were used with our rigs in the Inland Northwest, and some of them have been used by our staff.

SMRT Summit Suite Roof Top Tent

SMRT Summit Suite Roof Top Tent $3,395.00

This is the summit tent. The Summit Suite is our most innovative rooftop tent. It's strong, simple to use, and easy to access.

The Summit Suite's minimalist design makes it the most feature-rich and slimmest rooftop tent. Summit Suite makes tenting easy and smart, so you can camp smart.

Construction of a full aluminum shell

The Summit Suite's aluminum shell construction will protect your investment. For ultimate protection, this shell is strong and resistant to puncture.

It's easy to use

Our quickest access yet! Summit Suite has an elastic cord that pulls the fabric in as you close, allowing for seamless packing.

Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3

Tepui Kukenam Rooftop Tent
Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3

Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Roof Top Tent $1,899.95

Tepui is the leader in rooftop tents, with some of their finest. It is a specialist in rooftop tents, and it shows. The Kukenam can be used by 2 adults, but it can also accommodate 3 persons.

All Tepui tents are made with durable materials and have mold-resistant liners. To protect you from harsh weather conditions, the Kukenam includes a rain fly.

This tent is great for 2-3 people and it's well-built from a trusted brand.

An annex to match is available separately

  • The spacious A-frame design provides ample head space to fully relax in the tent, take in the view from large side windows and sit back.
  • Protective 600D ripstop ventilated poly-cotton material ensures that you are protected from the rain and wind.
  • All windows and doors should have tight, no-see-um mosquito nets
  • Four large pockets inside for gear storage and accessories
  • It feels like you're sleeping at home with a 2-1/2 inch high-density foam mattress
  • Included is a standard 8ft-6in Telescoping Ladder. This eliminates the need for extensions to accommodate large or heavy vehicles.
  • Include universal mounting brackets for mounting most roof racks and after-market roof bars
  • For more information, be sure to check out the Setup Video or Installation Video.

Tepui Low Pro 3 Rooftop Tent

Tepui Low-Pro 3 Roof Top Tent, $1,999.95

Tepui's Low Pro is a benchmark for aerodynamic, streamlined rooftop tent profiles. Tepui's Low-Pro roof tent is the smallest and lightest. The Low-Pro features a new canopy design and top-of-the-line base materials. Tepui TEC* composite bases are made from cellulized thermoplastics that are stronger and more recyclable. The Low-Pro model comes with a new range of canopy options thanks to our ZipperGimp.

  • Lowest profile: At 7'', this softshell roof tent is the smallest on the market.
  • Tepui TEC Composite Base Lightweight meets indestructible.
  • Reengineered Design The sleek, curved canopy top offers all the benefits and conveniences of an A-frame design with a modern look.
  • Canopy All-new, light-weight material that provides all-season protection

*Thermoplastic Engineered Construction

23 Zero Walkabout 56 roof top tent

23 Zero Walkabout 56 Roof Top Tent, $1,899.00

This tent is great for all weather and can accommodate two adults. The tent has a large double bed measuring 56x96x96 inches and a tough canvas skin that can be used for Overlanding or all-season camping.

Made from high-density foam, the mattress comes with a waterproof base. An Annex and other accessories are available.

  • 2+1 Person Sleeping Capacity
  • Double Bed - 56"x96" Sleeping Area
  • 260/280GSM Ripstop canvas
  • 4 Season Comfort
  • 3" Thick Sleep Comfort high-density foam cotton top mattress with waterproof base.
  • Weight: 130 lb
  • With the right roof rack, it will fit larger vehicles.
  • The accessories and annexes shown in the photo are optional and not included in the tent
  • 2-year warranty

Front Runner Roof Top Tent

Front Runner Roof Top Tent, $1,146.00

  • Mounts to your Front Runner Roof Rack's top for convenient shelter wherever you go.
  • Comfortably sleeps 2+
  • For instant access to your bedroom, open it in one smooth motion.
  • It is lighter than any other similar rooftop sleeping solution on the market today and weighs only 43kg.
  • Tent body made of durable, water-repellent 260g polycotton ripstop fabric
  • Rainfly with full coverage made of waterproof, UV-resistant 400d Polyester oxford fabric. Side-release buckles make it easy to remove or install as quickly as you need.
  • A sturdy foundation with an aluminum frame and sheeting.
  • Comfortable high-density foam mattress (6cm/2.25'' thick) covered with a washable, mildew-resistant polyester Oxford fabric.
  • The roof's skylight vent windows can be opened to allow fresh air, sun, or starlight, or they can be closed to trap heat and protect from the elements.
  • Side window privacy panels can be opened by sliding upwards.
  • Two hanging pockets offer plenty of storage space for personal items (34cmx22cm/ 13.5'’x 8.5 '').).
  • Protects your tent during transport and storage with a durable, PVC-coated nylon tent cover.
  • Mounting tracks are included and can be mounted either front-to-back or sideways depending on your requirements.
  • All hardware and universal mounting plates included.
  • Upgrade for easier mounting and dismounting using our Quick Release Tent Mount Kit.
    Add convenient shelter underneath with our Roof Top Tent Annex which slides easily into the channel of the tent base.
  • Includes sliding aluminum ladder
  • Maximum weight limit for a ladder: 180kg/400lbs

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