Are All Roof Top Tents the Same? What You Need To Know


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When you’re going camping, you want to experience the best of both worlds, such as roughing it and being comfortable at the same time. However, most normal tents that go on the ground make it difficult to stay dry at times. But what about rooftop tents, and are they all the same?

Not all rooftop tents are the same. While they may look similar, there are subtle differences between brands. Some are constructed better, some have better materials, and others have different features. You should carefully research the brand and style of tent you want to buy.

It can be hard to know what tent you should purchase, so read on for a handy guide about how to select the right tent for you.


What Is a Roof Top Tent?

A rooftop tent is a tent that sits on top of your car. After setting it up, you can sleep well above the ground and out of harm’s way. They look identical to other tents, but they sit on top of your car. Rooftop tents are great for anyone who wants to sleep up off the ground. 

There are several strategic benefits to having a rooftop tent:

  • It prevents animals and bugs from getting into your tent and can secure you as well. 
  • You can keep your belongings with you and stay on top of your car. This way, you can keep an eye on your vehicle and everything wherein.
  • These are also great for when you want to camp and don’t have a lot of space. All you have to do is park your car, and you can get a campsite prepared without wasting valuable land. 
  • A rooftop tent can save you valuable space inside your car. Packed tents can be a real space waster, so rooftop tents stop that at the source. You can fit more survival gear in your car this way.

Storage space isn’t the only reason these tents are excellent to use, as sometimes, you aren’t in an area where you can set up a traditional tent. 

For example, if you are on rocky terrain or a steep incline, there likely won’t be a place to formally camp. All you have to do is find a spot to park your car, and you can have a place to sleep.


How To Tell When a Roof Top Tent Is Different

Rooftop tents are exciting, and there are some key ways you can look at them and see what makes one different from the other. If you study the pictures and descriptions, you can find differences in materials, designs, and features.

Let’s take a look at these differences.

Different Materials

Some of the rooftop tents are made with different materials from each other. These differences can make a tent waterproof, insulated from the heat or cold, and change the overall weight of the tent itself.

However, these materials can also make the tent harder to set up. More rigid and less flexible fabric can be hard to work with, and it can even make things dangerous. 

If you have to handle a tent roughly, you could accidentally let go of something and get hit with a tension pole. Alternatively, a complex setup process could make the tent more stable and less likely to fall apart. 

Different Design

Some tents are designed for one to two people, while others are designed for families. These tents are going to look very different from each other.

Not only that, but some stay small with no overhang from the top of your car, and others will be as large as ground-based tents. This is great if you have a smaller car and still want the benefits of a rooftop tent. 

These subtle design differences can make these tents even harder to set up or easier. It all depends on how the tent has been constructed.

You’ll need to consider that when you select your rooftop tent. A more challenging tent could make things more dangerous for the person setting it up, whereas a more accessible rooftop tent could make it simple for any family member to pitch in.

Different Features

The key to having different rooftop tents is to have all kinds of additional features available. Some lay flat, whereas others are meant to be bulkier and take up more space. 

All of these are going to be suitable for different types of situations. These features will make tents hardier than others of the same style and give you the best results. Companies can reinforce rooftop tents to stand up to snowy climates or high winds, and they can come with hard tops or soft tops. 

These all have strategic benefits. 

For example, if there are going to be exceptionally high winds, a rooftop tent that isn’t fully battened down will not be a good choice. Hard roof top tents will be best for rainy or snowy camping trips. 

Soft rooftop tents are great for warmer climates and will give you better air circulation.


Finding the Same Roof Top Tent

There are a startling amount of similar rooftop tents out there. 

Several factors cause this:

  • They were produced in the same factory
  • Knock-offs exist. 
  • There are only so many ways you can make a rooftop tent look different and functional.

If you find identical rooftop tents, there isn’t much you can do. Many companies use typical designs, and there isn’t always somewhere to report copyright infringement. 

Sometimes, some knock-offs exist. Top-rated models may be ripped off by other companies who want to take advantage of the push behind them, and they may make false claims about their version to mimic a more popular version.

Many companies and retailers source from the same factories and manufacturers. This is often cheaper, and the factories can mass-produce the same product. Carefully review your tent before purchasing and compare it with other tents on the market.


Final Thoughts

Choosing the right rooftop tent for you can be difficult. There are many identical models on the market, and some are made with inferior materials. You have to consider your personal needs and what you will be using the tent for.

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Martin

As an independent traveler, I try to share my positive and negative observations about van life as well as tips and tricks to make your life on the road easier. I travel and work in my old RV and would greatly appreciate a coffee from you if you find my content useful.

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