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Pros and Cons of Rooftop Tents

Updated on March 2, 2020

Enjoy the Outdoors with a Rooftop Tent

Front Runner Rooftop Tent
Front Runner Rooftop Tent

Pros of a Rooftop Tent

Have you ever wondered why people to choose to purchase a rooftop tent instead of camping out under the stores in a regular tent? Hikers and campers find many advantages with a rooftop tent that they do not get with a regular tent on the ground.

Benefits of Choosing a Rooftop Tent

  1. You do not have to sleep on the cold hard ground. For me this is the top reason to choose to sleep above ground. I cannot fathom how anyone can get a restful sleep in a regular tent. Even when I am sleeping on a mattress or in a sleeping bag the cold from the ground seeps in even in the dead of summer.
  2. Most rooftop tents come with mattresses. These mattresses are usually foam and provide a more comfortable resting environment. Some tents even come with a wall to wall mattress
  3. Rooftop tent are usually fast to setup. There are no poles to have to arrange or stakes to strike. You can even purchase automatic rooftop tents that setup in under 30 seconds by using a remote or an app on your smart phone.
  4. Ability to pitch your tent wherever you roam. You no longer have to look for a camping site or level ground when you want to setup you tent for the night. You have a comfortable place to lay your head no matter how the terrain outside.
  5. Rooftop tents offer better security. You do not have to worry as much about animals and creepy crawlies finding their way into you stuff. Their is less chance of people sneaking into your tent as well.
  6. A rooftop tent is less expensive than an RV. While pricey rooftop tents are much cheaper than purchasing an RV.
  7. Some tents can be used all season. This is perfect for those who still like to camp in the winter.
  8. There is more room in your vehicle for other camping gear. The tent and the mattress are stored above the car so there is more space available.
  9. They are made more durable than regular tents. The rooftop tent uses stronger materials. They do not have to be light and easy to carry like regular tents.

10 Different Rooftop Tents Perfect for Camping

Cons of Rooftop Tents

While there are many positive things to say about rooftop tents there a few negatives to the rooftop tent that you should be aware of before choosing to purchase your own rooftop tent.

Rooftop Tent Cons

  1. Staying in one spot for extended amount of time can be a hassle. You cannot easily run two a local shop via car if you want.
  2. A rooftop tent is more pricey than a regular tent. Rooftop tents range from about $1000 - $5000 in price.
  3. Rooftop tents on average way about 100-200 pounds. The extra weight can have an impact on your cars fuel economy. It increase the amount of wear and tear your car experiences.
  4. A third party roof rack is needed to attach a roof rack. You cannot use a factory rack because it will not support the dynamic weight of the tent.
  5. Not all vehicles work with rooftop tents.
  6. Installation of the tent is difficult. You will need many people to help you hoist the tent onto the top of your car.

The Viability of the Rooftop Tent

Is a rooftop tent in your future?

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Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent
Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent

Should You Purchase a Rooftop Tent?

If you can afford the high cost of the rooftop tent and the pros outweigh the cons for you then you should definitely purchase a rooftop tent. These tents are best for people looking for adventure.

Because installing the tent is so hard you should only purchase the tent if you plan to use the tent repeatedly over a season. You do not want to have to lift the tent on and off your car repeatedly. It can be a very time consuming process.

If you are an occasional camper you may want to choose another option than a rooftop tent. After all you want to make sure you get use out of your tent if you are going to make such a huge financial investment. A less expensive ground tent option maybe better for you.


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