hard shell roof top tent camping

Best Roof Tents For Your Car: A Detailed Review

The best way to enjoy the countryside or the outdoors is to camp close to nature. The problem is that not every area has a camping site. If you stick to the camping sites, you won’t be able to enjoy nature.

A much better option is to opt for a roof tent for your car. That way, you will be able to camp wherever you want. You won’t have to stick to camping sites only.

Today, we will compile a list of the best roof tents for your car so that you can easily choose one. Before we share the best rooftop tents with you, it is time to understand why you need 1.

Why do you need rooftop tents for your car?

The advantages of rooftop tents for cars are quite a few:

  • You will be able to camp wherever you want. All you need is a secluded parking spot. Once you have that, you will be able to camp easily.
  • You will be able to enjoy the camping experience close to nature. There is no need to go to a camping spot that has all the luxuries.
  • You get complete privacy as well. Not always, the camping ground will have proper privacy.

Camping becomes much easy when using a rooftop tent as you can park anywhere and rest.

All these reasons make rooftop tents a great convenience. Let us now look at the top 6 rooftop tents for your car.

1. Thule Tepui Weatherhood for Rooftop Tents:


The highlight of this rooftop tent for your car is that it can protect you from any weather. That is why, whether you’re camping during the monsoons or winter or summer, it can keep you comfortable on the rooftop of your car.

It can provide you with such high protection because of the Oxford fabric on offer. Along with the Oxford fabric, it has a thermal hood as well. The thermal hood consists of ripstop polyester. Both these materials can provide you with excellent weather protection. In addition to that, it has a waterproof rating of 2000 MM. It means that even if there is heavy rain, you won’t have to worry about water percolating inside the tent.

To install the tent, you will have multiple attachment points underneath the tent. These attachment points can keep the tent stable. It means that even if you’re camping during windy conditions, you won’t have to worry about the tent’s stability.

The weight of the tent is just 7.938 lbs. That is why it becomes easier for you to carry it with you wherever you go.

The drawstring closure means that you can do so easily if you need privacy and want to close the door. Also, once you close the door with the help of the drawstring, you can keep the insects at bay as well.

There is enough space inside for up to 3 people. That is why enjoying the camping experience along with your family is undoubtedly possible and easy.

Thus, if you’re looking for a rooftop tent for your car which can protect you in any weather, you can consider this option.


  • Protects you from inclement weather
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Extremely waterproof
  • Stable design
  • Easy to close the door
  • Suitable for three persons
  • Lightweight design


  • Limited instructions

2. TMB Beige Pop Up Roof Overlanding Tent:


The highlight of this tent is the sturdy frame which it has. Due to the sturdy frame, it can withstand any weather. That is why; it is truly a 4 season tent. You will be able to use it around the year.

Wondering about the aesthetics of the tent?

If so, you will be happy to know that it is available in 3 different color options. The three color options certainly make it easy for you to go with the one which looks aesthetically pleasing.

Without taking a look at the compatibility of the tent, choosing one is a mistake. However, the tent we are highlighting now is compatible with cars, SUVs, and trucks. You won’t have to struggle in installing them. You need either crossbars or a roof rack on your vehicle. Once you have these, you will be able to easily install them.

Along with the tent, you get a couple of accessories as well. The first accessory is the ladder. The ladder which comes along with it makes it easy to climb in and out of the tent.

Along with the ladder, you get a storage bag. When not using the tent, you will fold the tent and store it in the storage bag. The storage bag allows you to take it with you wherever you go.

To make the tent comfortable for you, it comes with a memory foam pad. The memory foam pad provides you with proper support to the bone joints. The thickness of the memory foam mattress is 2 inches. The dimensions of the memory foam mattress are 82″ x 47″.

Considering the dimensions and quality of the foam pad, you can be certain that it is highly comfortable for you.

Without taking a look at the shell material, choosing a tent is a mistake. This one consists of PU plastic shell material. Apart from that, the fabric in use is polyester canvas and Oxford. It comes with a PU coating. That is why; it can easily resist water.

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The aluminum frame further strengthens the tent. It imparts its with proper wind resistance. Apart from that, it makes the tent lightweight. That is why, when you want to install the tent, you will not face any trouble.

The tent is suitable for two people.

With so many features, you certainly cannot go wrong with this roof tent for your car.


  • Aluminum frame
  • Heavy-duty fabric
  • Weather-resistant
  • Comes with accessories
  • Incorporated memory foam mattress
  • Compatible with various vehicles


  • Packaging can be better

3. Thule Tepui Autana Rooftop Tent:


The highlight of this tent is the annex which it provides. Due to the annex, the overall covered area you get in the tent is much higher than many of the other tents available.

It also offers you three different color options. That is why, if you’re very picky regarding the colors, you will be able to choose the best.

Another highlight of this tent is that it is suitable for three people. It means that if apart from your partner, you want to take your kid along with you or your pet for camping, you can certainly do so. That will ensure that you have good family time while camping.

When you look at the fabric of this tent, you will realize that it consists of 600D thick fabric. The fabric uses polyester and cotton material. That is why it can handle any weather. Not only that, the coated design means that water will not percolate through the tent.

Due to these materials, the tent can handle UV rays. It is also mold resistant. It can keep you well protected from any weather, which means that you will be able to use it around the year.

For ventilation, it consists of mesh panels. With multiple mesh panels, you won’t have to worry about the airflow at all.

In terms of storage, you get four large internal pockets. It means that you will be able to keep the gear inside the tent. You won’t have to worry about searching for additional storage space when using this tent.

Thus, if you’re looking for a spacious rooftop tent for your car, consider this option.


  • Suitable for three persons
  • Available in different color options
  • Weather-resistant
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Ample storage space


  • Installation takes time

4. Thule Tepui Low-Pro Rooftop Tent:


Very few rooftop tents for cars provide you with size variants. However, this one does. You can choose between 2 person variant as well as the three-person variant. That is why; you can buy it in the size you want.

The tent has become famous for its low-profile design. The low-profile design reduces the drag in windy conditions. This especially comes in handy when camping in the monsoon.

Another highlight of this tent is the aerodynamics which it offers. Once you fold it down, the thickness is just 7 inches. The thickness ensures that the net is folded into the rack even when driving your vehicle at high speed; it will not result in mileage loss. Not only have that, but the excellent aerodynamics also ensure that you will still have complete control of your vehicle. All these features certainly make it better than other rooftop tents which you can find.

The base of the tent plays a very important role. If the base is not proper, you won’t use the tent in inclement weather.

The advantage of this tent is that it consists of thermoplastic materials in the base. These are 100% recyclable. Besides that, they add to the stability as well. That is why you will be able to use this tent irrespective of the weather conditions outside.

One of the main reasons why this tent is aerodynamic is because it is incredibly lightweight. The lightweight design also means that there will be no wear and tear even if you install it regularly on top of your car.

The features that we have described above ensure that the tent is an all-season tent. That is why; you will be able to use it irrespective of the month or the season.

It comes along with a patented zipper. The patented zipper makes it easy to attach the tent’s canopy to the base of the tent. Once you do so, the structural integrity of the tent increases.

Besides that, the dome-shaped structure can protect you in any weather, which is why this tent is such a good choice.

You also get various accessories along with the tent. The first is the telescopic ladder. It provides you with easy access to the tent. The second is the rain fly. It further protects you from the rain.

If you’re looking for a lightweight rooftop tent for your car, do consider this option.


  • Available in different size variants
  • Complete weather protection
  • Includes accessories
  • Lightweight design
  • Excellent aerodynamics


  • Rainfly thickness can be higher

5. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent:


Available in 2 colors

With two different color options, you have some choices when going with this rooftop tent. Both the colors are aesthetically pleasing. That is why; you will be able to choose the color which you prefer.

The capacity of the tent plays a very important role when choosing it. This tent is suitable for two people. If you want to enjoy the camping experience with your partner, this tent can serve you well.

It is not only spacious enough for two persons but also has internal storage space and mattress accordingly. That is why; it is extremely comfortable as long as there are two individuals inside.

The material of the rooftop tent will determine whether it is durable or not. The thickness of the material of this tent is 600D. The 600D thickness is as per the industry standard. When you look at the blend of the fabric, it consists of polyester and cotton fabric.

The blend of this fabric can protect you in any season. It means that in the winter season, it can provide you with insulation. In the summer season, it can keep the UV rays at bay. In the winter season, it can keep the water at bay.

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As you can see, it can protect you in any weather.

If you’re serious about remaining inside the tent and using it, you need proper ventilation. Otherwise, you will feel suffocated.

This rooftop tent comes with mesh panels. Mesh panels cannot only let the light in but also the air. That is why; you will remain comfortable inside this tent.

Mattress included:

There is an incorporated mattress as well. The mattress is spacious enough for two individuals.

When judging a mattress, it is important to look at the foam inside. This one consists of high-density foam. The high-density foam can provide you with bone joints support. That is why, even if you’re going on a multi-day trip, this mattress will not cause any trouble.

The mattress included also ensures that you will not have to buy one separately. Thus, it not only provides comfort but also makes it easy for you to use the tent.

The functionality of the tent also depends on the accessories that come along with it.

This one comes with a telescopic ladder. The telescopic ladder makes it easy to get in and out of the tent.

Additionally, it comes with a cover as well. It means that once you fold the tent, you will be able to cover it up easily.

The cover can protect against any weather as well. That way, you will be able to drive around while the tent is folded on the roof rack.

For storage, you get four large pockets. The pockets ensure that you can store the gear as well as equipment inside the tent.

With so many different features on offer, you shouldn’t ignore this tent.


  • Suitable for two individuals
  • Heavy-duty fabric
  • Ample ventilation
  • Large storage space
  • Includes accessories


  • Limited instructions

6. Smittybilt Overlander Tent:


The highlight of this tent is that it can accommodate up to 3 persons as well. It is extremely comfortable for two persons, but you won’t feel short on space if you have a guide or a pet along.

Another reason why it can accommodate three persons is because of the weight carrying capacity of 661 lbs.

Along with that, it comes with a high-density foam mattress measuring 92″ x 55″. The high-density design means that the level of support on offer is excellent.

All these features certainly make it suitable for three individuals.

It uses 600D fabric. The fabric is heavy-duty in nature. The fabric in itself is waterproof.

Along with that, you get a rain fly as well. The rainfly provides you with proper redundancy when it comes to protection from water.

Additionally, it comes with aluminum tent poles as well. These can handle heavy wind and keep the tent stable.

The all-weather design means that even if you are camping during the summer months, this tent can protect you well. You will not have to worry about UV rays at all.

As described above, it provides you with proper protection from the rain. That way, you won’t have to worry about camping in the monsoons as well.

The tent does not come on a stand-alone basis. It includes quite a few accessories. The job of these accessories is to make the tent more comfortable for you.

The first accessory which it comes along with is the storage bag. When you’re not using the tent, you will fold and put it into the storage bag. The storage bag is quite compact. You can take the tent with you wherever you go due to this storage bag.

Mosquitoes are a common occurrence when heading outdoors. That is why; you will need the proper equipment to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

The tent comes with mosquito netting. The mosquito netting ensures that you won’t have to worry about insects at all.

To provide proper illumination, you get an LED strip as well. You can power this LED strip through any source. Also, it has a fixture for cigarette lighter sockets as well. That is why; you have a power source on offer as well.

In addition to the mattress, it provides you with even more layers of insulation. That is in the form of a floor. The good news is that the floor is removable. That is why whether you use it or not is dependent on your requirement.

To make it easy for you to install the stand, it comes with a mounting bracket. It means that you will not have to worry about buying the accessories separately.

As you can see, it is the complete package. If you’re looking for a roof tent for car which comes with the necessary accessories, consider this one.


  • Suitable for up to 3 persons
  • Includes mattress
  • High weight carrying capacity
  • Suitable for any weather


  • Bit bulky

Thus, when searching for the best roof tents for your car, the 6 options will fulfill your requirements. To help you choose between these 6, we will now share with you a buying guide below.

Roof Tents For Your Car buying guide

To choose between these rooftop tents, you should consider parameters like:


It is always important to look at the materials of the tent. It should consist of polyester and cotton. Some of the tents come with polyester and cotton blends as well. These materials can protect you from UV rays, monsoon, as well as any other weather.

Not only that, if the tent comes with a frame, you have to look at the material of the frame. The frame should be made from aluminum or some other sturdy material.

Only when you look at the overall material usage in the rooftop tent, it become really easy for you to choose the right one.

Weather protection

While searching for a rooftop tent, it is always a good idea to go with the all-weather tent. It means that the tent should be able to handle the UV rays as well as the rains.

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When you go with the all-weather tent, you will be able to use it around the year.

Otherwise, if you want to camp in the season your tent is not compatible, you might have to buy another one. That means you will have to shell out money unnecessarily.

To avoid all this trouble, it is a good idea to go with a 4 season tent. That way, you will not have to worry about buying another tent ever.

Accessories included

Many tents come with accessories. If the tent you buy does not come with any accessories, you will have to buy accessories separately sooner than later.

To avoid all this trouble, it is good to go with a tent that offers a rain fly. That way, you won’t have to worry about rain.

Additionally, it should come with a storage bag to store when folded. That way, you will be able to move it around or keep it on your car’s roof rack when not using it.

If it comes along with the mattress, it is much more comfortable than an ordinary rooftop tent.

The more accessories it has on offer, the better it is.

Space inside

It is important to look at the space inside the tent.

There are rooftop tents that can accommodate a single person. Other tents can accommodate two persons. Some of them can accommodate three persons as well.

You have to determine whether you usually use them with your family or alone. Once you determine that, you can choose the tent that provides you with more than enough space inside.


Even if you buy the best tent, you might not be able to use it. You have to take into account the compatibility of the tent with your car.

Most tents require you to either have crossbars or roof racks. When you have either of them on top of your car, you will be able to install the tent with ease.

This is what the compatibility of the rooftop tent depends on.

Once you judge the above rooftop tents for cars on these few parameters, it becomes really easy for you to choose the one that is easy to use and comfortable.

We will now help you understand how to take care of your rooftop tent and how you can prolong its lifespan.

How long does it take to set up each tent to compare?

Generally speaking, it will take you anywhere from 1-10 minutes to set up a rooftop tent. We will now share the individual setup times of the tents discussed above.

  • You can set up the Thule Tepui Weatherhood for Rooftop Tents within 2 minutes.
  • TMB Beige Pop Up Roof Overlanding Tent is a tent you can set up within 90 seconds.
  • Thule Tepui Autana Rooftop Tent takes a bit longer to set up. It requires 5 to 6 minutes to set up due to the annex.
  • You can set up the Thule Tepui Low-Pro Rooftop Tent within 3 minutes.
  • Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent requires just 3 to 4 minutes to set up.
  • Smittybilt Overlander Tent takes longer to set up at 5 minutes.

The highlight of all these tents is that they are pretty quick to set up. As long as you’re following the instructions with the tent, setting them up is easy.

What is better? Fabric tent or hardshell tent? What are the differences?

The fabric tents also go by the name of softshell tents. Today, we will compare hardshell tents with soft shell tents to help you understand which one is better and what the differences are between both of these.


On the durability front, both of them are almost equal. That is because the materials offer in the softshell tent can also be highly durable.


The weight of a hard shell tent is much higher as compared to a softshell one.

This can work in your favor as well as against you.

The high weight means that the hard shell tent is much more sturdy and durable.

The downside is that it is much more difficult to move around. Not only that, it can decrease the mileage of your car somewhat.


Hardshell rooftop tents are certainly easy to set up. You can set them up in under a couple of minutes. However, the soft shell ones require more time to set up.

The hard shell ensures that there is no deformation of the tent. That is why; you will be able to set it up in just 60 seconds to 90 seconds.


When choosing a tent for camping, you have to always look out for storage options.

The hard shell tent provides you with more storage. That is because it often has 4 to 6 inches of space between the top area of the mattress and the upper shell when the tent is closed. That is why it becomes easier for you to store more stuff in the hard shell.

On the other hand, the soft shell tent might provide you with proper pockets, but the amount of gear you can store is limited.


Hardshell tents can easily incorporate thicker mattresses. That is why the level of comfort is on the higher side.


This is where the soft shell can certainly win. They offer great value for money.

The hard shell ones are much more expensive.

As you can see, there is no clear winner. Whether you go with the hard shell one or the soft shell one depends on your own requirement.

Are there any speed limits to watch out for?

While having a rooftop tent on top, it is good to stick to the normal speed limits. You need to understand that if it is in the upright form, it will create the drag, and therefore the control will be compromised a bit. It is best to fold it down when driving the vehicle around.

What do you have to say about caring for the rooftop tents?

Instead of using any makeshift solution to clean the rooftop tent, it is a good idea to do so using a mild detergent.

Also, you have to use an extremely soft brush to clean the fabric as well. You can rinse the fabric afterward with cool water.

Before you air dry the tent, it is important to wash off the entire detergent. Only then can you let it dry under the sun with the windows open.

Only when the tent’s exterior and interior are completely dry can you fold it up and store it.

Can the roof rack tents be mounted on any car?

As long as your car has a roof rack or crossbars, you will be able to mount the roof rack tent.

Final words

Thus, when searching for the roof top tents, these are the 6 options that can serve you well. As described above, each of those options is suitable for a unique purpose. You have to just consider your requirements, and after that you can choose between these rooftop tents easily.