roof top tent mounting

How Heavy Is A Roof Top Tent

Would you like to buy a new roof top tent and also explore the great outdoors? Then you are probably looking for the right roof rack tent for your next adventure.

In this article I would like to show you exactly which roof top tent is suitable for your vehicle. I will show you the most popular roof top tent models in the united states and give you the exact information and exact dates for each roof top tent.

The most popular roof top tents that are sold in the United States weigh between 101 and 192 pounds. It always depends on the equipment of the roof top tent. The more equipment and the more people can sleep in the roof top tent, the heavier the roof top tents will be. If you usually go camping alone and don’t need a lot of comfort and accessories in and around the tent, a 2 person tent is sufficient, so you can save weight. But if you go camping with the whole family and you all want to sleep in the roof top tent, then you have to choose one of the heavier roof top tents. Always pay attention to the permissible roof load of your vehicle.

The roof loads your vehicle can carry differs from vehicle to vehicle. Please check the papers of your vehicle to find out which roof load is registered there. It is important that you do not exceed this roof load with a roof top tent.

Exceeding the roof load can be very dangerous. At higher speeds, the driving behavior of your car can be negatively influenced and in the worst cases it can lead to an accident due to unstable driving behavior of the vehicle.

Roof top tent modelWeight of roof top tentPerson CapacityDimensions (W x L)
iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent160 pounds4-person85.8 x 82.6 inches
Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3 Tent159 pounds3-person96 x 56 x 52 inches
Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Tent105 pounds2-person84 x 48 inches
Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4 Tent190 pounds4-person96 x 72 inches
Yakima SkyRise HD 2 Tent101 pounds2-person84 x 48 inches
Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent131 pounds3-person96 x 56 inches
Thule Tepui Foothill Tent108 pounds2-person84 x 47 inches
Thule Tepui Low-Pro 2 Tent105 pounds2-person84 x 50 x 44 inches
iKamper Skycamp Mini Tent125 pounds2-person80.7 x 50.4 inches
Thule Tepui Ruggedized Autana 3 Tent192 pounds3-person122 x 56 x 52 inches
Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 3 Tent152 pounds3-person122 x 56 x 52 inches
Here you can find the weights and sizes of the most popular roof top tents

Why are roof top tents so heavy?

Most roof top tents you can buy today weigh between 101-192 pounds. Of course, this is not too easy compared to other tents or truck beds.

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But a roof top tent also has completely different requirements, such as a truck bed tent.

A roof top tent is most often made of materials such as wood, metal or plastic/ABS. The basic structure of a roof top tent is usually made of wood, metal or plastic, these materials are by nature not particularly light. A roof top tent must also be built to be extremely stable, as it has to withstand many loads.

A roof top tent construction also has to withstand many physical forces, starting with driving on the highway. The wind forces that reach under the tent construction must not damage the roof top tent, so the floor of the tent must be made extremely torsion-resistant.

The floor of a roof rack is also very heavily loaded, as people move around in the tent and also exert point loads. A thin base plate alone would break quickly and give way to the forces acting on it.

In addition, the fabric of the roof top tent is also added. This material usually consists of very heavy canvas or polyester. There are also a lot of small parts and hinges made of metal and other materials. If you add all these materials together, you quickly come to a considerable weight!

Are there roof top tents made of carbon fiber?

No, currently no manufacturer builds roof top tents out of carbon fiber. A roof top tent made of carbon fiber would be a very good solution, as many vehicles only have a low permissible roof load. The disadvantage of carbon fiber is that it is much more expensive to manufacture than today’s roof top tents. A roof tent made of carbon fiber would probably cost at least twice as much as a roof top tent, since the production is much more complicated than the production of metal or wood.

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Products made from carbon fiber are usually much more expensive than products made from conventional materials

Do roof top tents have a weight limit?

Yes, every roof top tent is designed for a certain number of people or their weight. That has to do with how mostly the floor is built. The bottom of a roof top tent is usually the most sensitive part. If you exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer for the specific roof tent, the roof tent may either deform or, in the worst case, even tear or break.

Therefore, always pay attention to the information provided by the manufacturer for how many people your tent is designed for. For example, if the manufacturer specifies the tent with two people, the manufacturer of the roof top tent means that the roof tent is approved for a maximum of two adults.

If you exceed the specified number of people, you may damage the roof top tent.

Can you reduce the weight of your roof top tent?

When driving to and from the campground, it can make sense to reduce the weight of the roof top tent as much as possible. On the one hand for the reason if the roof load of your vehicle would otherwise be exceeded but also for reasons of the driving stability of your vehicle.

If you have a lot of weight on the roof of your vehicle, the vehicle’s center of gravity will shift further upwards. The higher center of gravity in a car is always associated with negative driving behavior. Therefore, you should always make sure that you have as little weight as possible on the roof.

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You should also always be very careful in turns when driving around on the roof with a roof rack tent. The steering behavior will change due to the high center of gravity of your vehicle. Therefore, you always have to drive extremely carefully and not be too fast in the corners to avoid an accident.

There are a few things you can do to reduce the weight of the roof top tent. Most roo top tents are equipped with a ladder. If you remove this ladder and put it in your trunk for the journey, you have already saved a bit of weight. A tent ladder usually weighs around 20 pounds.

You can also remove the mattress from the roof tent and put it in the trunk of your vehicle. Then you’ve also saved between 10-15 pounds.

So you see, the more things you remove from the roof tent for the ride, the better it is. So if you remove all non-important parts from the roof tent and transport them in the trunk of your vehicle, you will be able to reduce the roof load a lot.


Some toof top tents weigh more than other roof tents due to their size, materials and design. You can also say that the more functions or attachments a roof tent has, the heavier the roof tent is. Most of the time you can judge the quality by the weight of a roof top tent, if a roof tent is very light, the floor will probably not be particularly stable or the tarpaulin or canvas will not be particularly you. To date there is unfortunately no roof top tent made of carbon, carbon would of course significantly reduce the weight of a roof rack tent.

I also ask you to always read the operating instructions for your roof top tent carefully, there you will also find out many details about your roof tent, such as the roof load, the permitted weight or the number of people who are allowed to stay in the roof top tent at the same time so as not to damage the roof top tent.

Before buying a roof top tent, make sure that your vehicle is capable of carrying a roof top tent. You can easily read this in your vehicle registration papers or you can simply ask in the nearest workshop, they will definitely give you information.

Here you can see all the roof top tents described here again. If you would like to find out more about the respective roof top tent, simply click on the link and you will be redirected to the dealer.