Roof Top Tents are extremely popular these days among the Overlanding community. No matter which overlanding forum you go to -- You will find a bunch of people talking about it.
You will also find a bunch of people arguing if roof top tents are really worth it. Seriously, I personally have been part of so many of these conversations that I am tired of telling people why roof top tents are worth it.
That's why I decided to put together this article on the Roof Top Tent Pros and Cons so you can decide for yourself if roof top tents are really worth it for you.
Pros of Roof Top Tent
Setting up a ground tent usually takes anywhere 20-30 minutes and you usually need few people to help you out.
That's not the case with Roof Top Tents at all. They are very easy to set up and takedown. Typically, It takes anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes to set up a roof top tent. Also, You can do it on your own most of the time.
When you are on long overlanding trips, Getting a good night's sleep is very important if you want to make sure you have experience.
That's why to make sure you get a good night's sleep every time, Almost all roof top tents on the market today come with 2"-4" memory foam mattresses.
Plus, because you are not sleeping on the ground and the surface is level -- It makes the RTTs even more comfortable.
Safer Than Ground Tents
Overlanding is all about exploring the unknown and sometimes you might end up camping in spots with a lot of wild animals around. If you use ground tents in such sports -- There is a good chance you won't be safe and it will be easier for wild animals to break into your tents.
Whereas, Because roof top tents are setup on the roof of your car -- It will make it harder for animals like bears etc to break into your tent and keep you safe.
Also, most roof top tents come with insect screens on the windows. So you don't have to worry about any deadly mosquitos or bugs entering your tent and causing trouble.
Built For Tough Adventures
Most roof top tents these days are built with high-quality polyester/cotton waterproof canvas and come with a waterproof rainfly to protect you from elements and make sure that the water won't enter inside your tent during heavy rainfall.
Also, for strength and durability -- Roof Top Tents come with an internal aluminum frame and aluminum base. With all these features combined, Almost all RTTs are designed to keep you safe from extreme weather conditions and handle rough use.
Camp Almost Anywhere
Another awesome thing about roof top tents is that you can camp almost anywhere with them. You don't have to look for level ground to set them up or anything.
Extra Storage Space
Roof top tents are designed in such a way that you can use them as extra storage space when you are not sleeping in them. For example, You can store stuff on your mattress, blankets, etc inside the tent even when it is closed completely.
Designed to fit on any vehicle
One of the most common questions our customers ask is if a rooftop tent will fit their vehicle? The answer to that is YES 99% of the time.
Almost all roof top tents today are designed to fit any vehicle and roof rack. If some bad luck you have trouble fitting the roof top tent on your vehicle -- It can be fixed easily with few minor adjustments.
Depending on your camping location, Your roof top tent can provide you with some mind-blowing views. Plus, Some RTTs these days come with Skylight windows which are perfect for stargazing at night.
Now that you know all about the pros of roof top tents, Let's talk about the cons.
Cons of Roof Top Tent
Roof Top Tents are not affordable. On average they start anywhere from $800 and go up to $4000. Soft shell roof top tents are the cheapest and the hard shell roof top tents are the most expensive ones.
Effect on MPG (Miles Per Gallon)
As soft shell roof top tents are huge in size -- they will have a negative effect on the MPG of your vehicle. On average you will notice a 17% drop in the MPG (This might vary depending on your tent size and your vehicle itself).
Please note: If you are using a hard shell roof top tent -- You won't notice any effect on MPG.
Not Super Pet Friendly
Because roof top tents are setup on the roof of your car -- It won't be very easy for your pets to get in and out of the tent. You will have to assist them every time they want to get in and out of the tent.
Doesn't Come in Large Sizes
Another disadvantage of roof top tents is that they don't come in large sizes like ground tents. At this moment, The largest roof top tent currently on the market can accommodate anywhere up to 5 people and nothing more.
If you want to space to sleep more people then you will need to buy an add-on-room or an annex which might end up costing you anywhere from $200-$400.
That's it, folks! Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope by now you have been able to decide if a roof top tent is right for you or not.
If you think it is right for you then check out our detailed review on some of the best roof top tents currently on the market. Also, If you have any questions or thoughts -- please leave a comment below and let us know.