4 Best Clamshell Roof Top Tents for 2024 [Review]

    Clamshell Roof Top Tents for Sale

    Looking for a clamshell roof top tent for your next trip? Then you have come to the right place.

    ***Want to skip the review and just see the products? Here they are!***

    Clamshell roof top tents are the fastest to set up of any tent on the market, which makes them a bit of a luxury.

    But their design (hinging at one end so they look like an open, actual clamshell) also limits their size, capping them at a 2-3 person capacity. 

    If you're interested in reading our review of all the best hard shell roof top tents, including clamshell, so you can see different sizes and options, check it out. 

    But if you're interested in clamshells specifically, then read on to find the 4 best clamshell roof top tents currently on the market, as well as a comparison chart and answers to common questions.

    Roofnest Falcon Clamshell Roof Top Tent



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    Best Overall Clamshell Roof Top Tent

    Roofnest Falcon 2

    Roofnest Falcon 2 Roof Top Tent

    Starting at $3,595


    Ultra-thin design with durable features.

    The Roofnest Falcon 2 is the rugged update to the original Falcon hard shell roof top tent and now comes in two sizes, with options to sleep up to 3 people.

    The Roofnest Falcon 2 is Roofnest's lowest profile tent and comes with a durable insulated shell and a true memory foam mattress.

    The classic clamshell design makes the Falcon 2 extremely reliable and easy to operate, while the aluminum construction means it will survive the toughest journeys.

    The Falcon 2 is compatible with Roofnest's 6 Channel Crossbars - the perfect solution for mounting your gear to the top of any compatible Roofnest rooftop tent.

    From the durable construction to the easy set up, the Falcon 2 tents allow you to spend your time and energy on the adventure, not setting up camp.

    Roofnest Falcon 2 Hard Shell Clam Shell Roof Top Tent
    Roofnest Falcon 2 Roof Top Tent Review Rating

    Pros

    • Very easy to set up and take down.
    • Lightweight and low-profile design prevent a decrease in the fuel economy of your vehicle.
    • Spacious and durable body construction that will keep you comfortable in all weather.

    Cons

    • The low-profile design means there's less room to store bedding.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Lightweight Clamshell Roof Top Tent

    Freespirit Recreation Aspen Lite

    Freespirit Aspen Lite hard shell roof top tent on Ford

    $2,495


    All the comfort without the weight.

    The Freespirit Aspen Lite weighs in at just 100 lbs and is easy to install. It's the perfect solution for adventurers who want the convenience of a clamshell roof top tent but don’t want to haul the extra weight.

    The Freespirit Aspen Lite has an extruded aluminum frame, is made with a heavy duty 150D Poly-Oxford fabric, and is designed to keep you comfortable in all weather conditions.

    The Aspen Lite tents come with the all new 3" AirCore mattress - letting you control the comfort of your sleep.

    Plus, all the windows include mesh screens to prevent insects from disturbing your sleep at night.

    The Freespirit Recreation Aspen Lite also boasts lightning quick setup, integrated LEDs, and a telescoping ladder.

    Freespirit Recreation Aspen Lite AirCore Mattress

    Whether you’re on an overlanding adventure, or just stopping for a quick rest along the way, the Freespirit Aspen Lite roof top tents are sure to provide you with a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable experience.

    Freespirit Aspen Lite Roof Top Tent Review Rating

    Pros

    • Low profile and lightweight design.
    • Setup and take down is lightning quick.
    • Tri-layer technology keeps you comfortable no matter the weather.
    • An optional crossbar system can be added to the XL version.

    Cons

    • Light of course means smaller - 45"W is on the thinner end for a 2-person.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Girl sitting in a roof top tent

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    Best Affordable Clamshell Roof Top Tent

    OVS Mamba

    Mamba Hard Shell Roof Top Tent on sand colored Jeep

    $2,299


    Solid features, light on your wallet.

    The Mamba by Overland Vehicle Systems is one of the most affordable and durable hard shell or clamshell roof top tents currently available, and we think it's truly underpriced.

    The OVS Mamba has a premium rip-stop waterproof body, with a frame made of aircraft-grade aluminum.

    The Mamba comes with removable crossbars on the roof, allowing you to mount anything from recovery boards to kayaks.

    The OVS Mamba is large enough to sleep three people and features a 2.5" thick foam mattress with an anti-condensation mat underneath to prevent moisture buildup.

    The base of the Mamba is an insulated black aluminum diamond plate, ensuring the tent stays at an ideal temperature throughout the night. There is also enough space to store your bedding inside the tent when closed.

    Mamba 3 person hard shell roof top tent crossbars

    As if all of that weren't enough, the built-in nitrogen gas-charged struts and the nylon pull strap make setting up and taking down the Mamba lightning quick.

    OVS Mamba Roof Top Tent Review Rating

    Pros

    • Durable body construction with all-weather protection.
    • Very quick to set up and take down.
    • Included Crossbars make it easy to carry around extra gear.

    Cons

    • Smaller (and yet heavier) than foldout hardshell tents
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Hybrid Clamshell Roof Top Tent

    Tuff Stuff Alpine 61

    Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 Hard Shell Roof Top Tent on Toyota

    $3,999


    Rugged and versatile aluminum hard shell.

    The Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 is a premium roof top tent that features a rugged aluminum shell with a roof rack included on top.

    The Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 has a reinforced aluminum hard shell and roof rack - strong enough to carry your mountain bike, surfboards, kayak, rooftop storage, or anything else you need for your next adventure.

    The Alpine 61 is a full pop-up tent, but also has the option to open as a wedge/clamshell when convenient. That's why we call it a hybrid.

    The Alpine 61 tent is constructed with durable, waterproof, and tear-proof material, and includes blackout fabric and removable window awnings.

    The Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 roof top tent also has four T-Slot rails that surround the exterior of the tent - allowing you to directly mount accessories like awnings, shower tents, and water supplies.

    Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 Aluminum  Hard Shell Roof Top Tent Close Up

    From 60-second setup to extreme weather protection, it's easy to see why the Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 is one of the best hard shell roof top tents on the market.

    Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 Roof Top Tent Review Rating

    Pros

    • Configurations include full pop-up and wedge options.
    • Lightning fast set up.
    • Included roof rack on top of tent allows you to bring more gear.
    • Constructed with high-quality materials.

    Cons

    • The Alpine 61 is very heavy! Get help when installing.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps


    Clamshell Roof Top Tent Comparison

    Clamshell Tent Price Weight
    (lbs)
    Sleeping Capacity Mattress Thickness Roof Crossbars Warranty
    Roofnest Falcon 2 $3,595+ 160-175 2-3 people 2" Optional 2 years
    Freespirit Aspen Lite $2,495+ 100-110 2-3 people 3" No 2 years
    OVS Mamba $2,299 177 2-3 people 2.5" Yes 4 years
    Tuff Stuff Alpine 61 $3,999 274 2-3 people 2" Yes 1 year



    Clamshell Roof Top Tents FAQ

    Can I put a clamshell roof top tent on my car?
    Yes, you can put a clamshell roof top tent on your car. But whether you need an after-market roof rack depends on your vehicle's roof rack weight capacity. Be sure to check the dynamic weight capacity of your car's roof rack, and compare it to the weight of the roof top tent. You do not need to consider your own weight, since you will not be in the tent while the car is moving (dynamic weight capacity).

    How long do clamshell roof top tents take to set up and take down?
    Typically, you can set up and take down a clamshell roof top tent in under 30 seconds. They are the fastest tents on the market to set up and break down because they simply have one side to open. You release the straps, push up on the side that engages the gas struts, and the tent is open. Pull out your ladder, maybe put in a few window rods, and you're finished. 

    Can I use a clamshell roof top tent in bad weather conditions?
    Yes, you can definitely use your clamshell roof top tent in any weather conditions. All of the above tents are designed to keep you safe even in extreme weather.

    These tents are expensive - are there other options?
    Yes, clamshell roof top tents are all hard shell, which is usually the more expensive of the two types of tents. The other type of tent is soft shell, and we have a review that includes the best soft shell roof top tents currently on the market.

    Do these tents come with a ladder?
    Yes, all of the roof top tents we carry come standard with a ladder. Almost all ladders are aluminum, retractable, and tall enough to accommodate any vehicle except the tallest vans.

    Is it safe to sleep in a roof top tent?
    Most people who have used roof top tents would argue that they are far safer to sleep in than ground tents. You are elevated off the ground, away from animals, critters, and bad weather, and you're warmer and more insulated than in a ground tent. 

    Is it a good idea to have a rooftop tent?
    Well obviously we're bias, but heck yeah it's a good idea to have a rooftop tent! They are hands down the best way to camp. Since you don't have to carry the weight, you can maximize comfort and quality. Roof top tents are significantly warmer and more protected from the weather than ground tents, they have MUCH thicker mattresses, they incorporate LED lights and other add-ons, they are way easier to set up and take down, and they give you the option for great views. 

    Do these clamshell roof top tents come with a warranty?
    Yes, all of the clamshell roof top tents we carry come with a warranty. The length varies from brand to brand. Check our comparison chart for more information.




    Have Other Questions About Clamshell Roof Top Tents?

    We at Overland Junction can help you make an informed decision on the best hard shell roof top tent for your vehicle.

    If you have any questions or concerns before making a purchase, please browse our website, or contact us by text or phone at 833-205-7703 or email at support@overlandjunction.com.


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