8 Best Roof Top Tents for Subaru Outback in 2024

    Best Subaru Outback Tents of 2024

    If you are looking to buy a roof top tent for your Subaru Outback, then you have come to the right place!

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

    Before we jump into reviewing the roof top tents, let us quickly address the elephant in the room:

    Can you put a roof top tent on a Subaru Outback?

    The short answer is YES, you can definitely put a roof top tent on a Subaru Outback. But there's some nuance.

    Some models, especially those with fixed crossbars, can handle most tents no problem. For others, including most of the Subaru Outback models that have the crossbars which swing out and retract, putting a tent on the factory rack is not recommended.

    But even if that describes you, you can still put a roof top tent on your Subaru Outback. You'll just need an after-market roof rack first.

    To know where you fall, you'll want to check your owner's manual. Read on for many more details about great Subaru Outback roof racks for roof top tents, how to find the information you need in your owner's manual, and much more!

    Now, let's look at some of the best roof top tents for your Subaru Outback that are currently on the market. We feature here smaller roof top tents, but if you want to see the best of all sizes, check our guides to the best hard shell roof top tents or the best soft shell roof top tents.

    Best Roof Top Tents for Subaru Outback

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    Best Hard Shell Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Roofnest Condor 2

    Roofnest Condor 2 - Best Hard Shell Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Starting at $3,545

    Premium design, tons of options, perfect for Subaru Outbacks

    The Condor 2 by Roofnest is one of the most versatile and functional roof top tents on the market, and one of the best for Subaru Outbacks.

    First, the Roofnest Condor 2 has a ton of sleeping space.

    It is made of 320 GSM poly-cotton canvas, has a poly-oxford rainfly (waterproof 3000mm), and has an ASA/ABS plastic shell. Tough all around.

    Additional upgrades from the original Condor to the Condor 2 include 2 HVAC ports for climate or cord control, 3 dimmable LEDs (interior and exterior), a six pocket gear-grid, updated 3-way windows, and heavy duty lockable latches.

    The Condor 2 for Subaru Outbacks is also compatible with Roofnest's 6 Channel Crossbars, which attach directly to the shell for easily mounting more gear.

    Roofnest Condor 2 Crossbars - Best Overall Roof Top Tent

    And if you need extra space or a private room, the Roofnest Condor 2 offers the option to add Roofnest's modular Awnex: Awning + Annex system. The Awnex can be configured in multiple ways - with its awning, wall, and floor kits - to offer optimal protection from the elements.

    An ideal companion to any Subaru Outback, the Roofnest Condor 2 includes everything you need for adventures in any environment.

    Roofnest Condor 2 Roof Top Tent Review Rating


    • Large sleeping area with the option of adding extra space if needed via the modular Awnex system.
    • Setup and takedown are really simple.
    • Body construction is extremely tough.
    • The optional crossbars ensure you can take all the gear you need.


    • The tent is on the heavier end of 2-person at 155 lbs.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    HONORABLE MENTION: Best Hard Shell Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Tuff Stuff Alpha 2

    Tuff Stuff Alpha 2 Hard Shell Tent


    Perfect for smaller SUVs like the Outback.

    From a 30-second setup to all-weather protection and an optional annex, the Tuff Stuff Alpha 2 is a great 2-person tent for your next adventure in your Subaru Outback.

    Tuff Stuff Alpha 2 Roof Top Tent Review Rating

    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Soft Shell Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    OVS Nomadic 2 Extended

    Best Soft Shell 2-Person Roof Top Tent


    Strong materials, great mattress, unbeatable price.

    The number one question we get from potential Nomadic 2 owners is: Why is this tent so inexpensive - too good to be true?!

    Good news: It's not! The features and value that the Nomadic 2 extended roof top tent provide are unbeatable for any Subaru Outback owner.

    The Nomadic 2 roof top tent is big enough to sleep 2 people comfortably, and the 3" memory foam mattress is so nice you're going to wish you had it on your bed at home.

    From a 600D body construction to a 420D rainfly of the Nomadic 2 Subaru tent, you will stay warm and comfortable in even the harshest of weather conditions.

    And a skylight window is built into the roof which makes the tent even more amazing on top of your Subaru Outback at night.

    Plus, you can add a massive annex to it for even more indoor space - perfect for having a comfortable place to change, or even to sleep additional people or pets.

    Best Subaru Outback Soft Shell Roof Top Tent - OVS Nomadic 2 Inside

    Easy to install, easy to set up and break down, and very easy to sleep in, it's no wonder Subaru Outback owners can't believe this tent is affordable, too.

    OVS Nomadic 2 Review Rating


    • Large sleeping area with the option of adding extra space with an annex.
    • 3" mattress makes you feel like you're at home.
    • Setup and takedown on your Subaru Outback are straightforward.
    • Skylight is great for views and star gazing.


    • At 155 lbs, it's on the heavier end for a 2-person tent.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Views Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Overland Junction Golden

    Overland Junction Golden Hard Shell Roof Top Tent


    Unmatched 360-degree views in a high quality tent

    No tent on the market today gives you better 360-degree views than the Overland Junction Golden.

    You have the option to completely drop all walls for a wide open, one-with-nature, 360-degree view.

    Worried about bugs? Keep the walls down, but have the 360-mesh layer zipped up for full screen protection.

    Worried about cold? Zip things up completely (or leave the windows and doors open) for a warm, weather-protected, dark sleeping experience.

    This tent has a luxurious 2.75" mattress, an industry leading 5000mm waterproofing, and tough, dark body fabric.

    It was designed and tested at 9,000' in the Colorado Rockies, and works well in all seasons.

    Overland Junction Golden Roof Top Tent

    Plus, there's ample storage inside the tent so you'll never have to get down in the middle of the night.

    Overland Junction Golden Review Rating


    • Unbeatable flexibility from completely open to completely zipped up.
    • 2.75" mattress keeps you comfortable throughout the night.
    • Extreme waterproofing and high quality tent fabrics.
    • Super fast setup no matter what time your Outback gets to camp.


    • No add-on annex available.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Girl sitting in a roof top tent

    Roof Top Tent Finder

    Answer three quick questions to find the perfect roof top tent for your next adventure in your Subaru Outback (takes just 30 seconds)

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    Best Premium Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Freespirit Recreation Evolution V2

    Freespirit Evolution 2 - Best Premium Tent

    Starting at $3895

    Options + Options + Options for your Subaru

    The Freespirit Recreation Evolution V2 is the result of taking customer feedback from the Evolution V1 to provide the best options for the most serious adventurers.

    The Freespirit Evolution V2 is a durable hard shell rooftop tent that is now available in three sizes to fit any Subaru Outback.

    Designed to sleep 2-3 people, every Evolution V2 tent comes with Freespirit's super popular AirCore mattress. It provides extreme comfort and allows you to store more bedding inside when deflated.

    The standard Evolution V2 is made for vehicles exactly like the Subaru Outback's size.

    Upgraded gas struts, blackout exterior material, an adjustable mattress, and tri-layer insulation ensure you stay comfortable, sleep great, and can focus your efforts on adventuring in your Subaru.

    Freespirit Evolution 2 - Best Premium Tent

    From quick setup to optional cross bars for more gear, the Evolution V2 roof top tents have options for everything you could want.

    Freespirit Evolution 2 Roof Top Tent Review Rating


    • Super quick setup and takedown.
    • Three size options with extremely comfortable mattresses.
    • Option to add crossbars to hold up to 250 lbs of gear.
    • Tri-layer body fabric that will keep you warm and cozy atop your Outback, even in extreme weather conditions.


    • It's labeled best premium tent for a reason: you're paying for this one.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Affordable Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent


    OVS TMBK - Affordable Roof Top Tent for Subaru Outback


    Great features, light on your wallet.

    The TMBK by Overland Vehicle Systems is a high-quality tent that is amazingly, shockingly, surprisingly less than $1,000. A perfect addition to the top of your Subaru Outback.

    The Subaru Outback TMBK is also made with tough and durable fabric - 600D for the body, 420D for the rainfly, and 1000g for the cover. No matter what mother nature throws your way, you'll be comfortable in any season.

    It also has a 2.5" foam mattress that will keep you cozy throughout the night on the roof of your Outback.

    And despite the thick fabrics and mattress, the tent comes in at just 110 lbs., one of the lightest tents on the market. That's perfect for any Outbacks with weaker factory roof racks.

    While the tent is officially a 2-person, at a generous 55" wide you can comfortably get a family of three inside.

    Plus, you have the option to add an annex for additional space on the side of your Subaru for sleeping, storage, or pets.

    OVS TMBK Roof Top Tent Inside for Subaru Outback

    Did we mention it's a head-scratcher that this tent is only $999 given all these features?

    OVS TMBK Review Rating


    • Durable body construction with all-weather protection.
    • Lightweight at only 110 lbs. - great to sit atop your Outback.
    • Solid 2.5" mattress.
    • As affordable as it gets for a high quality tent.


    • Not the fastest set up and take down.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Lightweight Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Roofnest Meadowlark

    Roofnest Meadowlark Soft Shell Roof Top Tent for Subaru Outback


    All the comfort without the weight - great for an Outback.

    The Roofnest Meadowlark weighs in at just 90 lbs, one of the only less-than-100-pound tents on the market.

    It's the perfect solution for adventurers who want a high quality tent but don't want to haul the extra weight. And because of the weight, it can work with ANY Subaru Outback roof rack.

    The Roofnest Meadowlark soft shell roof top tent has a high-quality, 190gsm tent fabric design and includes a 210D rainfly.

    The Subaru Outback Meadowlark also boasts a 2.5" mattress, ensuring you're comfortable throughout the night.

    On top of all that, the simplicity of the Roofnest Meadowlark also makes it one of the fastest tents to set up and take down.

    And because it's so lightweight, it is also easy to install on your Subaru Outback. As long as you have crossbars, you'll be good to go.

    Whether you're on an extended adventure in your Outback, or just stopping for a quick rest along the way, the Meadowlark soft shell roof top tent is sure to provide you with a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable experience.

    Roofnest Meadowlark - Lightweight soft shell roof top tent Subaru Outback
    Roofnest Meadowlark Review Rating


    • It's hard to overstate how light 90 lbs. is in the roof top tent world.
    • Set up and take down are lightning quick.
    • Despite the light weight, the tent delivers with a 2.5" mattress.


    • To get to 90 lbs. you have to slim down in some places: the tent is a little smaller and uses lighter-weight materials than many other 2-person tents on the market.
    Includes 3-months Subscription to onX Maps

    Best Mattress Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent

    Freespirit Recreation Aspen Lite

    Freespirit Aspen Lite hard shell roof top tent on Ford


    All the comfort without the weight for your Subaru Outback.

    The Freespirit Aspen Lite weighs just 100 lbs. And yet somehow (well actually, because of Freespirit's diligent updates), it has the best mattress around.

    The Subaru Aspen Lite tents come with Freespirit's 3" AirCore mattress. Freespirit has had this mattress for a few years, but it's new that they include it as the default mattress, rather than as an add-on.

    And wow are we glad they did! Not only is the mattress the most comfortable on the market, it also easily deflates and inflates, letting you have extra space to store gear in the tent when not using your tent.

    The Freespirit Aspen Lite also has an aluminum frame, is made with a strong 150D Poly-Oxford fabric, and is designed to keep you comfortable atop your Outback in all weather conditions.

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

    Finally, the Freespirit Aspen Lite also boasts super quick setup, integrated LEDs, and a telescoping ladder. It's an ideal tent to put on top of your Subaru Outback. 

    Freespirit Recreation Aspen Lite AirCore Mattress for Subaru Outback

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

    Freespirit Aspen Lite Roof Top Tent Review Rating


    • Unbeatable mattress - a Ritz bed atop your Outback.
    • Setup and take down are lightning quick.
    • Tri-layer technology keeps you comfortable no matter the weather.
    • Low profile and lightweight design.


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

    Subaru Outback Roof Top Tent Comparison

    Subaru Outback Tents
    Price Weight
    Shell Material
    Tent Fabric Mattress Thickness Sleeping Area Width
    Annex Warranty
    Roofnest Condor 2 $3,545 155
    320gsm 2" 53" Optional 2 years

    Tuff Stuff Alpha II

    $2,699 141 Plastic
    280g 2.4" 53" Optional 1 year
    OVS Nomadic 2 $1,299 155 Canvas
    600D 3" 55" Optional
    4 years
    Overland Junction Golden $2,699 154 Plastic
    2.75" 48" No
    2 years
    Roofnest Meaowlark $1,595 90
    Canvas 190gsm 2.5" 43"
    No 2 years
    Freespirit Evo V2 $4,095 163 Plastic
    3x150D 3" 45" No 2 years
    OVS TMBK $999 110
    600D 2.5" 55" Optional 4 years
    Freespirit Aspen Lite $2,495 100 Aluminum 3x150D 3" 46" No 2 years

    Pros & Cons of Purchasing a Roof Top Tent for Your Subaru Outback


    • No more sleeping on the ground: With a roof top tent by your side, you can forget about sleeping on the ground. As RTTs are meant to be mounted on your car / truck / trailer, you will be sleeping at an elevation. Plus, most roof top tents today come with a built-in super cozy mattress to help you sleep like a baby!
    • Easy to setup: One of the biggest cons of ground tents is that they take time and are not the easiest to set up. That's not the case at all with roof top tents. RTTs are extremely easy and fast to set up. On average, you can set up a soft shell tent in under 5 minutes and a hard shell tent in under 1 minute.
    • Safety from wildlife: One of the biggest worries people have when camping is wildlife. We have all heard those crazy stories where a bear or a wolf broke into someone's tent and stole all their food. However, with a roof top tent, you never have to worry about that. As your tent is set up on the roof of your car, it makes it hard to get into for animals.
    • Designed to last a lifetime: Roof top tents are built tough and are highly durable. Most roof top tents today are designed in such a way that you can use them even in extreme weather conditions without having to worry about them breaking down. In short, if they are correctly maintained, roof top tents will last for a lifetime.
    • Camp almost anywhere with a great view: No more looking for level ground to set up your tent. With a RTT, you can set up wherever you go. Plus, you get a really incredible view of your camping location because you are sleeping at an elevated point.
    • Not easy to steal: While theft is uncommon in camping, roof top tents are heavy and large, so they are super hard to steal. They are hardly any cases reported of someone stealing a roof top tent.


    • Slight decrease in MPG: This point is very debatable. Even though I have never seen a decrease in MPG on my Subaru Outback after adding a roof top tent, some people have. It just depends on the weight and size of the roof top tent you are carrying, how far you're driving, and how much highway driving you're doing. Worst case scenario, you will see a 2-3 mpg drop.
    • Not ideal for big dogs: Getting your big dog into a roof top tent is extremely difficult. Dogs can't climb ladders. We've seen some people lift their dogs up, others create ramps for their dogs, and others teach the dogs to climb up the hood of the car and load through a window. But it's not easy. That said, if you get a tent with annex, most people have their dogs stay in the annex. Annexes are as protected as the tent itself, and you get to keep that snoring, dirty (but AMAZING!) dog away from your bedding.
    • A bit expensive: A rooftop tent might not be for you if you are on an especially tight budget. They are pretty expensive when compared to ground tents. On average, they range anywhere from $999-$4000. But because they're more durable, you're usually spreading that over many, many years, so we think it's a worthwhile investment.

    Best roof racks to hold a roof top tent on your Subaru outback

    At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that you cannot mount a roof top tent on some Subaru Outback factory roof racks. Hence, you may need a tough and durable roof rack for your Outback.

    The easiest way to find out what your Subaru Outback can handle is to flip to the index in the back of your owner's manual and look for roof rack. The page it then takes you to should give you dynamic and static weight capacities of your factory rack.

    The dynamic weight capacity must be greater than the weight of the tent, and the static weight capacity must be greater than the weight of the tent plus you and anyone else who will be in it. When it doubt, it can help to contact Subaru for additional information.

    If you do decide you need or want a great roof rack specifically designed for your Outback, you can find the best roof racks for a Subaru Outback by Prinsu below.

    6th Gen Subaru Outback
    Roof Rack (2020-2023)

    Prinsu Roof Rack for Subaru Outback


    Shop Subaru Roof Rack

    5th Gen Subaru Outback
    Roof Rack (2015-2019)

    Prinsu Roof Rack for Subaru Outback (2015-2019)


    Shop Subaru Outback Rack

    4th Gen Subaru Outback
    Roof Rack (2010-2014)

    Prinsu Subaru Outback Roof Rack


    Shop Subaru Outback Rack

    Real Life Experiences

    We recently interviewed several Subaru owners who have been using a roof top tent for a while to know their experience. Check it out below:

    Roof Top Tent on Subaru Outback

    Grant and Nikki (@overlandandspeed)

    Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Outback

    "My wife and I started building our 2013 Subaru outback in 2017, we started off with just doing normal tent camping, I was a boy scout who camped in a tent a minimum of one weekend a month for several years. Slowly we started getting into the more overland type camping, it started with me seeing a Yakima roof top tent at an REI used gear sale for 500 dollars and thinking it would be a great flip to make a dollar.

    Well of course I wanted to try it out first. From there we took it out and really enjoyed the quick and easy set up and take down, very comfortable mattress, better then the standard tepui mattress. However we ended up selling it because I wasn't a fan of the cover, it leaked a little and not many accessories at the time, though now they have boot bags, annex and other stuff.

    From there we went the biggest possible, the Tepui Autana 4, large annex, insulator for winter camping and more. We sleep with both of our large dogs and child up in the tent with us. We love that the mattress is so big, in fact we just use flannel California king sheets and a comforter all year long and stay plenty warm. Since getting the insulator we keep that on full time as well, it keeps us warm and keeps my dog asleep longer in the mornings, she likes to wake up when the sun comes up but it keeps it dark.

    So in short the tent has been great, but I have fully upgraded my stock rack system mainly so I could also fit an awning on without having to use the yakima adapters that puts everything 6 inches off the roof of the car, I like low profile as much as possible. With running the outback, a roof top tent and the whole family you really have to be conscientious of space.

    You no longer have room for a basket or cargo box on the roof and my trunk area held the dogs, so we used the spare tire area and the back seat, beside the car seat, for our gear. Thankfully due to my Boyscout and back packing days alot of my gear is very compact and minimal all the way down to my camping chairs and collapsible cookware."

    Roof Top Tent on Subaru Crosstrek

    Hannah (@crossedtrek)

    Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Crosstrek

    "I love camping but I don't love the way my body feels after a night of sleeping on the ground. I always wake up feeling stiff and achy and I've never been able to camp for more than just a couple of nights. When I learned of roof top tents I knew I had to try one out.

    We a roof top tent for Crosstrek and it completely changed the game! I've now spent many nights in our rooftop tent and always wake up feeling well-rested and recharged. I feel extra safe being off the ground away from critters and often wake up to amazing views!

    Set up takes up less than 5 minutes and is incredibly easy. I'm a small gal and it was important that I could set up and take down the tent by myself. We leave all our pillows and blankets inside the tent when it's closed which is a huge space and time saver.

    Having a rooftop tent is like having our own treehouse and every time I climb up the ladder I feel like a kid again."

    Roof Top Tent on Subaru Crosstrek by Isabella

    Isabella (@frostymn_xtrek)

    Vehicle: 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

    "So far our experience with our roof top tent has been great! We used to camp in a Coleman 6 person tent. We find ourselves with a lot of extra space to pack our gear now that we have our tent on top of our car versus being stored in a large container in the cargo area of our Crosstrek.

    I'm happy that it leaves a lot of space for our dog to join us in our Subaru for camping and overland trips! Our roof top tent is extremely spacious too. It easily holds two to three people or in my case two people and large breed dog!

    We no longer find ourselves waking up wet, or in small puddles of water when it rains since we are off the group. The material is extremely waterproof so it makes us feel a lot better when it comes to changes in the weather on our trips. The tent holds up really well in different climates too. We've camped in our roof top tent when it's 30°F all the way up to 95°F.

    We enjoy having zippered windows on every side of the tent and we love that it no longer takes us 30 minutes to set up a tent, untangle poles, and set up the mattress. The RTT comes with a 3" foam mattress and we haven't had any issues with it. Overall, I believe our RTT has definitely enhanced our camping and Overlanding experience! We love it, our dog loves it, it's perfect!"

    Roof Top Tent on Subaru Crosstrek by Amos

    Amos (@mooseorsomething)

    Vehicle: Subaru Crosstrek

    "Owning a roof top tent has been life changing honestly. I invested in it, in November of 2019 and when the pandemic hit, it became my life. I went camping like once every other day at one point. It's easy to use, more comfortable than any setup I've ever had, and motivates me to get out there as much as I can.

    The tent has held up in all weather situations, from camping in Snowstorms to the brutal heat of the desert and monsoons in the mountains. Not once did the tent falter in any conditions thrown it's way and for that it's allowed me to have the confidence in my gear to take on new obstacles and places.

    If anyone is on the fence about a rooftop tent, I hope my two cents helps. They'll absolutely get you addicted to camping and exploring new places most weekends."

    Roof Top Tent on Subaru Forester by Chris Hailie

    Chris + Hailie (@morningstarsubaru)

    Vehicle: 2020 Subaru Forester Limited

    "No more finding a level spot on the ground and messing around with a tarp to stay dry or unfolding cots to get off the ground. The best part of the forester is the x-mode that shows me my angle of approach, so I can easily find level ground to sleep on.

    It's 60 seconds to be completely set up, I always have my blankets pillows and sleeping bags in the tent itself The rooftop tent has largely shaped the way that I have built my car, so it is centric to getting me out on the weekend.

    I have all my recovery gear on molle panels behind my front seats, so I typically only need to bring a few things of food, and firewood when the restrictions aren't in effect. But now that I have little to no prep time, I can easily go on a Tuesday night without thinking too much about it."

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