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Anyone who has camped on the ground knows how uncomfortable “roughing it” can be, but the experience is still well worth the pain. Nothing beats fully disconnecting and sleeping under the stars, far away from city lights and sounds. But what if you could do it in comfort? Several camping, outdoor, off-road and overlanding supply companies offer various styles of roof top tents for an elevated experience.
Rough-and-rugged diehards may consider traveling with a roof top tent “glamping,” but overlanding and camping enthusiasts who opt for the camping upgrade are living life to the fullest. Roof top tents are especially good for longer road trips when getting a restful night’s sleep without disruption is important. You’ll be safely snoozing above the nighttime creepy-crawlies and protected from mercurial ground conditions with any of the following five top-rated tents.
It’s important to note that all roof top tents require a sturdy roof rack (typically costing between $99-$250) installed on your vehicle or trailer’s roof. You’ll also need to account for tent and occupant weight.
For our list of the best roof top tents for 2022, we specifically chose roof top tents that feature the quickest setup and breakdown procedures possible for those who want to spend less time preparing and more time enjoying nature.
If you plan on adventuring with your family year-round in various climates, the Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 3 with annex is a supremely comfortable roof top tent setup that can sleep up to four. Despite its considerable size, this tent is easy enough for one person to set up, and the extended canopy and removable enclosed annex below provide a private space to freshen up and change clothes. There are also four large pockets inside for storing gear or necessities.
The Tepui tent’s surrounding canvas is constructed from UV and mold resistant coated 600D polyester and a 260g poly-cotton blend that is tough enough to withstand any environmental abuse. The mesh side panels and zip-open windows offer excellent ventilation. Purchasing a separate anti-condensation mat is recommended to rid the interior of any excess moisture, especially on cold nights.
The KingCamp Rooftop Tent features a rugged hard-shell design, which eliminates worries about rips and leaks that could occur with a canvas roof and may last longer overall than conventional tents. It’s equipped with gas springs, so the tent pops up automatically once the straps are released. The setup weighs in at 116.8 pounds when empty.
The included thick cotton pad is reportedly comfortable and sleeps up to two adults. Two windows and doors zip open to provide ventilation, however if the ventilation points are zipped closed during sleep, the tent may accumulate condensation.
The Front Runner roof top tent is the most low-profile tent on the market at only 7.87 inches tall when collapsed. Weighing in at just over 90 pounds, it’s also one of the lightest. Since roof top tents add weight and aerodynamic drag, if you’re concerned about fuel economy this setup is worth your consideration.
Despite its smaller size, the Front Runner tent still sleeps two adults comfortably. The aluminum base keeps the unit lightweight, but has been reported to feel cold through the included mattress during chilly nights. It unfolds with one swift motion of the retractable ladder and features zippered privacy panels on all screened windows and doors. The purchase includes a removable fly-sheet cover which offers shade during the day and helps to prevent condensation overnight. Built-in roof ventilation backed with mosquito netting further prevents condensation.
The Smittybilt Overlander roof top tent elevates your camping experience with stargazing possibilities. The two zip-open panels on the roof backed by an anti-mosquito screen also offer optimum ventilation. Even when it’s raining, just strap on the included rain cover and leave the roof panels open for more air flow. Heavy rain can cause rainwater to pool over the entryway and window awnings, so lowering the awnings during storms is recommended.
The tent has a hook and loop strap that secures an included multi-LED light strip. It also includes four interior storage pockets and a fifth to hold the light cord, plus an exterior bag to hang shoes. According to reviews (and personal experience), the sleeping mat could use more cushioning, but is easily remedied by adding layers. This Smittybilt tent weighs 116 pounds empty and fits up to two adults and a small child. If more room is desired, there’s also an XL model that can sleep up to four adults.
The Rightline Gear truck tent features a floorless design that allows setup or take down without removing gear from the bed. It includes two storage pockets, a lantern hook, a sky view vent and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls. Most buyers like the pulls, but some reported that the zippers need to be a bit sturdier.
Assembly is similar to that of a ground tent. The dome poles are color-coded to the pole pockets to simplify setup. Soft straps and plastic buckles are included so you won’t damage the truck’s paint. Rightline Gear offers three sizes to suit your rig: compact, mid-size and full size, with corresponding prices. Check Rightline Gear’s sizing guide to ensure the best fit for your truck.
To determine the best roof top or truck tent for your vehicle, we considered the products most accessible to the widest swath of consumers in the U.S., which also includes durability, price and value. We also considered a broad range of end-user ratings and findings from our personal experiences.
For our list of the best roof top tents of 2022, Forbes Wheels rated and tested five elevated camping experiences, including four roof top tents and an alternate truck bed tent. Each product is rated on ease-of-use, overall comfort and durability.
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At SeeVay, we know that the safety and well-being of your baby is your top priority. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to make sure you’re always on top of your baby’s safety. We understand that being a new mom can be overwhelming, and there’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start.