How to Choose a Roof-Top Tent
Wondering what’s up with roof-top tents? We cover the basics so you can decide if this new style of camping is right for you.
Part treehouse and part glamping tent, roof-top tents are an intriguing alternative to traditional tents that you see pitched at most car campgrounds. You can find models that fit on top of a car or truck.
If you're thinking about buying a roof-top tent, consider a few pros and cons:
If you don't have one, you'll need to buy a roof rack to serve as the tent's foundation. Rack brands like Yakima, Thule and others typically have greater weight capacities than factory car racks, which make them well-suited for a roof-top tent.
Next, check your owner's manual or contact your vehicle and rack manufacturers to get the information below, which can narrow down models that will work for your vehicle.
Mounting your tent to your car rack: It can be a little complex, so follow mounting directions carefully. Also, roof-top tents are heavy, so having a partner helps.
Add-on options: Some tents offer separately purchased annexes or awnings for more living space.
If you're not yet sure that a roof-top purchase is exactly what you want, below are some other tent types to consider:
REI carries top roof-top tent brands like Thule, iKamper and Tepui. We also offer checklists and a vast selection of the best camping gear to help get you ready for your next outdoor adventure.