Roof Tents are a great way to ensure you have a bed for the night, no messing around, fighting with poles or finding the right ground to pitch, they are up top and ready to just pop up with your bed in situ. Remember they’re high up so just for sleeping, no room to stand but providing you’re agile enough to make the climb the height keeps you out of reach from the creatures and the damp ground.
If you are a first time buyer for a roof tent it can be a pretty daunting experience once you first start looking into the variations and models available. We have put together below a basic guide to what is available and the general categories that they are grouped in to, hopefully this points you in the right direction and helps in your final decision for your individual requirements.
A roof rack is required to bolt your ‘bedroom ’ unto, weight up top will change the cars centre of gravity and effect your fuel economy so once you’ve considered these points you’ll just need to choose from the extensive range available.
All tents have canvas, this gives the ability to collapse but do check what type a 100% Polyester is lightweight but not breathable so will heat up inside if it’s warm outside and cause condensation. Polycotton is lightweight and breathable so better internal conditions. With modern fabric sealing treatments thickness no longer affects the waterproof ability but the quality of a mattress will affect your sleep.
Canvas Roof Tents
They open like a fan and are all pretty much the same although some have annex fixtures for a changing area. Because they fold out to full size it can create immediate shelter under the overhang, have the benefit of extra room inside the tent and on your roof rack for other items. Personal choice will be price and extras like mosquito nets, covered entrance, access through added awnings and number of window apertures for airflow.
These have a hard roof claiming better aerodynamics when closed. Operation is controlled with gas rams opening into a triangle or box. This hard shell does dictate the size of the tent so if you need your roof rack for other items will it fit?
Allows standing space as these will push up through your roof and usually fitted by a professional service or manufacturer.
A canvas tent that’s designed to just bolt/clip on to your pick up’s side rails, giving the flatbed as your accommodation space.
You can buy separate vehicle awnings and attachable rooms made of canvas or mozzie nets, so again personal choice and your required use will help you decide on what route to take.
Check out this video for a comprehensive explanation of what determines quality when choosing you tent.