Each product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. American culture idealized it long before it seemed macho in John Wayne's Westerns. But lying on the floor and sleeping on a thin pad isn't everyone's cup of tea — it can be uncomfortable, and preparation and breakdown are almost always more time-consuming than expected.
Rooftop tents cost more than onshore tents; that's the trade-off of being able to camp away from the hazards of the forest floor. That said, since the price can be high, it was imperative to make sure that our recommendation for the best roof top tent overall was met across all categories. What the Thule Tepui Kukenam rooftop tent certainly does. The Smittybilt Overlander store has 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with more than 500 customer reviews.
It has an Amazon's Choice designation (reserved for items that site editors consider exceptional) in the & Truck Bed Tents category. The tradeoff of keeping the roof top tent attached to the roof of your car at all times is that it makes your car less aerodynamic. The James Baroud Evasion is a fold-out hardshell helmet, similar to models such as the Sparrow on the roof above and Maggiolina AirLand below. Inside the tent, the roof has a window for stargazing, and there are two side windows that allow you to enjoy the views.
The best reason to buy Thule Tepui Foothill is that it only takes up about half the width of most roof bars thanks to its long rectangular design. In addition, manufacturers often add anti-condensation mats under the hardtop or under the mattress, minimizing annoying drops in the middle of the night and mold buildup (this also adds another layer of insulation). It's also worth mentioning that each tent has its own maximum weight capacity, but so does the roof of each car. Not only does this apply to whether you get a softshell or hardtop tent, but it also applies to the dozens of other ways in which roof tents differ.
Options include a long list of variables in design, price, and size, so finding the best roof top tent for you can take a bit of work, but thankfully, there's a tent for just about anyone with any vehicle. The Kukenam roof tent can accommodate up to three people with a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds (although the roof of your car may not be able to support as much, as we will see later). Installing a roof tent is easy in most cases, but almost all of them require roof bars to properly secure it to your car or truck. Other metrics, such as Space and Comfort, combine quantitative measures of the product, such as maximum ceiling height, with a more qualitative description of how comfortable the mattress is.
If you've seen a rooftop tent around town or in the woods, there's a good chance it was a Thule Tepui.