What to Consider Before Purchasing a Rooftop Tent

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When you’re an avid camper, you’re likely always looking for new and exciting camping equipment to add to your collection. In recent years, rooftop tents have been a popular purchase throughout the world.

While many rooftop tents are affordable, they can still be a significant purchase, so you likely don’t want to jump into a decision immediately. Before adding a new rooftop tent to your shopping cart, consider the following points. You might then be able to make your purchase with more confidence.

The Brand

Not all rooftop tents are made equally, and some brands like iKamper are more highly regarded than others. Once you find a few manufacturers and suppliers you like, research their available tent options, read reviews of their products, and compare features between all tent brands. It also doesn’t hurt to ensure you can access spare parts and accessories through the same business at a later date, should you need to replace any components. 

The Pros and Cons

Creating a pros and cons list is always a good idea for any major life decision or purchase. While preparing for your next car camping adventure, write down a list of advantages and disadvantages related to buying a rooftop tent. 

Fortunately, producing a lengthy pros list won’t take long. Rooftop tents are comfortable, allow you to park anywhere, are easy to set up, and are made with robust materials. You might also be able to list a few cons, such as being more expensive than a standard tent and having to climb up a ladder to get to your bed.   

Vehicle Compatibility

You might be surprised by just how many vehicles are compatible with rooftop tents, beyond just SUVs and pickup trucks. You might be surprised to learn that camping in a Subaru Outback, even, is a popular choice! However, checking weight limits can be essential before buying camping gear like rooftop tents. 

Make sure your vehicle’s roof weight limit is within the range of the tent, then ensure the roof rack you currently have installed will be compatible with a rooftop tent. You can also typically find information relating to the total tent weight in your chosen products’ spec list. 

Available Accessories

While rooftop tents come with all the essentials you need for a comfortable camping experience, it doesn’t hurt to have access to a few optional extras in case you want to enhance your outdoor adventure even further. 

When you look for tents of a specific brand, seek out accessories like awnings, in-tent organizers, locks for security, ladders, and rain canopies. The more parts and accessories you can purchase, the more peace of mind you might have that you can always buy replacement components. 


No one wants to spend countless hours putting up a tent, so ease of installation is undoubtedly an important consideration. As you won’t know how easy it is to put a tent up before you purchase it, don’t be afraid to research online. 

Read reviews about how complicated or easy it is to put together and watch videos of other people setting them up at their chosen camping destinations. Most people say setting up a rooftop tent is just as easy or even easier than setting up a standard tent.

A rooftop tent might be one of the best purchases you ever make for camping, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into a decision. Consider these points above, and you might be more than satisfied with your new purchase.

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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