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Hard shell rooftop tents are typically relatively easy to install for camping. Not wanting to invest in a camper, but hate the idea of sleeping on the ground? Then maybe one of these babies is for you. Many of these tents can be mounted on even smaller cars, and come with an aluminum ladder, so you can sleep away from the bugs and critters on the ground.
Set up is often far easier than putting together a traditional tent, as the pop-up design can take well under five minutes to get ready for a weekend of fun. After your trip, the tent compactly retracts back down, and sometimes can even house some of your camping equipment. Prices can vary, but we can tell you the option is far cheaper than your average pull behind camper, and a lot easier to set up and use. Below are some of our top choices for hard shell rooftop tents.
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TMB Sand Pop Up Roof Tent
Coming in at a solid four stars on Amazon, customers have mostly positive things to say about this hard shell rooftop tent. Most say that it is easy to install, and even easier to set up once you are out and about camping. A thin memory foam mattress provides some padding for a more comfortable sleep, but you could always throw in some more blankets for added comfort. The design can fit on smaller cars than just trucks or SUVs, as long as the appropriate crossbars and racks are installed on the vehicle. A sturdy provided ladder makes it easy to get in and out of the tent, and a little storage pouch helps keep things organized throughout your trip. Given the price is much lower than some hard shell rooftop tents, this can be a good investment for a beginner, or someone who isn’t entirely sure about the camping method.
Imagine crawling into this ultra spacious tent and onto a king size mattress with your spouse for a romantic getaway. However, it’s noted that the tent is so large, that it can fit two adults and two children if you want to bring them along! One of the major selling points is that it takes 60 seconds to set this tent up, a far cry from the possible 30 minutes it could take to set up a traditional tent with poles. The highly durable hard shell expands to reveal strong black out canvas that encases the shelter. When on the road, the shell is designed to be wind resistance, so it likely won’t make a lot of impact on your gas mileage.
Trustmade Hard Shell Rooftop Tent
Whether in rain or snow, the waterproof tent can be a phenomenal shelter for two people hitting the road together. A high density mattress provides comfort when sleeping, and two windows and a door allow you to peek out and take in the scenery. We also love the versatility of this particular option, as it can be used as a tent, or even a cargo container! One side opens up to create enough space for various gear no matter what your adventure may be. Set up with this tent takes about two minutes on average, so you’ll be kicking back by the fire with marshmallows and hot dogs in no time. Reinforced insulation will help keep you warm, while also reducing any noise that might keep campers awake at night. And last but not least, there is a seven and a half foot adjustable ladder to meet your needs depending on the height of your vehicle.
Danchel Outdoor Roof Top Tent
We love that this design could either secure snugly on the roof of an SUV, or stay elevated over your truck bed, allowing for things like skis or fishing gear to still be stored underneath. Mesh windows help keep bugs out of your tent, while also promoting air circulation to keep things cool. The load capacity is just under 600 pounds, and the tent could potentially support up to three adults! Customers have positive things to say about this hard shell option, but have noted that since the product itself weighs 165 pounds, you might want a few people to help out with the installation. Another comment mentioned that the hardest part was removing the shrink wrap, so if that’s the case, this is probably a pretty solid pick, at a reasonable price.
Cascadia Tents is based out of Oregon, if you didn’t already guess by the name. Quality constructed hard shell tents are offered at affordable prices, and the variety of styles are intended to meet your specific wants and needs. This particular design is something referred to as “clamshell”, and by the way that it opens on one end, it keeps the other more secured. This particular build creates more structural integrity that can hold up better to wind and other elements, and it allows accessories (such as awnings, shovels, axes, lights, and showers) to be directly attached. A little bit of headroom is lost when using a clamshell tent, but the sturdy nature makes it far worth it. Various storage pockets, that can be moved around the space, make organizing snacks, flashlights, toiletries, and other essentials a snap. Plus, it can be set up in under a minute.
Roofnest Sparrow Adventure
Roof Nest is a solid line of vehicle rooftop tents, and we love their Sparrow design, because of its versatility, and standard Roof Nest features. A soft and comfy memory foam mattress resides in the interior, and serves as a phenomenal sleeping base when adding in pillows, blankets, sleeping bags and other bedding you might want. Of course the set up is effortless, as with many other hard shell tents, and it literally just pops up like a dream. But the additional crossbars with this variation, allow campers to store extra gear on top! That’s right, make extra space for your kayaks, skis, snow shoes, bikes — you get the picture! This one is a true adventurist’s tent.