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Rooftop tent, pros and cons


What is a rooftop tent?


A rooftop tent is literally what the name says. A tent that can be attached to the roof or the top of your vehicle, and this includes 4WD, SUV, a van or even a trailer.  A rooftop tent is perfect for campers who love to travel, music festival goers or for an afternoon nap on the side of the beach. They are quick and easy to set up, making them ideal to set up camp pretty much anywhere, and their robust build provides durability against any harsh weather or elements of nature.


Kings rooftop tent

 Kwiky MKII Kings Hard Shell Roof Top tent


The post-covid times made everyone eager to go outdoors, and the demand for rooftop tents skyrocketed to record-breaking heights. With so many choices and things to consider, there has never been a better time to choose what’s right for you. We will look at some benefits and of course some disadvantages of having a rooftop tent. Considering specific factors, we’ll also look at some of the best rooftop tents in 2022.


Things to consider when buying a rooftop tent


  • Hard or soft-shell top
  • Size – Sleeping area and head height
  • Weight
  • Vehicle and rack compatibility
  • Weatherproof and ventilation
  • Closed size
  • Mattress
  • Annexes and awnings
  • Extra features and accessories
  • Costs


rooftop tent window

Great view through the door/ window. It is all about where you park it!




Rooftop tents are a great way to get the most out of your outdoor adventures, without worrying too much about your family’s or your own safety. Here are some benefits of having a rooftop tent.

  • Easy to set up/ convenient
    • Rooftop tents are very easy to set up, most will only take less than five minutes or a lot quicker than your conventional ground tents. By utilising gas struts, most rooftop tents can be easily set and packed away in a matter of minutes.


  • Be elevated away from danger
    • Safety/View
      • The safety of a rooftop tent is one thing you can be sure about. Being elevated from the ground gives you that peace of mind that you can sleep properly at night, away from creepy crawlies, unexpected floods, or high tides. While you’re safe above the ground, you can be sure to enjoy a beautiful view from up high.


  • Be comfortable
    • The comfort of rooftop tents is unmatched. All rooftop tents provide a soft mattress and adequate space to traditional ground tents, not only that, rooftop tents, provide comfort in inclement weather, such as rain or winds. Speaking of inclement, rooftop tents offer 100% protection from rain, and their rigid structure will surely go against some strong winds.


  • It’s mobile
    • The lightweight and rigid design of rooftop tents make it somewhat easy to bolt on vehicles and be stable to bring on any rugged terrain you want to go.


  • Costs
    • Although buying a rooftop tent can be somewhat pricey, the costs, in the long run, will save you a lot of money. With the price of a rooftop tent, you can’t compare with the advantages of sleeping on a traditional tent on the ground or booking an expensive hotel room.


Disadvantages of rooftop tents


  • Weight capacity
    • Rooftop tents weigh roughly between 50kg-100kg, and the weight raises your vehicle's centre of gravity. This can make the vehicle more unbalanced when you turn sharp corners, or travel at high speeds, which can be quite dangerous. Heavier vehicles also have greater inertia and wind resistance, and they both contribute to increased fuel consumption.


  • Height restriction
Rooftop tent gives extra height to the vehicle and this restricts certain accesses such as shopping centre undercover carparks, maccas drive-through or even your own garage. It is wise to check heigh limits of places you go before marching into the building structure and facing disastrous damages.


    • Mounting to Vehicle/ Fitting requirements
      • Before you’re thinking of buying a rooftop tent, make sure you have a strong and durable roof rack or secure platform that will hold the rooftop in place. Mind you, most rooftop tents come with the standard bolts and nuts to secure the rooftop tent. However, you can go beyond and satisfy your peace of mind to get special brackets and roof mounting kits.
      • Mounting a rooftop tent can be a bit of a hassle, considering the weight of the rooftop, you’ll need at least two or more people to lift it onto your vehicle and on the roof racks, and while it’s there you’ll need to move it into a position where its levelled.


    • Takes up space/ Movement
    Whether you’re travelling or at home, rooftop tents can be quite the headache when they are mounted on your vehicle. If you’re out in the wilderness and need to go collect some firewood for camp or go for a quick drive, you’ll need to fold away your rooftop every time. To add to the frustration, it takes up your roof-rack space, where you’d normally load a couple of jerry cans and eskies.
    While you’re at home, this can cause headaches as well, whether you decide to leave the rooftop tent on your vehicle or at home. Leaving your rooftop mounted on your vehicle and using your vehicle as a daily driver is not ideal, due to accessibility issues and fuel consumption. In contrast, leaving your rooftop laying around at home, can take up space and be dangerous, mounting it on the wall or high above can be the best option.



      Top 5 Best Rooftop tents in Australia


      *Prices can be varied


      • Adventure Kings Roof Top Tent
        • Best Affordable rooftop tent ($900)
        • Spacious
        • Comes with all the basics you need
        • Lightweight (57kgs)
        • Value for money


      • Adventure Kings Grand Tourer MKII Aluminium Rooftop tent
        • Best Hardtop shell
        • Super spacious
        • Quick set-up (30sec)
        • Comfortable sleep
        • Pricey ($3000)
        • Great features
        • Weight (94kgs)


      • Darche Intrepidor Roof Top Tent
        • Lightest rooftop tent weight (51kgs)
        • Spacious
        • Great features
        • 180-degree zippered mesh windows
        • 1500 PU waterproof rating
        • Price ($1999)


      • XTM Roof Tent
        • Super Spacious
        • Great features
        • 75mm thick high-quality mattress
        • Price ($1000)


      • Kwiky MKII Kings Hard Shell Roof Top tent
        • Hard Top shell for overhead protection
        • Quick and easy to set up
        • Value for money ($1200)
        • This was our pick! It was our accommodation for 3 weeks touring around QLD.


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