The rooftop tent is the swanky new way to camp. These vertiginous camps are relatively new to the outdoor scene compared to RVs, caravans, and ground tents, and they are luring even the skeptics to try a night of adventure outdoors.
The advantages of rooftop tents are considerable. They are more likely to keep animals from sliding inside, and they remain cleaner than regular tents. Rooftop tents are far easier to set up, and they make good use of the car’s rooftop area, so you have more space in the baggage area. These tents come with a comfortable sleep pad similar to memory foam, and they are far cheaper than RVs and mobile caravans.
There’s also the bonus of sleeping a little closer to the sky and having a great view when you are falling asleep, but even with the good, it is essential to note certain things before purchasing your tent to make your sleeping arrangements ideal. The following are five points to keep in mind when purchasing your first rooftop tent.
- Check it is the right fit for your car.
The rooftop tent will add some weight to your car. Before buying your tent, check that it is the right weight for your vehicle. Moreover, if you don’t have roof bars, it’s essential to buy the right ones. When your car doesn’t come with its roof rack, you must check your vehicle owner’s manual to learn about the right specs for your vehicle. That way, you will know the dynamic weight capacity for the roof rack and the weight limit for the rooftop tent.
If you bought the car with a roof rack, check the owner’s manual to see if it is compatible with rooftop tents, as some versions of these racks aren’t.
- Consider the bigger picture.
There are various versions of rooftop tents. Some come with awnings and extended spaces for more shade during the day. Awnings are excellent to create a comfortable living space, especially if you expect high temperatures or rain. Other versions allow you to keep the bedding inside the tent, so you don’t need to remove the pillows and bedsheets when packing for your next destination.
- Invest in comfortable bedding
If you are investing in a rooftop tent instead of a regular tent, then it means you are in search of a more comfortable outdoor sleeping experience. Since this is the case, it’s best to think well about the type of bedding you want to sleep on. A comfortable mattress is of utmost importance. Generally, rooftop tents come with mattresses made of memory foam. However, if you suffer from a bad back, finding a harder mattress may be more suitable.
Since you are going for a sophisticated camping experience, consider bringing a duvet with you rather than a sleeping bag and pillow.
- Factor in the number of people
As with all camps, you should always go for a bigger camp when factoring in sleepers. So if you are a family of five, buy a camp that sleeps six, in case of any equipment you may house to sleep comfortably. Unlike regular tents, rooftop tents have a limit to the number of people they sleep. All versions can hold up to four people for obvious reasons.
- Invest in quality material
Rooftop tents aren’t cheap, and for a good reason. Camping on your vehicle’s rooftop requires a more sturdy material than when you sleep on the ground. All rooftop tents come in a suitable material, but some are sturdier than others. If you plan on camping in challenging climates for long periods, consider investing in tents with a rugged material for added durability. For example, you can opt for mesh tops, so you have a view of the sky, or opt for a hardtop to keep your things protected when the tent is closed.
Once you have the rooftop tent of your dreams, there are more ways you can make your outdoor living experience feel more luxurious. For starters, you can add fairy lights to the tent and bring hot water bottles when camping in colder climates. Moreover, you can invest in absorbent sheets and bring your pillow to sleep soundly.
If you enjoy camping in one place, a traditional camp may be more suited to your needs. However, if you plan on sleeping in different places, then a rooftop tent is a better option. A level surface and height are critical components to setting up such tents. So if you or someone in your party aren’t very tall, then bring along a stool to help you set up. Finally, if you have the opportunity to sleep in a rooftop tent before buying one, go for it. It’s good to get a feel of this elevated tent to determine whether it’s the right fit for your family.