Types of Rooftop Tents
Rooftop tents are an excellent choice for our climate and terrain. Built for ease of use, mobility and durability, they also enable you to camp almost anywhere as you don’t need perfectly level or smooth ground to camp. Designed for solo travellers, couples and up to four people (depending on which style you choose), they’re ideal if you’re time poor – meaning you can set off after work on a Friday and it doesn’t matter if you arrive after dark, you’ll still be able to set up quickly and easily. They’re also perfect for long overland trips where you’ll cover a lot of ground and don’t want to lose a lot of time to set up and pack down camp each day.
Rooftop tents are designed to mount on your roof rack and most come with a comfortable mattress and a ladder to help you climb up to your bed (in most instances you’ll be sleeping around 2m off the ground). There are three types:
Hard shell: Hard top rooftop tents have a rigid ceiling and floor made from hard materials such as fibreglass, plastic, or aluminium. The walls are made from softer yet still extremely durable materials like canvas or nylon. The majority of rooftop tent hard shells open with a hinge or pop straight up in a box shape with the assistance of gas struts, making set up extremely easy and fast, as well as easily manageable in poor light. With a footprint covering your vehincle's roof area, these tents are compact.
These are the most durable types of rooftop tent as the materials used are more weather resistant. They’re also the easiest to set up. However, with convenience comes a higher price tag and the smaller footprint, so they are best suited to for one or two people.
Soft shell: Soft shell rooftop tents open up like a pop-up book using a series of hinged poles. The tent body is made from a waterproof soft material such as nylon or canvas and attached to a rigid, hinged platform with a ladder so you can climb up and down. This type of rooftop tent can handle up to four people depending on the configuration and additional annexes, and takes a little longer to set up, but still less time than the average ground tent set up. Some soft shells also come with optional annexes, allowing you to create an extra room underneath your rooftop tent.
Hybrid: A hybrid rooftop tent has a hard shell when packed down and walls made of fabric like a hard shell rooftop tent. Hybrids benefit from the sturdier construction and roof top storage of the hard shell, plus the smaller pack down size. They also include a fold out tent section giving you the extra sleeping space of a soft shell. Some hybrids offer optional annexes, allowing you to create an additional room underneath your tent.
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