Top 5 Roof Top Tents Suitable for Campervans

Artists imrpession of a roof top tent on a VW transporter

If you have a smaller campervan that you want to expand on so you can sleep on the roof and keep the van as more of a living quarters, the roof top tents might be worth considering. Let take a look at 5 roof top tent options suitable for vans, so you can make an informed decision and enhance your next camping adventure.

Overview of the Best Van Rooftop Tents

We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 rooftop tents for your van, each standing out in different aspects:

  1. Best for Quick Setup: Roofnest Sparrow EYE

  2. Best for Space and Stargazing: Thule Approach M

  3. Best Low-Profile Design: Roofnest Falcon 2

  4. Best All-Weather Protection: Thule Tepui Autana 3

  5. Best Budget-Friendly Option: Smittybilt Overlander

Roofnest Sparrow EYE: The Quick-Setup Champion

Price: $2,895

Specifications:

  • Hydraulic Piston System

  • Sleeps 2-3 people

Pros:

  • Quick and easy assembly

  • Ample storage space

  • Comfortable sleeping accommodations

Cons: Traveling is cumbersome due to its bulky size and large footprint.

  • Expensive compared to other tents

The Roofnest Sparrow EYE stands out for its quick and effortless setup process. With its hydraulic piston system, the tent opens with minimal effort, allowing you to convert it from travel to camping mode in just 45 seconds. The Sparrow EYE boasts a comfortable sleeping space with ample storage for your camping essentials. However, it is slightly bulky in travel mode and more expensive than some other tents on the list.

While the Sparrow EYE has a high price point, it remains a cost-effective choice compared to the Falcon 2. The tent comes with all necessary mounting brackets and tools for easy installation. Its downsides include a bulky appearance when in travel mode and a large footprint, but it does come with an anti-condensation mat to reduce moisture buildup inside the tent.

Rating:

  • Price: 3.5/5

  • Design: 4/5

  • Ease of Assembly: 4.5/5

  • Comfort: 4/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Thule Approach M: The Spacious Stargazer

Price: $2,800

Specifications:

  • Sleeps 2-3 people

  • Welded aluminum tube base construction

Pros:

  • Spacious interior with large windows for stargazing

  • Easy installation with roof rack locks

  • Durable construction materials

Cons for your next camping adventure:

  • Mildly frustrating rain fly

  • No cover storage while camping

The Thule Approach M tent stands out with its:

  • Spacious interior

  • Large windows, offering an unparalleled stargazing experience

  • Generous sleeping area

  • Easy attachment and removal process

  • Construction quality, featuring an insulated aluminum base and a breathable, water-resistant canopy fabric

It is considered one of the top tents in the market, and many outdoor enthusiasts prefer this top tent.

While the Thule Approach M is a standout choice for space and comfort, it has a slightly inconvenient rain fly and lacks cover storage during camping. However, these minor drawbacks do not overshadow the tent’s overall performance and quality.

Rating:

  • Price: 3.5/5

  • Design: 4.5/5

  • Ease of Assembly: 4/5

  • Comfort: 4.5/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Roofnest Falcon 2: The Low-Profile Luxury

Price: $3,595

Specifications:

  • Sleeps 2-3 people

  • Ultra-thin construction

Pros:

  • Low-profile design

  • Spacious and comfortable

  • Quick and easy setup process

Cons:

  • No room for ladder or additional bedding while in transport mode

  • Expensive

  • Considerable weight

The Roofnest Falcon 2 is an ideal choice if you desire a low-profile rooftop tent that blends luxury and practicality, easily compatible with most roof racks. Its features include:

  • Ultra-thin construction that minimizes wind drag and enhances its aesthetic appeal

  • Spacious and comfortable sleeping area

  • Massive cargo storage net

  • Boot bags

  • USB-powered LED lights for nighttime illumination

The Falcon 2 offers the advantage of a quick and easy setup process which takes only a minute or two to switch from travel mode to camping mode. However, the tent is expensive, and there is no room for a ladder or additional bedding while in transport mode.

Rating:

  • Price: 3/5

  • Design: 4.5/5

  • Ease of Assembly: 4.5/5

  • Comfort: 4.5/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Thule Tepui Autana 3: The All-Weather Warrior

Price: $2,500

Specifications:

  • Sleeps 2-3 people

  • 2.5” foam mattress for a good night’s sleep

Pros:

  • Excellent weather protection for sleeping bags

  • Entrance awning

  • Comfortable mattress

Cons:

  • Longer conversion time

  • Pricey

The Thule Tepui Autana 3 is a versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort in all weather conditions. Its features include:

  • Entrance awning that extends over the ladder, providing protection from rain and wind

  • Weather-resistant and durable main tent fabric

  • Large sky windows for stargazing

  • 2.5” foam mattress for ultimate comfort during your camping adventure

The tent features a user-friendly ladder and a convenient cover for easy setup and takedown. However, the Autana 3 has a slightly longer conversion time compared to other tents and is on the pricier side. Despite these minor drawbacks, it remains a top choice for those seeking a rooftop tent that can withstand diverse weather conditions.

Rating:

  • Price: 3.5/5

  • Design: 4/5

  • Ease of Assembly: 3.5/5

  • Comfort: 4.5/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Smittybilt Overlander: The Budget-Friendly Behemoth

Price: $1,097 at Amazon

Specifications:

  • Sleeps 2-3 people

  • 2.5” foam mattress to sleep comfortably

Pros:

  • Wide and sturdy ladder

  • Boot bag

  • Spacious interior with led light strips

Cons:

  • Ladder may require drilling

  • Velcro cover not the most efficient cover system

  • Heavy

The Smittybilt Overlander is an affordable hard shell rooftop tent that maintains high quality. It offers:

  • A wide and sturdy ladder

  • A hanging boot bag for muddy footwear

  • An innovative LED light strip

  • A comfortable mattress

  • A canopy built to withstand harsh weather conditions

Despite its affordable price, the Smittybilt Overlander has a few drawbacks. The ladder may require drilling for installation, and the Velcro cover is not the most efficient system. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a durable and budget-friendly rooftop tent, the Overlander is a solid choice.

Rating:

  • Price: 4.5/5

  • Design: 3.5/5

  • Ease of Assembly: 3/5

  • Comfort: 4/5

  • Overall: 3.5/5

Choosing Your Perfect Campervan Rooftop Tent

Consider factors like ease of assembly, space, comfort, durability and cost while selecting the best rooftop tent for your van. Each of the top 5 rooftop tents we’ve covered excels in different aspects, offering unique features that cater to a variety of needs and preferences.

Assess your needs and compare the features of each tent. This will help you select the most suitable rooftop tent for your van, enhancing your camping experience.

Keep in mind, the best rooftop tent for your van will depend on your specific needs and likes. Give due consideration to the factors we’ve outlined to find the ideal tent for your camping trips.

Summary

In conclusion, rooftop tents offer a unique and elevated camping experience, providing safety, comfort, and convenience. We’ve presented the top 5 rooftop tents suitable for vans, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. By considering factors such as ease of assembly, space and comfort, durability, and budget, you can find the perfect rooftop tent to enhance your outdoor adventures. Happy camping!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a roof top tent on a van?

Yes, you can put a rooftop tent on a van by installing a rack system and using easy-to-follow instructions. TentBox is another example of a rooftop tent that provides quick setup time, an integrated mattress, and the hassle-free camping experience you are looking for.

Are roof top tents safe for cars?

Yes, rooftop tents are safe for cars as long as your car is equipped with a roof rack or roof bars that can handle the weight of the tent and its occupants. Just make sure to check your vehicle’s maximum weight limit before installation.

What is the difference between a roof top tent and a pop up tent?

Roof top tents have higher roofs, providing more headroom to move around in and are generally larger than pop up tents, giving you extra space for comfortable sleeping and relaxing.

What is the lightest roof top tent in Australia?

The Lite Cruiser 2 person roof top tent is the lightest roof top tent in Australia, weighing just 38kg.

What is the easiest rooftop tent to set up?

The Roofnest Sparrow EYE is the easiest rooftop tent to set up, taking only 45 seconds to convert from travel to camping mode.

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