Roof Top Tents can be expensive, generating a few doubts on those who have never used them.
Why are they so expensive? What’s the difference between model ‘X’ and model ‘Y’?
These are just some of the many questions that we get everyday. That’s why we decided to come up with a short article briefing you on some of the affordable rooftop tents that will still offer an excellent quality and performance.
We like to tell those that call us that even though we understand their doubts about the tents, they’re a solid investment that will pay off in comfort, quality, money saved long term, and finally because they’ll encourage you to spend more time in the outdoors.
One night in a roof top tent, and you’ll want to camp on them forever.
Anyhow, let’s get back to business. The following list contains some of the lower-priced tents, from different brands and styles, yet all of them of very good quality.
They’re suitable for anyone, but very appealing for those with lower budgets, or recommended for beginners who have never owned one and want to start small to then upgrade to a better model once they know what to look for.
However, we know of very experienced overlanders that have camped in these for yearsand didn’t even want to upgrade. They kept them, as they were good enough.
What’s the difference with more expensive car top tent models?
Well, for the difference with hardshells, CLICK HERE.
As to the differences in quality of softshells and why they’re priced differently, we’ll get into depth on that on another article. For now, trust us that the models cited below offer a really good quality and comfort, and will not disappoint.
Affordable Rooftop Tents:
Let’s start by defining what affordable or low-cost roof top tents are: these are models that cost under $1500.
Most roof top tents, softshell or hardshell, tend to range closer to the $2000 region. Hence why below $1500 is actually affordable.
The following models are not in an order of better or worse, this is not a ranking but a list. All of them have different characteristics and they’re from different brands. Yet all of them are of a quality that will likely exceed expectations.
The Smittybilt Overlander XL is likely one of the most sought after models in the market. These are literally sold like hot cakes every quarter. In less than a few weeks all the models are sold.
Comfort, quality and price.
The Overlander XL is only $1199, yet it offers space for 4 people, and comfortably. On top of that, it’s a very good quality tent, and the price becomes almost unbeatable.
|Overlander XL (2883)||$1199||Open Size: 122″W x 76″L x 51″HClosed Size: 47″W x 76″L x 11″H||132 lbs||4 People||3-Season Camping|
Includes: 2.5” thick mattress, rainfly, travel cover, sliding aluminum ladder, interior LED, mosquito net, CE approved cig, lighter adapter, shoe bag.
Overview: The Smittybilt Overlander XL is an excellent choice for those looking to stay on a budget, or why not take the whole family camping.
The tent comes almost at an unbeatable price, and is built to last. Despite not being exactly a 4-season camping tent, it will hold really well against pouring rain and strong winds. We even know of many experienced overlanders who have used it in winter, under snowy conditions.
It also includes a lot of handy accessories that normally raise the price a bit, but not in this case. After a few days of RTT camping you’ll realize what a game changer the shoe bag is, or how useful the lights in the interior can be.
There are options to buy an annex and as such, have even more space for either kids to sleep there, leaving bags, or to use as a changing room.
The ease of setup and take down is not the best, but that happens with many softshells. That said, it’s still faster to set up and pack down than a regular tent.
An interesting feature is the overhang that it has to offer coverage for the ladder. That way, even if you don’t have the annex, you will be protected form the sun or rain when climbing up and down into your tent.
To view the whole product description CLICK HERE.
Tepui Tents is know for being one of the biggest, best and most reliable brands in the roof top tents business. The quality of a Tepui is hard to match, they’re a synonym of reliability.
The Baja Series are lightweight, 3-season tents for warmer weather. They offer them at very good prices and with the option of getting different canopies. Thanks to this you can either get lighter ones for summer camping, and thicker ones for rainy days, or those who reflect better the sun.
|Tepui Baja Series Kukenam 3||Starts at $1275||Open Size: 56″ W x 96″ L x 50″ HClosed Size: 56″ W x 48″ L x 12″ H||108 lbs||3 People||3-Season Camping|
Includes: 2.5” thick mattress, rainfly, travel cover, telescoping ladder, 3 different canopy options.
Overview: This roof rack tent ranges from $1275 until $1375 depending on the canopy type purchased. The flexibility of having a mesh only canopy, the ultralite or the aluminized is excellent. It will allow you to choose based on where you want to camp: mesh for breezy summer situations, ultralite for summery/spring scenarios, and the aluminized for very hot days, or even rainy ones.
Tepui always delivers quality and comfort. We personally like how lightweight this tent is, and how solid it is. Yes, it’s not the best choice for winter or colder weather, but for the price you’re getting excellent quality and you will not be disappointed.
To see the full specs of this tent, CLICK HERE.
TJM is widely known for being one of the biggest and better companies making overlanding and vehicle accessories.
The Yulara is an affordable, good quality tent. Suitable for 2 people, either couples, solo travelers or those who have pets.
|Yulara||$1000||Open Size: 55″ W x 94.5″ L x 51″ HClosed Size: 55″ W x 48″ L x 12″ H||154 lbs||3 People||3-Season Camping|
Includes: 2.5” thick mattress, extendable aluminum ladder, rainfly, travel cover.
Overview: As said above, an excellent, compact and low-cost rooftop tent for those traveling as a couple, or even alone.
The Yulara has the option of adding an annex to be used as a changing room, which is a recommended option. It is not the best choice for winter camping, but it will hold perfectly fine under strong rain and wind.
Designed in Australia, it has a very strong aluminum base, with good insulation, yet light enough not to be a pain when mounting it on top of your racks or crossbars. Similar to the Smitty, it has an overhang that protects the ladder when climbing up or down of it.
The awnings on the windows will also ensure coverage from the heavy rain mentioned above. The airflow it’s not the best, but the quality is great. It has a comfortable mattress; it’s easy to set up, and as said, comes at a very good price.
To view the product page, CLICK HERE.
There’s no need to introduce ARB, their products and the quality has helped them become a household name in the off roading, overlanding industry.
This is in particular one of the best-known models in the RTT industry. And that’s due to the price and the 2-year warranty it offers.
|Simpson Series III||$1499||Open Size: 56″ W x 96″ L x 50″ H Closed Size: 56″ W x 48″ L x 12″ H||154 lbs||3 People||3-Season Camping|
Includes: Annex, aluminum ladder, 2.5” thick mattress, mattress cover, PVC travel cover, and rainfly
Overview: The fact that it comes with the annex included makes it an excellent choice. The annex works perfectly as a changing room, ideal to get that privacy you might want and it’s hard to get in the outdoors.
This tent is a very solid. It has a quick pack bungee cord system, making it easier to pack it down than other models, and that’s a big advantage. The mattress is 2.5” thick, and the quality of the canvas is out of question.
Some have even used it during winter! Although not the best choice for that.
To view the product page CLICK HERE.
The South African company (Front Runner) came up with a classy, incredibly light RTT model, suitable for summer/spring camping, and of really good quality.
|Featherlite||$1300||Open Size: 53″ W x 134″ L x 55″ HClosed Size: 53″ W x 49″ L x 12″ H||93 lbs||3 People||3-Season Camping|
Includes: 2” thick mattress, rainfly, travel cover, aluminum ladder
Overview: The Featherlite is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality affordable RTT.
The weight will have a lower impact on fuel economy, and it’s going to be easier to mount on the racks. It comes in a sleek grey color, and it’s build of excellent materials.
The downside is the thickness of the mattress, although most rooftop tents will require you to find a better solution, as the mattresses aren’t the most comfortable.
We particularly like the sky roof opening and the excellent breathability this tent has.
To view the full specs, CLICK HERE.
As we had said initially, this list is by no means a ranking, only a list.
We wanted to give some details and to try and introduce you to some of the best models of affordable tents out there.
If you’re looking for one, any of these models will be good enough, just make sure to pick the one that’s suitable for your needs, whether that’s space (Overlander XL), more options when it comes to weather (Baja Series Kukenam 3), or other characteristics.
If you need more guidance, please read the product pages, the reviews, or call us: 844-200-3979.
You can also Join Our Facebook Group Here.
Finally, to wrap it up, we offer Financing for your order. CLICK HERE to get all the details.