When it comes to rooftop tents, there are plenty of options – both hard shell and soft shell – from all sorts of different companies.
That means that there are a lot of candidates for the best hard shell tent of 2021…
Last year, when I was looking for a rooftop tent, I spent months and months and months researching and asking questions about hard shell tents. There were certainly some that stood out, but as I really drilled down to what the options had to offer, it became clear that one small, family-owned company had the best option. That company is Torro Offroad.
Now, let me reiterate that this is simply my opinion, an opinion that is based on extensive testing and research both in and out of the field. I have used the Torro Offroad Skylux tent in all sorts of situations in various locations and weather conditions, and it has been a rock star each and every time. To say that I’ve been utterly impressed is an understatement!
So, with that, let me outline the reasons why this is the best hard shell tent of 2021.
The Torro Offroad Skylux is Built to Last
When you invest in a hard shell tent (or any tent, for that matter), you want it to be something that is durable, long-lasting, and that gives you a dry, secure place to lay your head at night for years and years worth of adventures.
Torro Offroad has done an impeccable job in building this tent to do just that.
The hard shell case is made of ruggedized material with stainless steel locks that stand up to the rigors of camping in varying conditions and temperatures.
The tent itself is made of handmade waterproof 280GSM ripstop canvas and features a PU3000 polyurethane coating for added protection. The tent also comes with a completely waterproof rainfly to ensure you stay dry no matter how hard the rain or snow is falling.
Add to that an upgraded heavy-duty aluminum telescoping ladder that can hold up to 300 pounds, and you have the makings of a high-quality, well-constructed tent from top to bottom!
Best Hard Shell Tent of 2021: This Thing is Comfortable
Now that I’m firmly into my 40s, I’m all about being as comfortable as possible when I’m overlanding. After all, just because I’m roughing it doesn’t mean I have to be uncomfortable, right?
What I appreciate about the Torro Offroad Skylux is that I get to crawl into a king-sized bed each night, stretch out, and enjoy the comfort of a quilted, high-density foam mattress.
I’m a tall guy, so having the ability to stretch out after having been in the Jeep on the trail all day feels oh so good.
I also appreciate the fact that I don’t have to stoop down to crawl into a tent on the ground. As I get older, doing that gets harder and harder, so climbing a nice, stable ladder up into my big, spacious tent is definitely a plus.
I like to bring my son on many of my trips with me, so the size of the tent and the king-sized mattress is a definite bonus as well. And since there are no flame retardant chemicals used in the manufacture of this tent, it’s completely kid-friendly. The lack of inks in the tent material means there’s nothing to irritate your skin, either.
Setup of This Tent is a Breeze
When you’ve had a long day of driving or trail riding, the last thing you want to do is spend 30 minutes getting your tent set up…
So, yet another reason why this is the best hard shell tent of 2021 is that it sets up so quickly – less than 60 seconds. Just unlock the latches, pop it open using the high-powered struts, unfurl the tent, and set up the ladder. It really couldn’t be any easier!
Plus, I can leave all my pillows and bedding in the tent, so I don’t even have to set up my bed while I’m traveling!
Best Hard Shell Tent of 2021: It’s the Little Things
Torro Offroad has thought of everything and has included a lot of little things that really make you appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into the design and construction of this tent…
It has aluminum stents that are rated for winds up to 35 mph, so even when the weather isn’t ideal, you can rest assured that your rooftop tent will hold strong
Another little feature that really pays dividends is the fact that the tent has indoor and outdoor LED lighting that can be powered by a standard USB power bank.
The obvious benefit of having exterior LED lighting is so that you can see what you’re doing as you climb the ladder into the tent. It’s also nice to have interior lighting so you can get settled in without having to mess around with your headlamp or a lantern.
Torro Offroad even goes so far as to include a shoe bag and a storage bag with the tent to help you keep the interior of the tent clean and organized.
Something else that I really appreciate about this tent is that when it’s packed down into its hard shell, it’s only 12.5 inches tall.
Now, my Jeep Gladiator and Turtleback Expedition trailer aren’t exactly poster childs for aerodynamics, but having a rooftop tent that collapses into such a small package definitely helps reduce drag as I’m driving down the road.
And that very same hard shell exterior can be used for mounting solar panels to charge up the batteries in my trailer, which is a huge benefit because I don’t have to set up and take down my solar panels every time I camp for the night.
Add in a five-year warranty and free shipping, and you begin to realize just how many “little things” that Torro Offroad includes in their Skylux tent package.
Pros and Cons of the Best Hard Shell Tent of 2021
To recap, this tent has a lot of pros that make it such a worthwhile investment:
- Impeccable build quality
- Smart design
- Impressive interior space
- King-sized mattress included
- Five-year warranty
Additionally, this tent has a low-profile design, a quick setup, space for four people (there’s a two-person option too), and comes with a waterproof rain fly. You can also add an annex room for additional space or an awning for some shade if you like.
After using this tent for over a year, I can honestly say that I have nothing to complain about. Sure, some folks will point to the hefty price as a con, but for me, this is a you-get-what-you-pay-for situation.
When I’m camping or overlanding, I want a place to sleep that’s comfortable and that will stand up to the elements. I don’t want to worry about rain, wind, and snow. I don’t want to spend half an hour setting up my tent. I want something convenient and built to last, and that’s precisely what I get with this tent.
I’ve spent a lot of time in tents over the years. Some have been fine. Some have been utterly terrible. And some have absolutely knocked it out of the park. The Torro Offroad Skylux is definitely in the category of knocking it out of the park. That’s why it’s my choice for the best hard shell tent of 2021!