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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hardtop Rooftop Tent Buyer’s Guide

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: Eezi-Awn Stealth

Picture yourself on a camping trip, transforming your vehicle into a cozy sleeping haven within minutes. Welcome to the world of hardtop rooftop tents, where convenience meets comfort. High above the ground, they redefine camping comfort. Quick to set up and tough against the elements, they provide a sleeping experience unlike any other. 

In this article, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of these innovative tents, spotlighting BTR Outfitters‘ exceptional range, designed for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. We’ll explore the advantages that make them a standout choice, the considerations to bear in mind, and how to select the best fit for your adventures. 

Table of Contents

Pros of Hardtop Rooftop Tents

OVS Sidewinder from BTR

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: OVS Sidewinder

Hardtop rooftop tents are a boon for campers who value quick setup and convenience. In just a few minutes, these tents transform any vehicle roof into a comfortable sleeping area. This speed and ease are perfect for those who want to maximize their time exploring, not fussing with tent poles and stakes.

Durability sets these tents apart. Designed to endure harsh weather, they provide robust shelter from rain, wind, and even snow. The hard shell exterior is a shield against the elements, ensuring you stay dry and cozy. Elevated off the ground, they also offer protection from ground moisture and critters, enhancing your safety and comfort.

Space efficiency is a major plus. Closed, they’re sleek and unobtrusive, minimizing drag and fuel impact. Open, they expand into spacious retreats, complete with comfortable mattresses. This combination of travel-friendly design and roomy interiors makes them ideal for various outdoor adventures.

Cons of Hardtop Rooftop Tents

Roofnest Condor Hard Shell Roof Top Tent

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: Roofnest Condor

While hardtop rooftop tents offer numerous benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. The initial cost is one of the most significant barriers. These tents are typically more expensive than traditional tents, making them a considerable investment for campers. This factor alone can be a deterrent for those on a tight budget or new to camping.

The added weight on your vehicle’s roof is another consideration. Hardtop tents are heavier than regular tents, and this extra weight can affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and overall handling. It’s important to ensure your vehicle can safely support the weight of the tent, both when stationary and while driving.

Lastly, mobility can be an issue. Once the tent is set up, it’s not practical to move your vehicle without first stowing the tent. This limitation means you need to pack up your sleeping area if you plan to use your vehicle during your stay. It can be a minor inconvenience for those who like to explore their surroundings by car during their camping trips.

Consider Different Hardtop Rooftop Tent Layouts 

Eezi-Awn Stealth by a lake

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: Eezi-Awn Stealth

The layout of a hardtop rooftop tent can greatly influence how you use it. Take the Eezi-Awn Stealth, for instance, with its front-hinging design. This setup provides ample legroom and a spacious sleeping area, making it a great choice for those who prioritize interior space. The way it opens can also offer additional shelter at the tent’s entrance, a subtle yet useful feature.

In contrast, tents like the Overland Vehicle Systems Sidewinder and the Roofnest Condor hinge on the driver’s side of the vehicle. This design is advantageous for campers who prefer easy access from the side of their vehicle. It’s especially handy in tight camping spots or when you want to align your tent’s entrance with specific views or wind direction.

Each layout has its unique benefits, and your choice might depend on various factors like your vehicle type, preferred camping locations, and personal comfort preferences. Understanding these differences is key to finding a tent that not only fits your vehicle but also enhances your camping experience.

Also Consider Windows, Doors, and Airflow 

Overland Vehicle Systems Sidewinder Roof Top Tent back

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: OVS Sidewinder

The design of windows, doors, and ventilation in a hardtop rooftop tent is crucial for comfort and functionality. Adequate airflow is essential to ensure a comfortable sleeping environment, especially in varying weather conditions. Let’s compare the three models from BTR Outfitters in this regard.

As noted in our Eezi-Awn Stealth review, its integrated awnings at the rear entrance offer excellent ventilation and protection from the elements. Its design allows for a breezy interior while keeping out rain and dew, making it an ideal choice for varied climates. The window placements in the Stealth also offer panoramic views, enhancing the outdoor experience.

Our Overland Vehicle Systems Sidewinder review and Roofnest Condor review discuss how these tents have distinct designs for their windows and doors. The Sidewinder’s side-opening mechanism provides easy access and facilitates cross-ventilation, essential for staying cool on warmer nights. The Condor’s skylight window adds another dimension to airflow and also allows for stargazing, a unique feature for those who love to sleep under the stars.

Each tent’s window and door design contribute to its overall camping experience. From enjoying scenic views to ensuring a comfortable and breathable interior, these features play a significant role in the functionality of the tent. When choosing a hardtop rooftop tent, consider how these aspects align with your camping preferences and locations.

Other Hardtop Rooftop Tent Features to Consider 

Image Credit: BTR Outfitters; Pictured: Roofnest Condor

When selecting a hardtop rooftop tent, several other features merit attention to ensure you find the perfect match for your camping needs. Size, weight, vehicle compatibility, tent materials, and overall design play pivotal roles in your choice.

The Eezi-Awn Stealth, known for its durable 280GSM ripstop canvas and aerodynamic aluminum shell, offers a balance between strength and weight. Weighing 90kg, it’s relatively lightweight for its size, making it compatible with a range of vehicles. The spacious interior and high-density foam mattress cater to those seeking comfort without compromising on build quality.

Overland Vehicle Systems’ Sidewinder stands out with its premium 600D ripstop polyester canvas and insulated honeycomb base. Weighing 185 lbs, it’s a sturdy option that doesn’t shy away from providing ample interior space and comfort, evident in its oversized storage loft and high-density foam mattress.

The Roofnest Condor, on the other hand, is crafted from ASA/ABS plastic shell, striking a fine balance between durability and weight (135 lbs). This makes it suitable for smaller vehicles. The Condor’s fold-out style maximizes interior space while maintaining a compact profile when closed.

Each of these tents has distinct characteristics that cater to different camping styles and vehicle types. Whether you prioritize lightweight design, interior space, or material durability, understanding these features will guide you in selecting a tent that aligns with your outdoor aspirations.

Let BTR Outfitters Help You Decide

btr outfitters logo

Choosing the right hardtop rooftop tent can be a daunting task given the variety of options and factors to consider. BTR Outfitters steps in here to simplify this process for you. With their expertise and wide range of options, they can help match you with a tent that fits both your vehicle and your camping style. Their team of knowledgeable professionals is ready to guide you through every step, ensuring you make an informed and confident decision.

Whether you’re leaning towards the sleek Eezi-Awn Stealth, the spacious Overland Vehicle Systems Sidewinder, or the versatile Roofnest Condor, BTR Outfitters has the experience to advise on the best fit for your adventures. Their commitment is to enhance your outdoor experiences with top-quality gear, tailored to your unique needs. Reach out to BTR Outfitters and take the first step towards your ideal camping setup.

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