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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pros and Cons of Rooftop Tent Camping

Rooftop tent camping is an exciting and adventurous way to explore the great outdoors. It combines the convenience of car camping with the thrill of backpacking, making it a popular option for outdoor enthusiasts. Rooftop tent camping has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many adventurers opting for this type of setup over traditional tents or recreational vehicles.

With a rooftop tent, you can easily set up camp anywhere your vehicle can take you, from remote wilderness areas to popular campgrounds. These tents are mounted on the roof of your vehicle, providing a comfortable and elevated sleeping area. 

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of rooftop tent camping, as well as tips for selecting the right tent for your needs. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-time adventurer, rooftop tent camping is an exciting way to experience the beauty of nature.

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Types of Rooftop Tents


Not all rooftop tents are created equal, as there are two main types; softshell and hardshell. Understanding the differences between these two types of tents can help you make an informed decision when choosing the best rooftop tent for your rooftop tent camping needs.

Softshell tents, like the SMRT The Softshell shown above, are made of canvas or nylon and are known for their flexibility and lightweight design. They are also more affordable than hardshell tents and are easier to pack and set up. These tents are perfect for campers who want a light and affordable option for camping in fair weather conditions.

SMRT Summit Suite

Hardshell tents, like the SMRT Summit Suite shown above, are usually made of fiberglass or plastic and are known for their durability and weather resistance. They are also more expensive and heavier than softshell tents but offer more protection from the elements. These tents are perfect for campers who want to camp in remote and off-road locations or in harsher weather conditions.

Pros of Rooftop Tent Camping

Elevated Sleeping Position 


One of the biggest advantages of rooftop tent camping is the elevated sleeping position it provides. This can be especially beneficial in areas with a lot of wildlife or bugs, as it keeps you off the ground and away from potential pests.

Easy to Set Up 

Rooftop tents are generally very easy to set up, as they typically only require a few minutes of effort to unfold and secure. This can be especially convenient when compared to traditional tents, which can be more time-consuming to pitch.

Off-Road Capability

Many rooftop tents are specifically designed for off-road use and can handle rough terrain and rugged conditions. This can be a great advantage for those who enjoy exploring more remote areas.

Weather Protection

softshell-tent-from-smrt inside

Hardshell rooftop tents, in particular, are known for their excellent weather protection. These tents are typically more durable and weather-resistant than their softshell counterparts, making them a good choice for those who plan to camp in inclement weather.


Rooftop tents are generally more comfortable than traditional tents, as they offer a more spacious and open sleeping area. This can be especially beneficial for those who prefer more room to move around or need to sleep with additional people or pets.

Cons of Rooftop Tent Camping


One of the biggest drawbacks of rooftop tent camping is the cost. These tents can be quite expensive, especially when compared to traditional tents.

Limited Vehicle Compatibility

smrt sky loft 4runner

Rooftop tents are designed to be mounted on the roof of a vehicle, and they may not be compatible with all types of vehicles. This can be a major limitation for those who do not have a suitable vehicle or are unable to modify their existing vehicle to accommodate a rooftop tent.

Weight and Storage 

Rooftop tents can be quite heavy, especially hardshell models, which can be a significant consideration for those who are concerned about fuel efficiency or the weight capacity of their vehicle. In addition, these tents can be large and may require significant storage space when not in use.

Difficulty of Installation 

SMRT Tent Summit Suite

While rooftop tents are generally easy to set up, they can be more difficult to mount on the roof of a vehicle. This can be especially challenging for those who are not mechanically inclined or who do not have the proper tools and equipment.

Limited Visibility 

One of the drawbacks of rooftop tent camping is the limited visibility it provides. These tents are typically mounted on the roof of a vehicle, which can make it difficult to see out of the windows when you are inside the tent. This can be a major inconvenience for those who enjoy being able to see the surroundings from the comfort of their tent.

A Great Option for Rooftop Tent Camping


If you’re considering rooftop tent camping, SMRT Tent’s Sky Loft is a great option. This hardshell tent is designed to be mounted on the roof of your vehicle and offers a range of features to enhance your camping experience.

One of the standout features of the Sky Loft is its spacious interior, which provides ample room to sleep and move around. The tent also features large windows, which allow for plenty of natural light and a great view of the stars at night.

SMRT Sky Loft

In terms of durability and weather protection, the Sky Loft is top-notch. It is made of a sturdy, recyclable ABS plastic and is equipped with a waterproof rainfly to keep you dry in wet conditions. It also has a built-in climate control system to ensure that you stay comfortable in a range of temperatures.

Overall, the SMRT Tent Sky Loft is a great option for those who are interested in rooftop tent camping. Its combination of comfort, durability, and weather protection make it an excellent choice for adventurers of all types. Check it out today!

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