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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent Review

To this day, I still remember my first time dealing with Smittybilt. I had a 1991 two-door Jeep Wrangler, and I bought Smittybilt front and rear bumpers and the side steps for this Jeep. These parts were better priced than other options and looked great for the next six years I had that vehicle.

When you think about it, Smittybilt is known for its no-nonsense, working-class attitude and has once again lived up to its reputation with its rooftop tent, the Overlander. This tent is the epitome of tough-as-nails functionality and affordability, proving that luxury camping doesn’t have to come with a luxury price tag.

The Overlander is built to withstand the elements and is packed with features that other tent manufacturers consider optional upgrades. Which, need I say, will save you money.

While it may require a little bit of elbow grease and creativity, the Overlander is the perfect choice for the adventurous camper who is okay with taking the scenic route to set up. In other words, if you believe the journey is just as important as the destination, the Smittybilt Overlander is the tent for you!

Table of Contents

Smittybilt Overlander Tent Comfort Review

smittybuilt overlander


The Overlander rooftop tent is a true heavyweight champion in the camping world. With its ample interior height of 51 inches (which, if you are a tall person, you will appreciate this height!), one can quickly transform into a human-shaped giraffe and admire the surroundings from a new perspective.

Say goodbye to feeling cramped and confined, as the Overlander provides a generous 38 square feet of floor space, making it on par with the most luxurious tents on the market. As you will hear me say numerous times in this review, the space you get with this tent is one of its biggest perks.

smittybuilt overlander tent on jeep

And if you need a little fresh air, the Smittybilt Overlander has covered you with two side windows AND two roof windows. I’m a stargazer, so roof windows are a big plus in my book. So let’s do this, imagine waking up to a stunning view of nature and breathing in the crisp morning air. It’s a dream come true for anyone who’s ever been stuck in a stuffy, cramped tent.

So whether you’re just getting started, a seasoned camper, the Overlander is the perfect tent for anyone who values spacious comfort and a good view (AND a great value). And with its affordability, you won’t have to break the bank to get the camping experience of a lifetime.




Smittybilt Overlander Roof

Top Tent

Smittybilt Overlander XL Roof

Top Tent

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Smittybilt Overlander Hard Shell Rooftop Tent


Smittybilt GEN2 XL

Overlander Tent 

Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent Features

smittybuilt overlander interior

The Overlander rooftop tent is spacious and comfortable and has thoughtful features that make it a standout in the camping world.

One of its most valued features on this tent is the LED light strip that brightens up the tent’s interior, making it a breeze to set up your bedding, even in the dark, well with the light… technically, you’re not in the dark.

On the plus side of things, there will be no more fumbling around in the dark (you know what I’m talking about), trying to find your sleeping bag, or, better yet, your flashlight at 3am to make a pee run!

Another noteworthy feature is the external rubber boot bag, which keeps muddy footwear from tracking dirt into the tent. With this handy accessory, you can say goodbye to cleaning up a mess of dirt and mud every time you climb into the tent.

smittybuilt overlander rooftop tent

After testing several rooftop tents, one of the Overlander’s most appreciated features is the beefy, sturdy ladder. If you have ever climbed up barefoot on a small rooftop tent ladder, you know exactly how this feels. Not good at all! No more shaky and unsteady climbs into your tent – the Overlander’s ladder takes the danger out of climbing so that you can get in and out with ease and peace of mind.

In short, the Overlander rooftop tent is a camper’s dream come true. With its LED light, rubber boot bag, and sturdy ladder, it’s packed with features that make your camping experience both convenient and safe.

Let’s Talk About the Durability of the Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent

smittybuilt tent at night

Smittybilt is a brand that takes pride in its reputation for crafting durable and reliable products, and the Overlander rooftop tent is no exception. With its 600D polyurethane canopy, it’s ready to weather any storm, literally. This tent is built to withstand even the most unpleasant elements and keeps you and your gear dry and comfortable.

But it’s not just the canopy that makes the Overlander stand out. With its generous width of 17 inches, the ladder (yep, I need to bring that up again) is the widest of any ladder tested, making it a breeze to bring gear, children, or even pets up to the sleeping zone – no more shaky and unsteady climbs into the tent. The Overlander’s ladder provides a stable and secure way to get in and out.

And let’s remember those middle-of-the-night moments we spoke about earlier when you need to make a quick escape and get down to the ground fast. With the broader ladder, you won’t have to navigate a narrow, wobbly ladder in the dark. The extra width gives you the peace of mind to get down safely, no matter the time or reason.

That said, when talking about durability, the Overlander rooftop tent from Smittybilt is a solid choice for anyone looking for a tent that is both rugged and convenient. With its weather-resistant canopy and wide, sturdy ladder, you can enjoy your camping trip confidently and efficiently.

Smittybilt Overlander Setup

overlander tent


Like any rooftop tent you will buy, there is the setup you need to contend with. The Overlander rooftop tent is not for the faint of heart. It’s slightly heavy at 145 lbs, so be prepared to put in some elbow grease to get it set up. At least recruit two or, ideally, three of your friends to help get this up on the roof of your truck or car. From assembling the tent to installing it on your vehicle, just set aside a few hours to take your time and get it installed safely.  

The installation kit with the Overlander is basic, to say the least. So, if you’re not a DIY pro with a socket set in hand, you may need to invest in some additional tools or seek help from someone with more experience. If you want my two cents, get a good set of sockets, you’ll want them in your tool bag anyway.   

The ladder, while innovative in its sliding design, presents its own set of challenges. It comes pre-drilled with two sets of holes, but if your rack height doesn’t match either of these sets, you’ll need to drill additional holes. Drilling into metal is no easy feat, and the holes need to be drilled with precision, so be ready for a bit of a challenge.

The LED light strip is another feature that takes a little extra effort to set up. But once it’s installed, believe me, it’s well worth the trouble.  

From a setup standpoint, the Overlander rooftop tent is not the quickest tent to assemble or install, but with a little extra effort, you’ll have a durable, spacious, and comfortable tent. So, if you’re up for a challenge, the Overlander is an excellent choice.

Smittybilt Overlander Tent – Is This a Good Tent for the Money?

smittybuilt tent closed

Let’s close this review by addressing the elephant in the room…is the Smittybilt Overlander tent a good deal, something worthy of your hard-earned dollar?

At the end of the day, the Overlander rooftop tent is a budget-friendly option that’s perfect for those who want to get into the world of rooftop camping but don’t want to break the bank. It’s seriously one of the most affordable tents on the market, but don’t let the lower price of this tent fool you. As I mentioned earlier in this review, it offers just as much space, comfort, and convenience as its more expensive counterparts.

In some ways, the Overlander outperforms the more expensive tents. Its innovative LED light strip provides ample illumination, making it feel like you’re camping in your own living room. Okay, perhaps that is stretching the description a tad, but I really love that they included that light! And the rubber boot bag means you’ll never have to worry about bringing mud and dirt inside the tent. If you have kids, you’ll appreciate that one!

Of course, there are a few trade-offs for the budget-friendly price tag. The Overlander is 145 lbs, so you need a friend or two for installation.  And, if you have a unique rack height, you may need to customize the ladder to fit correctly.

If you don’t mind a bit of extra effort and are willing to trade a few extra pounds and minutes of setup time for a more budget-friendly option, the Overlander is the ideal choice. With its spacious design, convenient features, and affordable price, this tent will surely provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

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