Home Overlanding What Rooftop Tent Size Do You Need?

What Rooftop Tent Size Do You Need?


Rooftop tents come in a variety of different sizes; however, the options aren’t as many as in a normal tent. 

Since the tent is mounted on the roof of the truck, there are some tent size limitations. But, a rooftop tent may still be large enough for a small family. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types and sizes to help you decide what suits you the best. 

Table of Contents

Rooftop Tent Size – The Different Types


Rooftop tent size differs based on the type of tent. The two types are hard-shell and softshell. From there on, we have another subcategory which is the clamshell rooftop tent. 

A softshell (like the one above) is a tent that has its soft fabric material always exposed – even when closed. Tent size here is, in most cases, the largest available. Because the tent folds in half, you can get away with a larger sleeping space; however, you also have the tallest footprint when closed. 

Hard-shell tents offer a smaller profile when closed but since they just open and close (they do not fold in half), the footprint of the tent when closed remains the same as when open.

SMRT SkyLoft

 The clamshell category falls into the hard-shell tent type. As the name suggests, when pitched, these rooftop tents have the shape of a clamshell. This is beneficial as it many times gives the tent an even lower closed profile.

A clamshell is also useful in windy conditions as the hard side can be faced towards the wind to help minimize tent noise from the fabric flapping in the wind.

Keep in mind that at the pivot point at which the clamshell begins, you have no space in terms of height. 

In many cases, you will see hard-shell rooftop tents advertised as being able to sleep two or three adults and softshell ones being able to sleep three or four adults. 

Rooftop Tent Size – Examples of Actual Sizing

suv camping smrt sky loft

 Firstly, we have a two-person hard-shell tent size. A great example of this is the SMRT Tent Sky Loft Tent.

The packed tent size is 84 x 54 x 11.5 inches, the floor size is 82 x 52 inches, and its peak height is 48 inches.

As you can tell, the width of this tent isn’t exactly a double bed. However, it is wide enough to sleep two people. 


The length is adequate, and at 11.5 inches tall when packed, you also get a nice slim-lined body that helps with aerodynamics of your vehicle and fuel economy as you drive down the road.

This is a clamshell-type tent; therefore, we get 48 inches of headroom at the tall end and the clamshell pivot at the other. When sitting at the tall end, you will have plenty of headroom. 

SMRT Summit Suite

Our next tent example is the SMRT Tent Summit Suite Tent. 

This is once again a clamshell and hard-shell rooftop tent with a slightly larger footprint and a lower closed profile. 

It sets up in under a minute, and it is rated as being able to sleep three people. 

Size dimensions are 84.5 x 60 x 6.3 inches when packed, 81.5 x 59 inches for the floor, and 56 inches for peak height. 

SMRT Tent Summit Suite

 As you can see, this one is a bit wider and slightly longer than the previous tent. I wouldn’t try sleeping three adults in it, though, as it will be cramped. However, two adults and a child are definitely possible. 

This tent can also carry 175lbs on its roof; therefore, you do get some additional storage space. 


Finally, we have the SMRT Tent Softshell Tent. As the name suggests, this is a softshell tent and has the largest sleeping space out of all. 

Its tent size is 64.5 x 48 x 14 inches when packed, with a floor size of 94 x 63 inches. Peak height comes in at 47 inches. 

This is a much wider tent than the previous two. For two people, sleeping in this tent will feel like a king-sized bed. Three adults can get by but will be a bit snug. Two adults and a child will fit easily. 

softshell-tent-from-smrt inside

 As mentioned in the beginning, the packed size of the softshell is larger coming in at 14 inches in height. Setup time is also longer as it needs to be unfolded. 

 However, if sleeping space is your main priority, I think that the softshell tent can’t be beaten. It is like sleeping in your bed at home! 

Tent Size Final Thoughts 

SMRT Sky Loft

Rooftop tents come in a few different sizes and forms. You will have to choose which one suits you the best based on your preferences and the number of people that need to sleep in the tent. 

 For a couple of people who like to enjoy tough trails and a comfortable sleep, I would go for the first or second option due to their lower profile. 

 If you want to sleep a family of three, or even just two, the third softshell option will be great. 

 If you have any further rooftop tent size questions or for anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page!

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