Although social distancing has hit every part of the world, but many of us have always wanted to get away from everything sometimes, and some of us have. Don’t we all love a good adventure? Navigating through uncharted territory, gliding through Bush paths, and driving over rocks and boulders. If that thought did not make your heart race faster, I do not know what would. This is pretty much what Overlanding is about and so much more. As the mantra goes, “it is all about the journey, not the destination”, because oftentimes, there is no known destination.
Due to its adventurous nature, people usually do not know what to expect during Overlanding. Having a great vehicle for both on-road and off-road terrains is not enough, you must also get your gears ready. One important item is a rooftop tent. Overlanding is an inspirational activity; intense, refreshing, and intense at the same time. But you need to be prepared for anything, and that means making arrangement for unforeseen circumstances. The most important would be where to sleep if you get stuck out in the woods.
What are Rooftop Tents?
Rooftop tents (or roof tents) are an important accessory installed on the roof of a vehicle for a user to sleep in. You probably have no idea where your Overlanding will lead you to. When it gets dark, you need a place to sleep. That is where a tent comes in, but not just any tent, a rooftop tent. It is important to also note that rooftop tents gained popularity when some overland adventurers touring the Australian outback needed something to sleep in that will put them above predators.
Usually, there are specific tents built for Overland vehicles. So, you must ensure you pick a rooftop tent that suits your vehicle. Examples of newly released overland vehicles include.
- 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
- 2020 Jeep Gladiator (Rubicon)
- 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor
- 2020 Land Rover Defender 110
- 2020 Ford F-series Super Duty Tremor
- 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, and
- 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser.
Why You need a Rooftop Tent
Let me start with a question; after 15 hours driving through the woods with no clear sign of civilization or human existence, what do you do? You would certainly need rest so you can get enough strength and stamina for the next day’s adventure. What if all you have is a regular camp tent? What if your campsite is lumpy? What if it is a valley and the clouds decide to let out the rains? There are so many things you can avoid by getting a rooftop tent.
- Safety: I cannot emphasize this enough. A regular camp tent, regardless of its rain fly, durable fabric, and all the other safety gears, can only give as much safety as the circumstance permits. If you are not worried about creeping animals and insects, there are several other concerns. A rooftop tent, however, is safer. You are elevated, and this gives a sense of security and calm.
- Any Campsite should do: Having this gear as part of your overland vehicle essentials means you do not have to worry about spending hours looking for the perfect camp spot. With a rooftop tent you do not have to worry about getting a flat bed or a smooth surface to sleep on; the top of your vehicle provides that. So, you do not have to deal with lumpy and uneven sites.
- Comfort and Ease: A rooftop tent is extremely comfortable to use, as many of them have inbuilt mattresses. No worries about waking up in a pool of water. Also, it is quite easy to set up. All you must do is attach the tent to the roof rack on your vehicle, then unfold and extend the ladder to deploy it. The setup also ensures you can turn and toss without rolling over.
- They are roomy: This is another great feature that makes rooftop tents an amazing and essential gear for your overland vehicle. The average rooftop tent will probably be as large as 1.4m x 2.4m, but you can always order a 4-person rooftop tent or those ones that give you extra room by the side of the vehicle.
How to choose a Rooftop Tent for Overland Vehicles
The first thing to consider would be whether it fits your vehicle’s rack. Be sure to always verify if the rooftop tent you are checking out can be installed on any car, truck, or SUV. You should be able to use your tent on any of your overland vehicles (assuming you have more than one). If you buy a rooftop tent without checking this important detail, you will not have a rooftop tent Afterall. Visit Rootop Campers website for many rooftop tent product reviews.
The next factor to consider is ease of setup and convenience. In fact, this is one of the reasons many people opt for a rooftop tent. While many brands provide this convenience, there are inferior brands that just want to make life difficult for everyone. Good models can be pitched in just a few minutes. For most of them, all you must do is find the right parking spot, undo a few latches or straps, and raise the roof. Some others require unfolding a ladder and extending it. And voila! You have your tent.
Durability is another important factor to look out for. What is it made of? Can it withstand strong winds and storms? Will it hold off bad conditions or attacks? These are critical questions.
Other factors include cost, design, and weight. Cost depends on your affordability and the quality of the rooftop tent. Most brands cost an average of $2,000.
For design, you will want to know if the tent has an in-built mattress, whether there is a good enough breathable mesh, and if it is roomy enough for the number of campers you have. The consideration for weight is just to be sure it does not put an extra drag on your vehicle.