Camping is an excellent way to get out and experience the great outdoors. However, it can be challenging to find a comfortable and safe place to sleep, especially if you are traveling by truck. That’s where rooftop tents for trucks come in. These tents are designed to mount onto the roof of your truck, creating a comfortable and elevated sleeping space that is off the ground.
When looking for the best rooftop tents for trucks, there are a few critical things to consider. First, you’ll want to make sure that the tent is compatible with your specific truck model. You’ll also want to consider the size of the tent and how many people it can comfortably sleep. Other factors to consider include the tent’s weight, ease of setup and takedown, and durability.
We are national park and camping experts. We spent countless hours researching the various rooftop tents for trucks to identify the ones that offer the best combination of comfort, convenience, and durability. We then tested each of the best six that we shortlisted here, so you can benefit from our personal experience.
In this article, we’ll share our top picks and highlight the features that make them stand out.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just getting started, we’re confident that one of these rooftop tents will be the perfect addition to your next outdoor adventure.
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What’s the best rooftop tent for trucks?
Want a quick solution? The extending Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 is my top overall pick among all the best truck tents for camping.
Why buy the Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3?
This superb product is the best of all these tents for pickups due its good quality and impressive features. These include marine grade materials, LED lighting, a high density foam mattress and ease of fitting.
Comparison Chart of the Best Rooftop Camper Tents for Pickup Trucks
This handy table lets you compare our shortlist for the best roof top tent for a pickup.
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|Our Rating (/5)
Best Rooftop Tents for Trucks
We understand that camping is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some quality time with nature. However, finding a comfortable and safe place to sleep while camping can be a challenge.
This is where rooftop tents come in handy. They are easy to set up, provide a comfortable sleeping space, and keep you off the ground away from any wildlife.
In this article, we have put together a list of the best truck tent topper selection that will make your camping experience much more enjoyable.
We recently had the chance to try out the Thule Tepui Kukenam Rooftop Tent Explorer Haze Gray on a what turned out be a very stormy camping trip and we were impressed with its features.
- The tent fabric is UV resistant and withstands the elements of any season.
- The mesh panels offer plenty of ventilation and open for more airflow.
- The tent includes a high-density foam mattress for added comfort.
- Big enough for three people.
- I found the large pockets inside super handy for storing small gear
- The ladder doesn’t always lock when extended. Ladder feet dig into the metal frame of the tent. I taped some rubber to the bottom and it was fine.
- Doesn’t fold up that easily – you may have to crawl up on top to fold it away.
- The zipper around the cover shield is really hard to use.
- The way you fasten it onto your car’s crossbars is tedious.
The tent is constructed from coated 600 denier and a 260g poly-cotton blend, making it durable and able to withstand the elements of any season. The four large internal pockets are great for storing gear and camping accessories.
Setting up the tent was easy and quick, taking only a few minutes to install. The tent’s mesh panels offer plenty of ventilation and open for more airflow, keeping you cool and comfortable. The included high-density foam mattress is also a nice touch, adding extra comfort to your camping experience.
However, we did find a few cons with the tent. The ladder doesn’t always lock when extended, which can be frustrating. The zipper around the cover shield is also hard to use, making it difficult to access the tent. Finally, the way you fasten it onto your car’s crossbars is tedious and can take some time to get right.
Overall, we would recommend the Thule Tepui Kukenam Rooftop Tent Explorer Haze Gray to anyone looking for a durable and comfortable rooftop tent. It’s a great option if you camp in stormy weather.
We highly recommend the Raptor Series Offgrid Voyager Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent for anyone looking for a durable and easy-to-set-up pickup truck roof top tent.
- Sets up and closes in seconds, eliminating the need for additional setup.
- Aerodynamically engineered to withstand heavy winds and shed rainwater. We also noticed minimal drag and wind noise when driving.
- Built-in air vents with quick adjust control feature and mosquito netting.
- We found the high-density foam mattress comfortable and slept well on it.
- We noticed that the nylon straps holding up the door and screen may wear out quickly. They have been fine so far – but something to keep in mind.
- The ladder may be too short for some trucks, which could make getting in and out of the tent difficult. Make sure you check the specs and measure your vehicle.
- The tent is kind of heavy. It was OK for us, but I can imagine some people might find it a bit heavy if you have a smaller truck. Check the specs of your vehicle carefully.
We found the Raptor Series Offgrid Voyager Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent to be easy to set up and take down. The heavy-duty telescoping aluminum ladder was sturdy and made getting in and out of the tent a breeze. The tent itself was aerodynamically designed to withstand heavy winds and shed rainwater, which made for a comfortable and dry camping experience.
The built-in air vents with quick adjust control feature and mosquito netting were a nice touch, as they allowed for plenty of airflow while keeping bugs out. We also appreciated the 2 hanging shoe and storage pockets that rolled up and stored with ease.
Overall, we believe that the Raptor Series Offgrid Voyager Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent is best for those who want a durable and easy-to-set-up tent topper for truck campers at a reasonable price.
We recently tested out the Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent during a camping trip and here’s what we found.
- The tent sets up quickly and easily, taking only a few minutes to assemble and disassemble.
- The high-density foam double/full mattress is comfortable and spacious, providing a great sleeping experience.
- The tent is completely self-contained, freeing up critical storage space in the truck bed.
- The ‘sunroof’ flaps give good ventilation.
- There is a 12V power adaptor and even LED strip lighting inside.
- The tent is quite heavy at 145 pounds, which can make installation and removal difficult for some users.
- The tent is relatively expensive compared to other rooftop tents on the market.
- The included ladder is a bit short, which may be an issue for taller vehicles.
I also really liked the flexible options for increasing space. The XL size sleeps up to 4 people (standard size is 2-3, so this is great for larger groups or if you just want more space). For more space, you can buy a tent annex (see details here)
Smittybuilt also has an awning you can attach to your vehicle to expand your outdoor living space (see the awning here).
The Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent is a great option for serious traveling adventurers. With its ease of use, comfort, and durability, these pickup truck tent campers are perfect for those who want to set up camp quickly and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
However, this is one of my top picks for best rated truck rack tent, it may not be the best option for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly or lightweight option.
Overall, we recommend this tent for those who value convenience, security, and comfort on their camping trips.
We highly recommend the Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended Rooftop Tent (RTT) for anyone looking for a durable and easy-to-use rooftop tent.
- The truck top tent camper is made of high-quality materials that are waterproof and durable.
- It is easy to set up and take down, and requires no drilling or modification to your vehicle if equipped with factory or aftermarket roof rack.
- The tent comes with a bonus pack that includes memory foam pillows and a mini broom and dustpan.
- It’s spacious, so it’s good for larger groups or you just want more room.
- The instructions for installation are not the greatest, but they get the job done.
- The tent is quite heavy, which may be an issue for some people.
The Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended Rooftop Tent RTT is a great choice for anyone who wants a high-quality rooftop tent that is easy to set up and take down.
The top of truck tent is made of rip stop, marine grade waterproof and durable materials, and comes with a bonus pack that includes rip stop, marine grade memory foam pillows with cotton cover. It also has held and Velcro strip LED lights, a storage loft and six pockets and even comes with a mini broom and dustpan.
The rip stop, marine grade fabric repels water and wind and there is a comfortable 3-inch foam mattress with cotton cover.
The tent also has a reinforced diamond plate base and a user-friendly fold and go design.
Overall, we think this tent is best for anyone who wants a durable and easy-to-use rooftop tent that will last for years to come. It’s ideal for people new to tent truck camping looking for a good quality, reliable option.
If you’re looking for a durable rooftop tent with a comfortable mattress, Overland Vehicle Systems TMBK 3 Person Roof Top Tent with Rain Fly Tan Base & Green Rainfly is a great choice.
- The high-density foam mattress with cover is comfortable for a good night’s sleep.
- The insulated base keeps you warm on chilly nights.
- The telescoping ladder makes it easy to climb up and down.
- The mattress is only about 2 inches thick, so it may not be comfortable enough for some people.
- The ladder is a bit flimsy and may not be sturdy enough for heavier individuals.
- The tent is quite heavy, so it may be difficult to install and remove on your own.
We recently took this rooftop pickup camper tent on a camping trip and were impressed with its overall performance. The mattress was comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep, although we did add a mattress topper for extra cushioning. The insulated base kept us warm on chilly nights, and the marine grade waterproof body plus rain fly kept us dry during a light rain.
The telescoping ladder was easy to use and felt secure when climbing up and down. Again, this fits any truck with a roof rack, without requiring any drilling or modifications.
Overall, if you’re looking for a durable rooftop tent with a comfortable mattress, the Overland Vehicle Systems TMBK 3 Person Roof Top Tent with Rain Fly Tan Base & Green Rainfly is one of the best truck top tents on the market. Just be aware of its weight and the thickness of the mattress before making your purchase.
We highly recommend the ARB Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent and Annex Combo Kit for anyone who loves camping on top of their truck.
- The tent is made of high-quality materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
- It comes with a 2.5-inch foam mattress that provides excellent comfort for a good night’s sleep.
- The insect screens keep bugs and mosquitoes out, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep.
- It had great ventilation, which helped keep us cooler.
- The installation instructions are not very clear, making it difficult to set up for the first time (although we found it easy to set up once it was installed).
- The tent is quite heavy, which makes it difficult to move around.
- The annex provides extra space, but it doesn’t have a floor, which may be inconvenient for some campers (you can buy a tarp here).
We found the ARB Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent and Annex Combo Kit to be a great investment for our camping trips. One of the reasons it’s one of our top picks for best truck roof top tent is that it’s made of high-quality materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions, and the insect screens keep bugs and mosquitoes out, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep. The 2.5-inch foam mattress provides excellent comfort, and we slept well in the tent.
In summary, the ARB Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent and Annex Combo Kit is a pickup truck camper tent if you’re looking for a durable and comfortable rooftop tent that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
When it comes to choosing the best rooftop tent for your truck, there are several factors to consider. We’ve compiled a list of features you should look for when making your decision:
Size and Capacity
The first thing to consider is the size and capacity of the tent. You’ll want to make sure that it fits your truck roof rack and that your truck roof can support the weight of the tent (and occupants).
You’ll also want to check that it can comfortably accommodate you and any other occupants. Consider the number of people who will be using the tent and how much gear you’ll need to store.
Material and Durability
The material and durability of the tent are also important factors to consider. Look for a tent made from high-quality materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions and frequent use. You’ll also want to ensure that the tent is easy to clean and maintain.
Setup and Installation
The setup and installation process should also be taken into account. Look for a tent that is easy to set up and take down, and that doesn’t require a lot of tools or equipment. You’ll also want to ensure that the tent is securely attached to your truck bed and won’t shift or move during use.
Features and Accessories
Finally, consider the features and accessories that come with the tent. Look for a tent that has plenty of ventilation, windows, and doors for easy access. You may also want to consider additional features such as built-in lighting, storage pockets, and awnings.
Finding the Best Pickup Tent Campers – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main types of truck tent camping tents?
There are two general types of truck tents – tents for beds of trucks and tents that go on top of trucks. This guide focuses on the best truck topper tents, but I have a separate guide if you’re looking for a tent for your truck bed.
Why consider roof top campers for trucks?
We recommend rooftop tents for trucks because they offer a comfortable and convenient way to camp. They are elevated off the ground, which provides a better view and keeps you away from bugs and other critters. Because they provide good protection from weather and wildlife as you sleep, they’re a great option if you’re headed somewhere with frequent storms or lots of local fauna (like bears).
Additionally, once fitted, they can be really easy to set up and take down in just a few steps.
They don’t take up any space inside your truck bed and tend to be sturdier than truck bed tents – the poles, fabric and floors are generally better for stormy weather.
This type of truck tent can – depending on the model – also sleep more people.
The major con is the price. They are definitely pricier than bed tents or regular camping tents and because they’re attached to the top of your truck, they increases drag – and gas mileage. However, they much cheaper than an RV to buy and drive! And, although they are more expensive, a mattress is included with every model, giving them built-in comfort.
What do I need to consider when choosing a rooftop tent?
When choosing a rooftop tent, you should consider the weight limit of your truck’s roof, the size of the tent, the type of material it’s made from, and the weather conditions you’ll be camping in.
You’ll also want to think about the price, as rooftop tents can be quite expensive.
In addition, tents on top of trucks should have a comfortable built-in mattress, have a good ladder, and not create too much drag as you drive when stored on your roof. The floor bolts to your roof rack, so be sure to check that your roof rack has the right capacity and setup for the tent before buying it.
Other things you’ll want to consider are annexes, which give extra space; durability; and how well they do in bad weather.
Can any car take a rooftop tent?
No, not all cars can take a rooftop tent. You’ll need to make sure that your vehicle has a roof rack that can support the weight of the tent and its occupants.
You should never use a rooftop tent if the rooftop load limit of your vehicle is under 165 lbs.
In general, rooftop tents are not suitable for cars, sedans and hatchbacks but can be used with SUVs and trucks.
How do you know if your car can handle a roof top tent?
It should have a roof load limit of at least 165 pounds, but check with the tent manufacturer specs on purchasing website to make sure it’s suitable before your own vehicle before buying. The weight limit of your vehicle’s roof rack. This information can usually be found in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
You’ll want to look at:
Tent weight (check the specs).
Static weight capacity, which is the weight of the tent + the people inside + their gear + the rack. Rooftops are usually engineered to withstand a lot of weight in case they roll over, so this is not usually a problem, but double check.
Car and rack dynamic weight capacity. This is the ability to support the tent weight while you’re driving. Verify it for your truck and the rack.
Rack compatibility – make sure your rack and tent are OK together.
Rooftop tents are typically OK with most raised rail and some fixed point systems. You should not use a rooftop tent with a clip (Q-Tower or BaseLine) or flush rail type system. Do not use them with a Landing Pad 6 or 7.
What is the weight limit for rooftop tents?
The weight limit for rooftop tents varies depending on the tent and the car’s roof rack. However, most rooftop tents can hold up to 600 pounds.
How do I choose the right size rooftop tent?
You’ll need to consider the number of people who will be sleeping in the tent, as well as the size of your car’s roof. Most rooftop tents come in two sizes: a two-person tent and a four-person tent.
What are the benefits of a hard shell rooftop tent?
Hard shell rooftop tents are more durable than soft shell tents, and they provide better insulation. They are also easier to set up and take down, as they can be opened and closed with just a few simple movements.
Can rooftop tents be used in all weather conditions?
Yes, rooftop tents can be used in all weather conditions. However, you’ll want to make sure that the tent is properly insulated and that you have the appropriate gear for the weather conditions.
Are rooftop tents easy to install?
Yes, rooftop tents are relatively easy to install. However, you’ll need to make sure that your car’s roof rack is properly installed and that the tent is securely attached to the rack.
How long does it take to set up a rooftop tent?
Once they’re installed, it typically takes about 5-10 minutes to set up a rooftop tent. However, this can vary depending on the tent and your level of experience.
How do you install a rooftop tent?
To install a rooftop tent, you’ll need to attach the tent to your car’s roof rack. Most rooftop tents come with instructions on how to do this, and it typically involves using bolts and screws to secure the tent to the rack.
How To Install a Rooftop Tent
Which is the best pick up truck tent for you?
This will depend on your truck, the types of trips you’ll be taking an which factors are more important for you. Each of the six tents here are good – take a careful look at the pros and cons of each to help decide which is the best for you.
Whichever you choose, I hope this article helps you pick from the best camping tents for trucks out there.
Enjoy your next adventure!
Do you have another pick for the best pickup truck tent camper? I’d love to hear what it is. Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.
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James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.
He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks.
Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.
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