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Roofnest Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent – Awesome and Convenient Camping. Roofnest solar panel

Roofnest Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent – Awesome and Convenient Camping. Roofnest solar panel

    Roofnest Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent – Awesome and Convenient Camping

    The Roofnest Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent is the biggest of the plastic hardshell tents. Featuring 3 doors and awnings, and the ability to store bedding inside. We loved the Roofnest Eagle and decided to invest in the Sparrow XL for a few reasons. All that and more below!

    From Eagle to Sparrow XL

    My wife and I love the Roofnest rooftop tents. We have used the heck out of our Eagle (our review here), from warm summer days to snowstorms, it has been one of our favorite tents. I had been an avid tent camper for decades, so rooftop tents were not on my radar. Once I tried the Roofnest, I was impressed.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL opened up

    My wife liked it so much that we wound up using it more than any other tent we have (and we have a lot of great tents!) The fact that the tent is always with you, sets up fast, stays warm and you can leave your bedding in it are just added bonuses.

    I reached out to Roofnest to see what was new in their rooftop tent world. There were several awesome tents that we were interested in. It was hard to decide between the metal body Falcon XL and the Sparrow XL. I was really impressed with the construction and low profile of the Falcon series. Plus, you can mount additional cargo boxes and gear to the metal body. Very cool!

    Roofnest Sparrow XL sealed up

    The thing that drew us to the Sparrow series, was that you can leave your bedding inside the tent. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, and it might not be to you. But, I love the fact that I don’t have 2-3 sleeping bags and pillows taking up space in my 4Runner. room for more gear!

    Roofnest Sparrow XL in the snow

    It is also very nice to have the bedding already in the tent. Think about rolling up to your camp spot and it is raining or snowing. Even with tents that set up from the outside, you are still going to have a little carryover of the weather getting into the tent. Plus, you still need to inflate your sleeping pads.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL at night

    You can leave your bedding in the tent!

    With the Sparrow line of tents, you can leave all your bedding in the tent. This keeps things dry, saves time with inflating sleeping pads, and you can have full-size pillows. That right there is about as easy of a set up as you can get. Plus, you can leave it all set up the way you like it. In fact, I ran some AAA powered LED lights around the perimeter of the roof and made a nice little love nest.

    Roofnest also throughs in a nice rechargeable lamp that you can leave in the tent. Heck, they through in a lot of stuff! There are two mesh bottomed storage bags that are great for shows and gloves. There is a large cargo net that can hold plenty of items to air out. A telescoping ladder (this is how you get into the tent) and storage bag.

    A new feature that I really like, is the rooftop channel for a solar panel and the cargo area (complete with waterproof gear bag) that you can latch onto the roof. A great place to store your camping gear. Plus, they through in a mat to put at the bottom of the ladder. Lots of extra items that I did not anticipate when we picked this up.

    Roofnest Sparrow cargo area and solar area

    Comes in a large cargo box

    The last time I worked with Roofnest, I went up to Boulder to grab the tent. This time I went through the same process you would be doing, and ordered it online. I wanted to see how the order and shipping went as a consumer. I was impressed that the shipping was free and that a 3rd party delivered the tent to my garage. It comes in a large wooden crate (see the pic of that). It is a two-person job getting the tent out and onto the vehicle, so recruit someone ahead of time.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL in shipping box

    Mounting is very quick and easy to do. Simply mount it to the crossbars with the two screw caps and bolts. The mounts are foam-padded too, which is great at absorbing some shock from offroading. All in all, it is a very fast set up, just make sure you have a friend that can lift 75lbs overhead.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL open box with my man Ryan Humphries

    The little things add up

    I noticed several things that were a nice update. Not that there was anything wrong with the Eagle, and I would use that tent again in a heartbeat! But, I did appreciate the attention to detail on a lot of things. Tim and the Roofnest crew really put a lot of thought into these features.

    Three awnings

    This is a great feature! I love the ability to have the doors and awnings open during rain and snow. Plus, you can lower the awnings down to a few inches from the window to seal in warmth and keep moisture out. On top of that, you can now use the ladder on three sides. I am not able to take advantage of this feature as my 4Runner has a hunk of plastic on the top of the tailgate. But, you may be able to enjoy this feature.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL with door cracked

    Latches to keep is shut

    I appreciate the locking latches on the Sparrow series. This really gives me confidence that the tent remains closed. It creates a very secure closure on the 4 latches. It also kept me from overstuffing the tent with lots of sleeping bags LOL. Something I was guilty of in the Eagle.

    Weathertight seal

    There is a burly rubber seal around the roof of the tent. It creates a very secure closure and keeps rain and snow out (and car washes too!) I have had no issues with moisture getting inside the tent when closed. It has been through a few snowstorms and car washes and nothing got inside the tent.

    Built-in mattress

    Yes, that is correct, a built-in mattress! And a nice one at that. This was another feature that sold us on the Roofnest tents. The mattress is legit! It is 3 or 4″ thick and super comfortable. It even has a removable and washable cover with a nice fuzzy pattern on it. No need to inflate a mattress, just enjoy the memory foam one that is built-in.

    Condensation mat

    Under the mattress, is a nice conversation mat that keeps the mattress from making contact with the insulated shell. Now, this feature is great as we have split drinks in the last rooftop tent, and the mattress then got wet. Whoops LOL. What can I say, we like to have a beverage up in the tent and watch the stars.

    Ventilation

    Venting a tent is crucial for moisture management. Have you ever had your tent sealed up all the way, to then wake up to a bunch of moisture in the tent? Thought so. Everyone does it at least once. It is a great learning opportunity though! I like that you can ventilate on all four sides of the Roofnest tents.

    Roofnest Sparrow XL in the snow at night

    Just for the heck of it, I sealed it up completely, on a windless night, in a snowstorm. Not something I would recommend, but, we are detailed about testing gear over here. Of course, there was some condensation in the tent. But any tent would have condensation. My friend I was camping with was soaked with condensation. so keep that in perspective.

    How do you fix that? Just crack the Windows and doors. In colder temps, I lowered the awning to the little bump on the pole and that worked great. The tent stays remarkably warm and the moisture escapes with ease. Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent | Roofnest.com

    Review of Roofnest Sparrow XL Roof Top Tent

    As you can gather from this write-up, I am a very big fan of the Roofnest Sparrow XL tent. We were already big fans of the Eagle. But the new features on the Sparrow really have me impressed. The fact that my wife and our two 60lb dogs can sleep in this tent and stay warm in a snowstorm is just awesome.

    The added headroom is great too. At 6’1″ I can appreciate being able to sit up all the way in the tent. The new struts are burly as heck too. Roofnest even though in an extra one in case you break one. The first time I put the tent down, I could tell how strong the new struts were.

    We have really been enjoying the Sparrow XL and would recommend it to anyone looking for a hard shell rooftop tent that they can leave their bedding in. If leaving your bedding inside the tent is not a big draw, I would recommend the Falcon series from Roofnest.

    Simple Camping (with Tech) — by Jill from the North Woods

    Hello, everyone. This is Jill from the Northwoods. Being from the Midwest and being a simple Midwest girl who loves to camp, I find it difficult to watch people who love to glamp, which is like glamorous camping, or people who like RVs. I’m a tent camper, and I love the simple life. So I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to review some of my equipment when I go camping?

    Roofnest Rooftop Tent

    I decided to step up my game in the past couple of years. I have a fantastic tent. I love this tent. But sometimes, sleeping on the ground in a tent is not always great. So then I started thinking during the whole pandemic, how can I improve my camping? It is my retirement plan and what I plan to do a lot more.

    So the first thing I purchased, and I got this during the pandemic, was a rooftop tent that goes on top of the roof of my car. Yep, I have a Honda Element, and then this thing sits on top of a rack on top of the Element. And for the rooftop tent, I bought a Roofnest Rooftop Tent from [roofnest.com] (https://roofnest.com), a great company out of Colorado that I think thinks outside the box and has many excellent ideas for making roof tents. I got a model called the Sparrow Adventure, and it’s a rectangle, four by eight, and looks like a box which is funny on top of my Element, which also looks like a box.

    The thing about being in a rooftop tent is that it’s a little warm. You get a fantastic breeze if it’s summertime and hot because you have four Windows. Three of them act as doors, and the cross breeze is amazing. There are even awnings on the sides of the Windows that will keep out rain if it’s a particularly drizzly day. I had a pretty good rainstorm when I slept in the tent, and it kept all the rain out while having the Windows open, and I could look out and just see the beautiful rainy day while I sat inside reading my books.

    The other nice thing is it can keep animals, trespassers, spiders, and other things from getting inside the tent. I live in bear country so having a little bit more protection from bears seemed like a good solution. I found a campsite that someday I want to visit with wild horses and buffalo that march through the campground. I think I’d like to be in my rooftop tent while I watch them cross into the campsite.

    The tent itself is made of tough material. It has a hard shell top to it and a telescoping ladder. And you might guess that ladder goes up about 10 feet where my tent is, so you have to climb up and down from the tent.

    People were fascinated when I started taking it out camping. How do you get up there? And what do you have to do if you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? And can we watch you while you pull the tent down?

    It has four arms that will take 120 pounds of pressure. That means you have to put pressure to bring those arms down to fold the tent back up. It can be a bit disturbing. When I first got the tent, it took me, my neighbors, and their parents to help me get it down. But through some trial and error and straps, I eventually figured out how to do it all by myself. This is good because I’m not going to bring all those people camping with me.

    I found my experience of camping in that tent amazing. I really love this thing. It also makes my car easy to pick out in a parking lot.

    Tent Accessories

    But because the air can get a bit warm up there, I have a couple of Coleman fans that I can hang from the inside of the tent that will pull air in and push air out. That ensures everything stays at a reasonable temperature and humidity inside the tent.

    But to ensure I know the situation, I have the [Govee Bluetooth Thermo-Hydrometer sensors] (https://us.govee.com/collections/home-improvement/products/Wi-Fi-temperature-humidity-sensor) inside the car and the tent, and I can see the current temperature in both and if it’s getting too humid. I have seen that rooftop tent get to 147 degrees. It has a black, plastic top so it will get hot up there. That’s why it’s essential to make sure I keep it cool.

    Then I thought about what I could do while inside the tent for power. At the time, I had the 2013 MacBook Pro, which needed a regular AC wall outlet. So, I looked into the [Omni 20 Power Bank] (https://www.omnicharge.co/products/omni-20/), a very large battery with an AC wall adapter, so I can plug pretty much anything into it and get nice power.

    It has so much backup power that I can charge everything in my tent, phone, and lights. The tent itself has some interior lights in it. I can plug those lights into this device and keep the lights going and working on my MacBook. I am comforted that I have a very small device with a ton of power in it to ensure I can have all the fun in the tent I’m looking to have.

    I also have a small table that acts as a laptop desk with room for an iPad and other devices. But when I’m ready to pack up for the night, I can make it flat like a table. And that’s where I put my glasses, my drink, all the things I’m not looking to have directly next to me when I’m sleeping, but it’s nice to be on a little table. [Laptop Bed Tray] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082D74N22/)

    I also have a seat bag to carry all this material up and down the tent. I don’t want to leave anything expensive or valuable in the tent when I’m there or when I’m away. This bag hangs at the top of the tent, and all my fun gear goes into it. When I’m ready to come down in the morning, I can sling it on my back and walk down the ladder. It’s also nice if I decide to spend a night in a hotel. It acts as a tech bag that I can just bring my gear with me.

    Because I like cold weather camping, I have the [Coleman Dunnock] (https://www.coleman.com/sleeping-bags-beds/sleeping-bags-by-temp/dunnock-cold-weather-sleeping-bag/SAP_2000037315.html) cold weather sleeping bag, which works to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. But it’s also very fluffy, which means that it gives a little bit more padding on the mattresses. It’s nice and squishy comfortable.

    Cooking

    Now, because I like to camp in the cold weather, I have a little propane heater called the Chubby 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater Stove. What’s nice about this device is it can act as a cooking device in case I don’t have a fire for the night, or maybe I just want some hot water in the morning for some coffee and oatmeal. It can do that very quickly.

    But the Chubby 2 also has another setting which turns it into a small heater. People say you can use this heater inside a tent and you won’t have anything bad happen. But I’m not ready to try that at all. First, this model doesn’t shut off automatically on tipping as some other models do. But just the idea of having a propane heater inside a tent makes me a little nervous. But for a little bit of heat and a little bit of cooking makes it perfect for me.

    I have the Camp Chef Sherpa Table. It is a smaller fabric container with a hard-shell top. It has legs to make it taller. On the inside, it has four very nice packs where you can put all your cooking gear, pots, pans, plates, and anything else you may need.

    So then, when I’m ready to camp, the whole thing comes out. I can cook with it. I can eat on it. It acts as a little table. Then I fold it back up, take off the legs, and it all goes back into the car without much drama. I found this organizer to be invaluable. And I like it so much. I just keep it in my car all the time to store all sorts of things.

    For most of my cooking, I use a Coleman tripod with an adjustable grill, which goes over the top of any type of campfire. It has an adjustable height grill so I can get close to the fire or bring it up a little more. It’s so handy and versatile. Because I have that and other cooking methods, I have the Stanley stainless steel pots, pans, and plate kit. It has everything you could need to cook and eat with different size pots and pans, plates and forks and all the things you need. [Stanley Full Kitchen Base Camp Cookset] (https://www.stanley1913.com/products/adventure-full-kitchen-base-camp-cook-set)

    With it, I bought another taller pot, which is great for cooking noodles or boiling that first cup of water in the morning for coffee. It also comes with small cups. The whole kit from Stanley Adventure does it all. It’s durable, and it’s something that I’ll have forever. I love how good this complete kit is for every need. [Stanley Adeventure Nesting Two Cup Cookset] (https://www.stanley1913.com/products/adventure-the-nesting-two-cup-cook-set)

    But then, when it came down to eating or cooking, I always had one of the coolers that required ice. To be honest, I was never all that impressed. The ice eventually melts, even if you have a nice Yeti cooler, and you have to keep looking for ice everywhere you go.

    roofnest, sparrow, roof, tent, awesome

    So I decided I wanted to go in the direction of having an electric cooler that I could set and not worry about.

    I bought a 22-liter car cooler after doing some research. It is from AstroAI and comes with all the power cables. It has a 12 volt adaptor so I can plug it into the car. It goes from.4 degrees to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s very nice how this whole thing works.

    It keeps the food cold or frozen. When I’m ready to get out, I can plug it into a battery and keep it cold that way. So now my food is not getting soggy and I know that it’s staying at a reasonable temperature. AstroAI Car Refrigerator

    But you might be asking yourself, what kind of structure do you have to have in place to have an electric cooler with you when you go camping? So I tried to think of ways of going about it. First, I have the smallest Jackery battery, which I bought on a deal once, and it’s great. It can charge up my phone and do some other things. But it has a very low wattage and small power storage. [Jackery Power Stations] (https://www.jackery.com/pages/portable-power-stations)

    While I can use it on that cooler, it drains pretty fast. So I needed something much bigger. Then, of course, you can buy a much larger Jackery with a huge wattage output and large power storage, but they get expensive fast. The Jackery batteries are well-made. All the components are inside the battery, so you don’t need anything else and that makes it handy.

    But according to YouTube videos, you could build your own. When I decided to build my own, it would not be as adorable as a Jackery battery, but it will be much less expensive. So I did some research on buying a lithium battery. I see people try to use a car battery for this, but you must be careful about acid batteries. They can catch on fire and do other very bad things. Lithium is a lot safer but also a lot more expensive.

    For about 490, I got a rather large lithium battery. There were some bigger ones, but I thought this one would suit my needs. So I bought one from Ampere Time Life P04 for a 12-volt lithium battery.

    roofnest, sparrow, roof, tent, awesome

    To go with the battery, I also must have an inverter, which I used an Ampeak 1000-watt inverter. The wattage gives you the limit of what kind of thing you can plug into it. A hair blower might be 700 or 900 watts. They would work with a 1000-watt inverter. In case you decide you want to cook inside, some of the electrical pans also go that high. It has two outlets on it. I hook that up to the battery and then plug the cooler into that. It’s what gives me the AC outlet.

    Then I also have an Expert Power 12-volt Lithium Charger that goes with the lithium battery. So when I’m near an outlet, I can plug it in and charge up that battery. But then I thought I didn’t want to get an electric current campsite all the time necessarily.

    Solar at the Campsite

    I decided to go with some solar panels from a company is called Top Solar, which I don’t know very well, but they seem to get decent reviews. I bought two 100-watt solar panels for this project. This means I also had to get a solar controller from Renege that ensures the energy doesn’t back up into the solar panels and destroy them. It also keeps tabs on the battery’s temperature and the charge level. [Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller] (https://www.renogy.com/wanderer-li-30a-pwm-charge-controller/)

    I tested those two 100-Watt solar panels on the longest day of the year, in full sun, without obstruction, and it took about 12 hours to charge up that small Jackery battery. This is too slow. It’s something in my neck of the woods that isn’t going to do an outstanding job of charging up a battery while I’m at a campsite. You can imagine it’s going to be up north. There will be trees in the way, and again, in the Midwest, our sun is just not that strong.

    So while I think it could top off the battery, it will certainly not be able to be used as a sole power device. When I tried the battery and the cooler combination, I found I could get it to go for four solid days. So it just means that every five days, I must get a campsite with electrical power. Then I got another solar panel from TopSolar which is about 140 watts. That folds up, it’s easier to carry, and I can use it to charge up the Jackery and the Omni battery pack anytime I need. So with that setup, I have some good options for solar if the situation is right.

    [TopSolar Flexible Panels] (https://topsolarus.com/collections/topsolar-flexible-solar-panel-100w)

    [AllPower Portable Solar Panel Charger] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R1M7NFT/ )

    I also have a portable Solo stove called Titan, and it’s minimal. You can put some sticks in, and it works to heat or cook. It’s engineered to let air in to get a very hot temperature. So if I didn’t have propane, or if I didn’t have a full fire, maybe it’s raining outside, I could cook something on this little tiny fire pit. [Solo Titan Camp Stove] (https://www.solostove.com/en-us/p/titan)

    I own the large version of the Solo Bonfire fire pit in my backyard, and I absolutely love it. It keeps the smoke down and it makes things very hot. I can invite people over, and we can roast marshmallows and brats. And it’s just one of my favorite thing.

    This little portable solo is nice too because it also has an alcohol burner kit if I can’t find any sticks because I am in the middle of the desert or the middle of winter, and it’s all snowy. I can also use alcohol for cooking dinner and some other accessories. I also have fireproof gloves and some retractable marshmallow sticks, which are great for hot dogs and marshmallows.

    Fun While Camping

    So you might be wondering, what is it that you do when you go camping? Isn’t camping boring? First, I have a nice screen tent in case the weather’s not great or in case the mosquitoes are as large as airplanes. I use the Off lanterns to keep the mosquitoes away, which does a pretty good job. But sometimes, you just have to be inside the screen tent.

    I use the [Govee Camping Lanterns] (https://www.amazon.com/Govee-Camping-Customization-Changing-Emergency/dp/B094VY84NZ) to ensure I have enough proper light. Govee is a tech brand. They’re like Hue where they make all these different light bulbs and Smart devices. They also made the temperature sensors that I use to monitor my tent.

    The lanterns are waterproof, and I can hang them in my tent. I can control them either by the switch or by using an app on my phone to change the brightness and color, turn them on, and check the battery levels.

    Now the reason I bought this particular lamp is that it connects over Bluetooth, which means I don’t need Wi-Fi. Imagine that in the middle of the night, you must go to the bathroom. I’m up 10 feet and have to climb down a ladder. So I’m looking to turn on a light before I head down the ladder, maybe even a wet ladder. I do love these because they’re just such a fantastic device.

    And there are some other things that I wish to do. I like to birdwatch, and I have the Vortex 8 x 28 binoculars. The reason I picked those is, first it’s a fantastic internationally known brand of binoculars. They are so small that I can stuff them in a coat and carry them with me when I go hiking. I love these binoculars; they’re great for bird watching and other nature watching.

    I have the Hollywood Sport Rider 2, and I can put my bike on it. I love going biking when I go camping. So many campsites in my neck of the woods have fantastic trails near the campground. So I enjoy bringing my Salsa Vaya bike, which is wonderful for trails and handy for riding everywhere. This bike rack also has a carrier rack, so I can put my equipment behind the bikes for stuff I don’t want in the car. [Hollywood Sport Rider 2 Bike Rack] (https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-Racks/Hollywood-Racks/HLY84FR.html)

    I also love to read inside my tent with my Kindle. That’s one of my favorite things. And I have a Koi watercolor kit if I feel inspired to paint. I’m pretty terrible at it, but I enjoy doing it when I go camping. [Koi Water Color Field Kit] (https://www.sakuraofamerica.com/product/koi-water-color-field-sketch-kit/)

    But here’s what I’m planning on doing when I go camping. I’m about to do a citizen science (observable) podcast with a good friend, where we’ll talk about birds, nature, and all sorts of outdoor things.

    I picked up two microphones. The first microphone is the Shure MV88, which is very portable and gives fantastic sound. I can hook it up to either my phone or my laptop to do some recording.

    But to go with it, I bought another microphone called the Pixel Professional Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. Now, you might wonder why I have a second microphone. It’s because when I read the reviews of this microphone, people said it doesn’t FOCUS on your voice. It picks up everything around you! It gets all the other noise you don’t want to make on a recording.

    And I thought, AHA! That’s precisely what I’m looking for because I want to be able to go hiking or go through the woods and have a microphone that I can record nature sounds. If it isn’t filtering out for voice, then it’s perfect for all the other noises that I’m trying to capture. I have used the Pixel microphone for recording nature, and it’s wonderful. But I haven’t used the Shure MV 88 microphone yet, but I’m looking forward to my next camping trip.

    [Shure MV88] (https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones/mv88plus)

    [Pixel Lavalier Microphone] (https://store.pixelhk.com/products/pixel-finch-lavalier-microphone?variant=39838995513404)

    I sometimes need to do laundry because I run out of clothes. I have the [Scrubba Portable Wash Bag] (https://thescrubba.com). It’s just basically a very thick bag where you stuff your clothing. You put your laundry detergent in and mush it around until your clothes are clean. Then you pour some fresh water in there, and you rinse it.

    For safety. I always have a weather radio, a first aid kit, bear spray because I live in bear country, and a spare set of glasses. The last time I went camping, I crushed my glasses and I cannot drive home a pair. The other thing is I also took Wilderness First Aid from NOLS and my friend is a respiratory therapist. So between the two of us, we’re in pretty good hands regarding any injuries or problems we may have.

    Bottom Line

    So there you have it, a simple Midwest girl just trying to camp in a tent, unlike those glampers and those fancy people in the RV. Just me and my nature. I hope that all this camping gear will help me get to my goal of going on two to three-week camping driving trips across America. I want to see the world and camp everywhere. I hope you enjoyed the camping overview of what I bring. If you have any questions, as always, you can look me up on Allison’s Slack channel or in the blog post to leave a message. Again, this is Jill from the Northwoods, and you can find me at [email protected] if you want to email me directly.

    The 9 Best Hard Shell Rooftop Tents in 2023

    Looking for the perfect hard shell rooftop tent to take on an overlanding adventure?

    Hard shell rooftop tents are a luxury item for overlanders.

    They’re more durable and easier to set up than a soft shell tent, plus they provide you with better weather protection and improved gas mileage.

    But they are also more expensive.

    So to help you avoid wasting money and make the best pick, here is our review of the best hard shell rooftop tents on the market right now.

    The iKamper 3.0 Rooftop Tent is a beast. With durable thoughtful construction, the only downside is the price.

    Our 9 Favorite Hardshell Rooftop Tents

    Without further ado, let’s dive into the best rooftop tents on the market today:

    Best Premium Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: iKamper Skycamp 3.0

    Coming in at number one we have the iKamper Skycamp 3.0! If there’s one thing we love about iKamper, it’s that they know how to make a really, really good rooftop tent. Not only that, but they listen to their customers and apply feedback into each new model they make.

    The Skycamp 3.0 is able to fit on top of SUVs, long sedans, and truck bed roof racks. As we said before, they listen to the feedback they get. With the Skycamp 3.0, you have an improved aerodynamic hard shell that allows for more bedding space inside the tent.

    You also get completely reengineered locking latches making this the most secure hard shell roof top tents on the market today. With mounting brackets and an awesome telescoping ladder integrated into the tent’s design, you have nearly everything you need! You also get a completely redesigned mattress, the waterproof electronics port, and more.

    Can you find a better hard shell roof top tent? We really aren’t sure – this is one of the top tents on the market today!

    Best 4-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Condor XL

    • Price: 3,695
    • Sleeps: 1 – 4 people

    If you’re looking for the largest hard shell roof top tent on our list, look no further than the Rooftop Condor XL. Similar to a ground tent, this hard shell roof top tent is able to sleep four people comfortably!

    The Condor XL was built to last, too. Its wall is made of a polyurethane-coated polyester and cotton blend with a waterproof rating of 3000mm (for comparison, the typical waterproof rating on backpacking tents is around 1000mm). Because of this, the fabric is thicker and far tougher than your average roof top tent (as well as ground tents). It’s able to provide additional warmth and is quieter in the wind thanks to its weight.

    Unlike soft shell tents, you’re able to add solar panels to the hardshell tent rooftop. That in and of itself makes the Condor XL well worth the investment. Click here to read more about our overland solar setup!

    Bonus: Each Condor XL comes with a Roofnest privacy tent as well as a detachable interior LED light that’s able to be plugged into any USB battery.

    Best 3-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Falcon 2

    • Price: 3,595
    • Sleeps: 1 – 3 people

    The Roofnest Falcon 2 is one of the slimmest rooftop tents on our list today! Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, you won’t have any issues with wind noise or gas mileage reduction.

    The hard shell roof is made with aluminum, which we love! Most of the time when you purchase a hard shell rooftop tent, you’ll find that they’re typically made with ABS plastic or fiberglass. Not only is this tent made with a more durable material, it’s able to accommodate roof racks on top.

    While we can’t say that this is the best rooftop tent (it’s up against some pretty tough competition), we can confidently say that it’s one of the best rooftop tents on the market today. The breathable top shell, accessory channels on the side, and more make the Rooftop Falcon 2 a great tent for three people.

    Best 2-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Sparrow EYE

    • Price: 3,195
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The Roofnest Sparrow EYE is one of the best hard shell tents for two adults on our list today. Setup and breakdown take seconds and, thanks to its durable construction, it can handle any weather thrown at it!

    Unlike most rooftop tents, the Roofnest Sparrow EYE allows you to bring along your toys and whatever gear you may need thanks to the gear storage on the roof. Thanks to the massive door and side Windows, the inside of this tent will stay cool, too!

    On top of that, this hard shell roof top tent is made with a fiberglass-reinforced ABS shell that’s molded to be aerodynamic for better gas mileage (it reduces wind noise, too).

    Inside the tent, you get a foam mattress that goes head to head with your mattress back home, a quilted, insulated fabric, and an anti condensation mat.

    We’d recommend this rooftop tent to anyone!

    Best Single Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: iKamper Skycamp Mini

    • Price: 3,699
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The iKamper Skycamp Mini is an aerodynamic, lightweight, awesome hard shell roof top tent that can fit any car you put it on (even as small as a Mini Cooper)! It’s one of the easiest rooftop tents to deploy and with a setup/takedown time of less than a minute, it’s easy to see why so many solo travelers use this roof top tent (myself included).

    When you open this hard shell roof top tent, the hardshell cover becomes one of the tent’s walls (and just so happens to be the only wall without a window). However, this wall isn’t boring in the slightest. It’s lined with a quilted panel and there’s a printed picture of a world map inside, too!

    The quilting material helps manage any condensation, while the sidewalls, front of the tent, and ceiling of the tent have canopy Windows for airflow and great views. Not to mention, the Skycamp Mini is made from a breathable polycotton canvas and comes with a waterproof polyester rainfly (which you’re able to detach for more airflow).

    Thanks to there being no vinyl coating on the tent (or the rainfly), you’ll notice that less condensation will build up! It’s also a quiet rooftop tent in the wind.

    Lightweight Fiberglass Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roam Rambler

    • Price: 3,399
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The Roam Rambler is an incredible rooftop tent and we’re thrilled to have it on our list today. The hardshell design is made from a one of a kind ABS fiberglass that features a compact and lightweight design.

    The outer body is made using 280g ripstop poly/cotton as well as 100% waterproof fabric that’s mold and UV resistant. The interior fabric is crafted with quilted polyester taffeta.

    Unlike a soft shell roof, this hard shell is tough as nails and keeps you protected in all weather conditions. The setup/takedown time is incredibly fast, too. In less than 60 seconds your home away from home will be ready to use! The Rambler can be installed on nearly any roof rack or bed rack on the market, too.

    Popup Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: BunduTop

    • Price: 4,235
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The BunduTop popup hard shell roof top tent is one of the coolest looking rooftop tents on our list today. It sort of looks like it should be on the ground, but fits a standard roof rack perfectly!

    With this hard shell roof top tent, you get a 360-degree view of your surroundings. Not only that, it has two storage s on the inside of the tent to help store any small items you bring, an LED light and a cigarette lighter plug that allows you to charge all of your devices from within the tent.

    The BunduTop also has solar wiring in case you’d like to add a solar panel or two to the top of the rooftop, too!

    Speaking of the hard shell roof top, it’s made with a raw aluminum sheet that’s efficient at reflecting heat which, in turn, keeps you cool and comfortable inside of the tent even on those hot summer days!

    This tent is able to withstand 50mph winds and also holds up well in the snow (unlike soft shell tents).

    Clamshell Roof Top Tent: CVT Mt Hood

    • Price: 3,995
    • Sleeps: 1 – 3 people

    The CTV Mt. Hood features an aluminum clamshell design that’s beyond easy to set up. Unlike the typical softshell rooftop tent, this hard shell tent offers better wind and rain protection while tent camping!

    We’d consider this to be one of the best hardshell rooftop tents on the market today for a few reasons. Inside this rooftop tent, you have a 3 inch mattress, a quilted ceiling liner that provides extra insulation, plenty of storage s on the tent walls, and there’s enough space to sleep up to three people!

    Like most hard shell tents, the CTV Mt. Hood is built with high-quality materials and lasts for quite a long time. It’s a great all-season rooftop tent that we’d recommend to anyone looking for a perfect hard shell roof tent.

    Cheapest Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Tuff Stuff Alpha II

    • Price: 2,699
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    While the Tuff Stuff Alpha II is still a bit pricey, it’s one of the cheapest hard shell roof top tents on the market today. Made with ABS fiberglass with FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) for durability on the road.

    The tent itself is made from a 280g ripstop polyester cotton fabric and comes with a 210D Oxford polyester rainfly. The rainfly is PU coated to 5000mm waterproofing. If you get caught in the rain, you can rest knowing that the inside of this roof top tent stays dry.

    With three window openings, you get plenty of airflow. Not to mention the incredible skylight with a built-in mesh paneling. On top of that, you get an LED lighting system, large awnings over two of the Windows that can be converted into rain covers, and more.

    When looking for the cheapest (and best hard shell roof top tent), you really can’t pass up on the Alpha II.

    Hard Shell Tent Comparison

    Here’s a quick comparison table on the best hard shell pop up tents:

    Rooftop Tent: Price: Capacity:
    iKamper Skycamp 3.0 4,199 1 – 4 people
    Roofnest Condor XL 3,695 1 – 4 people
    Rooftop Falcon 2 3,595 1 – 3 people
    Roofnest Sparrow EYE 3,195 1 – 2 people
    iKamper Skycamp Mini 3,699 1 – 2 people
    Roam Rambler 3,399 1 – 2 people
    BunduTop 4,235 1 – 2 people
    CVT Mt Hood 3,995 1 – 3 people
    Tuff Stuff Alpha II 2,699 1 – 2 people

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a question we didn’t get to below? Leave a question in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев and we’ll do our best to answer it!

    If you’re able to afford it and travel a bunch as it is (and you’re sick of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the cold hard ground), then yes!

    If you’re not traveling often and/or don’t have a roof rack (and no intentions on getting one), we’d say no.

    Why Buy a Hard Shell Rooftop Tent?

    Rooftop tents allow you to turn nearly any vehicle into a makeshift camper and tend to be more comfortable than your standard ground tent. Not only that, they’re incredibly easy to set up and, when you’re on your outdoor adventure, they keep you off the ground (which may help you to sleep better).

    Unlike a soft shell rooftop tent, hard shell tents are longer lasting, more durable, and some even get you better gas mileage.

    How Do You Install a Rooftop Tent?

    First, you’ll need to make sure that your rooftop tent is compatible with your vehicle as well as your roof rack.

    Some of the most user-friendly rooftop tents are made by roof rack companies like Yakima and Thule. You’re able to purchase both the roof rack and rooftop tent at the same time and in doing so, you know that you’re purchasing a pair that works together!

    Other companies require a bit more savvy to install and you may need to watch a few YouTube videos to properly install your new rooftop tent. Here’s a quick video you can watch to see what you’ll be getting yourself into:

    Note: We recommend at least two adults are present when installing a rooftop tent, just in case any problems arise!

    We hope you enjoyed this article on our favorite hard shell roof top tents! Which was your favorite? We’d love to hear in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.

    Looking for more overlanding articles? Check these out:

    Bill Widmer

    Bill is an overlanding and outdoor enthusiast, currently rocking a 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in Cavalry Blue. If he’s not offroading or camping, you’ll find him playing with his DJI Maveric Pro 2 drone or traveling the country.

    The 9 Best Hard Shell Rooftop Tents in 2023

    Looking for the perfect hard shell rooftop tent to take on an overlanding adventure?

    Hard shell rooftop tents are a luxury item for overlanders.

    They’re more durable and easier to set up than a soft shell tent, plus they provide you with better weather protection and improved gas mileage.

    But they are also more expensive.

    So to help you avoid wasting money and make the best pick, here is our review of the best hard shell rooftop tents on the market right now.

    The iKamper 3.0 Rooftop Tent is a beast. With durable thoughtful construction, the only downside is the price.

    Our 9 Favorite Hardshell Rooftop Tents

    Without further ado, let’s dive into the best rooftop tents on the market today:

    Best Premium Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: iKamper Skycamp 3.0

    Coming in at number one we have the iKamper Skycamp 3.0! If there’s one thing we love about iKamper, it’s that they know how to make a really, really good rooftop tent. Not only that, but they listen to their customers and apply feedback into each new model they make.

    The Skycamp 3.0 is able to fit on top of SUVs, long sedans, and truck bed roof racks. As we said before, they listen to the feedback they get. With the Skycamp 3.0, you have an improved aerodynamic hard shell that allows for more bedding space inside the tent.

    You also get completely reengineered locking latches making this the most secure hard shell roof top tents on the market today. With mounting brackets and an awesome telescoping ladder integrated into the tent’s design, you have nearly everything you need! You also get a completely redesigned mattress, the waterproof electronics port, and more.

    Can you find a better hard shell roof top tent? We really aren’t sure – this is one of the top tents on the market today!

    Best 4-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Condor XL

    • Price: 3,695
    • Sleeps: 1 – 4 people

    If you’re looking for the largest hard shell roof top tent on our list, look no further than the Rooftop Condor XL. Similar to a ground tent, this hard shell roof top tent is able to sleep four people comfortably!

    The Condor XL was built to last, too. Its wall is made of a polyurethane-coated polyester and cotton blend with a waterproof rating of 3000mm (for comparison, the typical waterproof rating on backpacking tents is around 1000mm). Because of this, the fabric is thicker and far tougher than your average roof top tent (as well as ground tents). It’s able to provide additional warmth and is quieter in the wind thanks to its weight.

    Unlike soft shell tents, you’re able to add solar panels to the hardshell tent rooftop. That in and of itself makes the Condor XL well worth the investment. Click here to read more about our overland solar setup!

    Bonus: Each Condor XL comes with a Roofnest privacy tent as well as a detachable interior LED light that’s able to be plugged into any USB battery.

    Best 3-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Falcon 2

    • Price: 3,595
    • Sleeps: 1 – 3 people

    The Roofnest Falcon 2 is one of the slimmest rooftop tents on our list today! Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, you won’t have any issues with wind noise or gas mileage reduction.

    The hard shell roof is made with aluminum, which we love! Most of the time when you purchase a hard shell rooftop tent, you’ll find that they’re typically made with ABS plastic or fiberglass. Not only is this tent made with a more durable material, it’s able to accommodate roof racks on top.

    roofnest, sparrow, roof, tent, awesome

    While we can’t say that this is the best rooftop tent (it’s up against some pretty tough competition), we can confidently say that it’s one of the best rooftop tents on the market today. The breathable top shell, accessory channels on the side, and more make the Rooftop Falcon 2 a great tent for three people.

    Best 2-Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roofnest Sparrow EYE

    • Price: 3,195
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The Roofnest Sparrow EYE is one of the best hard shell tents for two adults on our list today. Setup and breakdown take seconds and, thanks to its durable construction, it can handle any weather thrown at it!

    Unlike most rooftop tents, the Roofnest Sparrow EYE allows you to bring along your toys and whatever gear you may need thanks to the gear storage on the roof. Thanks to the massive door and side Windows, the inside of this tent will stay cool, too!

    On top of that, this hard shell roof top tent is made with a fiberglass-reinforced ABS shell that’s molded to be aerodynamic for better gas mileage (it reduces wind noise, too).

    Inside the tent, you get a foam mattress that goes head to head with your mattress back home, a quilted, insulated fabric, and an anti condensation mat.

    We’d recommend this rooftop tent to anyone!

    Best Single Person Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: iKamper Skycamp Mini

    • Price: 3,699
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The iKamper Skycamp Mini is an aerodynamic, lightweight, awesome hard shell roof top tent that can fit any car you put it on (even as small as a Mini Cooper)! It’s one of the easiest rooftop tents to deploy and with a setup/takedown time of less than a minute, it’s easy to see why so many solo travelers use this roof top tent (myself included).

    When you open this hard shell roof top tent, the hardshell cover becomes one of the tent’s walls (and just so happens to be the only wall without a window). However, this wall isn’t boring in the slightest. It’s lined with a quilted panel and there’s a printed picture of a world map inside, too!

    The quilting material helps manage any condensation, while the sidewalls, front of the tent, and ceiling of the tent have canopy Windows for airflow and great views. Not to mention, the Skycamp Mini is made from a breathable polycotton canvas and comes with a waterproof polyester rainfly (which you’re able to detach for more airflow).

    Thanks to there being no vinyl coating on the tent (or the rainfly), you’ll notice that less condensation will build up! It’s also a quiet rooftop tent in the wind.

    Lightweight Fiberglass Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Roam Rambler

    • Price: 3,399
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The Roam Rambler is an incredible rooftop tent and we’re thrilled to have it on our list today. The hardshell design is made from a one of a kind ABS fiberglass that features a compact and lightweight design.

    The outer body is made using 280g ripstop poly/cotton as well as 100% waterproof fabric that’s mold and UV resistant. The interior fabric is crafted with quilted polyester taffeta.

    Unlike a soft shell roof, this hard shell is tough as nails and keeps you protected in all weather conditions. The setup/takedown time is incredibly fast, too. In less than 60 seconds your home away from home will be ready to use! The Rambler can be installed on nearly any roof rack or bed rack on the market, too.

    Popup Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: BunduTop

    • Price: 4,235
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    The BunduTop popup hard shell roof top tent is one of the coolest looking rooftop tents on our list today. It sort of looks like it should be on the ground, but fits a standard roof rack perfectly!

    With this hard shell roof top tent, you get a 360-degree view of your surroundings. Not only that, it has two storage s on the inside of the tent to help store any small items you bring, an LED light and a cigarette lighter plug that allows you to charge all of your devices from within the tent.

    The BunduTop also has solar wiring in case you’d like to add a solar panel or two to the top of the rooftop, too!

    Speaking of the hard shell roof top, it’s made with a raw aluminum sheet that’s efficient at reflecting heat which, in turn, keeps you cool and comfortable inside of the tent even on those hot summer days!

    This tent is able to withstand 50mph winds and also holds up well in the snow (unlike soft shell tents).

    Clamshell Roof Top Tent: CVT Mt Hood

    • Price: 3,995
    • Sleeps: 1 – 3 people

    The CTV Mt. Hood features an aluminum clamshell design that’s beyond easy to set up. Unlike the typical softshell rooftop tent, this hard shell tent offers better wind and rain protection while tent camping!

    We’d consider this to be one of the best hardshell rooftop tents on the market today for a few reasons. Inside this rooftop tent, you have a 3 inch mattress, a quilted ceiling liner that provides extra insulation, plenty of storage s on the tent walls, and there’s enough space to sleep up to three people!

    Like most hard shell tents, the CTV Mt. Hood is built with high-quality materials and lasts for quite a long time. It’s a great all-season rooftop tent that we’d recommend to anyone looking for a perfect hard shell roof tent.

    Cheapest Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: Tuff Stuff Alpha II

    • Price: 2,699
    • Sleeps: 1 – 2 people

    While the Tuff Stuff Alpha II is still a bit pricey, it’s one of the cheapest hard shell roof top tents on the market today. Made with ABS fiberglass with FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) for durability on the road.

    The tent itself is made from a 280g ripstop polyester cotton fabric and comes with a 210D Oxford polyester rainfly. The rainfly is PU coated to 5000mm waterproofing. If you get caught in the rain, you can rest knowing that the inside of this roof top tent stays dry.

    With three window openings, you get plenty of airflow. Not to mention the incredible skylight with a built-in mesh paneling. On top of that, you get an LED lighting system, large awnings over two of the Windows that can be converted into rain covers, and more.

    When looking for the cheapest (and best hard shell roof top tent), you really can’t pass up on the Alpha II.

    Hard Shell Tent Comparison

    Here’s a quick comparison table on the best hard shell pop up tents:

    Rooftop Tent: Price: Capacity:
    iKamper Skycamp 3.0 4,199 1 – 4 people
    Roofnest Condor XL 3,695 1 – 4 people
    Rooftop Falcon 2 3,595 1 – 3 people
    Roofnest Sparrow EYE 3,195 1 – 2 people
    iKamper Skycamp Mini 3,699 1 – 2 people
    Roam Rambler 3,399 1 – 2 people
    BunduTop 4,235 1 – 2 people
    CVT Mt Hood 3,995 1 – 3 people
    Tuff Stuff Alpha II 2,699 1 – 2 people

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a question we didn’t get to below? Leave a question in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев and we’ll do our best to answer it!

    If you’re able to afford it and travel a bunch as it is (and you’re sick of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the cold hard ground), then yes!

    If you’re not traveling often and/or don’t have a roof rack (and no intentions on getting one), we’d say no.

    Why Buy a Hard Shell Rooftop Tent?

    Rooftop tents allow you to turn nearly any vehicle into a makeshift camper and tend to be more comfortable than your standard ground tent. Not only that, they’re incredibly easy to set up and, when you’re on your outdoor adventure, they keep you off the ground (which may help you to sleep better).

    Unlike a soft shell rooftop tent, hard shell tents are longer lasting, more durable, and some even get you better gas mileage.

    How Do You Install a Rooftop Tent?

    First, you’ll need to make sure that your rooftop tent is compatible with your vehicle as well as your roof rack.

    Some of the most user-friendly rooftop tents are made by roof rack companies like Yakima and Thule. You’re able to purchase both the roof rack and rooftop tent at the same time and in doing so, you know that you’re purchasing a pair that works together!

    Other companies require a bit more savvy to install and you may need to watch a few YouTube videos to properly install your new rooftop tent. Here’s a quick video you can watch to see what you’ll be getting yourself into:

    Note: We recommend at least two adults are present when installing a rooftop tent, just in case any problems arise!

    We hope you enjoyed this article on our favorite hard shell roof top tents! Which was your favorite? We’d love to hear in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.

    Looking for more overlanding articles? Check these out:

    Bill Widmer

    Bill is an overlanding and outdoor enthusiast, currently rocking a 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in Cavalry Blue. If he’s not offroading or camping, you’ll find him playing with his DJI Maveric Pro 2 drone or traveling the country.

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