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The majority of roof top tents cost a fortune if not an arm and a leg in the tunes of thousands of dollars. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get some good quality at a relatively cheaper price.
What if I told we have found, used, and tested great roof top tents going for less than 990 USD? Yes we have and we are going to reveal them to you and take you and your next rooftop camping adventure.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Budget Roof Top Tents
Weight – The weight of the roof top tent (RTT) will determine if you vehicle will carry it depending on its static and dynamic roof rack capacity.
Ease Of Foldability – A good roof top tent should fold very easily for easy camping.
Durability – RTTs are exposed to various elements and conditions outside there. A good build quality is very essential.
Open Size – A good tent should offer sufficient space for someone and / or their camping partner plus some necessities.
Ventilation – An ideal RTT ought to have some good ventilation for various types of weather.
Waterproofing – This is one of the most essential factors if not the top and such parameters as good stitching are crucial.
Best Budget Roof Top Tent
If you are looking for the very best roof top tent that won’t break your bank, we recommend the Smittybilt Overlander Tent. It has a very good build quality suitable for various environments. It measures 95″x56″ when open and can sleep 2- 3 people but we recommend 2 for comfort. It only weighs 142 lbs suitable for a significant number of roof racks. It features some velcro LED strip lights. Comes with a black heavy duty weatherhood for protecting the tent when moving or during storage. One shortcoming noted is that the zippers are not YKK but they well cover so no leakage was observed. The tent retails at less than 800 USD, check the current price on Amazon. Read our full review below.
Best Budget Roof Top Tents
1. Smittybilt Overlander Tent
This is an outstanding tent at that budget. When premium brands like Tepui and CVT are selling their smaller tents for thousands of dollars, Smittybilt has kept this tent below 800 USD while maintaining a competitive quality. After numerous analyses, it qualified to be the best budget roof top tent.
Features of Smittybilt Overlander Tent
Open Size: 95″W x 56″L x 51″H
Closed Size: 47″W x 56″L x 11″H
Capacity: 2 person
Smittybilt Overlander Tent Review
Smittybilt measures 95″x56″x 51″ when open. They claim this can sleep 3 people but after numerous trials we can only recommend 2 adults max or 2 adults and 1 kid for comfort without much touching.
It is fitted with a high density double foam mattress measuring 92″ x 55″ which is a bit comfortable especially when one is lying on their back or stomach. If you are used to lying on your side, it is not very comfortable and we can recommend you go for some extra memory foam for ultimate comfort.
This tent can take up to 661 pounds which is a good capacity. This is the static loading capacity when stationary. However, it is essential for one to measure their body weight and gear to ensure they don’t exceed the limit.
Unlike the CVT, this Smittybilt has skylight panels which are very good for watching the stars when it is not raining.
One disadvantage with this tent is that it does not come with the highly reputable YKK zippers which are usually waterproof. However, they have used some quality zippers with coverings to prevent any leakage.
2. Raptor Series 100000-126800 Roof Top Tent
This is another good roof top tent that comes at a good price. It has a good build quality. The manufacturers claim that it is the lightest manual rooftop tent in its category. For that category, it is true because it weighs 159 pounds. However, it weighs more than the Smittybilt.
Raptor Series 100000-126800 is designed to hold up to 3 people but for sufficient space, we found it to be most suitable for 2 adults.
Its design is aerodynamic (you can see this from outside) and thus does well during heavy winds, storms, and other harsh weather conditions. It comes with 2 hanging storage and shoe pockets that are rolled on the move.
One of its unique features is an inbuilt awning which offers a great view while protecting a camper from direct sunlight. It has some strategically located air vents which can adjusted easily. It also features some mosquito net doors that prevent insects from entering while offering an improved airflow.
Additionally, it is equipped with some nice interior pockets for storing items. Its ladder is telescopic and made from light but strong aluminum.
It was found to be very easy to install. Some of the shortcomings noted is that the interior is a bit cramped. The mattress is also not very comfortable.
3. Garden at Home 239310 Roof Top Tent
This tent is not well known but don’t underestimate it just yet. It emerged to be the third best budget roof top tent due to its good size and price. This tent measures 94.5”*56”*51” when open and 57”*48.4”*11.8” when folded which offers good space management.
It is made from a fairly good waterproof fabric described as T / C 280GSM. It comes with a good rainfly which is made from a waterproof polyester rated at 420D with a 2000mm PU coating.
It is fitted with a high density foam pad mattress covered with soft cotton.
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