Roof top tents have gained popularity because of their usefulness to the overland adventurers. Travelers want a way to keep off the ground and avoid predators while exploring. Some companies have gone out of the way to make some of the smallest roof top tents which are very ideal for a significant number of campers.
The convenience of these tents and easy setup features is what has made rooftop tents an essential accessory for most outdoor campers. You only have to attach a tent to the vehicle’s roof rack. It is possible to deploy it almost instantly by unfolding and extending of the ladder.
Looking for small-sized rooftop tents can be cumbersome; this article reviews the best smallest rooftop tents. We used the volumes of the open tents as well as the build quality to rank them. We hope It will help acquire the best rooftop tent that will suit your preferences.
- 1 Our Pick – Smallest Roof Top Tent
- 2 List of Smallest Roof Top Tents
- 2.1 1. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent – Smallest When Open
- 2.2 2. YAKIMA Skyrise Rooftop Tent-S- No tools required
- 2.3 3. Tepui Low-Pro 2 Tent – Lowest profile
- 2.4 4. Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent – Mold Resistant
- 2.5 5. Smittybilt Overlander Tent – Great build quality and cheap
- 2.6 6. Front Runner Roof Top Tent – Small and lightweight
Our Pick – Smallest Roof Top Tent
After hours of measuring and analysis, the smallest roof top tent was found to be the Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent. This tent measures just 48 x 42 x 11″(WxLxH) when closed and 48 x 84 x 39″ (WxLxH) when open. It a has an impeccable build quality. It is also streamlined and aerodynamic. Works well in all 4 seasons and can accommodate up to 2 people. One shortcoming noted is that is not very easy to install. It’s affordable. Check it’s current price on Amazon. Check our full review below.
Below is a summary table for the smallest roof top tents that made it to our final listing after analyzing tens of models.
List of Smallest Roof Top Tents
|Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent||Check Price On Amazon|
|Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent-S||Check Price On Amazon|
|Tepui Low-Pro 2 Tent||Check Price On Amazon|
|Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop Tent||Check Price On Amazon|
|Smittybilt Overlander Tent||Check Price On Amazon|
Tepui is one of the the most reputable manufacturers of high quality tents and its acquisition by Thule (roof rack experts) made it even better due to the combined advantages.
The Thule Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent measures 42 x 48 x 11″ when closed and 84 x 48 x 39″ when open. This tent also weighs just 95 lbs. It thus qualifies to be the smallest roof top tents in our listing.
It can accommodate a maximum of two people and is available in tan and blue. Tepui Explorer is built from the same quality rip-stop design and materials but has a lower profile, pack up reduced, and weighs about 100 lbs.
It is an ideal tent for a smaller SUV or traveling vans. Comprises universal mount brackets, and it is simple to mount on roof tracks. The tent base is inclusive of a 2.5-inch foam mattress for comfort while sleeping.
Structured in frame design, which means the user has a headroom can sit up and relax while in the tent after waking up, and enjoy the unobstructed view offered by large windows which are screened. This is an ideal car top for a Subaru Impreza and other small vehicles. However, it works for SUVs too and trucks.
Similar to the majority of roof top tents, this tent retails at more than 1000 USD, the good news is that if you qualify for Amazon’s store card, you can pay an average of about 100 bucks for 12 months for this tent. Interest free!
Features of Tepui Explorer Ayer Rooftop Tent
- Capacity; the tent can accommodate a maximum of two people
- It is an all-season tent
- The tent measures 48 x 42 x 11″(W* L * H) when closed and 48 x 84 x 39″ (W *L) while mounted
- Designed with mosquito screens
- It Weighs 95 lbs.
- Base construction is a welded aluminum tube which has insulation and aluminum cap sheet
- Water-resistant cover which is resistant to ultraviolet rays and also mold-resistant
- The tent has a spacious A-frame design which offers a perfect headroom to completely sit and relax in the tent
- The screened windows offer an obstructed view if outside
- Built with high-quality poly cotton material to protect someone from massive raindrops and winds
- Features 4 large internal pockets which you can store gear and camping materials
- Inclusive of the telescoping ladder and thus no need to bun extra extensions for larger or lifted trucks.
- It is easy to swap out the canopy according to the season and weather
- Can only accommodate a maximum of two people
- You need help to mount the tent and additional set of ratchet wrenches
YAKIMA Skyrise Tent-S comfortably accommodates a maximum of 2 people with its 37 square feet of interior space. It measures 48″ x 42″ x 12″ when closed and 48″ x 84″ x 42″ when open.
The Yakima Skyrise weighs just 106 pounds. It is inclusive of a mattress that eradicates the requirement for inflatable sleeping pads. The tent is built on a sturdy body that made of 210D nylon material with a rainfly.
It encompasses a PU coating that deters incoming raindrops storms from distracting your breathtaking camping experience. The tent is not only made with durable materials and relatively lightweight. It was found to have sufficient air circulation so you won’t have to suffer on those warmer summer nights.
For more excellent ventilation, it is designed with mesh-lined windows and two skylights that offer an unobstructed view during the night. The entire tent is supported by lightweight aluminum poles and comes with a fold-up ladder for easier mounting and folding.
Features of YAKIMA Skyrise Roof Top Tent-S
- The tent weighs about 95.00 lbs.
- Dimensions: L 48.00 x W 42.00 x H 16.50
- Has the capacity of three people
- Designed with a double wall
- The tent body is made of 210D Nylon and 210 D rainfly
- Can be used as a three-season tent
- Inclusive for 2 SKS locks for security purposes
- Inclusive of a ladder and all hardware for easy mounting
- Has tool-free vehicle mounts which means it is simple to set and also fast to take off
- The 210D nylon rainfly with PU cover protects the user from the elements
- It is a lightweight roof top tent
- The mattress includes a removable cover for easy cleaning
- An easy pitch design
- It is quite expensive
After Tepui studied the needs of various campers who own small cars, they came up with one of the smallest and lightest low profile roof tents, the Tepui Low-Pro 2.
We tried it out in the wilderness and this is definitely the smallest roof top tent we have ever landed our hands on. It emerged as the smallest tent in our listing because the Tepui Low-Pro 2 measures only 50 in x 43 in x 7 in (WxLxH) when closed and 50 in x 84 in x 44 in (WxLxH) when open.
This means it qualifies to be one of the lowest profile tents out here because when folded it’s merely 10 inches above the vehicle. Despite its small size, it accommodates two people quite comfortably but not as good as the Smittybilt Overlander.
We were very impressed by its streamline and aerodynamic built which is well suited for heavy winds. This tent also weighs a mere 12o lbs making it ideal for various types of vehicles including sedans.
Its build quality is good since the canopy is made from a breathable ripstop polyester rated at 3000WP. This material is also mildew and UV resistant plus flame retardant.
Features of Tepui Low-Pro Tent
- Size (Closed): 50 ” x 43 ” x 7 “(WxLxH)
- Size Open: 50 “x 84 ” x 44 ” (WxLxH)
- Weight: 105 pounds
- Sleeping capacity: 2
- Seasons: 4
- Sleeping Footprint: 50 x 84 “
- Canopy Material: Ripstop polyester (breathable 3000 WP)
- Rainfly Fabric: Polyester (3000WP and PU coated)
- Mosquito Screen: no-see-um mesh
- Mattress: 2″ 40D hard density foam
- Base Material: Cellulized thermoplastic honeycomb fiberglass (Tepui TEC)
- Internal Frame: Wrapped aluminum (5/8″)
- Ladder: 8ft-6″ Telescoping Aluminum
- Small and low profile tent
- Sturdy and aerodynamic build
- Easy to setup
- A 4 season tent
- The low profile design is slightly slanted when folded.
Kukenam is structured for all seasons’ protection. The rugged Tepui Explorer Kukenam tent is made with a heavy-duty polyester and cotton fabrics and entirely waterproof and keeps both moisture and snow out. Its dimensions are 48″ x 56″ x 12″when closed and 96″ x 56″ x 52″ when open. This makes it one of the smallest tents.
The all-around mesh panel offers sufficient ventilation ideal for summer camping, and all the panels’ have openings for even more air circulation as well as water-resistant zippers.
Though it might seem intimidating, the Kukenam is easy to mount. It is delivered together with universal mount brackets that can be attached on most roof racks. Once installed, the Kukenam is set up with a fast and smooth pull of the ladder and several pole inserts.
You have to push the ladder folding from the internal frame made of aluminum and extending the poles to set up completely. To take off the tent, you reverse the simple set up instructions and then zipping the tent into a comprehensive PVC travel cover for a suitable guard to and from your best camping area.
Features of Tepui Explorer Kukenam Rooftop tent
- A sleeping capacity of three people
- It is an all-season tent
- Dimension 96″ x 56″ x 52″ open
- Built with water-resistant 600D ripstop fabric and ventilate cover
- Ultra-violet rays resistant cover
- Has mosquito screens
- It Weighs 130 lbs.
- The internal frame is made of an aluminum tube
- Base construction is an insulated fiberglass sheet
- It is a four-season tent made to endure various weather elements
- Mesh panels avail sufficient air circulation
- The Tent fabric is both ultraviolet and mold resistant and can withstand the elements of all seasons
- It is inclusive of universal mounting brackets, which make it possible for easy mounting to most roof racks.
- The mattress is quite hard and does not deliver maximum comfort.
Smittybilt Overlander Tentis professionally designed to offer versatility by enabling camping anywhere you want to go camping. This tent is structured in one-person operation, which makes it possible to be folded out seconds to full height. One does not have to mess around with tent pegs and ropes like other ground tents.
The Smittybilt Overlander Tent qualified to be our second smallest tent because it measures just 47″W x 56″L x 11″H when closed and 95″W x 56″L x 51″H when open.
The Smittybilt Roof Top Tent’s weight is 118 pounds only which is suitable for a significant number of OE roof racks which are usually built to hold 100-200 lbs. It’s loading capacity (when stationary) is 661 pounds which means it can support up to 3 people but we recommend two for space and comfort. However, you should ensure you distribute the weight evenly on the tent to avoid damaging it.
Be sure to check the static and dynamic roof rack capacities of your vehicle to ensure it can carry this tent.
It is entirely waterproof, so one does not have to be bothered about being stranded out in the rain. The Smittybilt Overlander Tent offers features required for a breathtaking camping experience.
Features of Smittybilt Overlander Tent
- It is an all-season use tent
- Made with a Heavy-duty 600D ripstop polyester
- Just 118 lbs in weight
- It is a complete Waterproof roof top tent
- Designed with Stainless steel hinges
- Features Anodized aluminum frame poles for easy installation
- It comes with a LED strip interior light
- The tent is made with 60mm high-density foam mattress which has a removable cover
- The tent comes together with Mosquito screens
- Has a Telescoping aluminum ladder
- The tent Open size is 95″ W x 56″ L x 51″ H
- The load capacity is 661 lbs.
- Can accommodate 2-3 people
- Inclusive of mounting brackets
- One year warranty
- Overlander tent is easy to set up and takedown
- Designed with a heavy-duty PVC that keep the tent dry and free from ultraviolet rays when not in use
- It has removable floors, which can be attached using heavy-duty zippers for privacy.
- Made with sunroof openings which offer excellent air circulation in the tent
- It is a cost-effective roof top tent
- Does not have anti-theft nuts, the tent can easily be stolen
- Has a quite small rain fly
Front Runner is a broad rooftop tent. Structured with a super-low 12 inches profile, which lessens wind resistance while the truck is on-road and reduces the truck’s total height. This means it qualifies to be one of the lowest profile small rooftop tents available in the market today.
The Front Runner Roof Top Tent measures 53 x 49 x 8″ (WxLxH) when closed and 53 x 134 x 55″ (WxLxH) when open. This made it the third smallest tent in our unbiased listing.
To mount this roof tent, you will have you will require a front runner tent mount kit.
Features of Front Runner Roof Tent
- The tent comes with a flysheet, tent cover, Roof tent cover, mounting studs kit, rod kit, sliding ladder, and mattress.
- Can accommodate more than two people comfortably
- It is a lightweight rooftop tent- 88.18 lbs.
- Made with an extended-lasting tent cover which is 1000 D which protects the tent from ultraviolet light rays when not in use
- Designed to have unobstructed views out of all the windows
- An aluminum ladder which has foot friendly treads
- Does not require to install extra extrusions as it comes with an aluminum excursion which secures the optional shower skirt
- Tent rails are loose to offer you flexibility which makes it possible to mount the tent on most roof tracks and load bars
- The tent opens up in one smooth for an instant bedroom
- It is a light tent compared to other rooftop tents available in the market today
- Features zipper panels on all doors and windows to ensure privacy
- Offers an obstructed view of the sky on all the windows
- Has rooftop ventilation with a mosquito screen lessens condensation and also provides a steady source of ventilation
- The two interiors to store gear occupy quite a substantial space
- It is quite an expensive rooftop tent
Our Take (Final Verdict)
It is evident that there exist really small roof top tents which are very ideal for people like us who prefer the minimalist design. The Tepui Explorer Ayer is actually the smallest roof top tent. It does very well for someone who prefers a low profile tent that is small and light. The others are very good too depending on one’s preferences. Grab the best choice for yourself and enjoy your camping adventure.