Tepui vs CVT Rooftop Tents (Find Out Which Ones Are Better)

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Rooftop tents (RTT) offer a different experience to camping. Road trips, excursions to lakes, national parks, and the mountains offer an opportunity to experience nature. In this blog post, we are going to do a thorough comparison of Tepui Vs CVT which are some the leading rooftop tents in the world.

If you are planning a road trip from Michigan to California or Alaska and are a camper and love a little more comfort on the go or want to avoid the inconveniences of ground camping, vehicle rooftop camping is the way to go. The advantages of having any rooftop tent includes: keeping one off the ground, easy to set-up and comfortable as it has a built-in foam mattress.

When looking at Tepui versus CVT rooftop tents, there exists various similarities and difference from build quality, insulation, lighting, ladders, and countries of origin. We are going to discuss them below.

There are things to consider when buying a RTT. One should start by researching on the different types of tents and their advantages and disadvantages.  The Tepui vs CVT discussion shows the difference in quality, durability, affordability and functionality between these two big brands.


Tepui vs CVT Rooftop Tents

1. Tepui Rooftop Tents

Tepui is a leading manufacturer of roof-top tents and related gear. Tepui was acquired by the Thule Group (another top outdoor gear company based in Sweden) leading to a combination of Thule’s leading roof rack systems and Tepui’s sturdy roof top tents.  This is why the Tepui tents were renamed to Thule Tepui.

Tepui kukenam 3 ruggedized

Thule Tepui has a wide array of roof top tents such as Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3, Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2, Thule Tepui Low-Pro 2 (one of the smallest rooftop top tents suitable for small cars), and Thule Tepui Foothill among others.

Rooftop tents by Tepui are mostly suitable for casual campers rather than overlanding campers. They are affordable as their prices are mostly average.

Most of Tepui tents are softshell which gives it a disadvantage as the durability is a bit lower compared to hard shell rooftop tents. They do not provide the best weather protection especially during hailstones. It also cannot accommodate extra stuff like a solar panel on top.

On the hand, most tents by CVT are hardshell apart from two; the CVT Pioneer Series and Hybrid Series.

Tepui has various options for trucks, SUV’s, cars, and vans. Tepui rooftop tents are available widely in the USA, Sweden, Australia and Venezuela. You can find one at a vehicle accessories store, online through Amazon.

Tepui Rooftop Tents Review

The Tepui is a good quality, affordable rooftop tent that many campers go for. The fabric used is of a good quality and offers protection from the sun, wind and cold weather. Being a softshell makes the Tepui lightweight though it comes with the lack of benefits acquired from getting a hard-shelled RTT.

The zippers are water resistant and the rainfly is coated giving a good defense against wind and rain. This can turn out to be very noisy during strong winds though.

Thule Tepui Low-Pro2 is more lightweight and reduces the weight carried around while travelling compared to other RTT. It is mostly suitable for lone travelers. When it comes to the size of the tent fitting on the rooftop, a Thule Tepui Foothill occupies less space leaving space to for extra stuff like bikes or some other bulky cargo.

Tepui Low-Pro 2 Roof Top Tent

The space in a Tepui tent is limited. The one meant for two persons fit exactly leaving no room. Hanging out is difficult in a small space. The quality of the mattress is low. One will have to look for a foam topper in order to make it more comfortable. They are mostly narrow.

The CVT tents are usually more spacious for the same capacity (number of persons) though most lack enough headroom. The 23Zero Saber hard-shell has more room and has a high quality 80mm foam mattress, a thicker anti-condensation mat, thus reducing extra purchases as in Tepui RTT.

Checking CVT vs Tepui, the latter has sky view windows with insect mesh to prevent bugs from entering the tent. Not all CVT tents have this feature. However, the CVT Pioneer Series has two sky view windows. It is also a good affordable tent that comes with a hi-density foam mattress, carrying bags for annexes. The company also offers a 12-month warranty.

When it comes to Tepui vs Smittybilt, the latter is mostly suitable for overlanders. It is functional at its cheaper price. Very good for budget seekers. It is a softshell hence not very durable nor user friendly.

The Smittybilt has LED-lights, robust zipper and has a shoe bag, at the same cost. The downside is that it is not well seamed, its ladder is difficult to clip and not easy to install as compared Tepui RTT. For Tepui one usually has to install extra shoe bag for rooftop tents.

Tepui when compared to Tuff-stuff, Ranger 3. The Tuff-stuff has installation tools included in the package unlike Tepui. It also has storage bag for dirty shoes. It can come in softshell, clamshell or foldout hard-shells. When it comes to Tepuis vs Tuff, there is lack of extravagance and fine feel achieved in Thule Tepui’s softshell.

A Litchfield rooftop tent has one sky view, can accommodate 2+, it can be used during all four seasons. It has a telescoping ladder; the annex comes separately. The mattress is of good quality with waterproof base eliminating the need for an anti-condensation mat. It also has side vents for air ventilation.

It is also good to compare Roam vs Tepui vs CVT. Roam Vagabond XL tent has better awning and annexes compared to both the Tepui and CVT. The Vagabond XL awning is made from tough canvas providing great shade from rain and sun and can be installed by one person in a minute. At the same price it also has better stitching, light suppression technology, better height(shorter) and has a rugged design.

2. The CVT Rooftop Tent

The Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT) is a manufacturer of quality of rooftop tents and related gear founded in 2010 and based at Bend, Oregon.

CVT tents have an added advantage when it comes to durability and more protection from weather conditions during all the four seasons. This is mainly because most of their tents are hardshell tents. They also have 2 series of softshell tents.

Their tents come in different sizes and different interiors. Cars, trucks and SUV’s can get a tent. The sizes vary from two to six plus people accommodation. The CVT also offers Hybrid tents which can allow for extra space to carry toys such as paddleboards.

St. Helens CVT Tent

When comparing the CVT Hybrid vs Summit series of CVT tents, the Hybrid is a crossover between soft shell and hardshell which gives one the advantages of both worlds.

From a personal experience, it is very easy to set up and take down CVT tents. In 30 seconds to 3 mins one can have their tent set up.  They are more expensive compared to Tepui tents but it is worth its price.

The pros of having a CVT may include: it is more importantly waterproof and well insulated to keep one warm at night and cool during a sunny day. It also has small pockets for storage, one can keep small items like phones and other small accessories.

CVT tents are also lightweight since the metal used is aluminum. It is steady and cannot get damaged on rough roads. It also has a very nice counter. They have a boot bag that is part of the package, to keep your dirty shoes before entering the tent. The only problem is that the shoe bag is not waterproof.

When it comes to Tepui vs CVT it is good to note that Tepui tents do not come with a boot bag for shoes.

CVT tents are usually large but a few models like the Mt. Shatsta CVT, the space is smaller thus not allowing one to keep stuff like sleeping bags or pillows inside like the other models.

The CVT offers different variety of sizes that can even accommodate a family. The MT. Shatsa can carry around six people, it is more spacious than a Tepui. It also has four doors thus easing movement. The quality of the mattress is also good compared to a Tepui tent. It has big windows which is good for viewing. The CVT has annexes which prevents rain from the cooking area and also ease movement from the van to the tent without being rained on.

The CVT has an all-weather installation material at the top. It keeps the tent cool during summer and warm during winter. It is also waterproof. The zippers are also good when compared to Tepui tents which can be hard to move during the cold seasons. The Tepui lacks the all-weather insulation as it is not too efficient during winter. CVT also has good ventilation and anti-condensation installation material in place.

The other advantage of a CVT is having extra storage bags on the inside to keep phones and other accessories. There is also a mesh to put clothing items when inside the tent. It also comes with a shoe bag to keep your dirty shoes before going inside the tent though it is not waterproof. This is not accomplished in all Tepui tents.

The CVT- MT. Hood has awnings that prevent rain and scorching sun from the cooking space and also prevents one from getting into the tent wet as one can remove rain gear. It also comes with annexes which helps for extra changing space or even cooking space. it also prevents one from being rained on when moving from the car to the tent. The awnings are also well installed in a Tepui.

The built-in LED-lights in CVT tents making it easy to move up and down the ladder. This lacks in Tepui and thus one is required to carry third party sources of light such as camping lanterns. USB plugins come in handy making it an advantage compared to most tepui RTTs. These small things are the ones making a CVT more polished and pricier.

The Cascadia Vehicle Tents have a very good ladder system, with square steps which are nice. One cannot slip that easily. They have a fireman style type of ladder which is a sliding one. The ladder system for Tepui tent’s is more of a round in shape and uses the telescoping method of ladder folding and unfolding.

Generally, both the CVT and Tepui tents are of good quality depending on the needs of an individual and their affordability.

Summarized Comparison Table for Tepui vs CVT

Made in Sweden and VenezuelaMade in U.S.A and South Africa
Mostly soft shell tentsMainly hard shell tents apart from 2 series
Has lightweight tents suitable for small carsMost of the tents are heavy
Lower build quality in terms of insulationKeeps the heat and cold away from the tent.
Majority have sky view windowsOnly one CVT tent has sky view windows
Lacks built-in led lightsHas built-in LED lights
Zippers sometimes fail to open when wetBetter zippers
The canvas is of slightly lower qualityThe canvas material is more tougher and lasts a bit longer
Telescopic ladderSliding or telescopic ladder

Closing Remarks

It is evident that in a Tepui vs CVT race, we almost have a tie. CVT tents are made in the USA and South Africa while Tepui are made in Sweden and Venezuela. The material used to make CVT tents was found to be a slightly tougher than the material used to make Tepui Tents.

Thule Tepui mainly focuses on making softshell tents while CVT mostly makes hardshell tents and a few softshell tents. As you are aware, hard shell rooftop tents usually last longer due to the extra layer of protection on the top. It is also more efficient to transport hardshell tents due to less drag.

The CVT tents usually come with extra accessories such as shoe bag and LED lights while for Tepui one has purchase the extra accessories. However, on average, CVT tents usually cost slightly more than Tepui.

The above are the major differences when comparing Tepui vs CVT. Every tent has its own advantages and disadvantages an the one you choose will depend on your personal preferences and use. Enjoy your camping experience. Remember, sleeping in a rooftop tent keeps you tucked away from Coyotes.



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