We grew up camping in ground tents, and have fond memories of them. We’re not here to tell you that your grandfather’s cabin isn’t the right way to rough it, or that the tent passed down by your father is the wrong way to sleep under the stars. No shame, everyone starts somewhere.
As we’ve taken charge of our own outdoor adventures, we’ve learned there’s no one way to camp. Each brings something different to the table. These are just a few reasons why roof top tents have changed the game for us.
Some folks might tell you that if you want camping to be easy, you shouldn’t be camping. Anything that motivates you to spend more time outdoors is a good thing in our book.
It is easier to camp in a roof top tent. You don’t need to take a skills course to use one - It practically pitches itself. We also spend more time camping in our roof top tents than we did in traditional ground tents. There will always be responsible, real-life reasons not to go camping this weekend, but the difficulty of pitching your tent should not be on the list. Many roof top tents can be deployed in less than five minutes, if not a minute flat. You also don’t need to worry about carrying your tent, clearing rocks out of the way, or whether the ground is too hard for stakes.
Take away the fuss of pitching camp, and you're free to get down to the business of enjoying it. Maybe take your dog on a quick walk to stretch their legs. Maybe wrangle the kids.
More Room In The Car
The last time we packed a ground tent into the back of a hatchback, it took up a good 15 - 20% of the trunk. Then the camp mattress, sleeping bags… and there was barely room left for a cooler. With some roof top tents, there’s not only an integrated mattress but potentially room to store your sleeping bags and pillows, as well. All on top of your car. Leaving plenty of space for whatever else you want to bring along.
Something about a roof top tent speaks to our inner seven-year-old. Up in the tree canopy with legs dangling in the breeze and nowhere else to be… it’s magical. It might sound like we’re talking about sitting in a big box and calling it a spaceship, but whether the feeling is real or imagined it makes us happy.
Have you ever made travel plans that didn’t go according to plan? Maybe you took a wrong turn, missed an exit, or got stuck in traffic… And then you pulled up to your campsite after dark. The simplicity and speed of setting up a roof top tent pay dividends that we never knew we needed. Arrive someplace and boom. You’re camping. We won’t say that it’s safe to set up RTTs with your eyes closed, but we have deployed them in the dark and lived to tell the tale.
After a long day in the outdoors, we want to recharge and be ready to do it all over again tomorrow.
In a roof top tent, you won’t be tossing and turning to find a root-free spot. You won’t need to worry as much about pitching camp in the snow or mud, or even heat loss sleeping on the ground. The elevation also delivers better airflow on hot summer nights.
Not all sleeping pads are created equal. You’ll always sleep best at home. But we won’t turn down a chance to be less achy when the sun comes up.
Did we mention the views? It turns out that when you pitch a tent 6 feet off the ground, you don’t have to try as hard to see around the lush vegetation or boulders. The view is right outside your bedroom window completely unobstructed.
Fewer Critter Encounters
Roof top tents won’t keep curious raccoons from being curious raccoons, but they do have the height advantage over ground tents.
RTTs are positioned above the line of sight for most predators that would find their way into your campsite. You can’t rely on any tent to defend you from bears - that’s a lot to ask of canvas and zippers. However, the elevation of RTTs will deter snakes, scorpions, and most of your standard creepy crawlies.
What matters from here comes down to who you’re asking, and what parts of the experience they enjoy or simply muddle through. For us, roof top tents are an investment in more comfortable, more accessible experiences. If roof top tents help more people feel confident exploring the great outdoors, we’re here for it.